Thursday, January 16, 2014

Comic Strip 7 - Curiosity goes to Mars !

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Comic Strip 6 - Curiosity goes to a New Year Party

Here is my first comic strip for the year 2014. Wishing you all a prosperous year ahead !!

What's up 2014 ?

It is that time of the year, where I rekindle my memories and see “What have I done so far”.

Facebook had an option to highlight the special moments of 2013. I said to myself, “How would you know Facebook? Let me write one myself”.

Firstly, I survived a year. I had presumed the world would end on 21 December 2012 and I was so sure it would be due to tsunami as I live quite close to the sea. Maybe I was destined to see another Revolution of the earth! 

I have always told my image in the mirror, “I do not like your body,” and this year I realized what happens to a person if the body replies,” I do not like you too”. Honestly, every limb hates me  Now how good is that?

2013, the year is special to me for so many reasons.
I speak in present tense, as the year is not over.
Like every year, this year I had my own set of enlightenment, without sitting under a tree.

My life is like watching a tennis match.
The match, where the two players are contradictory. Where one player
represents innocent people with pathetic lives and the other player represents pathetic people with luxurious lives

I realized everybody’s lives are complicated nevertheless few do not deserve to be treated that well or that worse.

I always wonder whom should I look up to, the ones whose lives are unfortunate and feel how lucky I am to breathe air, and to see another day or should I look up to people above me and wonder why can’t I be there if those morons can make it . 

The tennis got too tiring so I embarked on playing squash with my conscience… Playing against your own walls with your own balls, saved a lot of my "Your brain time". 

I developed an unfettered reverence for Middle Eastern movies. Their flair to stick to who they are and their confidence about what they believe in, amazed me. For a change, I realized not all throw bombs and molest women and Children. 

I made new friends on Facebook and blogger, mainly through the world of web, lost few, got blocked, blocked couple of stalkers. My Facebook year ends with 251 amazing people in my quote unquote “friend’s list”. I reduced it from 850… so someone’s fortunate, is it not? (bad humor) 
I profoundly thank each one of you for being there and being receptive of all the stupid things I say and Photoshop-ed pictures, I upload. For those kindhearted people who are willing to meet me, Facebook is deceptive. 

For the first time ever in the history of my life, 2013 recorded the least amount of fights I have ever had with anybody. The reason being I hardly interacted with humans on a personal level. However, I managed to get blocked by some people for unknown reasons. Wish I had the option to like them. 

The most important aspect of this year on a personal level was to see my baby grow. 
Every inch of what she does makes me forget all the pain and I could not have done anything without the support of my family and good friends; Thank you so much for that. 

I embarked on cartooning this year, just another step in the gigantic world of creativity.
I am so happy to be the recipient of, the support and encouragement of my family and friends. 

My writings were published; my dream of becoming a writer is taking her baby steps now. 

To summarize 2013 has been a good year for me. It does not imply I was devoid of adversities. Fortunately, time has taught me how to move on with it. Moreover, this year especially, I am glad for every second spent on this planet because I know even while I am typing this, there would be millions out there, struggling to breathe. 

If I had to choose a song to represent my life that would be “Bitter sweet symphony” by The Verve.
I walk my life, in my path no matter what, despite all turbulences. You like me then you may walk with me, if you do not, that is fine, you were not destined to be with me at all.
I can’t change my mold, I can’t walk your path as I'm here in my mold …I'm a million different people from one day to the next and I can't change my mold.

I feel guilty for having a good life while the others struggle, I may not be helpful or I may not go out in the streets making a difference, May be I just have good intentions that is not put to action... But I believe in my destiny. If there is something for me to do, I know I will do it. Maybe my time has not come and maybe it will! Until then, I choose to refuse to believe in what others say about my baby steps, “You are just an empty vessel”.

That is about it, a boring and narcissistic view of my 364 days.
The fact that I survived to see another day brings me immense joy.

A very prosperous 2014 to all of you.

May time give you the chivalry and tenacity to move on with your complicated lives, with an immaculate smile

Comic Strip 5 - Curiosity meets Santa.

Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate the most beautiful festival of the year . 

Comic Strip -4 Curiosity goes to Prison.

