Friday, January 18, 2019

Watercolour Painting: Trying Different Things

I am a beginner --a self-taught watercolourist. I'm trying to practice and learn different things, however I always fear that I'll ruin my painting if I try to experiment. If you are a beginner, in any field, you can relate ---we want good results always, right?

This year, I decided to fight my fear of going wrong. Ruined 4-5 paintings, yes. But learned and managed okayish paintings.

I am not confident enough to paint on big sized paper. I usually paint on A5 size and even A4 seems big to me. But, I tried this painting on A4 size paper. I think I managed OK.

Also, I am trying to paint sunlight, shadows, figures and reflections. And salt technique. Here are some paintings I tried.

Do you like them? Do they look like sunshine and reflections? Are you trying something different? Do you have any suggestions? Please share.

Sharing with Paint Party Friday

Monday, January 7, 2019

Book Review: The long way home by Mitali Meelan

'It's not what you see in a person, it's what you feel when they're around. Sometimes, a person is your umbrella, shielding you from the pelting of a rainstorm. Sometimes, the person is the rainstorm.'

From the book.

The long way home by Mitali Meelan is a family drama. It's about Adhikari family ---Ishaan, Arihant, a little demanding cute little sister Saloni and their mother, however, the story mainly revolves around the brothers Ishaan and Arihant. They all try, rather pretend to be a happy family, but they are dealing with their own personal problems.

Still recovering from a break-up, Arihant, a caring young man, works for a magazine and owns a blog where he writes poetry. On the other hand, Ishaan is too secretive and aloof and rude.

So what's the secret or agony of Ishaan's life? What about Arihant's love life?

As I said, this is a pure family drama, a little unusual theme {In the current writing/publishing scenario}. The author has handled the familial bonds, situations and quirks well.

The writing is neat, and I really liked some quotes, like:

'No matter what I claim, what I let my friends and myself believe, after all the fights, tears, misunderstandings and long silences, sometimes all I wish to tell her is 'Stay'.

However I have a little problem with the execution. The book is written in first person from both Ishaan and Arihant's point of view, which is good but the way it has been divided as 'longish' Part 1 for Arihant and Part 2 for Ishaan made this read a little monotonous. Mostly because no other character makes a mark.

I liked the text exchanges between Arihant and Nyra...I always do. Text exchanges, I believe, are a refreshing change in a story.

Go for it if you enjoy family drama.

I received this book from Writersmelon for an honest review.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

बस यूं ही...

सूनी सी दोपहर
हवाओं में कुछ हरारत 
जरा सी सरसराहट से
पन्नों का पलट जाना,
और दरख्तों से छनकर आती
 मख़मली धूप।
और, बस यूं हींं
चली आती हैं
तुम्हारी यादों की गरमाहट।
यादों का क्या है,
कहीं से भी आ जाती हैं।
और तुम्हारी यादें...जाती ही कहां हैं,
बस यहीं फिरती हैं,
इन्हीं छोटी छोटी बातों के इर्द गिर्द।

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Hello Winter! : Watercolor Paintings

Have you ever been to a snowy place? I haven't. To be very frank, I have never seen a snowfall! So, I find them fascinating, however I am already annoyed by the Delhi winter. Every morning and night I sing ---'Winter, winter, go away! :)

Today, I am sharing some winter/snowy landscapes that I painted recently. This is my first attempt at painting snowy landscapes and using masking fluid. Using masking fluid is tricky and I need to practice to use it more comfortably.

When it's winter, what do you want? A book and a cup of tea {Or coffee, if you're a coffee person}, right? And, of course, some uninterrupted time. :)

So, here it is! 

If you notice, I have done some sketching. It was for an art challenge on Instagram, and I am thankful. I am bad at sketching and avoid painting something that requires proper sketching.
And, the book you see is a short story collection {Hindi} ---stories based on Army people's life. I'll be reviewing this book on Writersmelon's {One of the most popular community for writers and readers} Hindi platform.

Thank you for visiting. Wishing you a joyful, peaceful and successful New Year! :)

Sharing with Paint Party Friday

Saturday, December 22, 2018

My Favourite Author – Enid Blyton: A Guest Post by Shalzmojo

Hello readers,

I'm sharing yet another post in 'My Favourite Author'series. I started this series, on my blog recently and featured three guest posts under this category. You can read them HERE. Also wrote about 'My' favourite author! You can read the post HERE.

Today, I am so pleased to host Shalini {Shalzmojo}.  
Actually, this guest post is part of the December bloghop '#mymojo with Shalzmojo', all about books and travel! You can read my guest post, 'Top 5 Reads by Women Authors {With Women Protagonists}' on her lovely blog.

'An interior designer by profession, writing is a passion, which coupled with travel love, and blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on my blog. I am a serious wine guzzler and love to chase butterflies in my free time,' she says.

You can follow her on:

| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest|

OK, now over to Shalzmojo! 

