Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My best friend sticks his tongue out and wears no pants

I’m quite an eccentric person. I overanalyze every situation, I overwork when I needn’t, I am overcritical of myself, and I am overtly concerned about those that I consider dear. That’s who I see when I look at the mirror; a nervous wreck about to tip over from all the overcompensating. That said, I am probably most eccentric when I am jumping around to trashy pop music on the radio with not a care in the world. It is about the being that jumps alongside me, with his ears flapping and slapping him in his own face, that I feel I must tell a story.
One of the clichés you often hear is that ‘A dog is a man’s best friend’. In many ways, I’m living that very cliché. My best friend is my two year old boxer, Beans. Most people are curious about why he’s called that. He was all of two months when he came home to us. He was so tiny, he fit in a shoebox. However, he was simply too full of beans to stay put. That’s where his name came from. Two years later, and he’s still the same; an antsy little jack in the box, with mischief in his enormous, round eyes.
We had a dog called Pepper before Beans came home. Pepper was a fairly terrifying German shepherd. He has successfully managed to leave both my younger brother and I with scarred arms for life. We loved him, and he loved us, but both parties did so with a mutual respect for each others’ boundaries. When we decided to bring Beans home, we did so with much apprehension. We had no idea how Pepper would take to him. What happened, however, left us dumbfounded. Pepper took him under his wing as if he were his own; teaching him the ways of the world, inspiring in him a loud, manly bark. They’d play in the sun for hours on end, chasing each other around the cars in the driveway, much to the dismay of my father. What Beans had managed to do was to take an angry dog of many years and turn him around completely. It was heart-breaking to watch Pepper leave us as he moved on to the beyond, and it was further painful to watch Beans cope with his loss. Yet, I am grateful for the time they got together.
While Pepper was the kind that liked to rough things out, Beans is a bit of a fancypants. He absolutely hates puddles. As a puppy, he’d wait to be carried over one, lest his little white socks got muddy. Now, he’s big enough to hop right over them, and does so as if he is doing an Irish jig. He’s always been a bit strangely proportioned; a tiny body with a tiny head, eyes large enough to prompt our house help to make jokes about how he is definitely my long lost brother, ears so large that Big Ears from ‘The Adventures of Noddy’ would be put to shame, and a tongue that simply does not fit in his buccal cavity. He walks with something of a trot, causing his ears to bob up and down like the majestic, large wings of a dragon. What he is, really, is a ball of energy that just whizzes around the place making it impossible for one not to be greatly affected by his presence.
Beans invites everyone into our home, friend or foe. He’s much too friendly to hurt a person in vengeance. Yet, he’s a strong boy and has managed to knock people down onto the ground, where he keeps them pinned, licking their faces with such zeal that they are left desiring a long shower to reverse the done damage. I often describe how coming home every day feels like living the title sequence to the Flintstones cartoon. In his enthusiasm, Beans knocks us down as Dino, the purple dinosaur, would Fred Flintstone. This excessive enthusiasm is often misconstrued as an act of terror by those wary of the canine kind. And so we find we have to keep Beans tied to his corner in the dining room. What follows generally melts the hearts of most people. He proceeds to wail a lengthy plea as a seasoned opera singer would perform a ballad of lost love. I find myself arguing irrationally with my parents about how we needn’t feel socially obliged to invite those over that do not comprehend that our dog is as much a part of our home as we are, and that the proposition of having to keep him tied to the grills of our windows is a preposterous one.
This was an ongoing problem we had to deal with every time a very dear aunt would come home. Her fear of dogs can be compared to my fear of elevators. She too feels cornered and claustrophobic, with shallow breaths and lightheadedness. However, she loves us, and so had learned to love Beans from a distance. While she thought he was incredibly adorable to look at, the fact that his canines stuck out funnily from his lower jaw, almost playing peek-a-boo with the generous folds of skin on his smushed snout, posed a constant reminder that he was, after all, a dog with sharp teeth and the potential to attack. He would sit tied in his corner and she would sit tight in her chair, both equally aware of each others’ presence. One day, by some accident, Beans was let loose while my aunt was home. We scampered to stop him from embracing her as he usually does people, but he was much too quick for us. Almost sensing her apprehension he eased his head into her lap gently looking up at her with his large, sappy eyes. Incidentally, that’s his secret super power as far as the begging for food goes. It never fails him. She realized that the monstrous image she had of Beans in her head was just that; a figment of her imagination. She picked her hand up and placed it precariously on his head. And the rest is history.
Sometimes I’m taken back to when Beans was a puppy. I could carry him around in my palm; his soft, coin sized paws tickling my fingers. I remember how he’d curl into a ball and fall asleep in the niche between my pillow and my clavicle, his floppy ears making me giggle. Our mother tried her best to make sure he stayed off our beds. But Beans is something of an unstoppable force.  It wasn’t long before she began picking him up and putting him to sleep on her belly during her afternoon naps. Soon enough, he was too tall to stop. One jump and he’d make it onto the bed.
My family is fanatical about cricket. During the Indian Premier League, we sit glued to the television somehow managing to fit on the bed in my parents’ room. We’re not tiny people. As you can imagine, the four of us on one measly bed is quite a compact fit. Beans, I fear, lives under the illusion that he is a man of great stature, and so simply must have right of way and the best seat in the house. One hop and he’s on top of the bed, walking all over us with no respect for our bodies. Many loud exclaims of pain later, when Beans has found his spot, he too watches keenly, feigning interest in our hooting, swearing and cheering. When the advertisements come on, Beans sits up looking at the TV in rapture, tilting his head from one side to the other in synchrony with the jingles.
Beans has a very defined relationship with each member of our family. My grandmother and him tend to stay away from each other. He knows better than to mess with her lest she chase after him with her walker, bringing imminent doom. He treats my brother as a brother. Flings him around, chases after him, gets slick with his ladies, and all the rest. My mother is regarded with a combination of fear, love and respect. Yet, she’s his comfort blanket; his mummy. Beans often confuses our father for a young boy, and so needs reminding otherwise. He loves Pa dearly. Especially the bald pâté on his head that Beans seems to think is a lollipop meant for licking purposes. Sarita, our house help, may as well be our elder sister. To Beans, however, she is the bringer of food, the love of his life. In short, the quintessential Indian housewife every run in the mill boy and his mummy are seeking so desperately.
What Beans and I share is a love for each other that I find hard to illustrate eloquently. I adore him with such ferocity that sometimes I make myself sick worrying about him. I welcome him to share any food that I know for certain shall not hurt him. I tickle his belly until he’s upside down with a melancholic grin and a psychotic look in his eyes. I teach him how to groove to dhichick-dhichik Bollywood music; an integral quality one must possess for me to love them unconditionally. And I try very hard to find him a viable match from his own species. He loves being groomed; so I find myself bathing him, brushing his teeth, and combing him until he’s lulled into a slumber.
 In return, he loves me and protects me from any harm that may come my way. It angers him when anyone so much as raises their voice around me. He stands tall, lets out a loud, authoritative bark, and then boxes my attacker with his front paws threateningly. He sulks if I don’t make it home at night giving my parents silent, angry glares as he frequents my room only to return disappointed. He knows when I am sad, in pain, happy, pensive. I’m eager to get home every day despite having to travel for hours on end, because that’s where he’ll be waiting for me; my best friend with his tongue sticking out and no pants on - wagging his behind excitedly, ready to unleash his slobbery tongue on my face, and making me feel missed, loved and home every single day.


