The room looked ravaged by a storm. She looked around, her sharp eyes quickly taking in the half-eaten plate of dinner from last night that lay forlornly on the bedside table, clothes thrown around the room, and the tissues rolled up and scattered all over the floor. She knew they would still be wet from all the tears. Almost unknowingly, she let out a sigh. She needed to make that call now.
A checklist draped over a shopping cart or a moleskin notebook scribbled with one’s schedule for the month seem like modern-day anachronisms, given the fact that in the digital eon, a virtual platform exists for all such purposes: the tangible papery feel of your to-do lists has been replaced with an app, albeit it cannot emulate the fleeting yet immaculate satisfaction…
The fragrance of the jasmines in my mother’s gajra wisps between the lingering aroma of the tadka. The dosa crunches quietly under my fingertips, crisp and piping hot, contrasting with the textured fluidity of the chutney. My grandparents are at the dining table; the birds chirp outside in the garden as we all relish a lazy Sunday morning breakfast in my childhood home. The earliest memories are the sharpest; I still remember everything as if it were yesterday.
Navigating the territory of the art world is a motivational experience. Art exhibitions throughout history have been the pictorial panacea for one’s emotive convalescence. However, the design of these exhibitions seems to contradict its aim, i.e., to welcome all into its space. It is commonly perceived as an intimidating and daunting hemisphere of intellectual entertainment…
A young boy is running through the rain-splattered woods dressed as a peacock, ready for his first dance – a performative art that integrates the heritage of dance and drama, Chhau. The dance form draws simultaneously from martial arts, tribal, and folk traditions and culminates in a somewhat otherworldly experience—a collective conscience that elevates and transports viewers into a distinct spiritual realm. And this sense of the collective is essentially nothing but that intoxicating power of the moment when an entire community comes together to celebrate a festival that is rooted in their life’s fabric.
Potluck Of Palates – Case study on Patchwork ‘Picnic Blanket’ to Celebrate Social & Cultural Diversity in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland
The Patchwork Picnic Blanket Project involved creating a picnic blanket collaboratively and organizing its exhibition at a potluck picnic of the Leith Community, Edinburgh, Scotland. Tracey Exton, a third-year art student at the Edinburgh College of Art, conceived the idea of a patchwork picnic blanket…
Women’s Art for Expression, Community Engagement and Capacity Building – Case study on Madhubani ‘Aksa’ Art Project
‘Aksa’ project is a community arts project with marginalised young women in and around Ranti village in Bihar, who were interested in Madhubani art and were seeking an opportunity to learn. Alongside skill development, through this project, marginalized young women engaged in collaborative exchange of both ideas as well as life stories.
Community Garden as a Response to Urban Regeneration and Consensus Building on contested shared resources – A case study on Britannia Village Garden (BVG) Community Project, London’s Royal Docks
The West Silvertown Foundation initiated the BVG Community Project as part of the regeneration of the West Silvertown area consisting primarily of two main residential developments – the erstwhile modest Britannia Village and the very recent Royal Wharf with its new flats and townhouses. As is the case with a new urban development emerging alongside the existing residential cohort…
Her knife cuts through the soft flesh of the shiny purple brinjal (eggplant/aubergine). Rotten to the core! She must negotiate this one first – the case of missing aubergine in the sambhar. The vegetables in the backyard garden are still too raw to be plucked out for today’s cooking. She would need to improvise and come up with an alternative, fast.
When one fails to grasp the vivid possibilities that the life of the other may carry, the gaping absence of empathy makes it all the more convenient for the person to kill and, from a wider vantage point, enables nations to wage war on each other.
Some days are better. I sit down to write, and a story pours out of me impatiently like bubbles jumping from a pot of boiling water. In such instances, it is not me writing it; the story writes itself. I just type. Today is not that day. As I sit in front of my laptop, I can notice the unclean screen. There’s dirt and grey-black spots. Saliva drops that have gathered dust and settled in, making a spacious home of my 14-inch screen. My nails need to be clipped. The edges have started scraping. Am I thirsty?
