This year, the theme I chose (albeit after much brainstorming and overthinking) was my childhood dreams. When we were children, there were so many many things that we dreamt of becoming in life. From professions that were made up in our heads to genuine ones we never ended up becoming and a handful that actually got us to where we are today, my series revisits our crazy aspirations. Maybe it’ll remind us of a happy memory, motivate us to pursue them now or just go back to it as a hobby. Continue reading
Talk by international author Bea Johnson on Zero Waste Lifestyle
Chennai: A tiny glass jar containing a retainer, bristles from a bamboo toothbrush, laminated trip itineraries, kitchen cabinet bumpers, bits of photo paper and a few other things – this is all the waste that is produced at the house of California-based Bea Johnson. It amounts to a ‘mere pint of trash per year’ (roughly 473 grams). Johnson and her family adopted the Zero Waste lifestyle a decade ago.
It’s a funny world we live in
It’s a funny world we live in,
A sin doesn’t remain a sin,
If it’s all about win-win.
36 days of type – Mosaics
Hello! I know I’ve been irregular in updating my blog. But here’s some good news. I’m doing the @36daysoftype challenge. I’ve chosen mosaic art as my theme. Take a look at my work on my Instagram page www.instagram.com/phoenixinindia/
The challenge (how I can it) involves a visual representation of 26 letters of the alphabet and numbers 0 to 9.
Mosaic art is not easy when made by hand. It requires immense concentration, effort and patience. But the end result makes it worthwhile. Do take a look at some of my work!
Granny Tales 101: Chapter 5
This one took a while to come. Apologies for the delay. But I promise to be more prompt than I have been.
Today I talk about dadi and my piano lessons. Writing about this was unplanned but it seems like the best thing to relive at the moment.
My tryst with the piano began way back in second grade. My mother had seen a small newspaper listing for classes nearby and thought it was something interesting for my sister and I to learn. Our class was in a crammed home where the piano took up all the space in the room. But as kids we didn’t seem to bother. We were captivated by the instrument and the beautiful music one could make from it. And so, my sister and I took an instant liking to it and learnt fast. What began as a short summer camp eventually blossomed into a full-fledged class that saw both of us appear for Grade examinations by the Trinity College, London for nearly 6 consecutive years.
Granny Tales 101: Chapter 4
So the reason I said I knew what was coming up in this chapter was because I knew there was going to be an article of mine coming out in the newspaper soon. It was a piece I wrote on Tamil poetry for The Times of India, Chennai. I mention this because a lot of my interest in writing developed because of dadi.
Dadi was an English teacher and she would sit for hours teaching me poems, grammar and narrating granny tales when I was in school. Before exams, she would sit with me and listen as I read out lessons loudly and interjected only if she wanted to add a point. Even at 90, she knew what gerunds and clauses were better than anyone else. I owe a lot of my knowledge in the language to her. She loved reading my English answer papers to see if the teaching sessions paid off. But my humble sweetheart that she was, she never took credit for it, simply praised me for being talented. Continue reading
Granny Tales: Chapter 3
Sundays with Dadi were a bliss. She didn’t just love food, she loved making it. Food was on her mind all the time. In fact, most of our family friends remember how she’d welcome them when they came home, “Coffee kudikaringla?” [Will you have some coffee?]. Soon after, she’d busy herself making a hot cup of filter coffee, that remains unmatched in taste till this date.
Sundays, in particular, were different because it meant eating Dadi’s special Bisibella bath with a dollop of ghee, garnished with fried groundnuts and crispy appalam to go with it. The waft of piping hot flavours in the rice would fill the house and soon see each of us tip-toe into the kitchen to see if lunch was ready. The menu for lunch was almost always the same every Sunday, with Vaanghi Bath [brinjal rice] being its only serious competitor. Once in a while, variety rice like lemon rice, puliogare [tamarind rice], coconut rice and tomato rice would make an appearance.
Dadi was always the head cook for these lunches. Her mind would start working from the previous night. Everything would be mentally organised – from ingredients to quantities. And while everyone relished her food, she’d have a standard line after preparing each meal – “Innike seriyaave varle!” [Today, the taste isn’t upto the mark]. Eventually, this line became an inside joke as all of us waited for her to say it. We’d tell her that if she doesn’t say it, then something was definitely wrong with the food. This conversation would leave us all giggling.
Fortunately, these happy memories linger on and sometimes give you the strength to cope. They’re a reminder that the end isn’t the only thing to remember. What is important, is the journey. The moments, the times spent together, the love, the laughter – they can never be erased and one can only be grateful that it all happened instead of cry that it’s over.
I think I have an inkling on what’s coming in chapter 4. Stay tuned, guys!
Granny Tales 101: Chapter 2
Home isn’t home without dadi around. Everything reminds me of her. We all have our own ways of coping. In my case, I’m coping on varying scales with different things, so I finally channelised my energy into writing when it came to dadi dearest.
After her passing, I wrote a very short poem which aptly described what I was feeling. So I’m sharing that poem with you here.
Why did you just disappear?
When you know you’re
Our dadi dear,
But you’re so strong,
We have nothing to fear,
You’re always with us
Even if you’re not here.
A big hello to my rockstar up there who is watching over me, being my guardian angel like she always was.
Granny Tales 101: Chapter 1
I thought a lot about what could go up as the first anecdote. The problem is, you can never pick just one incident that is close to your heart. So I’m just going ahead with the first one that popped up when I began writing this.
When I was a little child, I was always excited about excursions. My school used to plan day-long picnics to amusement parks in the city. I wasn’t, and I’m still not, a huge fan of these parks because I get dizzy on rides. The only thing I enjoyed about the outing was munching on snacks and being with my small group of friends, who fortunately never made fun of my fears and still chose me as their ‘excursion partner’. Continue reading
Follow me on @phoenixinindia
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!
More updates from me on our products and the stuff we make coming up soon! Until then, spread the word and shop away!