Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Cat has Perched.

After the small success of the post on Common Myna done for Perch Project, Hazel and I decided to get a bit more challenging with the next post. We chose the Domestic Cat as our next animal to be rescued. In the beginning we thought that the availability of information won't be a trouble for this post, but we were overwhelmed by the amount of text. Generally, large amount of instructional text can leave a reader a bit daunted, therefore we opted to break it into charts, worksheet and illustrations that can bring in relief to the reading eye. Hazel being the more knowledgable one, got busy with writing the text, making charts and worksheets, while I had to draw the cat. I knew right from the start that unlike the birds, a furry cat would surely be a lot more difficult. To be honest, I am not a pro at using watercolours, and when doing science illustrations that are meant to be precise and do the job of identifying the drawn subject well, one shouldn't falter. Not to forget, getting the anatomy right is an ardent task too. Some of my initial drawings of the kitten looked like sausages. I kept drawing it day after day but nothing good turned out. Finally, when the time was not in my favour, I decided to cheat by using pencil colours. I console myself over this by telling myself time after time, 'It was all for the right cause.' Here are some of the better ones done during the process - 

The final days of putting the Perch post up were pretty crazy. If one goes through our chat history, they would find enough evidence to prove us lunatics. Here's one - 'Also, can we make the poo a bit 3d?'
You can check out the post here. We have also made a facebook page - Perch Project, 'Like' the page if you would like to get future updates from Perch. 
You should read Hazel's post too - Domestic Cat on Half Chai.

Monday, November 26, 2012

स्वप्न बुनकर

सपनों के जलतरंग की बुनकर,
कभी देखा हैं धारों को धागों से गिनकर।
वो क्यारियाँ होती हैं उन्मुक्त,
फिसल जाती हैं बनकर सुषुप्त।
फिर भी तुम उन्हें पिरोती हो,
बुझी आँहों को सिरे से संजोती हो।
बचपन के बोंये बीज बिखेर,
गांठों में गिरे फूलों का रंग संवेर।
कढ़ती हो सर्दियों की गर्म धूप,
ओढ़ती हो इसमें अपना मन स्वरुप।
कोई क्यों छीने तेरी ठिठुरते उम्मीदों की रात,
कभी कुछ सपने सुन लेंगे तेरे जागते आँखों की बात।

- ख़ुफ़िया कातिल के तरफ़ से एक मित्र को जन्मदिन की भेंट।


Monday, November 19, 2012

झरोखों की धूल

इन सुस्त कमरों के झरोखों से,
कालें सीलन पड़ें कोनों से,
जब झाँकती आती हैं धूल,
तो आज भी उनसे हाथ धो लेता हूँ।

कुछ टूटती इमारतों के ज़ोर से,
कुछ पुष्प मंजरों के शोर से,
इस अनंत कण की वर्षा में,
आज भी कुछ बूँदें पी लेता हूँ।

देखता हूँ उन्हें किरणों पर गिरते
अनमने भाव से मिलते बिछड़ते।
उनकी फिरकतों की हरकत से
आज भी इस मन को बहला लेता हूँ।

इन झरोखों की धूल से ,
आज भी अपने पहरों को परतों में गिन लेता हूँ।

- ख़ुफ़िया कातिल का धूमिल प्रणाम    

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The major problem, one of the major problems, for there are several, with governing people is that of who you get to do it. Or, rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well known and much lamented fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made president should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

I finally finished reading the five novel compilation of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' yesterday. To write such a book one has to be a genius and a champion of wit mixed with a general sciency mish mash. Apart from his regular gymnast with the space-time-probability axis, Mr. Douglas Adams' knack of inventing character names is highly commendable. It's like he just noticed an object, played around with it's spelling and then named it a small little planet at the center of the third probability axis of infinite improbable drive. Apart from his usual excellence in making up things, he quite enjoyed taking a dig at other irritating aspects of being an earthling, say religion, McDonalds, credit cards, telephones, astrology etc. And one of the great things about the book is how quotable it is. Flip open any page and you will have something clever written down. You can literally calendar your social network feeds with these quotes. Here's one more - 
Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Perch Project