New Woman

Another poem from the past.
I was an ambitious adolescent, my dreams were more about changing the world than finding my Prince charming.
My Why's, Whats's, How's and When's isolated me from the social life I yearned to have but that had never stopped me from speaking up and staying put for what I believed in..
Coming back to the present times:If I read this poem now, I am embraced with mixed emotions.
I don't know if I should feel happy for having such big thoughts and ambitions at the age of 12 or feel sad that I have failed myself completely.
The Irony is I found my Prince charming but couldn't do anything about changing the world.. My ambitions were reversed 
Year- 1998, Poem- New Woman !!!!

New Woman

Oh Beautiful ! For you are the woman who has risen,
From the fettered graves of your affiliated slavery.
Guiding the pain through the closed walls of your inner horizon.
You have nurtured a tempest through the ashes of your cindered reverie.
Pioneering a path that you shall never return
To the mourning realm of your serrated past.
Alienation of the proletariat can never be deferred.
You just had to move places as the dice was already cast.
But now,
You are empowered to swallow freedom in your ravenous trap.
And to carve the words that was meant to be spoken.
Incinerating the ethical norms and sacrilegious scrap.
You have borne a self imposed rule meant to be broken.

Preeti Venkateshan

One of my favorite painting Artist- Amrita Sher- Gil

Amrita Shergill, an eminent Indian painting artist, a stunningly beautiful woman with an amazing talent. Amrita's art has influenced generations of Indian artists and her depiction of the plight of women has made her art a beacon for women at large both in India and abroad. A classic artist who flawlessly imbibed the complexities of her life within her beautiful paintings. The beauty about her work is the intricate yet innate marination of modern sensibilities with traditional values.
Of all her beautiful paintings, I liked this one.. It is a self painting nevertheless there is something about the picture and her expression that makes me want to look back a million times.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Comic Strip 3- Curiosity has a Tiff !

Yet another Comic strip .
Cartooning has become my way of venting out all my restlessness.
So more stress more Comic Strips :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Comic Strip -2 " Curiosity has a Nightmare"

Here it is, My second Comic Strip. 
"Curiosity has a Nightmare"
I was watching The Lion King with my baby and then I thought why not ??
In this cartoon strip I chose not to give a face to the baboon because according to me he represents us, the public  
The best part is I am learning to use Photoshop for a completely different purpose. 
Learning something new is so refreshing 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My First Comic Strip

Cartooning has always been my " I can't get my hands on" type of Passion. 
Being an ardent fan of R K Laxman ,I have always had the urge to create characters and situations of my own,depicting the world from my window space.
Unfortunately, my passion was not possible as I had the drawing skill of a 3 year old or may be even worse.
However ,with changing times, I have discovered an alternative approach to quench my thirst for cartooning.
It is Digital but never mind.
Fortunately,I had the opportunity to create the characters, script, background, and props all by myself.
So touch of pen or touch of optical mouse,here is my First Cartoon Strip.
I call it Curiosity Crower.
This is about her everyday life. It could be lame and stupid but it's hers' truly .

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sikhs vs Sheiks

The Life of an Indian living abroad is amusing,especially if you are living in a country that has very less Indian population or quote unquote brown skinned people.
They ask me if I were from Hindu.
Initially, I presumed the problem was their pronunciation but then I realized that according to them, Hindu is a country.

Cold stares, happy smiles, curious looks and questionnaires have become a normal ritual for us.

One such conversation,in a small shop, in Spain.

Are you from Pakistan?
No? I am from India.
What is the difference?


And in France;

French lady : Are you Hindu.. 
Me: Yes I am..
French Lady: Bien, I have an Asian friend.. 
Me: I am an Asian.. 
French Lady: But you tell me you are Hindu.. 
Me: I am both.. 
French Lady: Pas possible, You are very funny.. 
Me: Yes I am all the three, Now Please shoot me !!! 

So, thereby

My conclusion drawn from their curious questions are;

Indians are Arabs .
Indians are not Asians
Sikhs are Sheikhs.

However this does not represent everybody in the western world nor do we expect them to know everything about us .

The irony is we are clueless too.

This is about the hostility few pursue just because we are not like them.

