Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wood art catches like fire

While yoga may be very popular among foreign tourists, there is another activity that fast becoming a favourite among them

 

Varis is a tourist from Arustralia, who has been visiting the city for the past two years. Unlike most
tourists who come to Mysuru for its Yoga, Varis is more interested to learn the traditional art of wood inlay works.

"Each time I come here I make sure I learn a little bit more about the art. I now know how to select the right kind of wood and the right colouring shades. If I have any doubts when I am not in the city I
call the masters here and get them cleared," he says.

Like Varis, many foreigners from Europe, Australia, Spain,  German, Switzerland, France, and several Parts of America are coming to Mysore attracted by the desire to learn the art. While most pursue wood inlay art as a hobby, there are quite a few who claim to want to take up wood inlay work
more seriously and even make it their profession.

Katt, another a tourist from UK says that the inlay works are very different from anything she has
done before and compared arranging the intricate patterns and designs to solving puzzles. "We can
give 3D effects or just emboss the designs. It requires lot of skills
and requires patience," she adds.

Catherine from Australia, points out that the art works can also be used using waste wood,
trimmed branches from trees. "I have learnt to create couple of small designs which makes me
feel very proud. The techniques and methods has to be followed meticulously,” he adds.
S Ashok Kumar, a local artisan who has been engaged in the work for many years says that the tourists pass on word about the art to their friends and acquaintances in
their respective countries.
"They  are very dedicated and are very keen to know about this rich culture and tradition. They also purchase the art works in large numbers," he says.

Good for business

The artisans find teaching to foreigners very lucrative. The demand for the art works is not so good in local market with local  citizens or domestic tourists hardly showing any interest to learn it.
There were more than 17,000 inlay artisans in the royal city before Independence and presently there
are hardly 3000.

Anand, another artisan, says: ‘There is not only a dearth of buyers for the art works, but the local
population is not interested to learn the art at all. Its sad that it's foreigners who are more keen in pursuing such works."

Woods for the art Some of most common wood used in the art are rose wood, silver wood, teak,
yellow teak, honne wood (Merbau), matti tree, ebony, jack fruit, tamarind tree,
silver matti, pathangadamara, and other varieties of wood.

From Persia to Mysuru
Wood Inlay is an ancient Persian technique art. Persian artist who came to India to do inlay works on the Taj Mahal in Agra spread across the country.  Mysuru was a separate state during
this time and the artisans who came here were encouraged by erstwhile Maharajas. During the period, inlay works on rosewood, and ivory became very common. Some of the works which can be seen in the palace even today, are testimony to the workmanship of the time.

Shaukat Ali, a famous inlay wood artist who received a National Award, simplifi ed this wood inlay work and created a huge market for artisans by making them cheaper. Before this,
inlay wood arts were very costly.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Homes here are an art space

One usually associates painting exhibitions with galleries or museums. However, if the spirits of the arts are fired up within you, how about doing something different in Mysuru? Head to the house of one of these Mysureans who has converted their entire house into a perennial art and painting exhibition, for a different kind of experience. Be it the corridors, kitchen, restroom, bedrooms or the balcony.

There is no wall that is devoid of artwork in these houses. Srinivasa Putty is a resident of Krishnamurthypuram whose parents were painters and art enthusiasts. As a way to honour his parents and their work, Srinivas has covered his house’s walls with his parent’s paintings. His  house is built on a 40x60 plot and is aptly called the ‘Kaveri Kala Kuteera.’

Around 250 of the total 500 oil and water paintings that were made by his parents, Lalitha R Putty and Raghuttama Putty adorn every part of the house.

 Going down memory lane, this former dean f the commerce department at Tumkur University, says, “I hail from a family of artists. My father was a stenographer and after retirement he dedicated his entire time towards painting. He lived from 1973 till 2006. His mother created about 50 embroidery works and all this is also on display. “In every painting and artwork, I see my parents. Though many people have inquired about buying them. l do not wish to share any of the works. I am extremely attached to these paintings as one can tell,” says Srinivasa. He takes utmost care to handle and preserve his parents legacy and spends many days in a month dusting and cleaning their works. I have had these works for past five decades and want to pass it on to my children as well,” he adds.

