Life, in drawings

Earth day 2014


To honor Earth Day this year, I switched from paper cups to a ceramic mug to drink coffee at work.

Also, when I take coffee breaks, I go and look at some greenery. Those hedges has thus become friends and I sometimes have a conversation with them.


Today I held forth on the coffee I drink. Earlier it was this way:

1/4 espresso, 1/2 hot water

Now in the new cup, 1/4 espresso, 3/4 hot water

So basically same amount coffee, only more water. I believe they call it “long black”.


So win-win for everyone – same coffee, but lasts longer. And the Earth is a miniscule bit happier, hopefully.

Thanks to Girish for the idea for this post.

Rishikesh, lord of the senses

There is something special about a midweek holiday. Being the crazy workaholics that we are, we surprised ourselves with this rare treat last week, and drove up to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. The last time we went on holiday, there weren’t any people to sketch, so this time we made sure that we’d get some suitable moments. 001

002[At the ghats we look around for peace, shade and people to draw.]


[The photographer sits and talks about another two months...and then. I couldn't keep up with his Hindi.]


This is not the brown boy, though it looks like him.

And here’s a restless little flower seller.


[Drawing from life is tough, but it must be done. It's the only way to get away from the pre-conceived imagery in my head.]


[Here we are at Triveni Ghat waiting for the arati to start. It was very beautiful when it happened.

Prayer and worship always catch me unawares and I never know what to do.]

At one of the ghats we met Or, a graphic design student from Israel. He wanted to talk about moleskines and pens.


“Everyone is a hippie here, or a yoga nerd! I don’t want to talk about yoga or music.”

He was rather funny. “But India has karma, I love that concept.”


Our spiritual quest was punctuated by birthday calls from friends, all recommending their special things to do in Rishikesh, with love. And I kept thinking about all our beloved apps and digital services, which are just isolating us from each other more and more, and that just hearing the voice of a dear one on the phone is all it takes.

When we were not drawing people at the ghats, we spent time on the terrace of the hotel, watched birds, napped in the hammock, and listened to the Vedanta podcast about the price of success.



At other times we talked about the most human human.

Finally while stirring coffee we identified our purpose of the holiday – do nothing.

It’s much easier to have fun after that.


[At breakfast one day this girl was sitting so calmly, and waiting for breakfast. Maybe the point of a holiday like this is really to slow down, savour the moment.]

You can see how much I over-analyze. It’s hard to be in the moment sometimes.


 [We stayed a few hours more for the zently relaxing yoga class. What a perfect holiday. Sigh.]

An app called Olinda

Do you want to announce your baby’s birth on the Statue of Liberty? Do you want to display your beautiful digital artwork on the Taj Mahal? How can you make sure that you do something different for those special times? This app Olinda will let you do that.

If you like the idea please sign up on the Olinda site.


A bunch of friends helped me out – my friends Anitha Balachandran, Vivekananda, Arjun Rajagopal, Prashant Singh, Rukminee Guha Thakurta, Lolita Bhaduri, my cousin Nikon, my colleagues Subbiah Pillai, Sumit Dey and Saibal Datta, and the soundtrack is a cover version of The Beatles’ I Will sung by Shannon Victor Peter.


I usually do not post my design work on inktales, but this is a side project that I'm really excited about. So if you like it, do sign up - it will help me get investment to take it further.]

For when I am old and grey

When you’ve lived for a very long time, it’s rare that you discover new habits to cultivate. So I’m making these notes to remind me in my old age.


What are some new habits that you’ve acquired?

Leaving, the film

March is mainly about beginnings, but today’s post is about endings, closings, finales. You may remember the post Leaving which I had drawn about returning to India after my post-grad studies in Sweden. Here’s the film, brought to life by the brown boy.

And see more of his work here and here.

Losing my language

For those of you who’ve joined in late, an anteater appeared in my sketchbook in the summer of 2009, with his smart-alecky comments, and then he decided to stay. Imaginary friend or not, he always appears when I need him most, ready with sarcasm and wisdom. He turned up again this morning, for all you anteater fans out there.






Dedicated to Punam: Happy birthday!

Monday blues


Last year’s Bhimtal trip

We drove out one weekend to Bhimtal, not too far from Delhi. Click on the images to see larger sizes.


There were no other visitors that weekend (lovely), so no people to draw (not so lovely).


So these are all the people we saw: a nimbu-paani-wala at Sattal Lake with his variety of citrus fruit.


And our boatman on Sattal Lake.


Salvage Today

A page from that 2013 sketchbook. Don’t remember when, but I didn’t get much done that day.


Drawing always brings me out of my grouchy moods, even when I look back on them later. What are some of the things you do, to get out of your grouchy mood?

Bonus: Sketchnotes, here and there

So, having artists sketch at conferences have become a cool thing these days. I was asked to do some for a company’s employee meeting last year.


I really like this page: Swarn Sehgal was talking about the effort we need to put in to meet our aspirations. One of the key takeaways was to be proactive, especially for companies, instead of waiting for a crisis to bring about the change.


And this was Ian Herman talking about how they made the brand come together.

Oh and I forgot to mention, but last year my “sketchnotes” were featured on Kyoorius’s website. Here’s the link:


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 687 other followers