End 2019 on an artsy note

END 2019 ON AN ARTSY NOTE

The year might be ending soon, but there's still a lot of art left to celebrate!

Music, culture, design, comedy and more; here are 5 events you must attend to end 2019 on an artsy note. Yes, there are a number of festivals happening across the country, so make plans if you haven't already!

Here's the list:

ECHOES OF EARTH

Bangalore, December 7-8

Echoes of Earth is India's greenest music festival. Nestled among lush greenery, the festival presents a stellar line-up featuring over 40 International and Indian musicians performing on four uniquely designed stages, celebrating one Earth. This is a festival that assembles people from all walks of life and unites them with a celebration of great music, art and culture.

MAGNETIC FIELDS FESTIVAL

Rajasthan, December 13-15

Magnetic Fields Festival is more than just a music festival… discover traditional folk music, experience some of the country’s finest performance artists, savour local delicacies, watch storytellers weave tales of intrigue or decompress at the Alsisar Mahal.

SERENDIPITY ARTS FESTIVAL

Goa, December 15-22

Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) is one of the largest multi-disciplinary arts initiatives in the South Asian region. It spans the visual, performing and culinary arts, whilst exploring genres with film, live arts, literature and fashion. Besides the core content, which is conceptualized by an eminent curatorial panel, the Festival has various layers of programming, in the form of educational initiatives, workshops, special projects, and institutional engagements.

JASHN E REKHTA

New Delhi, December 13-15

Jashn-e-Rekhta celebrates Hindustani eclectic art forms through Ghazals, Sufi music, Qawwali, Dastaangoi, Panel Discussions, Poetry Symposiums, Recitations, Celebrity Conversations, Masterclasses and much more. Book exhibition, Calligraphy, Artifacts, Food court & and a lot more. A uniquely curated Rekhta bazaar showcases Artifacts and merchandise. Another highlight of the festival is “Aiwan-i-Zaiqa”, a curated food Festival that will let food lovers savor a grand feast of cuisines like Kashmiri, Awadhi, Hyderabadi, Rampuri, Mughlai along with the finest selection of popular street food from Purani Dilli.

KOCHI DESIGN WEEK

Kochi, December 12-14

Kochi Design Week is India’s largest design festival held at Queen of Arabian Sea, where instigators from different parts of the world disrupt, imagine, ideate, innovate, and design for a better tomorrow. After a successful first edition, the second installment of #KDW consists of an array of independent events stitched together with design thread. Inquisitive individuals can learn and interact through workshops, panel discussions, keynote speeches, exhibitions, and many more organized as a part of the design week where they can listen, and discuss with the industry experts on the future of design.

(All image and description credits to the respective event organisers)

The Greatest Love Story I Know

The Greatest Love Story I Know

The crooked concept of romance, of love and of belonging to another human being is entrenched in old school literature. We’re dragged back and forth, every now and then by these stories of perfect couples.
Having been born in the late 90s, my approach to being in a relationship is what we call a perpetual state of confusion, lack of awareness about emotions and only having an eye for ambition.

Last night, I was having a drink with grandpa and he narrated a few anecdotes about who I’ve always addressed as Amma: his wife, my dad’s mum, Gulab. She died when I was all of 4 years of age, and so I have zero to no memory of her. I know that lady because of all the stories various people have told me over the course of my life, people who had the privilege to live at the time she was alive.

To bring a little context into the picture, I belong to a house full of fierce, strong, independent women.
I’ve shared a room with my great-grandmother, who was a royal princess before the partition of India and Pakistan, and a forlorn widow who saw her husband and elder son’s corpses the night that India got independence and decided to run with her three children, across the border with nothing but a piece of jewelry she’d managed to smuggle. At the age of 29, in post-partition India, she started afresh.
The house I was born into was built by her handwork, over the years. The spoilt royal princess turned tailor and built a house for her three children and the generations to come. She died at 103 years of age.

Grandpa has always told me that his mum, sisters, wife, daughter-in-law and now granddaughter are the source of all the kindness he embodies. You see, I had no option but to grow up respecting the women around me while understanding what the society expects us to be and how insignificant that is.

Amma: a military brat, a college professor, a woman with plenty of opinions and zero interest in cooking wasn’t considered easy to live with in the 60s. Despite that, grandpa describes her as a disciplinarian, who was but a child at heart, a child that everyone in a 500 mtr. radius feared tremendously. He tells me that he couldn’t take her eyes off her, and that he still remembers the first time he saw her. She had dark long hair that stretched till the ground, big brown eyes and a smile that could leave every man in the world weak in the knees. Imagine the old man saying all this to me in his half-punjabi half-urdu dialect. At the mere mention of Amma, what I see in grandpa’s eyes is abundance of love and respect, even almost twenty years after her death. She died early; the rebellious woman I’m told I’ve inherited all my habits from. I’m told that she was popular, but not many people liked her. Well, I’ve been told a lot of things over the years but the visual that always sticks is of grandpa, at 81, still being madly in love with her. She had an unpublished book of poems, that was compiled and kept safely for me to grow up and read. She kept a box with all the books she loved, which also I’ve inherited. I just wish I could’ve known her, talked to her and spent some time with the amazing woman that Amma was. To me, she is always going to be the woman my old (really old) man is still smitten by, one drink down and there he starts again, swooning about having spent a huge chunk of his life with the phenomenon that was Amma.


