Thursday, January 28, 2016

Arise O Son of Kunti

Maj Somnath Sharma grew up listening to stories from Bhagvad Geeta from his grand father and was inspired to become a soldier. Little did anyone know then that eventually he will be an example of courage and determination and a source of inspiration for generations to come. 
He came from a family of soldiers and doctors and did his schooling at the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College (Now Rashtriya Indian Military College). Later he joined the Royal Military Academy and then was commissioned into the 8th Battalion, 19th Hyderabad Regiment (later 4th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment) of the Indian Army. The last battle that he fought was the battle of Badgam to defend the Kashmir valley. 
Under heavy fire and outnumbered seven to one, he urged his company to fight bravely, often exposing himself to danger as he ran from post to post. Despite the forward two platoons falling, Sharma desperately clung to his position with the depth platoon.

While he was busy fighting the enemy, a mortar shell exploded on the ammunition near him. His last message to Brigade HQ received a few moments before he was killed was

"The enemies is only 50 yards from us. We are hopelessly outnumbered. I will not withdraw one inch but fight to the last man last round." (from Wikipedia) 
When he was martyred in battle of Badgam a copy of Geeta was recovered from his pocket. Posthumously he was awarded the very first Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry award of India.

This painting was done during Sanskar Bharati youth artist camp in Mumbai (24 Dec to 27 Dec 2015). The challenge was to create a 2x3 ft painting in acrylic depicting the childhood story of a famous personality which will serve as an inspiration for young generation. The painting had to be created completely from imagination without the help of any references. This was really a heavy challenge attempting which gave a huge amount of learning. And a big thank you to Kamath Vasudeo sir without whose guidance I would have been completely lost. Also thanks to Sanskar Bharati for selecting me for the camp. It was great to meet artists from all over India and learn from them.