Nandalal was found of colored
pictures. He used to look for them in old books and magazines. Making copies of them was
the beginning of his apprenticeship in drawing. When he went to school, instead of taking
notes he was busy sketching. When he was taught Words-worth's poems, he drew in his note
book sketches of the poet. He remembered 'Hithopadesha' stories because of the colored
pictures he had drawn.
The lessons at school seemed dull to Nandalal. The question was not whether he liked or
disliked a particular subject. He liked mostly what appealed to the eyes. Though he
disliked mathematics, later on, when he studied in Calcutta, he did not miss a single
class because of the teacher who taught him, Gowrishankar Dey; his personality attracted
him. Mr. Dey was trim and tidy. He dressed well. His hair was Grey. He buttoned up his
jacket up to his neck. His snow-white dhoti came an inch or two below his knee. He was an
image of dignity. It was not mathematics but the teacher that attracted Nandalal.
His mother tongue was Bengali but his medium of instruction was Hindi. Since he had
learnt Hindi while quite young, it had become a part of his personality. When he was very
happy or very sad he tended to express himself in Hindi and not in Bengali. It was in
Hindi that he conversed with his old friends and told stories to his grandchildren.
Unimportant differences never mattered to Nandalal. Teacher and student, high and low -
such considerations never occurred to him.
He was a great artist and the Director of an Art Gallery; but he did not ignore his old
friends. He treated every one equally and never felt superior -to others. He felt one
among his village friends. Once a friend of his childhood went from the village to see
him. Nandalal spent the whole day happily in his company. Between the two of them there
was no barrier of culture or education. He was so human that he could be a child among
children. This was a mark of his greatness.