We went to see Nalini Malani – A Retrospective. I found it surprisingly thought-provoking. The pieces exhibited in the hall where the Wedding Dress was displayed were the ones that resonated the most with me. Listening to Shades was nice as well.
Next was a group show called Is That What You Think. Some of the pieces were interesting – because you really could figure out the narrative behind the artwork if you try. Like the piece by Vivan Sundaram which didn’t make sense at a cursory glance, but as I moved around the room I really began to open up to the feelings that the artist might have wanted to express. One – a piece of video art showing rolling waves was a transporting experience though I didn’t really understand it. Lightning Testimonies was an interesting way to watch the films, and that’s not the least of it. (And by the way if you want to see the drawing larger just double click on it – and then remember to return to this post!)
Do you read the horoscope? I do, if only to appreciate the creativity of the writers. Sometimes they come up with really cute suggestions of how I should behave or what I should do. It’s rather amusing, really. One Wednesday in March my horoscope advised me to “be yourself”.
And here’s the soundtrack to that.
One of my friends, Jedi collects people. He has a huge number of really cool and interesting friends and he likes to mix them in different combinations to spark off the most diverting reactions. It’s great fun. I made some really great friendships from some of those mixes of Jedi’s.
And these days when I sketch from life, it really feels like I’m “collecting” people. I don’t draw just anyone, but people with interesting faces, or gestures or if I feel they could be a real “character”! The brown boy and I often have competitions when we draw from life. For instance, we’ll pass someone on the road or in a shop who looks really intriguing to us. And immediately we’ll try to draw that person from memory and see who’s done the better job. If you know the brown boy, you would know that most of the time he’s the one who wins the challenge. But sometimes it’s me.
Here’s a random selection of people I’ve collected over the last three months. I drew this in the office cafetaria.
This one, at Nehru Place Metro Station, my favourite place to sketch these days.
The next few were drawn at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Khan Market.
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.
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.
[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.
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.]