All they want to do is draw.
On most holidays, when students their age would be spending time with their families, Aparna J, 16, and Akhil Murali, 13, are usually scuttling from one competition venue to the other. On a lazy Sunday afternoon, these siblings would rather be caught painting at some painting contest than visiting friends or watching television.
Akhil and Aparna won the first and third positions respectively in the Shankar’s award this year. Needless to say, the siblings have by now lost count of the number of prizes they have accumulated.
Sometimes they attend more than three competitions a day. Now if that sounds awesome, here is more. It is not just participating in competitions; the painter siblings have also made winning prizes at these contests a habit. So much so that their house at Aruvikkara has now turned into a veritable museum of awards and certificates.
“I took to painting when I was in std V while my brother Akhil has been painting since LKG. Both of us have been attending painting competitions and winning prizes right from the beging,” said Aparna, a plus 1 student of St. Mary’s HSS, Pattom. While Akhil is also into pencil drawing and cartoons, Aparna is adept in clay modelling.
While Akhil has a liking for sober shades, sister Aparna’s canvas is mostly replete with dark colours. “We both prefer on-the-spot competitions compared to the other ones in which the subject of painting is declared in advance,” says Akhil, a student of Std VII St Shantal School, Kowdiar.
“We both are very particular about schoolwork. Although we do miss classes, our friends help us in doing our notes,” Akhil says.
Akhil’s school has also completely exempted him from school fees in recognition of his talent. He is also undergoing free training from a private arts school Kalagramom in the city. The encouragement from school coupled with the encouragement from their parents is what keeps these youngsters a winning twosome.