Art inside us...........skills of the modest.
In my School days in the 1960’s , I used to love to draw
and I had an egotist’s opinion of myself being the best in my class as I used to secure first prize in all my drawings . Buoyed up and nurtured by the adulation of my chamchas my aim in life was a become a world renowned artist .
Sometime later there was a school competition for drawing with bifurcations made by the art teacher in the form of bunching of Classes... Classes 1 to 4, class 5 to 8 and finally class 9 to 11 ( this was before the advent of class 12 ). I turned in my drawing from the Class group 5 to 8 , secure in my arrogance of bagging the First prize . When the results were announced in the hall itself, it was extremely disconcerting to be brought down to earth by being declared Second for that group . When I questioned the art teacher, he sternly pointed to the drawing which had bagged the First prize, and which was displayed on the black board. Like everyone present I too stood in awe , riveted by the drawing. The pencil drawing with crayon colouring was out of this world . The scene described a propeller plane being serviced by overalls clad technician's inside an aeroplane hanger amongst a few more planes scattered around. The artist’s eye for detail and clarity was as so great that it looked ‘live’ instead of just being just a drawing. The modest artist was nowhere to be seen.
A few days later during my family’s visit to their house in Pandara road , I given the wonderful opportunity of seeing the modest artist at work. He was engaged in building several types of miniature aero planes which were taking shape from his fingers , biplanes, triplanes and airliners made out of cardboard, shirt buttons, match sticks , u clips , oil paint , glue and scissors. His perfection for detail showed itself in these to the extent that one could make out the tiny wire struts between the biplane and triplane wings . The colour and tiny markings were so accurate that it was astounding. Some looked like WW I planes ... Sopwith Camel, Fokker Triplane, Spads etc. From the ceiling a foot sized glider or plane was hanging. The artist’s ambition I learnt was to join the Indian Air Force.
Half a century later while searching my school’s alumni list I came across my artist friend’s name . The friendly request I sent was accepted by him and we reconnected. Instead of joining the IAF he migrated to the US and studied to became a Geologist . He is still draws and paints, but no mention was made of aero modelling.
As for myself, I switched from pencil to pen sketches and ultimately ended up drawing cartoons as I was restricted by poor eyesight and a mended index finger.
In summing up from the events, our lives do not always take us to the paths we dream of, but can give us surprises along the way and a compromised ending.