Hello readers. I am delighted to be here on Tarang’s blog to talk about my favourite author. It’s quite difficult for an avid book worm to choose from one of her many most loved writers. I had to really think carefully about why I am listing Enid Blyton as one of my all-time favourites.

“Writing for children is an art in itself, and a most interesting one.”
― Enid Blyton 

I was first introduced to Enid Blyton as a child and I think one of the first books was one from the Secret Seven series. I graduated to Famous five and many other such. But it’s when I chanced on the Enchanted wood and Wishing chai, that I was thoroughly entranced.

The world of children as brought alive by Enid Blyton was just too magical and enchanting for me. The toys in the nursery that came alive at night and went on to have so many adventures is something I found very difficult to fathom. I must confess to staying awake to catch my toys in action night after night ;-)

Her Noddy series was aimed for younger children and are an absolute delight to read to this day. The colourful books with tales of mischief that young Noddy got into, make for quite a fun read.

Then came the boarding school series and I couldn’t get enough of any of them. Imagine glamorising this world in a book to make kids like me beg their parents to send them to such a school. The description of high teas that were served to these children in the stories left me wanting more. 

What's SO special about Enid Blyton?

I think the charm of Enid Blyton for me was the way she teased my imagination with just the right bit of dramatic flair. Reading her books has made my childhood richer by much and I would say this is one author every parent should encourage their child to read. 

Something about my favourite author:

Enid Mary Blyton (1897-1968) was a prolific children’s book writer from England who indulged in poetry, playwriting and short story writing among other things. She has been one of the bestselling authors since 1930, selling about 600 million copies worldwide so far. She set up many clubs to encourage the children to work for a worthy cause. Her books have been translated into 60 languages across the world.

She started out with poetry and one of her poems was published in a magazine when she was just 14. One of her closest friends illustrated one of her early books which incidentally was a collection of poems.

I don’t think I know of another such writer whose popularity soars so high and for so long. She has been on top of the book reading charts for as long as I have been reading books.

I hope I have enchanted you with my fascination for Enid Blyton. Are you a fan of hers too?

{You could read my book review of  The Bell Jar by Slyvia Plath, one of my favourites!}

Who's your favourite author?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Book Review: The Diary on the Fifth Floor by Raisha Lalwani

'It was a short  questionnaire  -- contact information, primarily---but  the first question already made me pause.  I  had to be careful, or the whole thing would fall apart.

Name -- the question seemed to mock me.'

Isn't it intriguing?

Sharing a few lines from the blurb as it intrigued me.

'A woman leaves her infant at home but finds her on a busy street in an unexpected turn of events.
Another woman wakes up in a flight hours later, befuddled, in the strangest circumstance.
A fascinating tale of a twenty-five-year-old woman that takes hold of us from the moment she enters the fifth floor of a hospital; more precisely, the psychiatric ward.'

The blurb says it's a fascinating tale of a twenty-five-year old woman...

Yes, it is, but it's hardly about that woman. It's about the sad/shocking stories about other people {her friends/aunt and sometimes unknown, friends of friends, maybe} that depress her and make her believe that the world is an unkind place.

Here, I feel that the blurb of this book is a tad misleading. Also, the cover ---it reflects a certain kind of eeriness and mystery, but the story doesn't.

'The Diary On The Fifth Floor' by Raisha Lalwani {Published by Rupa Publications}  is basically a collection of short stories, or rather some odd/shocking events, in the diary format. 

Although the stories are in diary form, some of them have been told from the third person perspective. The stories  are all about other people that affected Savannah, the main character ---- a smart, working and depressed woman--- deeply. But, there's nothing 'About Savannah'. I wanted to know more about Savannah and her life. 

Since it's a collection of short stories, there are several characters but they seem insignificant and easily forgettable. Savannah and Dr. Berry {the psychiatrist} are the main characters. 

We know nothing about Savannah except she is depressed and worried about the unkindness of the world, however, there's not a single incident that shows that the world has been particularly unkind to her. She is too caring and thoughtful, I guess, that mere hearing sad/shocking stories {sometimes not that shocking} about other people depressed her, so much that she needed to see a psychiatrist. A little implausible. 

I really like the psychiatrist, Dr. Berry.

I liked the writing style. Stories are very short and nicely crafted that makes this book an easy read

'Some things are understood but they have to be said, just because they're important. A mother doesn't have to tell her children that she loves them. The whole world knows it, yet she says it.'

Overall, it was an interesting and quick read. However, it's not that striking as I had expected or the blurb of the book made me expect.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Six Months As A Watercolourist

I painted this last night {for an art challenge}. And, I am kind of happy with this painting, with my effort.

Honestly, it was some 5+ years {in 2013} ago when I, suddenly, got interested in watercolour painting. Beautiful paintings fascinated me. So I bought some art supplies and started to paint. Strangely, I never painted or even wanted to paint in my school or college days. I was {still am} terrible at sketching so never ever thought I could.

