It is often said that if God closes one door, it opens another. This rings so true in case of Dhaval Khatri, who at the tender age of 14, lost both his hands in a kite-flying accident.
The accident happened while celebrating the festival of Uttarayan. Khatri, then 14, was at his relative’s place and was flying a kite. While flying he caught hold of a live electric wire, thinking it was his kite’s string. He received such a shock that it knocked him off his feet, while badly burning his hands.
Such was the power of the shock that it stopped Khatri’s heart for a few seconds and he experienced death for those few fleeting moments. Fortunately, a doctor was passing by and managed to revive him after giving him CPR. He was then rushed to the hospital, where doctors recommended amputation of his burned hands.
As a result, Khatri’s forearms were amputated below the elbow. This proved a most traumatic moment for this 14-year-old, especially when he realized that life would be difficult without hands. But, at the same time, he was happy that he was alive. He took this as a new lease of life and resolved to make the most of his situation.
Not only was Khatri handicapped, but, to add insult to injury, his school gave him school leaving certificate, saying that he was of no use to them. But, this did not deter him, as he trained himself to do everything without his hands. He got enrolled in another school and complete his schooling. Afterwards, he also graduated from college.
What was most surprising was that Khatri gave exams all by himself and even submitted his answer sheets before time. He participated in sports, playing cricket and football. Having an ear for music, he even tried his hand at playing the guitar, but what really caught his fancy was sketching and painting. This was the result of his mother initiative to make him hold a pen or a pencil.
Khatri got so passionate about art that he focussed on it for full six months till he mastered it. He pursued his passion for painting, while simultaneously undergoing schooling. However, his request for admission to a painting course was turned down by all the universities he applied to.
This did not discourage Khatri, who went ahead and learnt to paint himself. Till date, he has completed about 300 paintings. For his achievement as an artist, he has been invited to various television shows. With his popularity on the ascendant, he has started getting orders for his paintings from around the globe. His most recent order was from New Jersey, the US for three paintings.
Khatri has also participated in live painting shows in several towns and cities of Gujarat and also in Mumbai. Being a fan of Salman Khan, he has made a painting of this superstar and is waiting for the opportunity to present it to him in person.
Although Khatri likes to call himself “an artist, not by choice but by chance”, he enjoys the support of around 11,800 followers on Instagram alone!
Dhaval Jyotsnaben Kaushikbhai Khatri