Satish Gujral, an invaluable pearl of the Indian art world
New Delhi, Sep.19 : He is today a popular face in the Indian art circles and described to be a living legend. Painter, sculptor, muralist, architect and writer, Satish has been exceptional in whatever form of creative expression he has adopted.
At the age of eight, a sickness terminally impaired his hearing, but his determination and strong will led him to become a renowned artist.
Born in Jhelum (Pakistan) in 1925 in pre-partition west Punjab, Satish Gujral is one of the few people who have continued to shine as a pearl in the Indian art circles in the post-independence era. He is today an inspiration to everyone.
"I was eight-year-old when because of an accident I was rendered bedridden. In the span of next six years I underwent a series of surgeries. And, till I turned 14, I was unable to walk. It was during this time that I lost my power of hearing. It was because of this disability that communication with the external world became almost impossible.
Asked about his family support in this initial years and its contribution to his making of an artist in him, Satish said: "My father helped me during this time by getting me a lot of books to read. I had my education for just three years and the only language I could read was Urdu. However, for six years I studied many Urdu and Punjabi poets, writers and history. When I was 14 and regained the ability to walk, my father realized that I could not attend schools meant for normal kids because of my hearing impairment."
He recounted how once during the course of his illness, Satish's father observed that he would often draw or scribble. So the father thought that painting could be a good alternative, as it did not require Satish too much hearing. "I was taken to Lahore and admitted in an art school and that's how I entered the field of painting," he informed.
"My major contributions have been in the fields of painting, sculpture and architecture. So people find it weird that how can I do architecture being a painter. But for me all the three things are a way to express form, so as an artist I can draw, paint, construct and sculpt in order to express myself," said Satish Gujral.
Satish turns philosophical while saying: "Nobody' desires can be completely fulfilled in one's lifetime. Whenever I finish a painting I feel that I could have said a lot more through it. I am always looking forward to what more can I say in the next work of art."
The Belgium Embassy building, conceived by him in New Delhi, has been selected by the international Forum of architects as one of the one thousand best built in the 20th century round the world.
The Government of India honoured him with the second highest National Award, "Padma Vibhushan". By Vibha Dham