K Drama, Hailstones & Rain | The Weekly Smile – 02 |04/08/2019


So it was Saturday, and having finished some work pending on my plate, I sat binging on my first South Korean TV series, Hospital Ship. It’s was a nice watch. Made me cry and smile a lot. And it’s so hard to fathom how these Koreans manage to look so young, almost ten years younger than their age (talking of adults of course!).

And as I continued to binge, suddenly around 2 pm in the afternoon, it got all dark. I stepped out to get a feel of the cool breeze which in no time turned into an aggressive storm. While I picked up clothes from the drying line, I saw plastic-bags fluttering and soaring high like hot air balloons. I quickly went back in to put away the clean laundry and shut the windows. And when I came back it was already pouring. The heat evaporated, as the shower dampened the soil and in the momentary humidity rose the scent of the earth. Mesmerised by the petrichor, my mind felt at ease, my eyes closed and I took in deep breaths filling each of my lungs as much as I could. I felt more alive at that moment. Before one could absorb it all in, I heard a rumble of thunder, and  I shuddered for a split-second. With that sound now in distance, I heard tramplings atop the metal roofing nearby. Hailstones the size of blueberries fell to the ground, melting as they touched down. I stretched out my hand cupped to catch some. But the rain was freezing and I fled back to the shade right after I caught a single hail which I slipped into my mouth. It literally sent a chill down my jaw. I was reminded of the simpler times when as a kid I would gather a handful and eat them without a thought. But the present seemed too beautiful to dwell over scenes from the past. Everything looked rejuvenated. I smiled looking at leaves now washed to hues of green from the previous dull tones.

And from where I stood, I saw a bamboo pole – water kept splattering from the niche at the node. I had never seen this before. And that prompted me to pick up the pencil. I couldn’t stop smiling again as I effortlessly drew that sighting later that evening.

bamboo Continue reading



It’s not often you come across
Someone who mirrors you so much –
Whose thoughts and emotions
Resonate with you as much.


And yet, they let it go,
You let it go –
Because it doesn’t come easy.
Because distance you know.


And in doing so we ignore –
Humans have for long known
To cover the difference, both in
Space and time.

Continue reading

Someone I never met made me smile today | The Weekly Smile – 01 | 3/18/2019

 And the positivity multiplied and how!


A. I had come across a profile on Instagram ‘suggestions’ the previous day and I had appreciated some of their digital artworks in ‘likes’ that had appealed to me. I generally keep away from pouring likes on more than a photo or two at once because you know, you don’t want to come across too enthusiastic. But I didn’t hesitate because – well, they were that good. And that’s it, it couldn’t hurt.

So I woke up to a message from the same girl – I had never met her in person. She asked me if I was the one who had donated ‘Blankets’ by Craig Thomson at the college library. (Yeah, so she is a junior from college, we were never contemporaries though. She probably got in school after I had graduated.)

And the conversation hit off.

Me: Yes, that’s right. Among a few others. But yeah, Blankets is just beautiful. Try reading Habibi – also by Craig Thomson if can get your hands on it.

She: Yes, I read Habibi as soon as I was done reading Blankets.

Me: Awesome! Among others that I gave away, try reading ‘The House That Groaned’. It will be an interesting read and you will love the illustrations – they are pretty stylised and quite different. Plus I love the windows cut out in the cover.

She: Yes, I read that too! The illustrations are indeed very different in that book.

It’s a beautiful book that I read at a certain crossroad in my life and it was really helpful. Also, I really enjoy Craig’s work, it has a certain soul in itself. Thank you for sharing/ introducing me to it.

Me: It’s really sweet of you (to reach out and acknowledge). I saw a glimpse of the graphic novel you have been working on. Would love to see when it comes together as a whole.

Me: Also, you have a lovely name. What does it mean?

She: Raina means ‘night’ in Hindi. And because of spelling ‘Rayna’, my friends at school call me ‘Ray-na’, meaning ‘Princess’.

Me: Either is beautiful.

(Me, in my head: Beautiful as the night.)

