One would rarely come across a partially blind 80-year-old woman who experiments with bindis, socks and matchboxes to satisfy her creative urge.
Born and brought up in Bengaluru, Malathi A. Rao defies the stereotype that productivity dies with time. What started off with pencil sketching has now grown into a room filled with miniature hand-made bindi art – each no bigger than 4 cm. About 200 copies of calendars that feature her work have been sold across the world and she continues to be a ‘woman of substance’ in spite of her partial blindness.
Recently recognised by the Limca Book of Records for her work in experimental art, she has been awarded by the UNICEF for single-handedly selling 22,000 greeting cards over a span of three months, and by the Rotary Club for her unconventional contribution to art.
With a twin-bird art piece marking the beginning of her collection, she went on to make one piece a day during November-December 2012, which includes intricate art pieces of Lord Krishna, Ganesha and Meerabai. Her other works include sock toys and miniature match box models that adorn the shelves of her house.
She has proved that a bindi is more than a dot on a woman’s forehead and takes time to carefully position them. “I place it [bindi] the way I want…it comes naturally,” she proudly said.
Lately, mastering music in 10 different languages and teaching this art form to her domestic help has been her passion. “People must do something great in life,” she said.
UNICEF recognised her for selling 22,000 greeting cards in three months