An Indian railways ticket examiner has created beautiful art work capturing life around trains, platforms and stations.
Apart from being the largest employer in the country, Indian Railways has often been an inspiration to many a creative pursuit, ranging from travelogues to odes on the sights, sounds and romance associated with train travel. Celebrated authors from Rudyard Kipling and Intizar Husain to Ruskin Bond and Satyajit Ray have rhapsodised on the charms of the railways.
One would imagine that those who work in the railways would, however, be immune to these sights and sounds, but it's not the case with Bijaya Biswal, Train Ticket Examiner in Nagpur division of the Indian Railways. Biswal, known for his brush strokes that have in the past painted wondrous portraits of men and the world, has now turned his attention to the railways. In a series of water colour paintings, he has brought out the hidden charms and beauty of a railway junction and the lives that revolve around it.
Shared by the Salem Division of Southern Railways on their Facebook page, his art work quickly went viral, with people hailing him as a genius and some even suggesting that "he should be running his own art gallery and teaching art" rather than examining tickets for a living.
Biswal, though, says that his art is different from his work and the railways continue to motivate him to create more.
"I don't think I need to get away from my job to pursue art," he said. "My job allows me to travel and observe the platforms, trains, employment of people around it and so many other things which I try to capture in my art work."
Biswal has been working with the Railways for the past 25 years, but he he started painting much earlier and has only started getting recognition now. "I have been painting with charcoal, pens, water colours etc since the very young age of five or six," he said. "The paintings on Indian Railways aren't new either. I made them sometime ago but it's only now that they have started to get popular and people are discovering them, so there's praise but I have no plans of leaving work to pursue art. I am already pursuing it."
Here's a snapshot of his recent works where he captures the beauty of Indian Railways:
All images used with the prior permission of the artist.
This new fashion trend sweeping across the country demands your attention.
A portmanteau of 'Athletic' and 'Leisure', the rising trend of 2015 – athleisure is a huge nod to two great trends that have taken hold of the fashion world: fitness and casualness. While Jane Fonda might have had the jump on this trend 30 years ago, it has only become a phenomenon after 2010 as the wellness industry started booming.
Not like we were not working out before. The Juicy Couture sweatpants of the 90s, the ubiquity of the sweatshirt from classrooms to boardrooms (we're looking at you Zuckerberg) were a precursor to this movement.
High fashion has lapped up athleisure because it brings with it the promise of functionality. High performance fabrics do most of the heavy lifting, from odour control to sweat proofing, using breathable fabrics, lending support and shaping, and helping in getting the maximum out of your ensemble. The focus on style ensures that the clothes travel easily from gym to work to bar (probably juice bar). The tectonic shift has been in not keeping high performance workout gear restricted to the gym alone.
This is one of the few fashion trends, other than jeans, to trickle up rather than trickle down; and the designers have responded accordingly. Taking it a notch higher into the Sports Luxe category, there is a Karl Lagerfeld sweatshirt and couture sneakers from Chanel; there is Alexander Wang teaming up with Adidas and giving us sweats that are so sleek they can and have been worn on the red carpet. Victoria’s Secret has a new active wear line and even Beyonce has debuted Ivy Park, her active wear line with TopShop, signalling peak athleisure. This is a trend that shows off the body rather than hides it, and with Fit being the new Rich, style and fitness coalesce to make it the break out trend of the season.
While it is an inducement for fitness, it is not for the fit people exclusively. It allows you to live out the fitness fantasy without actually doing a lot of the work. Fatigue from the skinny jeans has made the market welcome comfortable yoga pants; a trend that refuses to go away! Started as a largely female focused trend, companies like Lululemon and SweatBetty bet big on the athleisure lifestyle and are now multimillion dollar companies that make the best yoga leggings in the business. Athleisure became more male friendly with compression pants and puffer jackets that kept you cool in the summer and warm in the winter all the while being a snug fit. Even sneakers have never seen such an all-time high in the market as they do now, with Yeezy’s, Air Jordan’s, to the Adidas superstar fetching top dollar and we have athleisure to thank for that.
It is one of the few moments when fashion is not being merely whimsical; it is actually listening to what people want to wear and what makes sense according to their evolving lifestyles. Paying heed to this gap in the market of a population that runs on Fitbit and counts its calories has paid out and proven to be a win-win for both the brands and the buyers.
Ajio brings athleisure to Indian shores with its Active Capsule collections. The handpicked Too Fit to Quit capsule provides a range of sweatshirts, t-shirts, running shorts and track pants to work out or lounge around in. The casual style is carried over to accessories as well as a great range of bags and sneakers. Along with a versatile portfolio of Puma, Vans, Wrangler, Lee, Skechers etc it also has an in-house line in fitness apparel that mixes Indian tastes with urban contemporary. Head over to Ajio.com, the aisle of style to shop this trend.
This article was produced on behalf of Ajio.com by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.