For the Love of Sculpting

In a village called Kuyilapalayam near Auroville in Tamil Nadu lives Ganesan, 43 years old, who is a sculptor and a part-time cook-cum-waiter. At his home he has his wife, two sons and one daughter. Ganesan is passionate about sculpting and has a small shop in Auroville main road. In morning time, he works at his shop in Auroville and in the evening he works at a restaurant.

It’s been 33 years since he started sculpting. He learned this art through a government scheme for three and a half year. His educational qualification is high school, after which he dropped out to pursue sculpting. He says he was never interested in studying. The money he gets from sculpting is not enough to carry out the expenses of his family, so he must work as a waiter in the evening. 

Its only seasonally that costumers turn to his shop, but this never affected his love for sculpting. There are days when he sees no sell still he sits with his tools and carves something out of stone. The tools he requires for this are not store bought. He gets them customized according to his needs. He carves stones, marbles into idols and makes pendants out of sea-shells. Marbles are transported from Agra for which he himself travels to buy the specific type. 

The restaurant Ganesan works in is situated in Puducherry. He receives Rs 5000/month from this work. This money is not enough to educate his three children and lead a life in todays date. To reduce the extra expenditures, he travels in his bicycle to work. 

During his school days he used to work in restaurants after school. This is how he learnt cooking and now cooks at Chez Nous la Maison. Pon beach was the very first restaurant he worked in. Then due to lack of understanding at the age of 15 he gave up restaurant work. 

He is worried that people are forgetting the ancient art forms. Very few people show interest in sculpting. “In future it might get extinct” he adds. The tallest idol he carved was two and a half ft.  

Even after all the hardships he suffers in life Ganesan never forgets to smile. 

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