Which colour do you see?


There are some who look at the world in black and white.
Others see the world in shades of grey.

Some see bright colours.
And some, muted hues and pastel.

There are few who can see everything.
There are fewer still, who can see the complete picture.

And then there are those rare beings who can comprehend the meaning of it all.

Jigsaw Puzzle
Trying to make sense of it all

The drawing featured here is an old abstract drawing I pulled out of the cupboard recently.

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The Slate


The beginning of a new year in school was something I looked forward to.

Leave the old imperfections behind and start a new quest towards perfection. Torn notebooks, lost textbooks, unfinished assignments, silly classmates, demanding teachers and scarier mathematics, none of these would matter in the new year.

New books, new subjects, new teachers, and at times, new classmates as well. A fresh start. At least that’s what I believed.

But the older I grew, the more difficult it became to get a clean slate. I have come to believe that life gives you just one slate. And even though you believed you had new slates every year of your life, it’s just that the chalk was lighter, and it was easier to erase. As you go through life, new lines appear, most of which cannot be erased. You write over the slate over and over again – a hundred, thousand, or a million times.

Sometimes the lines complement each other. The new lines working in harmony with the underlying lines, completing the picture forming something meaningful, or beautiful, or perhaps both.

But sometimes, the lines fight against each other, creating a mismatched random scratch, and creating something that looks terribly ugly. Or is it?

Maybe the random lines are just an incomplete picture. All that is needed is a little patience – it will be completed in due course. Perhaps there are hidden patterns in what seems random. All that is required is closer examination.

Perhaps the lines will all eventually cover the whole slate. Turning black to absolute white. A wholesomeness, completeness or utter transformation. Or perhaps a new white slate to start afresh …

What do you think? Do you have a slate? How many? What does your slate look like?

The Journey


garden_pathShe took the longest route possible – the one which was perhaps the safest to take – and also the most dangerous one. The horned deer kept mostly to themselves. The foxes were unlikely to come her way – she had never seen them – even though she knew they were there. Perhaps the rabid dogs were the only threat. She had once faced them, but now she knew how to avoid them.

It was not the external forces that worried her. And it wasn’t those external forces that made others discourage her from taking that route. It was their lack of faith in her. She loved that route. And if she was going to go, she would not go any other way.

She’d walked so many times. But now her own family forbade her to go there. They said she couldn’t make it. It had been so long…

She was sick of others constantly doubting her, and could bear it no longer. She slipped away from the house.

The initial stretch was a long straight road, directly under the scorching sun. She felt the heat pierce her skin, so unused to light now. She allowed every pore of her skin to soak up the sun – the harsh sun, as they called it. But to her it was liberating.

Within no time, her first milestone was in sight – the thick forest. The entrance was just as it had always been – welcoming. The cool shade of the trees rejuvenated her – if at all she needed it. The dusty path coiled around itself, the butterflies leading her to the steep rocks – her second milestone.

She began her ascent. It was steep – and perhaps the toughest phase of her journey. She encountered the first signs of weakness. Out of the thin air, voices came. They grew around her, showing concern. She slowed down, breathing heavily. The voices grew louder. They were admonishing her for her mistakes. She should not have stepped out. They were warning her of consequences.

Her eyes began closing. She paused. For a brief moment she looked up. A peacock was taking a stroll. A mongoose quickly ran across the path. Were they worried about her inabilities? Perhaps. Were they unaware of her abilities? Likely. Were they scared of her strength? It was that thought made her shake.

She took one step at a time. Every step growing more and more painful as the voices tried dragging her downhill. She fought everything – the voices, the forest, and her own body.

Until she became numb. She took one more step. And then looked around her.

It was a sight she had longed to see – the forest, and all its life, stretching as far as her tired eyes could see. She had reached the highest part of the slope. Her fourth milestone.

The plateau was bustling with activity. But no one bothered to look at her. They were far too busy in their own lives. And she couldn’t care less about them either. She was busy with her own journey. And then came the fork in the path. She knew which one to take – the one on the right. Her fifth milestone – the garden of the most exquisite flowers – greeted her with bowed branches. The scent in the air was mesmerising.

It was a downhill path. A winding one at that. One which was also notorious for trapping travellers. She knew it was a misleading path. Few people actually crossed it successfully. And she was one of those few. At least that is what she believed.

She heard a faint sound in the distance. The temple bell.

It grew louder as she walked along the winding garden path. She felt it coming from somewhere very very close. She kept on walking. The bells kept ringing. She walked, for what she felt, was eternity. She had taken the route so may times in the past. Why was she taking so long? It was the temple bell which kept her believing she was on the right path.

