Saturday, September 6, 2008




1961 – 2008

Born in Karachi, in the year 1943 Mohankumar is a dedicated and hardcore devotee of Lord Ganesha. To see this creative person’s perseverance towards a unique art, which he developed and mastered over a period of 48 long years makes each person wonder and praise his creation year after year. Yes! He is the creator of SABOODANA GANESH - RANGOLI. Imagine, for 48 long continuous years, Mohankumar has dedicated his youth and old age towards the love and devotion for Lord Ganesha. He is very famous in Mulund, Mumabi for his creation. Every year people come from all over Mumbai, Pune, Gujrat, Delhi, Calcutta and local suburbs to see his unique art form and pay respect and appreciate Lord Ganesha’s picture made in Saboodana / Sago.

The only man whose records have not been recorded because he’s not at all interested to make this art common. But he reminisces how it all started, “In the year 1960, my chawl friend Kanubhai Joshi (now Late) came and took me to Dadar and showed me Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj made by grains. It looked beautiful and the art form inspired me. The devotion as it is was with the whole family, so we planned to start from next year. I was 17 then (in 1961) and for the first time made Ganesha with 10 to 12 coloured grains like rice, wheat, jeera etc. We used to live in a single room house but the devotion and father’s faith towards Lord Ganesha gave me encouragement and support to continue this art”. But the main reason to continue his creation year after year came after Magsyay Award winner Shastriji Pandurang Vaidyanath Athwale visited their house and appreciated this young boy’s hard work and dedication. Mohan Kumar was so much enlightened by Shastriji’s words that he vowed to create a new form each year. Today, he is proud to have kept his vow since the last 48 long years, uninterrupted.

Today, at 65 when he looks back, he says, “I started sagos / saboodana to get more realistic effects and freedom to try more challenging pictures. In 1963, I coloured sagos in full but still there were limited shades of colours. But today I used near about 300 shades to get the 3-D effect. I am glad that my elder brother Meghji Dodecha – famous Gujarati Poet (Pen name Meghbindu), after the demise of my father gave me full support and encouragement to continue this art. I have friends who have stood by me since last 48 years and I am really very much thankful to them, who have stood by the time” His friends Dayaram Hindisotta (since last 48 years) & Photographer Bhupesh Joshi (last 38 years) assist Mohankumar during this 20 days of uninterrupted work 18 hours a day. The size of his creation is usually 40 to 50 square feet, that is size varies from 7 to 10 feet into 5 and half to 7 feet in dimension and he uses almost 40 kilos of saboodana for the whole picture.

Mohankumar’s qualification will really inspire a lot of young students to pursue their interest. But he warns, “ You may do ten things at a time but then the devotion towards each art form should be the same. Then only one can achieve talent and mastery in life. One must be passionate towards what he is trying to do.” Yes! Passion is the right word to describe Mohankumar’s creation. He is G. D. Art in Commercial from the Bandra School of Art (now Raheja School Of Art), a Diploma holder in Interior Designing from the JJ School of Art – Mumbai and has done a short course in Video & Photography from the Indo – American Society in Mumabi. Having such a creative knowledge of art makes this man to select his pictures for his creation much more easy and satisfying. He has been an ardent fan of Legendary Artist from Gulburga

Shri (late) S. M. Pandit. Mohankumar doesn’t hesitate to tell about his association with this legendary artist, when he was alive.

The ‘Masterpiece’ is worth to see to believe that, what nobody could achieve, this man has been making each year with all fervour and love towards Lord Ganesha since the last 48 years. His rangoli in saboodana can be described in just a single word of appreciation. Surprised! Wondering! Well! When one sees it, he exclaims, “A Masterpiece!” “Awesome!” “Unique!” “Great!” “Amazing!” That’s the kind of reaction this gentleman has been getting over the years from lakhs of devotees, art critics and art lovers. When Mohankumar was asked to describe his own feat, he says with a smile, “Once who come to see it, has to visit it every year come what may? And it’s the most satisfying feeling for an artist that people from the bottom of the heart has appreciated his work and dedication. I cave for nothing except that Lord Ganesha has given me this art to reach out to people. I am just doing what HE is guiding me to do!”

The SABOODANA GANESH - RANGOLI is opened for Art Lover & Devotees from 11th September 2008 till 21st September 2008. So how does the visarjan or immersion take place? Emotionally Mohankumar recounts, “They all mix the sagos and make a ball and immerse it in Thane. I am always away when the immersion process take place. I can’t see it and I feel sad. But then the saboodana can’t stay for a long period. It’s pathetic and the saddest part of my creation. But every year I take photographs to keep them in my album.” Apart from this Mohankumar has been creating various forms of Ganesha with a new medium each year. He has used wood, paper, granite, rope, pearls, brass, plywood, wires & mesh, marbles, pebbles, stain glass, wooden blocks, panch dhatu or five metals, copper, cotton, steel, limestone, plastic, cloth, metals, mino work, wool, beads and net. And the beauty of his creation is that no two Ganesha are similar. Each is created with amazing finesse and creativity.

This Year the Theme of Rangoli is “WAR BETWEEN GANESH & PARSHURAM”.

Rangoli will be display for the art lovers and devotees from 11.09.2008 to 21.09.2008

From 10am to 10pm At :

4, Umiya Bhuvan, Dr. R P Road, Opp. Vardhaman Nagar,

Mulund (West), Mumbai – 400 080.

Mob. : 93204 40877.

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