Punalur: Muhammad Shah, a 22 year old from Kollam’s Plachery has developed a skill in making wonders using coconut leaf shards. From the Punalur suspension bridge to the Eiffel Tower, Shah has managed to create miniature shapes on this unique platform.
Shah started this as a hobby at the age of 19, while a student of automotive mechanical engineering at SNIT College, Adoor. His first job was the suspension bridge, which started during his class period. Although attempts were repeatedly unsuccessful, he gradually adapted to the skill. It took him a year to complete the bridge. But he began to master the craft and did the Eiffel Tower in six months.
The old school of Shah asked him to make suspension bridges to be presented as a memento to major guests of their Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Interestingly, he had no prior field training or guides. He learned it by experimenting. Shah’s only help is his sister, an eighth grade student.
Shah is also adept at making miniatures out of junk. For him, even an empty rifle thrown from an enclosure is a raw material to demonstrate his skill. He made lookalikes and miniatures of various things. Helicopter, truck, steamroller, Chenda and drum, the list goes on.