BANGALORE: Ananda Murthy H M, a resident of Vijayanagar, lost his job in 1996 and was wondering about his future. With a diploma in Mechanical Design, he never expected a chance tryst with Chitra Kala Parishat to be the turning point that gave his life a direction. Today, a well-known temple painter, he hopes to meet former president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam in February to present him a three-feet portrait of Kalam.
He got the chance to train in Karnataka Traditional Paintings at CKP. “I got that opportunity when a physically-challenged person did not turn up for the training. His reluctance to join the Chitra Kala Parishat was manna for me,” recalls Murthy.
Murthy’s tryst with painting temples too was a quirk of fate, an accident. He happened to meet the manager of a cooperative bank in Bangalore on one of his visit to the bank. “The bank manager was collecting donations for the renovation of Somsandara Anjaneya Temple near Hosadurga. I reluctantly paid `51 and refused to accept the receipt. I told him that instead I could do the painting work of that temple,” he says.
Painting of Somasandra Anjaneya Temple was the first assignment after he lost his job with a private company near Ulsoor Lake. “It took me 45 days to paint the temple and repair the chariot of Anjaneya. I did not expect any money from the temple management but they insisted on paying `10,000 and even felicitated me,” he recalls with visible pride. The word-of-mouth publicity worked for Murthy and soon he became a popular name in temple paintings in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
He even developed an interest in painting and exhibiting his art. He participated in exhibitions organised by the Department of Posts. His skills in painting and calligraphy were appreciated by Basava Dharma Peetha, Karnataka Janapada Parishat, Stimulus Publications, Indian Council For Cultural Relations and Bal Bhavan Society among other organisations.
He will be one among the 221 achievers from Karnataka and other parts of the country to find a place in the Indian Record Book, to be published by My Dream India. “We thought it was opt to include Ananda Murthy’s name in the Indian Record Book. We consider his contribution to the Karnataka Traditional Painting, sculpture and calligraphy worth mentioning,” says Ramesh S G, General Secretary, My Dream India.
His excitement to meet Kalam is what enthuses him the most. “I have painted a three-and-a-half feet portrait of Kalam. It took me three days. I want to present it to Kalam sir,” he says hoping to meet the former President on his visit to the city next month.
Meanwhile, Murthy wants to open a school to train students in sculpture. “I am eagerly waiting for the opportunity to meet former president A P J Abdul Kalam. I want to get his autograph
and preserve it. It will be an inspiration for me,” says Ananda Murthy.