Friday, May 4, 2012


Some of us are made slightly more filmi than the others. So in early March, when many of us took up a weeklong workshop learning Shibori, I set myself the task of making myself something filmi to wear.

Most of the week was spent learning the many techniques of the art form. Many knots and much contemplation later, I settled on creating a black and white malmal outfit for myself. Meera, my teacher, was not surprised when I told her I wanted to do something with a stark black and white contrast. 

Blistered fingers and dehydration apart, this assignment was worth every bit of effort. I was overjoyed when I unknotted and unclamped my fabric, and further thrilled when Ma and I described to the tailor exactly what I wanted.

When the final garment came home to me I jumped around like the clown I am, overjoyed. I am the kind of person that is rarely ever happy with the final outcome of my effort. Yet, the imperfection and simplicity of this piece leaves me absolutely thrilled.

Medhi, my lovely lovely friend, gets to do this for a living. Of her I could not be more envious. I do believe that she will continue to inspire me to try my hand at Shibori every now and again.

For now I think I’ll prance around in my new clothes.

*insert background score here*

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Desi Daru

I began this year with a course in Packaging Design. One with a brief so exciting, my head began to explode with eccentric ideas. Here is the task Kruti, our teacher and partner in general mayhem, posed to us:

Task: To position DESI DARU as a Vodka that captures the true Indian ‘spirit’ 
Target Audience Primary: The urban party goers (18 - 40 yrs) who enjoy their alcohol & are equally happy to rock to chikni chameli as they are to mr. saxobeat (in short - YOU)
Target Audience Secondary: The foreigner who wants a taste of the local spirit.
USP: Strong spicy Indian flavour. A brand that aims to captures the pulse of the new Indian 
party scene which has stopped aping the west and is proud to wear it’s local identity 
on it’s sleeve. 
Visual Experience: Indian/contemporary with a twist  - India modern
Guidelines: Research vodka, local and international brands and it’s packaging.
The label must have a concept/story/inspiration.
The label must incorporate all the mandatory details.
The final outcome will have to be presented on an actual bottle.