What I wouldn’t trade for the world is the time I’ve spent with grandpa, early on in life.
I wish I can someday run into half the man that grandpa is, as far-fetched as that expectation is.

Author: Anandita Dudeja

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Magazine Features: Madhav

Magazine Features: Madhav Goyal

Madhav is a photographer and producer from Mumbai, India who is based in Los Angeles, California. His work is about enabling an experience from the moment it was to the moment it is.

He got into photography almost 10 years ago. He tells us, "It started off with a picture of a railway track going into infinity that I took on my phone at that time, I remember that photograph alone convinced me of the poetry that's existent within photography. I used to draw and paint as a kind but I somehow grew out of it, so I felt as if photography gave me a medium to paint again - every time you take a photograph, you take it to Photoshop or Lightroom and make these little adjustments that influence the overall mood of an image? It felt like a really satisfying experience."

All of his work, regardless of its medium, is about making sure that it leads the viewer to silence or a deep state of self-reflection. That would be the case for his landscapes as well; check out some of his work here:

Stay tuned for The Artist Fix Issue I as Madhav shares his journey and spills some photography secrets. Coming out soon.

Check out more of his work on Instagram @waytoomad 🙂

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Magazine Features: Meera

Magazine Features: Meera Lee Patel

A self-taught artist and author who has three books to her name, namely ‘Start where you are’, ‘My friend fear’ and ‘Made out of stars’, Meera lee Patel is making waves on the world map. 

She creates work that inspires others to connect with themselves and the world around them; and also writes about mental health and wellness in an uplifting way!

Meera's determination and passion will push you to believe in yourself and keep going.

In our first-ever issue, we have Meera talking to us about her journey as an artist, starting a creative business and what inspires her to create. She shares her struggles and secrets with us, and of course some of her work.

The full feature interview will be out in The Artist Fix Issue I. Coming soon!

Here's a glimpse of her work:

Follow her journey and her work on Instagram @meeraleepatel 🙂

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What’s your life mantra?

What’s your life mantra?

There are a number of artists/makers we follow on the Internet. People who went on to follow their creative calling; the ones who inspire us to do what we love!

Some of them do poetry, some blog their journeys, some draw and some design, basically, all of them create spaces for us that scream arrrtttttt!

We went on to talk to some of them to find out the secret masala behind all the art they create; their life mantra or just a bit of secret advice they'd like to share! Here you go!

Pick what you like, take note & start afresh!

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The story of a magazine hoarder

The story of a magazine hoarder

This is basically my story about how all the dots connected & the whole idea to start an indie publication grew.

I have always had this fascination with magazines; glossy pages, visual aesthetics, bold fonts & crisp content.

I fondly recall back my mom being an avid magazine reader, taking down notes from Hindi magazines and cutting down bits from here & there. Also, my dad getting all these cool magazines from his trips and how I used to cut down celebrity interviews & make a scrapbook out of it. And then I grew up…

I grew up to find all of them boring.

Now, I am a regular subscriber of Condenast; Vogue, GQ, Traveler & Architectural Digest, all of them. Being an avid reader, I am always looking out for exclusivity and thus, I am growing past this too.

Then the freelancer life introduced me to the Indie titles and now I am hoarding it all online. I follow a number of Indie titles online, download copies of International titles not available offline & read/stalk Indie magazine blogs. Fresh, raw content produced out of pure passion towards the subject & minimal design aesthetics; what I was looking out for all this while.

I have always been a magazine lover; collecting special issues, reusing illustrations as wall arts & carrying one alongside whenever I am off for a trip.

This shift to Indie titles has been quite exciting. I’ve come across artists/makers who are doing such cool things in life, making a living out of their passions and not just people, I’ve discovered places & stays that boasts of local culture. These titles are an immersive experience in themselves; intelligent stories, beautiful art direction & tangible prints worth savouring.

I am thankful to the Internet for introducing me to the world of Indie publications. It made me understand the importance of authentic content, the importance of print!

I’ve had beautiful, insightful conversations with strangers over mail, exchanging notes on the future of Indie print publications; on how we don’t have enough options at the newsstands that inspire us every day; on why there’s a need to fill the gap in the market; and why it’s okay to start as a one-man show.

I still have piles of magazines lying around my study; I still look up to one or the other once in a while for my daily dose of creative inspo. The only thing that has changed is now I am always on the lookout online as well. There are a hundred Indie titles online providing the content we all deserve in our lives; go search online & you’ll find something as niche as coffee- a magazine that just talks about all-things-coffee (how cool, no?).

