Thursday, December 29, 2011

To Wednesday

 "Come, sorrow; we welcome thee. Let us join in grief, rejoice in despair, and honor the fortunate dead. "
- Wednesday Addams

Dear Wednesday Addams,

Here's to your wit and the way you never compromise with your dignity and wardrobe.
You've always inspired me and in you I have found a kinsperson.
Though not as pale, nor as grim, not even remotely as enchanting, I wish I could at least keep a face
as straight as yours. It doesn't help that you were once portrayed by Christina Ricci and own a guillotined doll. May her hollow self ring with caws,wails and the verses of Macbeth.
I've probably grown older than you now, but you'll always remain the one woman I have sought reassurance for my beliefs in and have never failed to find it. As sure as there are gargoyles in the nightsky and beings in attics, you are my anchor of morbid principles and fashion.

I swear to remain your humble servant.

Please, please brand my children.

in awe


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

First attempt at animating with Aftereffects

The last course held in second year was Animation, wherein I learnt to animate using Adobe Aftereffects, a pretty cool and easy to use software. I spent a huge amount of time designing my characters and graphics, since I process hand-drawn images, but that was the fun part. Animating was stressful since I'm kinda slow. And whoa, the possibilities on this software are endless! Also, I have a bunch of geniuses for classmates, and i'm glad some of them continue to produce amazing animations.The soundtrack I picked was the first verse of Man of The Hour by Norah Jones.
Here's what went into My Cannibal Romance:

The Lady

The Man of The Hour or The One Who Eats Meat

cookie jars and skull candy

things suggestive of magic



food that didn't really make it to the animation

cooking pot with something green


Here's the final clip that I produced:

Or you can watch it here:

The waiting room bench

Q. How do you turn a perfectly normal picture (found online) intensely forbidding?

A. Add a cat

Have a nice day!

Pictures In Grey

Certain things that I can imagine in grey..

Kathak Ghungroos

Restless furniture that changes behind our backs

Grey matter sitting silent

Tendrils in the fern


Kaziranga, Assam

Actually,just about anything in the city of

Dying Lotuses
Sibsagar, Assam

Quiet Poultry
Mariani, Assam

The humming wind
Stone crevices, Bangalore

Indian Christian Cemetery, Bangalore

Waiting pans
Yelahanka Market, Bangalore


People I'd like to befriend
K R Market, Bangalore

Unending drains
Dhobi Ghat, Bangalore

Seasoned Feet
Dhobi Ghat, Bangalore

There's a kind of solace I find in greys, I suppose I don't do justice to many things by denuding them of colour, but there's no other way I can imagine them. 

Most pictures taken in Bangalore were part of the photography course in class. An important tip that came very handy (that you might already know) was to never click pictures with the greyscale/ black and white option on one's camera because this rids the picture of a lot of colour values that give it depth. Instead, click in colour and grey it down/ desaturate on a photo editor.
Kolkata is an experience I can't capture entirely in pictures, but I'll visit someday, just to give it a try.

And here's a little collage with found images of little grey things that I like to look at sometimes....

These, and anything to do with winters.

The Loss of Bearings

If you find the truth by the toe,
let it go.
You will not make sense of the world,
Even though you were taught of 
Its ups and its downs.
Of East and West at fingers' ends
And tainted horizons with no bends.

But they who made the wind vane
And the hour glass and the scales
Do it knowing that we are mammals upright
But were you not born of your mother headfirst?
Like she was of hers?
And would you have remained so
Had you not been turned around?
Had you not forgotten before you stood so tall,
Measuring the heavens,
That you were born upside down?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Book Cover

This was an exercise in book cover design in my first year of design school, relating to the Cradle To Cradle design principle in the book
A Question of Design, by McDonough and Braungart. It's a shame I haven't read the book yet, it's very relevant to one of our dying causes of being environment saviours. Which. we. will. be. yes.
Meanwhile let's use some lithium ion and make some book covers.


