For Paresh Maity, painting a budget visual for Hindustan Times was challenging and exciting at the same time. It was challenging as he had to visualise it from the point of view of a daily paper, and exciting as he was "depicting his favourite Pranab da."
"It was a wonderful feeling when Hindustan Times asked me to do a special painting for this year's budget. I was looking forward to do it particularly, because I wanted to depict Pranab babu (laughs)."
Though he loved to paint his imagination in mind, executing the painting on canvas was not a cakewalk.
"Before executing the painting, I always cook it up in my mind. This painting took a long time, because I had to express something which will convey a lot of meaning, thoughts and ideas," says the painter while giving finishing touches to the bright budget visual.
"I tried to show Pranab babu with many hands and projects, with many hopes and lights. And I could easily add many more hands to enhance this painting but my canvas is limited and it is not possible to keep adding the paper like you do in newspaper, to enhance my expression," says Maity.
The painter admits that putting the complex process of budget on a small canvas (the painting is quite small in dimension) was an arduous task, as he had to paint from the point of view of a newspaper. "It would be wrong to say I had a lot of freedom of expression in this painting, as I had to take care of a lot of things - images, proportions, keeping in mind how it will be composed for a newspaper."
To tackle this, Maity made small sketches of different elements in the painting, well in advance. "I've been doing sketches, little scribbling, thinking how I would conceptualise this visual for budget 2012," says the painter.
And the result is for all to see in the March 17 edition of Hindustan Times.
So what was going on in Maity's mind when he was conceptualising the work? "Pranab da would need many many hands to improve the economic poilcy, growth. Two hands are certainly not enough," he points to the multiple hands of "Pranab Mukherjee", which are holding different sectors of the economy.
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"You can see I am trying to show how the country needs economic growth and foreign investment for progress. In one hand, he's holding dollars, pounds and outside investment from different countries, in the other hand, you can see medical facilities. There are more hands of course. There's education, money, security etc. There's also food security which is very important to reach poor, middle class and all. Infrastructure, communication and transportation in various modes is also depicted in the visual. The visual also shows tax benefits for everybody," Maity adds.
Maity has also chosen the background of the painting thoughtfully. "Background of this painting is colours from national flag, which is the identity of our country. I've used water colour for details since it's not a very large painting. It's small in dimension. That's why I used water colour to give it a sensitive feeling."
The painting not only focuses on the various elements of the economy, it also says something about Pranab Mukherjee's state of mind while presenting the union budget 2012. The painting shows him with a smile and a certain body language. What does it mean?
"It's very humorous. There are many things that he's trying to say. He's trying to come up with a lot of projects, but there's a certain force that's trying to stop him. And you can see that he's trying to defeat that wind, that force. In this painting, he's trying to stand properly, facing a force that's trying to overpower him. He's trying to really make it," he signs off.