And after some more discussion about a few things (like working after college – studios vs corporates) we bid our byes and carried on with our day.
Later I looked up the name and found ‘Rayna’ has Hebrew origin meaning ‘song of the Lord’. It’s indeed a very lyrical name. I will keep in mind, for it may come handy in the future! Gosh. These thoughts really suggest I have been adulting for some time now.

So, someone I had never met made me smile today. It’s great a feeling when people show love when you don’t see it coming. It’s important to put our feelings into words and actions – positivity really multiplies itself when shared. Continue reading

Inktober Inspires

If you walked in today, I would pass you a quick cup of coffee. I have some roast and ground Robusta filtered at my desk, waiting to be made into a drink. Excuse me, if it’s not too great and I seem hurried, because I am. So if we were having coffee, it would probably be a bit short and quiet, because I would be too engrossed visulaising the explosion of ideas inside my head, that is all courtesy of Inktober 2016. Hail, Jake Parker, hail! Inspirations, come and go. But Inktober churns that inspiration into a motivated effort, and that so effortlessly (at least on your first day!). After long, I did so much in my sketchbook today, needless to say, it felt great. I am not sharing them all, as most were sort of brushing up (pun intended).

Inspirations, come and go. But Inktober churns that inspiration into a motivated effort.

So, it’s evident I just started today. And the prompt for today was – noisy. After chucking a couple of concepts, I did a quick illustration and had it captioned “When one gets a bone, the others get noisy”.

When one gets a bone, the others get noisy. @JakeParker @inktober #inktober2016 #inktober

A photo posted by Oshin Vipra Sagar (@oshinviprasagar) on Oct 2, 2016 at 4:29am PDT


So, I will try and keep up with Inktober the coming week, and hopefully when I see you next weekend, I will share an illustraion for each day to come until then. And I would love to see if any of you give Inktober a shot. (Please do. You’ll be glad you did. It personally gave me a dopamine surge today!) 

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First Thaw

It’s a great day. The book I am currently reading is so full of such beautiful imagery, it inspired me to do art inspired from its excerpts. Here is the first one – just off the opeing lines.

The cherry orchards smell good after the first thaw… the faint melancholy smell of cherry bark mingles with the vapid dampness…with the powerful and ancient odour of the earth just beginning to appear from under the snow and the dead leaves of the previous autumn.

(Stanza:1, Chapter:1, Book:1; Virgin Soil Upturned)
~ Mikhail Sholokov

A photo posted by Stories.In (@stories.in) on Sep 21, 2016 at 3:00am PDT



“ तह से उबर रही है आशा…

ऐसा लग रहा है मानो,

छट रहे हों मेघ काले |
अँधेरी गहराइयों से जानो
पकड़ कर तैरती डालें,
और कुलांचते हताशा,
तह से उबर रही है आशा |
सतह पर उभर रही है आशा ||

~ ओशिन विप्रा सागर ©


The feeling is as if
the clouds are shifting
And from the depths of darkness
holding onto floating twigs
skipping over despair
reemerging is the sunk hope,
resurfacing is the sunk hope.

~ Yours truly

Of Missed Weekend

So it is weekend again, and I am happy because I feel better about myself. I am not where I wish to be or where I was supposed to be, but I am ahead of where I was yesterday. It’s not reason enough to celebrate but it is reason enough to smile. And wherever one might be in life, there’s always enough reason to ramble over a beverage of one’s choice! And this week I am offering my spin-off Americano.

I am not where I wish to be or where I was supposed to be, but I am ahead of where I was yesterday.

It was on Saturday evening that I wrote the above bit and shut my laptop. Then I laid down, fiddling with a mirror, trying to see my impacted third molar which was troubling me all afternoon. The pain had scaled up from mild to medium, and all I could think of was my tooth! I was restless and so was my tongue which moved all around the buccal cavity, and soon it was bruised with contacts from the premolars and canines. And then I stopped. But the tongue was relentless until I called it a day. (You perv, don’t read much into it!)

Rewind to Thursday. It was Rama-Navami. And I accompanied my mother to a Homa hosted on the banks of river Kosi. Unlike most Homas, there was no priest. People had their own troughs. And simultaneously fire was consecrated in each, invocations were offered to deities, followed by chanting of mantras, and some exhilarating kirtan. It is believed to facilitate positive thinking, and subsequently performing good karma. The ambience was serene; it brought about a sense of much needed calm, and positivity.

