When you tell people you want to do your graduation in Visual Arts

It’s that time of the year again with students awaiting admissions to colleges and enrolling for courses of interest. And it’s surprising that year after year, students wanting to pursue unconventional or creative fields end up confronting unnecessary questions, one too many. That said, we are fortunate to have met talented writers, photographers, artists, fashion designers and a host of other creative folks who have shared learnings of their craft and nudged us to look beyond veils of these confrontations, and that has personally been a striking inspiration. More power to you folks! Meanwhile, here’s a tiny doodled series on general responses of folks towards students in the similar pursuit, not sure if we have more ridiculously interesting ones to add to these questions?

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Should you watch this?

THIS IS NOT FOR YOU, if you’re in the mood for inspirational anecdotes, preachy life lessons or romantic sagas. Or for replacing podcasts while throttling through the routine agony of traffic jams. Or for the unwinding hours after an awful day with the quintessential horrid boss.

 

What watching an indie-film like “A ‘Pitch-Dark’ Diorama” can do, however, is throw questions that consume you for answers as it unravels, variably to each viewer, as does the very identity design of its production house, ‘Vespertilio Motion Pictures’; an exercise in individual perception differences and imagination. As the 2 hour 4 minute long film progresses in 5 episodes, you shuttle between characters in parallel universes that command complete experiential attention, to a surreal drama surrounded by its varied under-layers.

 

Of course, slasher thriller lovers can rejoice as the indie-film intricately weaves together a pulsating storyline, intriguing direction and commendable cinematography with the joyful authenticity of the analog. Its disciplined crafting on 16 mm Kodak film, also, perhaps, reflects on some very organic acting experiences, for which Amjad Prawej as Indranil Deashi and Amit Ansshu as the detective deliver riveting performances with its subtle nuances.

 

Does each character seem compellingly honest to their persona, and yet vulnerable? Could this be the concealed appeal of the story, a piece fulfilling its initial intention to its best ability? Is the ‘end’ not definitive? Is it capable of inducing malleability in perception on another view? Experiencing the film perhaps allows the viewer some scope of indecisiveness, while, nevertheless, conceding its ‘completion’. And in this context, is this film incomplete, without the audience?

 

So, so, so, should you really watch this? Only if you enjoy the journey. The passing. And the conflicting realities it brings into picture. To unravel how it runs, or how you choose it to play out, rather. To answer the questions above. Or even better, to bring up many more. (Which I shall conveniently redirect to Vespertilio of course).

 

A ‘Pitch-Dark’ Diorama, exclusively on Vimeo on demand: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/apdd

Painting nostalgia on bus tickets 💙

 
The rickety local bus sploshes through rain-drenched roads, magically gleaming with kaleidoscopic reflections of vibrant city lights. A stray dog meditatively rummages the now deserted corner of the street side with a trail of plastic bags, while a cow rests under the shelter of the steadfast metro rail tracks, seemingly in oblivion to its surroundings. Impatient dark clouds completely eclipse the misty sun as the metro train speeds over, hurtling through the city’s pace in more ways than one.

Being Human

The title of this piece is something that has been constantly flashed on T shirts, and it strikes me now how very relevant this short message is in an era lurching with its own presumptions and problems.

There seems to much happening with Women’s Day round the corner, although the frequency of violence against women has only scaled up tremendously, with the daily news headlines carrying incidents more ghastly, repulsive and inhuman than the earlier unfortunate incidents. And today this takes me back to the time in December 2012 which has had the entire country shaken ever since.