This shift from mainstream magazines to Indie magazines has given me a direction; to start with something tangible that can further be branched out into more meaningful things.

Signing off with something that keeps me going these days,

“There are a few better feelings than holding a freshly-printed copy of your magazine in your hands.”

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A beginner’s guide to Indie Publishing

A beginner’s guide to Indie Publishing

I don’t understand life at times :/ you get back into a routine, start ticking off your daily goals and just when you feel a little good about yourself- BAM! Feveeerrrr!

I’d give this week a 5 on 10. While I tried my best to keep up with the to-do’s, there were a lot of bumps- I fell ill, then had a little dental surgery and even my mom wasn’t keeping well throughout. So, even when I wanted to give in my all I couldn’t!

That’s when I thought rather than writing about what happened this week, let me start from the beginning. Let me tell you the five things that helped me kickstart

FIVE THINGS someone jumping into independent publishing must read/consider!

1.
Before you get into the process & set up a magazine, ask yourself why? If the answer is money, then you should probably step back. I have spent a month just reading about the Indie publishing world, connecting with people who are in the industry for years & getting a hang of how it actually functions. And I can tell you very few people get rich from magazines. Do this only when you have a mission; only when you have a vision, that you feel, only you can conceive of. At a later stage, it can, of course, be worked upon as a full-fledged business but not to start with.

2.
Don’t assume you know everything about what you’re trying to create on Day 1. You probably know nothing; have just an idea that needs continual work & trials. Start with making friends in the industry. I started off making Internet friends, I wrote emails to the Founders of the magazines I looked up to. I emailed my doubts to writers/publishers who have been in the magazine industry & have firsthand experience.

3.
Once you have a great idea & have made some connections around it, you’re ready to begin. Start off with The Publishing Playbook by Human After All. It’s a shared open resource of documents & tools that’ll help you make your own magazine. It is actually everything that one needs to understand independent publishing. Spend some time on it & thank me later!

 

4.
By now you’d be a level up; informed about most of the challenges you’re gonna face. Your next stop should be Indie Magonomics by Kai Brach, a collection of lessons about the business side of making an indie magazine. Kai is the publisher, editor and designer of Offscreen Magazine. I even reached out to Kai via email & he was kind enough to share some insights. It’s worth noting that Offscreen is largely a one-man show and he has got some really cool advice when it comes to creating a sustainable print publication.

5.
With your idea, vision & target audience in place, now is the time to create a Pitch Deck. Create a Pitch Deck that has everything from the market size to the competitor analysis; let it be a detailed but quick plan about your magazine. Along with a detailed version, what you’d also need is a short PDF- a short document that should be the first impression of your magazine. You’d need this for just about everything, from sending it to people you’re approaching for interviews to raising funds.

This is all that I’ve learned over the past 3 months while reading & talking to people about the indie publishing world.

Read, talk, absorb. Make connections. Put your journey out there. Get all your resources ready.

And jump!

For the daily dose of creative inspo & what’s cooking up with the magazine, follow me on Instagram @theartistfix 

Music, comedy & more at Bira 91’s April Fools’ Fest

Music, comedy & more at Bira 91’s April Fools’ Fest

The vibe at Bira 91's April Fool Festival was like a happy-hippie summer music festival bursting with music, food, and drinks!

Apart from the gigantic main stage for music, AFF had an amazing setup for food serving everything from momos to pizza and burgers, story-telling sessions by Kommune and even stand-up comedy sets by comics such as Rohan Joshi, Kaneez Surka, and more! It was everything you'd need to have a crazy weekend in one place!

Day one had a beautiful line-up including hip-hop set by DJ MoCity, Sumit Roy aka Rolls Roy’s and his band, Indo-American hip-hop artist Raja Kumari, New Delhi rapper Prabh Deep performed with his new band The One Eight Project and Mumbai-based DJ Sa closed day one with his R&B sounds. Raja Kumari's high energy and DJ Sa's 'Apna Time Aayega' from the film Gully Boy particularly sent the crowd into a frenzy!

 

On day two, we reached in time to attend the comic set by Kunal Kamra. What's April Fools’ Day without humor, right? Thus, the evening proceeded with Comicstaan finalists Prashasti Singh and Sejal Bhat, along with Improv Dream Team Rahul Subramanian, Aadar Malik, Naveen Richard and, Kaneez Surka.

April Fools' Fest 2019 did a great job in bringing music, comedy, food and all things fun together for its second edition held at NSIC Grounds, Okhla, New Delhi. While we enjoyed a few of the country’s most popular comic acts, along with the ‘Kommune Hour’ where we got a chance to engage in storytelling and rapid-fire questions. Outside on the main stage, Mumbai-based artist Monica Dogra, production and DJ duo MadStarBase, Azadi Records frontrunners Seedhe Maut + Sez On The Beat kept the crowd on their toes! It was a star line-up but what the crowd was waiting for was Mumbai's street-rap artist Naezy who had to conclude the festival! And yes, he did end the night with a bang as he belted out tracks such as “Aafat,” “Aane De,” his Divine collaboration “Mere Gully Mein” and “Aafat Waapas”!

