ketching wasn’t always a part of me. I started doodling behind pages of my math book in school because I hated math and scribbling random things was a great way to drown out my math anxiety. Then the next thing I remember enjoying drawing was diagrams in biology. I rendered them when I couldn’t remember answers in my exams. I started keeping a journal in Kodaikanal when I went there to study in class eleven. I wrote everything- lyrics of nice songs ,birds on the school campus, lists of things to do, habits to grow into, recipes, angst ridden notes, sorted advice to me straight from my heart, versions of my future, drawings. At Srishti, (College of Art & Design) we were encouraged to keep a logbook. Assignments, more angst, autobiographical delvings, romantic anguish followed. So did the discovery of many kinds of books. Nice ones to buy, hand made ones using only select paper for all mediums. Various sizes. All these books have different personalities. It’s interesting to find how I have changed and remained the same. My views of the world. Its a special place a sketchbook is. I think very differently when i”m working on a book than a computer. So it’s a good place for ideas to begin and sometimes get carried into my work. I’m never proud of any sketchbook. One always begins with a very high goal and its a quiet ceremony beginning a book. Sometimes pages can dissapoint and even after trying they do not rise up to the level one wanted. But here is my latest one, almost near its end. Thought I’d share it with you.
ver feel like all your nerve endings have begun to fray? I tend to forget to take that occasional walk you are supposed to take away from the computer when at work. And if you have had one of those days when you begin to see two pencils where there is one. ( Nothing to do with beer.) Your eyes cannot come to terms with the computer stare. Thats when you go for a run or go and eat a bun or just put off your computer and make space for some fun.
Somebody had the brain to leave a spot of nature in the middle of this cement landscape. Open. Completely transforming the thoughts in my mind. Why am I pacing it? Why stick to a safer speed. A downhill slope and your legs go faster than your mind would permit. In this rigid lined defined lifestyle – im not complaining i just miss the outdoors. You’d never feel this way in a gym. I imagine all the places i’ve run at – would like to run at. Mountains, lakes, beaches, small villages, urban compounds where you go round and round, fake gardens, real forests, fake forests. Plugging in. Its priceless. Makes me want to make a film about running. Nothing can take away what you get from it. It adds to all you do otherwise. Beautiful sunday. If you haven’t got it in you, you cant hope to find it when you need it. Photo: Nike Running
I present Tehelka’s new year special fiction issue dedicated to Romance. Fog has delayed many trains in the country. While I wait for my train to move, I find the best thing on the bookstore’s stands. My first ever issue design. My art director asked me to design it as a whole package to get a feel of things. Doing a few inputs here and there vs looking after the whole issue has made me quite confident and curious about techniques, time, finish and quality. Short fictions written by AMITAVA KUMAR • SOURABH RATNU • KALKI KOECHLIN • MUSHARRAF ALI FAROOQI • NABARUN BHATTACHARYA • SUNITI NAMJOSHI • SR FARUQI • RAHUL SONI • JUGAL MODY • KR MEERA • SIDDHARTH CHOWDHURY • PRASHANT MIRANDA • AKSHAT VERMA • SNEHA RAJARAM Featuring illustrations by Anand Naorem, Pia Alize Hazarika, Somesh Kumar, Ashish Naorem, Aastha Mittal (work featured on cover), Prashant Miranda, Smruthi Gargi Eshwar, Devashish Guruji and me.
My special thankyou to Rishabh Arora for the magnificient menu he has designed for the issue and most of all to Sudeep Chaudhuri, my art director – who’s work and spirit are inspiring.