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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Sketches of Kumbh stampede earn accolades

Vinod Khanal, Hindustan Times  Allahabad, February 14, 2013
First Published: 00:29 IST(14/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:30 IST(14/2/2013)

It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Sunday's stampede at the Allahabad junction railway station, which claimed 36 lives, had inspired artist Juhi Shukla. And her interpretation of the tragedy is earning accolades, especially from foreign tourists, at the Kumbh mela.

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The paintings and sketches had been selected for display at the district administration's pandal in the mela area.

Two of the paintings -- "Astha" and "Dubki" --  were purchased by American tourist and art critic Mirno Pisquali on Wednesday.

One of the paintings depicted passengers jostling at the door of a train, another had people falling over each other in the stampede.

"But the works depict Kumbh in its totality," said Pisquali.

A sketch of devotees lying dead inside a broken kumbh (nectar pot) was much appreciated as well.

"I started sketching to release the frustration and helplessness I felt," said Shukla, head of department of painting, Prayag Mahila Vidyapeeth Degree College.

"News channels were flooded with reports of the unfortunate incident. What stood out were the sufferings, pain and anguish of the people."

Shukla, who had started painting soon after the stampede, intends to donate the money earned to the victims.

"As I went deeper into human emotions, I found bonding between two persons strengthens with the sharing of grief. The same relation exists between the stampede victims and me," Shukla said.


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