By Amith Rahul
An art exhibition by 16-year-old Siddharth Muraly Nair is going to be held at New Delhi from the 1st of November 2018. A child with Asperger’s Syndrome will hold the exhibition titled “Me, Siddharth: Reminiscences of an Asperger’s Mind”, at the Open Palm Court Gallery of the India Habiat Center. This is Siddharth’s second solo exhibition and the first exhibition in New Delhi.
Siddharth was born in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman in August 2001 and moved to Geneva, Switzerland where he spent his early childhood. At the age of two and half years, he started loosing his acquired linguistic skills and was subsequently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Siddharth, however, retained a strong interest in colors and shapes and started painting as early as two years. In the coming years a photographic memory of colors, shapes and events will characterize him. He started his schooling at the Montessori School in Commugny and later on at the Geneva International School but had severe struggle improving language and communication skills. In search of alternative ways of assistance in a family setting, they relocated to his grand parents home in Aluva. Asperger’s syndrome, where the kids have normal IQ but limited language and social skills, was not well understood hence it was not easy finding a school for him. Over fifty schools including Government schools rejected his admission requests. Siddharth eventually started schooling at the Choice School in Thripunithura which provided him with a protective atmosphere and supportive teachers. Siddharth overcame many of his linguistic and social challenges in the next 10 years . Siddharth is currently doing his plus two at the Choice School.
All through his schooling, under the guidance from his mother, he continued to develop his painting and drawing skills . MrRajiv (RLV)and Mr Lipu (Chinmaya Vaduthala) provided him with additional support. In January 2018, Siddharth conducted his first exhibition in Ernakulam which met with enthusiastic support from public and media. Watching his paintings will bring home the true meaning of the term “differently abled”. Siddharth’s journey have inspired many other parents of differently abled children to identify and promote the true talents of their special child.
The works which will be on exhibition in Delhi later this week include a series of drawings which Siddharth has drawn from his memory during his age two to five when he had lost his speech. Siddharth is also presenting some pen drawings where he is establishing his own style. Siddharth has also made a drawing of his impressions about the recent flood events in Kerala.
“Our society really don’t understand children with different abilities. We hope our efforts to show case Siddharth’s work will increase the societies understanding of such children as well as inspire many more parents to nurture and promote the special talents of their children”, said Muralee Thummaurkudy, father of Siddharth and Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction at United Nations Environment.
The exhibition will be opened by Honorable Justice Kurian Joseph, judge of the Supreme Court of India at 6 PM on Thursday 1st November. The exhibition will be open from 10 AM to 7 PM on Friday 2nd November and Saturday 3rd November at the Open Palm Court Gallery at the India Habitat Center.
Siddharth is the son of Dr Muralee Thummarukudy, Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction at the United Nations Environment Programme as well as winner of Kerala Sahithya Academy Award for literature. Dr Jayasree, a practicing pathologist at Lake Shore Hospital in Kochi is his mother and guide.