Also Visit, Life, sketchbook, travels

Drawing on holidays

It never ceases to surprise me how many firsts are still left in life – a new activity this year was a trip with friends who are artists in their own right. Believe me when I tell you it was most refreshing.

And here you can catch the brown boy in action.

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sketchbook, Technology, travels

Rishikesh, lord of the senses

There is something special about a midweek holiday. Being the crazy workaholics that we are, we surprised ourselves with this rare treat last week, and drove up to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. The last time we went on holiday, there weren’t any people to sketch, so this time we made sure that we’d get some suitable moments. 001

002[At the ghats we look around for peace, shade and people to draw.]

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[The photographer sits and talks about another two months…and then. I couldn’t keep up with his Hindi.]

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This is not the brown boy, though it looks like him.

And here’s a restless little flower seller.

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[Drawing from life is tough, but it must be done. It’s the only way to get away from the pre-conceived imagery in my head.]

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[Here we are at Triveni Ghat waiting for the arati to start. It was very beautiful when it happened.

Prayer and worship always catch me unawares and I never know what to do.]

At one of the ghats we met Or, a graphic design student from Israel. He wanted to talk about moleskines and pens.

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“Everyone is a hippie here, or a yoga nerd! I don’t want to talk about yoga or music.”

He was rather funny. “But India has karma, I love that concept.”

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Our spiritual quest was punctuated by birthday calls from friends, all recommending their special things to do in Rishikesh, with love. And I kept thinking about all our beloved apps and digital services, which are just isolating us from each other more and more, and that just hearing the voice of a dear one on the phone is all it takes.

When we were not drawing people at the ghats, we spent time on the terrace of the hotel, watched birds, napped in the hammock, and listened to the Vedanta podcast about the price of success.

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At other times we talked about the most human human.

Finally while stirring coffee we identified our purpose of the holiday – do nothing.

It’s much easier to have fun after that.

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[At breakfast one day this girl was sitting so calmly, and waiting for breakfast. Maybe the point of a holiday like this is really to slow down, savour the moment.]

You can see how much I over-analyze. It’s hard to be in the moment sometimes.

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 [We stayed a few hours more for the zently relaxing yoga class. What a perfect holiday. Sigh.]

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sketchbook

Calm in the air ends with Periyar

Calm in the air | Calm in the air, Kochi and Silent Valley | Calm in the air, Silent Valley and Alapuzzha | Calm in the air, Lake Vembanad
Bengalis, as everyone knows, are notoriously bad at other Indian languages, specially if they’ve grown up in Bengal, and my uncle is no different. And faced with Malayalam, he devised his own version:
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Anyway, from Kottyam we went on to Periyar Forest Reserve. The road was beautiful – bordered with tea gardens and rubber plantations – and the aroma of spices greeted us the closer we got to the forest
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I was drawing more nature on this trip than humans and the brown boy objected. “What’s the point of drawing nature? You can’t even do justice to it! I hereby direct you to draw only people.” So I tried, somewhat, on the last day.
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And of course, the best part of every holiday is when you’re recounting the stories to your friends – just like I’m telling you now.

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sketchbook, travels

Calm in the air, part 4, Lake Vembanad

Calm in the air | Calm in the air, Kochi and Silent Valley | Calm in the air, Silent Valley and Alapuzzha

We took a local ferry from Aleppy to Kottayam, on Lake Vembanad. It was absolutely breathtaking.
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The ferry would stop at these villages, every few minutes or so – just like bus stops – and people would get on and off. To tourists like me who’d never been to Kerala it was really new.
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We passed hundreds of houseboats, and here is Anirudh telling us to read an article about Kerala later on –
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And there were tons of birds – and I kept drawing and drawing trying to capture their motion
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And amid all this beauty, someone was snoozing away
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Calm in the air, part 3, Silent Valley and Alapuzzha

Part 1, Calm in the air

Part 2, Kochi and Silent Valley

So, on to part 3 of the now-long forgotten Kerala holiday.

We didn’t do much more in Silent valley, except go on a safari. Here’s a place which reminded me of Spirited Away.

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We also saw a couple of animals (I drew these from memory, so they may not be true to life).

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Then we went on to Alaphuzzha, or Aleppy as it was called in English, a few hours away by car. It was all about the backwaters, tapioca chips and coconuts.

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19-sketchbook-keralaYes, the retreating monsoons, my sketchbook. Happy Kerala-ing.

Part4 tomorrow.

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sketchbook

Calm in the air, part 2, Kochi and Silent Valley

Part 1

Part 2
From Bangalore we went on to Kochi.

We met up with my uncle and aunt, who had traveled there from Calcutta.

In Kochi we stayed in a lovely homestay run by Basil and Annie Mylanthra. They were so hospitable it was like staying with family!

After a day or so in Kochi, gatecrashing funerals and school band practices, we went on to Silent Valley.
Despite my grumbles, it was rather exciting. Here’s the stream at the foot of the forest inspection bungalow.


So you can see, we were surrounded by a lot of atmosphere.
Part 3 coming next.

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Life, People

Calm in the air, part 1

We recently went for a holiday down south. On the way we stopped by in Bangalore, at our friends’ Anirudh and Mishta’s lovely home.

I packed in a rush and ended up looking like a mule.


This is Mishta (almost)

and this is Anirudh from the back.

A good time was had by all.


And between all this we also managed to visit Malleswaram where I fell in love with all the pumpkins.

Part 2 coming next.

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sketchbook, travels

Sketching in the sun

Last month we went on a little holiday to Goa. First we visited Marvin & Ellie in their beautiful home in Panjim.


We then went south to Palolem to meet up with some other friends.


The anteater came as well, spouting William Blake.

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