And she was.

At long last, she saw the last milestone. The opening at the edge of the forest. She left the forest with the energy of a little child, eager to enter the temple – to see those bells which had been ringing for so long.

But the moment she exited the forest, the bells stopped ringing.

She stood between the two entrances, facing the temple, her back to the forest, in a state of confusion. Why did the bells stop ringing the moment she was about to reach?

It was then that she realised, that the bells were the sixth milestone. The bells had drowned out all voices of doubt. And she had not felt even the slightest hint of discomfort. She had undertaken that route to the temple several times – and yet, this was the first time she had truly taken the journey.

And that realisation led her towards her destination. She felt light. She was at peace with herself.

Music began playing the moment she entered. Her family had been waiting for her, and they welcomed her with open arms. The festivities at the temple had just begun.

* * *

Even though this post talks of a temple, it is not intended to be interpreted as a religious post. You could easily substitute the temple for any other spiritual place.

Image Credit: JamesDeMers Public Domain (pixabay)

The Bouquet


She had been uprooted from her home, decorated to highlight her appealing petals, and given away to indifferent people. In her new ‘home’, she sat quietly in a corner, waiting to be noticed.

Her new family did not appreciate her. They had seen many more like her, and like all the others, she would be abandoned. The garbage collector would pick her up, and she would spend the rest of her short life along with plastics and other alien creatures.

She looked absolutely beautiful. And at the same time, she looked sad. We noticed her head looking towards the ground. She was tired, and disappointed. We decided to adopt her.

We peeled away the pins and wires that surrounded her, and even as I offered her water, some of her delicate petals gave way.

Free from the shackles, and getting a little care, she felt lighter. Was there a hint of a smile? She still missed her home. Nothing could replace that, but now, she hoped she could spend the rest of her days in peace.

Don’t study!!


As little kids, we’re always told by our parents to study… Well, almost always. When I was small, my parents never really had much trouble with me as far as studying was concerned. But once every year, they had to tell me NOT to study!

Navratri is celebrated every year, sometime around October… Although it is celebrated at least twice a year, the one culminating in Dusshera is celebrated with the most enthusiasm. Navratri literally means nine nights. During this festival, various forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped.

Technically speaking, puja (religious ritual) is performed on each day of the festival. But I’ll fast forward to the ninth day. On the ninth day of this festival, we worship Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of learning and knowledge. In any field, there is always scope for learning. And knowledge can be gained in any form. So all those items from which we can gain knowledge and wisdom are collected and a dias is formed. An idol of the Goddess is placed atop this dias and a puja is conducted. In the north, a similar puja is performed on Vasant Panchami.

A special Rangoli (decorative design) is made, incense sticks are lit, special dishes are prepared and offered to the Goddess…

As little kids, we used to look forward to Navratri – a welcome break from school, special dishes, the festive atmosphere around the entire city. But we had a another reason to be excited…

On this very special ninth day of the puja, it was absolutely compulsory for us not to study! Yes that’s right! We were told not to study. Now which kid wouldn’t want that? 🙂

We wondered why, on the day the Goddess of learning is worshipped, we were told not to learn… Nevertheless, it was a very exciting thought… how nice it would be if we didn’t have to study…

But when the day actually arrived, with nothing to do – we weren’t allowed to read, or engage in any activity related to art or use musical instruments, we weren’t even allowed to work on the computer or watch tv – the day was extremely boring! To not learn, then seemed a terrible thing indeed…

It is said that the Goddess herself offers her blessings to everything that is placed in the dias, so we must not study and wait for the puja to conclude and then study. But more importantly, by not allowing us to do anything, it was a lesson in itself… Life would be incomplete, and worthless without knowledge…

On the tenth day, the puja was concluded. We were told to pick up our books soon after bath and told to read something new… It signified a fresh start… We were once again told to study with interest (pun intended)…


On this year’s Saraswati puja, my mother and I spent the whole day cleaning the house 🙂

The disease called cricket!


Warning! I am about to sound clichéd. But that’s OK. You see, I am an Indian. And all Indians have this genetic disease. For anyone curious to know the various symptoms and effects of the disease, I hope this will provide enough fodder.

Firstly, I am very excited about writing this. So much so, that immediately after last night’s match, I began drafting a post about it and I did not get sleep for quite some time. And I did not even watch the match! So that just proves how severe the infection is.

Yesterday, India took on England in the world cup. All of us were sitting and watching the match in bits and pieces. We just got the news that we had won the toss and decided to bat first. We had a decent start, and there wasn’t much excitement. Then word got around that Sachin Tendulkar had started hammering the Englishmen. Ah! Now things were interesting. We all gathered around the television to admire the little master as he effortlessly scored yet another century and smashed yet another record. Everything was as per the textbook!

