The Slower Hours

Diaries in the past have mostly been about chaos and variety and new sights. Futile attempts to fit hours of chaotic travel, city lights, new friends, dances, concerts, meals, celebrations, oddities [does anyone remember the Robot Restaurant?] into tiny Memorybank videos that barely last a minute.

I thought it would be nice to dedicate one of these to what it was really like sometimes, to be alone in a new place. Often I went hours without speaking to anybody, spending a bunch of time reading, scrutinising sunsets, staring at the ocean, chasing birds and observing plants. I did not record most of it, but found enough clips to recreate some of the mood :)

 

 

A month at a time

In October, my company granted me a sabbatical and I bounced around western Europe for the month.

I expected to get a lot done (ofcourse) about the projects I had planned- instead I took hundreds of futile pictures, laid around on lonesome Portuguese beaches for days, had an existential crisis and ate-drank-walked-repeated till I felt the nausea coming on!

Nevertheless, I made some happy progress [mind you, I am painfully far from actually finishing the projects] and the trip was some kind of heaven..so I am left with zero regrets.

Come November, and I was back in Delhi, part-depressed, part-craving-some-real-work. A lot of beginnings- Modi decided to change the country [but left everyone in a cashless, queue-hogging, change-counting mess], Trump is going to be president of USA, I am learning to play the ukulele, Akhil scored a job, a bunch of my friends have weddings to plan, some of them have heartbreaks to heal, and the others are oscillating between being content and restive ! All in all a good month to look back at that existential crisis and have a second crisis about how to feel about it all.

Did I mention my new favourite city in the world? Porto! It's old and modern and crumbling and steel and slopes and river and beach and wine, francesinhas, art, plant-shops, books, and it is joy on the streets and good taste in general! GO there! Please! And take me when you go!

And today its December already, and I am thinking of the thing someone said about time passing faster as you grow older. I am as old as my Mum was when she had me and yet my life seems like just a collection of pictures. Or not. Its wonderful, really! Or is it? Okay third crisis coming on..

..buh-bye.

 

What makes you happy?

A few pictures that reflect my happiest moments from the last year. In each of these pictures, I was behind the lens, and far from home, feeling the sort of guilty pleasure that escaping from your responsibilities can bring. :D

That sort of pleasure and freedom has been long due this year. And so I JUST cannot wait to take off again!

27 in Nepal

Just got back from five days of awesome. They were jam-packed with boat rides, fireflies, swings overlooking lakes, surprise birthday cakes by the river, landslides and hours of waiting on the road, numerous puppy companions, gut-wrenching laughter, a lot of dancing, way too much beer and a bunch of new friends

Gallery for week 2 :)

Here are second week's images in no particular order. I'm out on a work trip again, so resuming this project as soon as I'm back!

EVERYDAY CAMERA THERAPY: Week 1

I started an image-project on a strange whim last week. It's been 6 days already, and I am feeling more and more confident about making it last.  I travel for work tomorrow..so it will be a challenge to keep it up while I'm away. But I'll try my best.  A lot of love to everyone who cared to write to me to support and encourage... :) 

Here's last week's entries, in no particular order :

Nothing is Mundane

My nature is to only seek refuge under creativity when I really need it. I reserve it for special occasions or paid projects, for vacations and heart-breaks. The result is sporadic bursts of creativity in one year- and blissful oblivion for another. Realising it today makes me feel like a bad friend of sorts. The kind that dials you when times are hard, uses your words to soothe her soul and disappears until the next tragedy.

This is an attempt to be a more reliable creative. To stick around to see what magic happens if I create something everyday till I no longer can. When does one run out of things to create? What do you capture when all the pretty things are far away? I guess you force yourself to find inspiration in things you stopped noticing long ago. On that note: #day2 for #distractionprojectforroy :)

#Day2

#Day2

View full project here

Camera Therapy

Last month I began to free fall into some strange, unsure, bipolar-ish rabbit hole in my mind. With a broken arm, there's no "let's go to the gym and take my mind off it!" And there's no "I can paint until we forget my woes." There is just sitting and waiting for the negativity to leave you alone. And then I thought "the camera!" If there is frustration - I might as well express it :) Welcome to my all new an-image-a-day kind of project! ‪#‎distractionprojectforroy‬ ‪#‎day1‬

View entire project here!

Calm, Beautiful Arambol

The eight days I took to be in Arambol, Goa last month might be the only time I travelled and made little effort to venture out and explore. There was no need for it. My hut on the beach. The rocks around the corner. It was all perfect. 

One Evening in Osaka

When I left for Japan I told myself I'd try to capture my stay through a short video. I returned instead with over 900 clips of the most beautiful country I have ever been to!!! I tried in vain to compile the clips into one video...and have now decided to give the smaller parts of the trip their very own video diaries :) These are the sights from one quiet but busy evening in the areas of Shinsekai and Dotonbori in Osaka. There was much more to see than I have managed to capture and I will try to narrate the remaining through another diary soon! 

Engage

We've all had a few times when being social was kind of difficult. When I travel I try to be open, social, and in general engage more with the people I meet. A few clips I had from some encounters from last month make the perfect compilation for a Video Diary, and a good way to remember how happy engaging with new people makes me! :)

Trees

Remember the tiny drawings I shared a few couple of posts ago? When I tired of their scale and detail, I went on to paint on giant walls, mostly covering them with giant trees. Sharing a few :)

 

The first one I ever painted was in the room I rented out while I was in college. I am posting this today because just half an hour ago [5 years after leaving that apartment], I paid my old landlord some money to cover the cost of painting over this mess :P

 

I did paint a bunch of other stuff in the middle, but here is the last of the trees. This one is special because, at more than twice my own height, its the largest painting I ever completed singlehandedly. Its also amongst the last of the larger paintings because two days after completing this painting I broke my right arm in a silly accident. I am definitely ready for more walls again! :D

  The second, and my favourite one was done for Anindita in Kolkata. The two days spent painting this were brimming with our new friendship. The most fun paid project I ever worked on!

 

The second, and my favourite one was done for Anindita in Kolkata. The two days spent painting this were brimming with our new friendship. The most fun paid project I ever worked on!

My First Video Diary

I knew I loved photographs since I saw a very special one of the sky when I was 13. The photographer was well above the clouds on a mountain top, and through his lens the clouds looked like sea waves.

When I was older I ditched the idea of photography for a piano, then some paints, eventually for an education in Communication Design and finally for a career in User Experience Design.

When I find the time and the inspiration, I go back to my first love and create pictures. Often these projects are no more than visual diaries. But last year on my very first trip to Europe, I had the courage to try work with video. 

Its a modest, amateurish first try, but its very special to me. I know now that I will be making many more of these tiny video diaries. I have a couple of more I'll be sharing soon :)

Meditational Inking

There was a time when you could see me sit still for long hours inking out tiny, detailed doodles. I have gotten busier and less patient with ink of late. Maybe this is just what I need to start over.

grsa.jpg
IMG_9443.jpg

The Paint Project

Sharing my favorite personal project yet. Part photo-project and part playtime, The Paint Project is an ongoing study of the way dyes and paints mingle. I have never had so much fun as with these colors I captured..