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Updated: May 4, 2010 01:54 IST

Girl attempts world record with longest drawing

Amutha Kannan
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This 14-year-old is all concentration in achieving the goal she has set for herself: an attempt to enter the Guinness World Record and the Limca Book of Records with the longest drawing.

C.S. Bala Soundarya Lakshmi, standard IX student of Yuva Bharathi Public School, is making colourful strokes on a roll of chart paper. Each roll runs to 328 ft. She expects to consume five such rolls for her attempt. Ms. Soundarya began her bid for the record at 6 a.m. on Monday and looks forward to completing it at 5 p.m. on May 5.

Farooque Sha, art teacher, Art World, who trained Soundarya for four years, says he motivated her to make the attempt because she has the ability to draw for long hours. “I identified this capability and encouraged her to prepare for the attempt. Since there is already a record for the longest painting, we decided to train her for the longest drawing,” he says.

With the support of her parents C.B. Shivvakumar and Lekha, Soundarya applied to the Guinness in 2009 and obtained the permission to make an attempt in the “Longest Drawing by an Individual” category.

According to her businessman father, she is not only the first individual, but also the first minor to apply in the category. Once the permission was received, the family, along with the art teacher decided on choosing a concept/theme for drawings. Accordingly, the concept of underwater ecology was selected. Scores of underwater pictures were downloaded from the Internet and printed. Soundarya has these pictures for reference for her drawings. All her drawings depict sea life – the flora and fauna. They are alive with scores of fishes, snakes and octopuses.

She uses colour pencils, pastels, crayons, and sketch pens. Paints are not allowed since it is a drawing. Soundarya looks well prepared for the event, not only in the sense of the art, but also for withstanding the pressure of drawing continuously for many hours. Even though she is sitting in a kalyana mandapam amid quite a number of people, she is oblivious to her surrounding and sounds.

She never lifts her eyes from the drawing to look at people who come to cheer her or to look at her drawing. There is always somebody sitting next to her to keep her company and make quite conversation. But, she is only the listener and not the conversationalist. Maybe this is why she does not take the stipulated 10-min break for every one hour and rather chooses to accumulate them to take a long break once in a while.

Soundarya's drawing is shot on video and sent once in half-an-hour via web cam to the Guinness office to show the continuity. Taking pride in her attempt, Mr. Shivvakumar says: “It is not about the record, but the effort she has taken at this age that overwhelms us.”

Those interested in taking a look at Soundarya's drawing, can do as at Sri Sowdambikai Amman Thirumana Mandapam, AKS Nagar Main Road, Gandhipark.

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