As a little boy he used to make ‘gharonda’ (house) from wet sand during rainy seasons after school. He never imagined that one day he would be sculpting ‘moort-roop’ (statues) of heroes from metal cast against national emblems. He was never discouraged by his parents from playing in wet mud. His father, a schoolteacher, rather asked him to join a fine art class.
Later, the boy grew up learning the art and took a degree in Sculpture Art from the University of Rajasthan. He is a full-fledged sculptor today. This is the story of 45-year-old Laxman Vyas, who hails from Nohar in the Hanumangarh district of Rajashthan.
Laxman sculpted over 300 items including statues, various kinds of emblems put on pillars and on the rooftop of the government buildings in the last 20 years at least living in Pink City of Jaipur.
“I started sculpting with making a statue of Shyam Singh Atari which was placed at Wagah Border. Then I made a 57 feet tall Maharana Pratap statue in Udaipur, Elephant statues at Delhi Airport, statues of Jawahar Lal Nehru, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya and Indira Gandhi were some of my own creations,” he recalls.
The National Emblem, popularly known as ‘Ashok Stambh’ designed and sculpted and installed on top of the new Parliament building in Delhi is made by the Pink City’s sculptor Laxman and his team of artists.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi who unveiled the national emblem for the new Parliament building greeted the young artist Laxman and patted him at a function at the site of an event yesterday in Delhi for his wonderful creation in just five months’ time.
“PM Modiji specially called me, congratulated me and said it is an amazing work you did,” he told SNS.
According to Laxman, the four sided Ashok Stambh (images of lion) is 6.5 metre high, weighs about 9620 kg (nine tone, 620 kg) metal, and made up of mainly copper and mixed with tin. The big carved emblem has four lions mounted back to back on a circular abacus. Frieze of abacus adorned with sculptures of an elephant, a horse, a bull, and a lion separated by dharma chakra.
“I got a contract to start work on it in February 2022, and made it in 150 pieces with the hard work of 40 junior artists under my guidance. All pieces transported in a truck were joined by a gas welder at the site,” he said.
When asked about its cost, the artist declined to disclose it saying he was asked not to divulge the price of the art work. However, during the interaction with him, this correspondent could figure it the cost goes in crores of rupees which included his labour for art and sculpture.
“I have a passion and love for sculpture making. One of my sons has followed my footprint while another is still studying in school,” said.