Kozhikode, Sep 30, 2021: Jasna Salim, a Muslim woman from Kerala’s Kozhikode, is beaming with joy as one of her dreams has accomplished on September 26 after she presented her Lord Krishna painting before the deity in a temple. Though not trained as an artist, 28-year-old Jasna started making paintings of Lord Krishna for the past six years.
“As a member of a conservative Muslim family, I never had the chance to learn the stories of Krishna or see his images. I have not seen even the TV serials on Krishna. I began to paint Lord Krishna quite accidentally," Jasna, the mother of two children, told News18.com.
Jasna, who has more than 500 paintings of Lord Krishna, never got a chance to visit a temple to see how it looks like, before last Sunday. “My teachers would be laughing if they learn that I am drawing Lord Krishna as I used to copy a map while in school," said Jasna as she could not control her joy while narrating the story behind her paintings.
Interestingly, Jasna, the youngest of three daughters of Majeed and Sophia, was fondly called ‘Kannaa’ by her parents and other family members. “The family called me by that name playfully. However, I had no idea that it was the name of Lord Krishna. It was my husband who is a communist, after my marriage, told me the meaning and the deity," she said.
Then one day Jasna saw a picture of Lord Krishna, eating butter from a pot, on a paper that someone had brought to her house. “I was pregnant and was on bed rest. When I saw the picture of Kannan in the paper, it kindled me to paint one such picture,” said Jasna, adding, “When I finished it, my husband appreciated the work as it looked nice. But he advised me to gift it to someone. So I gifted it to one of the family friends, a Hindu family."
“One day, the family told me that a lot of positive changes have happened in their lives after placing my painting at their home. The word spread and many people approached me for the Lord Krishna paintings,” she narrated.
After this, she got support from her husband who encouraged her to follow her interest in painting. Many people bought her paintings. Then she started gifting the Lord Krishna paintings to the Shree Krishna temple at Guruvayur on two occasions - Vishu and Shree Krishna Jayanti. She would present the painting to the temple administrators as non-Hindus are not allowed to enter.
Meanwhile, her husband asked her to stop making paintings after some people raised objections. But, one day, a woman who had bought her painting came to meet her and appreciated her work. “She could not express her joy as she believed the picture changed her life forever…So I told my husband that I wish to continue drawing as it is not harming anyone but making them happy. He agreed and told me to continue if it makes me happy," Jasna said.
Earlier, Jasna used to paint Lord Krishna on demand without any charge, but later she started accepting money as she found it difficult to meet her expenses.
She visited a temple and presented the painting after a devotees’ group approached her seeking an artwork to be gifted to the Ulanadu Sree Krishna Swamy temple in Pathanamthitta district. “I have no words to express my happiness and my gratitude to the authorities of the Ulanadu Sree Krishna Swamy temple for the opportunity," Jasna said.
“Though I tried to paint other images, I can only paint one image to perfection - Little Krishna sitting with a butter pot and now everyone is demanding that image. When I draw ‘Kannan’, I receive satisfaction and I finish it in perfection." said Jasna.