19 October 2017

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VIdharte: Giving Colourful Touch to Life

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"Reach for the stars, so that you would at least fall on the tree tops”-That is exactly what Vidharthe and her mother Ms. Uma Maheshwari are aspiring to achieve. Nothing deters her from striving to realise her dreams- of becoming a renowned and accomplished, much sought after artist.

It was late evening as we walked into Vidharthe Naga’s residence at Mylapore. A slim and well dressed lady greeted us amicably at the door and introduced us to her daughter, a sweet girl in her early twenties. We were in for a lovely surprise and a literal feast for the eyes, as we were ushered into the living room. Vidharthe’s paintings were propped up everywhere, all around the room, on easels or stacked against the wall.

Vidharthe is a fourth year BFA student of the Government College of fine arts, in Chennai. Uma Maheshwari, Vidharthe’s mom started recounting her childhood days and how she had first been made aware of her daughter’s handicap. When she was eight months into her pregnancy, she lost her husband to renal failure. It was a heavy blow indeed for the young mom-to-be. At ten months of infancy, Uma’s father noticed that Vidharthe was not responding to any sounds and was totally unaffected by even loud claps of thunder.

Physicians  confirmed that her baby was born deaf. Employed as a computer operator with Punjab National Bank, Madurai, Uma managed to procure a transfer to Chennai on compassionate grounds, and she resolved to provide the best of facilities and education for Vidharthe. At one and a half years of age, Vidharthe started sketching. Uma and her parents encouraged the child to continue sketching and improve on her talent, and the child was duly enrolled for art classes.

Uma decided that Vidharthe ought to study among normal children and she was shifted to the Children Garden School at Mylapore from the seventh, where she remained until her schooling was completed.

Vidharthe is not just a talented artist but a budding entrepreneur too. Vidharthe decided to strike out on her own to help support her mother financially. Thus was the inception of Anicham Events, her own event management venture. With some   select friends to support her, she organises birthday parties, undertakes decoration work, tattoos and face painting, balloon sculpting, caricature, portraits, nail art and name on rice, to mention just a few. Vidharthe is a born organiser when it comes to organizing and planning. She is adept at photography and videos too.

This young and talented artist is a national award winner in the creative individual category. This title was bestowed on her when she was in the 12th. A certificate and cash prize of Rs 50,000 was awarded to her by none other than Dr. Abdul Kalam at Delhi. On this momentous occasion, Vidharthe presented Dr Kalam with a portrait of his painted by herself.

Vidharthe is a Commonwealth award winner too. Youth empowerment was the topic assigned to the young contestants and she completed eight paintings and went on to win the Asia title: she incidentally was ranked second in the World title .This ambitious and very creative artist aspires to go to UK to pursue her post graduate studies in Fine Arts.

Vidharthe conducts drawing classes at her home for talented children, focusing on art innovation. Uma is determined to set up a studio for Vidharthe, to show case all her work till date. In July of 2009, the Siddhartha Matriculation Higher Secondary school, Erode, bestowed the Best Mother Award on Uma Maheshwari, on the occasion of International Mother’s Day.” I owe it all to my daughter” – beams Uma.

Vidharthe’s paintings are sought far and wide, and walls of several corporate offices are adorned with her paintings. Oracle Software Solutions (I flex) have bought a lot of paintings from this young artist. Eight paintings of hers hang in Raj Bhavan, personally selected by Mr. Surjit Singh Barnala. The latter personally compelled Vidharthe to attend the All India Artists Camp at Ooty and she was the youngest participant there.

Her life, achievements and numerous accolades was the inspiration for the celluloid character of the deaf mute girl in the acclaimed Tamil movie “Mozhi” enacted by Jyothika. The actress personally met up with Vidharthe and spend time with her which helped her to portray the character to perfection.
 
As well as being an Ascendas awardee, the lobby of the Ascendas corporate office in Chennai is adorned by a seven feet abstract painting exclusively created by Vidharthe. She intends to form a trust in the name of her dear departed father Mr. Nagarajan, to cater to the welfare of retarded children. All the funds collected out of her shows and ventures will be diverted to funding this trust.

Uma and Vidharthe are true personifications of the undying human spirit that thrives on hope and a positive attitude. “I want Vidharthe to win the Golden Globe Award. That is my ultimate aim. I seek to look at the silver lining in every dark cloud “- her words continue to resonate in our ears. We pray that Vidharthe attains the pinnacle of glory in all her endeavors.

 

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