God’s own Paperbits
Bimal Shams, a 25 year old promising artist, is a special needs young man. Due to the excess of one copy of chromosome 21 in his body, he was diagnosed as a person with Downs Syndrome. Having born in Kuwait, Bimal was trained in a special needs school in Kuwait. He relocated to Coimbatore with his mother, and underwent vocational training in a special Academy. But his passion has always been art, music, films and traveling.
Whenever he was gifted colour pencils and crayons in his early ages by his parents, his imagination were able to create stories in the form of drawings.
His mother, Jasy Kasim, developed within him the habit of tearing bits of coloured papers and pasting it making beautiful artworks. They started collecting several coloured magazine for his work. They together did choosing the Colour papers from old magazines, then tearing those into bits and paste the same to make collages. The main goal of Bimal’s mother was to keep him engaged and use his time purposefully. He had plenty of time to devote his energy to develop his creativity as he was not going to regular school or interacting with children of his age group. Though this process was time consuming, she knew that this will keep him occupied in a positive way.
Jasy’s continued effort in training Bimal was wholeheartedly supported and encouraged by Bimal’s father, Mr.Shams from Kuwait.
To motivate Bimal further, his mother Jasy used to frame some of those creative works of Bimal and displayed the same as Wall hangings and this gave him tremendous self-confidence and boosted his interest to create more such pieces of art. This is how the story of Bimal’s journey as an artist began and it made him dream to get recognition and fame.
Jasy’s involvement thoroughly strengthened Bimal’s creativity. For Bimal the purpose of creating the piece of art was of exhibiting his art work, and seeks recognition, praise and appreciation from the viewers.
With help of Google, Bimal started searching about different art forms existing world over. This inspired him. His search on Google helped him to understand about the different mixing of colours. Seeing his mother’s art work helped to create his own and many a times both of them worked as a team to make a Collage. Also they tried to learn new techniques to make collages with good quality and in a professional way.
With all eagerness Bimal waited to display his creative Art work in an Exhibition. More than the creation of the Art work, his interest was in interacting with all those who would visit to see his creations. Since he felt deprived of the social interactions from childhood, he was longing for this. And this opportunity to interact with different people came his way sooner than expected in the next exhibition he took part in. And this inspired him to make unique collages.
The feeling that he was different from other children of his age group was always there at the back of his mind and that troubled him. It used to sadden him that he didn’t have any friends with whom he could interact freely. Bimal’s mother focused his attention towards Art work in order to divert his mind from these upsetting thoughts. Bimal’s parents encouraged him wholeheartedly to do exhibition of his own artwork so that he could reach out to many people interested to art. Due to this inspiration, Bimal’s outlook changed and he started to visualize wonderful ideas and created great collages and eagerly waited to meet people during his Exhibition.
Around this time they happened to meet Mr. Jeevanandan, a famous artist from Coimbatore the President of Coimbatore Chitrakala Academy. Mr. Jaavanandan encouraged Bimal to take part in their annual group exhibition. During the Exhibition, he met lot of people, which motivated him and he worked on his projects with intense desire to do his solo exhibition. And his solo exhibition, held in Calicut, brought a total makeover to Bimal’s attitude and he became a very confident individual, filled with positivity and was ready to face any challenge. This also helped him to overcome his inferiority complex. After this exhibition, Bimal’s parents noticed a lot change in his behaviour. He was very cheerful and his self-esteem improved tremendously. He broke all his barriers and has looked out for another opening for himself through a new YouTube channel, "Bimal Reads" which he has started, to read stories for children.
Social acceptance was one of his and his parents long drawn dreams and now this has got fructified. Bimal stands at the threshold of a beautiful path and he has taken his first baby step leading him towards an amazing journey of life.
- By Vijapriya Ramanan
Courtesy: Aavanaazhi Tamil Magazine