Forwarding legacy



Srinivasa  sister Nanda Putty, his elder brother, Yatindra Putty are following in their parents' footsteps and also have their own work and those of their parents' displayed in every corner of their respective houses. Even Yatindra’s wife, Sumithra is an avid painter. The two stay in Alanahalli and get a good stream of visitors who admire their art.

Yatindra is mostly into making art in fabrics and cloth. Nanda says that she feels houses are empty if some form of art is not part of the aesthetics of a house. “We have built walls but alone they do not make a home come alive. We appreciate the value of art more now. It’s not just paintings but a kind of introduction to our family and our lives,” she adds.

Nanda has about 80 works displayed in her house that is also located in Krishnamurthypuram. Of these more than 40 paintings are about heritage buildings in Mysuru, and landscapes in and around the city. She says, “I feel happy when people visit my house and appreciate my work, criticize my mistakes and help me improve my works.”

Nanda is a mathematics teacher in a private school and also does on spot paintings within four hours. She has been paintings for the last 23 years and regularly conducts drawing and painting classes for children in weekends.

Sooraj, a local resident recently visited Srinivas’s house in Krishnamurthypuram. “The paintings are so natural it makes the onlookers spellbound. It gives us a feeling as if we are walking amidst the nature’,’ he says.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A superfan's celebrity Amma


 An ardent fan of S Janaki, Naveen has developed a close friendship with the singer, 
who he been listening to since his early teens 


You can call him singer S Janaki's number one fan. But then again not all fans have a close friendship with their idols.

Naveen,32, a resident of NR Mohalla, has been listening to famous female playback singer since his boyhood days. His fandom is to such an extent that he has named even his house and his furniture shop as 'S Janaki.' On her part, the singer is also very close to Naveen and  his family.

Naveen never misses an opportunity to attend Janaki's public programmes, wherever it is held. The bond is so close that Naveen connects with his idold atleast four days a week over the phone.

Hailing from a middle class family, Naveen was introduced to S Janaki's songs through the radio as in his early teens. Since then, his long standing ambition was to meet Janaki.

Right from the age of 13, he met several film crew members seeking her number. One lucky day, he got her number and called her up immediately. He was asked to call after a month by a housemaid, saying that Janaki was out of station.
"It took me three years to get her number. The one month of waiting was very hard to pass. I was eagerly waiting for the D Day, and finally my line was connected to Janaki. When I heard her voice over phone for the first time, there was no bounds to my happiness,"," he says.

Naveen says he talked nonstop for the next 10 minutes, without even allowing Janaki to respond. "I expressed my desire to meet her once, and I got an appointment on December 25, 1999,” he says.

Naveen remembers being in front of Janaki's house at 8am sharp. "However I learnt that she had left for her sister's house and so I waited till 12 noon," he says.  Janaki's daughter in-law informed her that  her fan was waiting for her and returned from her sister's house. "I rushed towards her, and fell at her feet. Since then am in touch with Janaki Amma,” says Naveen.

Since then, Naveen, visits her every year to wish her on her birthday. "When I informed her I was going to open a furniture shop and wanted to name it after her, she immediately agreed," she says. To the good fortune of Naveen, more was in store. "After two days she called me and informed that she was coming for the first time to Mysuru to inaugurate my shop. It was an unbelievable movement and unexpected thing in my life," he says. Janaki even stayed in Naveen's home with his family.  No one believed Naveen when he told her that she was coming to inaugurate his shop. 


As the years have passed his bond with the singer has only become stronger. "Janaki Amma comes to my house at least once in every two or three months. It is a day of festivities  when Amma visits our house. We would go sightseeing to Chamundi Hills, Palace and Gopalswamy Hills together," she adds. In her many interviews she has also talked about Naveen.

Janaki has also attended Naveen's marriage, and came from his house inauguration. "I am in constant touch with Janaki Amma,” he adds.

