Friday, June 21, 2013

The Bus Painter who was awarded Padam Shri

“I used to paint buses. I started at an early age. And then I fell in love with colors. I never thought that I would win an award someday, let alone a Padam Shri.”

Meet the PadamShri  Awardee from Himachal Pradesh, Mr. Vijay Sharma from Chamba.

I met Mr Vijay in the year 2012 while I was trekking in the Chamba Himalayas. I was just glancing through a newspaper cutting and there I saw his photograph. The newspaper cutting read , “First Himachal Artist to get a PadamShri Award.”

That's how I got to know him and eventually meet him. 

I interviewed him for a Regional newspaper in the same year. [Read here]

His father served as a driver with the State Transport department. He used to often take his son along on his long drives across the state. A young Vijay was once spotted by a Senior Officer writing on the route boards during one of these journeys. He told his father that your son is God Gifted. He knows playing with colors. You must motivate him to carry on his colorful little tricks.

Who would have thought back then that this guy would win the prestigious Padam Shri award one day?

He never had any formal education. He dropped out of school to bear the burden of his family. His professional life started as a clerk in the State Transport Department. He slogged halfheartedly in the department but soon he realized that it was going nowhere. He couldn’t leave the job because he had a family to support.

He continued his painting work in his little workshop back home with a hope to find out a way one day. And as they say, “Fortune favors the brave.” His fortunes too changed when a Young IAS Officer spotted his paintings. He immediately asked him to drop everything else and focus on his paintings only. A special post of an Artist was created for young Vijay in the ‘Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba’.

Padam Shri Vijay Sharma at Chamba Museum
Now life looked bit colorful but the struggle was far from over. His real challenge had just begun.

Without a formal education, establishing yourself in the world of art, that too without a Godfather is not easy. 

But Vijay was in love with colors. He marched on and soon he was living a dream life. He attended many International Arts and Culture Workshops abroad that made him an Internationally Renowned artist.
Today he trains people not only from India but from across the globe. Last time I paid him a visit, he was training a young foreigner girl who had been his trainee for more than a year now.

Mr. Vijay Sharma is an exemplary personality who made his way to the top from ground level. Even today when he can indulge in commercial activities he has dedicated himself for the promotion of Chamba Arts and Crafts across the world.

“I love colors and stories one could tell using them. I want to paint more than to be a painter.” said Mr. Vijay to me.

In House Workshop of Mr. Vijay in Chamba 
Mr. Vijay has relished every challenge that life has thrown at him. He is indeed a real life inspiration for me.
What I understood from his story is that one must stick to his dreams and then there’s no need to bother about anything else, no matter what the world says.

What did you learn?

This post is my sixth entry for Cinthol’s Relishing the Challenge Campaign

No comments: