It is often said and believed that records are made to be broken. Though this one by Pinky Jaydep Bhatt of Ahmedabad, which is indeed interesting may be a tough one to break. Bhatt entered the Limca Book of Records by creating the longest painting consisting of a ‘Collage of celebrated women’- Called Shree Shakti, the painting is 3.3 ftx130ft which took a mammoth 3,500 hours spread over two years and four months to get complete. Having consumed an approximate six kilograms of colour for the painting that Bhatt began working on in November 1999 to go on till March 2002, it has women of substance painted on it – some dating back to the Harappan civilization.

But how did Bhatt consider the idea of taking up such a theme? “Stree Shakti is a concept that was on my mind since a while. I realized the fight women have to go through in this so called man’s world. Since medieval times women have undergone atrocities like the purdah system, Sati, the heinous act of killing the girl-child and many more untold problems. I decided to do something as a tribute to the spirit of women who’ve fought to search and retain their identities. I wanted to feature different Indian women in a single painting and this is how it happened,” says Bhatt. “I have been painting since childhood and have since found this medium best to acknowledge our great women personalities.”
How she went about completing her task,too, is astounding. “Once I decide on doing the painting I knew I’d have to know about all the personalities and this led me into the required research needed before I sat to paint them all. Spanning a period of 29 months, I have worked at least four to finve hours a day,” she shares.
Bhatt’s research goes back to Harrapan civilization and passes through different ages. “The traces of the first female to have ever performed in public come from the Harappan civilization. The first woman to be featured in my painting, therefore, happens to be a dancer from that civilization. The painting includes Vedkala, Gupt kala, Sultnat kala, Maratha kala, British kala and the modern age which includes women who are social workers, artists, businesswomen, dancers, musicians, authors and those belonging to the media, political circuit, science, sports and films among others,” informs Bhatt. But has she chosen specific clours in depicting these? “My painting mainly consists shades of blue and grey along with while. Blue is the primary colour that represents the universe-that which is our creator and a place we all have to go back to,” she reasons.

With the scenario changing and women making their mare in most areas, the subject for the painting stands as ideal. “Yes, today we have women working in almost all sectors and this have been possible due to subsequent hardwork put in by there great women.” Says Bhatt.

Tha painting by itself is a telling one though Bhatt has more to say: “Girls in the modern era must acknowledge the efforts out in by the great women and must lead a meaningful life. That, indeed, will be a life well lived.


Inauguration by
Shri Mrinalini V. Sarabhai, Shri Bnasilal Varma-Chakor, Shri Chanu Modi, Shri Ishwarbhai Makwana