By Chirmi Acharya
A new century woman finds her way through difficulties and keeps a balance between her responsibilities and things that she loves to do. Sharing with you the experience of women, who have made her love into her work and what more, her family is a strong support system. Painting Desires Sunita Jha, a Madhubani painting artist was recently in Jaipur exhibiting her art, fondly recalls it was nearly 35 years back when she started pursuing this work professionally. Born and brought up in a village near Patna, her mother passed on this art to her, which is a tradition. As a little girl she helped her mother paint the walls on festivals as a symbol to attract health and luck but never pursued it commercially. After marriage she moved to New Delhi with her husband. She had always wanted to work and expressed this desire to her husband. But he was not positive about women finding jobs so he suggested that she start working on Madhubani paintings and sell them. “This idea attracted me and I went ahead in exploring it in spite of the risks involved,” says Sunita. Initially, the work was tough as she had to manage the entire work single handedly but once she started getting good response for her paintings there was no looking back. And she is happy that her family, her husband, parents and in-laws supported her in this venture. Today Sunita owns an office in Patna from where she manages her business. She began this journey alone and now has a staff of 200 to 250 girls from her village. “The girls from villages are simple; they know the art but have to be encouraged regularly because they cannot understand the market demands. I hold regular classes teaching them how to present the work, what colour combinations are desirable so that people like their work.” Sunita expanded her work, and now she deals not only with paintings, but cards, cloth for salwar-kameez and sarees as well. Moving around the country she has learnt a lot about what people prefer and this helps her in creating innovations in her work. She went as far as booking an AC coach for exhibiting her art in one of the Indian Railways trains. What does she love about her work the most? She says it’s not about money but the fact that her work is known to a large scale of people and that it is appreciated is the best she could get. Sunita never rests; between our conversation, she would turn to visitors interested in the wall paintings displayed in her exhibition cell. After appeasing them with an offer she turned back to me saying that the work is not always easy, but she will never stop. We know it well, as she had an exhibit in Delhi the next day.
Chirmi Acharya is a Dare Community Editor
|< Prev||Next >|