The canvas speaks only through colours. It has expressions of its own; the temperature of the colours, the texture, the thickness of the colourful strokes, the mood; every nuance fills with the rush of emotions. It is this language that connects, it is this language that one needs, of emotions and appreciation.

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There are some things that move one from within. Paintings are one such privilege. Privilege because fortunate are those who can understand, appreciate and above all get the opportunity to meet such minds, such creations.

Manas Kumar Das, a speech and hearing impaired artist from Odisha, displayed some extra-ordinarily moving pictures at a recently held art display. In his collections, two different themes in stark contrast to other are seen. Three sets of his paintings show different facets of Mahatma Gandhi’s life. Mahatma Gandhi seems one of his obsessions. In his most appealing piece, a monochromatic which is, Gandhi sits in the composed pose of Buddha, unaffected by what is happening around him. The inner solace, and peace shining on his face, yet the expression so morose. The shower of ink blots from the world questioning his decisions, derogating his acts, disturbing the poise. The message that comes out is the Mahatma that Gandhi is.

In another, the bronze shades on a pair of utensils that he may be using, the charkha  and the chappals highlight the simplicity of his living, while he stands in the minimal clothing, one that he chose to show how the real Indian looked and lived in that era. As one moves ahead, there is another monochromatic Gandhi painting in a landscape canvas, filling one with the quietude and piousness, towards him and towards self.

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Away from Gandhi, there he has another masterpiece, baring the femininity of the soul. He explains with his fingers the essence of it, the meaning behind the Goddess and the sensuality of the woman in the drenched white saree, sticking to her bodice. The woman is a widow, devoid of the privileges that society takes away but her sensuality is something that doesn’t cease with the death of her husband. Even the two inch bare waist at curve seems more sensuous than the Goddess’ body sans a fabric.

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Swayam, a one-of-its-kind disability arts exhibition at Anjali International Children’s Festival 2016 spoke in only this tongue of colours. Artists from different parts of India gathered and not only displayed some of their finest collections but also participated in live painting at inauguration ceremony of the exhibition. Manas, an M.Phil from Utkal University of Cultural Studies on the occasion live painted ‘a world thinking Disability’ in acrylic on canvas broad (Size: 2 ½*3 inch). In all his artworks, uncanny and rare flow of optimism is distinctive. He has shown different facets of Gandhi, all concluding to the positivity he embraces, something that identifies him, just like his dhoti and his charkha.

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A painting by another artist from the exhibition
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