Rishi Majumder takes you around an exhibition that showcases the passion of some senior citizens

Padmanabhan Rajan with his stamp collection

The Dignity Foundation, an organisation working for senior citizens, hosted a unique exhibition of collections by senior citizens.
“This time, we decided to take the movement for senior citizens forward by displaying their talent, creativity and initiative. They are not a spent force as some people think,” said Dr Sheilu Sreenivasan, president of the organisation.
The hall displayed collections of many things – from stamps and coins to less common items like
owl figurines and vegetable sculptures. “We could not accept people who had just 10 or 12 pieces in their collection. But we’ve selected both known and unknown names. Some of the people exhibiting their work are doing it for the first time and hence are like discoveries,” she said.
From September 27 to the 29, Tejpal Hall was alive with a variety of art, craft, culture, and, more than anything else, years of perseverance.
A peek at what was on view:

Honey Mani got interested in owls when she was gifted a Murano Owl statue her husband brought back from Italy. The fact that she had led a Girl Scouts’ Group, where the leader was called the Brown Owl added to her interest in them. As friends and family found out about her hobby, gifts came pouring in. Even then, her favourites in the collection are the ones she’s bought herself. “I saw the Spode Owl, made of British porcelain, at a London store and couldn’t resist it because of it’s beautiful wing span. The Llavro Owl is made of Spanish porcelain and is really expensive. But my ‘favouritest’ is the Big Barn Owl, which I bought in Carmel,” she said.

Indu Shedde was a housewife cutting her vegetables for the evening meal when something strange happened. “I got enchanted while slicing the onions. I realised I could cut
them horizontally or vertically and make them look like so many different things. My first vegetable sculpture was that of an ‘onion flower’,” she said. Since then she has won prizes for her art at innumerable flower shows and been commissioned by magazines like Span and Eve’s Weekly. One of her stunning sculptures is a Krishna carved from a brinjal for the body, cabbage leaves for his ‘pitambar’ clothing and Arabi stems for his hands and legs.

Zuleika Kurwa is as frugal as she is passionate when it comes to creating cards. She uses what she calls ‘kachra’— cuttings from old newspapers, magazines and greeting cards – to make her beautiful designs.
The most eye-catching pieces from the 30 that had been put up were cards with a red poppy, oleander and hibiscus on them. “These are my personal favourites as well,” she laughed when asked about them.

This article first appeared in Mumbai Mirror, Times Of India:


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