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Young achiever : My dad wanted me to be a doctor

Young achiever : My dad wanted me to be a doctor
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Says 23-year old Priyanka Aelay, painter daughter of renowned artist, Laxman Aelay. She talks about challenges she faces for having a celebrity as her ...

Says 23-year old Priyanka Aelay, painter daughter of renowned artist, Laxman Aelay. She talks about challenges she faces for having a celebrity as her father

Arundhuti Banerjee

How has been your journey as a painter ?
I have just started my journey as a painter and I have a long way to go. It is challenging, but I am glad I have a strong background in art.

Why is it challenging?
There are some positive and negative sides to being painter Laxman Aelay’s daughter. When you look at my father’s work, it is a reflection of 20 to 30 years of experience that he has from life. The problem I face is the high expectation of people. So the challenges are- I have to match my father’s standard and have to create my own signature.

Your father is an acclaimed painter. Did he want you to be a painter too?
Surprisingly, no! It was my decision. My father wanted me to be a doctor. I was always good in academics. Perhaps that is why he used to think I had the potential to be a good doctor. But I decided to follow my true calling. So in a way, before the world, I had to convince my father that I could do justice to my paintings.

What do you do apart from painting?
I have been modeling for the last three years. This happened out of passion. I have done photo shoot for some jewellery brands and clothes. I posed for Krishna Das Jewellery, and have also posed for fashion designer Gaurang Shah.
It’s a fascinating experience. I felt so privileged wearing designer outfits and jewellery. After every shoot, I realise how difficult and time consuming it is to look good.

Do you plan to take up modeling professionally?
I do not have any plan for that. It’s a tough job.

You are so young. How does appreciation affect your mind?
It helps to boost my confidence level. People’s expectations make me more responsible towards my work.
When I was in Class V, I had won a gold medal in an all India painting competition. I was too young to
understand the value of it. But I was happy. Similarly, appreciation makes me happy.

Your achievements so far?
I received an award from State Art Gallery, AP, three years ago. There is another incident that I consider as a reward. At 22, I presented a solo show of my paintings at Kalakriti Art Gallery. It was difficult because I had to do all the arrangements myself since my family was busy at the funeral ceremony of my grandmother.

I was oddly upset. I was all alone. But I did not give up. After all this, when Jagdish Mittal ji, an art historian and curator of Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art appreciated my work, I was touched. All my hard work paid off.

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