Wednesday, 15 October 2014

September - the month that was

September came and whooshed by before I could blink. It even seemed like we skipped it this year. Like it was just August, and now October. I guess mostly because I've be racing to meet deadlines.

Umm.. well.. reading took a back seat this month, sadly. To make up, I attended the Bangalore Literature Fest and was enlightened by the many discussions I sat through.

Strangely I saw very few movies this month. Seems unbelievable to me too.
Finding Fanny - A sweet movie, unlike a typical Bollywood film. Since I am a DP fan, I was happy to look at her for 2 hours. The story was o-k-a-y, performances were nice. Wouldn't say I loved the movie though.
Mary Kom - Saw this in the bus while going home to Pune. Thank goodness I did not waste moolah to watch this on the big screen. What a terrible thing they have done to such a remarkable story of MC Mary Kom.
Good Morning Vietnam - Heard so much about this one and finally got to watch it. A lovely movie, Robin Williams at his best. Great story and acting.

TV Shows:
I started watching Gotham (amazing), which is a take on Gotham before Bruce Wayne became 'Batman'. I love it.

This month we were too caught up in work to travel anywhere. Except for a weekend when my college friends were in town and we had an awesome mini-reunion, the month just went by drowning in work.

So I went to The Beire Club for the very first time. Yes, ironically I did not have beer (i'm not that big a fan) but instead ordered a Sangria, and must I say, it was one of the best I've had till date. Really well made. Also their Nachos were delicious. I had a really fun time there.

Also visited the hip and happening 'Church Street Social' and really liked the place. It's just the right amount of loud that I like in a place. They serve their drinks in really cool and innovative ways - candy floss cosmos, shots in syringes etc. It was a rather fun evening !

Also, tried out Dyu Art Cafe in Kormangala. The place is really pretty, and has a charm of its own. Can't say the same about the menu though. A really limited number of dishes, though the tea is nice. I ordered a Chamomile Tea and they served us an entire potful - 3 cups ! A nice place to just sit, read and doodle maybe.

October already looks like a fun month. Let's see how it rolls.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Coldplay love - contd.

And here are some more Coldplay illustrations I made recently. My new fav song, from their album Ghost Stories, is Always in my Head. Simply love it.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

August - the month that was

August was a busy, busy month as expected. Lots of work came in and I was a happy puppy. Along with work, I also did a lot of personal art and craft projects. Altogether it was one fun month :)

Neglected Poems by Gulzar - This is a book we picked up in a tiny bookshop in Jammu. It has these lovely poems penned down by Gulzar in Hindi and English. A very quick read, we took turns reading them aloud to each other, trying at times to decipher the slightly complex Hindi words.

People like us - A sweet movie about a guy, who gets to know that he has a step sister, after his father dies. He has to deliver her inheritance and the story goes on.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - The last of Wes Anderson's movies, I think I've seen them all now, this one was about a movie maker, who goes out to seek revenge on a sea creature that killed his friend. A funny, strange one as usual.
Birdcage - I wanted to see all the Robin Williams' movies that I had missed and I started with this one. God, I could not stop laughing. In some parts, I was actually laughing out loud. A really hilarious movie.
The Fault in our Stars - I heard so much about this one that I had to watch it. The love story of two terminally ill people. I liked it, but not that much, but it had its moments. Some dialogs were really touching. And I thought the guy character was really cute.
Chef - This was a fun movie about a chef, whose reputation gets ruined on social media, quits his job to start his own food truck. Oh, and the food, I was drooling the entire time.
Water for Elephants - A movie about a circus and love. I quite enjoyed this one.
Mardaani - A good Hindi movie come along very rarely and I was waiting to watch this one coz the trailer looked rather good. Disappointed. Expected too much maybe, but the movie seemed half baked, with a loose plot and terrible supporting cast. Also, I thought that the way they handled the social evil of child abduction and trafficking was immature. Maybe it was made entirely for the masses and they had to make it a certain way. Bummer.
City Lights - We heard somewhere that this was a good movie, but oh were we disappointed once again. So much Bollywood masala in this. Damn, we were having a really bad movie run.
Unknown - We wanted to watch a good movie and I thought this one, starring Liam Neeson, would be it. Sadly, this was a rather stupid movie.
The Expendables 3 - I couldn't believe I was actually walking into a theatre for this one. It's not my kind of movie at all, but since the fella was having a tough work week, I thought I would humor him. Well, I kinda liked it, though I was told this was the least fun of the entire series.
Begin Again - Anything that has Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo has to be watched and this turned out to be a sweet, warm movie. I loved the soundtrack as well.

