Guwahati: Scratch the surface, and 23-year-old Rahul Pareek from Assam appears to be just another student pursuing his graduation. Dig deeper, you will realize there’s more to this lad than meets the eye.

With his artistic prowess, Rahul Pareek turns trash into treasures.

Rahul, who hails from Dhubri in Lower Assam, has already etched his name in several record books with experimental art wherein he utilizes discarded computer motherboards, wires, nails, iron wires, mobile phone parts and stamps, among others, to make portraits beaming with life.

Cricketer Virat Kohli, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Bollywood megastar Akshay Kumar, among others, have showered praises on Pareek as he made several portraits of these famous personalities using e-waste materials.

The 23-year-old artist’s latest muse? Indian cricket skipper Rohit Sharma.

“In my latest project, I have made an artwork of Rohit Sharma. Interestingly, it is made only with stamps. In this project, I have used many stamps which I put on the canvas. On these stamps, I have written his (Rohit’s) name in tiny, barely discernible, letters,” Pareek tells EastMojo.

“There are at least 50,000 strokes in this portrait. If you look closely, you will see his name. From afar, you will see a portrait,” Rahul beams as he speaks about his latest creation.

As with his other creations, Pareek is quite transparent as to why he made the cricketer’s portrait with such painstaking effort.

Exuding enthusiasm, he says, “I want to meet Rohit Sharma.”

“I create portraits of the people I idolize and wish to meet in real life. I have always looked up to Virat Kohli and Akshay Kumar, which is why I made portraits of them. And since I don’t have a big platform of my own, I hope that they share my portraits on their social media handles so that I can reach out to a bigger audience,” he says.

Since Sharma is coming to Guwahati on January 10 next to be part of a Twenty-20 match to be held in Guwahati’s Barsapara stadium, Pareek’s dream might just turn into reality.

Among his meetings with big celebrities, Rahul’s 2020 encounter with Virat Kohli makes for quite the story.

Back in January of the year, when Virat was in Guwahati for a match against Sri Lanka, Rahul reached the stadium premises with a portrait of the then-Skipper that he had put together with electronic waste.

“I was standing outside the stadium with the portrait when I was noticed by local media. I urged them to inform Virat about my tribute. Eventually, I got a call from Virat’s team who asked me to come to meet him at the Radisson Blu hotel where he was putting up. After signing my portrait, Virat wished me luck and urged me to continue my artistic journey,” Pareek says, recalling his tryst with the superstar.

My next big meeting with superstar Akshay Kumar when the ‘khiladi’ was in Guwahati for the Filmfare Awards a few months later was less eventful “as people more or less knew me by then, says Rahul.

Tracing the beginnings of his journey, Pareek recalls that he first came to prominence when his artwork of former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was recognized and hung in the Chief Minister’s office. “The Chief Minister (Sonowal) was extremely supportive and encouraging. The fact that he hung it in his office was the icing on the cake. It gave me instant recognition,” he recalls.

The tradition was carried forward when Pareek made a similar portrait of Sonowal’s successor Himanta Biswa Sarma and presented it to him at his office at Dispur. Needless to say, Biswa Sarma was all smiles.

A student of KC Das Commerce College in Guwahati, Rahul’s next big celebrity project, he says, is a portrait of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which he plans to present in a “completely new and unique art form”.

“I am preparing for that project, which will undoubtedly be my biggest one to date. It will be even more unique and different than my usual artworks,” he informs EastMojo.

Rahul, who studied Fine Arts as a child, intends to open an art school where children will be able to follow in his footsteps of being able to express themselves via unconventional depictions of art.

“After graduation, I plan to open an art institution of my own. I feel the need to do so because conventional art schools only teach students to make art on a particular canvas. However, it is my belief that art does not merely exist within the confines of a canvas,” he says.

“I wish to be able to teach youngsters how to express themselves through different mediums so that their art looks more attractive while delivering its message more profoundly,” says the artist.

Also Read | Assam: Anvayins Kaziranga Ultra-Run 2023 to be held on Jan 28

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