While even Janaki does not have a collection of all of her songs, her superfan arranged for the same. "Most of the time I discuss with her about the songs she has sung, and how it changes the mood of a person," he adds. Naveen has made a collection of all of her songs and  has given these to her. "I am very glad that she treats me as her son and showers me with love and affection. I am blessed for the friendship" she says.

Naveen says that his idol is shifting base to Hyderabad. "She is planning to give her last performances in Mysuru. I and my friends are working to host a programme for her," he says.
 

This ZP member engages villagers to make seed balls, nurture trees





Watching a television programme on seed ball innovation, this gram panchyat member got motivated to experiment the same in her panchayat and has made her dream fulfill. Bannikuppe Village Gram Panchayat Member Pushpa Amarnath has took an initiative to increase the green cover in Hunsur Taluk and has engaged villagers to make seed balls.  



44 gram panchayats in Hunsur taluk have been selected under go green initiative and each gram panchayat will be distributed with 10,000 seed balls. Self help groups, NGOs, students have been roped in to make seed balls. The same will be distributed to interested farmers, and initiative has been taken to nurture the seed balls at vacant government lands, lake bunds, burial grounds, dry lands, hill areas.



The programme has been taken under Social Forestry and Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj. Making use of the provision under NREGA, she has brought the women under the programme and they will be paid dailywage for making seed balls and planting trees.



With cows urine and cow dung needed to prepare the seed ball, she has asked all the households rearing cows to collect cow urine by placing a drum and dung. Such collected cow dung, urine for nearly 10 days, was used to make 12,000 seed balls on Saturday.  



NSS, Scouts and Guides cadets, education institution eco club students have also been roped in to the programme, to make youngsters aware of environment conservations. Pushpa who has aims to make five lakh seed balls, with the help of other gram panchayat members is involving women in making seed balls daily for two hours. Villagers to collect cow urine, cow dung, whereas the red soil and seeds will be provided by forest department. 



‘To dig pit, plant a tree lot of energy, time and money is spent. Whereas, the cost for making every seed ball is just meager Rs 1. Also this innovative idea is very easy and economically viable. Am hopeful atleast 70 per cent saplings grow and  maintained for three years it will create a big difference in the nature. With decline in rainfall and deforestation we are encountering several problems and planting tress will be the solution for all the environmental imbalance. Thus, increasing green cover is need of the hour to fight against increasing temperature, drought and other environmental issues,’ she added. 



“Seed ball is a novel method of planting trees. We had heard about it, but am very happy, am experiencing. With Hunsur is dry land and declared drought hit, hope planting trees will change the scenario in next five years. If the same things adopted in another taluk panchayats it could bring a big change in increasing gree cover over the years,” added Prakash, who is planning to place 50 seed balls in his agriculture field.



Pushapa is planning to document the process and upload them in social media, so that interested gram panchayats can adopt this simple method and improve the green cover. About 13 varieties of trees, including fruit trees seeds will be made. The seeds include, Neem, Nerale, Honge, Tamarind Tree, Rain Tree, Jackfruit, Agase seed, jatropha, bamboo two varities, Castor seeds, etc.



The seeds include, Neem, Nerale, Honge, Tamarind Tree, Jackfruit, Agase seed, jatropha, bamboo two varities, Castor seeds, Nallikayi, Soapnet, Thabsi, Boguri Mara. Some of seeds selected also to   generate revenue for the villagers.




This girl initiatives to build toilets bring smile on villagers


A girl from North India has came all the way from Chandigarh to work with people in grassroot level and has built 75 toilets in BC Halli. Ushma Goswami (23), On a one year fellowship she has come to the Village in last August. She was appalled to see that majority of the households did not have a toilet of their own and were  defecating in the open fields. The two main reasons were though many people wanted to build toilet. Under Swatch Bharath only after toilets are built the money is sanctioned, and most of the villagers dint had initial money to build the toilet. While other problem faced by villagers was lack of space.  
 
