GupShup: In store branding and wall murals.

GupShup is a lil' tea and snacks place in Brookfields, Bangalore right opposite Cosmos mall. Following the brief, I designed a set of illustrations for the store branding, plus the logo and a tagline. Additionally, created a mural for two of the walls of the shop (as you can see here). The initial plan was for three walls, but they wanted two walls to be painted with a digital hi-res print of one of the illustrations on the third. 

Wall mural:

Store Branding


And these here are some sketches i developed as a wall mural option  for a friend's photography studio in Bangalore. 

A exploration into the universe of dance and divinity - where the lines between sexuality, gender, and devotion blur into a whirlwind of ecstacy and unbound joy.

Continuing ahead on a topic that has remained a favourite and much researched over - human evolution - ancient knowledge bequeathed to us puny humans...

Somewhere in these heads is mine... and yes i did this one long long before vishwaroopam was even a twinkle in kamal sire's eye..

And that's how i think my knuckles will end up looking like when i am this age. Though i don't think i will have this much of my hair remaining.

She is the dawn. The twilight. And the Dusk.

While i cant claim to have any knowledge of any of the myriad mudras that make up our classical dances, the following is my vision of the Tandav - with Shiva being the performer.

Again, my favorite character - Shiva as the Yogi.

The start of good beginnings.

Ganesha here, is the scribe assisting Vyasa in writing down the Mahabharat. Ganesha is said to have agreed to write it only on the condition that Vyasa never pause in his recitation. Vyasa agreed, provided Ganesha took the time to understand what was
said before writing it down.This one was created in the leafy environs of the Krishna temple in Indiranagar, Bangalore.


And these here are a series of sketches that followed my brief but inspiring visit to Pondicherr.


Work in Progress: A set of artwork being currently prepared for sale under the label The Bodhi Maram. Facebook page

Sometime when motivation and inspiration decide to hit me together, these will end up framed on your walls, printed on the tees you wear, on your tea coasters, and creep up on you when you least expect them to. :)



Following a visit to a art gallery in Trivandrum where i came face to face with Ravi Varma originals, a visit that left me in raptures, the following sketch is a humble tribute to the Raja's women.

She is the dawn. The twilight. And the Dusk.

                                            The King of the Netherworld


While i cant claim to have any knowledge of any of the myriad mudras that make up our classical dances, the following is my vision of the Tandav - with Shiva being the performer.

Again, my favorite character - Shiva as the Yogi.

The following is an attempt at acrylic - the theme being seeking the divine within and communion with the larger universe.

A sea nymph. A mermaid. One among neptune's daughters. Take your pick.


Yolk Studio:

Here is some of the work done for Studio Yolk, run jointly by Sam Mohan and Kalpana in Koramangala, Bangalore.

Wall Murals: These are some pics from the work in progress and the finished product. tThe base art work was done in pencil and the final version was painstakingly done using that most complicated of tools, a standard issue permanent marker.

and this is how it finally ended up...

Some more of the creatives developed for Yolk. This one depicts the search for the truth (Yolk in the Lotus at the top right). All assorted icons, including the gods, sign posts, the meditating alien, the doomsday soothsayer, the wandering lighthouse, and even the perpetually battling hen and egg - they all point to the seekers' search for the ultimate truth - in this case, the Yolk flower.

and another one...Essentially a meeting of minds and hearts across cultures and geographies.


and now on to more older creations...

One of my more favorite creations. And i would like to point out that this one was created and executed long long before dasavatharam was even a gleam in Kamal hasan's eye. The central character i.e. the one in the middle beside the young brahmin is yours truly. And by tweaking my big nosed face a little here and there, the result is a veritable gallery of personalities. if this isn't megalomania, then i don't know what is. Not that i am complaining.


     A Mind In Two Worlds. Straddling the Physical plane and the astral universe.

A young royal courtesan.

                                           The King of Lanka, on the RudraVeena. A re-imagining.

The many faces of man.

 Sleepless in the Big City

The King of Hearts


The Never Ending Cycle of Life and Death, as spoken by Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra

                                            The King of the Netherworld


Originally concieved as a representation of Krishna washing Sudama's feet, something made me erase the other hand, the one away from the viewer, as a result of which this now show Krishna bending down to touch someone's feet and invoke the blessings thereforth. As i see it, there's no greater expression of obvious humility and acceptance than this one gesture.

As one of my more favorite subjects, Krishna in his myriad avatars and incarnations, offers himself to interpretations that are limited in their scope and imagination only by the artist. Here the blue wonder is depicted in his all his baroque glory from his days as a cowherd in vrindavan. More on Krishna in the sketches to follow.

As with most of my drawings, i started this one with no clear idea on what i was going to end up with. As it turned out, it came out looking like this. One way of looking at this could be the earth holding up the skies or gently lowering it to the soil.

An attempt to depict the third eye of Shiva. The eye being in the middle of the storm created by its unrestrained anger. A very nebula like atmosphere here. Somehow didn't find watercolors conducive to what i wanted to portray.

Taking inspiration from the lives of some of our most talented yet unappreciated artists of our times, i have attempted to portray the phenomenon of genius gone mad. Those having read masterpieces like 'Lust for Life' by Irving Stone would agree that an inhuman amount of blessed genius does come along with its own set of baggage. Unanswerable loneliness, smothering insecurities, the need for love and affection and constant appreciation to the extent of being labelled self indulgent and self obsessed, all propped up with a feeling of general dissatisfaction with the world, accompany the creative process of most of our gods of human . As i like to believe, " One man's inspiration is another man's madness ". Cocooned and unquestioningly conforming to all that they have been taught to believe and obey, from the time of the womb till the day of death, its hard for society to understand what drives a man. Especially one whose thought processes aren't confined to the physical limits of his existence, and extend far above what it has been conventionally taught to believe as right and final.

