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Sydney mum Smita Nashikkar has claimed the top prize in Indian Link Radio’s Mother’s Day talent contest Main Bhi Kalakaar (Season 2), for her photographic works.
Hiral Adhyaru, also of Sydney, took the Highly Commended prize for her YouTube poetry recitations.
A skilled photographer, Smita’s photos are seen often on community social media, and increasingly on that of ABC. Breathtaking in their beauty, they are almost always of landscapes – mountains, oceans, sunsets and sunrises.
Hiral’s presentations of poetry and prose in Hindi are reaching a large YouTube audience and are often heard on Indian Link Radio.
Smita and Hiral’s entries were picked from 38 entries nationwide this year. Unlike Season 1 of this contest in 2019 which was restricted to song and dance, this year’s talent quest opened up to a variety of skill genres. Besides photography and poetry, the participants showcased their talent in fields as varied as painting, mandala dot paintings, Worli art, mehendi art, sketching, crochet, knitting, travel videography, dance, singing, handmade paper crafts, decoupage, doll making, ceramics, keyboard playing, cooking, baking, jewellery making and fancy dress making for kids.
Smita’s work in photography, including her recent interest in drone photography, shone through as an outstanding entry. Hiral’s clear diction, choice of literary works and personable style of delivery also suitably impressed the judges.
The contest Main Bhi Kalakaar (I’m an artiste too), designed by Indian Link Radio’s Station Manager Ekta Sharma, ran for nearly three weeks. Kids nominated their mums, but self-nominations were welcome too.
The winners were announced live on air on presenter Meenakshi Kalia’s evening show Sunday Sunset on Mother’s Day 9 May. Both winners dropped by in the studios the following day to accept their awards live on air with presenter Ekta Sharma on the show Good Morning Australia. The ladies accepted their prizes from Indian Link CEO Pawan Luthra.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Smita said later. “It felt great to have won.”
She revealed on the show that in fact it was her role as a mum that got her into photography. “I still call kids’ photography my favourite kind of photography. I love creating portraits of kids and newborns, the more candid, the better!”
Hiral opened up about her other creative endeavours in mandala art.
Both mums spoke about how their side passions over and above full-time work and family responsibilities have touched their children.
Hiral’s sons, 11 and 9, have begun to share her passions and follow in her footsteps.
“I do believe that our kids do as we do, not as we say,” she mused. “I love the precious hours I spend with my boys doing mandala art – we get to share our thoughts and feelings as we paint and it binds us closer, in a whole new dimension.”
Smita revealed that her biggest fan is her 11-year-old daughter, who urges her on to produce more. “She is herself not interested in photography though, her passion lies in tech at the moment. I’m willing to allow her to explore her own passions.”
The intent behind the Mother’s Day contest was to present to our young families that our mums are more than care-givers and bread-winners, that they are individuals with their own particular passions and loves, and that we must acknowledge and highlight these even as they nourish the very same in us.
“Main Bhi Kalakaar Season 2 was just as special as the first season,” Ekta Sharma reflected later. “Every mum is a kalakaar. We just need to give them a little cheer and energy to come up and show their flairs! Radio is a powerful medium to showcase the same, as we celebrate and honour the maternal figures in our lives. Thanks to all the mums who sent in their kalakaaris.”
Given the immense response, Ekta believes the third season has to be even bigger now. Start getting crafty, mums!
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