Indore : Every challenge comes with an opportunity to start something new. Such is the inspiring story of 47-year-old artist Preeta Gadkari. She has set an example wherein a woman can prioritise needs of her family and carry her dreams along.
Sharing her story with Free Press, Preeta said, “Life as I see it now is a perfect balance of people who support and oppose us.” Born in Indore, she has always been closely connected to the city.
“My father (RN Parase) was a banker, so we lived in almost all the cities of MP when I was growing up,” Preeta said. Looking at her interest in arts, her father motivated her to follow her dream of becoming an artist.
“After joining Government Arts College in Indore, I became interested in colours and shades,” Preeta said. So she obtained master’s degree in painting. In 1998, she married and moved to Nagpur.
“My husband supported my dreams but Nagpur was new city for me and I got pregnant soon with my son (Shrey),” Preeta said. In the process of becoming a mother, wife and daughter-in-law, she lost touch with her art.
“I worked on my art whenever I would get free. But it was rare to get free time,” Preeta said. As her son grew up, she found time for herself and her art.
“My husband (Prasad Gadkari, administrative head) got a job opportunity in Indore. So we moved to Indore in 2008 when my second innings began,” Preeta said. She worked on her art and tried to join art groups.
“I was disappointed when my classmates and artists made me feel inferior by labelling me as a hobby artist,” Preeta said. For two years, she struggled to find her place and make a comeback.
“My father-in-law (retired government officer Arvind Gadkari) motivated me to go ahead and make my own path,” Preeta said. “You are my daughter-in-law, my son’s wife but I want to be known as your father. I want you to create your own identity. That is my last wish,” Arvind had said. She read, researched and learned everything about organising art exhibitions.
“I began my art group in 2010 with few of my friends and decided to give platform to artists like me who are rejected by artists simply because they decided to give time to our families,” Preeta said. Since then, she organises different art activities and has expanded her group.