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Work of art on a piece of chalk

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UNIQUE WORK: Umesh with some of his works. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.
UNIQUE WORK: Umesh with some of his works. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Special Correspondent

Umesh has carved the faces of several personalities on chalk pieces

Bangalore: The chalk piece, the most humble writing instrument, becomes a work of art in the hands of this 20-year-old college student.

For Umesh, studying B.Sc. biotechnology at a city college, carving faces and figures from chalk came quite early. As a schoolboy aged 10, he began doodling with a pin on a broken piece of chalk, perhaps to get over a tedious lesson in the classroom.

"Soon I found that with the help of sewing needles, I could make elaborate carvings and shape the chalk into recognisable faces. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, MGR, Charlie Chaplin, Bangalore's founder Magadi Kempegowda, the poet Vemana, Thiruvalluvar and Sai Baba of Shirdi are among the several figures I have carved so far," he says.

Each chalk carving takes him four to five hours. He prefers white chalk over coloured chalk because the facial features stand out better in white. He is especially proud of the Ganeshs and the Ashoka Pillar that he had created. He has approached the Limca Book of Records for an entry; they replied they would have his carvings checked and then consider an entry.

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