Pen sketches…

sketch-bril-royal-blue-ink-bril-fountain-penI observe them sitting on the benches that line the roadside footpath near a four-road crossing.  I have found that what I consider disruption is entertainment for them.


And here’s a crow perched securely on the top of a lamp post just beyond the window on my left. She is enjoying a nice view of the surroundings!


A boy and a girl buying afternoon snacks!

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The Panipuri Seller

line and wash sketch

Panipuri Seller

Known as phuchka in West Bengal and Bangladesh and golgappa in parts of north India….The phuchka hawker is everywhere on the roads surrounded by women and men. The way they serve the food is a treat for the spectators. This is one food item that you would like to savour standing on your feet, raising the succulent flour balls to your mouth and closing your eyes!

I used Uniball black Click Gel pen and Camlin water colour paints for the above sketch.

An older panipuri seller waiting for customers. I used Pilot V7 Hi-Tecpoint black pen and Faber-Castell coloured pencils for this drawing.

panipuri seller line and wash sketch

More on Panipuri from Wikipedia:

Panipuri  or Phuchka is a type of snack that originated in the Indian subcontinent.It consists of a round, hollow puri (a deep-fried crisp crepe), filled with a mixture of flavoured water (known as imli pani), tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion or chickpeas.

Panipuri’s name varies depending on the region. In Haryana it is known as paani patashi; in Madhya Pradesh fulki; in Uttar Pradesh pani ke batashe ; in Assam phuska/puska and pakodi; in parts of Gujarat, Gup-chup in parts of Odisha, Phuchka in Bihar, Nepal, Jharkhand, Bengal and Chhattisgarh.

panipuri seller line and wash sketch

Phuchka (or fuska or puska) differs from panipuri in content and taste. It uses a mixture of boiled gram and spiced mashed potatoes as the filling, and is tangy rather than sweetish while the water is sour and spicy. [Source: Wikipedia]

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A lost art

Even thirty years ago, we had many of them. We have a few even now but their numbers are dwindling and I am sure they will be extinct in another decade or so. Three decades ago, when we were students, they were in considerable demand. Theirs were honest occupations that required time and skills. You had to linger as an apprentice for quite some time before you could be on your own. Although they were never prosperous, it was not so difficult to earn a livelihood for those who were diligent.

line and wash sketch

Then appeared the age of consumerism. Items of everyday use became cheaper and easier to replace. Rather than trying to get something repaired, we became used to throw it away. Some items like wristwatches no longer remained an essential accessory when people began to carry mobile phones in their pockets. That is when I felt that these mechanics and skilled workmen are gradually disappearing from our view. I would see a watch mechanic sitting by the roadside — under the open sky or in his cramped cubicle — awaiting that rare customer with a forlorn look or trying to hold off drowsiness. The writing on the wall was clear. His profession no longer remained relevant to the needs of a modern world.


I try to catch some of them in my illustrations dreading that a time may soon come when I won’t have the luxury of observing them on their jobs and sketching them.

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