Migrants from Mangalore to Mumbai who made it big in the city include the likes of George Fernandes, who cut his teeth in politics in the metropolis. Sudarshan Shetty is an artist whose father was from Mangalore, and he is now artistic director and curator of the third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India’s first art biennale (Shetty studied painting at Mumbai’s
JJ School of Art in the 1980s). Like many of his contemporaries who had to fight the uncertainties of life as an artist before they were catapulted into the national and later global limelight, Shetty didn’t choose his vocation because he thought he would be in the right place at the right time. But after two decades of battling the odds, he knows it was worth it. Perhaps he believed in destiny. He has showed his paintings and installations around the world. In the process, he has joined the list of Mangaloreans in Mumbai who have made it big in an unexpected field of work.