It began slow today, i waited to get my hands on paint. Upon reaching , met two BBMP workers, who saw me approaching my work site and started smiling like crazy. They told me that they have cleaned the street up for me nicely and they wanted my team to paint. Dayum! that was awesome to hear.
Finally a bucket landed at my feet. Over eager.. took the white out, with yash helping me out, transferred via a used bottle picked from the street, onto a smaller used bottle, picked from college.
And then the stencil work, cleaning the wall, putting up the stencil, and painting..
The BBMP fellows were so damn good. They placed a stone inthe ditch so that i could stand on it and paint.
In between a guy came to see us work. He was getting a little too close for comfort. He touched my stencil and asked if this is a poster that i am working from. That freaked me a bit, cos there was no hello no small talk, nothing just an abrupt question, accompanied by his getting too close to my bag and touching my stuff. since i didn’t respond and kept on working, the fellow left and bugged Yash for a while. Finished the stencil quickly and i was done and ready to pack. Yash was working close by. He suggested I go ahead and do the rest of my concept freehand with chalk. Was a little anxious at the work involved cos of the bad back, but then what the heck. Gave it a go. And slowly started to draw.
The BBMP men came back to check on us and sat and looked at us draw for a while. They asked me how much am i being paid to do this, and to my ‘free’ response, they were a bit surprised. I told them that I am a student. One of these guys told me “bhagwan tumko accha rakhe”. That was sweeeweeeeet. Blessed by my audience. What more can I ask this day. Today I am gonna walk on clouds<3.
They left after a while. My buddies, raju, murali were there nearby fooling around and snoozing, lazing near me and Yash. Occasionally i would hear a whistle or some silly sentences from them and turn around and scold them. My Best pretension at being a strict schoolteacher that i could muster, and things would quieten for a while before it picked up again.
They had one more minion along with them today, who was a little too noisy and was disruptive. I saw two ladies from their locality approach and complained to them about this fellow, saying he is ‘disturbing’. Such sweet badass ladies, they took this fellow all the way back towards their homes scolding him in a high voice. Me and raju shared a secret smile at that. He wizened up i guess and stayed quiet after that. I was so tempted to straighten my back next to him while he snoozed, but then that was a street, a dirty one at that, and my supercleanfreak mind just couldn’t go dare.
Yash after finishing his work for the day, was hanging around. It took a little longer than expected for me to finish what i was doing.
Murali showed me a baby on the way back. I waved goodbye. Raju showed me his house near the temple. Noticed a drawing on the pillar and asked him about it. Yes, he is the one who’s done this, with Chalk.
I asked him to pose for me. Which he happily did. As an appreciation for all the work this sweet child has done for me, i am planning to paint a portrait of his on a postcard, and gift it to him. Am surely gonna miss him once our work at Dhanvantri will be over.
Go check the works out and the artists working there. And if you see Raju, curiously lurking around, give him a smile and a hug from me too.