The Lily Pond


Most fairytales that have frogs or other water creatures in them always have lily pads, where the characters plot the next moves, sing songs to each other, or watch the first drops of rain fall and roll around the pad!

As the hot, Saturday sun moves purposefully across the sky, I am sitting on a park bench. Stretching ahead of me is a huge lily pond, filled with lily pads and flowers.

At first glance, the water’s surface seems to be calm. On closer observation, I realize that the pond is teeming with action.

Cute little otters are popping in and out. Tiny turtles are swimming about, lazily, coming to the water’s edge now and then.

Water insects are busy amongst the reeds, and colourful butterflies flit about. It’s the weekend after all.

All around me, ‘water-colour artists’ are seated, capturing a slice of nature on a piece of paper. What each artist sees is different. As I walk around, each paper narrates a different story, coloured only by the artist’s imagination.

The big boughs of trees touch the water’s surface, engaged in a good gossip with the water plants. What are they talking about, I wonder! Cute pigeons join the conversation, bringing stories of far away places that their flights of fancy have taken them on!

The constant hum of traffic somehow fades away, as the lily pond works its magic on me. Buildings surround the pond – adding to, rather than detracting from the beauty.

A small slice of peace on a day that will soon get chaotic.

Doodling Days


Thanks to mobile phones, our lives have changed so much. Most people do not use their landlines all that much anymore.

In fact, I know of friends who have done away with their landlines.

Why am I saying all this ? While we have reaped the benefits of technology,  a few, cute things have gone missing from our lives.

I just realized this today, when I saw an old notebook of mine from work. For some strange reason it seems to have survived the onslaught of time. Can’t remember why I did not throw it away.

Anyway, I’m digressing. The book is filled with my doodling. Leaves and flowers, cubes and cuboids, little birds and houses, rabbits and trees, abstract shapes, many squiggles and spirals, my name and signature repeated in various styles.

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I laugh out. I can imagine sitting at my work desk and talking to customers and colleagues. I can see myself nodding and doodling, pen at the ready, capturing important points to act on, as also expressing my creativity on the side.  I am sure now that at the time I had no idea that I was doodling so much.

During my childhood, we had a small notepad next to our landline, and a pen, to jot down numbers. All of us left our mark on that notepad with our doodles.

Today, I don’t see anyone doodling all that much. Paperless offices are in, people send contacts through their mobile phones, no one seems to write down numbers.

I feel nostalgic for the doodling days, when we had elegant leather phone books, indexed by alphabet, where we wrote down people’s numbers and addresses.

Life has changed for the better, yes, but I would love to doodle again.

Simple lines


My sister loves to sketch. In fact, she sketches whenever she can. She always has a sketchbook about her person, and a satchel that holds sketching essentials.

No wonder then that her son, my adorable three-year old nephew, wants to sketch too. So, on most evenings, my sister and my nephew try their hand at sketching.

It is fun to watch the concentration on my nephew’s face as he tries to capture the theme.

Last week, when the duo sat down to sketch, it was decided that the day’s theme would be a giraffe.

With furrowed brows and deep concentration, both of them got down to work.

In just a few minutes, my nephew was ready with his giraffe and ran to show his mother. 

He then asked her, “Mom, what’s taking you so long?  It is only a giraffe. See my drawing.”

And this is what he drew, a three year old’s sketch of a giraffe. So beautiful and simple, capturing the essence of the giraffe.

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When my sister sent me the sketch, I was amazed.

The sketch got me thinking –  a child lives life simply, observes simple things and expresses himself without any effort.

As we grow, our view of the world gets complicated and we get so caught-up in it that we lose our view of simplicity.

Of bookmarks and growing up


I love bookmarks as much as I love books. I have a whole collection of different bookmarks, from different parts of the world.

One of my favourites is from the Van Gogh Museum in The Netherlands.  I bought it from the Museum’s souvenier shop. It is a magnetic bookmark, based on Van Gogh’s painting of red poppies.

The bookmark has frayed over the years, from over use, and from one evening of soaking in heavy rain.

I chanced upon it today and a funny incident came to mind.

We were at the Van Gogh Museum, soaking up the art. My son was four then and loved to sketch and colour all the time (he still does).

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        Courtesy – http://www.pinterest.com

He asked me about the paintings. I told him a bit about Van Gogh and about the paintings, and why we were there.

And then it started, a loud bawling. To my utter amazement, it was my son. Shaking his whole body and crying.

We rushed him out and looked for injuries or bruises. Nothing!

After he had calmed down a little bit, we asked him what had happened, and if he was hurting.

The remnants of big sobs shook his little frame, as he said, “Why are my drawings not in this Museum?”

We laughed our hearts out and gathered him for a hug.

I told my son about this incident. He had a good laugh, and I just realized how time flies and how quickly my baby has grown.