Features Friday, July 10, 2015 - 05:30
  The gentle rocking of the carriage, the shrill horn as the train enters and exits a station, the chai call at the station... for most people train journeys are a delight. But for Bijay Biswaal, a Chief Ticket Inspector from the Nagpur division of the South East Central Railways, trains are art. "Art has always been a part of everyone's life. You find it everywhere from common sights on streets to people scurrying about around you. You just have to put it on canvas," the 50-year-old tells The News Minute. Some of his paintings of the Indian Railways were shared by the Salem Division on their Facebook page. Biswaal has been painting for a long time now and his earliest memory is when he was four or five years old. "I remember taking charcoal and chalk from my mother and sitting down and drawing when i was little. When I was around 18 or 19, I got my first water colour set."   (The platform at Pune's railway station) In his railway series, Biswaal makes common scenarios in stations look stunning. ( The Moti Bagh Loco shed in Nagpur) "I have been with the railways for around 25 years now and the inspiration for these set of paintings came to me from a small station in Chhattisgarh called Korba. I like peeking out at every station that comes as each one has a story to tell," he adds. (The Korba station in Chhattisgarh) A set of confident strokes and just the right amount of paint splattered on the canvas really brings out the depth in the paintings. "I love acrylic paints and water colours. They are my absolute favourites," he says.  Another characteristic of Biswaal's paintings are that they are sometimes painted on a huge canvas measuring many feet. When quizzed about this, he says, "Things always look better to me on a bigger canvas. More life-like. I can't carry the big canvas around, so sometimes I take my smaller canvas, paint something and then come back home and replicate it on a bigger scale." When asked if he ever considered quitting his job with the railways and take up full time painting, he says, "The best part about my job is that it lets me travel and it feeds me and my family. The painting is already a full time thing. Things have worked out well for me."  (The view from the foot-over-bridge at the Nagpur station)   All Images: Bijay Biswaal