Once I Got a Prize

When I was 13 I got a prize in a drawing competition. For this picture.

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The picture I got a price for.

As far as I can remember I was entered to the competition with this picture by my school. The picture was called “Mother is washing”. The competition was in an Indian paper which apparently held this competition yearly.

What I had in mind when doing this picture was the laundry room in the cellar of our apartment building. That was pre the existence of washing-machines. Washing was boiled in an enormous kettle and done by hand. And, no my mother did not have long hair and a bun at the neck…

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Shankar’s Weekly Children’s Art Number, 1957

I still have the issue, torn and turned, where my picture and name was published. This is how the text in the magazine started.

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So what did I win? A copy of the magazine and a small envelop-bag/clutch-bag in black velvet with hand-embroidered golden decorations. When it arrived it kind of smelled of India. I still have it. Then I thought “What kind of prize is this? What need do I have for an evening bag for parties?”. I was 13… Today I think it looks rather nice. It is lined and padded with both black velvet and some soft material that might be silk. You can see that it is handmade. Today I actually like it. I have never used it… it doesn’t really fit with the kind of parties I go to…

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The clutch-bag, front
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The clutch-bag, back

As the drawing had my name and adress written on it I got quite a few pen-pals (the equivalent of todays’ FaceBook…) from all over the world. Some I kept writing with for quite a few years. One in Eastern Germany, another in Japan.

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Nini at age 13. Mother had forced me to have a perm – something I really didn’t want and have never had since. Mother always wanted me to have curly hair…

Do I draw today? On and off. Some aquarelles sometimes. On the computer sometimes.

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Green valley, aquarelle by Nini, 1996
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