It indeed was a happy-festival where the crowd was cheering and drooling over the performances, and would definitely be waiting for next years' edition!

Team Artist Fix signing off!

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The Street Art Capital of India

The Street Art Capital of India

Lodhi Art District was on my go-to list for a long long time.

Dash of colors wherever you turn, St+art India is truly revolutionizing the Street Art scene in India. Yes, Lodhi Art district in Delhi is an artistic revolution!

On a sunny not-so wintry Sunday, my photographer buddy & I went on to explore this open art gallery. In the times when people were sort of convinced that art belongs to the elite art galleries, St+art India’s brilliant initiative is adding colors to the streets around.

The paintings loaded with a lot of important messages for the society are both quirky & well crafted. Lodhi Art District is emerging as a cultural hub, bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate & engage in art.

And believe us there’s no way you could explore the entire art district in a day; here’s all the art that we were able to witness!

Note: All the pictures are by my lovely photographer friend, Smratika !

The streets with beautifully painted walls stunningly stand out as an open art gallery. What a brilliant initiative to make art accessible to all!

If you’re in Delhi, take a stroll around the bylanes of Lodhi Colony and trust me, you’d love how we are all surrounded by so much art & culture ?

There’s just something about lights

There's just something about lights

There’s something about bright lights…

Be it candles, lamps, fairy lights or just sunlight peeping in from the windows; aren’t we always looking for some soothing light?

Lights add to the prettiness; in fact perfect lighting I believe can make up for an average meal at a restaurant. It adds to the mood; it can do wonders.

There’s just something magical about lights…

Winter nights; softly lit room with a bronze chandelier in the middle reminding us of the open bonfires.

A dinner table in the garden with lights mimicking the color of nature; lit up with candles, bringing intimacy to any meal.

The study lit up with fairy lights with our favorite books on the side table; yellow ambient light guiding us to the much needed calm.

A wedding shamiyana lit up with chic bright lanterns; some soothing music & lovely breeze; making us dream of all the warmth in the world wrapped around us.

Dangling yellow clusters of lights from the branches at a music festival; bringing an unexpected magical touch to the almost perfect ambience.

Embrace the lights…

Blurred nights. Perfect lights. Best sights.

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Pick what you have, observe where you are and begin!

Pick what you have, observe where you are and begin!

I was working at Josh Talks when I first came to know about Deepak Ramola & his work. I still remember it was Women’s Day and we had a meet-up around the theme of Women Changemakers; the event got a bit delayed for some odd reasons & there was chaos all around. And the next moment we see everyone gathered around a table; spellbound; there was Deepak standing on a table reciting, “Wo lamha jo tumne de dia kisiko, wo na lautega tumhare bulane se na mere chahne se…” 

That’s Deepak Ramola for you, and that’s what makes him, him.

From there on, there was no looking back. I followed him on Instagram, have heard him live as well as online. It’s unbelievable how he channels his everyday experiences into beautiful life lessons.

I wrote to him a while back about how I adore his work & if there’s something he’d like to share with us. And there you go ?

Here’s a list of my mantras:

– Don’t glorify inspiration: When you show up, most certainly the ideas do too. They don’t wait for you to go to the mountains, swim in clean beaches or bungee jump and you shouldn’t either. Pick what you have, observe where you are and begin!

– In a world full of stars, try to be a constellation: It is amazing to achieve something on your own and be the only one who did something great. But the joy of sharing that success with someone is equally or rather more thrilling. When conceiving an idea, explore ways to bring together other people as a part of your journey. Collaborations help co-create and build a collective.

– Your talent is not your gift, it is your responsibility: When you consider your skills to be a gift, you can be moody, lazy or careless with them. But when you define them as your responsibility, you will move mountains to use them to serve people. You will make an attempt and not an excuse.

Deepak Ramola

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It’ll happen, I’ll make it happen.

It'll happen, I'll make it happen.

Meet my beautiful friend Anandita, who’s the flag bearer of solo traveling.

Coming back home drunk from a Christmas party at 4 AM, she wakes up at 3 PM and decides to make use of the long weekend; and is in Jodhpur the very next day. That’s how she is & that’s how we love her.

Here’s a little something she wrote while she texts me, “Aise Deepika jaise khidki ke paas baithi likh rahi hu…”

Read on:

“Over the years, having travelled across small pieces of the world…I’ve learnt the art of patience. I learnt that I had to, had to stop being so impatient- about love, my career, and ambitions.

I will somehow write that movie, maybe even direct it. I will write a book of short stories. I will find the courage to get on stage and I will start accepting my body and taking care of it, someday. I will acquire that bizarre post-grad degree, I will live in Italy for a month and I will study in Norway. I will conceptualise that film festival I dream about, I will find someone who understands my quirks and I will try and accept his eccentricities. I will die soon, and happy post I become a certified scuba diving instructor. I will find comfort someday- underwater, in the midst of snow-capped mountains, stranded in a desert or maybe in a person. I will find the romance all of the human race craves, or maybe a romance, that’ll do too. I might also stop being cynical, someday.

