A student’s parting gift to her alma mater

Sreenandini at the kindergarten classroom of the Government Vocational Higher Secondary School at Kaitharam that was painted by her with the help of her parents.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

When schools reopen, whenever that be, kindergarten students of Government Vocational Higher Secondary School at Kaitharam near North Paravur will walk into a veritable dreamland.

The surprise waiting for them will begin from paintings adorning the walls bordering the corridor leading up to the classroom, the interiors of which explode into myriad colours assuming images of scenic natural landscape and beautiful figures, including popular cartoon characters.

It turned out to be a parting gift from 16-year-old Sreenandini K.R, who passed out from the school with high grades in the SSLC examination.

It took Sreenandini, helped by her parents, both with artistic backgrounds, two months to complete the work, a thanksgiving to her alma mater.

“The work engaged us through the two months of lockdown. We painted at different times, and often it went on till 6 p.m.,” she said.

The design for the paintings came from her mother Rekha M.R. who is a senior clerk in government service and holds a diploma in arts. “The school approached us asking whether we could do some painting for the newly built kindergarten classroom. We jumped at it, since we found it an apt way of giving something back to the school that took so good care of our daughter,” she said.

Since both the husband and wife were restricted to home, they joined their daughter in painting the classroom, which was done mostly using enamel paint.

“They have literally transformed the classroom and yet did not charge us a single penny,” said Tejo P. Joy, a teacher at the school.

Since then, Sreenandini, who has contested in district and national-level painting contests from an early age, has offered her wall art expertise for free to three of her friends. In one case, it was her gift to a childhood friend on her marriage.

But days of free painting may be over, and Sreenandini may even have inadvertently stumbled against a potentially lucrative career option. Impressed by her work, a house owner has roped in her for wall art at his newly built home.

She had not ruled out using her skills professionally, and her father Ratheesh K.S., who is into painting houses, also remains open to the idea. Her “professional fee”, though, remains as yet undecided, said Sreenandini who has chosen humanities for Plus One.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 1:57:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/a-students-parting-gift-to-her-alma-mater/article32681082.ece

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