Life, List, sketchbook

A decade ago in inktales

Some of you may know that I’ve had this blog for nearly 15 years. The earliest post was May 2006. Here’s a post from those hot summer days when Delhi was baking and I was sitting in our top floor walk-up in East of Kailash, using our old Windows desktop to write those posts. This is the first one with the anteater –

who was going to be one of the characters in an alphabet book I was illustrating at the time. At the time I really didn’t want to be a designer and only wanted to illustrate children’s books, and didn’t even know how important this anteater is going to become in my life!

Here’s another book I illustrated at the time, which someone has even made into a read aloud story on Youtube!

Anyway I was trying to remember what I was doing ten years ago in September 2010 – it’s only been a decade but feels like a generation in the age of the world. I had just returned from Sweden and had probably started working in TIL by then. By September I had found my groove with drawing again, and was as usual worrying about inspiration, drawing and happiness in Creative block and Being happy.

Finally when I read Plato and Platypus walk into a bar in 2016 it all made sense for me…

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Life, People, sketchbook

The one with the magic

My friend k_space gifted Just Kids to me a decade ago and since then Patti Smith, with her music and her writing, have been my spiritual savior. I squeezed M Train out for months, not wanting to let go of her company.

[I got some coffee and stood looking at the sky. Patti Smith saves me every time. That’s why I’m tough like Monday morning.]

“Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.”

Patti Smith

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Food, sketchbook

Bring on the cake, we really want to live

Said Maira Kalman in her wonderful book Cake, and I take those words very seriously. If you’ve been reading my blog for some time you will know that’s all I ever think about and sometimes do things

Here’s a drawing of morotskaka that the brown boy has loved ever since Malmö and we are made to eat it often.

This wishful drawing is from my birthday two years ago – when I was more concerned about growing older than I am now.

“The wonderful thing about cake is it really is connected to so many moments, not just celebratory moments, but moments of heartache.”

Maira Kalman

and last year I discovered this wonderful concoction.

So what’s your favorite? Or can you even have favorites?

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Books, Life, sketchbook

Although I cannot see your face

Honestly who would have thought that we would spend a quarter of a year in physical isolation from each other. A story to recount in my old age.

And speaking of old age. Umberto Eco once wrote that books are the most robust format of content transmission that we have seen over centuries, and so that if nothing else, my sketchbooks would probably survive till my old age at least, and I will look back on these days and laugh…

"Although I cannot see your face 
As you flip these poems awhile
Somewhere from some far off place
I hear you laughing - 
and I smile..."

Shel Silverstein
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Life, People, sketchbook

Be allowed to be broken…

These lockdown weekends we get to share our tastes with each other. One weekend morning we watched Maira Kalman videos on Youtube.

Be allowed to be broken and go on anyway…

she said

Words to remember as we try to restore our sanity and get on with life. And Orin really enjoyed Cake, one of her lovely short films which is really a book.

Another Saturday we watched Cars. I remember really loving the character design in the past but I was so dismissive of the movie when it came out, saying “It’s just for four-year-olds!” I laugh at those words now, having seen Agastya go through his Cars phase and also Orin.

‘It’s not Mack Truck Amma, it’s a truck called Mack.”

says he.

And then one evening we were talking about lizards.

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