Time – a timeless mystery

My best friend recently asked me to give her a quote or proverb on time. I proudly doled out a series of them, “Time heals”, “Time and tide wait for no man”, “A stitch in time saves nine”. And she retorted, “Can you give me something positive?” And that left me speechless. Every other proverb that crossed my mind from then on was largely negative. I found it strange. I googled a bit and didn’t find anything wholly satisfying. It didn’t bother me much then but it definitely lingered on in my head. When you’re having a rough patch, such things quickly seep back into focus and tend to eat into your thoughts more than you’d want them to.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Follow me on @phoenixinindia

Hello there!

Like many of you know, I am an illustrator and a designer. I design under the banner of The Phoenix Company (www.thephoenixcompany.in). I make doodles, design graphic tees, ethnic jackets, mugs and other stationery. We also have handmade jewellery and stoles. Our stuff is unique, niche and known to win hearts. We ship across India!

So, if you are looking to get some quirky stuff into your life, then head over to our site!

Also, all you lovely people out there can follow my regular updates on my instagram page – @phoenixinindia 🙂 You can also find the link on my home page.

Here’s a tiny glimpse of the account!

Picture1

Follow @phoenixinindia on instagram and visit http://www.thephoenixcompany.in for the products 🙂

More updates from me on our products and the stuff we make coming up soon! Until then, spread the word and shop away!

OUR SITE IS UP!

It gives me great pleasure in telling all of you that my company’s website is finally up. You can now show online with ease and choose from a variety of products. My doodles are available as products too. There are beautiful ikkat jackets, traditionally-made Ajrakh stoles and a lot more in the store.

It will be great if you guys can take a look and pick something that you like!

Here is the link:

www.thephoenixcompany.in

coffee-mug-13

Order your 2017 calendars!


Hello there! As most of you know, I am an illustrator and a writer/journo. I design for The Phoenix Company (www.facebook.com/The.Phoenix.Company.India). We have a lot lined up for this year. A website for starters and unique, aesthetic products. 

We begin 2017 with a bang! A one-of-a-kind calendar awaits you. It’s a a perfect combination of beautiful photographs, minimalist doodles (that don’t take away from the aura of the pictures) and some nuggets of wisdom that’ll keep you going through the year. 

In fact, it’s a challenge from us to you to spot the doodle as it is carefully blended into the photograph for every month. Can you? 😀

Simple. Classy. And unique. This table-top calendar is a must-have. 

Pre-orders now open. Sorry for the mild delay. Hope you had a great start to the year!

TO ORDER, comment below or inbox us. 🙂

CARNATIC MUSIC IN ITS RAWEST FORM

Chennai: Every day the world is taking a step towards ‘going natural’. From organic food to handwoven sarees, people are going back to the basics as they rediscover nature and now, music is no longer an exception to it. ‘Orisai’, an initiative of the No’Mad Projekt, focuses on preserving the original, raw form of Carnatic music by eliminating digital processing. It was launched on Sunday at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan with an enthralling performance by renowned musician T M Krishna.

“The concept of a carnatic concert production is seldom heard of. I wanted to give the listener a memorable experience of a performance by capturing the various elements of an ensemble in equal parts,” says mridangam artist Praveen Sparsh, founder, The No’Mad Projekt.

The No’Mad project aims to record music in its raw, organic form by eliminating processing. It also seeks to capture diverse creative mediums in their purest form.

The beauty of a song is often lost after it passes through countless processors. The high notes of the vocalist may drown the subtle tunes of the Chitraveena and the audience may skip out on a note or two of the ganjira. And the organic sound of the ensemble becomes history. But Orisai tries to bring back the natural touch to the musical experience.

These performances employ condenser microphones instead of the typical dynamic ones. They are placed at an angle, away from the source, such that they pick up the voice of the artist and sound of the instrument at the same time. Sound flows into a console only to be amplified and not processed.

“Orisai allowed me to hear true, real sound and respond to the music that is situated within that. In a normal miked concert, your voice escapes into the microphone and returns to you through monitors as an amplified and in a sense artificially designed sound,” says T M Krishna. “Therefore, you are not really hearing your voice from inside. In Orisai, the voice was as close to what I feel and hear naturally.”

