iPhone addiction

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iphone addiction illustration

I am on my phone all night, every night. My fingers hurt, my left eyelid is now permanently jumpy. And sometimes a feel a bit sick from all the fast scrolling.

Yet I cannot seem to stop.

Then I wake in a couple of hours and the first thing I do is reach for my phone. I pull open one eye and squint at my phone, ruffling through all sorts of things till I can open both eyes and feel fully awake.

And if someone takes my phone away from me, I have such anxiety, I can’t even tell you. Does this happen to everyone? Is this extreme? Should I seek help?

Life is a Cactus Garden

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watercolor-cactus-girl

Life is an effing cactus garden. It looks nice, some times is has pretty colorful flowers, it’s meaty and rather independent about which direction it wants to go.

But it’s also hella prickly and sometimes it hurts like a mofo.

Partying after 30

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party girls illustration

On my 25th birthday, the girls and I went partying all night. We hopped clubs and danced like we weren’t wearing heels. We started drinking at 9, stopped at midnight to eat greasy biryani at a midnight buffet, drank some more, got in a brawl with the police, stopped at a sandwich joint at 4 am and finally came back home at 5. We then posed in the lawn outside my home and took a photo. We looked a bit off but we looked good. We even posted that picture on Facebook.

Cut to 2015; partying “all night” ends at 2 pm, with one weepy sad drunk, one feeling sick, one throwing up on every free surface and one becoming suicidal-y depressed. We took a photo, but we had to delete it right there and then.

Live fast, die young. That was my motto, until now, when it’s too late to die young. I would live fast, but it gives me acid reflux.

Old Portuguese Quarters in Macau

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European streets illustration

In the blistering heat of South East Asian summers, the visual of a hilly little Portuguese village is a bit incongruous. But it’s also somewhat like time travel. In the center of Macau, away from the gaudy casinos and futuristic lights, is the colonial Portuguese quarter — full of dark old churches, tiled and cobbled streets, and pots of hot pink bougainvillea and ranunculus.

My husband and I sat here on green park benches dating back to the 1800s. He had a cream soda to cool off, while I did a quick sketch.

Mothers

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motheranddaughter-blog

Not always eye to eye, but always heart to heart.

See you again

See you again

He had uncontrollable curly hair, always a mess. He had Bugs Bunny teeth and a spotty face. We were thirteen when we met and we were instant best friends.

One day, when we were in high school, he came to pick me up in a raggedy old car. With the way the car heaved to a stop in front of our driveway, my dad wasn’t so sure if I should get in that car with him. “Do you really know how to drive?”

Yes, Uncle. I’ve been driving forever.

You’re 15. Don’t lie. When did you start driving?

Yesterday.

I argued with my dad and went anyways. I was the only girl who would sit behind him on his motorcycle. Mostly because no one had faith in his driving and because he never had a girlfriend. I was always writing love poems for his “crushes” and inevitably returning with bad news.

Later when we were in college and met only once or twice a year, we had a secret signal which meant that we were bored with the group and needed to get away. It was perfectly coordinated. We never failed to pick up on each other’s signals and we never even practiced.

In 2005, we graduated and started working in different cities in two distant corners of the world but we were still going through all the first times in life together. We were still being reckless and giving each other terrible advice over the phone.

One night, I was cribbing about my long working hours and poor pay. He was still trying to score with girls and was still a virgin, so he was cribbing about that. I joked that he might die a virgin and that would be the most hilarious thing ever. We were 23 by then and we were old friends.

The next night, he died on the way to the airport. It was a hit and run and no one knows who killed him. And suddenly my harmless joke seemed cruel and heartless and I have never stopped blaming myself for making it. It’s been almost ten years since that night. I didn’t go to his funeral and so for years I just waited for him to call me or for him to answer when I called his number.

Over time it became less and less, the missing and hurting. Our high school friends scattered all over the world. Some grew apart, some just changed. No one even talks about him anymore. I haven’t seen a picture of him in years, so I thought I’ll try to draw one.

B, I wish you could have seen that I got married, I even got hot at one point and then got fat somewhere along the way. That I left India, which I swore I’d never do. That I coped with it. I wish you knew that I still don’t find most people as funny as you. We’ve come such a long way since 13, such a long way from where we began. I guess I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.

Breakfast in Bed

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breakfast in bed

I was in Hong Kong and Macau for the last five days, which was quite the experience. But the thing I miss the most is room service and breakfast in bed. And the huge fluffy bathrobes.

