Abu Dhabi, August 12: Indian armed forces are being applauded across the world for their efforts, dedication and hard work to keep the country safe. But UAE based painter Akbar Saheb is getting ready to unveil his latest creation: a tribute to the men of India's armed forces, in anticipation of India's upcoming Independence Day celebrations.
Akbar Saheb will pay tribute to Indian armed forces via his painting and after the Independence Day, he will put the painting on the auction block, with all the proceeds going to a charity that focuses on helping soldiers and their families.
Notably, Akbar Saheb’s creation is mainly inspired by the hardships and sacrifices of Indian army personnel which will be unveiled to the public for the first time over this weekend. While talking to local media in UAE, Akbar Saheb said "India has borders with Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and Nepal. The Indian soldiers are securing our country and our lives." "There are a lot of terrorist attacks too. Too many. But, still, day and night, the soldiers everywhere are taking care of our country," he added.
Saheb further noted that he was particularly inspired by the soldiers assigned to patrol high-altitude sectors of the country's border. "In places like Kargil, for example, it is so cold that they can't even breathe properly. They have to be alert 24 hours a day no matter what. If they are neglectful, they might take a bullet," Saheb said. "They are struggling a lot," he added. "But the normal public doesn't really think about the soldiers, or what they are doing."
Many of his paintings, Sahed stated, are inspired by a longing for his homeland. "I miss my country. I miss the culture. There are thousands and thousands of languages, and that sort of culture is what I miss," he said. "I am always looking at things on Google and reading about it." "But, when I go, I don't spend more than two or three days there, because I can't be away from painting," he added. "Only when I am painting can I relax. I only go for exhibitions or events."
Akbar Saheb, who hails from Udipi of Karnataka, settled in UAE over 20 years ago, and quickly began using his uncanny artistic ability to document the times and achievements of both his native country. Since arriving in the UAE, he's composed well over 1,000 works of art on a variety of topics.
Among his crowning achievements are a series of 12 portraits of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which are based on the electoral promises he made to Indians during the campaign. However, during PM Modi's visit to the UAE in August 2015, Saheb presented one of the paintings to the Prime Minister at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Interestingly, Saheb gained the distinction of being the only artist with illustrations in PM Modi's book, Mann Ki Baat, which was unveiled in May at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi in the presence of then-Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
Other notable works of Saheb's are a number of painting series dedicated to the UAE's leadership, including Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development and the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, as well as a series dedicated to the Emirati soldiers who were martyred in Yemen in 2015.