Monday, July 14, 2008

New Avataars and Lets Kill All The Ennui

Dear Readers,
I have moved to click here.
Its a nice rainbowy avataar! See you there!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Eye Let It Be - Final Prints

Got my hands on the final prints of the illustration that I had worked on for Anuj Sharma's collection of garments that were showcased at the Lakme India Fashion Week held in Mumbai.
There are three versions to the prints.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Choti Chidiya

“That’s the way they are. You must not hold it against them.
Children should be very understanding of grown-ups. “
- The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Two of a series of 8 paintings.
8" by 10", Acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gym Tales

I have recently made the acquaintance of a whole lot of very interesting people. For more than an hour and a half, we sweat, jiggle and grunt together and all the while pretend to ignore each other. Its been about a month and a half since I have been going to a gym (shit! now that I have said it, am I going to jinx it?). And while I strain and pull at the weights until my eyeballs pop and pant and huffnpuff on the treadmill, the most deliciously exotic of people waft or thomp around me (depending on their tonnage).

First there are the trainers, all beefy, taut young men who take their jobs far too seriously and want to look over your shoulder at the scales, when you try and sneak in and weigh yourself all alone, and then go about asking loudly whether you have lost any weight at all... sigh.

Then there are these two ladieslog who come in all trussed up in the fanciest gym gear and shoes and while they slowly perambulate on the treadmill, chatter incessantly with one another.
When I workout, I have very little breath left to gulp into my lungs and I cant help but sneak amazed glances at these two chatterboxes.

And then there is this charming slender young thing who has the stamina of a herd of hippos and three Khalis (do you watch WWF ever?). She wears an expression of utter calm, and her curls remain unruffled as she zips for what seems like hours on the treadmill and lifts all sorts of weights like they were made of candy floss.

There is also this lovely, lovely aunty who is larger than a tent and does all her exercises with the sincerity of a saint. I totally love watching her, she is about 50 years old. Some enthu!

Then there is the prima donna. She must be about 35-40. She wears her dark black hair very short, large, dangly earrings and very, very, very tight gym (usually all black) clothes.
Hmmm... how do I put this? Well, she exercises furiously whenever she comes to the gym, and she reminds me of jello caught in a landslide. Wonder why all the trainers buzz around her with that ingratiating grin huh?

There is another total darrling child. She is the size of a comfy fridge and has a lovely, pretty face. She walks very slowly, cycles slower and and gives a brilliant imitation of a cuddly pachyderm, plodding along. I suppose her silly mom must have forced her into the gym. I think she is perfect and darling the way she is!

There are also what the husband calls 'fruit', these are ripe young gangly men, who may or may not have fuzz growing on their faces. I hope they grow their hot-bod soon, I cant bear to see them strain so! I also watch the Dudahs, these are the super-cool-i-have-been-gymming-since-i
was-four-types. They pick humongous weights like Goliaths, run wihout a bead of sweat for eons, have perfectly toned bodies and make me want to cringe and bury myself under the pedals of the cross ramp.

What's really interesting is that the larger people wear the tightest of clothes and the thin ones wear big, baggy jhola clothes (I wear jhola clothes, the husband's oldest tees, I am thin, I am thin, I am thin... there! now it must be true).
I am having a super time. I am fit, happy, people-watching and surging with endorphins! Its a good life.

Pen & Inks

Some very initial pen and inks from a book I am working on. Will post all of the work, once the project is done and I have a clearance from the client. The stories are Ruskin Bond's.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Atticus Finch

I have been a little under the weather the past three weeks with one illness after another queuing in unexpectedly. I haven’t had the heart to pick up the brushes in a while. But today I thought it was time to put some salve into my soul. So I curled up with a cup of hot bitter sweet coffee and watched “To Kill A Mockingbird”, all over again. I have read this book by Harper Lee several times over and watched the film about half a dozen times, and it remains very close to my heart.
I can easily say that this book is without doubt the most beautiful I have read and can ever hope to read. Like all good books, you notice something new and take with you something new from this book every single time that you read it.