It’s a grim winter evening, the biting chill reverberating with despair and loss, amidst tiny specks of glowing yellow light in the vast dark expanse. Thousands of people are mourning the death of the Delhi gang rape victim at a silent candle light vigil at Freedom Park, Bangalore.
Across the entire country, massive protests are being held demanding justice for the accused, petitions are being signed, voices are being raised and letters of all sorts are being written to ministers.
The only question is, will anything actually happen?
Kid killed after remaining trapped for days in an open pothole. Shooting sprees and violent assaults in primary schools. Someone murders his own family. A bunch of men kill each other in a drunken brawl. We have all heard them too often, yes.
Followed by more breaking news updates, more reports and more speeches, and a fanatic sensation will be created in no time.
After which, it will be left, forgotten. Like the thousands of other criminal cases that are buried in our fiercely protected complicated laws and the pace with which our jurisdiction system runs.
Meanwhile, a furious blame game is raging from the ruling party to the police force to the society, and back to square one; with the baggage of responsibility being dumped from one to the next in a vicious circle; with hardly any consequence to the issue at hand.
It is a fierce start to 2013, as the nation demands that laws are to be made tighter, citizens to be more secure and justice to be delivered.

Justice, to the victim. And to humanity.
Because, it is only when humanity fails that we have absolutely nothing in life to look forward to.
The very basis of our living is our faith and trust in one another, in humanity. Being human is the quality with an astonishing capability of building the society as a whole. How much is it going to take for each of the constituting individuals to be in constant vigilance of his self conscious moral police?

Untold stories

Untold stories

Rangoli Rambles

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A world of colour!

Rushing to work this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to spot a Rangoli, a decorative Indian folk art form in which delightful patterns are hand drawn with coloured pigments. The few times that I have spotted one is during festive celebrations alone, with most homes opting for the ready-to-use sticker versions due to time constraints. However, the look and feel of a hand drawn Rangoli can hardly be surpassed by any of the other available alternatives, and should truly be appreciated for its aesthetics, craftsmanship, composition and much patience.

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Auspicious beginnings

The Rangoli is mostly hand drawn by women in front of the door of their homes, living rooms or courtyard spaces, traditionally with plain and coloured rice flour and flowers. Meant to invoke blessings and bring good luck, the Rangoli lends its colourful and intricate charm to any space, and any auspicious occasion.

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Line and form

While the tradition has remained alive for years together, the Rangoli has had many adaptations down the line. The simplest decorative forms are drawn after the floor area is cleaned, and range from line drawings to forms filled with colour. Floral motifs, geometric patterns, elaborate designs and abstract forms in a mix of styles and executions are nothing less than a visual treat.

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Ethereal

 The traditionally used rice flour is usually combined with vermillion, turmeric and other natural pigments for a myriad of colour options. Synthetic colour variants, flowers, petals, sand, glitter, lamps and other accessories are sometimes added as a part of the arrangement. Ever since I’ve witnessed the long hours my neighbour used to spend on creating a beautiful Rangoli, I’ve been mesmerised by the immense patience and dedication that goes into this craft. So, when I heard about the Rangoli Utsav a year back, all I wanted to see for myself again was the now fading  art of hand drawn Rangolis. And to my delight, it did not disappoint.

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Facing Competition

The Rangoli Utsav in Bangalore, India, is a part of the annual Ganesh Chaturti festivities by Shri Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sangha at Commercial Street. For that particular day, the otherwise busy shopping hub of the city is the canvas for participants of the Utsav. The street is blocked exclusively for a massive Rangoli contest open to all ages and a duration of 3 hours to create a Rangoli pattern in a choice of materials and styles. One of the particularly different patterns I came across here was a portrait in progress, with different tones of the coloured pigment being used for a more 3D appeal.

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Taking to the streets

The smaller Rangoli design I ran into today in my vicinity was an immensely huge surprise in between the chaotic traffic snarls. I took a minute to examine the delicate strokes, the lines so precisely hand drawn, the filled colours so refreshingly appealing. Every resting grain of flour on the pavement could only speak volumes on the hours of faith and dedication that had conjured up a stunning aesthetic design. I love Rangolis, and with today’s inspiration I also reminded myself to try creating one at my home at least during a festival holiday, when I can make time for some homely arty indulgences. For more goodness, positivity and colour invoked to life itself.