Until then, I shall strive towards making all of this happen and look forward to pacing myself into exploration and eventually, oblivion. It’ll happen, I’ll make it happen.”


Check out her travel stories & rants 
here.

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Date with self at the India Art Fair

Date with self at the India Art Fair

It was on my list to attend India Art Fair this year but none of my friends were free to come along. After spending half a day thinking “Should I go or should I not?”, I decided to make it a date; a date with self. I left home around 4 PM for the NSIC Grounds, Okhla, the venue for India Art Fair 2019.

I spent my hour in the metro googling the artists showcasing at IAF, what not to miss at the fair, what’s new at this year’s edition etc. etc.  Reading about IAF or art in general, I realised how there are so many assumptions around it; how art has always been a subject of discussion. There are so many questions wandering around the intention of art- Is art for the elite? Is it overhyped? What is the message?

And then the answers we get are mostly vague.

Questioning & then answering my own questions; lost in my thoughts I reached the venue.

Tickets for the India Art Fair were priced at Rs 700 for a single entry. I bought my ticket & got onto the cart (Yes! There were carts to take visitors from the ticket counter to the fair). And that’s when I met the first cute stranger of the day; an old lady, a guest artist at the fair, sharing her last year’s experience at the fair she told me to ‘keep art close’!

Stepping inside the gallery, there were artworks from 24 Indian & international cities. This time India Art Fair presented 75 exhibitors from all over South Asia & all that was going in my mind was how late I am! Bright quirky designs, innovative spaces & glittering installations, it was heaven; so much art under one roof.

While every piece of artwork was worth awwing over, I had a few favorites. Here’s a roundup of what caught my attention a little more than the rest.

‘Postcards from Home’ by Manisha Gera Baswani (presented by Gallery Espace)

47 postcards, featuring both Indian and Pakistani artists who have had a history with Partition, placed in bags of sacks of wheat, were photographed over time by Baswani. The cards also feature a memory that revives the thought of the ‘home lost but not forgotten’.

Offbeat splashes of colours that caught my eye (unknown)

Upwards, Steel & recycled wood by Martand Khosla

The Artist, Unboxed’ series by Rohit Chawla

Amrita Sher Gil, Self-portrait, Oil on canvas

Untitled by Shilpa Gupta

It was an insane experience seeing people come together & adore art. From works by masters such as M F Husain, FN Souza and Amrita Sher Gil to young, upcoming artists; it was a great well-curated mix of artists on display at this year’s edition of India Art Fair. Other than the art installations, there were cute cafe setups, a little book shop & book signing sessions too.

It was a lovely day being friends with self, interacting with strangers & having cute conversations over coffee & fries; about how canvases are placed strategically around us, how art makes us free and how we’ll keep coming back to art festivals.

See you next year!

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Discovering the undiscovered at The Irregulars Art Fair

Discovering the undiscovered at The Irregulars Art Fair

“A day exploring art is a day well spent.”

On a cold Delhi evening, you & your childhood buddy & some art combined with fries & fairy lights; could there be a better combination?

With India Art Fair Irregulars happening at the same time, we decided to make it to the latter first.

Labeling itself as an ‘anti-art fair for independent artists’, TIRAF challenged the traditional art market with artworks coming out of ceilings, corners & just about anywhere. It was a festive celebration of art with paintings, sculptures, films & performance arts all under one roof; an amalgamation of art, music & film.

TIRAF celebrated the weird & unconventional. It was an attempt to make art accessible to all, to bring together people who appreciate art & to create a space where one can interact with the many facets of art.

Here are some bits from the magical evening that we spent exploring & understanding art:

Irregulars 2019, you were lovely!

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HKV like you have never seen before

HKV like you have never seen before

Hauz Khas Village (or HKV as we call it) is known to be a hip-party-place in Delhi. But, for me, it was my workplace where I spent the major part of my days, 5 days a week.

As my workplace shifts to Gurgaon today, I’ve decided to write a goodbye letter…

Dear HKV,

You weren’t really my favorite places in Delhi or for that matter not even one of my favorite places in Delhi. But the last one & a half year made me see a different side of yours. There’s so much more to you than over-hyped cafes & pubs.

There’s so much about the place that I’ll miss. The after lunch strolls in the little back lanes that boast of homegrown designers & art galleries. The pretty bakery that made the best marble cakes. Window shopping & sulking over Sabya’s. Rating the designer displays that never changed. Hogging on marshmallows & chocolate toppings at Menchies. The rasam & papads at Naivedyam. Lake views & chocolate blood baths at the Social. Waffle searches that led us to the gem of places. The peacocks & the pigeons who became our buddies for lunch. And stalking the mystery Chatterjees.