I have never had role models and almost never really been in awe of anyone, perhaps with the exception of Atticus Finch, one of the characters from the book.
For those who have not read this book or watched the film, the story is from the point of view of Jean Louise Finch (Scout) as she remembers a summer back in Maycomb County when she was 6 years old. Atticus is her father, a lawyer who is assigned to be the state defense attorney for a young black man (Tom Robinson) who is accused of raping a white woman.
Jeremy (Jem) Finch is her brother who is 4 years older. Along with Dill, who visits his aunt every summer, the three kids spend most of their holidays wondering about their mysterious neighbour Arthur (Boo) Radley who has not been seen for several years and about whom some horrific stories abound in the small neighbourhood. Well, this is really the backdrop, the book addresses several issues, those of growing up, and racial prejudice, of parenting, courage and most importantly I suppose belief. This summary in no way does justice to the story, if you haven’t read the book, I suggest you do.

I cannot really sum this book, because as I said it brings me something new every time I read it. The film stars Gregory Peck in one of his most powerful and nuanced performances as Atticus and Mary Bedham as little Scout.

I cannot honestly imagine anyone else as Atticus. In fact it is difficult to separate the actor from the character he plays in this particular film. Atticus is a man of principles and mettle. His face is calm and compassionate; he always wears crisply ironed suits and ties.

In one of the scenes in the film, the two children are half asleep and talking about their mother who they lost 4 years ago, and the camera tracks very gently to Gregory Peck as he sits quietly on the swing at the porch outside, listening to his children. Atticus’s quiet face reveals just how much his wife meant to him. Enough to give you goose bumps.
And another sequence, where Atticus sits outside the jailhouse; guarding Tom who is inside. The trial is to begin the next morning. Atticus is reading under a lamp he has carried from home, it is the middle of the night and not a leaf stirs, all is dark, except for the light from the lamp, this shot is taken from afar. Four cars arrive with a lynch mob. What ensues is yet another remarkable scene in the film.

The character of Boo Radley is poignant to say the least. Especially when one realizes that Boo was once shut away from the world; but now chooses to shut himself away. The children are fascinated with him and in his own way so is he with the children. Perhaps he finds in their innocent curiosity and their foolish prying games the childhood he never was allowed. In a way I suppose Boo is the mockingbird and so is Tom.
“I could shoot all the Bluejays I wanted, if I could hit them, but (i was told) to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird”, says Atticus as he remembers what his father told him when he first gave him a gun.

The truth is that I want to believe that there are men like Atticus. No. Let me rephrase that, I want to believe that Atticus still exists. That courage and integrity still exist. That in all this noise, clutter and fragile egos the size of football fields which has everyone screaming like infants for attention and security, there is this island, rock solid, quiet, that can harbor someone like you and me. Or perhaps I am hoping that I find this island inside of me. And inside of you.

You can read more about Atticus on wikipedia here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More of Meera

I like drawing this little girl. Her name is Meera, and she lives in a modest little home with her parents and younger brother. Coming up soon is a strip/series on Meera. These are some sketches that go into my website which should be up soon!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fly On The Wall

This is an illustration for a friend's blog, this is to be the masthead. Param writes just about everything under the sun, places, people, travel with the focus being on design and design research. You can find his blog here.

And then I changed the beer to some good old filter kaapi, as Param pointed out that he doesn't drink beer at all! And considering he is a Tam-bram, we hit bulls eye with the kaapi! As all you 'naarthindians' may well know, we brush our teeth, gargle and floss with filter kaapi!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rhea's 1st-Birthday-to-be-soon Card

One of the cutest babies to shine her 4 toothed grinny smile on us. The husband is an ardent and devoted fan of this little one and follows her around in a moonstruck way. Its her birthday soon and we've got her a cuddly Mr. Knick Knocks. I made this card for her, had fun making it!


Pottering around with some glitter paints and baubles on a lazy, dozy afternoon.

Get Well Soon Mithi

For a princess who is loved very much. May you get well soon and be up on your feet weaving your special web of magic!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Girl at Window:Two

14" by 22"
Acrylic on canvas
The second in the series. I need to revisit this painting. I cant make up my mind if its done or not yet. It looks much better actually, couldn't quite get the stark colours and the bronze tints in the photograph.

