Thursday, 5 December 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, 2 December 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 

Thursday, 28 November 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, 24 November 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, 31 October 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 :)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Mirth and Mystics...

Yet another short poem..

Druthers abound
Almost bewildered
Take a chance
To paint my love
Beyond the confines
With mirth and mystics’
Sire magic on my canvas
With the Crayons of my dreams
Every hue every shade
Ah, life is precious

Preeti Venkateshan

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

No title because I can't think of One!!!!!

Every time I start to type something in my blog post, I quiver...  It gives me the chills...
I am not able to fathom why?

Is it because I think I am bad at this or is it because I trust others think I am too bad at this...I just don't know...  we will find out..

I did a lot of research, (trust me, A LOT!)

Traveled through many blogs, WordPress-es* and I discovered that my writing style is very boring and I should stop writing...

But then my aspiring angel...  the small white miniature one standing on my right shoulder with a halo around her head and a lot of white make up,whispered into my ear that, boring bloggers like me make the interesting ones' worthwhile, she said if people like you don't blog the good blogs won’t be interesting anymore...

So me being the selfless soul decided to resume my blogging journey anyway...
My Life is mundane...  Therefore, there is not much to cover...

Nevertheless, the world has gone through a lot these 4 months...  and I am not going to talk about any of those...

You guys have to cultivate the habit of reading the Newspaper...  these journalists have to strive so hard to be creative ... we should show our appreciation by reading them..  Right???

I am going to talk about irrelevant and useless questions and answers that matters to people, for instance, ME...!!!!
Most of the bloggers might relate with me on this...

1) Why don't people read my blog...?
Ans: This is a very simple question .People do not read our blog for mainly two reasons.
 Some do not know it exists; some do not want it to exist.

2) Why don't people comment on my blog posts?
Ans.  I seriously do not understand why they don't...  I use the word "they" because I have never done that...If I read a blog post I make it a point to write my views about it...  that's precisely why I avoid reading blogs ..  On a serious note...  Reading our work and not commenting is like eating our food and not paying for it...  We have given you an emotion. You might have been bored, or you might have felt indifferent or lazy, or irritated...  We at the least gave you something to feel...  can’t you give us a comment about what you think...I have read so many brilliant blog posts with absolutely no reaction from anybody..  I am sure many would have read it..  However, no reaction at all...I am still waiting for an opinion on my last blog post, it is a nice poem people...  You are so rude....anyways this is for the lazy ones... but for the ones who only have profanities and anger; if your approach towards us is “Excuse me it is my will to read or comment or to go without it, you have no rights to question me “kindly stay away...  We do not want your honesty...

3) Why don't people share or talk about my blog post when they say it is very impressive?
Ans : This is very obvious ... maybe they don't think it’s worth sharing, or they do not want you to be famous...but off late I see a lot of them sharing blog posts and articles on social websites..  It is a positive change...  But honestly, some posts are quite dumb...  I wonder why my posts are not shared, as they are equally dumb...  On the other hand, is there a quality in dumbness that I have to adhere to...?  Never know...

4) What do the good bloggers have that I don’t?
Ans: This reminds me of a wife asking her husband why he is opting for his hot girlfriend ... She asks him “What does she have that I don't" and he laughs his ass off...
Now that is my answer too...  Someone must be laughing his or her ass off reading this...  (A famous blogger, of course...)

5) What should I do to get readers attention towards my blog?
Ans: I am blogging from the past 5 years and I am in the process of discovering the secret...  if I have the money I would have asked Sharukh Khan to advertise my blog on Doordarshan ...Unfortunately I have to depend on my husband to by a kilo of tomato, so you can imagine...

6) Why does the dumbest thing a famous writer says has a greater reception than the smartest thing I say...
Ans: Mainly because they are in the limelight...  The light flashes on them all the time, so we can see them, hear them and react to them...  The rest of us are in dark...  it is very difficult to find out who spoke, who wrote or who farted... All the great people whom we acknowledge now were in the dark during their times..  We talk about them now...  so may be few years down the line we might be the topic of a generation...  That is what I tell myself every morning before I go to the bathroom...