White supremacy is a latent stigma .

It is one of the perils of the Human Civilization.
Unfortunately man does not inherently choose to be biased, he is wired that way. 

I trust it is going to take more time,education, exposure and migration to understand each other well. But what about the loss of lives..?

So let us get one thing clear.

We, the Indians, are not from Pakistan, we are not Anti -Semitic, Jews or Arabs.

We respect them but we are not them and no matter who we all are, none of us deserve to be shot.

This video is one of the best I have found so far. 

It is really sad that the show has been cancelled. 
TRP's rule.

Sikhs Vs Sheikhs

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Deepavali Jitters and What not ?

Diwali!!!!  a k a Deepavali. 

I am supposed to say Deepavali because I hail from the southern part of India, Diwali sounds a little inappropriate for me... Well, it does not matter anyway.

I am penning this post to have a written track record of my relationship with Deepavali, the festival of lights and how we have evolved over the years.

Why write about it?  The reason is I want to... I do not have a better logic to beat that.

I am an Indian living in France, the land that does not enjoy the privilege of Indianess.  
Living in a country where I have to go to the next town to purchase a bag of coriander powder, I have discovered my own unique way of celebrating festivals .

But before talking about that, I just cannot stop reminiscing about how we celebrated Deepavali back home in Bangalore.

The night before Diwali, I spent all my time arranging and slotting the crackers I was going to burst for the next 5 days. 
Simultaneously taking a quick walk to the kitchen to check the Chakkalis, Adirasam, Obattu and other delicacies mom was preparing. 
I had this faint innocent smile on my face, with my fingers stealthily trying to wriggle through the steel dabbas right behind her to pick one of those sweets , not one but all.
My small hands never failed to expose my  greed , I would stand right there with hands full of sweets , a bountiful in my mouth  and my mother would take the ladle in which she was cooking and chase me.               
The worse nightmare for a 21 year old is getting caught red handed by mom while you are stealing sweets. “No sweets until tomorrow ", she would say.
While all this drama is going on in the kitchen, my brother would take some crackers from my box and keep it in his.

The smart girl I am, I know how much the box weighs just by holding it. So whenever I found it lighter my brother and I would have our bloody fights as if we are almost going to kill each other.
After our fights, I would indulge in the most intricate task of arranging all the new outfits’ dad bought me in a chronological order so that I do not get confused about what to wear on which day.
I have never ever slept the night before Deepavali .It always seemed to me that the essence of celebration had driven my sleep into oblivion.
Finally, I was right there staring at the most awaited festival.

My day  usually embarked on at Five in the morning.
Mom used to mix three oils- sesame, coconut, and castor oil to give my brother and I, a light hair massage.
We gathered near the bathroom just like the ants lining up near the sugar jar, waiting for our turn to have a wash. I never wanted to, nor did he. We always pushed each other into the bathroom and ran away. Mom used to run behind us, push us inside, and latch the door from the outside.

After a hot water bath and a delicious breakfast of Idli and Dosa's with mutton gravy and Deepavali sweets and snacks, we would run around the house in our new outfits.
My brother and I would divide our crackers and warn each other about stealing each other’s boxes.Nevertheless, most of the time he would do it. So to prevent this war dad was around us all the time. He decided what we had in our boxes...

I usually got docile crackers and my brother got good ones...
His boxes were brimming with Rockets, Lakshmi bomb, Atom bomb (not the Hiroshima, Nagasaki one), 10000 wala and all the walas ... (we are not terrorists; they are Indian names for crackers)
 I used to get Flower pots, Bhoomi chakras, Bijili packets, Duplicate cracker gun, and the small snake coil one.. precisely the ones kids can play with. (I still get them)
Here I would like to point out the eminent role of Bijilis (small cigarette like crackers), they are small and in plenty...

My brother spent all the 5 days bursting them one by one.. whereas I was busy helping mom cook umpteen numbers of dishes she had in her menu...
Around mid-morning mom, brother and I would go to the temple with sweets and flowers, take blessings from our deities and would return home to have the best lunch of the year.
After a scrumptious lunch and a 3 hour happy nap, I would freshen up, wear a new dress that I had assigned for the evening, and run out with my box of crackers.

