art, Books, drawing, Life, sketchbook

From Sojourns in the parallel world

A year or so ago, I used to have a morning ritual of waking up and reading some poetry with coffee. Once in a while I would read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and during that time, I also read White by Kenya Hara. (It’s such a meditative, beautiful book, and it was rather a spiritual and other worldly experience for me.)

One of those mornings, I read this poem by Denise Levertov. Though it’s about immersing our human consciousness in the natural world, to me the last few lines evoked how we continue to voluntarily lose ourselves in the virtual world.

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“No one discovers

just where we’ve been, when we’re caught up again

–but we have changed, a little.”

From the sketchbook called Finding Soo • August 2016.

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art, drawing, Life, parenthood, sketchbook

Chasing a medium

Back in 2015, I faced a serious identity crisis. Most women sail through these transitional times like swans, I however was more sinking than swimming. Eventually I found a sense of self but it took almost a year.

In those days, I felt cramped by my earlier visual language, and struggled to evolve my usual ink lines into something else.

Friends recommended all sorts of media, but I just couldn’t break out of line.

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I explored drawing with brushes, ink and pastels but the cloud wouldn’t budge.

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The only benefit after all that, was the brown boy was happy.

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art, Life, sketchbook

To Amrita

Back in 2014, the brown boy and I used to have this painting by Amrita Sher-Gill hanging in front of our bed and I had just finished reading Amrita Sher-Gil: A Life by Yashodhara Dalmia.

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“I wish I could be in this Amrita Sher-Gil painting. Everyone is so calm and restful – a calm that I have lost, and would dearly love to get back.

Oh Amrita, your paintings are so much calmer than your own life. Is that a sign that life is always more chaotic than art?

Yours truly, agitated Soo.”

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art, sketchbook

The slow art of bookmaking

If you’re so inclined, here’s a review of Zones of Privacy by Alisha Sett that appeared in the Hindu the other day.

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Photo from The Hindu

Here’s what she writes about my books (from 2003, 2009 and 2016):

A contrasting experience of honesty can be found in the ironic tone and self-reflexive journals of Sunandini Basu piled up on the centre table of the exhibition. An animation designer for 15 years, she had to sift through 96 journals to make her selection for the show. For Basu, journaling is a process of making life. She shared with us that through these “letters for her future self” she “often remember(s) forgotten wishes and goals or events” that shaped her. It’s delightful to stroll through the worries and victories of her daily life. One can trace the arc of the conversation the young designer has had with herself over the years and feel like a confidential encounter has taken place.

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Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all having a very merry christmas (and God Jul to any Swedish visitors), and here are some desktop wallpapers from the best of inktales.

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art, illustration

Pingola the Grumpy King

This is the cover of The Grumpy King, it has been published by Ladybird. The story – not written by me- is about Pingola a very very grumpy king who was always worried and grumpy. He made too many laws and tried to force everyone in his kingdom to follow the laws – bedtime at 9, everybody must always do their homework, no eating sweets, no parties, etc. The king himself had to check everyone’s report cards to make sure they were all studying hard. The only saving grace was the king’s son, Singola (!!) who tried to make his father understand there can be no life without fun…But in vain.

One day the king woke up in the night to find everyone celebrating. He found out that they were celebrating his death! And try as he might, he could not make them see that eh was not dead. It was a nightmare! Finally when the king actually woke up, he decided to abolish the old rules and make new rules! Like school till 3 in the afternoon only, weekends for fun and parties, etc. The people were happy and they lived happily ever after.

Well I’m not too fond of the story myself, but apparently the book was pretty popular with children (and their parents!) I met a lady who said that her daughter really loved the book, and thought that she was the grumpy king! But alas, the shelf life for these books are very less… by the time I met her daughter, my book was passé, and she was playing video games instead 😦

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