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Working wonders on palm leaves


An intricate work on palm leaves depicting a scene from the Ramayana.

Not many artists would dare tread her path. Doing a single palm leaf work takes at least six months. But that did not deter Pedhapudi Rajyalakshmi from pursuing her hobby for the last 40 years.

She developed a fascination for the art on seeing the artwork on palm leaf, done by a woman from Tamil Nadu, at a relative's place in Kazipet. After the acquaintance had left, Rajyalakshmi made up her mind to pursue the art on her own. She began by drawing sketches on palm leaves and cutting it accordingly with the help of blades. Subsequently, she acquired special instruments like forceps.

"The cutting of intricate design requires a lot of patience and skill. Sheets of palm leaves, which are about half-an-inch wide are taken and the designs etched on them. The sheets are bound together by thread to make them wider, depending on the requirement. A small mistake in cutting or threading could mean replacement of the whole sheet," she says.

The `Viswaroopam of Maha Vishnu', `Dasavatharas', `Sri Rama Pattabhishekam', Lord Krishna in various poses and figures depicting the various moods of the musical ragas are some of the palm leaf works done by her.


Rajyalakshmi.

Apart from this, she is also adept in pencil sketches, oil paintings and fabric painting.

"The youth these days do not have the inclination to take up such artwork, which is very demanding and time consuming," she says.

Rajyalakshmi, a spinster, was earlier staying with her relatives at Kazipet. Now on account of her ill health, she has moved to her sister, Parnandi Nirmala's house at MVP Colony.

She plans to donate her treasure (the paintings) to the Visakha Museum.

B.M.G.

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