Monday, December 24, 2012

On my way following the stars because they know the way!

I have a distinct memory of one Christmas when our house was filled with all my cousins and Grandparents. That was our first house in Pune after we shifted there. Christmas in Pune is a cold one and being in a convent school the carols always became synonymous with the cool wind around. It was late in the night at the Christmas eve and all of us children were sent to bed because we were told that if we dint sleep, Santa would not come at all. I am talking about time when I still believed in Santa and thought he lived in the clouds. I always felt that how lonely Santa would be up there all round the year and still he would make so many children happy!
I had lot of obscure questions that day, the most genuine was- how Mr. Santa would come inside our house because we had metal grilled windows, the doors were locked and lights were switched off. I was told that if I would keep my eyes open I wouldn't see him. The next morning was an expected surprise but it was still a surprise.
Probably that was the only year when I got a gift from Santa because the next morning my sister told me that it was my parents and not Santa and that’s how it worked all over the world. As much as I wanted to believe her I tried not to.
Then for many years I did not get gifts for Christmas except one when my Grandfather had come and kept a gift next to me at night and I had seen him do that. My eyes were half open even though I pretended to be fast asleep only because I did not want to disappoint him, neither myself.

To all the beautiful parents like mine, here’s a small note from us children and adults who wish to become children again:

Into the starry night,
As clouds would form a clutter,
Let me dream, let me dream;
Because the man in the beard is on his way.
He will come because he knows the way,
Following the stars on his way.
The way to my heart and not my mind,
Let me dream, let me dream!
Tomorrow he shall vanish in the thin air,
With my aspirations and goals chasing my way,
Then I wouldn't know the way;
To my heart and mind,
Let me dream, let me dream!
Let me believe,
That someone will come, following the stars!

Merry Christmas Blog-peers, I shall now see you in the New Year with new dreams and new worlds. The old world will always be by our side. I would like to mention that this week I had maximum readers from Latvia, Europe along with the US, Ukraine, Korea, Singapore, France, Malaysia, Denmark, Dubai, Turkey and topping the list of-course my very own India.This relationship with all of you who are so away makes me feel that I belong to this magical world.
More later, Lots of love.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Faith & Fate are two {different} words. So what ends tomorrow?


It has been lingering on for a long time now- the thought of the world ending on 21st December 2012. Some folks believe in this phenomenon and some say it’s irrational. Some say it’s an end while some look at it as a beginning of a new era. We certainly can’t claim that we haven’t thought of it. A world ending, how abstract of an idea or how real of an idea! We use this term so assertively without really defining what ‘world’ means to us. Frankly, I would be turning twenty two years old in January but I really don’t know what my world is, so if someone asked me what I think of 2012 phenomenon, I would say, “I really don’t know which of my world might end!” is it the world I live in with my family, the world which I believe is and not sure if it does exist at all or the world my Grandfather suffering from Alzheimer’s lives in. Which world do you or I mean?

While I was growing up I met all types and kinds of people, I still meet a lot. Everybody who came into my life showed me a new world, I dint question because I liked the world they showed me. Today those worlds are in the form of sheer photographs or some have no evidence whatsoever and got drowned in the waves of belief and time. To begin with was the world I was born in, a very small town called Karad; growing up with my sister and lot of pet dogs, grandparents to tell stories and a great-grandmother as a companion. Then my world moved to Pune in a new but small house; new friends and a new school leaving behind a world I thought I would go back to. I am the youngest in the family and I have seven sisters with whom I saw around the most in my growing up years. I have two brothers who I dint see that often as a child. I always got very inspired from my sisters more because they were more intelligent and more articulate. Then from a coed school I moved to a non-coed school which totally changed my way of thinking and being a convent school it was a very strict one. I spoke very less and made a world for myself which only I knew of; I cared less to know anyone. While at the previous school I was involved majorly in theatre and dramatics which I eventually gave up, that world died a premature-death. Today I am in touch with very few people from that time. In the meanwhile I met my art teacher who painted a dreamy world for me; I liked that world a lot. In all the growing up years my mother and two sisters were constantly by me. I have been very close to my mother and we share our own world. While I was at the convent school I was very scared of the English language and ofcourse Mathematics. I spoke Marathi at home and was more fluent and comfortable with it and why wouldn't I, people close to me spoke to me only in Marathi. I would fumble a lot while speaking in English and eventually I made a world which was eerie. I decided then that the last thing I would do with my life would be; becoming a writer, I hated it. Maybe because nobody was there to make that world for me. Not even my family.

