Rain or hail, no stopping these kids from painting the town red

Prathibha Parameswaran

TIRUCHI: Red, blue, grey — name any colour on earth and you can find them splashed on canvas at the much-waited regional finals of The Hindu Young World Painting competition held at the Jubilee Hall of St. Joseph's College in the city. Over 200 participants flooded the hall, while anxious parents bit their nails as they waited outside wondering if their child had done well.

Organised under two categories — juniors and seniors, the tryst with colours began at 9 a.m. at the hall. The recent floods and bad roads did not deter the participants, some of whom had travelled overnight to represent schools in Salem, Rasipuram and Ulundurpettai.

Giving vent to

their imagination

Rain or hail, no stopping these kids from painting the town red

Participation was fun enough, said the faces of those who got out of the hall after the competition and walked out to brief their parents on what they had done. The juniors gave vent to their imagination in the fullest sense, turning their paintings on `A rainy day' a topical issue. Images of people walking with umbrellas held over their heads, dark monsoon clouds looming large over the skies while a few children enjoy getting drenched left a lasting impression on all those who glanced at them.

Seniors seemed more conditioned to give themselves in totally to the art. There were a few outstanding paintings on `Traffic Jam.' An aerial view of a traffic jam, with rows of buses and trucks waiting their turn at a busy signal point and a view of the backs of hundreds of auto-rickshaws blocking the roads could not escape the judges' eyes.

Joy of participation

"Painting is an art that goes right to the heart. It isn't every one's cup of tea," the director of Bishop Heber College, D. Swamiraj, who was the chief guest, observed. He commended the students on being "bold enough" to participate.

"The joy of participation is a reward in itself. I wish no topics were given at all. That would have made the contest a little more interesting," he opined at the end.

"Congratulate the winners, don't run away from them," he encouraged the rest of the audience in good humour.

The judges, Eugene De Vaaz, an artist and senior faculty member of St. Joseph's College, and P. Kalai Perumal, drawing teacher at the Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts, had a tough time deciding the better from the best.

The criteria were the effective use of colours and brushes, conceptualisation, free hand drawing instead of the use of geometric instruments and the avoidance of sketch pens.

"The juniors did much better for they still have a sense of the wonder of life. They are still original. As they grow older their educational system gets into their persona as parents pressurise them to concentrate on academics. Students end up losing interest in art. Every student should develop a flair for art, whatever be the form," Prof. Eugene De Vaaz commented.

The prizewinners

When the choice was finally made, it was R. Kirubakaran of RSK Higher Secondary School who made it to the top in the junior category.

K. Sushma Sri of Jawahar HSS, Neyveli, bagged the second prize while M. Sriram of Guru Gnana Sambandar Matriculation HSS, Mayiladuthurai, won the third prize.

D. Jayadevi of RSK HSS, Rishika Chatterjee of RSK Primary School, M. Udaya Chandrika of RSK HSS, P. Angayar Kanni of RSK Junior School, S. Saranya of St. Joseph's Matriculation HSS, Salem, C. Nandene of St. Joan of Arc International School and S. Akilandeswari of Rajah's HSS, Thanjavur, won the consolation prizes.

D. Manoranjani from The Girls' HSS, Srirangam, bagged the top prize in the senior category. R. Harini of Sri Akilandeswari Vidyalaya and B. Akshatha of Rajah Muthiah Matriculation School, Karur, bagged the second and third prizes respectively. The consolation prizes went to E. Akalya of Rajah Muthiah Matriculation School, Karur, B. Sathyan and M. Navin Kumar of RSK HSS, V.J.G. Pravin of SBIOA Matriculation School, R. Thamarai Kani of Sri Ramakrishna Vidhyalaya Gurukulam Matriculation HSS, Ulundurpet, A. Merwin Samuel of Vivekananda Matriculation HSS, Dalmiapuram, and A. Swathi Priya of RSK HSS.

The first prizewinners in both categories won a cash prize of Rs.1,250 besides a 1 gm gold coin sponsored by Hindustan Lever Limited. The second prizewinners received Rs.1,000 while those who came third bagged Rs.750. The event was sponsored by Aqua Supreme Mineral Water and Hindustan Lever Limited.

Rev. R. Rajarathinam, principal, St. Joseph's College, congratulated the students during the prize distribution ceremony.