Just imagine that you are suffering from Osteogenesis Imperfect (brittle bone disease), you have around 80 fractures, you are completely deaf and you are more than 60 years old. Life might not interest you, in this case, forget about being happy! We all have some problems in life and we normally crib about them. Petty things make us feel weak and there are some people who aren’t deterred even by the worst of circumstances in life.
Sadhna Dhand might not be a celebrity, but her spirit of life will definitely make you her fan apart from her fantastic art pieces. So, for all those who know her, she’s not less than a celebrity. I was fortunate to meet her and interview her. Why do I say so, read and find out!
A Down to Earth President’s Awardee!!
‘Didi’ (as she is popularly known) doesn’t brag about her achievements. When I asked her about her achievements, her interpreter (Neha Ramani) who was aiding the conversation, pointed towards the wall showing a framed certificate. It read ‘National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities – 2012’. “Didi was felicitated in Delhi at the hands of honorable President. She wasn’t allowed to travel much because of Osteogenesis but this was a big occasion. She managed it somehow to reach there just to find out that function was cancelled due to death of former PM IK Gujral. So, actually, she received the award after 2 years.” At this time, Didi said ‘Neha, vo tumne award function wala kissa bataya?’ She nodded in reply.
Maestro of Various Art Forms:
“Which are the art forms that you execute on a regular basis?” I asked. Neha conveyed this for me and Didi started telling – “sketching, Tanjore painting, oil painting, glass painting, fabric painting, water painting, acrylic painting, ceramic painting, Phad painting (Rajasthani form) and sculptors.”
After listening to so many art forms I was mind-boggled. So, I just asked jovially “Is there any art form which you’ve spared?” Of course, she couldn’t hear it. Neha conveyed that and Didi started laughing.
Ardent Gardening Lover:
When I asked her about her favorite pastime, she immediately said ‘Aapne garden dekha bahar?’ Neha told that Didi’s plants are very important for her. She herself takes care of the garden and gets up at 5 AM for the same. Apart from dedicating herself to art, Didi spends her majority time with saplings and is quite enthusiastic about Bonsai plantation.
High on Life!
“Mam please can you tell us something more about your life? I know it’s been quite a challenging journey and I want more and more people to get inspired from you,” I said. After understanding this from her interpreter she just smiled and said that “I can’t inspire anyone. I’m just doing what I’m destined to and just trying to give my best!”
So, I immediately asked “What keeps you so positive? I might have surely given-up in such a situation.” She replied, “Maybe, I’ve inherited this attitude from my mother. She was very concerned when she came to know that I’m suffering from Osteogenesis imperfect. Also, her worry increased when I developed a hearing deficiency. Doctors told that gradually I’ll become completely deaf. My mom speeded up my studies and asked me to pursue arts so that I don’t get any free time.” She added that “I saw other children playing and thought why me? But my mom motivated me and taught me to be confident of myself.”
“Has the government supported you any time?” I asked. Her reply almost brought tears into my eyes. She said, “I have a clear mindset – I’ll never take anything but always give!”
“Mam, how many art pieces have you created till date? Any idea?” I asked casually. She just smiled, though for a while and said: “I’ve never counted actually but those are some albums which have collections of those photos.” She pointed towards heaps of albums (Probably 50 in number!).
“I’m aged 60 plus but I don’t wish to retire. So, I’m coming up with an arts college. A 2-year diploma course would be offered there. We’ve got the affiliation and will be starting ASAP.” Didi said. She also told that her art pieces would be displayed at Nehru Centre, Mumbai in an exhibition that would be held in November 2019.
“I may not be able to go there because of travel issues related to my health but I’m excited to send my art pieces there.”