My Story: I Could Not Speak, But My Painting Spoke With Many People
Image Credits: Atypical Advantage
Atypical Advantage

My Story: 'I Could Not Speak, But My Painting Spoke With Many People'

Ajay Garg met with an accident when he was just three and it led to significant hearing loss. But he never let it come in way of his painting. His positive approach in the face of difficulties is an inspiration for many.

I was only three when I suffered an injury. At the hospital, I was given the wrong injection which adversely affected my speaking and hearing abilities. The impairment was permanent. My parents refused to see this as a setback and so did I.

I found art helpful. It was a new channel to express how I felt. I could not speak, but my painting spoke with many people including Shri Sualal, a brilliant artist working at the Royal Court of Dholpur, Rajasthan. He recognised my detailed drawings and took me under his wing.

By the time I turned 10, I had established an impressive grip on art and four years later I got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with Asha Devi. From her, I learnt miniature painting, one of the most difficult arts. This style of painting requires utmost focus as it is done with a singer-hair brush and of course a steady hand.

My disability never came in the way of my passion. It made me work harder than my peers and focus better. I learnt how to draw on rice grains and almonds. "Ajay has magic in his fingers," said world-famous artist Shri K.K. Hebbar once.

Support and encouragement from renowned artists like these made me work harder and in 2004, I received the impossible, a National Award from the late President Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

And recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote me a letter. In it, he said I was an inspiration to many "who have at one point or another faced difficulties and obstacles in life."

"Facing tough challenges and difficult circumstances with confidence and overcoming obstacles with positive thinking takes one to new heights in life," the prime minister further added in his letter.

I have done over 30 solo exhibitions all over the world including the United Kingdom, USA, and Mexico. I have also commissioned artworks through Atypical Advantage. Recently, through the company, I got an opportunity to paint glass facades at Pepperfry Studios.

If today I am getting so many opportunities where I can showcase my talent, it is all because of my hard work and dedication. Sure, my disability has come in the way and I have to live with it. But I am proud of it.

I believe that no one should compromise their talent or skills because of their disability. And that is why I am teaching hearing-impaired children painting for free in Jaipur. I also volunteer at an orphanage for girls.

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Writer : Atypical Advantage
Creatives : Ankita Singh

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