By: Meetanjali Sood
The government’s decision to reserve 33% seats for women in public sector, educational institutions and the Parliament has given them a chance to understand their needs and rights in a better way, but for those who have the talent to excel there were hardly any fetters ever. Neelam Kalra, a Himachali painter, whose passion for art recently got recognition with her paintings being selected as one of the best entries showcased at the State Museum Shimla, is one such woman artist who has been able to make a name for herself riding on her confidence and commitment.
Hailing from Shimla, Neelam is a double postgraduate and gold medalist in history of arts and fine arts and has worked as a fine arts instructor at Government Colleges, Patiala and Rohtak for few years before marriage happened. Though she started exhibiting her innovations at an early age, before she could reach the sky that seemed limitless with her passion to paint, she willingly took the role of a wife and mother of two. Sacrificing her career for the sake of family did not make her realize that in the process she was killing her natural instinct of becoming an artist before her family finally persuaded her to realise her forgotten dream. She now works from home and spends all her time painting exceptionally beautiful abstracts and landscapes covering almost each and every emotion.
Neelam says she mastered painting all by herself and became her own inspiration and brought out her natural talent to paint while graduating at Panjab University. Thereafter, she won several events organized by Lalit Kala Academy, doing some figurative paintings and moving on to abstracts later. Her live works include statue of a lady at the famous Baradari Gardens, Patiala that was destroyed during a terrorist attack some years back. While age is no barrier for her to fulfill one’s dream with some extra reassurance and support from her family, she now plans to put up a solo collection at Gaiety Theatre in April next year.