Acclaimed artist, architect, sculptor and writer Satish Gujral passed away on Thursday at the age of 94. Born in Jhelum in pre-partition Punjab, Gujral was the brother of the late Prime Minister I.K. Gujral and was awarded India’s second-highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, in 1999.
Gujral first studied art, something he picked up after he lost his hearing at the age of nine in an accident, at Mayo College and later at the J. J. School of Art in Mumbai, which he had to leave because of health issues.
He won a scholarship to Palacio de Bella Artes, where he studied under the renowned muralist Diego Riviera. He held exhibitions across the world and later also became a famous architect, designing the Belgium Embassy in New Delhi. He regained his hearing in 1998 after a surgery, 62 years after having lost it.
His nephew, Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujral, said of him: “He led a challenging life but he proved himself equal to it. His zest for life despite his handicap was incomparable.”
“He lost his hearing at the age of nine when he knew only Punjabi and could read a little Urdu. From there to becoming an artist, sculptor, author (he wrote his autobiography “A Brush With Life”), he proved that he was equal to whatever life threw at him. He lived a full life,” said Mr. Naresh Gujral.