Thursday, January 26, 2012


Lolita is the book that I finished reading last. From the time I picked it up each page has been a display of fine writing. Vladimir Nabokov has indulged so well on the craving for Lolita that every frantic thought of Humbert really makes you aware of that indispensable feeling. There is so much beauty in the book that it is difficult to grasp it all in one go but often there are certain lines which stays with you like a childhood memory. By the time I reached the last page I had newspaper bookmarks sitting tight in the traversed pages to revisit a few lines. I must also mention that so far I have never come across a more beautiful description of a tennis serve. I wish I could share that state of mind and it's expressive stream through which Nabokov had put these lines. I am sharing some of that magnificence that Mr Nabokov has left in this book and the part of the para where Lolita's serve has been described through the eyes of Humbert.

Yesterday was the last day of Jaipur Literature Fest 2012 and this one has made the news headlines quite often thanks to the many fundamentalist who are clueless but are content with it. Salman Rushdie's visit and video-talk both were denied. This puts a very  fine example of how the freedom of speech is being stifled by giving an unjustified upper hand to religious sentiment. Thankfully Richard Dawkins made it for the fest. The next book on my reading list is 'The God Delusion'. I had picked it up three years back but never got a chance to move beyond the first chapter. It seems like a good time to pick it up. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sketchcrawl 6, Majestic and Shivajinagar

Sketchcrawl, one of the events that has kept me close to my sketchbooks and I am pleased to make it the sixth one that I have attended. The last sketchcrawl back in January was compromised due to a working Saturday but thankfully today's fell in place well. I had planned to make a visit to Majestic bus stand and draw an aerial view of it from the over bridge running across the platforms. In the morning I checked all my stationery items and was disappointed over the fact that my pencil colours were not there anymore. There was a time when pencil colours were an integral part of my drawing. So much was it's presence that I had to force myself to not use them so that I can venture on other mediums. I think I took it a bit too far and this sketchcrawl I was reminded of my Lycra pencil colours and later realised that I gave them away to a friend. I managed to find a few Derwent colour pencil (gifted by a friend) in the drawer and kept them in my bag. Today, I had made a point to use them for atleast one sketch. The day didn't start off really well. My I pod's earphones refused to work and when I reached Majestic, I realised that there was no place to sit on the over bridge. I hovered around a bit thinking that I can't come all the way here and do no sketch. The time was running out too and I knew mornings are the productive part of my day. I found a lane of cheap shoe, watch, clothes market. The sellers were getting it ready for the business and I found a spot too to start off the sketching. So here is the very first sketch and a photograph of the place.
I had only a few colours to use and the disappointment over not being able to draw the whole bus stand was still hanging around. Not very happy with the first sketch, I decided to take an auto to Shivajinagar. Shivajinagar had always been a place where I love to go around in the streets, take photographs, sketch and buy cheap tea glasses. I think this attachment to Shivajinagar came from the college days. It didn't take me much time to find a place to sketch. The Russell market area has a Dargah at the traffic junction. This signal keeps buzzing around with people coming for bulk shopping of tarpaulin, military goods, motor parts, meat, flowers, perfumes, vegetables, bangles, leather etc. and busy area work perfectly for me to sketch. 
It was close to noon when I started the sketch and in the middle I realised that this one is going to be a long one. The flower shop owner next to me kept me company with his in between remarks and moving the parked vehicles from front blocking my view. It took me one and half hour to wrap up the sketch. I was quite hungry after the long sitting and decided to head back home. But I guess Shivajinagar will happen again for me in the coming sketchcrawls. This place is my hunting ground and also the reminiscent of my college years. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


A very tiny comic strip done for The Hindu - Young World - Grey Matter, Brainwave.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tehelka ho gaya.

Tehelka released their fourth fiction issue on romance, Volume 09, Issue 01. I got the opportunity of doing a few illustrations for KR Meera's story titled as 'The Hangman'. You can read the story here. To suit the mood of the story I worked on sombre and grim looking illustrations with felt tip pens and photo inks. I hadn't tried doing realistic drawings in a while but with a few roughs I managed to acquire the required style. I picked up my copy of the magazine yesterday and now waiting to go though the whole issue. On the sidelines, I got hold of the 'The Caravan' magazine which features Joe Sacco's pages on Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh. This week is going to be immersed in magazine reading.