Learning over this, Ushma approached NGO Dhan Foundation and helped the villagers to build toilets through ‘Sanitation loan’. With this she is contributing to the Swatch Bharat Andolan and her aim is to make the village free of open defecation by August. Since December 75 toilets have been built, and 200 more to built. . Since March she is working simultaneously for Kodagalli Panchayat in T Narasipur and around 150 toilets are under construction. 

 

Under SBI Youth for India fellowship, she has been selected as fellow, and she will be working for 13 months in rural developments. Ushma who has completed her Masters in Political Science, said:‘I had studied about problems in rural development, local governance, education, health issues had learnt. Thus, wanted to work on grass root level. When I was selected under the fellowship programme, during same time had  cleared M.Phil entrance. But, I choose to serve in village and rushed to Karnataka. Now, in the last eight months have become one among villagers.’  

“I faced communication problem in initial days, as I dint know the local Kannada language. But, even without knowing language, the love and affection showered on me from villagers, connected me to them emotionally. Slowly, I learnt the language and now am able to communicate with them using simple Kannada words. Have also visited Odissi to see the toilet construction works taken in the state. My goal is to make the villages free of open defecation by August,” she adds.

She also found that there was no English teacher for the kids studying at the local Primary school when she took English classes for six months to high school children in the last academic year.She also helps the villagers by opening a small pharmacy store to dispense commonly used over the counter medicines. She is also educating villagers about government schemes, and educating villagers about how to file Aadhar online, ration card by providing information.  

Stating Infrastructure is better in South India, compared to North India, she said she has set her goals of attempting the UPSC exams and dedicate herself for the service of humanity. 
  
Villager Girish said: ‘We did not had Rs 6,000 to construct a ordinary toilet. Learning over the problems, we were connected to a NGO and were provided with sanitation loan, which helped us to get the toilets build. We are moved by the initiative of the girl. She is teaching the youngsters the use of Internet, how to obtain government facilities, and how to claim our rights.’  

This boy from Varansi developing entrepreneurship skills among villagers


 
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi who got elected from Varanasi is encouraging entrepreneurship, here is a voter from that constituency who motivated by Modi has come all the way to Mysuru and working with farmers, and developing entrepreneurship skill among villagers.

An Engineering graduate Himansu Pandey (22), who was working as Business Development Executive in a private company, quits his job fetching him a fatter salary, to work with villagers and develop enterpreneurship skills among them. Under SBI Youth for India fellowship, he is working in B.Seehalli in Narasipur Taluk. He is planning to establish Tomato processing unit in the village, and make the farmers economically stronger.  

Under Pradhan Mantri Grameen Vikas Yojana the villagers to take up loan upto Rs 3 lakh and set up the Tomato processing Unit in village by August. Under the scheme women get 25 per cent subsidy, and there is provision to start repayment of loans after three years, which is of great helpful for the villagers.

There are 400 families in the village. Himansu has brought together the farmers who are growing Jamun tomatoes in the village. Women folk are thought about processing of tomatoes, while the unemployed youngsters in the village are been roped in to market the products.
He is teaching the youngsters how to make use of the technology, marketing strategies and skills, challenges in marketing, demand for tomatto ketchups in urban area, etc.   

Nearly 20 women from the village to undergo three day training programme in Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) in next week. The women will be thought boiling, mixing, pre bioling, packaging, how to preserve the products, etc. Even plans are on card to get the technology of Tomatoes Processing Unit transfer from DFRL.  

Already women have been thought how to identify the tomatoes suitable for making ketchup and extract pulp. Also to make the ketchup easily using an ordinary pressure cooker at home.

The villagers to make 50 liter ketchup for trial next month, and it will be given to taste for people in Mysuru and Bengaluru. Himansu says, this will be not only helpful to boost the marketing of the product, whereas to gather opinion from people about the taste.    

He is also educating villagers about use of technology in agriculture, methods to be adopted to grow quality tomattoes, harvesting techniques, processing, marketing skills, and how to avoid crop loss, benefits of producing byproducts, how to increase income, so on.
  
