Saturday, December 19, 2009


I just read a quote:
"Any emotion if it is sincere is involuntary."


I just read a quote:
"Any emotion if it is sincere is involuntary."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

the more you have

My writing (as have my drawings and paintings) has gone so much better (in my own opinion) in the last month. SImply because I have been writing more again.

It is all biblical. The more you have (or do) the more will be given you. The less you have (or do) the more will be taken off you.

History of drawing

I have had a lot of people ask me how long I have been drawing. And recently I have been asked a few times more than usual. It could be that I am drawing even more lately. Been feeling the love to do it in free times, getting inspired through films, comics, books, photographs and random ideas.

In our Drawing class with Michael Collins I have been working on a series of ten paintings with ink wash, based on a comic retro theme labelled 'The Stalking Samurai' about a 1950s woman who is stalked on the street by a mysterious shadowy samurai. Then she escapes to a cafe but realises the samurai is still stalking her. Right now I am working on the scene in her bathroom as she emerges out of the bath tub. Care has been taken care that she looks hot, because she is hardly covered and her legs and back need to look good. Inspiration from film voyeurism (where the idea is to show off the woman's body to attract more attention to the story, which works obviously as seen in Bollywood movie Bobby). It is not pornographic so its alright.

Michael has been highly impressed with the paintings and last week as I was working on the third painting, he said, "You have done in three hours what my third year Fine Arts students cannot do in half a year." Because apparently one of his students was trying to finish a comic novel but hardly got anywhere because he was trying too hard to make the characters real and all that. (It actually is all in the head. No matter how much paper work you do, if the characters aren't real to you inside your head, they just aren't real.) But that was an awesome comment to get from a drawing teacher and one of my favourite teachers at that.

Then yesterday as I was brushing up my sixth or seventh painting, he came and looked at it and said she will call Janet Abbot (the head of department of Fine Arts department) and let her have a look.

Golly! I thought.

Janet looked at them with her fingers on her chin. She nodded. Then asked, "How long have you been drawing?"

"As long as I can remember."

"Ah. That's the way it should be, good."

She thought she would put the paintings up somewhere in the college. But she didn't in the end, thank goodness. Because after the submissions are done and my marks are received I plan to sell them (ten paintings in all as a series of paintings) and make some money. haha

And coincidentally Debbie asked me, "how long have you been drawing?", yesterday. And I gave her history of how I drew everywhere, on my uncle's bike, uncle's cupboards, drawers and so on.

So yeah, I don't think that drawing is any talent I have. Of course maybe I have an eye for creativity and ideas, but the ability to draw I was not born with. It is not logical. Afters about 18 years of slaving away, spending afternoons and nights drawing away, painting away, looking at books with beautiful drawings, I have come to where I have been. Nothing is acheived when nothing is done.

That gives me more reason to keep drawing. Else one day I'd be saying, "when I was younger I used to draw SO MUCH. Then I got busy and sort of stopped."

Acquired gifts take time but do wear off. And it is a gift, not a birthright. I can lose it.

Vespa Ride And A Day of Cafe Hopping In Rome (Roman Holiday film)

I just finished watching Roman Holiday, a classic film made in the 50s. It is a beaitiful movie, one might even call it one of the first few chick flicks. But I wouldn't call it that. It is pretty serious film making in a way that the story was well written and technical things were on the spot too.

Audrey Hepburn acts Princess Ann who escapes from her Colosseum during her stately visit to Rome and disguises herself as someone. She is picked up by an American news reporter who reluctantly takes her in simply because she had gone nuts, talking nonsense and almost at a state of drunkenness. He lets her sleep on his couch (not on his bed, haha).

Next day Princess Ann comes to the realisation that she is in a stranger's house. She lies she is a school kid running away from school, and the American guy Joe Bradley pretends to believe though he knew by now that she is actually Princess Ann.

Now Bradley wants his boss to pay him 5000 dollars (or was it 50,00$) for an exclusive interview. And decides to accompany Princess Ann as she roamed the city as a normal girl.

I loved the scenes where they go riding on a vespa and upturn the market places, run over people's bags, displace street stores and had the police after them. I also read a review in the internet that the movie made vespa hot in vogue.