Flowers in my Hair

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Flowers in my hair quote

Especially true if while putting on your business suit, you feel like there’s a hippie inside you and you kill him everyday. But it’s OK, because in life, you need to meet expectations, pay rent, buy food and wear nice clothes.

There’s some merch over here with this illustration. I especially like the print. It’s also on $5 off and free shipping just for today.

Make Peace with your Body

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Life is way too short to spend another day at war with yourself. Make peace with your body. It’s not manmade, there are no flaws, there are no mistakes.

Warsan Shire

Like Wildflowers

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redlipstick-orgasm-blog

Make love
like you have no
secrets
like you’ve
never been
left
never been
hurt
like the world
don’t owe you a
single
wretched
thing.

– Warsan Shire

Beard Love

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BeardedManIllustration

I’ve always wondered what it must be like to kiss a man with a full face of beard. Do beards get in the way? Do they chafe? Do you discover cookie crumbs and then become entirely engrossed in trying to pick them out? I don’t know. But I was at the beach a few weeks ago when I saw this couple taking selfies. They seemed very much in love and totally fine with the beard situation.

So, I sketched them and came up with this bad pun on Weird Love; Beard Love.

Everybody Says I’m Fine!

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That’s So Gay

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gay-blog

My husband’s friend from college chose to come out a few years ago. God knows why he chose the people he chose, but soon, at a party, I was on the receiving end of this conversation.

“OMG! Listen! Have you heard? X has now become a gay. His gestures and mannerisms are now SO GAY!”

There was so much I wanted to say, but trying not to be too scathing, all I could manage was, ‘That’s not your information to share. When he is ready, he will tell me.”

What’s so upsetting about what she said? Nothing really. I have heard such things so many times in the past, but it never felt pejorative. Because social environment is pivotal in discerning the intent of language. It may not intend to wound but it does intend to marginalize. The expectation is, that this man who I had in my wedding is suddenly supposed to be “the other”. So few people understand the complexity of public discourse and its effects — failing miserably to recognize the heteronormativity of “that’s so gay.”

Call it out. Make it stop.

Best Bubble Tea in Singapore

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bubbletea

I am not even a little bit ashamed to say that while most people indulge in a bubble tea once a week, I have a medium size milk oolong every day. I mean, what’s not to love about bubble tea?

So here’s a short guide to black milk bubble tea in Singapore.

Gong Cha: It’s everywhere, but the tea doesn’t have as much flavor and the bubbles are often a bit too toothsome for my taste

Cup Walker: Gives you a generous helping of bubbles but the tea is soo watery

Artease: Good because they are open till late at night, but even at no sugar, the tea is too sweet. Don’t know how

Hipo: Plain horrid

Koi Cafe: My absolute favorite. I order it with no sugar, no ice, but cold. The oolong is robust, the milk is just the right amount of creamy and the bubbles are AMAZING! Golden, soft and chewy and smaller in size than all the other ones. Almost like sago. I love these guys so much I will take the train to a Koi cafe outlet, even tho I have a bubble tea place right next to my house.

Does anyone have suggestions of other places I can try?

Chocolate Mug Cake – An Illustrated Recipe

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mugcakerecipe-blog

If you’ve been reading this blog, you already know that I love cake. What you don’t know is that I use cake as a crutch for pretty much all my emotions. Sadness=cake. Happiness=cake. Anxiety=cake. Restlessness=cake. PMS=cake.

Sometimes I crave cake in the dead of the night when absolutely no shops are open. That is when I make mug cakes (the singular cause for all my weight issues) which combines my two great loves – cake and nutella.

Most mug cakes either come out dense or mealy, so I’ve come up with my own tried and tested recipe. Also, since you know I am lazy, you already know this cake is easy.

Take 1/4 cup of flour ( I use self-raising, you can use all purpose with some baking powder). Dump into your prettiest mug.

Now take 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and a pinch of salt and put that in as well. Mix.

Take 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 1/4+1 tbsp of milk and stir stir stir.

When you have a batter that’s nice and gooey but still runny, drop a spoonful of nutella. Don’t press it down or anything. Just let it drop and stay.

Then stick your mug in the microwave right in the center, for exactly 60 seconds. Take out and let it sit for ten seconds.

After that, I am guessing you would like to eat it.

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