On the other side of a translucent glass membrane, a membrane breaking up the opacity and channeling the outside world, our autotrophic forefathers, their mathematical symmetries reified as branches of the tree of life, beckon. Or they most likely hadn’t beckoned; however, there is little one can do in defying the
All four paws gently touched the moldy wall, just barely—a fleeting contact of fur and plaster, the mold ever-present and melding into the wall. The soft morning light nuzzled against a furry friend’s soft belly, rise and fall in slow rhythm – a comforting sight such that time might as well be non-existent. All sorts of cacophonic entities- drilling noises, traffic, the calls of the vegetable vendors, live their lifetimes without receiving the slightest attention from this one in her blissful world. The shrill sibilance of the pressure cooker drowned out her stertorous breathing, perhaps. Ah! What a delicious thing it is – Sleep.
Who owns the city streets? The cars? The traffic cones? The cables? The sprawling stalls? The cows? The ditches? The bollards? Cities are unique in their context, and so are their streets. The strips of spaces crisscrossing like nerves across the anatomy of cities are perhaps the most valued and contested public spaces ever since the invention
On one fine spring afternoon in my second year of freshman, I vowed never to enter a library again. Standing in my place some hundred years ago, Virginia Woolf was ousted from the doors of an ‘Oxbridge’ library. She was done so on account of her gender, while I stood suspended because Spotify thought it would be an excellent time to auto play Arctic Monkeys’ 5O5. It was a messy gallop all across the slippery tiled aisle to my deck while reaching for my phone in the bottom of my sling bag, whereby I stumbled upon some readers
I am a tarot reading Gen Z. Is there magic in daily life? I don’t know. I can’t see it. They say it is in the tarots, the crystals, the sigils, and the amulets. A little over a month ago, I brought my first-ever deck of tarot cards home. It was almost involuntary how attracted to it I was. I’d like to think it chose me. There is no greater comfort than feeling special, even if it is to an object of the occult or a pet. Tarot reading has been a closed practice for many years. It has been a bit of a taboo as well.
He looks at the frayed carpet with a frown. The faded tapestry in pink and grey is still pleasing. Dry-cleaning might unearth more color. And, if he got someone to sew up the seams, it would regain considerable charm. He knows that you cannot excuse being rundown in the name of heritage. Not relying on his memory, he jots down these ‘things to do’ on the note-taking app on his phone.
We took an essential architectural feature and turned it into a language. Windows are not just windows; they are stories, philosophies, and rewards. In a screen-lined world where we dig deeper into our metaverse, a window is always there to escape.
The cold evening breeze sweeps the leftover afternoon heat away, something that does not require going outdoors to be sensed. But people do. To taste the sensation of pleasant. This curious junction of hot sun and cold breeze with the resulting pleasantness is temporary; it alters with time. What comes shortly after is only more pleasant. The cooler draft becomes a conciliatory benevolent oppressor to the gradually receding afternoon heat. I choose the quaint train station as a space to experience these phenomena of nature’s evening play.
I was one of those children that collected small rocks that caught my eye, whether on the beach or along a country path. It could seem strange to have a sentimental attachment to a rock – a seemingly inanimate, cold fragment of the Earth. But a rock is so much more than as it first seems.
Experiments with natural colors to introduce tribal children to Art – A case study on Kerala’s ‘Karimbu’ Art Project
‘Karimbu’ project, a visual arts camp, was initiated by the artists of Trespassers under the leadership of the State Forest Development Agency of Kerala for the education of Art among the tribal children in Anappantham, Chalakuddy Divison in Kerala. Karimbu, which means sugarcane in Malayalam, is also used as a musical instrument by the tribals during all occasions – joyous or sorrowful.
The ridge was around fifteen feet long and ten feet wide. It straddled the surrounding features without providing any clear view to the top. One could peer over the edge and see a long drop, nearly three thousand feet into the gorge where a turbulent stream thundered down. In its wake were broken trees and stones, requiring careful consideration by intrepid outdoor enthusiasts.
Theatre goes digital, plays out over the phone: the one-person audience, rendering performances from the comfort of their living rooms. The experience is somewhat surreal. At first, it seems a little mechanical as a series of recorded messages greet the listener, asking them to press numbers to choose one’s preferred language and genre. When one finally picks a topic that interests them, however, they are assigned a living, breathing, and talking voice—and for a second, one is a little unsure whether it is still a bot talking on the other side. Though a little…
There are as many people inside as there are in the market, yet this place seems quieter and calmer. Made entirely from Papier Mache, the colorful walls are covered in intricate naqshband artforms. The three tall dome ceilings of the entrance of the central chamber beckon the visitor into a world of noiseless sensation wrapped in from the outside of a city abuzz, curtained in by the army of pigeon sentries sitting on every possible space of wall and structure, in crowds of countless flutter.
