65-year-old retired professor says goodbye to health problems with painting


Sixty-five-year-old Mangal Gogte had a hectic four-decade-long academic career. She was an economics professor at K. J. Somaiya College of Arts & Commerce and was a regular at the international conferences held every year. Though rewarding, this hectic life left her with quite a few medical conditions. She was suffering from diabetes and hypertension and had to take a fistful of medicines each day. However, with her passion for painting, she has now successfully overcome her medical problems and got rid of the medicines.

Her first major exhibition 'Brushful of Colors' was held recently at the Nehru Centre Art Gallery in Worli. Speaking to the IANS during the exhibition, she said,

I have been painting since childhood, but in the past few years, I have learnt that it is actually doing wonders for my physical and mental health, improving my life and relationships.

While growing up, Mangal's favourite hobby was painting. She used to paint all the time but, somewhere, lost touch with her hobby. It was only after marriage, during a vacation in Ooty, that she stumbled upon painting again. Inspired by her travels, she indulges herself in painting nature and its beauty. In her recently held exhibition, she showcased 39 of her paintings, of which one of them dates back to 1983. These paintings feature her visual memories from the various places she has travelled to, such as Gangtok, Switzerland, and Finland.

While talking to the Hindustan Times, she said,

I’m really passionate about art. It’s one of my interests and I don’t really have the time to learn it professionally. But with experience, I’m improving myself.

Mangal paints with watercolours and has to visualize the entire painting 'in the mind' to the last detail, as it is not easy to make changes once the watercolour has been applied on the paper. With her watercolors and brush in hand, she goes into a visual trance. Talking to the IANS, she said,

It's a full-time occupation now and I enjoy it. Colours have made me very happy and tranquil. Everything around me looks changed, life is very peaceful. I have been completely cured of hypertension, my diabetes is normal and under control, other related health issues have completely disappeared. I feel younger, more energetic, and am enjoying life a lot more than most people who are 65 or above.

Mangal's family is extremely supportive of her and is happy to see her health improve over time. The family also helps her by taking pictures of nature and giving it to her so she can use them as potential subjects for her creativity.

Growing up in a conservative Maharashtrian family, her childhood hobby of painting was virtually thrust upon her. She honed it over the years and gradually developed painting into a special passion. She has now been rewarded in the form of improved health and physical well-being. She further told the IANS,

Colours and painting have changed me from within, everything around me looks very positive, optimistic and blissful. I feel art should not remain the passion of the affluent classes, but should reach the masses in a healthy and affordable manner.

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