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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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

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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

If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee, I would tell you, if we were to have coffee last weekend – you would probably be disappointed in me, I would not have shown up. Curled up or strewn, I would be passively lying in bed or on the floor. But about previous weeks I would put aside at that, and I would only tell you about the week that just went by; about how uplifting it feels to be able to sit at your desk for longer, to have some mental block removed, to be able to translate your thoughts and mental images to pencil sketches, to be able to finish drawing frames with far more clarity than one had in months or a year probably.

And I would ask you how do you like your coffee? If you had come over, nonetheless I would make you Indian filter coffee, and show you how Indians traditionally drank coffee. But were we to go out,  I would order an espresso or maybe an iced latté depending on my mood.  (And I would secretly wonder about your tastes if you ordered a cappuccino!) 


Also I would ask what book are you currently reading? And then I would tell you about this book I recently finished reading called ‘Furiously Happy’ by Jenny Lawson ‘The Bloggess’. I would not have personally bought the book myself, because I didn’t even know about it. Thanks to Bavitha, one of my friend’s cousin who sent me this for Christmas, I found just the book I needed to read – one in which I found I wasn’t alone in my struggle, one in which I found someone who was facing same set of problems like me (besides many which could be hers alone, I’m sure, or shared by other human specimens I don’t know of!). And it was relieving. I remember one of my teachers telling me last year that my problem is I don’t read humour. And he was right. He said,

“…humour heals.”

And I would tell you what a sweet pleasure is night time reading, just after you have retired to bed and right before you call it a day. It feels like a reward unlike when one takes temporary refuge in them to escape from one’s situation – one’s own insufficiency to make life better. By the way, I am currently reading The Girl at the Lion D’Or by Sebastian Faulks, and it’s quite an interesting read. And I would have our coffees refilled and I would tell you to brace yourself because I am going to talk about something very serious now.  Continue reading

A Spectral Affair

light in cupped handsEveryday, I wait for the rays of the Sun that descend to me clandestinely when the night covers the sky. At times, I manage to roll it into an ethereal wisp and hold it between my palms cupped together, like how you would hold a firefly, and embrace it to my soul. It’s warmth heals my brokenness and tattered entity. Then it rises, and it’s light guides me in life and spirit. And before I know, it swiftly glides away – goes back, yes, at the speed of light, to be that inconceivably enormous and the effulgent Sun.
And sometimes, when the clouds are on their duty too, the radiant Sun looks me in the eyes, and smiles furtively; and I feel ecstatic, almost as if I stole a kiss, as if I just kissed the mighty Sun. I feel sun kissed.

Revolutions Reduced To Hashtags : An Insight Into the Plight of the LGBT Section in the Hands of Heterosexual India

The Internet
Social networking sites undoubtedly are the most just spaces on the Earth as they have indiscriminately provided us all platforms to voice our thoughts, unlike in the real space where society is predominantly hierarchical and continuously restrains new thoughts under its rigid structure. (From what I see in India and would be true of a lot of other places.) They have taken the world by a storm. And consequently they have also given rise to this phenomena, where, almost everyone now feels the compulsive need to voice their opinion at the earliest, about anything that is ‘trending’.

People feel a certain compulsion to let everyone else know they are following the current events, they are knowledgeable and have an opinion that they think needs to be put forward. Moreover, they want to be quick or so as to say ‘first among their friends’ to have posted in those regard. And in order to do so, they do not actually delve deep into the subject but skim through it and often through the take of writers on popular sites like BuzzFeed, Storypick, ScoopWhoop, etc. This often leaves their understanding of the issue half-baked. And a lot of times shadowed by the opinion of writers on these websites. Originality goes for a toss. And before you even know, the hullabaloo dies out and another topic takes them slave, and this goes on. And these people form the enormous bandwagon of pseudo-intellectuals.

And people who genuinely ponder over issues are less likely to be as active on social media. And so when they do turn to Facebook, they see their newsfeed flooded with similar posts (often having surface level content) that happened like a wildfire overnight or sometimes within a matter of hours. It pricks them, and quite a few conclude they don’t want to join the herd in its fad. The thinkers refrain from giving what would be a worthy outlook, and end up keeping their ideas to themselves.

Following the legalization of same-sex marriage in the Sates on June 26th, the world exclaimed in support with rainbow-filtering their photos on Facebook, and so did much active netizens of India. And gay marriage undoubtedly became the most talked about issue, pushing behind other topics of concern, namely women’s security, unjust beauty standards, government surveillance, and net neutrality among others, that created much stir in the past year or two.

It’s an alarming situation. While people distributed leaflets, published newsletters, organized awareness workshops, took to the streets and marched unafraid, voicing their demand or support as allies to groups to bring a revolution in yesteryears that led to constitutional changes; today it has reduced to laconic reposts and hashtags. 

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Oh Boy, You’re Worth The Wait!

Disclaimer: It is inadvisable to try something like this since it is a work of some extreme wishful thinking. Chances are one is going to fail miserably and even if things do take the turn you wish them to take, they shall still be too good to be true.

This feeling is so good that I don’t want to hurry things up and scare him away, though sometimes I ask myself if I already did. This seems meaningful, for reasons I am yet to comprehend. I want him to take his time and realize that I truly deserve him. Being patient is the best thing to do. I believe the wait is going to be its worth.

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Clad in crimson, tousled hair, bespectacled sleepy eyes, little stubble and an adorably shy smile. Finally he was right in front of her. His boyish charm had her on her toes. Her heart skipped a beat or a few. She was smitten at first sight.

Un amour de jeunesse

This film brings about nostalgia in a strange way. There is genuine portrayal of characters and their emotions- caught between what lies ahead and what has gone by. And it got me thinking: Continue reading