I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.

Friday, August 28, 2009


This guy had been on a long flight. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on: "Fasten your seat belts."

Then, after a while, a calm voice said, "We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened." As he looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive... Later, the voice of the announcer said, "We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. The turbulence is still ahead of us." And then the storm broke. The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightening lit up the darkening skies and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash. The man confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. He said, "As I looked around the plane, I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm. And then, I suddenly saw a girl to whom the storm meant nothing. She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat and was reading a book. Everything within her small world was calm and orderly. Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm, when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity, when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid." The man could hardly believe his eyes. It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark, he lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time. Having commented about the storm and behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid. The sweet child replied, ".Sir, my Dad is the pilot and he is taking me home."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Sexologist

A man boards a flight from Delhi to Mumbai and takes his seat.

As he settles in, he glances up and sees a gorgeous woman boarding the plane.

He soon realizes she's heading straight towards his seat and eventually, lo and behold, she takes the seat right next to his.

Eager to strike up a conversation, he asks "Business trip or vacation?"

She turns, smiles, and says, "Business. I'm going to the annual Sexologists Convention."

He swallows hard. Here is the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen, sitting next to him, and she's a sexologist!

Struggling to contain his excitement and maintain his composure, he calmly asks, "What's your business role at this convention?"

"Lecturer," she says, "I use my experience to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality."

"Really?" he says, swallowing hard. "What m-m-m-myths are those?"

"Well," she explains, "One popular myth is that African men are the best endowed when, in fact, it's the Tamilian who is most likely to possess that trait. Another popular myth is that Frenchmen are the best lovers, whereas actually it is the Bengali. However, we have found that the best potential lover in all categories is the Sardar."

Suddenly, the woman becomes a little uncomfortable and blushes. "I'm sorry," she says, "I shouldn't be discussing this with you. I don't even know your name!"

"Venkatraman!" the man blurts out. "Venkatraman Mukherjee! But all my friends call me Joginder Singh!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Children on the way

One never knows how life can change as we grow. It's only when we turn into adults, that we feel like being kids again, and when we're kids, we dream to have responsibilities, a family, a house, and a job. A dream job.

Seeing them I wish I'd never grown. They had so much left in life. So many to face, so many to see. Responsibilities, expectations, and dreams to conquer.
They were happy now.
Five beautifully innocent faces, happy and content with their lives. How I wished I spoke better Marathi to communicate with them. They flocked around me to bravely look at my camera's display, as I composed a photograph of a wall and a vessel. So curious, their eyes full of wonder. The youngest boy of six or seven shifted his legs as I smiled at him. "Do you all want to see?" I asked in my pathetic Marathi, lowering my camera to their level. Appreciatively, they gathered around its screen, their faces full of awe. "Can I shoot you?" I asked them in my broken speech.

The young girl smiled shyly, and I clicked her innocent face. I wished to be eight again. To play, to cycle, and run around. To fall and get hurt, roll in dirt and muck, and have mum yell at me for it. They were so lucky. I wished they'd never have to grow. I showed them their pictures, and they squealed in recognition of their own faces. It gave me so much happiness. They would have something to tell their mother when they ran home for lunch. They would tell her of a strange didi with a camera, and how wonderful it was to see themselves in its screen. It was so exhilarating to see their curiosity and wonder.

I so felt light and happy, that it made me smile all the way back to hostel. I wished I could play with them. I wish I could speak in Marathi. I wish I could make more time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Class 2

Of-course, one takes his time to fit in and be one of the best. I think I'm still at the struggling stage, though probably not struggling enough. And Alok, on the other hand, had his hard work being paid off. Bubbles seemed distracted as always. Writing, thinking, lost in her world of her own pure reality, unlike me, who was permanently in fiction. I walked around class, observing everyone's work, which always seemed far better than my own. I had a very pessimistic approach to everything I did. Sometimes, some people seem to have such perfect lives. Great work, great friends, brill with sports, singing, acting, dancing, you name it..but I wondered if this was just an unreal thought of mine, another way to see that the grass was greener on their side. What they would have to go through to make it that way, I did not see, or understand, but it was probably very hard. Arvind and Akshat seemed so brilliant at everything. I couldn't ever think of comparing myself with them, moreover, their work. Somehow competition never affected me, positively, or not.

It was annoying how easily I'd get distracted and wander outside class for some fresh breeze. How quickly I got bored with an assignment, and had to see everyone working on it with interest. Maybe I was an I.D person. Hell knows the countless number of times I felt my decision was incorrect.. But I couldn't imagine myself doing anything but animation.

Like Shivani said, sketching would improve in time, but it was more of the art of story telling. I could live with that. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Humble Apology

A humble apology by the initiator!

Leaving Home

Small things turn big. One thing always changes into another. It's funny how you feel when you can see yourself moving far away from home.. Slowly, the miles grow, and that land is unfamiliar once again. The old man sitting next to me muttered a prayer, or was probably talking to himself, and I watched him in the dim light the bus had to offer. I prayed to god myself, for a safe journey back, for I had forgotten to pray to the idol at home. What had changed, I did not understand. But it affected the way I perceived everything.


Our class was full of different people. Different goals, different talents, and different incentives. The best had always been the best, with their flawless lineart and their realistic rendering.Rashmee and Ishani were some of these prodigies. Monica had the skill of sharpening almost any pencil with the most varied cuts, preventing breakage of its lead or charcoal. And there were those, who never really cared what they were there for. Maintaining their hierarchy in the class.