Monday, January 16, 2017

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sunday, December 18, 2016

2016 – A Poetic Year


As promised to myself two years ago - to buy one book every month every year, this year has been fantastic with a total of 35 books and indeed very poetic with 50% of the books being those of poetry - from classic to contemporary, from love and longing to erotica and despair. 
In 2006, one for my faculty at NID had given me a feed back saying - "...learn to be poetic". Now, after 10 years I know what it actually meant and that life is beautiful and we have to make it more beautiful.  
The year started by reading Crafts of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh by Jaya Jaitley and ended by adding a biggest book to my library- Michelangelo: Complete works. This book is so huge that it fits neither in the book shelf at studio nor in the one at home – precisely explains why this book is about Michelangelo!

Now when I have listed out the books, I see that each book has a story associated, a story about me - my state of mind and work at that time of the year. 
It’s so beautiful to review ones year this way!

It has been a wonderful year –
from travelling across the country to making a home by the hills
creating huge art to developing minute skills
meeting old friends to not making new
reading books to learning music
falling in love to writing poetry

So here is the list of books added to my library this year: 

Poetry
1.      Rumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing (April)
2.      The Book of Questions – Pablo Neruda (April)
3.      I swallowed the Moon: The poetry of Gulzar (May)
4.      Essential Haiku (May)
5.      Kabir: Ecstatic Poems (June)
6.      Lullabies – Lang Leav (July)
7.      Love and Misadventure – Lang Leav (July)
8.      Memories – Lang Leav (July)
9.      Bitter Sweet Love – Micheal Faudet (August)
10.   Erotic Poems – Goethe (September)
11.   The Inability of Words – Harnidh Kaur (September)
12.   Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur (September)
13.   Mouthful of Forevers – Clementine Von Radics (September)
14.   Chasers of the Light – Tyler Knott Gregson (October)
15.   Sylvia Plath - The Collected Poems (October)
16.   The Universe of Us – Lang Leav (November)
17.   Bitter Sweet Love – Michael Faudet (November) 

Art and Design
1.      Crafts of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh – Jaya Jaitley (January)
2.      World Textiles: A Sourcebook (January)
3.      I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail – Urveti, Ram Singh (February)
4.      10 books of illustrated short stories – K.G. Subramanian (March)
5.      The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images (June)
6.      Mudras of India: A Comprehensive Guide to the Hand Gestures of Yoga and Indian Dance (June)
7.      Basketry: A world Guide to Traditional Techniques (July)
8.      Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art (September)
9.      Michelangelo: Complete Works (December)

Reading (assorted)
1.      Concerning the Spiritual in Art – Wassily Kandinsky (January)
2.      Creative Confessions – Paul Klee (February)
3.      Blank Canvas – Prabhakar Barve (February)
4.      My Gita – Devdutt Pattanaik (February)
5.      Love Letters of Great Men (March)
6.      Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka (June)
7.      Business Sutra – Devdutt Pattanaik (September)
8.      Vishwakarma’s Children – Jaya Jaitley (September)
9.      A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf (October)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

u n f o l d


This is a poem composed of a series of my tweets with rhetoric questions and corresponding hopeful answers.

Periodic excerpts from this also compose small poems-

i am the moon         
i am the star           
i am the earth         
i am the sea            
i am a zephyr         
i am air  
         
~

slide open the curtains
look at the sparkle in your eyes
walk barefoot
stand by the shore
untie your hair
and
b r e a t h e    

(now read first line of the first short poem and first line of second short poem. continue this way..)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016

your feet

I love your feet
only because they walked 
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters, 
until they found me. 

(Excerpt from the poem Your Feet by Pablo Neruda)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I am not a perfectionist

I am not a perfectionist

When I fold towels, I always match the corners
When I do my bed in the morning I make sure the sheets are flat without any bump
When I cut vegetables, I cut them all in same size
Sometimes I cut paneer in triangles
I don't cut fruits.
I eat them just like that.

I am not a perfectionist
I fail…

I fail with love
I fail…
to understand
to bridge the gap
to take the first step
to rekindle the spark
to love again.

And the worst of all is
when I fail
terribly
to be
myself.

Sometimes it is alright to fail. Not everything works every time, isn't it?
It is alright to break free at times
to go on a blind date and kiss in the middle of the road.
to raise your hand and say – Yes, I am in love again!

It is okay to hold back 
It is okay to keep thoughts confined

Listen, stop!
Stop aligning the stars.
How much more should I break myself trying to piece together what is broken?
It is alright to give up.

Yes, it is absolutely alright
not to be a perfectionist
and fail.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

CRAFT DESIGN, Lecture at NIFT, Navi Mumbai

I think of my teachers more when I am teaching. I consider myself a tad too lucky to have studied under the guidance of design thinkers like MP Ranjan and Aditi Ranjan at NID, particularly when it comes to crafts.

Craft being my favourite area of work, this was my first lecture on CRAFT DESIGN at NIFT, Navi Mumbai. (16th September 2016)

The aim of arranging expert lectures in design institutes is to give students a point of view of how things actually work on field. To show how design as a tool is applied to bring out necessary results, to show a larger picture of how design can create change and sustainability. The process of working with constraints, connecting several dots and extending your own boundaries with every project you work on.

A live design intervention project was given to students as part of their curriculum. The aim was to design commercially viable and market oriented products for crafts namely – Banjara Embroidery of Latur and Wall hangings of Solapur.

Designing for crafts, in my opinion is more about understanding and appreciating what exists. It is easy to pick faults but appreciating the existing is what it takes to keep things together. It is about being profound in one’s approach.  

I supported my lecture with two of my current craft projects.
One – Product design and development for the screwpine mat making craft of Kerala
Two – Embroidery designs for an NGO based in Madhya Pradesh

37 slides to present, 60 students with questions and 180 minutes to discuss – a small step to sensitize students towards designing for crafts.   

Sharing few of the slides from the presentation here…
I like to keep my presentation crisp with keywords, and lot of visuals (not shown here)



Books referred and recommended:
1. Viswakarma's Children by Jaya Jaitley
2. Thinking Design by S. Balaram

-

For design students and for students of life, here is an intriguing excerpt from one of Kabir’s poems -

Student, do the simple purification.

You know that the seed is inside the horse-chestnut tree;
and inside the seed there are the blossoms of the tree,
and the chestnuts and the shade.

So inside the human body there is the seed, and
inside the seed there is the human body again.

Fire, air, earth, water and space – if you don’t want the secret one,
you can’t have these either.