Event, Life

The empty space

A couple of months ago we lost our beloved Dida, our mothers’ mother. When I lose someone from my life, I have a ritual of committing to paper all the memories before they grow dim in my mind. This is one of those ritual drawings.

For all the cousins: Rishi, Ribhu, Reshmi, Ruby, Nikon, Bimbo, Josh-da, Mishti-di, Babun-da, Pushan-da, Raja-da, Ruchi-di, Rinku-di, Badshah-da and Tupshi.

Dida

Bengali words

Hall-ghar: the big room, literally the hall
Adda: A gathering for gossip, among other things. Wikipedia definition
Taash: cards
Kodbel: A fruit
Putiram: a sweet shop
Eecha: A sweet made with coconut in the shape of prawns from East Bengal
Cheet: A gur candy probably invented by my Dida
Patla Dal with kaalo jeera: Watery dal made in the East Bengal way
Daler Bora, Daler Paturi: Dishes made with lentils, from East Bangal
Mourala Maachch: Tiny fish from the Bay of Bengal

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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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Event, sketchbook

A happy new year with last year’s sketchbook

As always I’m wishing everyone a happy new year in Feb because that’s when it really hits me. Happens to you also I’m sure – so a very happy new year. Last year I had a great year and a great sketchbook, most of which I was too lazy to scan. So here goes.

I think it was October (?) that I happened to go to the book launch of Gandhi before India by Ram Guha.  Until the session began, I amused myself by drawing the people in the audience. If any of you reading this post go to book launches, please don’t stop – I love drawing faces of book lovers – a refreshing change from the blue line Delhi metro commuters.

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and here are some insights from Mr Guha about writing biographies:

1. Never anticipate

2. Look for sources that emanate from the person himself

3. One must flesh in the secondary characters

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Life, sketchbook

Weekend art

From my March sketchbook.

art-kela

LINKS

Bangalore Art – There was an interactive dance show that we couldn’t find anywhere, not even online later

Mughal Gardens – Did you know Delhi has these amazing gardens? Now we have to wait for next year.

Rashtrapati Bhavan – That’s where the President stays.

Nityan’s show – my very talented friend is also a great artist.

TRANSCRIPT

Weekend Art (Kelas)

We went for Bangalore History and couldn’t find it.

BB: Oh it’s not even mentioned here.

We went to Mughal Gardens and it was already shut!

Finally we went to hang out in Rashtrapati Bhavan. And the call of coffee was too strong to ignore.

BB: Not all kelas (flops: pun) – We went for Nityan’s show last night

Me: Trust you to draw a silver lining on my dark cloud…

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People, travels

The children of the village

So, another day we went to Dhordo village in Kutch to meet some of the craftsmen.

While everyone was admiring the crafts, I went to draw the kids sitting outside and making bead necklaces. Each of them make and sell their own handicrafts to earn pocket money. While I was drawing, all of them gathered around and then took turns for me to draw them one by one!

kids

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