Feb 8, 2017

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Some pictures for an exhibition.

Feb 6, 2017

Dust

A particularly entertaining sense of ennui and a general one of ungiven fucks metastasise into the entire week, creeping up from the Friday afternoons with a hint of breeze and plenty of leftover sleeplessness in the air. Legs propped up against a stolen quote off Bukowski on the windowpane (taped among other neatly aligned bits of paper and rescued remains of stickers and knick-knacks catching, and then releasing shards of the fading light into the otherwise unmoving insides of the studio) and sponsor-logoed cups in various stages of growing moulds over leftover tea, one leaning adventurously over the sill onto the stack of ungodly coffee-shop-issue-sachets of sugar and dairy powder, as if to say “any day now,” one silently thinks up variations of “HOW I WON OVER THE FADING LIGHT OF THE DAY AND FOUND JOY IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS” and several impossible ways of syndicating it to the three or four websites still not strong on their title games. I mentally edit out the JOY and look for a catchier word to take its place.

HAPPINESS would do. Or maybe, DUST.

On the Railway Line, Rats

The train is empty on the inside, bustling with life at the doors. I find a soon-to-be-window seat at the far end of the compartment, opposite a visibly annoyed specimen (who had to relieve my seat of his own propped legs) and someone who looks like a very responsible father to college-going children. I see he is worried. I feel like starting a conversation then remember I don’t really feel like it. I bury my head in the Kindle and instantly regret looking at the letters too closely. I had cheaped out and bought the one that made them look like they ran out of curves. After four (five-ish) stations, the window-seat is mine and the specimen is happy again, I lean my face onto the muddied pane and look at healthy rats run around the tracks at Sion. It makes me think of the last time I went to a barber shop, eleven or so years into the past. I had always picked the one on the slope up, right before the Co-operative Bank on the left and assorted Ayurvedic medicine shops on the right, tucked right behind the unofficial parking for buses ferrying the few who still wanted to head to Sivapuram. The inside half of the shop always had heaps of cut hair in neat, undulating piles. One could tell each person’s hair apart, as if it retained a memory of who it came from and clung together in a final act of beauty. 

I look up at a train unload its burden onto the platform on the other side, moving on before stolen glances allow themselves to turn into something beyond punctuations around bending over pieces of light in their hands. All the love stories that could have been theirs, depress people leaning out of the compartments. Some find love on the tracks, never meeting because a geometry lesson tells them so. Most glance up from their lives backlit on endless loops and miss the tracks. 

Flannels

It is between cringing at the type-size in the Jonathan Franzen Purity paperback and fruitlessly hunting for an unwrapped copy of Jerry Pinto’s Em and the Big Hoom, that the flannel-clad girl moves out from beyond the Indian Literary Fiction shelves. Given my truckloads of inexperience with the ladies and the double barrelled confusion that had presented itself in the last sentence, I fail to react to her presence at first, take two steps back onto the Jeffrey Archer-JRR Tolkien stack. I look up from the barren colophon page and into her eyes, for the briefest of moments. They are black, everyday eyes, but something about the spectacles framing them makes one think of old magazine ads for detergent powder. I follow the tips of her fingers as she reaches out for a white paperback edition of In Custody. I wonder if she properly punctuated her text messages. I wonder if I should find out. I put the Franzen back where it came from and nod to the person calling out THE SHOP WILL CLOSE NOW. It is far too early. It is always far too early. I get out into the footpath and break through a stream of people heading for the station. I find the chaiwallah two pillars from the shop, and take in the cool wind. It is raining somewhere else. 

I reach the end of the cup, squinting at the dregs, and it smells of detergent. It occurs to me I should look up.

Jan 26, 2017

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2016

Jan 25, 2017

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Jan 24, 2017

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Congratulations! It is a 2COffset!

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A Kochi extended, imagined. Biennale, 2017.

Jan 10, 2017

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“Our Chief Design Evangelist will meet you now.”

Dec 4, 2016

Shadow of The Wind. Like a spilled bottle of Gentian-Violet over fresh toilet paper. Or the other way around. 

Here is a little list of things so far, this year. Now I can’t sop worrying whether that first semicolon was egregious.

Nov 26, 2016

A new project, on the Dandi Salt March, is up at keyaar.in/salt

This is an interactive data visualisation of the Salt March. While it resizes somewhat awkwardly on a narrow screen, I wouldn’t recommend it. (My biggest gripe still, is the absence of a sensible way to input proper apostrophes and dashes in Windows. Bear with me on this, I am as horrified as you are.)

