When most of the children of his age are busy studying for exams, going for tuition and playing with friends or busy with electronic gadgets, this boy is busy with something else. He already made it to the India Book of Records and Limca Book of Records for drawing maximum number of Lord Ganesha. Aprameya Karthik, a 14-year-old Mysuru boy is making the heritage city proud with his unique talent of drawing Ganesha in different forms.
“He used to scribble a lot since he was a small kid. We thought it is quite common for all the kids to scribble. But when he was around four, we saw him draw Ganesha in an identifiable form,” says his mother Anitha.
“We had taken him to Nanjanagudu temple when he was a small child. Ganesha statue was decorated with butter. He keenly observed it, once he got back home, he drew the Ganesha decorated with butter, which surprised us,” recalls Karthik’s father Ramanathan.
“I am lucky to have such encouraging parents. They never forced me by saying do this, do that, study for the exams. They believed in me, support me and let me do what I want. They provided me with anything and everything I needed for the drawing. Even the costliest of the canvases,” says Karthik.
He started his solo exhibition of Ganesha when he was in 6th standard. He has already portrayed more than 2,000 Ganeshas. His first exhibition was held at Kalamandir, Mysuru. One person, who was watching the exhibition, came up to the little Karthik and asked the stories of Ganesha behind the sketches. Karthik had no clue about those stories and philosophy of Lord Ganesha. That man sarcastically asked him what the purpose of drawing is without knowing the information behind it.
It hurt little Karthik and he made up his mind to know more and more about his favourite god, friend Ganesha and started reading about Ganesha and gathered information from all the possible sources. He is now an authentic source to clear any doubts regarding Ganesha mythologically and philosophically. He has put all possible Ganesha sculptures of India and the world into painting.
His maternal uncle, renowned cartoonist Nagendra Babu is an inspiration for Karthik. He encouraged Karthik to draw more and gave him all suggestions. “It’s all with the inspiration I got from my uncle that enabled me to achieve this in drawing,” says Karthik.
So far Karthik has done seven solo exhibitions. They were done in Suchitra art gallery Mysuru, twice in Chitrakala Parishat Bengaluru, Kumar Malavalli auditorium, Malavalli, Ganapathy temple, Alanahalli, Mysuru,Balagandharva art gallery, Pune and Nehru art gallery, Worli, Mumbai. His exhibitions have attracted many and he got heaps of praise for his talent in painting.
He has been felicitated by various organisations for his feat. Rotary West Mysuru, Art Galleries have identified him as a unique talent. He remembers him being felicitated in the Varasiddi Vinayaka temple, one of the highly devoted temples in India, by making him stand in front of Ganesha for felicitation. His father Ramanathan has preserved all his paintings since his early childhood and documented them safely. “Even after many years, he should find his art,” says proud Ramanathan.
The works of Devdutt Patnaik attracted Karthik a lot. The way Patnaik researches for his work are ideal for Karthik. He has successfully painted the works of Patnaik and they have come up vibrant too. He identifies postures of Ganesha and explains the story, philosophy and scientific reasons behind that. Surprisingly, he has not been to any drawing classes. His works are self-taught and are of his own imagination.
Karthik is an outstanding student when it comes to studies. He learns violin, as he is inspired by his mother Anita, who is a music teacher. He aims at making his paintings into Guinness World Records and his parents are supporting him. “He can achieve anything in painting, but along with that he has to give preference to academics. We never instructed him to study as he is very punctual and disciplined in his studies as well,” says his mother.
How does it feel to be a Limca record holder?
I feel proud for having achieved this. I didn’t paint for record. It has been my passion and I went on to draw. When we happened to count, I had drawn more than 2,000 Ganeshas and it gave us an idea to apply for the India Book of Records and eventually Limca Book of Records.
What do your friends feel about your achievement?
They feel very happy for me. They ask me how I could handle both academics and painting. I get a bit celebrity treatment among them, but it should not get to the head and I should go on painting.
What are your plans after completing 10th?
I don’t look too beyond 10th. I aim at scoring good marks. I like Astrophysics and I would like to concentrate on it.
What is the support you get from your parents?
I am very lucky to have such supportive parents. They always supported me. They gave me everything I needed for painting. I owe all my success to my parents.
– Shrithi Joyappa K