They moved to the city. It has been seven years now. The family had lived next door all my life. I had grown up with their children; the daughter was my best friend; the son was like a little brother to me. As far as I can remember, their house was always full of people and life. They took every visitor in – human or animal. Their garden, where I learned to notice plants and later take care of them, was my second home alongside the most beautiful birdsongs during the day and chirping crickets in the night.
You notice the girl beside you, her brown hair streaked with lines of pink pulled back into a ponytail. She has her music on, and you try to imagine how her playlist might look. Her feet go tap-tap-tap quicker than you blink; it makes you wonder the kind of music she leans on for support. You imagine her sifting her way carefully through her punk rock anthems, deciding what goes next in her playlist. Maybe she finds her comfort in old-age rock with its poetry or the more contemporary, more crass tunes. Or perhaps she just lets her luck determine for her, takes her chance with whatever the app throws at her, and goes along with it.
Most of us do not think twice about that pebble we find on the beach by the river. Nor do we think about what is behind its smooth, flattened form that makes a stone ideal to skid upon the water’s surface. This rounded pebble was once a sharp, rugged piece of rock, thrust out of a larger geological body, such as a cliff upon the hills. When we hold the pebble, we do not think of the knocks and gashes that broke the rock into smaller pieces or the movement of the water as it…
The festival becomes a confluence of religion, faith, culture, and art. Pandals (marquee) are erected to house the Durga idol for the seven days of worship. The city of Kolkata and the entire state of Bengal bursts into spaces of gigantic annual art exhibitions. The lanes appear to shift and readjust themselves to fit in these installations. There is often a disjuncture between the grand, even phantasmagoric pandals and the shabby neighborhoods which accommodate them.
The long, drawn sigh was covered up by the sound of the gurgling toilet flush. It came out spontaneously, having no name attached, yet clung on to it was a definitive trail of melancholy. Rubbing hands in the apron, she came out, banging the door behind her. Despondency hung around her, rivaling the pungent odor of cleaning acid. A gaze at the watch revealed a time for a bit of rest, not one that she enjoys a lot; nevertheless…
You know how crucial it is that you get some sleep on this flight. Take-offs last forever. Raised window shades, upright seats are challenges that have long stopped existing for you. Of course, you want to hang on to the fading tranquil from that last glass of red at the lounge.
Fifty-three times and 7 million random taps a day, the phone screen lights up. Fifty-three times and 7 million random taps a day, those remarkable wallpaper eyes smile at you. A smile a second long. Enough to last till the next tap. Among the endless profile pictures, contact photos, mirror selfies, the wallpaper is extra special. Like your life trapped in crystal, this object with a screen is your world in your fist. Wave it, and it comes alive.
She is sitting on an armchair or a sofa with a ream of flowing cloth, her embroidery kit beside her. The kit is neatly contained within what once was a biscuit tin, as obviously disclosed by images of buttery biscuits and cookies on the lid. The tin box is large enough to hold the embroidery ring, a collection of colorful thread, a thimble, needles of various sizes, scissors, tracing, carbon papers, and the design ideas ripped from housekeeping magazines and books.
Where did we leave off? Turned out the lights. Walked down along the empty dark hallways one last time – cooling systems set at the correct temperature, objects intact, the wall labels placed correctly, the guide pamphlets stacked in order, and worktables cleared. Looking one last time at the pieces of time and history inside the glass cases, the silica crystals appear to start losing color already, the world unaware that it will be more than just a few days.
Closing our eyes and trying to remember the most beautiful spaces we have been in – favorite beach, watching the night lights moving past the car’s windshield, lying under a Christmas tree, watching the flickering fairy lights. Beauty of these spaces creates the common thread of joy. Our joy, happiness depends upon this beauty and aesthetics of our surrounding, our spaces. Beauty thus is triggered by the stimuli of the space and defined from the perspective of the occupant of that space.
