"I like to make abstract human figures and think of them as the wood's spirit coming out to view the world with me. To me, my sculptures are the epitome of our oneness with nature."
"I was born and brought up in a hill station, Uttranchal. I was a wanderer, and always spent my time wandering in the jungle. I just love its beauty – the trees, the rivers, the ponds. Fallen trees that form bridges over the streams, the chirping of birds and the sun rays peeking through the thick mass of trees delight me.
"I tried working in different things, but I would much prefer to go wandering in the woods or play football with my friends. At the same time I'd collect unique stones and wood from the jungle. I realized the business world is not my thing.
"One day I happened to notice an old sculpture my uncle had made. It was all roughly colored, but there was something interesting about the piece. I removed the paint and modified it using my own creativity and it came out really well. This is how I started my profession of wood sculpting. I started collecting old wood from the jungle and sculpting it into unique pieces of art.
"Each piece of wood is a piece of art for me. When I go wood hunting to the river and jungle, I become one with nature – I lose count of time. I can go on for hours without food or water. It is such a peaceful ambiance and every time I enter the jungle I thank God for the blessing and talent he has bestowed on me.
"Another reason why I love my work is that it does not harm our eco system. I have never cut any trees or parts of them to create my sculptures. I love nature and there can be no better way to tell the world that, but through my art.
"I pick every broken piece of wood that I come across in the jungle, as well as driftwood by the riverside. At times I know what I am going to create at a first glance: it's as if just by picking up a piece of wood, it narrates you its story.
"Other times, I bring the piece of wood home and ponder on it. For me, the actual sculpting does not take so much time. It is the creative thinking which takes time.
"I like to make abstract human figures and think of them as the wood's spirit coming out to view the world with me. To me, my sculptures are the epitome of our oneness with nature.
"I remember when, about 30 years ago when I first started, I got hold of a big chunk of wood with a big stone encrusted in it. I started working on it and it turned out as an amazing abstract piece of art and yet, when I turn it upside down it looks like a human figure trying to throw the stone -- it is an amazing effect! It's a big piece, about 3 to 4 feet long, so I keep it outside our home and passersby tend to stop to look and admire the piece as though it was a meticulously crafted sculpture. To this day I still have that piece and I always draw inspiration from it.
"Seeing my creativity, people started appreciating my work. Family and friends advised me to come to Delhi, so I moved here and though it wasn't easy my sculptures gradually became popular. In 1996 I met the Commissioner of Handicrafts who gave me the opportunity to participate in government sponsored exhibitions and since then I have been fortunate to participate in exhibitions in Bombay, Goa, Bangalore and Delhi, among others. It has been definitely a good experience so far, and I want to enjoy this beautiful journey in art for a very long time."