We also watched two plays last month. I hope we get to see a few this month too.
Hamlet - A very talked about and famous play, I liked it in parts but overall, it fell a little short of what I had expected. Good acting by most, but the adaptation was a little strange and not as funny as made out to be.
Jin Lahore Ni Vekheya - The title of this play by  Habib Tanvir, literally means - One who has not seen Lahore, has not lived. A brilliant experience, and a wonderful story about how the partition affected families on both sides of the border.

Travel: We got to witness the delightfully lush-green beauty of Coorg last month. I've never seen green like this before. It was breathtakingly beautiful. A separate post on Coorg coming soon, but I'll leave you with a sneak peek :)

September has already begun with a lot of work. Busy seems to be the flavor of this month and I'm happy to be occupied with things I love doing. 

Friday, 29 August 2014

10 books

This thing has been going around the inter-webs for the last week or two. I thought I'd do a little post here. It required you to list down 10 books that have impacted you, left you spellbound or had some kind of profound effect on you. Here is my list:

1. The God of Small Things - I think this is the first book that comes to mind when someone asks for my favorite book. I love the way this book is written and the tiny details it lists down. Here are a few of my fav excerpts from the book:
"It is curious how sometimes the memory of death lives on for so much longer than the memory of the life that it purloined."
"Somethings come with their own punishments. Like bedrooms with built-in cupboards."
"She drifted into marriage like a passenger drifts towards an unoccupied chair in an airport lounge."

2. Outliers - This was my first non-fiction read. I never could believe that I would like it so much. Everything Gladwell writes about makes so much sense. It was an eye-opener for me and also made me want to read more non-fiction

3. The Kite Runner - This was the first book that made me cry. Enough said.

4. The Alchemy of Desire - I almost forgot about this one. This book was really wonderful and after reading this I wanted to run away to a little mountain village and live in a cottage in the hills.

5. Unaccustomed Earth - I love Lahiri's writing style. So simple and yet beautiful. The truth be told, I am very fond of Indian fiction. Mostly because I can relate to it on some level or the other. This book is a collection of short stories, about love and life. It was a gift from the fella, the best kind of gift.

6. Middlesex - My boss gave me this book and  I have to say, she has impeccable choice. This is certainly an impressive book. It is about the life of a hermaphrodite, and it is least of what you expect it to be. There was a Greek/Latin phrase in the book, that I was planning to get inked, before I changed me mind - "Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus" - "We hope for better things; it will rise from the ashes."

7. Daddy Long Legs - This was one of my favorite books growing up. Maybe I will re-read it soon !

Well this is supposed to be a list of 10, but I can't think of any other books. It only makes me realize how many good books I have lying around that I need to finish. Do you have a list? Would you like to recommend a book that you love? 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Commissioned Illustration

A long lost friend got in touch with me on FB a few weeks ago. She had seen my illustrations somewhere and was wondering if I could make her a blog header. The blog is about her tryst with baking and I was quite excited to work on this, after all it involved my favorite city - Paris.

I got started right away, doodling and sketching out different options for the illustration. She liked one direction and we spoke about details to include etc. It turned out really well :)

These were the first few rough sketches:

We decided to go with option 2 and then I reworked the illustration once more.

Once she gave me the go ahead on this, I digitized it and here is what the final illustration looks like.

