My art work earned me college fee
Renowned painter Laxman Aelay recalls how he used to draw sign boards and name plates in his college to earn some pocket money I hail from a very...
Renowned painter Laxman Aelay recalls how he used to draw sign boards and name plates in his college to earn some pocket money I hail from a very small village named Kadirenigudem of Nalgonda district in Telangana. In my childhood days, there were no private schools. In fact, there was one government school which was far away from my place where I started my school days. I studied in a single-teacher primary school in my village. That means the school has just one teacher for all subjects. I studied there till my Class III. After that I moved to another village where I studied till Class V. I still remember those days. We had no transportation. As a kid, I used to walk miles and miles to reach my school. After completing my primary education, I moved to Zilla Parishad High School at Chada village. That was the only school for seven other neighbouring villages in the district. From my childhood, I changed many schools and made many friends at every school. I am still in touch with some of them, like my good friend Malla Reddy. Throughout school, I was a shy, back bencher. Though painting was my hobby from early days, I was interested in Science, especially Botany and Zoology, but I was poor in Maths. I used to get lot of attention because of my paintings. In my school days, I used to write my friends' names in an artistic way on their notebooks and they were happy to see that. Sometimes I made paintings for them on their birthday and that made them happy. Their appreciation boosted my confidence. Every compliment gave me enormous joy. I started my journey of painting with simple drawings. My childhood memory colour is brown which reflects on my canvas. I do not know why but I would always use brown in my paintings those days. Probably, the colour was etched in my sub-conscious mind. In my village, my mother used to paint the walls in brown. I think that is how it became inseparable in my colour palate. I also love reading literature and history and I must credit Prof Vitalachary, a Telugu poet, who taught me the language in Class X, for kindling interest in the subjects. I faced some difficulty in paying my school fee. I used to work in shops to fund my education. In Intermediate, I once made a portrait of my principal. He was so impressed by my art work that he waived off my tuition fee for the whole year! After that I used to paint all the sign boards and name plates in my college. That is how my college staff recognised my talent. I used to make greeting cards and distribute among my friends and teachers. More than anything else in the world, I enjoyed painting. Last year, when I met one of my teachers, he showed me some of my old paintings that I gifted him ages ago. He kept all my works with great care. That was a touching moment for me.