It was about four months back when I had gone home for a small vacation, I found a baby Myna bird lying on the ground near my mom's car early in the morning. I looked around and couldn't find the nest to put the bird back into. If I had left it over there for long, the ants would have taken care of it. Helpless that I was as I had little knowledge about rescuing a Myna, I called up my friend Hazel who knows about taking care of birds and animals well. I am very sure it's a news in the animal kingdom about which door to knock when in danger, they all end up coming scared, broken and tired to get their nursing done at her place. So after a few calls exchanged, I had some basic idea about the very first things to do when you find a baby Myna. Sadly, the myna didn't survive for more than a day. That's the time when the very first seed of Perch Project was sowed, an idea to create a publication or portal where basic first aid information can be provided to the public about birds and animal rescue commonly found in the urban scenario. Although, there are existing platforms for such information but it's mostly not put in the Indian context. Hence, Hazel and I started investing hours off from regular work to put this blog together called - Perch Project. We have put together the basic details for rescuing a Common Myna as our first post with a few illustrations. We may have missed some things and it will be great help if the readers can bring it to our notice. Feedback is always welcome. 

Take a look - http://perchproject.tumblr.com/
We are planning to cover a lot more birds and animals from urban wildlife soon and make it a useful archive for all of the people who want to rescue but don't know how. Lot more hours to steal now for this but I think it will be worth it. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Brainwave. Issue 24. Mad Maladies

The November issue of Brainwave hit the stands last week. Being the last print on which I have worked on as the designer, I would say that this issue has been art directed by me at large sparing a few pages and decisions. Art directing a magazine is no child's play and I am thankful that the design template is in place to not do things from the scratch. But approaching the right illustrators, giving them design brief, approving sketches, nagging for handling over of final files is one big responsibility to deal with. The amount of post-it notes exhausted on this process was a good evidence in this case. Once all this is done, I switched into the role of a designer to put all the pages together, include required design changes, re check and correct all pages once it's proofread and chip in with some illustrations too. I have created the cover artwork and compiled one infographic page this time. 

The cover features Alby and Arby this time.
Click to enlarge.

Well, with this post comes the end of an era. From now onwards, there will be only freelance work for Brainwave that will go up here. So long readers. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Zeb and Haniya

Finally, after waiting for more than a year I get to hear Zeb and Haniya live tomorrow at Chowdiah Memorial Hall. I literally stammered when I got to know of their concert. I knew I had to make a poster for them. Probably one of the good excuses to make a poster and who knows if I am lucky enough I can give it to them too. The acceptance will be the most fitting reward for me. Here's the poster with a few snaps of the process. If all goes well, concert photographs will follow soon. 

Click to enlarge.

I was trying to integrate Arabic calligraphy in the title but one doesn't learn such fine skills in a day. After rendering a few sheets and digitizing, it was clear that I am no good with it. I altered my titles in a way that it picks nuances of Arabic calligraphy yet retains a simplicity in it's form, something which Paul Barnes did with the old typefaces. He carefully extracted the skeleton of letters and shaped them gracefully. I also googled a few experiments with Arabic typography and saw a poster which helped me with my title for this poster. You can see the poster here. I also had to be careful to not use typographic elements in a very irresponsible manner. I had to respect the script and use it with caution such that the stylisation didn't harm the meaning. 

Concert Day Joys
Yesterday evening is still looming in my head and I am still retaining the foolish smile of mine each time I think of the concert.
I reached way too early for the concert to avoid any queues and traffic rush. I was there two and half hours before the show and clearly no one was around, so I just hovered around in the premises of Chowdiah memorial hall. It was then that I heard Zeb's voice from the hall. The duo were rehearsing for the show with the rest of the crew. I sneaked into the empty hall without anyone's notice and in sometime made myself comfortable on the front seat. I was enjoying my own private concert.

I had printed a few copies of the poster before, so I took out one and waved it at them and they were very happy to see the copies. But, soon the authorities realised that I shouldn't be clicking photographs and be present in the hall at all. Although, later on I managed to meet Zeb and Haniya back stage and gave them two copies of the poster. They were more than happy to sign one for me. I had some small conversations about Bangalore and got a few photographs clicked with them as a reminder of this surreal day. 

The concert followed soon after and they performed some tracks from their upcoming album too. Now, that I have heard it once, I am dreading the wait for the second album. The rest of the performing members pitched in their parts well with immaculate moments of brilliance shared with all. But, somehow the pre concert stole the thunder for me, to hear them practice in an empty hall and meet them in person became the whirlpool of my thoughts. I hope to keep making more posters for them and hear them live again. Thank you Zeb and Haniya.