A line. Thrown onto the sheet.
Haughty curves. Flung carelessly about.
A last circle. Placed on the corner.
The pencil flies. Black marks
long and steely, or stubby, impatient smudges
quenching the rough art white,
a sketch is born.
A face. Figure. The noise. A speeding car.
His sketches can depict anything.
Standing on the sidewalk
along the busiest street in Delhi,
he sketches what he sees
but the lines are drawn from
a deep silent well within
People watch his sketches. Walk away
with one they like. He cares nothing.
I watch his face, his hands, his eyes
restless, far away, watching
His hands – charmed strokes of a magician.
His face – monsoon sky, changing complexions
every few seconds.
The artist is a black moon – unholy.
Irreverent. Arresting. A thing of wonder.
When he goes home I don’t know.
Where he goes to, I cannot say.
Why he comes to this street, I often wonder.
One day as I pass the artist’s corner,
I see a charcoal figure running alongside.
Fiery eyes, hair like black clouds.
“Stop,” he shouts, sketched arms flailing,
“Take me with you – I want to escape the city.”
The artist was hauled away by a traffic cop.