Calcutta sketches – my grandaunt

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What’s this art about? Here’s one of my quick under-an-hour sketch that I made of my grandaunt. Well, the time taken for sketching was shorter because she was watching TV and unable to stay still for long. The flouncy pillow behind her adds to her cute feminity. Psst…little added info on her : she loves wearing lipstick everyday!

What did she say when she saw herself?..

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Nothing. She just gave a genuine pleased smile, which made me happy. Here she is holding a big plate of sun dried cauliflowers which she is preparing to make pickles of, a big favorite in the family.

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Steaming hot cauliflowers, anyone?!

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Calcutta sketches : Morning prayers

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What’s this art about? It’s a classroom somewhere in India and morning prayers are being held in the class. This is a little unusual, because morning prayers are usually done in the wide courtyard or in a big room that fits all of the school together. My art was inspired by a photo from the local newspaper where the students of each class prayed for the children who died in the Peshawar shooting (by the Taliban). There was a big gap in the second aisle so I decided to fill in the gap with the figure of a teacher standing. The figure is me actually in my Indian attire of salwar kameez, and my big glasses do make me look strict like a teacher 🙂 .

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A snapshot of happy smiling faces of schoolchildren in India.

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Vibrant Spring, and Tino, watercolour 3

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Though Spring arrives officially in France in a week’s time, it already feels a lot like Spring. The skies have been clear blue with the sun shining brightly now for many days in a row. For most of my life, before I settled in France, I never really paid attention to nature, or the flowers or vegetables that grow in particular seasons. I decided to pay a lot of attention to all the green things growing around me this year. I discovered daffodils are Spring flowers, and they will grow only for a month. I notice them growing everywhere. The first shoots of Spring are definitely the daffodils, daisies and pansies. I can tell because I see them growing by the sidewalks, in the forests, in gardens etc.

When I was in school, I remember I had to study Wordworth’s poem ‘The Daffodils’. He seemed so happy to be in the midst of daffodils and I always wondered how it must feel to see so many yellow and I guess, pretty flowers all around you (In India, I doubt daffodils are Spring flowers, and I was brought up in India). Here’s the first paragraph of the poem to get you jogging your memory if you had to study this poem too :

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

I made my watercolour inspired by the daffodils growing in profusion around my house. When I saw Tino, a white and grey cat, one day playing amongst the flowers it gave me the idea to get the drawing started. I am happy to note that I can see a slight improvement in my watercolour techniques compared to my previous two.

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Here’s Tino below, along with the daffodils and my pink watering can!

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Disdainful cats, watercolor 1

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My inspiration to draw these two cats with their funny expressions came from two cats in the neighborhood who can be seen often sitting close together on a window sill. They looked disdainful, I couldn’t figure out why. Either at being locked out of the house, or the fact that I dared to come in close enough to shoot them with my camera. Either way, they looked hilarious! 🙂

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‘You look like you got fingered’

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Warning : This post contains some raunchy ‘inuendos’, so all faint hearts can proceed with caution! 🙂

Here are some sketches I made about 4 years ago while I was working as a flight attendant for one of the middle-eastern airlines called Etihad Airways. I had plenty of fun moments and got familiar with all the flight attendant, and passenger jokes. The crew may seem unflattering in these sketches, but in real life, the girls and the boys are very pretty. At 4.30 am when one has seen the interior of the aircraft for the past 10 hours, and the only oxygen is the recycled air in the closed cabin, one’s mind can start playing tricks, and even the beautiful crew around can start looking like mutating monsters. Unfortunately, amongst the many rules that the crew had to remember, I remember this particular rule that really seemed to take the cake : ‘Crew are forbidden to sleep in the galleys, or even give the impression that they might be sleeping’.. So you cannot shut your eyes more than 3 seconds..

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Once I boarded the crew bus looking sad because I hadn’t managed to sleep the night before and I had a long and busy flight in front of me. A concerned crew member asked me if I was OK, and I told her my problem, to which she replied ‘Oh, you know what, even if I’ve slept well, I always feel fatigue and tired the moment I put on this uniform’. Even after 10 years, her remark stuck in my head and I always found it very funny and true. And the rare moments when a flight would be declared cancelled, strangely all that fatigue and tiredness would go out of the window and I’d be ready to hit the beach!

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Here’s a true story that occured in a flight to Tanzania ..

He : Scuze me, I want a Jewess

Me : Excuse me, umm… what kind of ..Jewess .. exactly?

He : Yes, I want a Jewess, an Orange Jewess

Me : Ahh…! Yes, I will get you your Jewess ( I go to the galley to bring him his orange juice)

Another joke that happened in front of me to a male crew. The flight was to Amman (Jordan), and it’s a night flight. A woman tries to get the attention of the male crew (and he’s just started flying) and whispers into his ear ‘I want a cock’.

He : (looking shocked) Excuse me??!

She : I want cock with ice

He : You mean coca cola?

She : Yes yes that cock!

I had a memorable Bombay flight. It was a full flight, with many uncontrollable children and demanding adults. We, the crew, were in the middle of the meal service and each crew member had to handle their own carts. I inched my way forward until my cart reached a livid passenger.

He: I’ve been fingering you for so long, where were you??’

Me: Excuse me?! I don’t understand..

He: Look look, like this I fingered you for so long!! ( and he demonstrates by pushing his finger against the crew call button several times and the whole cabin resonates with the ding-dong noise))

Me : Ah, you used the call bell service. I’m sorry, it’s a very busy flight. How may I help you?’

He : I can’t find my wife’s hole.

Me : (confused and starting to get mad) Excuse me?!

He : Look, I found my hole and I can hear my movie, but my wife can’t hear her’s!

Me : Ah, You’re trying to locate the slot to plug in your headset… Ok, let me help you.

I go back to the galley after the service, and another crew member, someone more familiar with the Bombay flights, looks at my stunned expression and says knowingly ‘You look like you got fingered’.

in flt