I wonder how we make so many connections with a place. So many memories.

I wonder how I am gonna miss the place for the cakes and the walks.

So yeah, HKV you weren’t that bad after all. You weren’t always buzzing with parties. I know the pretty-and-quite you now. I like you now.

Here’s to walking by the lanes again; this time with a hundred stories to remember.

Until next time,

Aarushi

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Dear Art, thank you!

Dear Art, thank you!

2018 has been a rollercoaster for me.

Today as I sit down & look back at 2018, I believe what kept me together in between all the chaos is art. 

From losing friends who meant the world to taking abrupt decisions that didn’t turn out as expected; I have learned to stand by myself.

As someone who gets emotional at little things & yet doesn’t openly share their feelings- it gets tough to make it through the rough times. And that is when Prateek Kuhad’s Cold/Mess clears your mess, Rega Jha’s Insta stories make wandering alone better, Deepak Ramola’s poetry makes you believe that words matter and The Filmyowl’s doodles turn out to be the best therapy possible.

I look for art everywhere. I believe that’s what keeps me sane. I believe poetry, stories, and music is all you need to join back those pieces; to move ahead.

In times when I don’t know what’s next- what helps is a Banoffee from Theobroma or sitting with my diary & a coffee at Starbucks or the fairy lights in my room or a stroll around Connaught Place. Me time makes me happy. Discovering new cafes, coming across new artists & discussing art with my favorites makes me happy.

I have realized whatever happens, happens. But to get through that ‘whatever’, all you need is some art. For me, art is in the words that inspire. For you, maybe it’s in the wall art hanging up at the last cafe you visited. Look around, there’s art everywhere.

Art that screams ‘it’s gonna get better’.

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How I planned my brother’s wedding: Indian Wedding 101

How I planned my brother’s wedding: Indian Wedding 101

This isn’t a research-based blog with facts & history about the Indian culture but a personal experience. This is about how I planned my brother’s wedding from scratch. This is about how a serial wedding attendee; having a hundred Pinterest worthy things on her list bought it all together for her brother’s wedding.

The resulting 72-hour celebration was the stuff of our dreams, starting with an intimate Haldi followed by a vibrant Mehendi & Sangeet, and ending in an ornate wedding ceremony.

So, let me begin this with a little about Indian Weddings!

Indian weddings are so much cooler than any other wedding you’d be part of in the world – there’s crazy amount of dancing (all thanks to how filmy we are); there are colours wherever you see; then there are ceremonies that go on like forever. And yes, it does get tiring but every moment is absolutely worth it. From food to rituals to outfits, you get to experience everything at an Indian wedding. All in all, it will be all things warm; with equal amounts of fun & culture. Right from applying haldi paste on the bride and groom to hiding the groom’s shoes during phere, there are endless rituals that take place throughout.

Indian wedding ceremonies go on for months but it’s the last three days of the wedding that are the most exciting. Though pre-wedding festivities have their own charm as these little celebrations are what makes it a shaadi wala ghar. I believe the best part is how everyone comes together; family, friends & all your loved ones, creating a million memories!

For me, Indian weddings are all about gorgeous decor, food & dance. I was sure about what & how I wanted every ceremony to be. While we were working out the number of functions & the venue, we decided to hire a wedding planner first. And that turned out to be quite helpful. We blocked a Chattarpur farmhouse for two days (two chilling winter days). But we started off the celebrations at home; with a Chowki a week before the wedding day and an intimate Haldi a day before we left for the venue.

We left for the venue with over twenty suitcases & over a hundred emotions. Ours was a day ceremony for Mehendi with an extra dose of fun, colour & whimsy. We reached the venue around 11 AM and quickly dropped our bags in our respective rooms to make our way to the whimsical Mehendi setup…

(More details about the Haldi & Mehendi decor, how I wanted it to look like a mela and how I made sure everyone followed the dress code on the previous blog; check for more deets!)

We had the much-awaited Sangeet cum cocktail party the same night. I was very clear about how I wanted the sangeet night to be; I wanted it to be lit, quite literally. Paper lanterns hanging from the trees, chandeliers adorning the shamiyanas and fairy lights sparkling as far as you can see; it had to be glamorous; it had to be LIT! So, when I sat down with the wedding planners to sketch it out, the brief came out to be ‘an evening under the stars’.

We started our dance rehearsals a month before the wedding; sharing videos with the long distance buddies & shaking a leg whenever we got some time (in between all the shopping madness).

And believe me, an Indian wedding is the best place to witness the madness; the madness that bursts out once the dance floor opens. And ours is a family of dancers; from my bhaiya-bhabhi, my cousins, my parents to our relatives- including the uncles & aunties to our friends, it was a house full!

Everyone on the floor, with their hands up in the air swaying back & forth, having the time of their life. Trust me whether you’re having a ghar wala sangeet or a destination wedding, it’s one event where you should go as crazy as you want. Here’s proof; a bit from my brother’s super fun sangeet night!

