Reflection, sketchbook

Looking back at the wilderness years

I spent the week with the early sketchbooks and it was nice to be able to join the dots and see how I found my creative voice. I was cute, so innocent and honest – it’s really endearing. Of course there were periods of confusion, loss of identity – but I’m still here. (Yay for WordPress!) So grateful to be able to draw…Thank you universe.

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Books

As long as you have a book to read…

Do you know that feeling when you’re between books to read? When you’ve just finished a great book and you’re looking around for the next book?

That was what I felt that day – I was torn asunder by not being able to find a suitable book –

But then The Folded Clock felt like coming home. A rare book about a woman in her forties keeping a diary about her life, being a mother, wife, writer, friend, artist, writer….

This summer I read Letters from Tove a collection of letters Tove Jansson wrote to her family and friends. So lovely and fresh it made me homesick for Sweden and Finland.

Unlike Infinity Net, the autobiography of Yayoi Kusama, I grew quite fond of Tove Jansson while reading this book. She was such a loving, funny and good-natured person and so much of her voice comes across in the early Moomin books.

She wrote in a letter about choosing the right life partner: It’s important for one’s partner to love the art equally if not more for it to work.

“When one is lost to the art the partner need have no expectations.”

and so true that.

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Design, sketchbook, Work

Things I wish I knew in design school

A couple of months ago I was invited to give a talk to the students of JKLU.

Here are my notes as I was thinking of the content for the talk. As usual, I was supervising some mealtime or the other.

Of course not all of this went into the final presentation. The final talk was well received by the students and they asked really great questions. Here are a couple of the slides.

This is what I heard later: “Soo was so good! So informative but presented with an ease of informality. Loved the sketches.” “Soo cut across generations with her storytelling.” I enjoyed it too and thank you for listening.

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Life, People

People watching in Kolkata, 2: Own your presence Bengali!

Continuing from yesterday’s post on people watching, here’s another trip from last year.

“We spent seven beautiful days in Kolkata – beautiful days of Lakshmi Puja and Bhai Phonta. Though we both had to work a lot we got to spend some time with near and dear ones. And lots of near and dear food. Like chandrapuli, darbesh, narkel naru, malpua, chamcham, barfi, kochuri, jilipi and much more.”

I was reading Land of Seven Rivers by Sanjeev Sanyal on the journey and thinking about the pluralism and the melting pot that is India.

On this trip we “went to Seagull and bought lots of books, and finally sat down to draw at the airport.”

“Airport people are the best to draw. This restless Japanese tourist was not calm. Maybe his legs were aching. Maybe it was his heart.”

I was looking at the body language of the people around and thinking that “Bengalis always look so apologetic to be present. Like they don’t own the right to exist. They look too humble and sit as if they are trying to disappear into the background.

Be here, own your presence Bengali!”

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sketchbook

People watching in Kolkata

A trip back to my childhood home in Kolkata is always a bit disorienting for me.

Home: A constant reorientation of the self. Peeling back all the skins from the past.

In between all the usual socializing, I try to carve out some time to sit and draw the Bengalis, and secretly make snide comments into my sketchbook.

Thinking, how some people are totally unprepared for such close inspection. Including me of course. Flury’s, one afternoon in June 2018.

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List

14 years ago on inktales: October 2006

It was the first year of this blog and I was already documenting memories!

Before I forget – about my first real boyfriend. I bullied him into the relationship, broke up with him without warning and years later made these terrible drawings about him.

This post called Meeting in which I see the genesis of those early whimsical stories

and finally the tiger that graced our cricket matches once, was designed and animated by the brown boy.

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art, People, travels

Deez’s Evil Eye birthday

One evening in San Fransisco from a couple of years ago has been on my mind for the past few days. Deez was celebrating her birthday with some friends, and I joined in, glad to have caught up with her on this the trip. Here are my journal pages from that day.

“How many times in your life do you meet strangers and they have read your blog? Nothing like a surprise burst of celebrity-dom to bolster my ego!”

“In full entertainer mode I regaled everyone with stories of how the brown boy and I got together, and how did our little tornado come into our life.”

“We went for a long moonlight walk through the streets of Mission, took in the street art and curiosities peculiar to the culture. Arati told us stories of how the Mission came to be, and Deez her past selves that had moved through the area. We had awesome Mexican food and laughed so much.”

“There was happy birthday flan and we remembered all the stories of a dragonfly childhood. Remembered all the missing friends and how important they are.”

Here are some of the street art I saw:

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