Absolute interestingly, he cruises Dubai roads from 4pm to 4am daily to earn his livelihood and support his family back home in India. It’s a hard life all too well known. But when he returns to his room in Al Nahda, Sharjah and casts his eyes on the colour palette, the fatigue of the 12-hour night shift suddenly cause to vanish. Instinctively, his hand reaches for the brush like a man possessed.
(Black and White Masterpiece: Hamza with his current work)
Meet cabbie Hamza Erimakunnath from Kerala, and the artist behind the Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) 2013 calendar.
Distributed last week, the calendar represents the enormous talent and commitment of the 39-year-old taxi driver who has pursued his passion for painting despite the demands of a hectic job.
In fact, while proudly showing us them the calendar he said that he could not have asked for anything better in his life while he added fighting back tears that Firstly, his company recognised his talent and gave him an opportunity to showcase it. Moreover, the RTA staff have constantly supported him and that he could not have come this far without them.
Hamza, who earns Dh4,000 monthly said that his happiness knew no bounds when RTA approached him in the middle of January to make water-colour paintings of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum for the calendar while they also gave him a month’s leave for the task. By end of his one-month break, he had made 17 portraits of His Highness, 12 of which were chosen for the calendar. Hamza’s talent was earlier recognised by RTA in an internal talent show in which he walked home with the top prize. He also expressed that “On National Day two years ago he won RTA’s talent contest. From then on, his manager has been supporting him, but to be part of the RTA calendar is the greatest moment for him.
An absolute genius...
Absolute delightful to know that his room resembles a studio filled with several oil paintings of UAE leaders. A massive 58 x 40 inch portrayal of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan with His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, stands out which he saw as a picture in a book and decided to paint it which took him two months to finish it.
Hamza is currently putting the finishing touches to a 32 x 23 inch portrait of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan smiling at a falcon which according to Hamza is one of his best works. It’s a black and white piece and he is very excited about it.
Now, the remarkable factor remains that working the night shift from 4pm until 4am, where does he regain all the energy to pursue his passion?
Hamza said he started painting at the age of five and said that where there is a will there is a way while he said that his family lives in India and he miss them a lot. He want to spend every minute of his life being away from them justifying it in a useful way. It seems, Painting helps him do that.
He continued saying that in his home town, he struggled to get his paintings to reach the right people. But here in Dubai, thanks to his company and their support, he have been able to maximise his talent.
As a concluding fact, Hamza said that one need one hour in a day just for yourself to pursue our passion and we never know when it could become the next big thing in our life.
That's perhaps a great truth indeed as time and hard work declares everything good or bad in our life!
But yes, talent is genuinely required to justify it the most!
Image source: Gulf news