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Updated: April 28, 2011 03:10 IST

A wedding gift in waiting

Liffy Thomas
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The portrait made with rice grains. Photo: S. R. Raghunathan
The Hindu
The portrait made with rice grains. Photo: S. R. Raghunathan

Prince William and Kate Middleton will receive a special wedding gift from a city-based rice artiste, if T.K. Moorthy has his way with the British Deputy High Commission. Mr. Moorthy has made their portrait with four grains of rice.

This he placed on a photo frame with the Buckingham Palace as the backdrop and two guards standing on either side.

“If they agree to send the gift then it is the greatest recognition I can get,” says Mr. Moorthy, who hails from a family engaged in making miniature carvings.

The portrait is 11 mm in height and 6 mm in width and took the artiste 40 days to make. For the limbs, he used grains of basmati rice and for the other body parts including the eyes the fat grains of rice has been carved, cut and pasted.

“I have micro tools to carve different shapes and I select different rice varieties so that it does not break. This portrait will last for at least 50 years,” he adds.

On many other occasions, Mr. Moorthy has displayed his craftsmanship on rice.

Presidential portrait

When Barack Obama visited India, he engraved a portrait of the U.S. President, which Mr. Moorthy says the U.S. Consulate offered to hand it to his office.

“I did not receive any acknowledgment. But many other personalities, including Pope John Paul II and former President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, have sent me appreciation letters,” he says.

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