Dhaval Khatri lost both his hands at the age of 14 and his school asked him to leave. But no such obstacle could stop him from continuing his education, writing all his exams by himself, playing guitar and finally – painting. Calling himself “An artist, not by choice but by chance”, Dhaval says that he has made 300 paintings till now. This is his story.
“It was the festival of Uttarayan and so I was flying kites at our relatives place. And somehow while flying the kite I held my hands on an electric wire instead of kite flying thread. I got a huge electric shock and fell down on the road from the terrace and as a result my heart stopped beating for few seconds so basically I was dead for those few seconds but then fortunately a doctor was passing by and he gave me a hands-only CPR and I was brought back to life.
I realized that life would continue to be difficult. But at the same time I was happy that I had received a new lease of life – something that a few lucky ones gain. In fact I was looking forward to make the best out of what I had been left with. Soon I was trained to do everything without hands. The school in which I was studying gave me a leaving certificate saying YOU ARE OF NO USE to us. You have no hands so obtaining education is just a dream for you.
Instead of motivating me, the principal of that school discouraged me. But I wanted to continue studying so I got myself enrolled in another school and later I even completed my graduation. But the part that will surprise you the most is that I have given exams all by myself. I used to complete my exams before three hours. I even play cricket and football. I’ve also begun playing guitar and trying to master a few pieces in it. When I was in the hospital, my mom practiced me to hold a pen or a pencil. Gradually, I turned into sketching and painting. For six full months, I dedicated myself towards it and got a grip on it. Now, I was able to draw sketches and make paintings fluently.
On one side, my schooling was going on and on the other side I was learning to paint all by myself. After my college I applied at different Universities for a course in painting but each and every university rejected me. So I started doing painting without any guidance. So far I have done around 300 paintings and also have been part of many Television shows. I get lot of orders from around the world. Recently I got an order from New Jersey for three paintings. I have also performed live painting shows all over Gujarat and also in Mumbai. I have made a painting of Salman Khan and wish to meet him and gift him his painting. So all I can say is I’M AN ARTIST NOT BY CHOICE BUT BY CHANCE.