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Innocence on canvas

RANA SIDDIQUI ZAMAN

Illoosh Ahluwalia spares a thought for street kids through her paintings.


The show has 31 works and a part of the proceeds from the sales will go to SEVA.




Many hues A few of Illoosh Ahluwalia’s works .

Some 25 years ago, artist Illoosh Ahluwalia was shopping at Karol Bagh area in New Delhi. A lady, clasping her underfed infant “who looked like a skeleton” came to her and said, “Please do something for my child. I know you can, if you want”. The artist chose not to help her. “I could have but I didn’t. This guilt never dies. The child’s face with huge, protruding eyes keeps haunting me and reminds me of the sin that I committed that day. From that day onwards, I never look straight into the eyes of these kids because I get too involved,” recalls the artist with moist eyes.

So when SEVA approached her to donate a part of her works for the benefit of street kids, the artist happily agreed. “It was a way of washing away some guilt,” she says. And her works “Bachaa Log” – mounted at Le Meridien till December 20 – are a tribute to these street kids and their zest for life. In 31 works of various sizes, Illoosh has chosen to make happy street kids.

“I have been observing them very closely. I have always found that despite being underfed, these kids, unlike rich, pampered kids, are full of energy and life. I wanted to capture that spirit. They are hardly seen sulking and have great patience level.” Her works hence, have these kids either busy doing their work, going to school, posing in front of a camera, or laughing away their woes. Painted with memory and bright hues, they certainly make for happy pictures that attract for their sheer energy and joyfulness. Some 20-25 per cent of the proceeds from the sales would go to SEVA Trust Children Foundation for the benefits of street children. “I have kept them priced between Rs.25,000 and 1.25 lakh which is usually considered affordable in the Indian market,” says the artist.

(The exhibition shifts to N-75, Sainik Farms from December 20)

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