Fruit seller in summer

line and wash sketch of a fruit seller

A banana seller and his cart. Thankfully, in this sweltering heat, there are bananas and mangoes, fruits that hydrate the body. Bananas are the best antidote for acid reflux and a great summer snack.

A line and wash sketch with a black gel pen and Camel Artists’ Water Colours.

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Shoulder yoke

urban sketch line and wash

A man using a carrying pole to transport earthen vessels on the streets of Calcutta (Kolkata). The yoke is balanced on his shoulder with an evenly distributed load suspended from each end on either side. The yoke is made of bamboo or wood and the ropes or strings are made of coir or coconut fibre. The carrying pole can be transported within a motorized vehicle and so a vendor can come from a village afar and sell his wares where he wants to.

A line and wash sketch using a black gel pen and water colour paints.

Are these carrying poles in use where you live? Let us know your story. Please leave a comment below.

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Where have all the buses gone?

urban sketch-line and wash

An overcrowded bus and a queue of waiting commuters….

Sketch of a blue and yellow privately-owned bus that ply on the roads of Calcutta (Kolkata). During the office hours, passengers may barely get a foothold and some of them just cling to the vehicle somehow to arrive at their destinations.

Drawn with Pentel Energel 0.5 mm black gel pen and Camel Artists Water Colours…



Another crowded bus stop scene. The translator, a slow mover, is behind everyone else. He fails to secure a foothold and misses the bus!

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Favourite Cabin, Calcutta

From the mid-70’s, I can remember so many days when after buying a few books from College Street, my school-teacher father would take me to this tea shop on Surya Sen Street to have buttered toast sprinkled with sugar and an excellent cup of  tea. My father would tell me that it used to be a favourite meeting place of many of the Bengali litterateurs and intellectuals of another era. This decrepit, old tea shop, located a stone’s throw away from the bookshops at College Street, the campuses of the University of Calcutta and of the Presidency College, retains a part of my childhood.
Later as a student of Presidency College and Calcutta University, I often visited Favourite Cabin and tried to recreate, if only in my imagination,  the extraordinary past of this place of otherwise shoddy appearance. The list of items served was sparse too: tea, toast, muffin and sliced cake. My father told me long ago that the appearance of the place was deceptive!
line and wash sketch of favourite cabin, calcutta

Entrance to the Favourite Cabin

Favourite Cabin is best known for its association with the writers linked with the Bengali magazine Kallol. Situated on what was then known as Mirzapur Street (now Surya Sen Street), the tea shop was a favourite haunt of those writers. In his memoir entitled Kallol Jug,  Achintya Kumar Sengupta writes: “Sitting in a circle over the marble-top tables in the cabin, the adda used to continue well after the tea sessions were over… it gave rise to many a debate and helped to form future strategies. Kallol would have been incomplete without Favourite Cabin…”
line and wash sketch of a tea shop

Inside the tea shop

During the days of India’s freedom struggle, Swadeshi meetings would take place in the inner chamber of the shop and the freedom fighters would escape through the backdoor as soon as the owner of the shop, who sat near the door manning his cash counter, would signal to the freedom fighters that a police raid is imminent. It is no wonder that the road on which this tea shop is located has been named after Surya Sen.
Sketching tools: Uni-ball Click Gel Pen (Black) and water colour.
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