Friday, July 26, 2013

monsoon {monotony}

Lately the palette around us has been calm, pale and dead. Does anything inspire us in this monotonous milieu? Well, then let’s dive in this story of someone who talks about his Monday morning blues, literally!

For the complete story kindly click on

Hidden in the monsoon palette are these small vibrant things that can turn a mundane Monday morning or any morning for that matter into something vivid.

Make the most of monsoons; they come just once a year! I will see you soon here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The {last} Telegram

Today I am taking you back in time; a time when words had more value and they meant much more than the way they sounded. From an era that has witnessed the end of Telegram services in India comes this story which will take you back and forth in time and space, written and illustrated by me.

For a good read you could download this as well by clicking on this link:

As we bid farewell to the good old Telegrams we must affirm that we won't give up writing because no matter what medium we use to write we must not let go the value of words.

Have a good week ahead, at your pace.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Tibetan Hand-type shopping

When we are wandering in a visually enchanting country like ours we tend to buy lot of things to take back home. Since the time I started my journey as a Blogger (which totally sounds like a new age profession) ; whether it was writing or illustrating, my interaction with letters and font styles only grew.

I like the blot; I like how the ink flows freely on paper. So as I strolled along the streets of Dharamsala absorbing as much as could visually, these were some hand painted fonts that intrigued me. Even though the fonts belonged to a particular type family the intuition of the person who painted it could be seen. The palette complemented the place, the people and to some extent even the food of Tibetan locals. At times contrasting, the font attributes caught my attention and made their way to my diary.

While I tried to replicate them in my tiny book I realized the nuances the artist needs to keep in mind because he is doing it on a much larger and uneven surface. However he retains his visual language and still manages to maintain the weight, width and style of that particular font which is incredible.

Ask me the technicalities of Typography and I know none but what I appreciate is the way 
hand-typographers connect you to their intuition.

Have an intuitive weekend and you might want to share your intuition with someone by writing to him/her. It must have been long since you wrote with your hand, so go for it. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

The silent steamy affair

I get happy when I have to talk about food, extremely happy. Like I have said repeatedly it’s purely inherited from my family. I heard about momos for the first time when I was in junior college when there were hawkers all around the city selling this steamy affair. It became popular amongst youngsters instantly. Firstly because it was very affordable, it tasted and smelled healthy and it was not too filling. From the name momo everyone presumed it had something to do with the Chinese folks. Well the name is derived from Chinese but it is an authentic Tibetan and Nepali delicacy, ofcourse very similar to Chinese dumplings. I have momos in my city quite often but I always wondered how the authentic ones differed. So when I went to the hills in the north of India where this delicacy is a favorite, I realized it was more to do with the place than the delicacy itself. It is unique; having a momo on a traffic jammed street in our dear cities and having them staring at the grand shy Himalayas.

The several local stalls along the Jogiwara road  offer  a treat for vegetarians
Mutton/lamb momos are popular in the north because mutton in general is more preferred. The authentic ones somehow manage to complement the silence and serenity that the place has to offer. The momos look silent, they look bland but when you have them, they are succulent and intriguing. Punjab and Chandigarh being quite in vicinity, one finds lot of influence of Punjabi spices in some of the momo stalls owned by Punjabis. It’s commendable how they have incorporated their tastes into this preferably less spicy creation. The concept of fried momos works well for a scrutable Indian, who loves everything fried. Trust me it’s delicious.

You will find lot of hidden café’s all around selling momos in Mcleodganj and Dharamsala. You would think all of them taste the same but, I advice that while you are there, you try each and every place because it will have some hidden recipes to enchant your taste buds.

My personal favorite was the ‘Triund café & German’, a small shop on the uphill road to Dharamkot from Mcleodganj. This shop is run by a father-son pair and their chai perfectly complements their mutton momos. Don't miss the garlic red chillies sauce with it. You could ask for an extra rice soup too. As you sip and eat, you could dream away looking at the robust mountains from a symmetrically grilled window in the shop. The father usually never smiles but he is a nice man.

‘The Momo café’ (above in the picture) is on the Bhagsu road and offers a variety of momos. I found their sign board quite amusing; also it had a tiny board hanging saying that it opens at 7.30 am in summers and 8 am in the winters!

Hope you are having a weekend pampering your taste buds, more later!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

{The chaotic monk} ~ a photoessay

I will not pose without my robe,
I will stand still like the mountains,
Because they are a part of me.
I stare at them in my free time,
And let them give me hope.
This is how I am,
Vibrant and calm.
I am a monk;
A chaotic monk.

There have been several notions, mostly preconceived about monks. On this magical journey I got a chance to know some of the monks of different age groups quite closely during the classes I took with them and my perception of them as people completely changed. I believe monks; of any age are the most balanced people I have encountered around me. Their lives have several layers; layers that people like us would discover only if we spent enough time with them.
Think of someone far away from their homeland; a homeland that is claimed by someone else as theirs, living miles away in a place just to follow one man whose teachings mean the world to them, His Holiness. It’s inconceivable for someone like us who know where we belong to.

Tenzin Dhancho lives in the Tashi Choeling Monastery in Mcleodganj. He doesn't speak much but when he is asked to let himself free, he transforms into a joyous soul.
We all are the same, just scattered all over making the world what it is.

I have been back on this space after a long time and I missed this space and our interaction. But now I have so much more to share with you. I shall slowly, in different mediums.