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California snippets

I thought I would share a couple of journal pages from a trip to California a few years back. I try to journal as much as possible when I am actually travelling, so I can write small details which are later forgotten. Then, I finish the piece at home. Many times, if I am back at my hotel room, I finish before the day is done. That way, memories are fresh and great fun when I read those pages after many years.  A little snippet of how our lodge was covered in snow and adjoining a completely frozen Lake Homavalu.  drone shot credit : Montecito Sequoia IG  This is the next instalment of pages from my journal. 
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Calcutta of the movies

Everywhere , especially in the older parts of Calcutta (now called Kolkata), there seems to be a shot waiting to be captured. The monumental architecture catches the eye, sometimes the people. Although time consuming and many times cumbersome, when sketching I perceive better. Calcutta offered many such opportunities, and I took them, on my recent trip to India. I wonder if the B/W version of the sketch is better ? This stunning erstwhile zamindar home was the subject one winter morning. I was out on a walk to the older parts of Calcutta with my brother. This home stood out among the crumbling mansions that surrounded it. The burly looking security men outside kindly let me in, after I showed them my sketchbook. The Indian Thinking Man  Sitting next to the 'Indian Thinking man', I tried to do the massive courtyard some justice. Unlike Atlas, the thinking man of the Western world, this Eastern version had a rotund middle section, long hair and somber express

Ghare - Baire

I hope Tagore dosen't sue me for using his movie namesake as a title for a blog post ,only a handful will see. I like my home in Kolkata a lot. And not just for the obvious reason, but also because homes like this are hard to find. Even in a city like Calcutta. The mosaic tiles laid out in the balcony is my favourite. The powder blue wrought iron jalli (on the right) is the same as I always remember. The windows on the left have wooden shutters. The same kind that all old buildings in Kolkata have, keeps the sun out and helps circulation of air. Lots of happy memories on this terrace. Not just for me, but for everyone who has ever spent time in this house, since my grandparents' time. Dinners, birthday parties, Diwali celebrations, wedding (including mine). Sometimes, the terrace is eerily quiet. Like the day that I sketched it. There is always some kind of ambient noises like bird cries, traffic sounds and the muezzin calling out the faithful. But ever so rare

Kolkata portaits

I have many opinions about Kolkata. I have not lived there much, but since my parents moved it is home. It's hot and humid, big and always busy. It has a charm unlike any other big city. The monumental scale of a former Colonial capital is hard to beat. Kolkata is also about it's people. The very many kinds of them. The rickshaw walas who live in a shanty opposite my home. The LPG cylinder guy who makes a visit monthly. The puchka wala who makes mouthwatering puchkas outside New Market. They are the ones I didn't draw. I wish I could. Today's post is all about the people who call Kolkata their home. The aam junta , everyday folks. This is Rekha  di . She is my aunt's household help. She lives in a small apartment on the terrace, and walks down the stairs to help with homely tasks around the house. She's a kind and gentle lady and I tried to capture her calm demeanor in this sketch. I sketched Seema di while she cooked some lunch for us. She is

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

As  we drove through the alpine roads of Colorado, I had John Denver to thank most. He sang about Colorado through my cassette player many years ago. Part of the charm of coming here to the States, was to be able to visit The Centennial State.  Sketchbook was out often, everything seemed sketchable.  This was right below our hotel. Our little porch faced the creek, we slept to the sounds of a gushing stream and woke up to it. Inspite of the water been so cold, my daughter had a gala time in it. She jumped and splashed and seemed oblivious to the chill factor. She, and other kids. Colorado was everything Denver's songs promised. We biked through winding paths, with mountains and skiing slopes right in front of us. Picturesque vistas has picnic benches facing them, so we stopped and munched on some snacks.  Sketched a quick one, something we witness often at home. Some daddy advice from Daddy is on the cards for B almost every day. So, why should a bi

Hornbill Festival 2017

I should start this post with a hashtag 'latergram' . Yes, about 9 months late. But I figured at least this year's event has not started yet. Last year's trip to India was awesome, to say the least. I met my family after many years, and we had some killer holidays to Kohima and Darjeeling. I got busy with my sketchbook quite a bit and was happy with the output. Thanks to my brother, we were privy to a government guesthouse on top of a hill, surrounded by hills. The Jafpu ranges, to be particular. The ombre shades of blue, brown and green were a treat to the eyes. The sketchbook was out soon enough and I tried capturing some fleeting hilly moments on it. The festival was unlike anything I could have imagined. Dozens of women and men in the most exotic costumes were all around. Clothes and jewelry made out of feathers, beads, leather and loom woven. The headgears were so eye catching. On the main arena, there was a dance competition happening. There were no lo

Sketching Caddo Lake State Park

We recently acquired a Texas State Parks yearly pass. And we are using it to full capacity. Whoever said that there isn't much to do in Texas, think again. Texas is one of those few states in the country where the chance of one suffering from cabin fever is less to nil. All the recent ga-ga about moving to Canada, no thanks. I want myself to at least have the option of going outside when I want to. A few weeks back, we went to Caddo Lake State Park, at the Texas-Louisiana border. It is Texas's only natural lake state park, and has very beautiful and eerie bald cypress swamps. We went on a Sunday evening, the crowds were thinning out, only people staying in the park were around. It was a little rainy , cool and very romantic. We stayed the night at one of the cabins within the park, which was also super pretty. The night sky was beautiful. It was pitch dark, with no ambient light. That was a really nice surprise. ( We used the SkyView app to see the night sky on the