Sunday, March 24, 2013

Milk Man

A dusty traffic light junction on my way home has a small tree around which is always stacked those blue plastic cartons which carry packets of Nandini Milk for delivery. One day, on my way back home, having run out of milk, I stopped my bike beside the cartons and looked around for someone. Under the shadows of the tree, sitting motionless on a stone bench was an enormous swarthy South Indian male. 
‘Idhu maarakittidhira?’ I asked (Have you kept these for sale?)
‘Mathyakittidhivi?’ he retorted, ‘Poojemaadakka?’ (Why else have we kept it here? For you to worship?)
Milkman with attitude
I bought my milk. As I started my bike once more, a car behind me slowed down and I heard a tentative voice ask the same question, ‘Idhu maarakittidhira?’
‘Mathyenakittidhivi?’ replied the voice from under the tree, ‘decorationgaa?’ (Why else is it kept here? For decoration?)
Typical Kannadiga male.

Several attempts at drawing The Milkman last year failed completely. The drawings lacked punch. They lacked The Milkman’s enormous presence and attitude. Then one day, a Gumani came home and saw my illustration of Walrus Tea. ‘You know what?’ she said, ‘you should draw these South Indian men as different kinds of animals!’ At that instant, scraps of ideas swirling in my brain joined hands and formed a circle. Thus, The Milkman illustration fell into place. Now he sits among the cartons in the composition, ready to retort. 

Other illustrations for South Indian males are here>>

Gumani interviewed me for her art supply blog here>>
Do you want a tattoo or a rugged handmade sketchbook?
Then check out Gumani's superb stuff at her website over here>>


Aarohi Singh said...

As always fabulously done pRiyA. he looks swarthy. Solid with weight. The best part is that it gives me the feeling that he is either about to burp or stick is tongue out to reel you in!! You seem to have caught him at just that moment.
Wonderful and and now having read the accompanying text, I feel like I encountered your milk man!!

Arch at Rang said...

Your work always touches a chord, probably because of the dramatic strokes that include subtle satire.


Karine Swenson said...

I love it, Priya! Great story too.

Priyanka S said...

I have always loved the back-stories behind art-works so it was interesting to read yours - loved the idea of representing them as animals to bring out their personalities.

Btw, while reading your post, I instantly got reminded of Daphne du Maurier's short story, 'The Blue Lenses', which is about a woman recovering from an eye-surgery and opening her eyes only to find that she perceives everyone around her has the head of an animal...I read it many years ago in school and found the concept rather rather macabre and disturbing.

Your sketch, of course, is not:)

Rod MacGregor said...

I like the illustration and the story!

pRiyA said...

Thank you :)

Priyanka, thank you for telling me about Maurier's The Blue Lenses. Will keep it in mind and try to find it.

Andy Deemer said...

Wonderful story and piece!

pRiyA said...

Thank you ;-)

Gwen Buchanan said...

Priya, Loved your interview on art supplies.. I agree, those mediums are so gratifying to work with. I held off for a long time trying them and when i did I instantly fell in love. Loved seeing the pictures of your materials, books and drawings!!!

ArtPropelled said...

lol .... I like your rendition of the grumpy milkman!