The Madras Literary Society

On Saturday afternoon I visited the Madras Literary Society. The day was gloriously sunny to spend inside the library. Soon after I found the books I wanted, I sat outside the old building listening to the birds call out sultrily to each other. The traffic of College Road seemed distant, the offices in the DPI were closing down for the weekend. I made several quick sketches of the building and marked one in particular to develop into a watercolour.  I took a few photographs to aid me catch the sun as it soaked the building. Here is the sundrenched window of the library.

I am an urban sketcher


Dawn flounces her rosy breast,
spreads on the earth her ruby encrusted skirt.
Day mesmerised forgets to ride his blue chariot.

Ushas, the Dawn is the beautiful daughter of Prajapati. The rishis have turned poets galvanised by the beauty of dawn in the Indian subcontinent. They use sensuous images to describe this tantalising maiden who is desired by all gods.

Inspired by the Vedic hymns I call the pink candle holder Ushas, I  light the candle in the early hours of the day. The blue candle holder is her silent lover. 

Crack Of Dawn

You get out of depth with life  when you can’t see the radiance in your child’s face, when you cannot handle the energy that  a morning holds.  I doodled this sketch at work as I thought of the woman who lives in the flat above mine. I have not met her and I will not recogise her voice if she strikes a polite conversation with me. I can recognise only her quivering voice as it reaches high decibles. I hear her hysterically screaming at her young son who is too much energy for her to handle. There is so much of pain in her hysteria and much more pain in the child who stands helpless in this  relationship. 


Green Bottle

When the sky blushes magenta and butterflies in the garden settle down for the night, I float flowers, light aromatic cones and meditate. Yesterday I meditated on the tantalising green bottle and the
brick hued gerbera.

Small Stones

The dragon fly that visited my room carried rainbow on its glassy wings. Did the world go dark for a while when I hosted her?
My shadow grows long as I walk alongside my tall son, he gets mad and can’t understand how.
And the curls on his hair are crowded like  the segments in a beehive. 

I have learnt to pause , look at everything around, pick the small stones, polish them in words and pocket them. I grow heavy and enriched by this collection. You can read my river of stones here.

Looking is the key and attentiveness is the spirit. Here I continue to do the same. But through a different medium. I look at the things around me,  simple things around my house and create a new river of sones.

This is my first stone presented as a sketch or painting: a basket woven with dry grass where I grow my money plant.  This basket sits near my kitchen window. I have used 8B Graphite Lead pencil to draw this and have washed the background in bold orange shade.  For this I draw my inspiration from Szaza’s Harika.