"India is the second biggest produce of tomatoes. Most of the time tomattoo price drops to Rs 2. Frustrated farmers litter tomatoes on roads. Instead they can set up Units in their Panchayats, and convert the tomatoes into byproduct. The farmers who grow other vegetables, fruits should also develop entrepreneurship skills," he adds.

"Entrepreneurship is very important for every human being, specially farmers. Without getting supportive price the farmers are taking extreme step in life. I wanted to work with farmers and educate them about how their produce can be converted into products. Working in grass root level with farmers gives a different experience. Using technology we can bring farmers to the main stream of society. My future is to visit Dehardun and work with farmers. Also want to pursue higher degree in Agribusiness," he added. 
 
Villager Bhagya said: 'Last year we faced total loss due to fall in price. But in future we think atlest through tomato ketchup making we get good value for the harvest. If we get good marketing linkage, we are planning to grow large quanity of Jamun variety in future, which are ideal for processing.

Manjula Nagaraj said: 'After demise of my husband, I am the sole bread earner for the family. Labour jobs are very seasonal too. This could be a good opportunity to earn, while staying with in my own community.'

Lakshmi Kullegowda said: 'The Tomato Unit has come like a new ray of hope. My husband does labour work and we have very little land. By undergoing training, I can make ketchups and can earn some money. Earlier we were growing only paddy and sugarcane. Whereas in the last two decades the villagers are growing vegetables in large due to drought, climate chage, scarcity of water.'
 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mysuru girl enters Golden Book of world record in Back Plank



America Got Talent winner Kenichi Ebina's magic movement inspired this lassie to attempt for World Record in Back Plank.   Kalshree awardee 13-year-old H Khusi has entered Golden Book of World record for 'Back Plank Recline Cruncher' under Yogic Practice.

A year ago while surfing internet she watched a movement of Kenichi, who planks back. It motivated Kushi to practice back planks with tying up hands. 

, Parents S Hemachandra and Kumuda have asked her to perform contiously for a minute to the girl  and were surprised to see Kushi performed back plank 12 times in a minute, without any break.

video
Father thought Kushi can create World Recrod and sent the video clipping to the guinness World Record. Now, the dream of parents has come true. Kushi has created the record on Back Plank on June 11 at Community Hall, Note Mudrana Nagar, Mysuru.  
   
H Kushi who has make a remarkable achievement in Yoga said: As I practice yoga its easy for me to make back plank. In one minute will perform back plank for 12 times. Have heard no one has created the record in the world.

'Along with regular yoga practice, I try to do something different. In my free time will be browsing internet and will go through the videos of achievers. To get rid of breathing problem, but now am enjoying lot learning yoga. Want to become a yoga teacher and represent India in International Yoga Competitions and also teach people yoga,’ she adds.

Father Hemachandra said: 'So far nobody has done record in the back plank, what Kushi will be presenting in a minute. Representative from golden book of world record will witness the event and certificate will be issued on spot.' 

Kushi, 9th standard student of St Joseph's Central School and a resident of Hebbal has made the city proud with her achievements in yoga. Apart from performing complex yogic asanas, she has mastered her skills in performing artistic yoga and rhythemic yoga. She has won several prizes at State, National and International level. She took to practicing Yoga at the age of 9, when she developed breathing problems as a child. 


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Shooting has catched up among Mysoreans


The trend of learning shooting has catched up among Mysoreans. Quite a good number of people are learning shooting from Mysore District Rifle Association, which is providing air gun training. In the last three years the association has produced several shooters and have won more than 300 gold, silver, bronze medals in zonal level, state level, and pre national levels.

Thanks for the efforts of MS Suresh, an retired Army Junior Commissioner Officer, who set up the association to train and develop young talent to make them ready for Olympics. Nearly 450 people including doctors, engineers, those working in IT/BT sector, teachers, and people from all walks of life are practicing shooting at the center located in Ramakrishna Nagar.  

Under Suresh’s coaching and relentless efforts several aspiring shooters of MDRA have become state level shooters, while some have even progressed to compete in National Level. The Upcoming Pistol Shooters of MDRA are Rakshit Shastry and P Jayanth; Rifle shooters Manjesh Mandanna, R Vinod, D Punneth Kumar.

