Guwahati: Although the coronavirus induced lockdown has clobbered the economy as well as livelihoods, many precious talents have also come to the fore in this period of uncertainty.
The latest example of one such talent is a youth from Assam's Naharkatia, Manas Pratim Gogoi, who has created a miniature replica of the Ranghar (the oldest amphitheater in Asia built by Ahom kings, on a piece of mere chalk! Not only this, but this talented sculptor has also recreated the majestic Eiffel tower on the tiny tip of a pencil!
Manas completed his Bachelor in Engineering from the Jorhat Engineering College (JEC) and has engineered several historic places from across the world on pencils. The much-vaunted Ranghar is his latest creation and has truly propelled him to stardom. Gogoi, who is the only son of Prabin Gogoi and Ranu Bora Gogoi of Naharkatia's Kalpa Nagar, says that it took him only 5 hours to create the Ranghar on a piece of chalk.
Gogoi also informs that he has also recreated the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, the bio-diversity hotspot which was recently flashed across news mediums due to a mining controversy.
The Assam Book of Records has included his name for his achievement which might seem small (pun intended). However, once cannot deny that his recreations require a great deal of concentration and hard work.
The Sentinel Digital recently caught up with Manas for a tell-all interview about his craft. Below are some excerpts:
How did your journey start? Your craft is some that is, quite frankly, unheard of. What pushed you down this path?
I have been interested in art ever since I was a child. I also have a diploma in Art. I do portraits, sketching. Also, I like playing with colors. I also enjoy digital art. This is something that I have been doing and enjoying ever since I can remember. Thus, sculpting did not happen entirely by happenstance. It is something that I am slowly starting to enjoy more than the other mediums.
What you are doing -- do you think it can be classified as art?
Yes, it falls in the category of art, although it is sculpting basically. I basically picked it up while pursuing my B.Tech from the Jorhat Engineering College. During the class breaks, chalk pieces would be lying around. So, I thought why not use these pieces and create something beautiful instead? I used the points of compasses to chisel objects out of the chalks.
Why do you use chalks pencils for the purpose of creating art?
I have made small structures using pencils, chalk pieces, as well as crayons. What I use for the project depends on its nature. For instance, I made an Eiffel tower replica using a pencil. However, it is true that I have made most of my creations using pieces of chalk.
Do you think this unusual art -- if we may call it that – is sustainable? Do you think it is possible to make a career out of it?
I really have not thought about it in that sense. However, I intend to continue this as I am truly passionate about it. I also intend to pass on this knowledge to posterity. To that end, I have opened a YouTube channel wherein I post I might not be able to make a career out of it, but I might be able to help people learn this craft. In any case, I wish to take this passion forward.