Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Being a Friend

What a moving sight. 200 000 Norwegians at Oslo City Hall raising Red Roses.

Both 9/11 and 22/7 are days when unique acts of evil were carried out, but what a difference in the reactions between the two countries. America reeled in paranoia and distrust while Norway stood together in steely determination refusing to succumb to revenge.

Here is George Bush’s reaction to 9/11: “Let’s hunt them down”.
In retrospect that didn’t really help matters did it?

This is Jens Stoltenberg’s principle for dealing with 22/7: "Violence must be met with greater transparency. Terror should be met with more democracy. Now we have to take care of each other." 
The thoughts in his speech were refreshingly simple and straightforward >>

I am tired of dramatic rhetoric.  I am tired of this desperation by priests and leaders to force attention on themselves through their verbal pyrotechnics.  I am sickened by audiences who are carried away by extravagant sermons trumpeted out by our grand religious and political pundits from their gilded pulpits. I am tired of loud, barbaric and insensitive journalism. And most of all, I am tired of people turning a blind eye to the rather obvious fact that religion, any religion if taken too seriously results in a massive shrinking of the brain.

Finally, heroism is the action of kindness you extend when no one is looking. That's what really matters.

Images from Google Search.
Click here for  Rose procession at Oslo

Monday, July 25, 2011


If one man can show this much hate think how much love we can show together.
                                                            - survivor of Ut√łya massacre.

Picture from The Guardian
Utoya blog

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Long ago I decided I wasn't a person who liked poetry too much because I couldn’t understand the strange jumble of words that was supposed to constitute poetry. But recently a couple of journalist friends of mine confessed that they too had the same problem. Poetry (at least most of what I come across) is rather like Contemporary Art, both have a bizarre mishmash of elements. I am glad I am an illustrator.
In case you are wondering what the *  this strange book with its cut up images is about, it is an illustration of what Poetry means to me.
Just sit there and stare and wonder what the heck is going on. Then go browse something else.

There are some poems I do like very much though :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Workshop at Shishu Mandir -1

 Shishu Mandir is a children’s project consisting of a home and a school for children of under- privileged backgrounds. When they wanted to come out with a book about the institution, I took a series of workshops out of which the children’s drawings could be used as illustrations for the book. Since this project involves ‘illustration’, I made an exception to my rule of ‘never teach children’. I needn’t have worried as they were far easier to deal with than the stuffy overbearing aunties who I once made the mistake of teaching long ago. 

One visit to Shishu Mandir and I was bowled over by the place. The buildings were clean, airy and beautiful. All the rooms were full of light and filled with a friendly ambience. The teachers smiled readily and seemed a very dedicated lot. Everything here was so different from the excessively eulogized, stodgy, colonial, pressure filled, rule driven atmosphere of a school in which I once studied centuries ago.  

The children here smiled easily at me and some of them came up to me confidently and asked me my name. Later at the workshop they were fun, and were eager to experiment and try out things. All the children were neat, clean, well dressed and well mannered. They all spoke perfect English. They seemed relaxed and happy. 

It is very very hard to imagine that these children with sparkling eyes and bright faces have known and endured hardships that you or I cannot even fathom.

Apparently this is the first time they got to be ‘creative’ and 'original' and draw subjects other than English winter scenes, Walt Disney cartoons, copied greeting cards and that kind of stuff.

One of the biggest surprises was at the end of the workshop. Every child made it his or her responsibility to clear up her place, scrub her table clean and help the others tidy up the room before leaving.

Some of these pictures here are the results of the first workshop. 

I can't wait to see what the results of the next workshop will bring about!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Perennial - Just more leaves

When you start working everybody is in your studio - the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas - all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave.
~ John Cage

Saturday, July 9, 2011

...for this weekend

Ring Man

Benglurians and Kannada speakers will probably better appreciate the nuances and humour that took place in this little conversation:
Some days ago, I was driving down the road perpendicular to Comm’s (whatever it is called) and among the rows of carts selling fruit I saw a cart filled with unusual melons which were striped reddish brown and sienna. Already buying these beautiful melons was an enormous very dark skinned man. What immediately caught my eye was the array of bright shiny gold rings on each of his fingers. Each ring had a stone of a different colour and all together they clamoured loudly for attention. I was naturally transfixed. 

Meanwhile the Ring man was telling the melon seller in Tamil that his melons had better be good,  but then he turned to me and spoke in Benglur Kannada instead:
Idhu illi nodak chennagiruthe. Manege thagondhodhmele yengirutthe gothilla! (These fruit look good here but one never knows how they taste when they are cut at home)

I agreed with the Ring man wholeheartedly. Then I too sternly told the melon seller that he should give me a good fruit.
Then the Ring man looked at the melon seller:
Gandsru baidhre parvagilla! he said dramatically. Then he lowered his voice to a whisper, Aadre hengsru baidre thumba kashta!
(If a man scolds it doesn’t matter much, but if a woman scolds it is so hard to bear!)