7) How do I market myself?
Ans: There are few strategies.....  The easy and straightforward approach, the deceptive and manipulative approach...  I follow the first one....
I closely watch some vendors who sell Maddur vade in small stops on the way to Mysore railway station (In the train of course)
They first ask us to buy, the next step they stand there, wait for us to react, the third they insist us to buy again, the next step they tell their sob story, and insist us to buy again...  And the last step they hold the vade basket closer to our nose to give us a glimpse of what they have and we finally give in...
Substitute the Maddur vade for my blog posts...  that is my idea of marketing....
The next strategy is being Deceptive and manipulative ...  I have seen few doing it...  But I never bother to look there... what’s the point???

8) Why the rat’s asses do I blog?
Ans: I understand I am a below average writer,
I understand I don't have the finesse of bringing people closer to me…
I understand I do not have the potential to keep readers interested…
I understand I do not possess knowledge to have the right edge…
I understand my lack of wit, sense of humor and rhetoric...
I also understand I do not know to market myself

But again irrespective of all the content above...  for me Blogging is never about how others see me...  it is about how I see myself...

I am an Ultracrepidarian, I am an Imperfectionist*, and I love to write and share my views

For me that is all we require to blog...  Love and passion to write and share...
And yes, the likes, comments, and appreciation are always welcome... We are much obliged to be acknowledged but even if we don't, even if we bore you to death...  we will continue to blog...  And I shall Blog more from now on...

If your question is “When you do not care much for readers’ reaction, why did you even bother to write this blog post”

Like I said…  I have seen some rude behavior, and I feel hurt when someone says, “why do these people write when they don’t have the flair for doing it" …it’s like saying she looks bad why on earth is she alive.. We intend to neither look bad nor write bad...  It’s just that few of us do not have the talent but are passionate about writing and expressing our take on life…
We do not and cannot live in solitude, we need to acknowledge and be acknowledged.. The theorem of be what you are even if the world turns against you will not work, we do need people ..but we also have to assure not to give in completely.. our life is all about striking the right balance...

The world is not made of beautiful people, likewise writing world is not made of great writers...  we have to learn to live with that...  This post is written keeping that in mind…

We do not have to confirm to anybody’s standards, we do not have to write or think in a particular way to sink into a particular crowd...  I trust, as readers’ and writers’ we have a long way to go to reach the state of an open mind for creativity… rather than sharing dumb quotes by famous people, let's cultivate the habit of sharing anything nice we come across... try not to make fun of people who have the right passion for writing but are not up to our sensibilities  .. Now,I sound like commandments... 

And I forgot to mention that I have seen and heard about good writers who have received true credit for their contribution, this is never about them...

I speak for all those good ones who are lost in the darker side of the ignorant world... and the ones who don’t have the flair but are passionate about it and are looking for motivation

Am I included in the List of Good writers...?

I don't think so...  I know I have a long way to go... :)

Finally, I leave you all with the Video I made for Father’s day
And yes, I used the Maddur Vade Strategy of pleading, waiting and asking them to see and share.
Some of them obliged, the rest did not...
But what the turtles dove...  I love it  even more ....

Now here comes my Disclaimer
Grammar Nazis pardon my typos Smiley     

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Lost in my fantasia ......

Here, the Vernal Moon rains, imbruing orb’s bosom.
The Refulgent stars, mired in a reverie.
The sparkling Azure, larking in Carousal.
The rascally dews, viciously spewing.
The aubade scampers, in amour-propre,
To doze beneath the hills, in an orange blanket.
Rouge in the rainbow abjures to crescent,
The hexad kins butter her with hued presents.
The skittish lightning peeps through the walls,
While the comets duet, in the praise of cosmos.
Wayfaring clouds tweaking gems from the space.
Raucous thunder scarfing the sunset.
While the star shines down on me,
I clasp and taste the sheening moon dust.
With the studded velvet blanket awning me.
I lay down in peace, lost in my fantasia.

Preeti Venkateshan.