When the hills call...

A speech and hearing impaired sculptor’s spiritual quest in the Himalayas

Published: 15th July 2017 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2017 06:47 PM   |  A+A-

Amal Badusha (Picture: A Sanesh)

It is nothing unusual to undertake a spiritual journey to the peaks of the Himalayas in search of truth and enlightenment, especially in India. But what makes 40-year-old Amal Badusha, the son of noted environmental activist N Badusha, different from others is that he belongs to a well-known Muslim family in North Kerala.

Moreover, he is speech and hearing impaired, although a trained sculptor, whose forte is capturing the rich cultural heritage of ancient India.

“As a man who stands for peace and tranquillity, both in life and on the canvas, one needs to travel from the material realm to the world of spirituality. It will enable us to meet and converse with our own soul and understand the meaning of life and our presence in this world,” he says, through a set of his intrinsic gestures and motions. A committed vegetarian, Amal leads the life of a sadhu clad in saffron dhoti and khadi shirt.

A talented sculptor, Amal became famous for carving statues of gods and goddesses out of stone and wood. He has conducted art exhibitions in Kerala, and also in Bengaluru and Delhi. He is also imparting training on making terracotta ornaments to rural women in North Kerala.

Amal says that he has been influenced by noted environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna. “He would visit our home at Wayanad as part of the green campaigns in my childhood,” says Amal.

On his first visit to the Himalayas, sometime ago, Amal spent time at the hermitage of Bahuguna at Tehri Garhwal in Uttarakhand. It took around six months for him to get back home as his leg was fractured after a fall from a rock during a particularly steep climb.

During the journey, he visited places like Haridwar, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kashi, apart from a few other places in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, and Karnataka.   

“Visiting the Himalayas provided me with a peaceful ambience to delve into the depths of meditation and helped me in my art,” he says.

This ‘ascetic’ never uses a cell phone once he sets off on a journey to the hills. “But we are sure he will come home safely,” says Badusha, his father.

The ascetic sculptor

  • 40-year-old Amal Badusha’s forte is capturing the rich cultural heritage of ancient India.
  • A committed vegetarian, Amal leads the life of a sadhu.
  • He has been influenced by noted environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna.
  • Works with stone, cement, metal, wood, roots of the tree, clay, murals, pulp, clay, and ceramic.
  • He has won the Hyderabad National Arts and Sculptor Master Award, and the Bharath Bhavan Biennale of Contemporary Indian Art Award.
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