With stage monitors out of the picture, dynamism is at its peak. Fast beats of the mridangam respond to the hollow sounds from the ghatam and the vocalist beautifully chips in to make it a melodious rendition.

“The performing artists are extremely sensitive to the dynamics in the ensemble. And they wonderfully communicate with each other on stage through their music,” says Praveen.

Elegant, simple aesthetics also form an integral part of this idea. The artistic makeover of the stage by art director Susha led to flashy flex banners being replaced with the Orisai logo cut out from plywood. And a dedicated light jockey ensured pleasant lighting.

In the long run, the initiative hopes to make musical communities rethink the nature of music. “Orisai will change the way the audience and organisers understand amplification. Today we have a situation where the microphones, speakers and monitors define music. Orisai inverts that, application is designed according to the nature of the musical form and its aesthetics. This is not audience or artist driven, it is music driven,” says T M Krishna.

[An edited version of this article was published in Times of India, Chennai.]

CAPTURING THE UNCONVENTIONAL

Chennai: A pleasant surprise awaits passengers frequenting the Thiruvanmiyur MRTS, whose drab and dusty walls have become more engaging than their luminous phones. A splash of colour and a slice of city life – the large captivating photographs stuck on the pink walls are quick to draw your attention. Captured by women from the Down Syndrome Federation of India and a group of young girls from the NalandaWay Foundation, these pictures are on display along the platform of the station until March 13 as part of the Chennai Photo Biennale.

 A digital camera and a two-day workshop was all it took to get the women excited about photography. “I love photography. I like taking pictures of colourful things like swings, slides and flowers,” says Babli Ramachandran. Photography may be seen as a challenge to this 35-year-old with Down Syndrome and partial vision but her beautiful pictures of nature tell a different story.

Babli is one among 14 others who attended the introductory sessions conducted by Lensational, an organisation dedicated to empowering marginalised women in developing countries through photography. “The idea is to challenge stereotypes through photography and transform lives. These girls have a strong artistic acumen as they shot photos in unconventional spaces like slums and garbage dumps,” says Bonnie Chin, founder, Lensational.

The striking images of red pomegranates, yellow flowers, colourful plastic pots, rusty hand pumps and happy locals catch your eye while waiting for the train. Shot at Nageswara Rao Park, Kapaleeswarar Temple, the slums in Perambur and areas near the Kodungaiyur dump yard, these pictures reveal untold stories of the city through the lens of these amateurs.

“When we went to shoot near Kodungaiyur, we noticed that there is so much garbage and people were living around it. We felt that if we shared our pictures of the place, the residents may get help,” says V Dhanalakshmi, a class 7 student from NalandaWay art lab. Similarly, 12-year-old Kushbu Solanki captured stagnant, dirty water around a hand pump covered in fungus to convey the living conditions of slum dwellers.

The programme was a unique experience for most girls as it was the first time they interacted with the local community. “They had no qualms about going to a dirty place. In fact, it triggered a lot of questions and they came up with great ideas for pictures,” says Monisha V, associate for projects, NalandaWay Foundation.

Photography served as a platform for expression and the exercise has been empowering. “The women have become more outgoing and confident after this,” says Dr Rekha Ramachandran, president, Down Syndrome Association of Tamil Nadu.

Pumped with energy, they fearlessly roamed the streets capturing what they liked. “We noticed that these girls weren’t hesitant to put cameras before faces and click pictures. We would think twice but they were thrilled to engage with the public,” says photographer Shuchi Kapoor, who conducted the workshops with French photographer Yannick Cormier.

BY HAND FROM THE HEART MAKERS MARKET

Chennai: Heart-shaped balloons and red roses have become clichéd expressions of love. This February turn to ancient poetry to express your affection. The Madras Mag is launching Kurunthokai by S Ramachandran – a collection of poems from the 2000-year-old Sangam literature on love, loss and separation at the Makers Market at Lalit Kala Akademi on Friday. The book with handmade illustrations is one among many handcrafted products that will be available at the fair. Continue reading