It all started when Swarna Kilari’s husband Dileep Konatham came across an English book named A Brief Hour of Beauty which is based on a real-life story which happened during the late 1970s, written by author Ammu Nair. “It was in 2014 that my husband asked me to read this book and when I read, I couldn’t stop my tears. And he asked me, why don’t you translate this into Telugu? I was never a serious writer; my writing stints were limited to writing small posts on social media,” says Swarna, who completed translating the book in one-and-a-half months.
The book talks about the real-life story of the only son of MT Joseph and Chinnamma Joseph, who stayed in Kochi. When Edmund Thomas Clint was just six months old, he first drew a circle which looked perfect. Since then, he drew whatever he saw around him — the animals, nature, human body and Hindu Gods. When he was two-and-a-half, the boy suffered from diarrhoea, and due to wrong treatment, his kidneys failed. And, unfortunately, Clint died one month before celebrating his seventh birthday. He left behind a whopping collection of 25,000 paintings and a great void in the world of art. Till date, his parents exhibit his art in exhibitions.
From plain pencil drawings to crayons, each picture carries a deeper meaning of life or nature. If one sees the art work created by him, he just leaves everyone dumbstruck the way he painted the pictures of death, solitude, love and compassion. Swarna used nearly 80 of his art works in her book and the book is more of a biography peppered with illustrations done by Clint.
“When I started to read this book in 2014, as a mother of a six-year-old, I got connected instantly and was perennially in tears as I was reading through — page after page. We visited Kerala and personally met Chinnamma Joseph before writing the book, and I was unhappy to hear that her husband Joseph passed away just a few months ago,” says Swarna, a science graduate who was born and brought up in Khammam.
An engaging narrative, it’s the kind of book nobody can leave halfway, which also shows the brilliance of the writer! The book is available in Visalaandhra Book House, Navachethana Book House, and Navodaya Book House. “A few of my friends ask ‘when is Clint coming to our house?’ or say ‘Clint is in my hand’. Such good responses inspire and give me confidence to write more,” Swarna says and adds that she plans to come up with a children’s project soon.
Title: Liptha Kaalapu Swapnam
Author: Swarna Kilari
Price: Rs 275