When 30-year-old Renjith C, a Sepoy with the Indian Army meets former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, it would probably be a dream come true for a simple soldier.
Son of a farmer in Kerala, Renjith is a born artist and has been with the Indian Army for the last 12 years. A die-hard animal lover, he is scheduled to meet Dr Kalam at Karnataka's Raj Bhawan on Friday, June 12.
A five-day solo painting exhibition named ‘Awakening' by Renjith began at the Venkatappa Art Gallery in Bengaluru on June 10. The theme of the exhibition is: ‘Say no to killing of animals, especially cows.'
At the exhibition, Renjith has also displayed some of his other works, not related to the core theme. Among them is a painting of Dr Kalam, which has already attracted hundreds of visitors.
Wants to buy a cow for a poor farmer
Renjith plans to buy a cow for a poor farmer from the proceeds he is expecting from the sale of the exhibits.
"I will not take a single rupee from my paintings. God has given me talent and I would want the society to benefit from it," he adds, with his child-like smile. Currently he is posted to Kerala and Karnataka Sub-Area Command in Bengaluru.
"It's important that we respect cows. Its milk is the most precious thing we can get in life after our mother's milk," says Renjith.
A die-hard devotee of former president
A devotee of the Missile Man, it was Renjith's dream for a long time to meet his idol. It took nearly eight months for him to complete the painting.
"I used my spare time to paint and sometimes it went beyond midnight. I have named Kalam Sir's painting as ‘Music behind the missile hands.' I have been waiting for a lng time to show him," says Renjtih, who lives with his wife and two-month-old daughter in Bengaluru.
During a one-to-one cleared by the Indian Army, the artist said that he got in touch with Dr Kalam's office, who responded favourabily.
"If Kalam Sir sees the painting, I will feel blessed forever. I have some plans with the painting later," says Renjith, who has done many para-jumps as well.
In his free time Renjith gives free tuition to seven students in painting. "Army is my life and it has given me everything. I am thankful to all my seniors and officers in the Army for their encouragement," adds Renjith.
(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consultant Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He tweets @writetake.)