Hangud Government College Assistant Professor Balu who is practicing shooting from last two years, has won two gold medals and has played in national levels. He is undergoing rigorous training to take in the olympics. He says: ‘The government should given financial assistance for sports persons and aim to win medals in Olympics.’

Maharaja College Student Vivek who has own three gold medals and one silver medal in the ‘Open Rifle Championship’ held on May 5, said that his aim is to become national level shooter and want to bring gold for India in Olympics.

Nandini another learner said: ‘Have learnt balancing, and aiming improves concentration. Height, sharpness, aim, concentration, mind calculations, are needed.
Am enjoying lot learning shooting. Unlike other games, this also requires lot of practice to achieve in aiming.’

A native of Arkalgud Taluk, Hassan district, Suresh has won 17 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals in shooting. He has created second national record in International Shooting Sport Federation. He has given coaching for Indian Army for fives years. He has even given training for Shooter Vijay Kumar, who won the silver medal in the Summer Olympics 2012. He says: ‘My aim is to produce a shooters from Karnataka to win gold in Olympics.’  

Going down the memory lane, he said: ‘Sports meet will be conducted for Army officers every year. Senior officers noticed am good in shooting and provided me training in Army Rifle Association. Later was sent to Shooting Center in Mohu, Madhya Pradesh where top shooters of Army personnel will be given training. Have undergone coaching from Russian, American, Hungary coaches. Later, I took part in several shooting competitions and won medals.’  

‘When I was deputed as NCC officer to Mysore for the 13th Karnataka Battalion, was conducting classes for children in the leisure periods, and used to inform them about basics of shooting, its importance, scope for shooting, etc and used to create curious among young minds about shooting. One day a girl came and expressed her desire to learn shooting, whereas no centers to train. I promised the girl, will return to Mysuru and set up Association. After taking VRS, I shifted to Mysuru and established MDRA,” added 41-year-old Suresh who has served in Indian Army for 25 years.
   
About MDRA

Mysore District Rifle Association was started on August 15, 2013 with a vision to develop sports shooting talent in and around Mysore. Shooters from MDRA have represented Mysore District in State and Open Championships with remarkable results, while some shooters have also represented the state in National events.

Pourakarmika children master skills in folk arts

Nearly 300 pourakarmika children who has less exposure to several folk arts forms, are now mastering their skills, and are achieving excellency in art, culture. Thanks for the initiative of Art Patrol Srinivas G Kappanna, who is conducting summer camps for the pourakarmikas children from last two consecutive years.

When Mysuru was announced as cleanest city, to show gratitude to the pourakarmikas he thought of hosting summer camps for the children. He introduced folk arts like Kamsale, Dollu Kunitha, beating drums and Nagari, Kollatta, Kangal-Karga, traditional Indian Sports ‘Mallakhamba’, and several other folk arts forms, singing theater songs, acting and much more have been thought to the children. Experts in the field were brought to the camp, and children were thought.

He made all the 30 pourakarmikas colony spread over city to come under the banner of Adidravidha Thamate and Nagarai Samsrkuthika Kalavrunda, and thought them various form of folk dances, and made children know the importance of folk arts, and motivating the young minds to showcase their talents, thereby bringing them to the main stream of society. 


Srinivas G Kappanna said: ‘Pourakarmikas are untouchables among dalits. Bring them to mainstream of society is a herculean task. But, teaching them our rich tradition of art and culture was a remarkable experience. I noticed the children were more interested in folk form, than classical, and in the last year some of the folk arts were thought. This year, further extending Mallakhamba, Bellu Kunitha, Kagil-Karga were thought to the children.’

Kappanna has trained couple of the colony girls, so that they can continue practicing throughout the year, and can patronage art and culture.
Kalavrunda President C Manjunath said that after children started learning folk arts, there is lot of changes in their attitude and they are getting exposure to the outer world.
The children are been provided with opportunities at several functions to play drums, kamsale, etc.

