Life, sketchbook

Lockdown diaries

Like most people who draw/sketch I filled up a lot of my time drawing.

Here are my sketchbooks from 2020. The red one is from Jan-Feb, when I wasn’t drawing at all, and I started the green one when lockdown started in March.

Things were of course very worrying and unsettling…

But did you know that these stages are not linear? I was so grateful for being able to work from home, having my favorite people around me and countless other things, when so many around us were suffering…

Anyway the one thing we did to keep a semblance of normality was “always the same little things in the same order and then the day can start”…

like eating breakfast…and finding ways to keep our spirits up.

Ate noodles for dinner and found TS Eliot thinking about home:

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated… …a lifetime burning in every moment…We must be still and still moving

So in the pursuit of stillness…

and birds flying north.

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Books, Life, sketchbook

The transformational power of a book

Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead was one such transformational force that changed my life when I read it in 2013.

Sometimes in your life you happen to read the right book at the right time. and when that happens, there is a transformation. Up until then in my career there was a lack of women role models…

…and therefore no awareness of possibilities for the working mother.

Through her stories I understood it’s possible to have a career and be a mother, that workplaces can provide support structures, and so can the people in your life.

And that’s how I stopped holding back and took on the opportunities coming my way. Hope, optimism and possibilities – that’s how Lean in inspired me at a crucial time at a moment in my life…and I leaned in towards discovery.

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Life, sketchbook, travels

Istanbul in 5 days

Last week we went on a holiday to Istanbul. It was only five days so we only stayed in Istanbul, exploring the city and so on. Unlike other holidays, the brown boy didn’t have to feed Orin this time!

Istanbul is such a beautiful, picturesque city with so much character.

Skyline with minarets, narrow lanes with cobbled streets…

We loved the food, starting with the street food, Simit, roasted chestnuts and Turkish coffee.

We learnt some Turkish words to get by:

In 1928, Ataturk changed the Turkish alphabet from the previous Ottoman (Arabic) script to Roman letters/Latin alphabet to improve the literacy of the new republic of Turkey. More here.

We were also really interested in seeing the Byzantium remains around the city, but we mainly saw the outstanding Hagia Sophia, the moody Basilica Cistern and the Stone of Million.

We couldn’t manage to fit in the Camlica tower and other newer architecture on this trip, but worth a visit later on!

We went shopping in the Grand Bazar or Mısır Çarşısı as it’s called in Turkish:

On one of the days we took a cruise down the Bosporus, starting from the Golden Horn and going all the way up to the Black Sea.

We also visited the neighbourhoods of Balat-Fatih, Beyoğlu and around.

Overall the trip was fabulous. We caught up on much needed rest, drawing and reading, and even managed a trip to the local Legoland!

Our links:

Street food: https://www.timeout.com/istanbul/restaurants/the-best-turkish-street-foods and https://www.nomadepicureans.com/europe/turkey/street-food-istanbul/
Sulemani Cheesecake from Viyana Kahvesi
Cook Life Balat http://cooklife.com/ in Balat https://www.goturkey.com/en/blog/hidden-istanbul-a-day-in-balat

Art: Istanbul Modern https://www.istanbulmodern.org/en and Salt Galata https://saltonline.org/en/42/salt-galata

Here are some pages from my journal.

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Life, People, sketchbook

Journal drawings, 2019

Drawings from my journals about some of the lovely people I have met here. Most of these are drawn from memory, like cartoonists often tend to do, but the discipline of drawing from life is always required.

This was drawn the day I started feeling like I belonged…

A lovely Andhra dinner at Teju’s – it was also our friend Pallavi’s birthday that day.

This is a drawing from the farewell party for the warm and wonderful Harini.

Drawing these I felt I needed some practice drawing from real life: See how the lines are different…

Madam Uma is always present but absent as Anu likes to say…and I really like the drawing of Anu below where she looks so much like her daughter…

❤︎

Title by CS Lewis

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My sister reading out one of my aunt’s stories on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Life, People, sketchbook

Afternoon saga

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