Features · Journaling · Writing

On writing features

It’s been a delight to work on a range of topics for Mashed since June 2020. Each article opens up a new world with its own vocabulary, feel, and flow.

My most recent piece for the publication was on the Food Network celebrity Alton Brown. His world is a blend of science, food, pop-culture, and filmmaking. More than the hard-core facts that defined Brown’s life, such as his birth place (Los Angeles) and his claim to fame (Good Eats), I also learnt that he coped through his tough childhood (his dad passed away when was just 10) watching Jacques Cousteau and listening to Beatles’ Sgt Pepper.

The story, though charts Brown’s life in a simple linear format from 1962 to now, what remains precipitated in my mind are small things like a quote he loves: “laughing brains are more absorbent” and a belief that he abides by: pop-culture builds intimacy between a viewer and a show.

Here’s the published piece on Mashed. Would be nice to know what y’all think.

Art · Artwork · Blogging · Illustration · Journaling · life · Life in general · love · Sketch

Story of yesterday

It’s a habit. Every morning, I walk out the bedroom with a book and pen in hand. Just as the steam rises from the hot mug of coffee in front of me, I open the book. Paragraphs and paragraphs written in the familiar cursive writing lie asleep between its pages. I open the cap of my Hero ink pen, and just like any other day, it throws a tantrum. So I flick it twice, and then poke the nib violently on the page, till, like a squid, it lets out thin black ink. With it, I write the Story of Yesterday. The movie I watched, the new fruit that I tasted, the conversations I had, and the love that I got. Each story, like each day, doesn’t take more than 24 lines. By the end of it, my face is a little moist from the coffee steam, and my heart, a little lighter. I close the book, take a long sip, and begin the day — which, the next morning, would be capsuled into a Story of Yesterday .


Liebster Award 2018

I didn’t know what Liebster award was until Lorna Flaws nominated me for it. Thank you Lorna! It’s always a pleasure to have your work recognized by fellow bloggers. The nomination is a dose of motivation. More importantly, it’s a window to others’ works. Works that would have remained hidden in the, sometimes cluttered, world of blogging. Read more about the Liebster Award here.


the-liebster-award-pastel1Now, to answer Lorna’s questions.

  1. What were you like as a child?

I was a quiet, shy kid who would hide behind her elder sister when asked a question. I was at peace when left alone with my books and colors. I was gullible and dreamy. I believed that the nougats in Toblerone were worms (thanks to my sister). Once, I almost missed my school bus daydreaming in the class.

2. What’s your food guilty pleasure?

Sometimes I start the day with Trader Joe’s Ghost Pepper and Sriracha Potato chips.

3. What’s one thing you hate and one thing you love about the country you are currently in?

I moved from India to the States seven months ago. One thing that I do not miss is the traffic. I love that here people (majority) obey the traffic rules to a T. There are hardly any clogs. And no honking. It’s quite unlike India. And one thing I miss is the practice of walking down to a grocery store or a restaurant. Which doesn’t seem common here.

4. How do you fall in love?

I would like to quote Bella Swan (Twilight) for this: “Unconditionally and irrevocably”

5. What’s one event in your life that made you who you are today?

I did my engineering and worked for four months in a multinational company. I could have let the comfort grow on me. Like rust on iron. Like algae on rocks. But I chose to follow my passion, which is writing and art. Here I am, seven years later, doing what I believed in. Without a tinge of regret.

6. If you could live forever, would you?

Only if I get to pick a handful of people who could live forever too.

7. What was the worst break-up you ever had and what was the reason for it?

It was worst then. For the best in hindsight. We were young. Not old enough to fight the friction caused by the distance. So the relationship wore and tore. A slow, yet painless, death.

8. What are the best or the worst spent money of your life?

Best: A motorbike.

Worst: Late fee charges on mobile bill.

9. What do you think about the most?

Currently, I am obsessed with sketching. All I can think of is how to convert what I see into lines on paper.

10. How do you judge a person?

I don’t.