I spent those dreadful years of school and finally walked out for the good after completing my tenth standard exam. I decided not to go there ever after. But I did go there a few times and got very nostalgic because now that I look back, there was nothing fearful about that place. If you fear the world and show that you are scared you would destroy your own existence. That was the first time I changed from being naïve to being rebellious and doubtful. That world has no evidence of being there but it is alive in memories.

At that time a new world was waiting for me, a world that dint last for long though; my junior college years. Now this was the time I felt free and different. I went to a college where I did not relate to anyone except a few friends I made there. I miss that world now and it ended when I was done with that place and chose to go to design school- the world that finally looked like a world. I wanted to meet people I could relate to, I did initially only to realize that a design school projects itself to be very permissive and believes in free existence but the truth of this world is that it is not even remotely close to being either. Why should it even be? It has normal human beings just like any other world but parallel to it; it has a ‘made-to-believe’ world as well. I have believed if you show you are different no one would relate to you because this idea or charade of design is about relating to people and making people relate to what you do. I wouldn’t generalize but that is what I want design to be for me. Also this world introduced me to some people I would want to treasure all my life. I was introduced to writing for the first time and it opened a new world for me; a world I thought would never welcome me.

And so on and so forth many worlds happened and passed by every single day. If I keep writing right now, this small piece would become into a novel, a very boring one. So the reason I wrote this was to say that while you read this piece was anyone able to keep a track of how many worlds I mentioned and these were just the ones that came to my mind while I was writing, there are several parallel ones as well. 2012 is an idea which made me write this today and strangely I do believe in it but what question remains is which of my world is ending and which one is beginning? Call it science, belief, joke or just a thought; it still keeps the world on its toes!

Coincidentally just a day back I read a long article on Late Pt. Ravi Shankar’s first wife Annapoorna Devi which gave a very different insight to his life.  Not a good one. The ‘world’ knew probably one of his ‘worlds’ which mattered to the ‘world’. In his book ‘Raga Mala’ he contradicts Annapoorna Devi’s views on him and their relationship. After he is gone today all this wouldn't really matter to us because we would choose to remember him for the reason he was meant to be remembered. Maybe Annapoorna Devi was right in her world.

I Blogged early this week, I shall see you on Christmas now :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

An ode to a {homemaker}


An ode to a beautiful man, I have been seeing for many years on the street until I spoke to him a month back. Here is a short film I made on Gopichand Mehendale, a man who has dedicated his life to giving the stray animals a place they can call home and in that journey has made a home for himself.

I have sung the song myself in Bengali because I find the language very warm. Earlier I wrote a song in Hindi but it is yet to get composed. Anyone who likes the lyrics is welcome to compose it for me, I will be very happy!

PS: Gopichand Mehendale lives near the circle on Shastri road in Pune; he accepts help in every way. Trust me when you speak to him, you will experience joy of a different kind.



