Watch: Kerala boy, 14, in Dubai makes special Modi portrait as Republic Day tribute

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Saran Sasikumar and family present Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s portrait to Indian minister V. Muraleedharan.
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A 14-year-old boy in Dubai has made a special portrait of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a tribute to mark the Indian Republic Day that falls on January 26.

The six-layered stencil portrait, measuring 90cm by 60cm, is drawn by Saran Sasikumar, a grade nine student of New Indian Model School in Dubai. It is set to reach Modi in a few days after he got a chance to present it to Indian minister V. Muraleedharan, who wound up a three-day visit to the UAE on Thursday night. The Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs has promised to present the portrait to Modi, Saran and family told Gulf News on Friday.

In a Twitter post on Friday morning, the minister posted a photo of him accepting the portrait from Saran and his parents and wrote: “Happy to meet in #Dubai the talented young artist Saran Sasi Kumar from Kerala, now a resident in #UAE. He presented this beautiful portrait, a 6 layered stencil painting, to our PM @narendramodi ji as a Republic Day gift. Truly inspiring! My best wishes to him.”

Saran drew the picture of Modi receiving a guard of honour during the 50th year celebration of the foundation of India’s Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in 2019. The PM is seen wearing a wide-brimmed cavalry hat with the logo of CISF while saluting the CISF guards.

It took around six hours to draw the picture with layers of six colour shades said Saran, who has drawn 92 portraits including those of top UAE leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A big Modi fan, this is not the first Modi picture that Saran has drawn. He had also made another five-layered stencil portrait of Modi — which measured 1.5m by 1m — in October last year. He has bagged a grandmaster certification from Asia Book of Records and another certificate from India Book of Records for that stencil art portrait.

Though he had begun showing interest in art when he was as young as eight by making mural paintings, Saran said his interest in painting portraits grew only recently. “The first portrait I made was of my parents for their wedding anniversary two years ago. After that it was during the stay-home period due to COVID that I started drawing more portraits of friends and relatives.”

70 portraits in 5 months

Seeing the happiness of his loved ones when they received their portraits as gifts made him decide to draw more of them. He then began making stencil art portraits of celebrities and his favourite leaders of India and the UAE and completed 70 portraits in five months during the peak of the pandemic.

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Saran Sasikumar with portraits of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.
Image Credit: Supplied

Among the UAE leaders, he has made 90cm by 60cm multilayered stencil portraits of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces offers, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council as well as His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. “I am planning to finish the portraits of rulers of all the emirates in one month and I wish to hold an exhibition,” said Saran.

Portraits of India’s Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi and former president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam are also among his favourites. Saran said is thankful to his art teacher Krishnanand, his parents Sasikumar. G and Bindhu Sasikumar and his brother Sarath Sasikumar for their support and guidance.

The little artist is also a talented musician playing keyboard and tabla.

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