Born in a typical Indian middle class family, she was expected to be an engineer but something happened along the way, She became one of the most loved and appreciated sand artist of India instead. She was special, she wasn’t meant to follow the path made by others, she was made to redefine it for herself. She knows what she wants and wouldn’t settle for anything less. She is a beautiful balance of grace and determination. She is changing the narrative with her art and her story with the most unexpected medium, Sand. Here’s Manisha Swarnkar, India’s first women sand artist in conversation with Resha.
What are the best mistakes you ever made? Mistakes that turned out real fun?
Well, picking up engineering was a mistake as I wasn’t supposed to be an engineer. But somehow it brought me to where I am today. My passion for designing took a flight in those very four years.
If you could get a chance to drink with any historical figure, who would it be and why?
I’d rather sit and have a couple of drinks with Kseniya simonova and Illana yahav whom I venerate. I’d love to get a chance to know how they get inspired to make such amazing sand art visuals.
What was the best thing about how your parents raised you?
I have lived with my family till I graduated. I have seen them giving up a lot of big and small dreams and aspirations. There was a time when they had to cut down their expenses to a level where they couldn’t even afford to buy a cup of tea from outside. I have learned how small things can make a difference, I have learned to value happiness.
What’s fashion to you?
Fashion for me is something that I am most comfortable and confident in.
What does being an artist mean to you?
Art, for me, is something very pious. And a true artist is one who can express their views through their art with purity. Their instincts should be natural and not influenced by what’s popular.
Tell us your Happiest childhood memory?
Well my childhood vacation used to be awesome that way. I used to go to my maternal grand-parents’ place where I and my cousins used to pick mangoes from the backyard, fly kites, sometimes make them, catch fireflies, eat fish that was freshly barbequed in the courtyard, counting stars in the night, and much more. Pure bliss!
A quote that you swear by
When I was in 12th standard I read this quote in one of my brother’s study material books – “Challenges are high, dreams are new, the world out there is waiting for you, dare to dream, dare to try, no goal is too distant, no star is too high.”
What is the most unusual fear you have?
Exams 😛 I get this recurring nightmare that I am going to fail in my engineering exams.
What would be the absolute perfect day for you?
Every artist has a masterpiece. The day I create mine will be the absolute perfect day for me.
What is travelling for you?
Discovering more about nature and people, getting to know them better. I am curious that ways.
What makes you truly happy?
When people around me say they love what I do with sand.
What is absolute freedom for you?
Freedom to say No, or Yes.
Any song that is closest to your life?
As of now, the songs that are closest to me are the ones I have recently worked on.