You know it’s an amazing Sunday when the house is filled with squeals of laughter and piles of cards. That’s a whole lot of Sundays at my parent’s house. It’s filled with people on most days and sometimes they are splatter on the ground with nephews and crayons and some evenings sink in sofas and discuss life back in Kalbadevi with old neighbours and friends.
And just like that there are enough mundane Sunday evenings when we run out of conversations and the fed up hour calls for a drive to get out for some ice cream. Sometime earlier this year, we waded our way through a crowded pavement at the Bandra promenade. It’s hardly a joyous place with people trying to shove their kids on to cheap giant wheels and get done with it, the stench of those horribly soggy chana jor garams being sold in stale newspapers under dingy lights and just the impending doom of a working Monday.
In this place of misery, trust the mother to spot art.
This piece is about Paavan.
Paavan seemed to be in a desperate rush to finish the last sketch of the day before the street lamps above the legit bench on the road were powered off. He displayed his sketches non chalantly, not really expecting any one to notice. The mother immediately takes to art and more so to people who grow up in the small towns of the Hindi speaking heartlands of Chattisgarh.
“This girl you are sketching… she has untamable hair, haan?”, mum tries to strike a conversation.
He didn’t mind an audience. I would guess he wouldn’t. He was away from home and stuck in a big city.
“My moments with my family are lost here. But our lives don’t intertwine and before my memories vanish into thin air, I’d like to put them on paper. I don’t have photographs.”
“So do you sell your art of a living?”
“No. For living I sketch for the CID. They describe faces and I put them on paper.”
“What? Really? Accurate sketching, eh?”, mom interjects again.
“Never sure. Who has seen?”
“Is it a difficult job?”
“Not the sketching, that I love. But when they describe the hair, I just make sure it never looks untamable.”
Divya is a very good friend and an exceptional writer (I just found out). I truly think she should write more often. Do drop in a line or two about this piece in the comments box.