I am sitting on the train next to an older man who has just beckoned me to sit next to him in the seats designated primarily for older people (but I’m one of the oldest now not already sitting). Daegan is standing next to me with his sketchbook and pencil out, drawing the old man I’m sitting next to.
A few stops later the doors open and two older bearded men came on board, both in pure white shalwar kameez, vests, and big white beards. I got up instantly as I was no longer the eldest and said to the older of the men “Baitiye” – “Please sit.”
Daegan continued his drawing – now with a young man watching over his shoulder as he drew. Meanwhile the older man still standing started talking to Daegan and I asking where we were from and getting interested in what he was drawing. “Artist badiya hai” – “You’re a good artist” he said and Daegan smiled. The young man over his shoulder gestured with his phone, asking if he could photograph the picture he had drawn before exiting the train.
Having finished the one picture, Daegan started on one of the older man still standing. A stop before we left he took that picture and gave it to the man who said “Hey, that’s me!” and smiled. He took out his business card and gave it to him and invited him to call him if he needed anything. Meanwhile, Daegan took the first picture out and gave it to the first man he drew who also smiled and thanked him. And then the doors opened and we left the train.
As I asked Daegan if he had a chance to take a photo of the pictures he had given away. He hadn’t. The pictures, like the moment itself will be etched only in our memories.