Eternally, man has been trying to connect with the divine. For many, it takes numerous lifetimes and for some, god enters their life through art.
This is what happened with eighty year old Kiran Saxena, a Delhi based artisan who initially began with creating abstracts and figurative drawings using microtip pens.
What makes her art unique is that in thousands of paintings that she has created, she uses a single word ‘Ram’ over and over again.
Her journey began almost three decades ago. It was the loss of her husband which took her to a temple in Banaras where she was asked to write lord Ram’s numerous times. She sought the word Ram as a wish-granting jewel.
What initially began as a task to seek inner peace, turned out to be an inherent calling to create forms from this name. First she started filling the word ‘Ram’ in an outline of Lord Ganesha with no mentor, but Lord himself.
The outcome of Ganesha’s painting was an inspiration for her works to come, which include - Harry Potter, Bridal Shower, Festival Fare, Portraits, Rasleela, Sai Baba and many more. Her radiating talent caught eye of another Delhi based artist, Sonal Vij, her curator.
Saxena entrusted Vij with her paintings, which were soon exhibited at a gallery in South Delhi. “Such artists remain hidden in their homes, mostly undiscovered. So when I came across her work I felt it must be acknowledged,” Vij remarks.
The appreciation that the exhibition received, brought immense joy to Saxena. Post exhibition, she got more encouragement from the visitors who started asking for custom paintings. So did Saxena place a price tag on any of them?
She laughs and says, “Count the number of the word ‘Ram’ in my painting and pay me that amount!” Inner peace is her most priced possession and not the amount she gets in return of her paintings.
She has also earned a nickname- “Artsy Granny”. It is her love for art that helped her recover from her multiple surgeries and heart complications. Her daughter Pratima Saxena recalls, “She didn’t stop painting even during illness.
She picked up the pens as soon as she was back home from the hospital.” In return she just wants more and more people to know about her work.
Saxena adds humbly, “We all have a hidden jewel. Just forget the world for once and concentrate on polishing the diamond within. Rest all will fall in place.”