Community Head Rachaiah said: ‘Children of pourakarmikas need not follow our ancestors profession. By introducing them to the other world, they can excel in other professions and know the limitations and scope. There is need of engaging the community children in more sports and cultural activities. The practices given helps to acquire various art and culture forms skills.’

A 10th standard girl Amrutha, who has mastered her skills in dollu and nagari said: ‘Am very much happy by undergoing the training in camp. I wish to use the art as medium to fight against casteism. I want our community children in large to come to the mainstream of society, and art is giving recognition for us from last one year. Am planning to engage the colony children in cultural activities round the years, which helps them to improve concentration, and also know about art forms.’

Another girl Srilkashmi said: ‘Am very much excited to learn the art forms. The way people were looking towards has changed. We are giving dollu kunitha performances in functions, and we are receiving huge applauds. Learning folkforms gives confidence to interact with people, and boldness to face society.’

14-year-old Arjun who has learnt Mallakhamba said: ‘Learning Mallakhamba was amazing experience. I came to know about the importance of fitness, and feel more healthier after practicing the traditional game. I had only seen others doing, now am happy am also part of the game.’ 

“The summer camp has come like a big relief for the children of pourakarmikas. If any wish to pursue in art field, they can fulfill their dreams. More platforms should be created for the children to showcase their talents, and government should give opportunities for children to perform in government events,” opined parents Ramamani and Srinivas.

  

This artist creates stunning sculptures on the tip of pencil lead

Usually artistes use pencils to create sketches for art works. But, here is an artistes who blossoms miniature creative art works on the tip of pencil

Meet 36-year-old artist S Nanjundaswamy who has emerged has a talented artistes in carving a micro sculpture on pencil lead. Even using discarded pencils, broken leads he creates the art works, which include interlocking chains, sculpture works, prominent circles, faces, etc.  


He has carved faces of more than 900 celebrities including Jnanpith Awardees, politicians, writers, film celebrities, cricketers, gods and goddesses, Forest Brigade Veerappan, and several other great icons. Most of the works he has handed over to the concerned actors, writers, it includes Punith Rajkumar, Upendra, Rajanikanth, several politicians, etc. When he heard the news of Parvathamma Rajkumar being hospitalised, he has carver her image too.  

Going down the memory lane, Nanjundaswamy a native of Mandya said:  ‘In 1999, was sharpening pencil to create a sketch on canvas. When I figured out  a image of face on  tip of lead was astonished. It was then, I started practicing to create miniature art work on lead. First I practiced carving names on lead, and slowly sculpture works. In initial days, had taken a week to complete face, whereas now within two hours I complete the works.'

Artiste Nanjundaswamy  who did not underwent any training in art schools, nor had a guru to teach the art, has learnt the art work by himself.  “As I was interested in drawing sketches on the canvas from childhood, I continued even  after I discontinued studies,” adds Nanjundaswamy, an SSLC drop out, whereas has mastered his skills in carving on Pencil Lead.  
“The pencil lead are very delicate and has to be handled carefully. Doing sculptures works need lot of concentration and develops patience. When people appreciate my works I feel proud,” adds Nanjundaswamy, whose aim is to create Guinness Records by carving face on lead  in fastest time.
The artiste has not sold any of his creative works on pencil. Those approach him to get their face carved on pencil lead, he does it for free cost. Down the years he mastered his skills in tattooing and earning for livelihood from it and started ‘Krishna Kale Tattoo Art’.

Citizen Shankar said: "The works are very incredible and am very much impressed. When I offered money to him for carving work, he  refused and later I came to know he does works for free of cost. The art form is very impressive and I to desire to learn pencil lead art work.”




Artist Nanjundaswamy has created a new national record for creating Mysore's Chamarajendra Wadiyar Circle using pencil leads. It has accepted in India Book of Records in December 2016.  He had created 28" X 16" miniature  of the circle in 28 days, using 7300 led in September 2009.  

Life in 64 squares




You find kings and queens ‘ruling’ this village. They wage fierce battles every day, to the accompaniment of cries of ‘checkmate’. Welcome to Gendegowdara Colony in HD Kote Taluk where people live in 64 squares! Once upon a time, these villagers were addicted to playing cards. But once they were taught the game of chess, their lives were transformed for the better.

Over a decade ago, these villagers didn’t know how to play chess. But today, they have become masters of the game, winning state-level and national competitions. All credit goes to the initiative taken by two government school teachers who introduced the game to the village in 2005.
There was no Physical Education teacher in the GG Colony Government Primary School. That’s when Kannada teacher C S Kantharaju and Maths teacher H B Nithyananda thought of teaching chess to students to engage them in some recreational activities. They approached the then School Head Master to get them chessmen and boards. They bought chess boards with donations.

Teachers CS Kantharaju and HB Nithyananda.
The initiative that started with a couple of chess boards, slowly spread to the entire classroom with passing years when every student started carrying chess boards and earnestly practised after school hours. The magic spread to outside the school walls and in due course other villagers too started playing chess. It did not take long for the village to grasp the nuances of the game. Slowly children from neighbouring villages like Pudukote, HD Kote and Sarvemala also started learning chess.

But girls did face discrimination. Nithyananda said girls were not sent to learn the game. Though some girls were interested, they could not pursue it out of shyness and lack of support. It was then that Nithyananda visited every household and convinced the villagers to send the girls to learn chess and held separate classes for girls. Due to his efforts, today a good number of girls like Meghana and Anjali have become State-level players, bringing laurels to the village.

Why chess? “Chess is a game of wits. The game builds self-confidence, improves concentration and the ability to think before taking decisions. Kantharaju and I were involved in sports  from our college days. It was our first job (2005). We wanted to produce a national-level player from our school,” said Nithyananda.
 
Later, the teachers nominated volunteers to teach more people. Volunteers Ravi Sutha and M Sanjeev started holding chess tourneys once a year motivating villagers to play chess. Today more than 350 villagers take part in the tournaments. 

‘There was no Physical Education teacher in our school. These teachers taught us to play chess by staying back till 7.30 pm. Several students represented State and national-level events and some of them could even land a job under the sports quota. We can’t explain in words how much the game has transformed our lives. Most of the villagers have stopped watching serials and have also stopped playing cards, and are practising chess,” said volunteer Ravi Sutha, an agriculturist by profession.

Another volunteer, Sanjeev, who is pursuing MSc and has got a job in the Police Department, is a national-level chess player. He said, “Representing the state at the national level helped me get a job. Chess has helped me deal with ups and downs in life courageously. Even today the school doesn’t boast of a PT teacher. During weekends when I visit the village, I teach budding players and share my experience of playing with national-level players, which helps the learners.”

The villagers are happy. “No one plays cards in our village now. We had only heard of the name Chaduranga (Kannada for chess). Now, more than 90 per cent of our villagers are familiar with the game. When we sit in the ‘verandas’ and play, passersby halt and watch our game,” said Mallikanna, a resident.

Said Kenganna, Thammayya, Srinivas and others said:, “We were wasting time playing cards and gambling. Now we are spending quality time with our children and grandchildren.” 

‘The number of children getting educated has increased after the chess mania caught on. Government job opportunities are coming on their way and most importantly villagers who were earlier spending lot of time playing cards are now seen playing chess. Improved concentration has helped students to score good marks. We taught our friends and relatives to play chess,’ added Village head Ramanna.   

HD Kote Town Police Constable speaking in anonymity said that earlier villagers were engaged in playing cards, now they come across the villagers playing chess and motivating neighbouring villagers to learn chess.

Teachers Nithyananda adds: ‘In initial days it was challenging to draw attention towards playing chess. Later chess became a trend and without chess board children were not coming to schools. Our aim was to produce a national level players and we are happy quite a good numbers of promising players have raised from the village.  Girls Meghana, Anjali have represented states. Rendered service for nine years at GG Colony was an life time experiment, since my appointment in 2005. Now I am serving at government school in Periyapatna, said Nithyananda. While, teacher CS Kantharaju is rendering service at Belur (Hassan).