• Neelkant
  • Neelkanth
    - 100cm X 66cm
  • Unspoken Word
  • Unspoken Word
    - 69cm X 50cm

Cancer Research and Relief Trust

CRRT along with Larygectomees Welfare Association conducted a three day workshop on speech therapy on 7, 8, and 9th August 2008. Drs. Mani, Vikas, Ayyappan and Ramanan wanted me to create works of art to bring about awareness on cancer - especially of the throat. They explained that Larygectomees are people who had their voice box removed as part of treating Laryngeal cancer.

After listening to the doctors, my wife (also my apprentice) and I returned home and immediately sat down to discuss. I was trying to visualize, when my wife clutched at her throat with both hands. Thus was born my work "Neelkant" - the story of Shiva, who swallows the hala (poison) that comes during the churning of the ocean, by the Devas and Asuras in their quest for nectar.

When Shiva swallows the poison, Parvati rushes to his side and clutches his throat to prevent it from entering his system. The poison gets stuck in his thorat, turning it blue - and from that day forward Shiva was also known as Neel-kant - the 'blue throated one'. Here, in this context, the doctors play the role of celestial couple trying to contain the poison without allowing it to spread any further into the system.

My second work also inspired from the workshop is more universal in context. "The unspoken word" aims to reach out to every person who has so much to say and yet is rendered speechless. A lot of activity goes on in the head communicating messages but so much is left unsaid. This collage hopes to communicate with them.

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