That which is wet always wills itself to dry,
And puddles have a teasing way,
but they mean no harm.
All the wet mud that makes you cringe
will be caked like an old man's knuckles.
And hair is hair,
It finds its ways to misbehave.
As do the drops as they trickle.
As they tickle.
Or quietly find each other 
In little dents of skin and surface.

Step out,if only for the croaks or the smells
if only to see the sky sulk, 
And it's million moanful complaints.
Shed yours.

A little rain never hurt anyone. 
A little loneliness just might.

Winged Things 2

We could, if the universe would allow,
be not more than a minute long.
If the clockwork lets us,
it will be thus-
You and I lasting as long
as it takes for me to play a memory.
Perhaps a minute of childhood play 
Or a confused moment of confession and forgiving.
Or just as long as we shared a song.
But there would be nothing 
before or after.
In all familiarity, a minute of existence.
And no gasping others. Or histories. Or society.
Or where I wipe my fingers after I eat
And where you hide your keys from me.
And life would be about what we're pretending not to share,
Because of a curtained minute 
When all rituals are winged things,
that hover but never bother.
And all that would matter
Would be a lifespan of a minute
When we are contained and true,
Like laughter in the curly brackets of a smile,
And a tipping hourglass i share with you.

Winged Things

Remember when we sat
Waiting for six legged and
Two-pair-winged friends
To land on the rose shrub’s  flowers?
And we whispered soft enough
To deceive the ticking hours?
About nothing particktockular.
With a dangling binocular.
Below our noses, above a grin.
You silly thing.
Your words left roses on my skin.

Mothwing Siesta

i would smell your red away
but your thorns would hurt my nose
and you are nine weeks old in a cold and dark place
where most things are stored
and noone goes.

(there are few things more beautiful to look at than a dead insect)


when i came in the way
of that faraway gaze
and my eyes met yours,
i swear it was-

and i was absorbed,
in those lethal orbs
and you seemed to hold
mine, with a power untold,
and i feared not that you'd look away
but that you'd consume my whole.

because when our eyes align
guided by some prophesied sign,
the entire world is shadowed
with dark. and it's narrowed
to something we can forget.

and when we look around
to see there's pure nothing to be found
for the world is shadowed with dark
and time revolves around us in more
pieces that we can ignore

and the only light that falls
on my eyes 
is the one that glows in yours.
and it sears.
and i let it.
for they say a wonder like this
happens in a billion years.

Absurd Highs

Hide and seek, the moon and clouds

New friends in strange whereabouts

Homemade crusty chocolate cake

Being silly for your best friend's sake

Wiping sweat after the garden is weeded

Familiar music when you really need it

Cool water on tired toes

LOoking into eyes from quite close

Various ways of breaking school laws

Standing together for a cause

Lines on the brow,scabby skin

That feeling when your team's about to win

Summer noons,secret nooks

stacks and stacks of comic books

Waving from trains at kids who greet us

The fingers of a preserved foetus

Making a face at whoever is looking

Pestering mum while she's cooking

Classmates who make you chuckle with tears

A diary from the pre-teen years

Your childhood crush answering the door

The part of the movie you'd never seen before

The story behind an amulet with the tiger claw

Finishing an impossible jigsaw

Dreaming in the moonshine, alone

Sweaters that smell of dad's cologne

Walking on the pavement without a clue

10 things I hate about you

Warmth within on Sunday mass

Winter's words on foggy glass

Encouraging nudges from the voice above

Abrupt instances in tales of love

A cackling grandma's crazy stories

Messy hostel dormitories

Flying pudgy hippopottom

Extra candy at the bottom

Striped grey socks

Curly baby locks

The last few miles

Knowing,single toothed smiles

Teasing eyes

The world. And it's absurd highs.

