Monday, December 12, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
SUBWAY PORTAITS, Tee Shirt
This is a lithograph I made at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, under the expert guidance of master printer Devraj Dakoji, in 2009, in NYC.
The link will take you to the Zazzle.com site where you can buy a poster of the print. Also a tee-shirt -- though I'm not totally sure whether or not it's appeared in the "market place" yet.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Well, TOUGH! Some things are irresistibly enthusiasmagoric.
The video (click the post and the vid-interface will come up) features BRE PETTIS, CEO of MakerBot, a company that makes machines which permit people anywhere to print things out in three dimensions. For $1300. This isn't the first example of such wizardry I've seen, because this 3D printing revolution has been evolving quietly in the background for several years. But it's starting to spill out of the design stage and into our homes.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Several friends responded to Picture Puzzle #1 but only two managed to post comments (and one posted via me). I think there were a couple of problems: (a) it wasn't easy to find the puzzle because of my post about the World Tour Mystery (b) the "comments" button is not merely tucked out of sight, but you've got to click on it and then scroll down to see it. Which is a bore. This new template is still being tweaked, so maybe that'll improve.
Okay! I thought the previous pix were too obvious by half -- but I didn't know whether to make em more or less so. Based on that experience I ... STILL DON'T KNOW! Heh. So this new lot is easy too but I used the same background for four, which may help with scale issues. They're also common objects. But how common is "common"? In the previous set, I realized belatedly that #4 was coloured in a way that wouldn't be common in India. Anyway, here now are the answers to Picture Puzzle #1:
1) Popcorn -- i.e., one popped kernel
2) Postage stamp -- the wiggly edge between one stamp and its neighbour. They're self-adhesive stamps so the familiar perforations are missing. This, like #4, was location-specific. Also the stamp is not typical and the fragment of printing that you see is misleading. So ... my bad.
3) Cotton bud
4) Toothpick tip -- an ordinary wooden one, but blue
5) Burnt match-head (everyone got this, no surprise)
Below are five new pix. Complaints are welcome, BTW -- too easy/too hard/too blurred -- I'd like to know. I plan to do this once a week! So feedback is useful. As before, scroll down past the pictures to find the comment button. Click on it and THEN SCROLL AGAIN. I watch-dog them, so they won't post immediately.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
TWO puzzles: one is in my most recently published book, THE WORLD TOUR MYSTERY (Tulika Books, Madras, 2011); the other one's right below the book-info, a very simple amusement I put together just for you, Unknown BlogVisitor.
THE WORLD TOUR MYSTERY
This is the cover and there's a description of the book at the link. But if you're feeling too lazy to explore the link, here's what I wrote, for Tulika's blog, about working on the book:
This book took shape in my mind mainly because of a party game we used to play when I was little. It was called Around-the-World: no game-board, player tokens or pictures of places and countries. Instead the names of cities were scattered through the house and the players were told to figure out the correct sequence of places on an (imaginary) world tour. Playing the game involved a great deal of running up and down and all around the rooms of the house, with much excited screaming and calling out of cities. The first person to get the whole sequence correct was the winner.
I enjoyed this game so much that I thought it might be possible to make it into a book. BUT … dearie me! It really wasn't easy. In my typical way, I started with the thing I wanted to do most: which is, to make drawings of some of my favorite monuments from around the world. Having done that, I thought, it would be quite simple to force the drawings to become a game! And also a book!
Of course, I was wrong.
Fortunately, Tulika's editors are very kind and also very patient. I actually completed one version of the book with big colored drawings of my favourite monuments. In the end, however, we all agreed that it just wasn't working as a book. So it didn't get published. We all felt there was something nice about the idea if only it could be worked out in some other way.
Well, five years passed. During that time, I worked on SAME & DIFFERENT, a sequel to I AM DIFFERENT!. Both books explore the ways in which sameness and differences are interesting subjects to think about. As the idea of the Monuments book continued to twitch and grow inside my mind, I and Tulika began to see that difference/sameness are a really important part of traveling too. After all, people in other countries look different and have unique local costumes, yet -- as we see in the book -- tourists look the same wherever they go! When we line up to board an aircraft, we see hundreds of people, some young, some old, some funny, some strange: yet for all the differences, we can also see so much that's the same: we all drink water, for instance; little babies of all nationalities scream in the same language; and everyone looks grumpy if there's a long queue for the toilet.
The first big improvement was to create a puzzle based on the game but not really like it at all. You've still got to figure out the correct sequence of places on the tour, but by finding clues embedded in the pictures rather than by running around a house. The next improvement was to imagine a family going on a trip – and then to think up names and faces and personalities for the members of that family. Finally, the family became the focus of the book and the monuments got fitted into the background. That's how the world looks to us when we go on a real sight-seeing trip: a lot of people in holiday clothes, with strange or interesting-looking structures in the distance.
So what we have now is a puzzle-book called The World Tour Mystery with lots to look at and amusing facts to read, as Mum, Dad, Aunt Mimi, Kooks, Bunny and Bobo travel around the world.
I hope you enjoy it as much I enjoyed putting it together! And maybe some day you'll go on a world tour just like it.