Girl at Window: One

14" by 18"
Acrylic on canvas
My first attempt at acrylic on canvas! I am still trying to get a grip on the medium. Canvas is so much fun! This is the first of a series of three paintings.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

'Eyelet It Be' at the Lakme Fashion Week at Mumbai, 2008

Here's an illustration for Anuj's new collection of whacky clothes. The garments use eyelets. He wanted an illustration that would go with his write-up-tag with the garment.
I did these explorations first. We wanted an illustration that would go with the line 'eyelet it be'.
I wanted the concepts to reflect Anuj's attitude to life and work in general as well.
The eyes would have actual eyelets stuck into them.

We took the tangled hair concept further.

And then i put in some stars and dots and eyelets.

Yesterday was Anuj's show at the Lakme India Fashion Week in Mumbai, here are some shots of his collection. He got the illustration printed on cloth and tells me that along with his clothes (which without doubt are quite genius and were a great hit! Kudos!!), the illustration was well recieved too!!

And here is the man himself! I got the tresses right huh?!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cats in the House

Can anyone not like cats but like drawing them? Pretty weird.
Pen and ink and crayons.
11" by 15.5" on handmade paper.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Met these two little girls on a day of clutter and traffic jams.
Mixed Media. 10 inches by 15 inches.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Shilpa & Mithi

Shilpa and Mithi are two of my favorite people! I made this illustration for an article on the film Taarein Zameen Par, written by Shilpa for NID's Film and Video magazine called 'Cut Here'. You can catch a brief glimpse of the article in Shilpa's blog.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I wonder who he was waiting for near the water pump. It was way past the time for any school to have started for the day. Was he late? Was he bunking? Waiting for another friend so he could steal away? Waiting for his mother? I wonder if he had finished all his homework?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Met her on a busy street. Didn't quite get her right. She did not look this demure. In fact she looked rather saucy and her eyes almost cajoled you into buying one of her beaded necklaces for ten rupees each.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Woman with Umbrella

I was in Kerala a couple of weeks back, and this is a common enough sight. Young women with neatly oiled and braided hair, expressions of docility, carrying umbrellas to shield themselves from the fiery afternoon sun.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tree of Life: Three

Third and last in the series. I re-drew and painted one of my earlier drawings. Loved doing the dots, used ear-buds for them. I like busy looking drawings with lots of textures and colours.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tree of Life: Two

Second in the series. Got my hands on some gold paint. This is 8 inches by 11 inches, poster colours on handmade paper.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tree of Life: One

With changes after Reena's feedback about the tree of life looking rather life-less! Makes such a dramatic difference!

My rendition of the Tree of Life. This one is inspired by Gustav Klimt's work on the same subject. 8 inches by 11 inches. Poster colours on handmade paper.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Birds of a feather...

Been working on a series on birds, taking the same 'chidiya' form ahead. I find that tetures are really fun but exhausting to do and these are not even as intricate as I would like them to be. These are all 8 inches by 5.5 inches. Poster colours on cartridge paper.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chidiya Udd

Been toying with an idea. It is called 'Chidiya Udd' meaning 'fly away bird'. I am trying to give some identity and perspective to the kind of work I would like to do. Well, the idea is to do work that deals essentially with the girl child. Stories, art, publications, photo essays and more. I think that the art should be done entirely and only by hand. While I form a clearer idea of 'Chidiya Udd', here are some explorations for some sort of a logo/identity.

I am happy with the form of the bird, its derived from the form of the common sparrow. I prefer the vertical, thinner format myself.
I have just bunged the text it, haven't worked on the fonts or placement yet. I also need a better line than, 'art & stories'.
Of course there will be more information on the card. But I could use the back for that and leave the illustration unhindered. I need some direction on which one to work further on.
So if there are any kindly souls who read this post, do let me know what you think.

Friday, January 18, 2008

For Anek Taanka

I have just finished a series of illustrations for Varsha. Varsha is a textile artist who runs Anek Taanka. She is also my batchmate from NID, one of my best friends and the maddest woman there could possibly be. Varsha does some exquisite work, she works with stitches. Though the staple of Anek Taanka is furnishings, Varsha also does pieces of textile art, lamps, bags, among a myriad other things. What makes her work unique, is that all her fabric surfaces are covered with stitches. She manages to do some very graphic work as well as three dimensional work with fabric and stitches.

I made this series as icons for her website which is being built and for some brochures. The brochures are going to be stiff, brown paper with real, stitches running on them.
Sounds quite exciting!

3 inches by 3 inches
Ink on cartridge.