(i was eighteen when i wrote this, and i can't believe i'm 20. but i never want my number one things to change)

The book project

A long long time ago, in the most unlikely place (my biology textbook) I found inspiration for a project based on crime and transgression. I read about the notorious Mary Mallon, better known to the west as Typhoid Mary. In her life, Mary Mallon was a passive carrier of Typhoid and of all the things she could be, she chose to be a domestic cook. Mary immigrated from Ireland to the USA where she cooked in several households killing 3 and infecting 50 people, and continued to live in denial of typhoid fever. So much so that she attacked authorities with a pitchfork when they came to take her for tests and trial. She was put in quarantine for 4 years and spent the last of her days in isolation.

In my first year at college, I found the opportunity to create a book (under the broad theme of Transgression)
about her. Thank you Mary Mallon, that touch of macabre was all I needed to get this project going. She led a deplorable life but left the world quite a legend to tell. I tried to make the chronicles of Mary Mallon, something she may have recorded her life in while in quarantine, so I tried to use material she may have found around her. I consider myself lucky, I had the coolest teacher guide me through this.

Into my project went - tea stained gauze bandages,
antiseptic liquid (for the odour and the colour),
dyed fingernails (for effects and cheap thrills),
fake letters from US authorities with attempts to reproduce seals,
stab binding (I fell in instant love, thank you youtube,
and hand-written Baskerville Old Face (Blissfulvilley Owsome Font with a history)
and lots of sinister little touches.

Here are a few pictures of what it looked like in the end. Some day  I'll document it better: 

Should get a picture of the fingernails.


Here's the work produced in the Illustration for Communication course,held recently in collefe. We used water colours and things! Such a welcome change in the classroom from laptop screens. Given to us was a word/phrase to root our illustration in.

Stuff I learnt and MUST remember next time:

 there no such thing as coming to class over-equipped, always get more material,
even if the seams of your bag say otherwise.

The light tables in college are mighty useful, yes they are, how was I not a fan before?

Always leave room around your illustration, don't frame in rectangles/squares,
chances are they will be cropped to be accommodated in
all sorts of shapes. Give them the versatility to be allowed that.

If working in more than one colour, use enough contrast.
What if the image were to be published in greyscale/ black and white?
The individual grey values will stand out only if there's ample contrast.

Have to learn to work with more than one colour. Heck, learn to use colour!
Once in a while, i should try going crazy with vibrance, there's a spectrum at my disposal.


line in ink

silhouette in pencil

pen and water colour

pen and water colour

grey pen and water colour

Apne Mouh Miyaa Mitthu
acrylic and tempera on paper

That parrot was the brightest thing I've made in a long long while.
My parents are glad I haven't gone absolutely de-saturate in life.
And the other day I wore red pants..maybe there's hope for people like me in the world.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the tall tails of tomorrow - part 2

Once we spent a good amount of time at Devanahalli and spoke to people from the many backgrounds that make up its puzzling lanes, we got down to creating a way to document these conversations and observations.  The book The Tall Tails of Tomorrow looks at the possibility of animals in folklore and becoming a fictional element for young readers as the urban kid finds himself becoming more and more remote from a life with animal husbandry and interaction with animals. It plays with small excerpts from animals in folklore and their modern juxtaposition. Scroll down to check out some illustrations that went into the book that I used to record the stories I found in Devanahalli-

(or click here for the book-

this gecko didn't make it to the book but it's kinda fun
hoping it'll shoot out a tongue someday

Figuring out how to draw monkeys took me a while..
it was the upward turn of the nostril.
 Then I realized that's the thing about certain people
that makes them monkeylike.

this dude here didn't make it either

nor did he, but i could use more of the
exaggerated limbs

nope. wha-at..?

those hands spell mischief to me

the old wise monkey 

and the stealthy little one

Then there were cows,

ek guy

do guy



the warning look wali guy

sabhya, bechaari bharatiya village belle guy

little brass bell guy


and funny camels

and a tortoise

and a fortune teller !

Click below to view the book:

                                                 Open publication - Free publishing - More animals

Or you can visit this link:

(Note: The date on the last page is written incorrectly, it's supposed to be 3rd March 2011)

Thank you for reading. No animals were harmed in the making of this book. 
                                    Though a lot were shamelessly stared at and disgracefully drawn.