Chhoti Tekam has been painting for only two years, but with her vivid imagination and sheer determination she has already carved out a place for herself among the well known artists in the contemporary Gond genre. When she came to Bhopal after her marriage to Santosh Tekam, she was amazed to find so many artists in the city. She saw their paintings and felt that she could do it too. When Ram Singh Urveti gave her paper and colours, she didn’t hesitate for a moment, and covered the sheet with forms of deer, her favourite animal. Deer, with their dark eyes and majestic walk had always caught her imagination. Choti was thrilled with the acrylic paints which at last gave her the freedom to use the whole spectrum of colours. Her favourite colour of all was blue – “the blue that a peacock carries on its body.” She recalls with nostalgia how in her childhood, she would try to reproduce the colours she wanted for flowers and leaves which she painted on the walls of her house with a homemade brush. When her mother asked her to drawdigna on the wall, she would draw flowers of different kinds, not the customary dignawhich bored her with its endless repetition. The artist in Choti Tekam is now fully awake, as she paints on canvas and paper. At work in the Museum of Mankind the gallery all day, she dreams of the images she will paint on her canvas at night, after she puts year old son to bed.