Here are the lyrics of the song I wrote on him:

कभी तो तू चलाकर अपनी ही राह पर,
थोडीसी गुफ्तगू कर अपनी ही राह पर,
जो तेरे हमसफ़र बने वही होंगे तेरे साथी, 
तेरे राही जो तूने चुने, अपनी ही राह  पर।

ये दुनिया झूठी, इस दुनिया मे आकार,
अपनी राह को भुलाकर, कभी तो तू चलाकर।
कभी तेरी दास्ताँ सुनकर, दो लफ्ज कहकर,
तेरे क़दमों के निशान, अस्तित्व के इल्जाम,
कभी उन्हें भुलाकर, कभी तू चलाकर,
तेरे रही चलेंगे तेरी ही राह  पर।

भटक जाए रास्ता तेरे साथियों का,
जो तू उन्हें भुलाकर चलेगा।
बिखरे पत्थरों में पाएंगे, तेरा बिखरा आशिया,
रही जो तूने चुने, अपनी ही राह  पर।

धुंधलाती आखें क्या जाने,
तेरे क़दमों की आदत,
ये सफ़र है तेरा, तेरे साथ,
अपनी ही राह  पर,
अपनी ही राह  पर।

All you dear people who are inspiring me to blog every week, thank you. I see people from distant places writing to me, feels good that you relate to what I do. :) 



Sunday, December 2, 2012

{puchka}


While I was in school I often went to the then new Puchkawala near my house. I would go there on my bicycle with a ten rupee note in my pocket. He made good Puchka as per the Maharashtrian taste. Having Puchka makes me happy even today but now after having it in different parts of the country I realize why we Indians are meticulous when it comes to having Puchka.

It’s fascinating how something as small as a golgappa/Puchka makes us feel like we belong. I simply like the conventional way of having Puchka with the bhaiya dipping his entire hand in the earthen pot. Never ignore his long thumb nail always painted in a very striking color.

Meet this grumpy woman who is not really happy with the puchka she is having but she is unable to resist it and the paani from her open mouth is falling all over her!

We are a million people with million likes and preferences but we do manage our taste buds when we are travelling and have Puchka only because we cannot resist it even though it might not be as per our taste preference.


We all love it don’t we? Puchka and blogging are two things I need at least once a week. :) 

Friday, November 23, 2012

{ गुंता }


So this time during the short vacation at home I did unwind. I cooked and I painted. I also tried my hand at something for the first time; something I have seen since I was small but never had the patience to try. Yes I stitched! My mother said that it was the most basic form of stitching but nevertheless I had fun.

There is an applique wine bottle and my favorite motif of the elephant back on a 'hand stitched' sling bag!







I am sure I will be doing and learning more of this because it is indeed intriguing. Its a little entangled route but destination certainly matters.

Hope the winters are sinking in, I will see you soon :}

Friday, November 9, 2012

Winter hiding behind {lanterns}


Meet Golu, who has just finished his school exams and has a short vacation awaiting him. But Golu is upset because of the mathematics exam on the last day and thinks he is going to score much lesser than all his friends. Golu loves red Chinese lanterns and the classic Diwali delicacy ‘karanji’. Last night his mother got him new clothes and asked him to wear them during his favorite festival that is round the corner. She knows that he is upset and hence she has put up a large red lantern in his room and is busy preparing his favorite sweets. The smell of the chakli, karanji and shankarpali from the kitchen is tempting our little Golu to forget petty worries and go with the flow. Maybe he will overcome his sorrow and help his mother in the kitchen who is waiting for him.
Don't we all relate to Golu? Festivals are probably meant to be the time when you do overcome petty sorrows!

Like Golu, my favorite festival of the year is making me smile and unwind. After all isn't Diwali just about dreaming, eating and smiling? As I unwind I am busy making little things. Here are some dreamy lights I made with little glass bottles and also there is a picture of some exquisite bottles I got today from the old city.


Happy Diwali to all of you, hope you unwind and laugh!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Little from the {warm} sand.

{I almost forgot I could glide,
And sleep on the stagnant waters,
Feel the beer go down the saturated throat;
And dig my feet in the grainy sand.
I almost forgot.}


I am back from an extremely rejuvenating trip to Goa. My family and me being unconditional foodies, we have explored every possible eatery in and around Goa in the last several years. Yet another place was discovered considering our ever-growing love for fish. This was a small quaint Goan restaurant in the narrow lanes of Panjim called Linda’s Viva Panjim. We were welcomed by Linda’s wide warm smile and felt completely at home with her hospitality. Viva Panjim has been around for many years and has various prestigious accolades to its credit for Goan food.
Linda D'souza
 I would strongly recommend the 'orange fish curry' as they call it with the extensive fish platter along with gin with tonic water/port wine/beer.

