These fine lines

These fine lines

while i have been drawing and writing very little lately, here is a project that i actually completed recently. it is the cover illustration for the book of poems ‘These Fine Lines: Poems of Restraint and Abandon’ put together by the Word Warriors team in Nepal. i was nicely surprised by the opportunity to contribute with a drawing and i am happy that i was able to be a part of the book, even though i am not living in kathmandu at the moment.

it was a challenging task for me to read through the poems and to come up with something that could relate to several poems, but also be mysterious on its own. i made several versions, experimenting with the color, the layout as well as the title placement. it was a learning experience for me to draw everything digitally – i usually hand draw, color and then scan the drawing. i have always had a hard time choosing colors digitally because you have hundreds of choices and that makes me really confused. i like to stick to the comfort of a color pencil box with only 12 colors…hahahhaha….so this was super difficult in many ways for me and so many indecisive hours were spent staring at the drawing. :) thanks to the word warriors team for all their patience.

well, here’s to poetry and to hopefully, more book illustration opportunities for me. :P

stale thoughts, stale verses

I.
i met a lost glove, sometime ago,
at the bottom of the stairs –
the one that takes me down to road,
the one where the girl slipped and fell, a few days before.

then i met a broken umbrella
stuffed into a bin at the bus stop.
although, it couldn’t tell me for sure,
i silently hoped that it had seen better days.

II.
there’s hardly any trace of last week’s snow left on the streets,
just heaps and lumps grazed off and gathered onto the sides.

III.
hiunma hamro neelo lamo chayya
afumai ramaudai nachdai chann
paglanu bhanda agadi, hami kehi samjhana
khaltima jamma garna khojdai chau.

IV.
the morning sun
makes shadows on
the white wall.
orange blue and grey.
this warmth could never
fill me enough though.
not here.
not in here.

V.
if only writing it down
a thousand times
would actually empty it off
of all it’s meanings.

it does not matter.
det spelar ingen roll.

i would sit, head bowed
if these words were to
become true.

i could empty
my heart and mind
but what of hearts and minds
that are not my own?

VI.
the thought of stepping outside is enough to make me frown, but who says i can’t admire the pretty little frost crystals (revealing themselves) on my window pane?

VII.
how it can rain in this city,
for hours on,
drizzling without a sound.
like it were mourning for something,
lost very long ago,
weeping silently,
until it forgot why it was mourning at all.

VII.
it takes courage to write in full sentences,
without riddles and metaphors.
and even when i do write,
i always want to behind letters, punctuations and old sores.

VIII.
i woke up to tears this morning
where did they come from?
and why were they so heavy?
like they were excavating the path they were flowing on.

in the arctic circle.

the air was freezing in abisko, and the water… i dare not even touch. i held my breath as we walked on frozen rivers and lakes, hoping i wouldn’t go crashing underneath. the day light stayed with us for only two or three hours a day. the sun rose and left before you could notice it’s path across the sky. it was wonderful. it was beautiful. the little colors of the day. the softest of blue, pink and purples melting into each other. the little ‘mountains’ of snow were funny. ‘these are not mountains’ i thought to myself, every time i saw them. shivapuri is taller than them, and we call it a hill. but these mountains have their own charm, and so does shivapuri.

the world’s biggest underground iron ore mine is being churned out every minute of the day in kiruna. with people and automated machines. i can’t imagine what thousands of tons of iron being hauled out each day looks like. the scale is beyond my comprehension and imagination. in over a hundred years, they’ve managed to build in fast moving elevators traveling a 1000 meters into the earth and a road network of 400 kilometers long…all underground. i felt like a borrowing ant as we went 500 meters deep into the ground, on a tour bus.

above ground, i could feel the mine explode at night. first a big loud boom and then a shiver that passes through the town, rattling windows and shaking beds. a minor man-made earthquake to live through each night. it scared me but what is even scarier is that the mine is set to cave in someday, taking with it the town it brought to life.