Tulip tale

When it bloomed for us.


Finding art in trash Challenge: #14

This year, we went to the cherry blossom festival at Tidal Basin, in Washington DC, during the peak bloom season. The plan was to start early morning, and get there before the rest of the world. To be an early bird. Get the worm… But the night stole all the promises that we had made to ourselves. And sleep, the night’s hand, made sure we woke up late to greet the morning. Even as we tied our laces, walked down the stairs and started the car, the crowd at the Basin thickened in hundreds. After battling the traffic, we parked our car at the Arlington National Cemetery, and decided to walk to the hot spot of Sakura trees. On the way, we saw a bright pink tulip, its petals firmly hugging each other, like sharing a little secret. It remained still, almost unnoticed, in the carpet of green. People walked by, hardly giving it a glance, rushing towards a destination full of flowers, just not this one.


A while later, we rejoined the crowd. Finally, at the Tidal Basin, we walked for hours under the shade of cherry blossoms, and watched the soft pink and white flowers flutter in the wind. We wanted to take a selfie with the flowers in the backdrop. But every photo came out with a stranger’s face on the side. Anyway, having quenched the desire to see the famed beauty of a 3,000 cherry blossoms in full bloom, we decided to call it a day, and trace our way back. This time, we stopped again to say hi to our little closed tulip. Only, now, the petals had unfurled, shining a dark pink under the sharp rays of the sun. A full blown tulip, that no one stopped to take a selfie with.


In the days that followed, we were frequently asked the question: “So how much time did you spend seeing the cherry blossoms?” And every time we replied: “Enough time for a tulip to bloom.”

Now, over a month later, in memory of the tulip that opened up for us, I made origami tulips and stuck them on a brown paper bag. A personalized shopping bag.






Paint night

The perfect end to a Sunday

Finding art in trash Challenge: #12

Outside, the clouds look ready to burst. So my husband and I spend the Sunday cooped up at home. After a long session of cleaning, watching Netflix, and then some more cleaning, we reward ourselves with a ‘drink and paint’ session. (Read about our previous paint night sessions here and here). This time, in line with the Finding Art in Trash Challenge that I began earlier this month, we decide to turn a simple wine bottle and a Trader Joe’s paper bag into works of art. With Yanni’s music in the background, and a glass of Bulgariana Cabernet Sauvignon on the side, we start work on our respective pieces. While I give the brown paper bag a chalky base, he rubs the wine bottle clean off the glue. While I apply fat brush strokes of acrylic carefully on the bag, he pours volumes of white, red and blue colors with a creative recklessness. My rose petals emerge along measured lines and curves; in his, a hundred shiny rivers of different colors merge into a common ocean. And just as Yanni finishes with The rain must fall, we are done with our art too. We place them aside to dry, and continue our night outside in the patio, watching a new week emerge from between curtains of heavy rain.

The bag of roses.
The bottle of roaring rivers.

When the cookies are over

Save the box.


Finding art in trash Challenge: #11

It’s strange how certain things/beings/experiences, though unwelcome, crawl into our lives and become a part of it.  Like wrinkles. Or a new accent. It’s so organic, you would be a fool to resist it/them.

At Trader Joe’s my husband and I pick up something that isn’t on the shopping list. Laceys box of dark chocolate almond cookies by.  ‘It just happened,’ we tell ourselves.


Fast forward to a week later. Our dinners end with a bite of the flat brown slab every night. We share one, I take a small bite, then he does. Then I do. And slowly, it becomes a habit. Our every dinner now needs a cookie. Like a sentence needs a full stop.

Our days are only complete with that little crunch of sweetness in the mouth. The cookie turns into a trophy for living the day, a refrain in the song called life, the horizon where our days end and nights begin…

And then one day, the last of the cookies is had.

Now, our dinners end without cookies. Together, we wriggle free of the yearning for sweet something, like a snake sheds its skin. Such is life. Even the clingiest of habits can be shaken off in time.

Until a new thing/being/experience, though unwelcome, crawls into our lives and becomes a part of it.

I made a showpiece to keep on top of our record player, with the cookie box. Used acrylic paint and red sketch pen.

The illustration is inspired by a lino cut work by artist Mike Anderson.