Ramesh Mehta: Writer who turned Painter

Amit Gupta and Irfan Ahmad. Updated: 9/24/2016 12:43:33 PM This Person: Then and Now

Born in 1947, Ramesh Mehta is now 69 years old but he is still a part of a new generation of artists in Jammu who are cultivating their cultural outlook by investing in their culture’s aesthetics, with a specific focus on modern and contemporary art. He is not just a painter but a poet too. He has published three books of poems until now. Talking of his career journey, Ramesh Sir started as an editor in Hindi language at J&K Academy of Art and Culture in 1973 and got retired as President in the year 2005.

Mehta was also the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award at Authors Guild of India in 1984. Here are the excerpts of his interview with TNN.

TNN: How did you become an artist?

Ramesh: During my college day, I used read books, journals, poetry which leads me towards writing. In was also interested in painting but couldn’t do it somehow.

TNN: So when did you become painter?

Ramesh: After publishing my poetry in the year 2001, I was on a vacation in Srinagar where I made my first painting. It was a greeting card which totally impressed A R Jaan (a senior painter of Jammu and Kashmir) and it was his encouragement and my hard work which brought me where I am today.

TNN: What do you think brought you towards painting?

Ramesh: As a kid, I always loved visiting museums and fine art centres and during my visit to different places as a writer I visited many of these and this thing influenced me a lot.

TNN: You are both a painter and a writer. Does one art affect the other?

Ramesh: Yes, somehow my painting has affected my writing and I am working on this issue.

Did you have any formal training on drawing, design or did you go to a fine arts school?

Ramesh: I'm a self taught artist and I simply just enjoyed creating art.

TNN: Can you share one memorable moment of your journey as a writer and painter in Jammu?

Ramesh: How I started painting was a very memorable incident of my life. I was an unexpected one. I was a writer all my life and then there was this moment I realized that I could portray my ideas in the form of painting too.

TNN: What does the cultural background of Jammu mean to you and how do you apply that to your art?

Ramesh: Here in Jammu, we celebrate colors. From colorful spices to clothing, to sweets and colorful homes. We love to be surrounded by color. My mission is to expose Jammu’s heritage to other parts of the world as I believe art must travel for everyone to know about other parts of the world.

TNN: What would you say your personality type is?

Ramesh: I like simplicity in life and so I'm honest, it makes things simple in life. I have my dreams and vision and what I will do next. I love enjoying little pleasures in life from a cup of tea (chai) in the morning to taking a walk in the evening. I am not a person to sit and stress over something because I believe in myself, my dreams and the justice of god. I know I’m on the right path to succeed. After all what you believe in is what you get. I have a good sense of humor and I love to laugh, watch comedy movies, and be simple and nice to everyone. I love life and everything about my life.

TNN: What project you are working on now?

Ramesh: Presently, I am working on my next collection of poetry.

TNN: What is your message to our readers?

Ramesh: Never follow others; always try to make your own way. Keep trying and one day you will reach your goal for sure.

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