For the wedding, I & my mom wanted it to be all things peach and white and gold; in addition to lights, we wanted a lot of flowers around the venue.  I, specifically, wanted it to be simple yet Pinteresty.

Playfully hashtagged #AnkitKiJayaHo, the wedding was all things personalised. I myself designed the wedding itinerary & the room welcome hampers; I even added a little handwritten note with every wedding card. Here’s everything from our winter Delhi wedding that was all things happy & beautiful!

I entered with the baraat & didn’t get time to have a look at the setup beforehand, but I will never forget the feeling when I first saw it all come together; and how beautifully! I  was so involved in the decor for the entire wedding and it was magical looking at it come alive; the floral arrangements adorning the entrance, the glistening chandeliers, rusty-bohemian photobooths and Chiavari chairs under fairy lights. All thanks to Instagram & our wedding planners!

Here are more pictures from the day we celebrated love!

From making sure the safas go with the peach theme to wearing my bhabhi’s favorite colour, I was invested in all the little details. All that’s left now is to watch out how much my brother’s gonna work for my wedding!

Keeping up with the dress code

Keeping up with the dress code

Post quitting my job, while I was home figuring out what I wanna do next- I decided to take full charge of my brother’s wedding. From the decor to the outfits, I was so invested in the little details.

It was a two-day fun-filled affair to be held at a Chattarpur farmhouse. But we started off the celebrations with a Haldi ceremony at our place.

With a strict dress code to be followed, it was a mad day filled with all things yellow & mellow!

Haldi being a ghar ka function, we decided to deck up the place ourselves; with lots of gendas, bangles, pompoms, fairy lights, diyas & some rangolis here & there.

Here’s more from our yellowest day ever, let's haldi!

What are Indian weddings without some colours, na?

Moving on to the next celebration, it was time for Mehendi!

Mehendi ceremony is mostly the beginning of a big fat Indian wedding; a colourful event filled with loads of henna, music & dance (of course). It’s one of those ceremonies where a lot of pictures are being taken around, so it calls for a picturesque decor.

So when I sat down with the wedding planner to sketch out my brother’s Mehendi function, the first point was to keep it colourful. I wanted it to look like a mela; an afternoon filled with fun, vibrant elements spent applying henna & dancing away on cliche’ Bollywood songs!

We reached the venue around 11 AM and quickly dropped our bags in our respective rooms to make our way to the whimsical Mehendi setup.

Selecting a theme is the first step. I believe the decor also sets the right mood for the ceremony. So, it’s important to coordinate your looks to compliment & add personality to the Mehendi decor!

We kept it simple but filled with a lot of colours; there were gendas, dream catchers, pom poms, umbrellas, colour blocking elements, decorated swings & carts. It’s one of those days to put your hair down & have some fun; here’s some more drama to take inspo from!

What do you say, how bright is my future as a wedding decorator?

Far off to the hills w/ Sanya

Far off to the hills w/ Sanya

Sanya, a technical analyst, is a creative at heart who's off to explore a new hill station every weekend.

She’s an insane painter, loves singing & playing the guitar and captures the best of her travels. Ever since I know her, she’s always been up to something creative.

Here’s what she has to say about the importance of art in her life, “Engaging with art is simply a solitary event for me, I get to explore my inner self by a work of art, be it a song, a photograph, my guitar or an experiment with my paintbrush and colors.”

She further tells, “Painting makes my life extremely joyful and has a huge impact on my mood. I have put up a poster on my workstation (made by me) of a girl with a guitar and the base color being my favorite, purple — It keeps me going even on a hectic day at the office.”

Sanya believes that art connects us to our senses, body, and mind.

She says, “We are transported to a new place that is, nevertheless, strongly rooted in our bodies but we fail to explore it. Let’s just connect and explore the beauty of art!”

What say?

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Take an art-break w/ Astha

Take an art-break w/ Astha

Meet Astha, a Growth Marketer at Chargebee who believes art isn’t a break really, it is an intervention.

I asked her how art keeps us alive, how it gives us a break from our everyday lives.

Astha says, “No matter how bad or good my day is, put me in a corner with a book, a laptop, or some music, and that’s all that matters. It helps me connect with the world that gets me — Sarah Kay’s “When love arrives”, Coke studio’s “Dum da bharosa”, Rumi’s words, and on some days mine, help me believe I belong with all my feelings.”

On being asked how important is writing in her life, she exclaimed, “Writing is probably the one thing that I do only for myself. No one else. It is a safe space where I can rant, dance, and do just about anything.

She further adds, “The moment you look at a piece you created is utter magic. You aren’t just flesh and bones and a soul and some random thoughts, but a creator in your own little ways. It’s empowering — just like dancing or singing for that matter. And it is humbling as well, to have people tell you they liked what you created. This might sound stupid, but getting the opportunity to move people is probably the nearest humans can be to being God. (Obviously after an astronaut because that’s the coolest thing.)”

