For all that the brown boy and I are friends with each other, we fight enough. Here’s a hurriedly drawn page from one of 2018’s journals, when I was trying to figure out our new toaster…and he said something especially mean.
Today the brown boy and I celebrate fifteen years of being married. I am incredibly proud of this milestone, but the entire credit goes to him – who knew patience could last that long?
He’s put up with my weirdness, taken full responsibility of being the parent to our child
…all for the pleasure being in this blog!
He’s the Bergman to my Ullman,
my sense of home and my ends of days:
This marriage may have been a mistake but I would make it again to live through all these years with this brown boy again.
And here’s the drawing that I made after our first anniversary: We had sat and watched the waves in Bandstand.
Sometimes words don’t mean anything at all.
As I wrote the other day, The Only Story was thought-provoking, not least in the social mores that it strove to question, but also about the very banal nature of love.
I often draw in my sketchbook about the books I read, fodder for the drawing in a way. These pages were made while reading The Only Story.
Who can control how much they love? If you can control it, then it isn’t love. I don’t know what you call it instead, but it isn’t love.The Only Story by Julian Barnes
[Finished The Only Story the new book by Julian Barnes. A tale of such unequal love, and so much pain.]
As you know the brown boy is an animation filmmaker, and while he makes really lovely animated characters, I think in real life he is quite entertaining as well. Here’s a coffee date drawing where he was talking about sound and voiceover in films.
But Orin probably doesn’t think we are as entertaining! His parents’ all time favourite thing to do is drawing!
I’m lucky that some of my best friends are empathetic, inclusive, generous and kind human beings. They usually take a lot of pains to show that they are not, by the way, but sometimes their views on women are so illuminating to me simply because of their gender.
“Women and babies: They take all the opportunities (given to them) and squeeze everything they can out of them.”
“Probably they don’t feel as entitled as men,” qualified the brown boy.
But they are always, always, more intellectual, says Pacificleo, having tried to become one himself just for dates during his social butterfly youth.
Ladies, do you agree? Do you squeeze everything you can out of opportunities? Maybe we do it sub-consciously, I never feel like I do anything with opportunities! But I am clearly intellectual, at least!
The last two years have been incredible years of growing for me in my professional life. Challenging work, difficult situations, and always the need to build trust from bottom up.
These are some of the earliest drawings from those days:
What kept me going was the long game, and guiding myself with
Progress, not perfection
which I learnt from this 99u talk by Effie Brown.
I also draw myself out of stress, since drawing is nearly therapy for me. The 2017 and 2018 sketchbooks are filled with “stressy” drawings – as my friend Uli would say – like this one:
After a while though I got used to it, and learnt how to survive difficult days
Though our man, the brown boy, did have the last word:
“Ultimately, it’s all about having a good time. Later on if you feel you haven’t enjoyed yourself it’s not worth it.”
One day when I was still pregnant, Indira and I were talking about the baby.
“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!
Like a lot of couples, we’d done date nights before. After Orin was born, we converted them to Saturday morning dates.
“I was happy because all I wanted to do was to be cool in a cool place.”
And this one is from another day.
A break from the distant past of 2015 to the last holiday we took a few months ago. We’d gone to Sri Lanka, but as you’ll see from my drawings, events conspired to make the holiday more about the hotel room than the place.
“Here we are, in a neighboring country that looks and feels familiar, but such a different vibe, such a different sense of people.”
We’d planned to go to all these places that I’d drawn in the map, but I ended up in the hotel at Bentota the whole time, because Orin fell ill and only recovered the day we were leaving for Delhi. These are some drawings done on the road.
On this trip I started using water-soluble color pencils for the first time, and really enjoyed moving away from lines to shadows. (Forgive the quality of these images, my scanner is broken so there’s a big glare in all the scans.)
These drawings done in Kandy Botanical Gardens were the first ones where I was trying to figure out how to use color pencils.
Discovered the writing of Joan Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking on this trip.
“You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.”
And the same is true of people, I think.
And by the way, I used a Kaagazi sketchbook and loved it. Will be definitely using more of their books now.