A humble clay pot housing a feeble stem of a rose plant. Even in its simplicty, this is my favorite piece of art, done as it was during a time of great personal turmoil and angst. Which probably is reflected in the theme of the above watercolor, where my attempt was to depict growth and regeneration, the flowering of new life. As one more from the same time as mentioned above, this here is a depiction of the angst and longing struggling in an atmosphere of self inflicted pain. A similar theme being depicted in the watercolor below.

Another depiction of Krishna and his lady love. I for one, believe that our gods do lend themselves to multiple representations of their physical appearance, and as such, i find it very liberating to depict my favorite blue skinned god as a bald youth sharing sweet moments with his lady love.

As an image that's mostly confined to the Buddha, i have shown Ganesha here in his more mature years, shorn of adornments and all that is coventional is our godly depictions. Here he is a sanyasi, a mystic rather, which considering his illustrous lineage, is quite apt for him.

And continuing with the elephant headed one, here's him in all his youthful glory. Young and restless and proud of it. Or at least that's what i tried to show here.
As one of the most enigmatic and under analyzed mythological characters, Ravan, the King of Lanka offers the most varied of depictions to any one with an love of abstract and an unrestrained imagination. A scion of an illustrous line of saints, a connoisseur of classical music, shiv bhakt and a warrior to boot. Here is Ravan, the brahmin, the king and as the epics have taught us to believe, the demon.

Continuing my fascination with mythology, here's parashuram with a trident instead of his cutomary axe. So this may not be parasuram at all, maybe one of the many siva bhakt's, especially of the variety that one gets to see in the kumbh mela.

Poppy art. Divine benediction.

Kalpavriksha. Looks more like a anglo-saxomic version of it. What's that little castle turrent doing in the back ?

The background is the standard Microsoft wallpaper. The one with the smooth green. These characters must be quite familiar for me to expound any further on them.

I superimposed my vision of hell's gatekeeper over and image of michaelangelo's sistine chapel. The result to my eyes, is an renaissance view of lucifer;s kingdom. The bats came later. What;s life without stereotypes?

My fascination with really ancient history continues. "The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee. Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,That host with their banners at sunset were seen:Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,That host on the morrow lay withered and strown."

A scene i once saw in the cold dewy hilltops of Ooty a few minutes before the advent of the new year. FThe trees swaying along with the cold wind and this single streak of light blazing its way across the skies, welcoming the new year. a omen of things to come?

Twitter birdie in her(twitter bird is a female?) new avatars...

These were meant to be part of a twitter based application being developed at my company. Somehow these character sketches didn't make the cut (too cute, the feedback was), and thus they ended up here.


Second Iteration.. this is the twitter bird, in a more not-so-cute avatar(or that's
what i thought)


This is what i do during offical meetings

Guess this will be an interesting artifact to kept in the garden at the back. Gigantic hand made of white granite smothered by large leafed flora and kept company by tiny multi legged fauna. The hand the sketch is based on belongs to a very beautiful person.
A vision of how Bahubali, the mythological character on which the giant statue at gomateshwara in southern karnataka is based on, might have looked in his prime.
The woods are dark and deep...and i keep thinking if the english poet who wrote that was referring to the Sunderbans. This was drawn as an impromptu reaction to The Hungry Tide
by Amitav Ghosh, a book that falls inches short of being a classic yet manages to portray the sunderbans and its inhabitants as never before.

This could be kind of person who would be the royal palace guardian for a god fearing monarch. Probably Ravan could use some like him. Looks like he could be moonlighting as a part time priest.

Influenced from the literary compositions of Leon Uris and James Michener's The Source, my reaction to their outpourings on Israel and judaism. A hebrew warrior of yore. Defending the kingdom of god against the romans.

If i could find some representation of how the matter inside the space between my ears must look like, here's a close approximation of the same. I guess a further description of the same won't be necessary.

Yet another depiction of Krishna, this time as the King of Dwarka. In all his royal finery.

A futuristic vison of Mumbai with newer constructions over reclaimed land. Reclaimed land. A phrase that for some reason implies that we as humans have a right over the land that wasn't given to us in the first place. We have for our own needs, driven back the sea, levelled and gouged mountains and punched holes in the ozone layer, thus creating more space for our greed to take shape on. A process that continues. Where does this end?

Stylised version of a foot soldier from the babylonic empires.

From being the most feared warrior king of his times, from one who had no place for god in his woprld, plumbing the depths of his soul and humanity and eventually emerging as a believer in the one true god, here is Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of Babylon.

21,000 leagues under the sea is where the sealife gathers to rock and party!!

A very quick and dirty sketch of the eternal city from the viewpoint of three tired travellers from faraway lands. The third being me, my compatriots being very much visible here. Was banaras always like this? Religion and decadence exisiting side by side? Does it give us pride to visualise this holy city as one where corpses float in the ganga, and where crows and jackals openly pick at the flesh of the deceased. Is this how i want to remember this holiest of cities?
As one learned gent one once remarked - India is a rich and ancient civilization in an advanced state of decay. A statement i like to comfort myself with.
Me Drunk. You Drunk. Who's Sober?

From sunil dutt to dilip kumar to vinod khanna to sanjay dutt and sunny deol, here's to all our cinema dakus.

February 19, 2021

One usually never makes a record of the events of a particular day. But Feb 19 is momentous for the sole reason that the divorce got finalis...