With a mere 6 days at hand, you can imagine what a frenzy we were in. It didn't help that I spent 2 out of those 6 days in the hospital with my Krishiemonster brother while he recovered from extensive surgery. Nevertheless, my idea took form. Here is the one I settled on. 

A palace of illusions. One that seems to be just another palace if you're not looking closely enough. But,  if you are, through its windows you'll see a Raja and a Rani and their real Kahaani. Come even closer and you'll find Raja Hindustani and Rani Mukherjee having a jolly good time. 
India is now home to a youth that does not apologize for their boldness. We dance like there's no tomorrow, gossip about anything we can, drink like fish, get jiggy with strangers, and quite frankly do not give a shit what anyone thinks. We live in our own fantastical palaces. 

Here is what the bottle looks like right now.

Some self bashing:
I wish I had had a palace long enough to cover the whole bottle. I guess you don't know what your work is going to look like until 30 minutes before its due, at which point you just say, 'Uh oh. Kya karega.'
In retrospect, my choice of type might not have been the best idea. 
I'm reworking this. Soon, I hope. And I'm definitely trying my other ideas out too. Also soon, I hope. For now, I'd love some feedback. 

Overall, a superfun start to the year.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An incomplete sketchbook

This is the outcome of being over-ambitious. A while back, I signed up for The Sketchbook Project. You can read about it here
My book reached me mid-December. And I was thrilled beyond belief. My theme was monochromatic. And the goal I set for myself, was ambitious to say the least. Sadly, this is all I have to show. 
I sent my incomplete book out a few days back. And I'm bummed.

Uff. What to say.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

For my loulee Glue

My lovely Alagu sits beside me at school everyday and whines about the fact that I draw nothing for her. This one is to remind her to 'Be the Lotus'. 

Like a billi

It's a silly Tuesday afternoon. My vacations are almost here. And I don't want to do anything until then. Alas! Work is chasing after me like a kutta after a billi. 

I wish I could curl up on a sofa and take a lovely little nap just for a bit. And dream about some fish. And a top hat and some boots. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'd love to be lost

I'm working all the time. I rarely ever see friends. And I even catch myself wishing I could wind back time and be lost somewhere in school. And so I lose myself on paper sometimes. Here is some of that.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Playing with paper boats this summer.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sisters taking wing

I really should be dedicating my time to college work. But I had this itch to finish this piece and put it up, because I have something I simply must say. So neglecting my assignment for an hour and messing with photoshop, just to put this up has been time well spent. 

The black and white sketch was done whilst watching Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham with my silly younger sisters, both of whom have left me and flown away to colleges far, far away. 
I cannot imagine what the next few years shall be like. Lonely, to say the least. And so I hope that my birdies two shall find the time to come home and say hello every once in a while. 

I'm ending this post, lest I get teary and preachy. On a closing note, I love you, Sanu and Ayesha. Fly like you're saving your asses from a flame throwing dragon, and get the better of it. In short, be spanking good wherever you, doing whatever you chose to do, my lovelies. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Perfect chintuk book courtesy Chumbak

Here are scribbles from a tiny book I won on a contest on Chumbak's facebook page. I promised that I'd send Shubhra scribbles from my book when I had some. My little pocket book goes everywhere with me. These scribbles are mostly from when I'm idling in class. 

Thank you Shubhra and Alicia. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Remind me, do.

The summer is nearly here. It brings vacations that bear the lingering possibility of an internship. My brain is full of worry that the places I'd like to work at are not inclined to respond to me. The suspense and the fear of no news on that front are cluttering my thoughts.

To relieve myself of this worrying, I draw. With an ink pen retrieved from the base of an unfrequented drawer. What comes of it, is this. Someday, I plan to have this tattooed on myself, in the hope that it will remind me to calm my nerves when they are antsy and overworked. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Feline-Canine Romance.

A stray doodle of a stray cat.

I am not a cat lover, in the least. In fact, I find them to be the coldest, most vicious, self absorbed mammals in the animal kingdom. Felines. Ekh. Not my scene. 
Except when it comes to drawing them in amusing ways. 

I am, however, a dog person. They cuddle, and lick, and know when you're down. And are quite fun to draw too. They are also big posers and love being photographed. My nutty boxer, Beans, is proof of that. 

I'm strange in many ways. Friends often compare me to a feline creature, what with my obsessive, meticulous working style. OCD-ed and how, folks. And with the cold axe I can quite easily swing when I think I've had just about enough of someone's nonsense tantrums. Funnily, its the pushy, cuddly, nauseatingly clingy love that I get from my little Beansie that fixes every bad day. 
A feline-canine romance we have. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spectacled some more

My love for spectacles grows. 
I don't wear mine much. At all really. 
Yet, they continue to fascinate me. 
Hence, my Chashmish Rani. 
Happy 2011. 

It's late. But still.