75-year-old hones hobby after retirement

By Jamil Khan | SHARJAH

There are many people who have no time but those who have retired after spending decades in jobs have no such complaints. They get time for activities that were once just hobbies.
Anjini Prakash Laitu, based in the UAE for the last 23 years, has, to keep his free time fruitful in retirement life, engaged himself in a number of creative hobbies from painting and textile designing (painting design) to pottery.
In an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today, the 75-year-old retired Laitu unfolded his life and talked about his current activities.laitu-3
He was associated with the Thapar Group in India for 33 years where he served in various areas including glass, paper and sugar factories. He was invited by a Dubai-based businessman to set up a glass factory in Jebel Ali which took four years.
“I was used to painting in my childhood. But the trend to study fine arts at that time for living was not a good choice so I pursued my career in technical side and completed my Bachelor’s degree. While working in India I used to paint occasionally to satisfy my inner soul as a hobby and completed 10-12 paintings annually,” he said.
The breakthrough for his painting passion came once he completed the assignment of setting up a glass factory in Dubai in 2002. To qualify in the field of arts, he enrolled at the Sharjah Art Institute to complete a 3-year certificate course in Arts between 2005-2008 which give him a proper training to pursue his passion for painting besides other fields like sculpture and textile painting.
To develop his own skills in textile painting, he spent time with a renowned UAE-based textile designer.
“As a free soul, I develop my own techniques to do textile paintings on different types of ladies’ clothes from saris to scarves and other variety of clothes as currently around 75 such pieces are available at the Indian pavilion in the Global Village,” he said.
Laitu had three painting exhibitions at the Arab Cultural Club in Sharjah to showcase his creations and received an extraordinary response from different segments of visitors. He also did a day-long workshop to teach textile painting to a group of women. “It was a quite significant experience to train others and transfer my skills in a nutshell. I have been offering my services to different spheres of society to get my experience but strangely it seems no one has time to learn new things like painting,” he said. laitu-4
However, a solo exhibition of his over 100 artworks including paintings, fabric pieces and pottery were also showcased at a day-long exhibition at Marbella Resort in Sharjah in 2007 where a cross-section of society visited the show and admired his unique style of work in various forms.
“Being in retirement has a huge time vacuum and keeping myself engaged in something positive was the sole purpose to try my hand at painting which ultimately giving me a kind of spiritual satisfaction while conveying my inner expression on the canvas,” he said.
Laitu was also part of the Sharjah Museum Department as a volunteer to offer his photographic skills for two years which is one of his many hobbies. “It was a wonderful experience to meet people from different backgrounds and nationalities to discuss everything under the sky and learning different things which is a constant process in my life,” he said.
He is also planning to hold free workshops for anyone who is interested in oil paintings and textile painting to ‘transfer’ his skills.
His next painting exhibition is all set to be held at the Arab Cultural Centre on March 2.
-Published in The Gulf Today

~ by jamilkhan on February 12, 2017.

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