Sketching my world

A pen and some passion is all it takes.


It’s been a long time since I posted anything. While travel is a major reason, there is also something else. Writer’s block. It’s a real thing. In the last one week, I did want to share numerous posts about numerous things that I saw, experienced. But sentences stalled, were erased, attempted again, erased again. The screen remained blank. Meanwhile, as the words ran dry, I got preoccupied with something else. Pen-sketching. I had recently bought a set of five Pigma Micron 05 pens, out of which two have already been used up to their last bit. I sketched on index cards, sketchbook, journal, and on canvas. (Expect a flood of posts of my sketches in the coming days.)

To start off with, here’s a recent sketch of mine. I sketched this on (last) Thursday morning. We had a very busy weekend ahead of us. Lots of driving, meeting people, and exploring the beautiful Niagara Falls. So in the calm (before the storm) of the weekday morning, I sat with my cup of tea outside in the patio, and sketched the beautiful apartment that I stay in. A slight breeze tickled my feet, and the ever so melodious chirping of the birds kept me going, as I started from the roof, and worked my way down, one floor at a time.



From kitchen to living room

The journey of a ginger garlic paste bottle.

Finding art in trash Challenge: #13

Ginger garlic paste. An essential ingredient in most of the Indian curries, going by my mom’s recipe book. A spoon-full of the pungent paste is scooped out of the glass bottle, and mixed with finely chopped onion pieces, once they turned golden brown in medium heat. What’s common between bhindi masala, aloo masala and biryani? Ginger garlic paste. So every time we dropped by an Indian store, we dropped a bottle of GG paste into our basket. Over the months, the bottle size matured from small to large.


The last small bottle of the GG paste (above) was turned into a home decor (below); and so it still continues to brighten up our dinner. Just in a different way.


And if you are wondering what I did with the lid… ever thought of accessorizing your vaporizer?



Knock knock

Who’s there?

Finding art in trash Challenge: #9

Our apartment is on the second floor. We rest in our patio with a book and a glass of wine for hours. A convenient height separates us from the hustle and bustle of the world below. Cars drive in and out of driveways, dogs sniff and poop, kids run and shout, the elderly take a leisurely walk, their steps slowed down by heavy gossip. While life at a higher pedestal seems comfortable, there are times when we have to tiptoe around our own house in the night and shush each other while in the patio.

A month after we move in, a bunch of friends come to visit us. A night which starts with small glasses of wine, matures into multiple rounds. Intoxicated, and mostly just happy, the song from the turntable has one grooving on one’s wobbly legs. Like an infection, the urge to dance spreads. And soon, six of us are on our feet. A jig which is cut short by a firm knock. It’s our neighbor from downstairs. He asks us to keep it low.

A few weeks pass by, and another group of friends visits us. This time, we make sure not to dance. All the energy is channeled towards animated conversations, fueled by laughter, loud claps, and sometimes, walks across the table to pat someone on their back. And all of a sudden, there is that familiar knock. This time, with surprise creases on our faces, we wait to hear the complaint. “Everything, just everything is too loud,” says our neighbor, looking distressed.

Ten days later. There is excitement in the air. Star Wars Last Jedi is releasing tomorrow. With a pack of chips between us, we flop into the soft cushion of our sofa, to watch the Star Wars prequels, well into midnight. And just when we take in our first mouthful of chips, we hear the knock, which we acknowledge with a contempt that only familiarity breeds.

So on Thanksgiving Day, my husband and I put on our best smiles and knock on their door. We gift them a bottle of wine, and shower apologies. Months pass without a knock on our door. And then one fine evening, our house is filled with guests that includes my two-year-old niece. For her, the house is a play field. She kicks the ball, catches it, throws it with all her might, kicks it again. Then jumps, dances, rests and repeats all of it.

Sometime close to midnight, she freezes on her toes, when the knock echoes, loud and clear. Only this time, it’s not on the door. But from underneath the floor. Guess, ‘knock knock’ is not a joke anymore.


The sketch is inspired by John Tennial’s illustration in Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, published in 1865

I used an empty can of Focal Banger (The Alchemist Vermont) to make this. Even before I painted on it, the can looked stunning. This particular drink was ranked Number #1 in the India Pale Ale Category, in 2015, according to