So, I painted but after some 7-8 paintings, I stopped {For some reason}. I didn't feel like painting. This year, I again felt like painting, but it was all procrastination. But finally, I bought a regular drawing book and painted {on 31st May, 2018}. I painted this!

It's been six months now. I am glad that this time, I am feeling very enthusiastic about it. Even experimenting with different kinds of watercolour papers.Trying different kinds of painting. 

I painted this forest two days back and I tried a rough, 100% homemade paper. I enjoy working on it!

And, I tried a waterfall for the first time. It's tricky but I enjoyed painting this one.

I am learning a lot. Practicing regularly. It's so fulfilling! 

That's all for now. Share your painting journey. Would love to hear {And learn}.

Sharing with Paint Party Friday

Friday, November 16, 2018

Watercolor Paintings: An Evening and a Forest

श़ब को गले लगाती शाम,
अपने घरों को जाते 
पंछियों से भरा,
सुर्ख़ आसमान।
वो दोस्तों से बातें करना
वो एक तारा ढ़ूंढने की कोशिश करना।
वो हवाएं हल्की-हल्की
वो घर जाने की जल्दी...
शाम अब भी हसीन होती है,
इंटरनेट के जाल में उलझकर,
हम देखना भूल जाते हैं, शायद।

I am participating in a colour-based art challenge on Instagram. Here, I am sharing my take on Umber and Brown colour.

The painting above is inspired by a lovely click by Namrata. She posted it on Instagram and I felt like painting.

When it comes to seeking inspiration, writers and artists have similar approach. Artist is a big word for me, but now that I paint, whenever I look at beautiful landscape/photos, I think 'Can I paint this?' Sometimes, they glare, as if saying, 'Tumhaari ye mazaal! {How dare you!}'

Here's another painting, a forest ---

And, this one ---

Just a practice painting {I was actually trying to paint a figure}. 

I have realized something that writing and painting are different in a very striking way. When I write something, I think it's good, but I don't like it when I revise it after some days. When I paint, I do not like it. I get up in the morning {I usually paint at night} and look at my painting, I think 'It's not that bad.'

I didn't like this painting initially {the left one got clumsy because of my impatience}, but now, I find it pleasant. You? :)

Sharing With Paint Party Friday

Monday, November 5, 2018

Book Review: Gurgaon Diaries by Debeshi Gooptu

I met Debeshi on Twitter, and I am so glad. Our interaction lead me to her wonderful stories on Juggernaut Books App. Later, I interviewed her on my blog. You can read her insightful interview HERE.

A big thank you to Debeshi for gifting me her book, Gurgaon Diaries! What a breezy read it was!

Gurgaon Diaries {Published by Rupa Publications} is a collection of {mostly} funny, quirky and thought provoking tales. Although, it is categorized as fiction, the way every story carries a warm, personal touch, it should be categorized as creative non-fiction, in my personal opinion.

The book is divided in 3 parts --- Life, Work and Play. As the title suggests, it tells the tales of Gurgaon life.

As I have said earlier, the stories are mostly funny/sarcastic, and Debeshi is really good at humour. However, some stories seem to draw our attention, in an interesting manner, towards some social issues and our daily life problems that compel you to ponder.

Debeshi is a wonderful storyteller, and the stories in Gurgaon Diaries are engaging. They are really short, hardly 3-4 pages long, that made it an easy and smooth read.

Although, I liked all the stories, I have my favourites.

Like 'Lost in Translation' ---

'Are you a Bengali? I asked politely. She did not look pleased.
'How do you know?' She barked. Seriously, I thought to myself, as though there was any doubt after hearing you speak in Hindi!

Yes, this really funny story focuses on Bengali accent {And Debeshi is a Bengali}.

'Hum tumko peeetai kaurega!' :)

Then, there is touching Naseeruddin --- 'If it's the small change that's making a big difference in someone's life, that's good enough for me,' says Debeshi. This, and many other, stories reflect Debeshi's beautiful thoughts.

'Fishy Business' is another favourite that talks about an unusual, I mean really unusual, bond. And there's 'Sex and the City' ---

'What do you think "sex" means?'
Tween {Who is questioning the mention of 'sex' on her ID card}: 'You know, Kissing and stuff.'
'OK smartass, then what should your ID card say instead of 'sex''?
Tween: 'Easy! Gender.'

Point! And this smart tween has an important role in this collection.

'Doctor, Doctor' is another touching story that points out the insensitivity of some doctors that really angered me.

'Freedom Calling', 'The Horrors of Halloween', 'Mind Your Language'...and many, many more!

To be honest, some stories from the section 'Work' did not work for me, maybe because I am not familiar with the corporate world, so it's just me.

Overall, Gurgaon Diaries is an interesting collection, full of fun and insights. The stories are engaging. If you are looking for a quick, funny read, go for it.