Then it was Friday, I wanted to watch something. I hadn’t watched anything in months, and I wanted to watch something that makes me feel good – not something that demands seriousness or/and leaves me disturbed at the end; neither did I want some lame lewd comedy. And I tell you, the Universe is at work! Like the time when I was gifted ‘Furiously Happy’ and it was what I needed to read the most; just like that I found the movie I needed to watch the most at this point of time! So I was rummaging through my cinema library on the external drive, and there it was – the first movie I considered out of the 750+ entries – ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’. And it was so befitting – it felt as if it was my story, except I am still trying to bounce up. Craig was much resilient though. Nonetheless, it was assurance that I am not alone and ‘I (too) can’.  Also reaffirming was when Dr. Minerva, an ER psychiatrist refers to the Serenity Prayer while counselling our protagonist Craig, and it felt like through Minerva and Craig, the Universe is reaching out to me, telling me to keep calm, to let go of my anxiety.

Lord, grant me the strength to change the things I can
the courage to accept the things I can’t,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Continue reading

Does Iced Coffee Sound Good?

So, if were having coffee, I would keep it short this weekend, as I didn’t have a great start to this week that’s going by. I am running far behind my schedule, as I was struggling with drawing certain scenes for my graphic narrative project. I have been trying to make up for that over the weekend so that on Monday I have lesser backlog to clear. Hopefully I can send out the complete draft to my guide soon.

Iced-CoffeeAnyway, after all this explanation I would ask you if iced coffee sounds good, because I am having that. And if you’re abstaining from coffee, I could offer you some fresh juice – a blend of oranges and grapes would be delicious, if you please or would you like some Lemonade instead? OR if you don’t mind some extra calories, I could also make you a refreshing tall glass of Lassi – and that my friends, will be a treat to your taste-buds. And if you’re wondering why I am not offering tea or a hot cup of coffee, it’s because it’s unbearably hot here.

And then, I would ask you, “How’s summer treating you?” And if you said, “Oh I live in the Southern Hemisphere! It’s winter out here…” I would spasmodically interrupt and say “Can we trade lives?” And then, I would calm down and let you speak.  Continue reading

Amla and the Little Girl

It was a quiet afternoon, typical of North-Indian and Pakistani summer at peak, when people lived behind closed doors lest their children run out to play and fall prey to the evil howling winds that come travelling all the way from the deserts of southern Balochistan, Cholistan, and Rajasthan.

And it wasn’t more than mere eight years since economic liberalisation was initiated in 1991. So the Indian middle class at large had not grown accustomed to the air-conditioners, and not everyone had evaporative coolers either. Since those are also called swamp coolers, but the malarial-swamp that the North-Bihar already was, I guess people didn’t want more swamps to breed mosquitoes in! So they settled for fans instead. Needles to mention, these afternoons were laid-back. There were Usha-Lexus fans hovering over most heads, beside the halo of mosquitoes that would grace them in evenings spent outdoors. And these fans relentlessly moved the air in the room, sometimes even creaking as if humming a lullaby, putting people to sleep. And having spent most of the morning, rather first half of the day doing household chores, the women really treasured their siestas; so much so that they would even coax their young children into sleeping, keeping an arm around them, making sure they are in her clutches, else she might need to look after them. Restless with energy, the clever kids would close their eyes in no time, and would quietly sneak away whilst the mother they lay fast asleep.

(Excuse the repeated mention of mosquitoes. One hates them but one just cannot ignore them. Especially when it was around the same time that an uncredited piece of poetry called ‘Machhar Chalisa’ – a forty line ode to the mosquitoes, found a place in the vernacular newspapers, no kidding!)

But this little girl, obediently lay on her back staring at the fan as it moved with a stirring sound, wondering if she had those blades affixed her back would she be able soar in the sky, much like the choppers she would see often. And then the poster of some exotic place, on the wall across caught her fancy. Gazing at the waterfall in some forest, she fantasised going down that path every day to fetch water from her little cottage near the woods; typical of the fairy tales she had heard, since she hadn’t yet begun reading more than probably three letter words. Continue reading