A titan(ic) in miniatures
Imagine the Taj Mahal or the Titanic, sitting pretty in a 2.5-centimetre long bottle. Sounds incredible? Well, a self-employed artisan, Mupparthi Gopala Rayudu, has made it possible. He has made miniature models and squeezed them into the bottles.
What is more, he has not missed out on the details while bottling them.
Rayudu's fascination for miniature art began about 12 years ago, when he saw artists making models in 500 ml. and 750 ml. bottles. "I wanted to do it in smaller bottles and for the first time in 1991, I made a model of the Charminar in a five-centimetre bottle. I followed it up with models of the Taj and a `landscape' in the same length bottles," he says.
Subsequently, he thought of making models in bottles half that size. He made a model of the `Gitopadesam' scene, complete with all details like Lord Krishna giving the message to Arjuna with the chariot in the background and the flagstaff on the chariot. "It took 250 hours to complete the model and I had worked on it for eight to 10 hours a day," he says.
Rayudu displayed his models for the first time at the exhibition conducted by the Chitra Kala Parishad at Shipyard Colony in 1992. Later, he had participated in the Fevicol exhibition held in 1993.
It took him four months to complete the Titanic. This gives an indication of the hard work, which goes into the making of miniature models. Rayudu had developed his own crude instruments to execute his work, which requires a great skill and a lot of patience. He has made forceps out of a scooter clutch wire, to join the wooden pieces inside the bottle.
In 1993 he fell ill and stopped his work for about five years. He resumed the craft in 1998. He depicted a village scene in a 2.5-centimetre long bottle. The village has two houses, a tree, a bullock cart, a temple and a church and a boy flying a kite. He does not confine himself to the beaten track but makes models on themes and issues of topical interest.
In the backdrop of the war on Iraq, his model on `world peace' will be of special interest to all those who oppose war.
A ship with two spears in front and two missiles at the rear stands on a wooden base, which is depicted as the sea. The spears and the missiles reflect terrorism and war. The two semi-circles, representing the globe and a dove, trapped in the centre, is a reflection of his imagination of the disruption of world peace by the war.
He made the model of a vintage train to commemorate the 150 years of Indian Railways. The length of the train is thirty one-and-a-half centimetre as against the track length of 33 centimetres. His ingenuity in making the engine and the bogies is seen to be believed. It took him four months to complete the model. He believes that this model is the smallest one compared to those available with the Indian Railways and hopes that the Railway Ministry would purchase the model and do justice to his hard work.
Rayudu has about 25 miniatures in his kitty and wants to become a professional. Given his hard work and determination, there need be no doubts that he will make a mark in his profession.
B. MADHU GOPAL
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