The Good Dreams Come During the Day

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girl-summer

Daydreaming about …

1. The moment you realize that the person you cared for has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you, but a headache.

2. The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad Pinterest quotes.

3. The moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom.

4. The moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter.

5. The moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself.

6. The moment you realize that you can have everything you want in life. However, it takes timing, the right heart, the right actions, the right passion and a willingness to risk it all. If it is not yours, it is because you really didn’t want it, need it or God prevented it.

7. The moment you realize the ghost of your ancestors stood between you and the person you loved. They really don’t want you mucking up the family line with someone that acts anything less than honorable.

8. The moment you realize that happiness was never about getting a person. They are only a helpmate towards achieving your life mission.

9. The moment you believe that love is not about losing or winning. It is just a few moments in time, followed by an eternity of situations to grow from.

10. The moment you realize that you were always the right person. Only ignorant people walk away from greatness.
― Shannon Adler

Hair Illustration 3 (NSFW)

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hair illustration 3-blog

May be NSFW. Depends on where you W, I guess.

Hair and Hide

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hair illustration 2-blog

Sometimes, I use my hair to hide. I part it down the middle, keep it falling down the sides, with my head down, it obscures my vision of the world around me and vice versa. People with long hair might be able to identify.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

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Visualtroop is giving away a select few framed prints to a lucky winner!

All you have to do is head on here and just like the piece you want. My ‘Light of our Lives” illustration is up there for grabs. Perfect for a baby’s room or a little family!

Hair Illustration

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hair illustration

I am working on a few illustrations of hair. The idea came from Paroma, who is doing her own hair experiments, I suppose. Of course, it’s not just hair with me, like the beautiful, delicate and realistic stuff here. It’s full drama, obvi.

Clingy Couple

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kissing couple

Contrary to all the relationship advice, my husband and I continue to be super clingy. We do everything together and feel no need for separate lives. Which is not to say that we are uber affectionate in public or anything. And it seems to me that if we grow old together we will be a lot like this.

Large Hat and a Little Black Dress

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LBD-Illustration-blog

we were strange in love

her and i

too wild to last

too rare to die

—atticus

The Funny Thing about Regrets

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girl by the window

Sometimes, a small regret comes flying into my mind and very soon I am sitting in a pile of regrets, sorting out the big and small. Piecing together the tiny things that led to the big regret. Trying to shift the pieces around and see if it could spell something else, like “choice” or “destiny” but it doesn’t.

Has this ever happened to you?

Speak your Motherfucking Mind

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lady bushes

Silencing is a technique that social scientists say exists as a means of controlling the communication of any marginalized person addressing privilege. Naturally, it’s a common technique used by society to shut women up when they complain or call out sexism — violent, nonviolent, endemic or peripheral. This technique includes, but is not limited to intimidation, harassment, shaming veiled as joking or teasing, humiliation, dismissive-ness or simply denying the legitimacy of a complaint. Silencing becomes an even more serious problem when it comes to issues like rape, sexual harassment/abuse or violence, for obvious reasons. But it’s also important to be aware of it in our everyday life.

In your daily experiences, especially if you are from South Asia, do any of the following sound familiar?

“The line between what is harassment/assault and what isn’t is so thin. How can you say someone looking at you is threatening?” (ermm…because, context. no?)

“You are just saying this to ruin my reputation”

“Focusing on sexism is inhibiting your progress as a gender. How long will you play victim?”

“Free speech, free country”.

“You are saying this/behaving like this to get attention.”

“I asked my female friend/mother/sister/spouse and she didn’t think this is chauvinism”

“I am feminist, but…”

“This is just an isolated incident. Not a trend.”

“This is a ploy to hurt men”

“Boys will be boys”.

“You should be flattered”

And countless more well documented shitsprays from “she asked for it” to my personal favorite, the male experience trump card, also known as “mansplaining”. In this, a man explains to me my own experience and adds the exact manner in which I ought to behave within the context of that experience so as to not be perceived as a bitch.

If you identify to one or all of the above techniques, let me just quote the Queen of Rap, Nicki Minaj and say to all the amazing, intelligent and beautiful women out there: “Stop feeling like you shouldn’t speak your mind cause somebody’s gonna call you a bitch.

Speak your motherfucking mind.”

The Small Print in Dreams

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through the looking glass mixed media

“Rose-colored glasses are never made in bifocals, because nobody wants to read the small print in dreams.”

Mixed Media 3: Brushpen, Watercolor, Thread Embroidery

Love of Labels

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tramp stamp

If you wear western clothes, you are a slut.

If you speak too much, too abrasively, too feminist-ly, you are a cantankerous shrew.