And then the wickets began falling. One, two, three… And then panic set in. “Go inside! You’re a bad luck charm!” “Switch it off!”… Well, hopefully you got the picture.

One by one the wickets tumbled. With every fall of a wicket, we felt like we were being stabbed. It was agonising. Soon, we were all out!

But we had a big score. Yeah, it should have been bigger, but 338 was still a match winning total. Some consolation.

But, as we soon found out, the pain had only just begun. The English batsmen were off to a flying start. Boundaries flowed mercilessly. We could not bear the pain. So we decided to take the anaesthetic. We switched off the TV and went for a walk. But the horrors of the match followed us, and we kept in touch with the commentary every few minutes. Strauss was in sterling form and he lead the team with a brilliant knock. 200 for just 2 wickets, and plenty of time in hand. The match was all but lost.

Some people had gathered outside a small retail outlet. We joined them as a decision was referred to the third umpire. Complete strangers were discussing with each other what the decision should be. “That’s out! Clearly!” “Yes! Absolutely!” But then the umpire did not agree with us. It’s open to debate if that decision was correct or not. But I’ll say it was wrong!

We continued, with heavy hearts to reach home. And then I received a message. The eerie silence of the empty streets was interrupted by the sounds of people cheering. Something had happened. We tuned in. 4 wickets down! Ah! Finally, some respite. A sight for sore eyes. But there was still a long way to go.

We stuck by our superstition and turned off the broadcast. And sure enough another fell. We tuned in again. And then another… But they continued to make runs comfortably. We turned it off! Every time we turned it off, a wicket fell! Soon they were 8 wickets down! Well, surely we couldn’t lose it now! And then they hit a six. And then another! Oh no!

The tension was unbearable. Last over – 14 runs, 2 wickets. We turned it off yet again. We waited patiently for a few balls to be bowled. We waited for some cheers, some sounds. But the sounds outside, and the messages on the phone were discouraging. It was all lost.

Well, at least we did not see it! We tuned in to the result. And we could scarcely believe it.

It was a tie. A TIE.

For all the sacrifices we made, after all this emotional trauma, no result!

They say cricket is a funny game. But for those suffering from this disease, we just don’t seem to get the joke. Whether or not cricket is funny, the joke’s definitely on us!

Holy water!


Imagine that it is the festival of holi. You’re walking down the road and someone throws coloured water at you. How would you react? Right now, I can think of two broad possibilities. One, you take it in good humour and continue playing in the spirit of holi. The other option is that you get frustrated and angry and try to take revenge on the person who threw water.

Well, you could argue that there is a possibility that the stranger was actually not a good person and that there was some really bad intention involved. But for now, let’s just assume it was in good humour.

The point I’m trying to make is, our life and our happiness depends on our perception. If we choose to look at life quite literally and seriously, and choose to look at only the sad aspects of our life, then our life will only seem sadder.

Right now you’re probably wondering where all of this came from! Well, this morning when I was brushing my teeth, an overhead pipe cracked and sprayed water all over my head! Fortunately it was clean water 😛 Is it time for Holi already?

Self Evaluation Time


Past couple of days I’ve really been busy trying to evaluate the assignments I’ve done over the past couple of years. I thought I would collect all my work for a portfolio. Most of my stuff was scattered and I’ve been meaning to get a little organised for quite some time now. But for some reason or the other, I’ve not been able to. Well, this time, I somehow managed to do it!

Since setting up the blog, I’ve been meaning to post my stuff online. So here it is! I’ve added two more galleries with some of my best stuff. Apologies for the low resolution. I realise most of the work is amateurish, but its been a roller coaster ride doing most of the stuff. Most of the vector illustrations are really old. And frankly, I’m kind of disappointed that I’ve not been able to create decent works over the past few months.

Going through the files, I realised a gradual drop in enthusiasm, as well as originality over a period of time. And I’ve realised that creativity cannot be forced. One has to have a free mind, and most importantly, the ability to live up to expectations. As long as there is no expectation, there is no pressure. But as soon as someone expects something out of you, it shows. I can now appreciate those people who have to shoulder the responsibility of managing clients, employees and peers in the work environment.

To face tremendous pressure, and still deliver great results, is the mark of a great commercial artist. And this holds good for every field.

Well, that’s all for now.

Since I’ve posted my sketches, it’s only fair that I say thanks to our sketching faculty. Thank you sir! Please visit his Blog Here