I was away from my phone and internet so couldn't blog from there even though I was tempted to share some pictures taken on the iPad (I am saying this because I am a technophobe).Anyway here are some of my favorites. 







Now I am eagerly looking forward to Diwali and some work I need to finish before it. Hope you take a short break too and just ‘be’ for some time. Have a quiet Sunday, I will see you soon.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A {place} makes a person.


It’s often difficult to answer this question, "What inspires you?" The answer is usually a little vague and at times convincing. Here is my work space at home which inspires me to express because the space has grown with me and now I am quite sensitive to my surroundings. There are lots of things that are not a part of this small video because it is indeed impossible to document every small thing I have gathered over the years. The rain and its sound intrigued me to shoot this. 

Kindly click on this linkhttps://vimeo.com/51808952

This is for my mother who has witnessed the growth of this space very closely and she still threatens me that she would give away all the rusted things I have collected. I know she wouldn't.
Music is by the inevitable thumri veteran, Girija Devi.


{Hope you spend your weekend in the space that inspires you}




Saturday, October 13, 2012

{Such is a relationship, tied in its strings}


My weekends are primarily dedicated to my grandparents and especially my grandmother who we fondly call Amma. The time I spend with her and her stories inspire me. Her elegant plait that has remained unchanged over the years personifies time and memories to me.



Entangling various strands;
Those make a rhythmic choir;
The oiled nostalgia,
That seeps through unending memories,
With weathered tender fingers,
Running through the swinging hair,
Such is a relationship,
Tied in its strings.

As the day unfolds and time dissolves,
Stories of old Bombay;
Relive their existence.
In her mind play those million voices,
Of India longing for freedom.
Then the pressure cooker whistles;
To this day of life,
When gone is the gone,
But in mind it remains.

Fresh from the cooker;
Come the secret recipes,
Of spices and vessels.
Stories are the same,
Understanding is new.
The evening setting in;
With coffee she likes,
Her bangles cling to the ceramics;
And cookies less sweet.

The plait is still entangled,
As the night creates shadows.
Such is a relationship,
Tied in its strings.
Who wants to be young and old?
Who likes it that way?
We live for the memories,
Like the rigid plait.

And memories drip like the night oil;
And we; like the strings.
Entangled;
And rigid!

{Love}

Saturday, September 29, 2012

{amidst}


As I wandered through the city amidst a million eyes, some were waiting for their adored God to give them just his glimpse, some soaking in the catchy beats of the dhol while some wandering like me. Some with their loved ones; some longing for love, some came to unwind while some were left mesmerized.

The aromas of delicacies glided in the air as the smoke of the crackers took over. Children cried for the uncanny toys. One would see the most ordinary souls living the moment because tomorrow will be just another mundane day of their life.







If you got the opportunity to be a part of the joyous carnival, you would know what it means to be rooted. The visarjan or the immersion of our beloved God is just an excuse to live the floating moments.


We say a warm goodbye to him only to see him again the next year; with new wishes, new dreams. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The {optimistic} breeze is here


With blessings and wishes that change with dreams constantly evolving,
Those absolved eyes and warmth; that dissolves everything grim,
Our wait is yet again touched,
By your evident warmth.



 As I rode through the city last evening I was welcomed by millions of Ganesh idols beautifully crafted for families small and big who would come loyally to their sculptors. The next ten days will be blessed by hope and optimistic breeze all over.

