By Mona Singh, 40, Delhi
I was born deaf at a time when there was very little support available to the deaf in India. I joined a school for the deaf run by an ENT specialist where the emphasis was on vocalising, not sign language. At 13, I learnt painting from artist Vasundhara Tewari.
Then my father, an officer in RBI, was transferred to Mumbai. I studied art at B.D. Somani Institute of Art and Fashion Technology, and won several awards, including Student of the Year. I also got a diploma in computer art and multimedia.
We returned to Delhi after dad retired. I held several art exhibitions, group and solo, and make a little money by selling paintings. I also participated in Art4Life 2010, a national-level painting exercise to produce India’s largest canvas on HIV/AIDS. I am now honing my skills under artist Rajesh K Sharma.
My mother and her sister passed away three years ago, and it hasn’t been a good time for me and my dad. Delhi is not a friendly city, though I had many friends in Mumbai. I cannot go out without my dad, and no one visits us. There aren’t too many jobs for the differently abled either.
I look forward to my painting classes where I can meet other people. It lifts my loneliness a bit. And I like to stay fit. I exercise at home and at the gym, and go for swimming daily. I did 110 laps yesterday at the pool.
I miss my mom’s food. She was a fantastic cook.