The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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12,584 alphabets...

On a single grain of rice. This 14-year-old student of Apeejay School may have set a world record by writing the entire English alphabet 484 times on a single grain of rice without visual aid within 90 minutes. Now, he is all set to get his name into the Guinness Book of World Records, beating the earlier record of 6,000 letters.

Short of sight...

But aiming high is the boy with myopic vision. His father took a keen interest in micrography, the art of miniature-writing, on grains of rice, but could never exceed the 2,000-alphabet limit. Little wonder then that the proud father is all praise for his son. Akash has now taken up as a passion what only began as a passing interest 11 years ago.

Painting on paddy and pulses...

He does, too. Miniature portraits of Lata Mangeshkar, Uttam Kumar, Gandhiji, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Suchitra Sen that adorn the dals are just a few specimens from his extensive repertoire of minuscule portraits of deities, singers, leaders, actors, etc. He is currently trying his hand at painting on issues of global significance, like terrorism and environmental pollution. The only tools he uses are a paintbrush, Chinese ink and a clip to hold the grain. Two to five minutes is all he takes to complete one portrait.

Practice makes one perfect...

He believes. The Scorpio practices daily for about two hours, but itís six hours on Sundays. Regular practice is the secret behind keeping the handwriting small and balanced, he insists. Initially, his friends and teachers at school were disbelieving but a demonstration set that right.

Boy of many talents...

Is our Akash. He is currently learning Urdu and Chinese from his father, a master of eight foreign languages. A sports freak, Akash is into swimming, karate, lawn tennis, chess and badminton.

His calling...

Is micrography, and an artist with a difference is what he aspires to become. Although at times he finds himself debating the futility of pursuing this passion, he knows that in art lies his ultimate creative satisfaction.

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