SOme quotes from the film:
Princess Ann: I could do some of the things I've always wanted to.
Joe Bradley: Like what?
Princess Ann: Oh, you can't imagine. I-I'd do just whatever I liked all day long.
Joe Bradley: Tell you what. Why don't we do all those things, together?
Princess Ann: But don't you have to work?
Joe Bradley: Work? No. Today's gonna be a holiday.
Princess Ann: But you want to do a lot of silly things?
Joe Bradley: [He takes her hand] ... First wish? One sidewalk cafe, comin' right up. I know just the place. Rocca's.
Irving Radovich (Joe's photographer friend): Joe, we can't go running around town with a hot princess!
Dr. Bonnachoven: The best thing I know is to do exactly what you wish for a while.
Joe Bradley: Now, come on. You're not that drunk.
Princess Ann: [laughing] If you're so smart I'm not drunk at all. I'm just being
[her head falls against his chest]
Princess Ann: verrrrry haaaappy...
Yeah its a very light hearted story. Some of the scenes are actually inspiring Sirion Diaries scenes now. New scenes popping into my head.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I went to class to work on my projects. Raj and Lina were there. I sat down at the computer. Lina had turned on the fan and it was sighing away. I started to feel very sleepy. So I decided to crash on the couch and take a nap.
Wasn't easy to go to sleep.
And woke up at 9:10pm. AN HOUR later. And it is getting late. And I know there is nothing I can do now. No use trying to do any more work, not for tonight.
FIne. Go home then.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ten things about going home and what to do there

Last night I talked with people back from Shillong. I can't wait to meet them again. I can't believe I haven't seen them for a year and a half. That is a long time I have to say, and I felt like I just met them last week, as I was talking to them.

There is much to do when I reach there. First hug my parents and pat my brothers on their heads (like puppies that they are). Then I will eat Lay's and all the street food that I can see in the near proximity.

Here is brief list of things that I suspect will happen:
1. Meet friends, yes, meet family relatives. Tell them about New Zealand (if they ask).
2. Christmas Eve service, where all the international students are expected to put on a show of some sort, telling some story of life back in their countries where they study in. Uh, I am not going to do some cultural show like the Maori dance though that is the first thing that comes to my mind.
3. Style photo shoot with Sirawon and Bi. Hope this happens. But looking at how this sort of things turn out, I guess there will be other people like Asane, Thiu, maybe, POuchun, Alex, and it will probably turn out into food party driving around in narrow Shillong roads tucked with aloo moorie, Lay's and Sprite. Atleast that's what I care for right now. Photography.. anyone can do. Having fun, not everyone!
4. Youth guys, will be all abuzz for Christmas. I can't wait to step in and catch the buzz.
5. Home town galore, more food, more love, more family. More cheap street food in Tamenglong, more Christmas lujam singing and more meat! And of course walking about from cousin's place to another cousin's place and getting dusty.
6. Observing is what I did the last time I went to Tamenglong after a long time. Much had happened. Much will have happened even more now. I will try and write blogs and stories about what is happening there (on a more serious note).
7. MAKE A DOCUMENTARY FILM!!!!! That is more like a travelogue. OR whatever you call it. A documentation of travel. Snippets of random things that come my way. And edit them after I come back to Christchurch when I am missing home again.
8. Roam Police Bazaar and Laitumkhrah, try to merge in with the streets, keep a keen eye for details and be inspired all over again to start a new whiff of Sirion pages running again. Or if not for that, just for the sake of the joy of it, the streets that I patronise so much.
9. More family time. Thou shall not plan to have family times, because it is not even to be planned, it should THE thing to do. Bully POuchun.
10. Go through all my old stuff, old comic books I never finished, my old books and writings, and see if I should take anything back with me.
11. Play drums for Christmas at SBC.

Friday, December 11, 2009

You'll Never Walk Alone

Today I am reminded of the song that I grew up hearing my mother sing all the time:

You'll Never Walk Alone
R. Rogers/O. Hammerstein II

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk

You'll never walk
You'll never walk alone.

The Face

There was a clown who put on a happy face. Not many people wanted to see his real face. He came in circuses and busking fairs sometimes. And he had a funny mask. His mask reminded people of a warm sunshine. Yellow and golden and beaming.

Not many people even thought he has a face. Not that he shouldn't but just that it was just better if he didn't. It complicated a lot of things. What wass the harm in overlooking a little of this fact?

Still the same, everybody in the travelling crew loved him.

But today he sat near the water's edge and just sat. He looked at himself in the water and someone sad looked back at him. Who is he that looked so sad? Someone so unlike himself or what the world knew him as. Someone so unlike what he knew himself as. Maybe it was just a ghost. Just a dream. Maybe just a ripple in the water that contorted his face so that his happy face looked sad.

He also painted the massive backdrops for all the drama that happened with the travelling show. And he painted with love from his heart. He drew out of happy memories when he painted. He went back to his happy past, his times of friendship and love, and drew sunshine and flowers and trees out of those thoughts.

People fawned over his creation. Sometimes he enjoyed it. But sometimes, when he was painting it, he felt himself getting colder. Like a bit of sunshine, a bit of warmth has escaped from him, and gone into the painting. That a bit of his soul has moved from his frame to that canvas. And he was getting emptied slowly.

He was just a frame anyway. Just a body. Where the soul chose to come and dwell and make its home. And where life could choose to leave whenever it wanted to.

