news Monday, March 30, 2015 - 05:30
Anisha Sheth | The News Minute | March 30, 2015 | 9 am IST Follow @anisha_w It was only when he reached did his diploma that Syed Huseni stopped failing. After that, he says he has seen only success in all his efforts. Thirty-six-year old Syed has made a career of travelling with his art, for the last 12 years. Syed has travelled to all but five of the districts of Karnataka, teaching “seanjhi”, the art of cutting paper into designs, mostly to school children but even to others who wish to learn. Born in Shivanasamudram (Bluff) in Mandya district, Syed studied in a government school where he says studies never caught his fancy. “Even when I had to study for exams, all I could see were drawings and not notes. I could never remember answers but I could understand the mechanics and make small toys that I saw in the markets in the cities,” he says. Even though he was never very good at studies, even as a child, some of his earliest memories are of drawing. His mother would embroider clothes and she would ask Syed to draw on the cloth. “Even if I made mistakes, she never scolded me. Her encouragement inspired me,” he says. He struggled to complete his SSLC examination and later the pre-university exam. “When I failed, my parents finally felt that I should pursue what I was interested in,” Syed says. But it was perhaps because of his younger brother that Syed took up a fine arts diploma, and later a degree. “I studied in a government school in a village. I dint even know that schools have art teachers. But my brother studied in a school in Mysore after Class 7. By then I was already in PU,” Syed said. “Once I enrolled in fine arts, I have never failed at anything. I’ve only known success since then,” says Syed. Despite having studied drawing and painting while completing his degree, Syed decided to pursue seanjhi as it was an Indian art form. He says: “Why shouldn’t we developed Indian art?” Asked about his work, Syed explains that now plans to take his work even to the five districts he has not visited so far. “I have done a lot of exhibitions in art galleries (in the cities), but only a handful of interested people will come. Rural children don’t have much access to art. You have to take your art to the people where they don’t have it, not just children but people of all ages should be able to learn it,” he says, rattling off the names of the places in coastal Karnataka that he is scheduled to visit in the coming weeks. Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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