My nominees:

LEANNE COLE – The Photographer’s Mentor

Life of Angela


Daily Doodle

Travel with Intent


The Stories In Between

Give the blogger that nominated you a special shout out.
Answer 11 questions given to you by the blogger.
Give up to 11 random facts about yourself.
Nominate 5 – 11 blogs and bloggers inform them of their nominations.

My questions for you:

  1. Do you have a favorite illustration or artwork?
  2. A book that you finished (almost) in one sitting. 
  3. A movie that you don’t mind watching again and again.
  4. A song that lifts your spirits.

Link to all your queries about the Liebster Award: https://theglobalaussie.com/liebster-award-2018

The end.


Mystery Blogger Award

It is always a pleasant surprise to know that there are readers out there who appreciate your work. Readers who are able to connect with what you are putting out in words, sitting in your little desk, armed with a limited experience that’s unique to you. And it is a privilege to be given any kind of acknowledgement, in the web world, where all kinds of data — pictures, stories, podcasts, videos, etc. — are being generated at a dizzying volume every second. So, thank you Tracy Joan Reid for nominating my blog for The Mystery Blogger Award.


For those who are wondering what the award is all about:

Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma (The creator of the Award, here’s a link to Enigma’s blog: https://www.okotoenigmasblog.com/ )

And it comes with a set of rules:

1) Put The Logo on your blog

2) List the rules

3) Thank whoever nominated you and add a link to their blog

4) Mention the creator of the award and provide a link

5) Tell your readers three things about yourself

6) Answer the questions you were asked

7) You have to nominate 10 – 20 people

8) Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

9) Ask your nominees any 5 questions of their choice. One weird and one funny one.

10) Share a link to your best post

On to Rule No. 5

Three things about myself:

  1. I am a journalist by profession, with a focus on art and culture. You can find some of my published articles here.

  2. My hometown is India. I was born in North India, but stayed a major portion of my life in the South.

  3. I am a hobby artist (check out my One sketch a day challenge), and absolutely love gallery hopping.

Now, to answer Tracy’s questions:

1. What is your best childhood memory?

It was a hot summer. The sun shone the blue green water of the lake, near my grandparents’ house in Kerala, like a sheet of emerald. My sister and I sat on the steps leading to the cool waters, even as the rest of my cousins, splashed their way from one end of the pond to another. We did not know to swim.

So when my uncle called out to us to hit the waters, we took two steps back. All we had to do was just lay on a rope attached to a coconut on either side, he said. “Don’t be afraid, you won’t drown,” he reassured. The five-year-old me mustered up all the courage that I had, and let the cool tongue of water lick my feet. And before I knew it, I was lying on my stomach, and wading my way through the soft waves of water. I swallowed mouth-fulls of it, saw the green jelly-like weed carpet below my feet, and felt a sense of confidence fill in.

A few hot afternoons of practice later, I knew I was ready to go independent. So I let a school of fish nibble on my toes, and then followed them into the lake, mimicking their movement, and making them my own.

2. What do you feel most proud of?

After four years of engineering, and landing a job in a multinational company, the way forward was narrow and with little option. But was it? Having always had a passion for writing, I wanted to chart a new course for my life. I wanted to make a career as a journalist, follow my heart that was into writing. “But you have a stable job and salary,” said some. “Isn’t it too late to start over again?” said some others. But the loudest voice was that of my heart, which asked me to go ahead and make what I want, mine. So I went back to school, earned a degree in journalism, then a job, and a life that is on the right track.

3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

Antarctica. Two reasons: to watch penguins and sheets of ice,  and penguins walking on sheets of ice.

4. If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?

My last five journals.

5. What would you want your tombstone to say?

Lived it.

My nominees:

  1. Tokidoki (Nomad) 

  2. Positive Publicity

  3. Keep calm and chiffon

  4. Reverberations

  5. The perpetual page turner

  6. Simply Nicole

  7. Post-grad life

I just have one question for them:

What inspires you to blog?

And here’s my link to a post that I thoroughly enjoyed putting together:  See post