KOCHI: When Sajeesh V P was busy building the miniature model of the Poongattumana Vettakorumakan temple at Anjoor, he went on a six-month fast. The temple, according to him, was divine and he wanted to upkeep the sanctity when working on the model of the place. What makes Sajeesh’s work unique is his eye for detail. Better still, he has been making these models using the spine of palm leaves (eerkels) sourced from his native village of Anjoor.
“I have been making miniature models of temples and churches and completed six of them over the past five years. Every time I set upon my task, I always make it a point to fast. Once I complete them, I dedicate the models to the churches and temples as a keepsake,” said Sajeesh, a daily wage worker. When he is not working, he either paints for children or makes similar models of buildings.
He has always been an artist and says art runs in his family. “I have been drawing from a very small age. One day, when I visited a temple, I suddenly felt inspired to make a miniature model of the structure. I don’t take photographs. Rather, I base the models on my memory. I spent a lot of time visiting the same temple. My most recent work took six months to complete,” said Sajeesh.
At his village, Sajeesh has been honoured by the temple authorities. “I am happy that I have been recognised for my work. It means a lot to me,” he added.Sajeesh says he collects the palm leaves from his friends who are coconut climbers. “I give to my mother. She makes the spines from them and then hands it over to me,” says the 29-year-old.
Sajeesh works late into the night to make his miniature models, despite hours of hard work he puts on the field every day. “I arrive home at 8 pm. After that, if I have a model to do, I stay awake till 2 pm,” he adds.
The artist, says that all his works are favourites. He has a special bond with all the places of worship he visits.