The city during Deepavali was, is, and will always be a delight to watch. The streets are so pleasantly lit, they seem to be adorned with chandeliers’, with so much of refulgence, exuberance, and happiness everywhere.
Everybody is out, smiling and sparkling in their new outfits, with people greeting each other and walking into each other’s house carrying a plateful of sweets, the noise of crackers and laughter all around...

Mom always sent me to our neighbor’s house to distribute sweets. My brother and I would fight about that too. “You go, why don’t you go? Just shut up and get lost “. This was how we spoke with each other and in fact this is our polite best.

With the decrease in the quantity of sweets, my brother and I would stock sweets in a cover and hide it in our bags. We had this competition of who finished first..
He used to pretend as though he ate all his sweets and wear a sad expression on his face.
But I ,as an older sister would sit right in front of him and relish the sweets one by one to make him cry.
He would pretend to cry, for the brat he is, giving me my 5 minutes of happiness.
Once I am done, he would wait until the next day to unravel his pack of sweets.
When he did that, I would pounce on him and we would fight like mad dogs.. Finally mom would take away his pack of sweets. Mission completed :)

We had guests and extended family coming over to our house as well... and the best part is My Mother always had a big pack of sweets for the less fortunate people .
Our domestic help, the garbage collector, the lady who sweeps our street, the kids who come to our doorstep asking for crackers and sweets. She always says “They are Gods in disguise”.

After bursting all the crackers allotted for the day, playing and running around I used to be so tired and ready to fall anytime with the tiny bit of energy to mumble, “I don’t want dinner Amma, I am full” ,and then she would retort with a plate full of food in her hand, “Children should not sleep on an empty stomach" and feed my brother and I, like we had never seen food for centuries.Despite all the food and a huge tummy, I would sleep like a baby for 12 hours.

To summarize Deepavali was my 5 days of heaven. :)

With the efflux of time and my exodus to the French land, I have persuaded myself to devise a new approach to celebrate Deepavali in the NRI way. Like I have a choice ( sense the sarcasm please )
This plan does not encompass too much work because now, I have to do it. No mom no dad... Running the show is too difficult. I never realized that it takes so much effort to celebrate a festival.
No early wake up, No heavy breakfast, No leave from work, Not too bothered about wearing new clothes at home, No elaborate cooking, No crackers, No star studded streets, No distributing anything to neighbors ( they will put me behind bars if I knock at their door without prior notice)…
For me this Deepavali will be a modest one just like how it has been since a couple of years.
However, I endeavor to make a difference by being more elaborate much to the dismay and bewilderness of my clueless husband. I do that because I do not want my child to miss out on the moments I enjoyed.
I try my best to replicate the atmosphere at home... being completely aware that, out of the confines of our home she is not going to find any Indianess.

Indians living here get together at a friend’s place or they have community parties to celebrate the festival and spread the aura of Indianess. They also invite the ones who do not know where we exist, to show them who we are and what we do…
In a nutshell, it will be an evening of color, gibber, great food, and dance until midnight... but I think I shall let this pass.
Like my dad used to say “Early rise and early to bed makes Preeti a smart girl”.
 An absurd stance for the present times but I prefer to celebrate it in a “South Indian, My family way...”  This keeps me nostalgic, something I miss being...
Rise early and sleep early... No dancing at night for me... never ever danced... I will not let my daughter dance at night... I mean how you can dance at night… I am delusional now .. :)

Back home we were so exhausted by 9 PM that nothing in this world could keep us from sleeping.
The thought of remaining out of the house at midnight during festivals was and is unusual to me. It amuses me.
Blame my old school of thought; Anyway, that is not the point…
Wherever we are, whatever we do… we have our own way of showing respect to our culture, tradition, people, food, and the spirit of Indianess.
So Happy Diwali, Deepavali, or whatever names you may identify the festival with...

Disclaimer-Pardon my typos…. This is more of I am bad at grammar and Vocabulary type disclaimer than I am sorry I have overlooked type . I tend to end the sentences with a preposition and misplace tenses and What Not…???
Nobody can beat me in honesty though. 
Now take that :)