Dec 9, 2012

Il Gatto Nero

He's suave. He's Italian. He wears a bow tie.

For cat-obsessed P, on her birthday.
Yes, he's related to the french fellow.

Dec 3, 2012

The Shape of Jazz @ Plantation House

Concerts and gigs seem to be the only places I draw at these days. There never seems to be much time otherwise to sit down with a book and colours.

Aman Mahajan and Mishko M'ba played us music inspired by Ornette Coleman. "It jazz..." as Mishko said in his lovely accent. If I ever catch Mishko playing again, I am going to spend the whole time drawing just him and his long long long dreadlocks (ankle length if you must know).

And the next time, I'll manage a better panorama of Shalini's store. I'd love to just sit and draw only the clothes even!

Nov 11, 2012

Konarak Reddy @ Plantation House

A new (and biggest yet) book inaugurated at another gig at Plantation House. I never would have thought that PH could hold as many people as there were that day!

It's easy to drift off into a dream while Konarak Reddy plays. But it's definitely worthwhile paying attention to his hands moving across the guitar too. Aah, such beautiful music.

Nov 5, 2012

The Painted Postcards : 2

The return of the painted postcards.

Unlike the first time, these were sent by post (not courier) and received very promptly. My excursion to the post office actually left me quite giggly for the rest of the day. I have also restocked my supply of blank postcards now. Bwahaha.

Alexi Murdoch inspired nostalgia for Ming Chow. If a song could be a happy place, it would most definitely be this. And for Flora the cake queen, a red velvet tray of colourful cupcakes.


More Painted Postcards here

Oct 7, 2012

Beach. Beer. Book.

100th post! YAY!


A good vacation that met the essential requirement of being able to sit on a beach with beer and a book and endlessly waste time alternating attention from book to sea to sky.
Mossy masses of black and green sinking and rising from the sand, Devbagh Beach

A view of the woods from the room, Devbagh Beach

People moving between swimming and snacking, Palolem, Goa

Monsieur Lobster and pear shaped bottles of Pilsner, Palolem, Goa

Economicey Evening

This man. This talk.

Dragged along by Why Shoe.

Aruna Sairam+Mandolin U Srinivas

After ages, I think, I managed to go for a kutcheri with the mother. The highlight of the evening (apart from the concert, of course) was a family, including a 3 year old child, that spoke only in Sanskrit! I haven't heard anything remotely like conversational Sanskrit since school. Just, wow. :O

Concert, amazing as expected. This was the first time I heard Mandolin Srinivas live in a kutcheri. Only encounters before this were cassette covers featuring a much younger him.

Animated Aruna singing 'Punniyam Oru Kodi'

A Big Fat Chettiyar Wedding

S, the original Chettichi of our lives, got married at her chetti hometown, Kanadukathan.

Juggling bridesmaidly duties and attempting to sketchbook-stalk discretely proved futile, so most of my time was spent ogling at Charming Chettinad and getting trigger happy with my phone. Some drawing time was sneaked in though, during brief intermissions while prepping the bride, distributing bangles, watching aachis, aayaas and ayyas gossip and remembering to leave food for cows*.

* While in Chettinad, one must always leave behind a morsel on one's banana leaf so that cows that feed on the discarded leaves don't feel cheated of food. True story.

Jazz and Improv @ Plantation House

Was at this gig at Plantation House. While I've been to the store for exhibitions by some favourite artists, I've never managed to make it to one of the evenings of music that Shalini organises at the store. It is an awesome way to use such a beautiful space.

Karan Joseph on piano / Jeoraj George on drums / Keith Peters on bass guitar

Flower Power

When there is an explosion of drawable flowers in one's house, one must, absolutely must draw them.

Flowers courtesy lily lovers SMS and AV

Another beautiful lily here.

Feb 19, 2012

Bengaluru Habba 2012: 2

The second set of gigs that I managed to attend, with Sparkles and Baki, were Infusion Jazz followed by Warren Mendosa with the Blackstrat Blues.

I got into a mood for drawing even before Infusion started playing, mostly because of the acoustic upright bass.

There was Frijo Francis on piano, Victor Francis on drums (someone in the audience really loved him; she kept calling out for Victor through the gig), Dominic Yesudas on acoustic upright bass (or the nattily dressed young man, as the announcer described him), and Manoj George on the electric violin.

Frijo was on the keytar a couple of times- he was even making it scat sing at one point. Genius that I am, I was staring from one artist to the next trying to figure out who was scat singing until I realised it was the keytar!

Next up was Warren Mendosa and The Blackstrat Blues, by which time a quick quest for food cost us my sketching-condusive seat close to the stage.  After stumbling around with a tray of fries, we found a seat way up in what must have been the windiest and coldest part of the amphitheatre.

Warren Mendosa+Blackstrat Blues

Cold enough for initial drawing excitement to wear off and be replaced by the instinct to keep my hands warm (while still trying to smuggle the now cold fries into my mouth).

Bengaluru Habba 2012: 1

Bengaluru Habba happened again this time (amidst mild panic that I had actually missed the entire fest :P ). I caught only the jazz gigs. Sniffly and P were company for the first gig.

Photo credit: Anish Dasgupta

Day 1 of the jazz festival featured Sanjay Divecha and Aman Mahajan, followed by Moon Arra.

The event started amazingly late though, so we didn't hang around for the second act- the UB City amphitheatre on a January evening is quite cold.

Feb 5, 2012

Christmas Kutcheri

I've been wanting to use that title for a long time now.

December in Chennai can mean only two things- the kutcheri season and of course, Christmas. I hadn't caught any concert this time, and Shoe suggested Sandeep Narayan who was performing at the Narada Gana Sabha mini hall the weekend I was in Chennai. Good concert :)

Sandeep's Naan Oru Vilayattu Bommaiya playing on loop

Feb 1, 2012


Ruhaniyat, an all India Sufi and Mystic music festival was in Bangalore last month. 2011 was the eleventh edition across India, and the seventh in Bangalore- this was the first time that I'd even heard of it.

True to the spirit of the festival, the 'concert' was held on a cool winter night under open skies and huge trees outside the Jayamahal Palace Hotel. A total lunar eclipse which happened right above our heads through the entire show made it all a lot more magical.

There was an interesting line up of artistes, from all over the country. Writer, Gulo, S, K, D and I managed to catch seats a little far out, with many many heads and craning necks obstructing views. I had to peep through the gaps mostly to make some tiny drawings of the artistes.

Mystic Songs / Abdul Rashid Hafiz and group, Kashmir

Sufi Kalam / Shakur Khan and group, Rajasthan
Baul songs / Parvathy Baul, West Bengal

In spite of singing being the focus in this ensemble, the Khartal player (I cannot recall his name) was the most theatrical and stole everyone's attention, what with his expressions and little dances while he played.

Parvathy Baul was, by far, my favourite. Everything about her fascinated me- her clear clear voice, the knee length dreadlocks that whirled about her when she swirled, the way she seemed to be lost in dance sometimes while singing. Oh, she was the highlight of the night.

Sema / Whirling Dervishes, Turkey

I think a lot of people were hoping for a Khwaja Mere Khwaja moment with this piece. It might have been more awe inspiring if the Dervishes weren't confined to the small stage.

Sufi Qawwali / Shameem Nayeem Ajmeri and group, Jaipur

{The concert also featured Bharud and Abhang by Avdhoot Gandhi from Maharashtra}.