I dont know where to start !
I was born in 1945 before we got Independence in a small place in Karnataka, Udupi. Udupi is a cultural and educational centre in South India.
I loved all forms of art, I think it is because of my mother. She was very good at needle work. Also, she was very enthusiastic in learning new designs. Her encouragement helped me to try my hands in many things. I was making beautiful shell dolls when I was in high school. I was also very good at embroidery like my mother. My art teacher in school thought I am good at drawing and made me to do some water colour paintings which I have preserved for last five decades! Actually I was 'Jack of all but master of none! ' That was my childhood!
My dream was to become a doctor.
Dreams are dreams they can not become reality, most of the time they are destroyed! But, in reality we become something else.
I graduated with History, Economics and English literature. I did my Masters in Sociology after my elder son was born.
Mariage, children, house work, office work every thing together kept me very busy. I served in a nationalised bank for 25 years and took voluntary retirement in 1999!
I have to tell you about my other passion. I was a vorascious reader from my childhood. My love towards literature has come to me from my father who was a journalist and a writer. He was a stirct desplinarian. His personality influenced me a lot.
I had a flair for writing from my schooldays. I used to win prizes in the school compititions. In collage my articals in English were published in college magazines. But I never dreampt of becoming a writer. Somehow, I started writing poems, essays, short stories and novels. Slowly my writings were accepted for publishing in all the leading magazines and papers in Kannada. Femina, a English weekly also published my articals in english.Without dreaming I became a writer! So far I have published 28 books. Out of this 8 are novels, 4 collection of poems, 2 collection of essays, 2 collections of short stories, 2 life stories of senior women writers,1 travellogue and remaining are published under my editorhip. Recent addition is my autobiography in 2012. As a writer I was connected with various literary organisations. In 2000 I became the president of Karnataka Women Writers association which is a very reputed and well organised organiation with more than 1000 members who are interested in literature and writers. This face of my life enriched me with lot of new experiences and brought me name and fame. I was also associated with many social service organisations of national fame.
Everything was going fine. My 2 boys are well settled. I have one grandson who is the source of happiness. My husband was also retired and we were leading our life peacefully. But God had different plans. He is very good at destroying our plans! In 2005 we met with a serious, almost fatal road accident. We, my husband and me were confined to bed for almost 6 months. This issolation from the outside world opened some unknown world to me. My artist friend Mrs Nimi Ravindranath pursuaded me to try with oilpaints and brushes. With her guidance I restarted painting after almost 45 years, i.e.when I was 60! My sons were very supportive. This helped me to overcome the trauma of the accident and pain. Painting enabled me to come out of the trauma and now I am enjoying my second life with colours!
Within 2 years I had a solo exihibition and received lot of appreciation. I have participated in some group exhibitions.
I have recovered well mentally though physically I cant run arround much. There is lot of difference in me and my husband in coming out of the trauma. I am a winner. But my husband has not yet come out of the trauma. He went into deppression.
Thanks to this art and that almighty who took something out of me but blessed me with something interesting! This has given me mental strength to go on with life. Now my motto is Be happy and Live for today since we dont know what is in store for us tomorrow.
Because of this I am there with you all -the proffessional artists! Thanks to Artslant!
If you visit My website- http//:www.usha-rai.com. and My blog www.usharai.blogspot.com. you can know about me more.
My paintings are exhibited in art galleries www. fineartamerica.com and www.indianartkart.com. ; www.orangeartgallery.com and with a very active interactive group of www.idrawandpaint.com.
In Orange art gallery I was considered as the Artist of the month in March 2011 and Featured artist for the month of July 2011. I Was interviewed by the artists of orange art gallery during the days 19th to 25th July 2011 (online)
I have sold some paintings. 20% out of the sale proceeds of the paintings is going to social service organisations mainly for educating poor girl child..