You can have a look at the illustration on her blog - My Tryst with Baking

This was one of the most fun assignments I've done in a long time. I look forward to doing more :)

Thursday, 31 July 2014

July: the month that was

July was a slow month. Thankfully the great Bangalore weather compensated for it. I spent all the extra time I had in doodling, illustrations, painting, and other artsy-crafty things. Here's how it rolled:

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai - A book set in the times of the gorkha uprising in Sikkim. It begins in the peaceful foothills of the Kanchejunga and slowly moves on to describing one of the most violent times witnessed in the mountains of North Bengal and Sikkim. I loved the book and the way the author describes the lives of all the characters that are slowly altered by the situation. Great, enjoyable read.
Toba Tek Singh and other short stories by Saadat Hasan Manto - A collection of beautifully written short stories, mostly around the partition of India. One of the stories (Toba Tek Singh) has been narrated brilliantly by Zia Mohiuddin HERE. Must listen.

The Jane Austen Book Club - A lovely movie, more so because I do love Austen and her tales. I might just take up reading all her works once again. A sweet movie I say.
Arthur Newman - A movie about a man who runs away from his old life. I've been on a Emily Blunt marathon. I find her quite gorgeous and she acts well too. Colin Firth has done a good job.
Your Sister's Sister - Another Emily Blunt movie about the relationship between two step sisters. Nice, feel-good movie.
The Royal Tenenbaums - Oh I'm simply in love with Wes Anderson's movie making style. I loved this one; the quirky, eccentric characters and story et al. I'm making it a point to watch all his movie, one by one.
Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya - Very miss-able movie, best watched at home on a very dull day to kill boredom. Loud songs, not to my liking at all, except of course the very catchy 'Saturday Saturday'. Saving grace: Alia Bhatt's good looks and the fact that it was a fast paced movie.
Stuck on Love - Oh I really liked this one and it has a lovely soundtrack too, some songs are surely gonna be played on loop for the next few weeks. It's a story about a family and their relationship and about 'love'. One time watch and a very enjoyable chick flick.
Enemy - From the maker's of the really good 'Prisoners' and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, I was expecting a lot but I really did not get the story. It was either really twisted or didn't make any sense at all. The end was completely bizarre. Watch it, if you figure it out, help me do so.
The Squid and the Whale - I thought this was another Wes Anderson movie but turns out he only produced it. It was a queer movie about a family, two brothers whose parents are separated and the emotional changes they face. Quite interesting, though a little strange.
Moonrise Kingdom - Oh Wes Anderson. I really wish he makes many more movies. This is about two misfit kids, who run away together and their little adventure. It is a really wonderful movie.
Admission - Starring Tina Fey (which is why I watched it) this one is a silly feel good type of movie. It is about an admissions officer from an A-league school. Sweet. Also, Paul Rudd is one of my favs.

Wow, I think I watched a record number of movies in July. Yay !

We were just back from a really long vacation, almost completely broke and so July was peacefully spent at home, except for one short trip to Pune for our niece's mukhebhaat (first real food) ceremony. Dunno how much she will remember, but we sure ate some delicious food.

We also took a short trip to Chennai. The fella had some work and I tagged along. We had a really good time except for the terrible sunburn I got back.
We reached early morning and after dropping our bags off, headed straight for the beach. It was a lovely, cloudy morning. I took a little walk, dipped my feet in the sea and pulled out my sketchbook. Oh, I really wish to live by the sea someday.

We were also able to visit my childhood home, 30 kms outside Chennai, Avadi. The place had changed a little but we met a lady who used to live there years ago and she remembered me. It was so overwhelming. She was almost in tears when we spoke about the good old days. I'm so glad we finally made that trip.
This is one of the trees near our home in Avadi.
We also discovered a little hillock near Banerghatta. Not the most ideal spot as there were quite a lot of people around, thanks to the two temples in the vicinity. We managed to find a quite spot and sat there enjoying the lovely breeze and the beautiful sunset.

The kittens have really grown up now. All except one have been adopted and have gone away. We are left with this tiny little grey furball, who we call Shakira. She's been crying quite a lot ever since her siblings left. She was really terrified of us for some reason, and only recently she has warmed up and allows me to cuddle her. Her favorite place to sleep is the fella's helmet. Oh also, it seems that the mother is pregnant again !