PICTURE PUZZLE -- #1 October 1st, 2011
Guess what the objects in the pictures are. All very common. There won't be any prizes this time around, because it's too easy. But the next time around, who knows?
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
|MOON SOAP. For late-night showers.|
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
VARIATIONS ON THE THEME OF HAPPINESS
I'm as happy as a …
… fruit bat in a mango orchard! (MP)
… a starving bear who has fallen into a pot of honey! (EG)
... a grasshopper on a Pogo stick! (GD)
... a hummingbird in a honeysuckle bush! (SN)
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I wrote a blog entry about this some years ago, because I was totally blown away to discover that there was any kind of link between this beautiful and very short-lived flower and the fruit -- perhaps because I associate the fruit with Southeast Asia, having eaten it for the first (and only) time in Singapore. Most people who have seen or know of the flower do not associate it with the fruit AT ALL. But if you compare the strangely zoological appearance of the flower's bud, it is easy to recognize the shadow of the fruit's shape in it.
The flower doesn't last the night and by morning, it looks like a pale pink bat-carcase. My sister got her plant from a friend who said they had never seen the flower blooming but had heard it was spectacular. In my sister's house, it has bloomed so often it's like a regular cabaret! Sometimes a dozen blossoms will all go critical in the same night. She says they don't bloom very often, but more than once a year.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
- The Times of India is read by people who think they run the country.
- The Economic Times is read by people who think they own the country.
- The Bombay Samachar is read by people who do, in fact, own the country.
- The Hindu is read by people who think the country should be run by the government of another country.
- The Statesman is read by people who remember the time the country was run by the British.
- The Telegraph is read by people who think the country should be run by Mamata Banerjee.
- The Mid-Day is read by people who think the country should be run by the people on Page 3
- The Hindustan Times is read by people who think that Delhi is their country.
- The Malayala Manorama is read by people who think that their country is Kerala (or Dubai, they're not sure which).
- The Tribune is read by people who believe that India lives in its villages.
- The Dainik Jagran is read by people who actually do live in those villages.
- The Pioneer is read by 223 people, but nobody's quite sure who they are.
- The Deccan Herald is read by 219 people, but at least we do know who they are.
- Saamna is read by people who don't give a shit about the country, all they're interested in is who runs Shivaji Park.
- The Asian Age is not read by anybody, but it's useful to wrap your shoes in when you 're taking a trip outside the country.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
[Mumbai, circa 1981. Interior]
In a room the size of a sweaty handkerchief, I and some seventy other members of the Alliance Française film club are watching François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. The film is about to end. On screen, we see the right side of a young boy’s head and shoulders.
I wonder whether to risk a yawn.
The boy is walking towards the sea with no clear purpose in mind.
I know I am not worthy of my membership. Even though the film is one of the central pillars of modern French cinema I cannot focus on it because the auditorium is too uncomfortable. The folding metal seats have been designed by an evil orthopaedist looking for customers. The floor is uniformly flat and viewers are forced to strain their Kurosawas and Renoirs through a sieve of other viewers’ hair. In summer, the lack of air-conditioning guarantees death by B.O. And of course the majority of the movies are wrist-slittingly sad.
This one, for instance, is centred on a troubled fourteen- year-old boy living in Paris. The story moves at the pace of an arthritic sloth while packing the punch of a land- mine in the gut.
I want to inform my companion of the evening that I simply do not have the mental energy for films like this. Yes, yes, they’re beautiful, haunting, memorable, and all the rest of it, but what about the emotional wreckage they leave in their wake? I am, after all, a Hollywood junkie. I admit it without shame, like an addict who wears her needle-tracks with pride. I thrill to my Technicolor sunsets, my MetroGoldwynMayer lions and my air- brushed, peroxided heroines. Assisted Reality is what I call these films, and I love them all the more for knowing they will never kick me in the Jiminy Cricket or leave me bleeding in the Mekong.
Meanwhile my companion, whom I shall call B–, is even then, thirty years ago, so steeped in his knowledge of films and his passion for them that he seems to my eyes practically incontinent with world-weariness. We are both in our twenties, me late, he early. I enjoy his intensity and his seriousness even though I know he does not consider me girlfriend material. I often wonder what he sees in me. Nothing, probably. When a young man has watched enough art cinema, he knows that romantic love will never make it past the editing table.
Onscreen, our boy is still walking. The scenery continues to move away to the left, behind him, which is how we know he’s in motion. It’s a pleasant summer’s day and the French countryside looks suitably tranquil and inviting, even in black and white.
I begin to wonder why we’ve been watching the same damn scene for so long.
I turn towards B–.
He is sitting at the very edge of his seat, like a gundog on point.
He’s muttering to himself, ‘Come on, come on.’ That’s all he says. He’s fidgeting, he’s leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, he’s sweeping back the comma of hair that falls over his forehead and giving his fingernails a quick chew. In a word, he’s doing the adult equivalent of a child jumping up and down, screaming encouragement to Luke Skywalker taking on the Empire single-handed.
Yet before us on the screen is nothing more than a boy, walking.
[END OF EXCERPT]