Today he just sat on the water's edge. Untroubled and unbothered. Unhappy, unsad. Nothing. Like a cold stone that he was sitting on. Like the river that swept past. Like the reflection of the poplars on the water's surface. Like the smokes that lingered from the chimneys.

He looked again at the face reflected back at him, and wondered who he was. Who was this sad man and why does he have this strange feeling that he has seem him before but still looked very unfamiliar.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song

This is the springtime of my loving - the second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing - so little warmth I've felt before.
It isn't hard to feel me glowing - I watched the fire that grew so low.

It is the summer of my smiles - flee from me Keepers of the Gloom.
Speak to me only with your eyes. It is to you I give this tune.
Ain't so hard to recognize - These things are clear to all from
Time to time.

Talk Talk - I've felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought it would ever go. I cursed the gloom that set upon us...
But I know that I love you so

These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion - I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient - Upon us all a little rain must fall


sometimes i wish i am allowed to swear.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Today I woke up to sunshine. It was strange after so many days of cloud and rain, it started to feel like summer again. I walked to church studio which I found out was closed. Every Saturday, duh. And the girls were at the 'all-girls' launch of Porcelain stationery launch. Inf Def store didn't entertain me that much. Just met Georgie (who ballets at Majestic sometimes) who now apparently worked there and who promised to show me her fashion illustrations. Inf Def was depressing me, I don't know why. Lumes Cafe was alright. Talked with David about bringing in my art pieces to put on display and maybe put some amount on it so that it might get sold hopefully. Also thought of putting in my comic books there, not to be sold but just for display and for coffee-ers to read.

I sat at the Cathedral Square drawing a few people there, hanging around to enjoy the sun. An Asian guy sat next to me drinking Starbucks and I kept feeling he was Soo Jern (for some reason). I got three pages of drawings in my sketchbook, trying out different forms and pose that people sat at.

I had the idea of going to library and sitting there and planning out the next few pages of Sirion Diaries in writing. But when I got there, it was closed. Library closes at 4pm every weekends. Damn early! I just grinned to myself and walked back home.

Now I am looking forward to a full afternoon of Sirion Diaries. Bliss.

But I am confused, would you call it a productive day or just wasted? Because what I planned totally didn't work out but then I also don't mind how it is turning out to be.

Ok, page 116 of Sirion Diaries beckons me.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Lord, you have blessed me. Abundantly. You have lighten up your countenance upon and given me your great favour.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

About Sirion Diaries

I think that it is about time I get a move on with Sirion Diaries again. Sometimes I worry that the comic industry is so engrossed in making stories about the future, and stories that are plain outrageous and bizarre enough to stand out in the crazy noisy mess of a market, that mine wouldn't stand out as much.

I have been inspired by artists who made art works that are just mind blowing and crazy that it does demand enough attention from people. That is fair enough. But most stories today that exists on the racks are stories that are other worldly. Like a child robot out to destroy a robot system gone out of control affecting all robots around the world, or people controlling 100 feet tall machines that walk about as vehicles. Or about demons and angels fighting over a soul. Or about strange weird things that are just strange as strange can be.

Don't get me wrong. I do respect them, and appreciate them.

But Sirion Diaries is a simple story about a person and his friends and his feelings and the places and his everyday stuff, living in a school on the Himalayan mountains. That is simply about it. No ghosts. No horror. No sex (haha, who knows, but thats pretty normal anyway). No robots. No UFO's.

I know people (who are encouraging me) will say it will stand out because of the quiet confidence it has on the story and attract attention because of its silence, rather than the amount of noise it creates. I believe in that. But it is a risk. Sirion Diaries is not a story. It is not just a novel. To me it is a mindset. To me, it is a way of thought that I need to get into. It is no trivial matter.

The opening quotation in Arundhati Roy's book 'God Of Small Things' sums it all up for me:
"And never again will a story be told, as though it was the only story to be told."

nothing much..

Is it summer yet? I woke up to sounds of rain today. I have to say I love the sound of rain pattering on the roof of another floor above mine. And I would have easily went back to sleep, losing myself in that sound but I couldn't. I just wanted summer. Rain is beautiful when we think about it wistfully and when we're all mushy mushy, but when I need to get out of bed and go to class and need to get excited about what I have lined for the day, it is of not much help.

There is heaps of work to be done today. Some have been done already. And I have to say it's been good so far.

I just realise I have 20 days to go back to Shillong. Somehow it hasn't dawned on me yet. How much of Shillong will have changed? How many of the people that used to be there, will be there? How much of the places and memories will have lasted?

I can't wait to see Tamenglong too. Its dusty roads and the celebrating churches that come alive during Christmas and the traditional drums that resonates throughout the town's hills, enveloped in evening light.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I feel alright now. but I worry if I wake up tomorrow, I would feel like my world just crashed down and I would sink in the middle of it all.


Or maybe not. Tomorrow might be different than I fear it will be.