Mission Delhi – Ashish Chauhan, Blue Line Metro
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Frantic evening rush hour on the Blue Line and, as you’d expect, almost every metro train passenger is hunched over their mobiles for some reason.
With some honourable exceptions. Artist Ashish Chauhan is one of them. The young man has whipped out a sketch book from his shoulder bag. He then nods to a fellow passenger and proceeds to draw him, with swift strokes in black ink.
A few fellow commuters quickly peer at the ongoing sketch with a certain awe. But now the train stops at Yamuna Bank Station notorious for its crowds. Mr Chauhan, 27, is not at all deterred by the sudden crush of humanity: gazing towards his subject for a moment, and the next moment continuing the sketch.
A passenger hesitantly asks the artist if he could snap his photo. Mr Chauhan shrugs, implying that he sees no problem with that.
A few minutes later the train pulls into Vaishali as its final destination. The sketch, as well, gets done almost the very moment the train stops; and the artist disembarks, followed by the gentleman whose face he drew.
As a fine arts graduate, Mr Chauhan has a studio in south Delhi’s Saket that he shares with friends. But this evening he’s on his way to Ghaziabad to visit his parents.
And now he will knock at their door richer by a brand-new art work.
[This is the 264th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
The Blue Line Van Gogh