Bengaluru: While the country cheered Wing Commander Abhinandan’s return from Pakistan after his aircraft was shot down by that country during a post-Pulwama operation, a Bengalurean, A.C. Gurumurthy paid his own unique tribute to him. Using his manual typewriter, he took two hours to make his portrait from the letters, symbols, numbers and special characters on the keyboard.
Formerly an employee of the Bank of Baroda, he took voluntary retirement to pursue his dream of making portraits with his typewriter and has been going strong since. ‘I can proudly say that I’m the first type- artist not only in India, but in the world,’ claims Mr Gurumurthy, revealing that he completed his senior typewriting course in the late 1960s and later came up with the idea of making portraits of leaders and famous personalities using his typing skills.
“My first type -portrait was of Senator Robert Kennedy of the United States, who was assassinated on June 6, 1968, and my latest portrait is of Abhinandan,” he says. Former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Mahatma Gandhi, Lord Buddha, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mother Teresa are among the many other world figures he has drawn using his typewriter, a skill that seems to come easy to him.
“I keep a photograph of the personality I want to draw before me and using a pencil, draw the outlines on the typing sheet before feeding in the letters, special characters etc. to finish the portrait,” he explains. With 100 such type- portraits under his belt over the last 51 years, he regularly organises exhibitions of his work to show it off to the public at large.
“I sent a portrait of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to him. Admiring my work he sent back a certificate of appreciation for me,” he recalls, the moment clearly a reward in itself.