Urban Facelift to older localities through Mural Art Trails – Case study on ‘Malleshwaram Hogona’ Project
Conservancy lanes which are generally found in the old, planned localities of Bangalore, run parallel to the main roads. These lanes are remnants of a conservative casteist society when they were planned a century ago and historically used for manual scavenging. Artists collaborated and painted the walls in the Malleshwaram neighbourhood of Bangalore to reach out to the citizens with the message about…
‘We Are’, the longest panoramic mural in India, located in Chennai Tamil Nadu, spreads the message of shared humanity and depicts portraits of people with or without AIDS, and how they deserve an equal place in society with dignity.
Design Thinking (DT) in Community Engagement and Trust Building – Case study on ‘Constructing Homelands’ Project
Constructing Homelands is a collaborative project that seeks to engage with migrant women (who are active collaborators in this project) working in the informal sector within Sikkim with the aim of visibilizing their lived experiences in both domestic and work spaces so that it informs a more empathetic form of policymaking that is anchored in grassroots realities.
The drawstring around the neck makes the neckline adjustable. It’s always nice to have things loose around the neck. The baby pink color looked brighter because of the smooth, silky fabric. Silky, not silk, and also a lot thicker to touch than silk. The borders around the neck and the long sleeves had crocheted lace in the same shade of pink. The frail tiny torso of a seven-year-old girl floats inside it like lost in space. She will slowly grow into the blouse (top), the mother thought, when buying it for the occasion of the school annual day event. The girl took five years to grow into it, her development being average and normal, and even then, there was some doubt if it had eventually…
The black hair tie rests between the tinted lips as the nose picks up the essence of the freshly washed hair from it. It could have lingered there a little while, but a tingling pain has crept up the arms from holding up the hair in its place. The hair goes through loops and twists and turns to engulf the tie like ivy does to a stick. There was no harm in letting the hair down, feeling it softly brush against the skin, imparting it the freedom to dance to the wind, playing all over the face as the wavering willows play peek-a-boo with the sun.
And here comes the guy who sprays sweat. I can hear his huffs from at least ten meters away and sense the strange rhythm of a run with some kind of a limp. I have never seen his face. I always see his back because he is always overtaking me. If I am ever called in inside an imaginary police…
Grocery shopping is often a favorite example to explain Decision-Making theories as it lends itself rather aptly to their premise. The context – a sterile supermarket or a bustling local market? Is the place warm or cold? Is the economy developed, developing, or underdeveloped? Is the focus more on imports or homegrown produce? Like the context, the decisions involved are equally complex – what to buy, how much to buy, when to buy, and finally, who will buy. Will all groceries be bought at once from the same place…
When a lot happens in life, gradually or suddenly, especially when we are young and we kind of wished for it, and now we can’t go back, we live through it sometimes without realizing that the only reason we survived and did not mess things up was that someone pitched in, most inadvertently, and absorbed some of the pressures off our backs.
If they are alive then home is where they stand when it all stops, people ate to pass time and people starved before time caught up with the speed of the spreading maladies, one did not say goodbye to anyone in over a year because they never left and are always around , and some never got a chance to say goodbye to those who left forever, some hiked deep into the forest and wished they came out into a world restored, the clocks stopped no one noticed,
With an everyday sequenced in these astronomical numbers, it is a matter of fascinating leaps one takes across the varieties of calendars in India to come up with an excuse to celebrate every day from any calendar that suits right.
This is not a personal essay as there is no extraordinary story to share, crisis to resolve, or voice to be heard. Yet, it is about me – the person I fleetingly look at, mostly through the corner of my eyes, living her everyday.
This deceptively casual entertainment involves the complicated organization of the sounds and tracks to influence the mood inside and reflect the setting outside. Not every track has to be a high spirited one. Not every anthem demands choral lip sync.
For him food doesn’t need progress, all it needs is attention, and that perhaps does the magic. He does not have the ambition of business, never set up his own kitchen, or diversified in other ways. He is the consultant who dives wholeheartedly into the context of the food and leaves you feeling uplifted
Sensing the deepest fears on my face granny continued, “don’t worry, nothing happened. I couldn’t even see the face. I saw just the shadow of a figure run towards the back of the house and was gone. I wake up early and come and sit at the front door.”
Afternoons are the central part of my everyday. Sometimes remaining aware of every minute of its passing. Afternoons are slower and have their own set of activities that I like to think as more a part of my plans but are more of the season.