July is now over and after quite a slow month, work-wise, I now have lots on my plate and stuff that I'm really happy to be involved in. So here's to a busy August !

Friday, 18 July 2014

Doodles from June

Doodles and illustrations made in the month of June. Some, on the trip to J&K and Leh, others in B'lore.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

And the winners are

I am so thrilled that they won the world cup. It was such a tight match, nail-biting till the very end. Yay!
Germany are the champions of the FIFA World Cup 2014 ! Cheers !
*does a victory dance*

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Wedding cakes

Have been looking at some really cool wedding cake designs as I plan mine :) Here are some of my favs. I'm gonna get a cake and then decorate it myself. That's the plan for now. It's gonna be so much fun :)

All images from Pinterest of course !

June: the month that was

Books: Damn, wasn't able to finish my book in time. July will surely see more books here.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - a really sweet movie that someone had recommended way back and I finally watched it. Pleased.
Breathe In - A strange movie about a girl who arrives as an exchange student, to live with a family in New York and how the family and their interpersonal relationships change because of her.
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Simple adorable movie. I love how it has been made and how the story is narrated. So much fun.
The Spectacular Now - A slightly predictable story of a popular high school boy, an invisible high school girl, love etc. Sweet.

Travel: Huge post on Leh coming soon. I keep postponing it because I just don't know where to start. This was surely one of the most memorable trips of my life. Here are some photos while you wait.
From cities to the mountains (the view from above)

A shikara on the Dal lake

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

May: the month that was

The entire month of May was spent waiting for our big Leh trip in June. Counting days, planning, dreaming and waiting.

Books: zero :(

Strangely I hardly saw many movies in May. Here are the ones I did watch.
Million Dollar Arm - Fun movie, really good acting by some of the Indian actors. Feel good movie. (3.5/5)
Shaadi ke Side Effects - My god. This movie was a complete torture. I wonder what the director and script writer were thinking. Such stereotypes and lame jokes. Time completely wasted !

Being summer, we did not travel much. We went to Bombay for a friend's wedding and from there I took off for two weeks to Jaipur, to visit the sister. In Jaipur too, I mostly stayed indoors. There were a lot of dust storms and thunder storms during my stay. Here is a typical summer sunset:

Bangalore also had some beautiful sunsets that I got to witness from the Hosur Road flyover. Brilliant sights.

The kittens are growing fast and healthy :) It's wonderful to watch them scampering around the place.

I got to do a really interesting freelance project, which involved illustrating for a book of poems. It was great fun, even though the deadline was really tight. Here are some samples that weren't used. Hopefully the book will be out soon and then I can showcase the final images.

Thankfully the summer is officially over and we are back to great weather in Bangalore. Yippie. 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

We are off

Since last year, we have been going to the mountains every June. Last time it was Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj. This year it is Ladakh. I am so very excited and thrilled. Can't sleep tonight because we leave early morning tomorrow. Can't wait to come back and share the photos and art from this trip. 

(picture from Pinterest, can't wait to go take my own)

Wish us safe tidings !

Monday, 2 June 2014

Work space featured on Sir Magazine website

I am so excited about this. I had sent them this illustration of my work space, as they were featuring work spaces of different illustrators from around the world. Thrilled that they finally featured it. 
Here is a screenshot of the website. Go check out the entire write-up HERE.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Magic - Coldplay

Playing this song on loop all day long had to result into something ! Here it is: 

And I don't think I'm done yet. So expect more. I'm planning to make a series of Coldplay postcards soon. 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Finds of the week

I've been over-dosing on pretty design and craft blogs. Time to share the wonderful stuff I've found !

1. This beautiful fabric jelly fish installation.

2. This home is so quirky and cool. I totally love it !

3. Read this lovely, inspiring article on Should vs. Must.

4. Surely going to try this egg-shell project soon :)

5. And this song is simply stuck in my head since the last few days. Ah, can't wait for the album.
4 more days of torture.