Thanks to Prof. Venkatesh, Arihant (code-ninja), Prof. Greg Polk and Shri Sethu Das Ji, and their help and support, I only worked on this for five months and not a decade and a half.

Nov 17, 2016

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Nov 16, 2016

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Nov 13, 2016

In an Umebayashi induced comagasm, the ATM queue snakes along the half unpainted chain-link fence, off absentminded Cuticura tracks and lucid dreams of a two-thousand-Rupee paperback, freshly minted. The girl in faded jeans and white dress-shirt and unintended RayBans finds a glass of black tea (or was it coffee) in the third canteen she terrorises. Everybody is happy, sings the last two stanzas of whatever they remember off Virinjuninna Parilum and goes their parallel ways. Sometimes they meet for clandestine shopping complex combings and sing Partisookthangal to each other over Parippuvadas and black tea they find in the third canteen the girl terrorises.

Nov 11, 2016

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Nov 9, 2016

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Do not let the poets lie to you when the ATMs go blank and my thousand Rupee notes aren’t anymore.

Pens, Pencils, etc.
Pilot Sign Pens (Black, Red and Blue. They get better with age and wear. Impossible to misplace.)
Derwent Calligraphy Brush Pen (Reservoir, No. 3, always on the verge of being used int the next project after this.)
Stic Boldmarker (Black, impossible to get the right thickness; always a bit thicker, or thinner, than what you want.)
Camlin Brush Pens (Set of 12, refillable. Too much valueformoney it hurts.)
Snowman 700 Drawing Pen 3.0 (Chisel-tipped, okay strokes. Makes you hate calligraphy if used on shitty paper.)
Sheafer Calligraphy Pen (With the Bold tip on; the Pilot Parallels are on a perpetual wishlist. These will do for now.)
Sakura Koi Brush Pen (The reservoir kind, S, M, L, no XL.)
Hero Fountain Pens (Some hard to find, some not so. Conversation starter.)
Reynolds Fountain Pen (Meh. Smooth. On a rainy day, will replace the Lamy Safari, if you were truly tasteless.)
Staedtler Mars 780 Mechanical Pencil (Waited years to buy this one, then found the cheapest replacement leads.)
Muji Brush Pens (Older one is better. [This is a theme now, isn’t it?])
Muji Mechanical Pencil (Always on loan to someone.)
Pentel Fude Brush Pen (Basim gifted this; works great, somewhat intimidated by the way stuff comes out of it.)
Reynolds 045 Ballpoint Pens (Impossible to find refills for. They are always ‘just out of stock.’)
Tizo TMO 392 Mechanical Pencil (Best mechanical pencil ever, south of the Lamy and the Worther. The non mecha pencils are in want of some wear, thanks to this guy.)
Calligraphy Toolset (Haven’t really used them for anything; one of those things that is good to have around, I guess. The other thing is a banana milkshake, obviously.)
Staedtler Pigment Liner .05 (I refill everything; see wirestripper and syringe below.)

Things that either get used up or stay the same
2ml Syringe for refilling the Pilot Sign Pens, the Muji Brush Pens, etc. (I just repurpoise the ones that feed Kalyani medicines and whatnot.)
Khyati Roll-n-Draw Ruler, 16cm (Wish I had engineer/architect friends around earlier. Or I was someone’s engineer/architect friend. Or just friend. I know.)
Staedtler 2mm Mars Carbon Leads (Look at me, much sophistaccato.)
Cheap-ass Camlin Leads (To replace the St. ones as they pass out. Actually pulled the Staedtler ones right off. Too fancy for my taste.)
Hi-Par .5mm Leads, Tizo 4B Leads
Loupe from the days of print (Extra Chutney at security once for this; ended up explaining offset printing to a policeman.)
Generic Protractor, FeviStik, Wire-stripper, Compass, 15cm Scale, Plastic Letter Stencil (For the occcasional ransom note or two.)
Letternote Notebooks (Been using them for years now. Maybe there is a sponsorship angle they haven’t looked at yet?)

Most of these go into the pouch that came inside a LowePro backpack that can’t stand on its own. Now bask in the shade of titling a stationery post not.

Nov 6, 2016

4 in the morning. This plus ginger tea off campus. All the right kinds of weird.

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