Reema Bansal Mehta

An expression of her creative talent

AMATEUR BY definition and young by age, she could hardly claim to have a bio data that precocious children ordinarily have. However, the fine strokes that emerge from her otherwise weak hands are more than an expression of her creative talent. It, in effect, is an attempt to come to grips with the world surrounding her in a uniquely different way.

If there is any phrase that can best describe her art, it is "different strokes for different people". Drawn into the field at the young age of three, Reema Bansal persisted with the brush despite her neuropathy -- a disease which entails weakening of hands, arms, feet and legs.

The result -- a series of paintings entitled "Strokes" which through abstract tries to make sense of the world around her. "I express my paintings," says Reema, who first exhibited them in a small gallery in her town and later at a public exhibition held in Chandigarh.

And so, painting not only serves as a therapy for her, it makes her forget her disability and if one may say so, go beyond it as well. And while her suffering is real, so are her talent and her grit and determination to mature as an artist. Reema now plans to bring her exhibition to the Capital sometimes later next month.

"It is my mother who gives me the inspiration to paint," she says, adding that she has received support from her teachers as well to pursue her hobby.

And thanks to this talent of hers, she feels "empowered" to steer clear of labels like "special" and "differently abled"and strive to create a name for herself in the world of the creative arts.

A winner of many awards and certificates, Reema is realistic in her approach to life and though she is on a wheel chair due to her disability, she has received all-round appreciation for her talent. Not to be restrained by the lack of opportunities in a small town like Jagadhri, she continues to create her "works".

And while paintings like "since Ages" and "Siesta Time" reflect ideas that explore the real and the surreal with equal ease, it has already helped her surmount some of the handicaps that her disability brings.

She is currently a counsellor at Sacred Heart Convent School, Jagadhari. Previously she worked at Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Yamunanagar and D.A.V. College. She studied Psychology at Adelphi University and is graduated from Singhania University, Rajasthan and Writer's Bureau : Distance mode (Creative Writing Course) [England]. She lives in Jagadhari.

The barriers to her full participation in society are numerous but she is determined to surmount them all, one by one.

By K. Kannan



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