For all of you close and away here is a small Ganesh enclosed in the most awaited delicacy of this festival, the modak.
This illustration will be soon appearing in a book.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A century and little {tangled} feet

Dear Blog{migrants},

I wish to share my happiness with you as I put my 100th post today, yes it's been so long since I started blogging. Today I wish to tell you the story of a man who inspired me in every way and I dedicate my presence here to him. Here's also a sketch I made on Teacher's Day, hope you had a good time cherishing your memories with the person you consider your teacher.
To all the people from distant corners of the world who have been seeing me here, Thank you! There's more to come. Love


There was one person I missed on Teacher’s Day this year, probably the only person I missed. A very ordinary but mesmerizing Late Subhash Mali, my teacher and confidant. I was a very timid child and I had many stories to tell but I dint have a listener. I found a listener in Mali sir and just a night before Teacher’s Day I realized how I had treasured and kept aside some very warm memories. How death gives birth to nostalgia and my adulation for him remains unaltered till today.
Subhash Mali was a very extrovert person; an artist at heart. I on the other hand was shy and I was scared to every draw a line on my own. He would ask me to fill a tumbler of water and then make the brushes jump in and give a magical wash to the canvas. Then he would take a lump of color and surrender to the medium. We never painted ‘beautiful’ pictures that I could hang on my walls or leave behind in my dog-eared sketchbooks; we made conversations and we travelled barefoot in the world of imagination. I never looked at him as an artist rather he was never the stereotype personality. He looked as ordinary as ordinary could be and he came over to my house on a green scooter sometimes on a bicycle. He would take me to garden, hills and temples to sketch and then show my sketches to the people who loitered around. That was the first time someone saw my sketches, my thoughts. 

Subhash Mali never took his lessons in my room, we sat in the drawing room and as I would surrender myself to the canvas he would chat with my mother about everything under the sun. Sometimes about what she had cooked for dinner or sometimes about how I was falling in love with art, never about how I was timid or my flaws. He always drew a house, a fence and a tree. It showed how rooted and elemental he was in his late fifties.
I could never find a teacher after Subhash Mali and I never looked for one. If a teacher cannot inspire, he cannot really choose to be a teacher. Teacher is a 'title' according to me, not a profession. It’s not a habit.

Happy teacher’s Day sir and whatever you gave me is with me, unaltered. Help me keep it that way! I miss your presence and your smell.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The reticent spices {Posto Murgi}


The first thing I ever made in a kitchen was chai with ginger just the way my parents make it. I was quite small when my mother let me inside the kitchen and just by watching her cook I got introduced to all the reticent spices. I used to get very fascinated to see how few drops of milk change the color of tea. 

Just a few years from then I almost took over the kitchen from my mother and explored the place in every possible way. My grandparents and all my aunts are exceptional cooks and I used to spend hours talking about food with my grandmother and my mother when I discovered the nuances of certain spices, ingredients and miracles. Cooking is very much magical, it is indeed.

Cooking isn’t an art, it is pure interaction with yourself and your surroundings and you know that you are a good cook only the day your mother asks you a recipe. There is no other way!

First time on my blog I bring to you a food recipe. I haven’t mentioned the quantity of ingredients anywhere because as I mentioned earlier it is an interaction with the spices and yourself so feel free to use and balance your ingredients. I hope you discover lot of things in the process!



Bon Appétit 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The {little brass} book


Great minds think alike, no one spoke about small minds; little thoughts. All the illustrations and words you stumble upon on my blog hail from little red notebooks which I carry everywhere with me.

I like hand bound books and here’s something I made recently when I saw two nostalgic brass moulds in my junk world. Traditionally these moulds were rather are used to make a mouth watering sweet delicacy called the karanji. Karanji’s are made especially during Diwali and over the years our grandmothers have mastered the art of making perfect karanji. It is quite crucial in Marathi culture, trust me!

When I smelled these moulds, they smelled of a different era and they made for just a perfect opening for a little hand bound book where one could write stories, sketch and keep some secrets. Don’t miss the weathered bookmark that peeps out every now and then.