If you smoke, you are a bad, fallen woman.

If you smoke AND drink, you are a shame to your family.

If you do all this publicly, you deserve to be raped.

Please feel free to add to the list. Because, we may not label our merchandise but we label our women with enthusiasm and ease.

Mixed media 2: Sharpies, brushpen, watercolor and digital.

Family Jewels

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wedding jewels illusration

Mixed media project- 1:Watercolor, beads, sharpies and gold foil on paper.

“I am keeping these aside for your wedding”, Ma said, as she looked down at all her gold jewelry. Some of these were from her own wedding and had never been worn since. I was in high school at the time, but I remember thinking of the day when I would be rewarded with these jewels for finding a queer, composite creature who is successful yet humble, rich yet down-to-earth, modern yet traditionally Bengali. A man who our entire extended family and social circle would approve and who in turn, would recognize my true value – augmented by my mother’s gold, of course.

Despite all the gold, I worried about the off chance that I might fail to be fetching enough to achieve this. And why wouldn’t I worry? Some of my older girl cousins who were doing “too well” academically, caused our families to panic about how this might pose a challenge in “getting them married”. One of my cousins grew too tall and big, and every family dinner was open call to discuss how difficult it might be to find a suitably large man for her.

Marriage was inevitable and aspirational at the same time.  My cousins and I, we all knew and were even vaguely excited by what would start a few years later — a test of our true worth. A hunt for the perfect groom. An army of uncles and aunts would go forth, armed with a horoscope, a postcard-sized glamor shot and the one other thing more precious than all the family jewels – our virginity.

P.S. I want to hear your stories, experiences or thoughts about growing up female in Asia – a crowd sourcing of ideas, if you will. You can leave it in the comments section or email me if you want to keep it private. Without your stories, I don’t think I will be able to finish what I have started!

Mixed Media Project – Being Female in South Asia

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I haven’t posted anything new this week. The reason is, I have recently come to possess a small little Japanese sketchbook. It has 20 beautiful, thick, creamy pages and is about 3.5 x 5 inches. So I have stared a mixed media project, drawing on certain social aspects of growing up/being female in South Asia. These will be slightly different from my usual style. I will be looking to pair traditional media with stitching, embroidery, stamping, and digital – which means it will be time consuming to both conceptualize and execute.

I will be talking about my personal experiences, of course. But it’s also a look at the socio-politics of gender that is sometimes unique to South Asia and at other times, universal. So it would be great if people of the interwebs and the amazing ladies who read this blog could help me by:

a. sharing your own stories or thoughts, irrespective of whether you are South Asian or not.

b. helping me with some suggestions for a name for this project.

Here are some progress shots. I’ll start posting the individual finished pieces soon.

japanese sketchbook 2

japanese sketchbook

embroidery art

At-Home Pedicure

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pedicure at home

My biggest complaint in Singapore is the pedicures.

So here’s the thing. I have very little grooming needs – I am not hirsute, so hair removal is unnecessary. I barely have eyebrows so that’s out too. My skin is sensitive so Singapore’s favorite pass time, facials, are not on my list. And I hate oily naked massages ( I know, I know).

The only beauty thing I really splurged on and truly enjoyed back in India, was my mani pedi. It was an hour long ritual with so much vigorous massaging of feet and calves and so much pampering on vibrating massage chairs while sipping on cold watermelon juice. Sometimes, they would even throw in a back rub just for fun – those kind souls. So when I came to Singapore, I sat on a nail technicians chair and waited for the same experience to unfold. Before I could feel drowsy and after a little bit of scraping of heels, some stressful cutting of cuticles, some hasty polish application – it was over. WHAT? I figured it must be that one place, but no. Several nail salons later I figured, this is what passes for a pedicure in Singapore. I felt cheated and angry (I am totes not being dramatic, my feelings were real) and decided not to shell out any more dollar bills for what I could do at home for free.

The only thing is, it’s bloody hard to circumvent my belly fat and get to my toes. Every fortnight, I sit and try all sorts of acrobatics to bling out my toe nails. So there goes my one simple spa pleasure in life.

That Ang Mo Life

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pastel colored swimsuit

It’s no secret that most Ang Mos live a fabulous life in Singapore, all the while complaining about the heat, the smell in the MRT and their full-time nannies/maids. I respect that. After all, you are expats, and the rest of the color spectrum are only immigrants.

But dear Ang Mo lady at the beach, who matched her umbrella to her shades and her swimsuit to her ice-cream – I bow down to your dedication to the image. However, do not ever ask me to move away because my shadow is hindering your tan. I know you did not know me this time, and expected that much like the very kind locals, I would oblige. So I feel your pain about what happened next.

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