We all have our own little happy place, hers is writing. What’s yours?

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Let’s get clicking w/ Smratika

Let's get clicking w/ Smratika

Meet my childhood buddy, Smratika, who's in love with her camera and is on the way to being a pro photographer.

Every time we meet, the first thing I have to ask is why doesn’t she just take on photography full-time. She loves it with all her heart!

She got all poetic talking about photography; here’s what she has got to say —

“In this fast-moving world, photography lets me process life one frame at a time.

In the middle of all uncertainties that surround us, photography lets me compose my own frame of all time favorites.

In the chaotic journey of life, photography lets me capture all beautiful memories, so I savour them for years to come.

In this universe created by God, photography lets me create my own masterpieces.”

We don’t have to be good enough for the world to pursue our dreams. We just have to follow our gut & get going!

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Abhilasha & Keshav

Abhilasha & Keshav

Meet No Honey.

Abhilasha Sinha & Keshav Dhar are two talented musicians & they’re called No Honey. And they are here to share how art keeps them stronger together.

“Art brought us together!”, Abhilasha shares. “I was a huge fan of Keshav’s work, and when we finally met, we instantly clicked. That’s when we decided to start No Honey, our duo. Our friendship is deeper than ever and I’d credit a lot of that to art and creativity. Human relationship tend to stagnate over time, but art is ever evolving, ever challenging and ever inspiring. It keeps us minty fresh.” she said.

Abhilasha ends on a creative note. She’s got some creative advice to share- “Understand that there are days, even months at a time where you will not be inspired. At all. It’s okay. It happens to all creative people, and it’s best to deal with what’s at hand. The creative juice will flow eventually and it will be awesome.”

This is all that we need to hear on some days. Isn’t it?

Keshav adds on, “Creativity comes in fits and bursts and can be absent for long periods of time. It’s important as a serious artist to have your own setup, however basic, that you can utilise to capitalise on that creativity when it does strike, because ideas come and go like fleeting thoughts. Be aware of this and don’t beat yourself up for not being productive when you’re not feeling it.”

“Nothing good comes of half-assing creativity or forcing yourself to be inspired.”, he says. So you gotta take your time.

Keshav & Abhilasha share a strong friendship and have made some crazy music together.

He further shares how art keeps them better together, “We share a very deep friendship that has come about through many things besides just our creative endeavors, but I would say that art has been by far the biggest catalyst in terms of making us even stronger as friends and keeping things fresh for us as people, partners, and creatives. A lot of the world tends to stay the same when you’re going through the same routines on a day to day basis, consumed with work and dealing with responsibilities, and nothing sparks things up like a new piece that either of us comes up with that inspires the other.”

Take note & let the creative juice flow!

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Kavya & Khyati

Kavya & Khyati

Meet Kavya & Khyati; sisters & best friends.

Kavya is a actor-singer-songwriter; one half of Mosko & has just released her Debut Single ‘Underscore’. On the other hand, Khyati is a Graphic Designer & Illustrator.

These supremely talented sisters have us glued to their creativity & give us #friendshipgoals everyday!

They complement each other so well that we reached out to them asking how art keeps them better together. Kavya said, “We’re extremely collaborative in nature. From childhood we always did things together, composed songs, painted and now we have unsaid synergy.” And yes, that shows in their work!

Kavya’s got some quick creative advice for everyone out there- “Never overthink and just execute!”

Khyati adds on, “Make connections between seemingly unrelated things and there, you just came up with a really cool idea!”

That’s some cool advice, guys.

She shares how art is a part of our everyday lives; “Our fields overlap and we enjoy constantly bouncing ideas off each other. I trust her honest feedback & advice and she trusts mine.”

We adore you two; keep inspiring us everyday!

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Rahul says #KeepStarving

Rahul says #KeepStarving

Rahul is the man behind Starving Artist Films.

A filmmaker & an artist. We got to know about him through The Filmy Owl‘s Instagram and been a fan of his work ever since.

So we thought why not ask him how art connects them both as friends & creatives. While their work is very different from each other, here’s how art keeps them better together!

Rahul shares, “I remember writing to her (Angel Bedi of The FilmyOwl) because I saw her art on a wall in Hauz Khas. I remember laughing and then I wrote telling her we should make a film. We have not made the film yet but since our personalities are poles apart, I think we bond ideating about art.

He further adds, “Some of the best ideas happen after we have ruled out all suggestions and ideas shared with each other. It’s not that structured it’s very organic.”

Rahul’s Instagram keeps us waiting for more; be it his films, sketches or travel pictures. He always has a story to tell.

We remember attending one of his workshops called ‘Filmmaking On The Phone’ which turned out to be an amazing experience. Rahul’s got some insane skills up his sleeve to share with everyone who loves filmmaking.

For now, here’s some creative advice from him for everyone who wants to put their work out- “Hang out with people who genuinely wish you well and support you.”

Yes, because all we need is a little love & support.

Adios, keep starving!