It was at a south Indian restaurant in Lower Parel that six-year-old Anushka Niara Mitter first met Mariam, a Down Syndrome patient like her. "What struck me was her resemblance to Anushka. It was uncanny," reminisces Anushka's father, Ananjan, a Lower Parel resident. What ensued was a warm friendship. Four years later, Mitter is holding an art exhibition at Point of View Gallery in Colaba. This is her tribute to Mariam before the Mitters move to Kolkata next month. "Mariam's case is more complicated than Anushka's. We all felt she could do with some help," adds Ananjan.
The exhibition will be Anushka's first solo. Her first brush stroke was two years ago at an art class. "My wife wanted Anushka to get a taste of the fine arts, so we enrolled her for music and painting classes. She was free to do what piqued her interest," says Ananjan.
The parents soon got a glimpse into Anushka's talent when she started coming home with canvases that were rather impressive for a kid her age. Some of her most interesting paintings include an oil painting of three saree clad women talking in a huddle and a girl on a swing under the night sky. Anushka, a student of Fort's Aditya Birla Integrated School, is also proficient at the piano and a natural in yoga. "She can touch her ears with her feet," says her proud mother, Nilima Mitter.
Ananjan uploaded Anushka's works on his Facebook page, and received a deluge of 'Likes' and comments. The parents got in touch with Usha Agarwal, founder of Point of View art gallery, a venue that has hosted the works of eminent artists like Lalita Lajmi and Jatin Das, among others. When Agarwal saw her paintings, no more questions were asked. "She expresses more through her actions than words can. Her paintings using acrylic colours and inks show a maturity that you don't normally expect from a child," says Agarwal.
Where: Point of View Art Gallery, B 1, Kuvar House, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba
When: Till Dec 14, 11 am — 7 pm