gutotales, Life, parenthood, People, sketchbook

A funny thing about parenthood

One day when I was still pregnant, Indira and I were talking about the baby.

Life after -3

“I guess I’ll get bored with it in three months,” I said. “It’ll probably be like an app or a gadget.”

But around six months we were still enamored! And to my consternation, I learnt that babies keep changing all the time, so there is really no scope to get bored!

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Life, People, sketchbook

Our labor story

Really, there’s no drama. Millions of women give birth everyday, and like everything else in my life, I just happened to document it, that’s all.

Mostly because I wanted to preserve the memory of my experience, and also to check that my drawing skills hadn’t flown out (along with all the unexpected amount of blood I’d lost)!

About a couple of weeks into motherhood, I groggily managed to draw this out while the pipsqueak was sleeping.

P008

01 Feb 2015 04:00 AM | My water broke and jerked me awake. Thanks to the internet I could easily figure out what was happening. The brown boy was ready to panic, but I calmed him down saying it was probably a false alarm. We called Dr. Rai and though she said we should go to the hospital, I decided to go back to sleep until a decent time, and by 07:00 AM, we were at Fortis with our overnight bag.

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At the hospital, everything was peaceful and organized. The nurses were sweet. They hooked me up to monitors to check the foetal heart beat and put me on a drip. The resident doctors examined me, and we were on our way to having this baby! In the morning I went around the room doing yoga poses, all geared up for a normal delivery. The brown boy giggled through a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory. The rest of the day passed slowly and nothing much happened. I ate chocolate and listened to the Emperor Waltz on loop. Later on in the day, the contractions started and we began monitoring them. I have a pretty high threshold for pain so it was just about bearable.

P010

06:00 PM | By the evening, there was no progress! We were all geared to spend the night in the labor room. Then the foetal heart rate dropped, and dropped again. A worried Dr. Rai suggested that we should do a C-section since it’s a “precious pregnancy” (another term for an elderly mom, i.e. me).

07:45 PM | They strapped me on to a stretcher and all that, like an usual surgery. Dr. Rai’s crew introduced themselves to me. Then Dr.Rai said, we’re going in! Lots of activity went on behind that green curtain. I had local anasthesia so it wasn’t painful (then) but I tried not to look. The brown boy needed to hold my hand, he was so stressed. But it was really the shortest 15 minutes of my life – within minutes they brought out this little squealing mini-me. Then I passed out.

When I woke up, this is what we had: little squealing baby Orin.

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Part 1 | Part 2

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People, sketchbook

Encounters of the human kind

When I was younger I was dead scared of talking to people. I used to be terribly quiet and painfully awkward in social situations – but over the last few years circumstances have made me more open to human contact. Here are a few such encounters worth recording.

“I would love to see your blog! Can I meet you in Noida?” said a beautiful stranger in a lovely blue dress at the airport. But of course we didn’t.
stranger

One day in the office cafeteria I ate sandwiches with Jabba the Hut who I used to be scared of, years ago when I’d joined Adobe. And promptly remembered the quotation
jabba

Some days every encounter is unique enough to remember.
social encounters

But there are some that really stand out and I make sure to draw them before I forget.

Here’s a lovely conversation I had with Ripul, in Bangalore last year, which was interesting though we had crossed paths decades ago, we had never really “met” in person! Among other things, we talked about design and business, the power of networks, our graduate studies, and our respective employers.
ripul

Then, a few months ago I spent a day with dear friends Mishta and Anirudh, who influence me greatly, then and now, and I had to quickly catch that time on paper before it was lost.
mishtaanirudh

But the best encounters, conversations, meals have been with these people, around this mythical table…even if some of them are not in my life anymore…dinner

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People, sketchbook

Phil

It’s almost a year ago that I became a Design Manager at Adobe. Like everything in my life I took it very seriously and questioned the life out of the role.

On a trip back to the mothership, I met with Phil Clevenger, Design Director. Here’s some advice he had for me, among others, that I immortalized in drawing:

[Phil]

“Do something that keeps you happy everyday.”

And this is one for the dark days, when you’ve done all you can:

“Cut yourself some slack. Let some people go.”

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People

People

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.

April-weekday

 

 

This, in a meeting at work. The thing is, if you know the people, it’s not really a collection. Drawing is then merely a way to recede from the present.Marches05

 

 

This one, at Nehru Place Metro Station, my favourite place to sketch these days.

Marches04

 

 

The next few were drawn at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Khan Market.

May-weekend2

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May-weekend4

 

 

 

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Life, People, sketchbook

Doing what you love

If you’re like most creative people, you probably have a latent desire to do what you love for a living. The other day my friend Sumeet and I were talking about the very same thing –
dowhatyoulove
TRANSCRIPT
The mistake that people make when they start to do something the love, is that they start equating that with success. But that’s not right – when you start doing something you love, your goals should be self-awareness, self esteem, the joy of work, and finally, creativity through play. Then, if success comes from that, very good. But if not, at least you enjoyed yourself and probably learned a little about yourself in the process.

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