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Indian Art, Craft and Photography
Small town Railway Station - Illustration by Vasant Sarwate - one of my proud possessions


Small town Railway Station - Illustration by Vasant Sarwate

I consider myself truly privileged to meet and be able to interact regularly with one of the most talented illustrators of our time - I am talking about Shri. Vasant Sarwate. A thorough gentleman and a talented illustrator, Shri Sarwate has a fine sense and understanding of literature and arts. This is remarkable as he spent his life working with Associated Cement Company in their design department as basically he an engineer by training. With that as a formal background, he has designed several hundred ( if not few thousand ) book covers, contributed his wonderful illustrations to books by several well known names in Marathi literature including P. L. Deshpande (Pu. La.), Vinda Karandikar and may others.

I had a great time in organising a unique exhibition of Shri. Vasant Sarwate's illustrations - this was a show which featured the original illustrations which subsequently found their way into the books of P. L. Deshpande (Pu. La.). Thus each original illustration was a milestone by itself, a slice of literary history. The show was opened by noted playwright Shri. Vijay Tendulkar and was tremendously appreciated by everyone.

While planning the show, Shri. Sarwate mentioned to me that there was one illustration of his which was in the collection of Pu La Deshpande and it was a favourite of his. He mentioned that the illustration depicted a small town railway station. I was excited by the mere description of it and insisted that we must display it in the show even if it was not for sale. He mentioned that since Pu La was no more, we will need a permission from Sunitabai (Sunita Deshpande - Pu La's wife). We then landed up at Pu La's residence on Bhandarkar Road and met Sunitabai and explained our sincere desire to her. On the condition that we will return the illustration properly after the show got over, we were allowed to take it to be displayed in this show. I was so overjoyed was absolutely childlike. Shri. Vasant Sarwate did not miss how I had adored that illustration, he offered to make something similar for me when he found the time.

I really could not believe when one day, he called to inform me in a very matter of fact manner that he had made the illustration of a small town railway platform specially for me. I will never forget that moment and that illustration is one of my dearest possessions.