Sip some wine and have a nice week ahead!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

The incongruous {computer}


Just a day before the joyous day that marks the end of the month of Ramzan arrives; I meet Salim loitering in the lanes near my home. Salim lives in the old city and today happens to be a special day in his life when he collects junk from homes and sells it in a junkyard to fetch a good price so that he can buy new clothes and sweets to celebrate Eid-ul-fitr tomorrow.

What intrigued me was the little computer monitor lying on his cart. He was initially intimidated when I asked him if I could take a picture of him but when I told him that I was fascinated by the incongruous monitor on his cart he smiled warmly and stood next to his cart.



Like Salim I am sure you are looking forward to Eid and the aromas that are going to invigorate your taste buds.
{ Eid Mubarak }

Saturday, August 11, 2012

{The classic barber}


Last evening I went to my usual barber shop across the road where I have been going since the age of eight. I used to go there with my father earlier and I have no clue how we coordinated our visit but it was different then; the place was very cramped up with rusted mirrors. My mother used to ask me to remind the barber to change the blade in front of me, not to use the machine and not to pay him more than what was required. Going for a haircut used to be a short journey for me. The earlier barber looked like one of the yesteryear bollywood actors and he would give me a different haircut every time.

Now the place is less cluttered with an air conditioner and little advanced tools. The barbers are the same and have a uniform now. Needless to say that the prices have shooted up but the smile on the barbers face is still genuine. I love the chairs there and still get fascinated every time I hop on to them.

In my last post I mentioned about ‘defining’ ourselves. Look at my classic barber and how he relentlessly ‘stylizes’ every person who walks in. Do you see yourself in the boy sitting on the chair and you getting enthralled every time he would ask you to turn your head in various angles so that he could do his job well?

Did we ever think what our barber would want his hair to look like? Or what was his world according to him! 

Hope you are having a lovely Saturday, when you look at this post I want you to listen to a song which I was singing while making this illustration, its a Rajesh Khanna song- 'Chala jata hu kisi ki dhun mein' :)


Friday, August 3, 2012

{Have you defined your world?}


We meet people all the time and re-define what the word ‘world’ means to us. Our world changes all the time, either because of the people, circumstances or just thoughts. I now take you through a series of illustrations in the coming weeks where we could see what this word means to different people who we see every day. 

Last evening as I drove through the city in the spontaneous rains I looked around to see how the hawkers are more worried about their carts than themselves getting wet. For some who don’t have carts accept the rains and continue their journey.


Everyone is making their own world; big or small would always be a question. Anything big would always be small for someone else. 

{ Have a warm weekend and define }

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

{Do you have a story in your stomach?}


As I mentioned in my earlier blogs, I have inherited an unconditional love for fish from my parents. In a very ordinary world where we don’t have the time to hear anyone’s heart; who would really care to know what a luscious fish on your plate hides in its stomach. This Sunday I went to my weekend muse ‘Juna Bazaar’ and picked up a tiny bronze fish with one fin missing, I liked it that way! I have a million secrets in my stomach and so does this bronze marine starlet.

I was born in the most extra-ordinary and magical. A place where my mother glided in her own armor. I was about to be born in this lucid milieu with several siblings. I was distinct with a red lining on me. During my birth there were some human feet intruding in our space but my mother managed to escape them. Then I was born and I mingled with the more secretive shells and corals. I became bigger and explored in the most illusive areas where the humans are bound to seek salvation and even though I was sharp and alert I was engulfed in a well knit strong net. I was then given in hands of a very uncanny fisherwoman, the same one where my mother was for a while. My red lining was the reason why I was picked up by the best chef in town.  My story is as ordinary as yours and no one has the time to hear either one of us, so don’t keep much in your stomach.’


Meet 'the uncanny fisher-woman'

The so called 'well knit net'

Don't miss the bronze coconut tree I found in 'Juna Bazaar' that subtlety complements our fish

A 'young at heart' Indian couple enjoying the fish on a starry night




I had a lovely time illustrating this with scattered mediums. This is a very tiny strip, illustrating the life of this red-lined fish.

To see more come and peep inside her stomach :)