Paris 13/11

Days when all a poet can do is not enough
Dreams, leaves and blame best left to hawks
Bells toll you haven’t done what you meant to do
What you were meant to do. All a poet.

You and I our dawn-staggered lives
You and I unname ungodly names
You and I our million things to hide
And a million commercial breaks.

Pointless censure, pointless remorse
Pointless parade of muddied souls
Condemned condemning themselves
An important hurtful circus. All a poet.

(A tribute to all the world leaders who so eloquently responded to the 13/11 Paris Terror Attack)

Festive Shopping Best Practices

Gifting and getting new things for your loved ones, the home and yourself for the festive months are joyous stressors that make life more interesting. I prefer stores and showrooms to shopping online as I get to watch people, beautiful, happy, shoppy people, at-wits-end men hanging on to bags while the missus cannot make up their minds, unbridled, bouncy kids, housewives driving stiff bargains with determined, oily foreheads, parking space battles, a veritable mile-sur-mera-tumhara of languages and ethnicities, and most importantly, the amazing selling strategies and skills of the traders.  Online shopping is usually always cheaper, no noise, no crowd, no check-out queues, but lacks the human warmth and complexity that brick-and-mortar festive shopping oozes.

Online or offline, shopping right without being wasteful or foolish is a big mountain. The challenge compounds as your budget gets larger and larger year to year. So let me give in to my seasonal jejune urge to share my wisdom. Here are my 7 Tips  To Avoid Common Mistakes During Festive Shopping.

Do share your tips and experiences and let me know what you thought of the post.

Four Financial Milestones To Reach By Age 30

My favorite season is in the wings. Like first cups of new tea, each day teases me into looking deeper at things we live with. To lead happier lives, to eliminate the poisons of greed, anger and ignorance, to get things done with as little stress and waste as possible, to reduce the errors of our ways and to help Dev learn what is worthy.

The richness of our world is reason for hope.

Money, how we acquire it, what we use it for, and the price we are ready to pay for it is central to much of our pursuit of a simpler, more responsible life. Both right livelihood and right conduct come into play when it comes to money. More on that some other time.

One of our challenges during these last few years has been to try and catch up with our milestones after hitting a few financial dead ends. If I were able to relive my 20s again, there would be a couple of things I would be gunning for.

Read my post on Four Financial Milestones To Reach By Age 30 over at the MoneyView blog.

Read the full post>>

How To Avoid Common Money Mistakes

Money and saving money is often the most important goal for many if not most people. Financial hardships, debts and bankruptcy are just as important a reality for perhaps just as large a number of us. Strange, huh? Most people wake up to financial challenges when they are already nicely at home. Like embarrassing relatives, they sit around, reminding you of bills and groceries. The good news is that with a bit of foresight and planning, most personal finance meltdowns can be kept really, really far.

The principles are simple, create a money roadmap, make your family money-literate, and understand the nature of debt. You might be half nodding your head at some, but chances are you need to start acting right away.  Read the detailed how to avoid common personal finance mistakes post at the MoneyView blog.

New, Improved, Same Old Art

Sunday mornings, up with the lark, photographing my latest crop of paintings, drinking mystic tea, and waiting for Dev to wake up and take over everything. My third set is ready to set sail. Do let me know what you think of them.

Devil King of the Sixth Heaven 2015, 8" x 10" Oil on Canvas, unmounted

Mara has been called the devil king of the sixth heaven in the teachings of Shakyamuni and the writings of Nichiren Daishonin. The sixth heaven is the ultimate selfish manifestation of desire, or the Heaven of Freely Enjoying Things Conjured by Others, and its ruler delights in manipulating others to submit to his will. In my pursuit of art, it also pertains to the resistance to paint or draw or write for that matter. In Buddhism, devils indicate those functions that block or hinder people’s efforts to complete their Buddhist practice, including propagating the teachings.

Man, Child and Door 2015, 8" x 11" Oil on Canvas, unmounted

The last two years have been the most wonderful time of our lives, with each other and with the coming of Dev. It has been a time of doors - opening, closing, as our inner landscapes evolve. We have been fortunate to be able to spend all our time together over this time, and many a times, the canvas and the brush would decide that is what it wanted to become.

Self Portrait 2015, 8" x 10" Oil on Canvas, unmounted

Studying art marketing with my agent has been fun, fun, fun. It turns out Buddha faces are the easiest to sell. But then, I don't have a clue what Buddha looked like beyond the one I see every morning in the mirror.

View of Tirumala Hills 2015, 10" x 8" Oil on Canvas, board-mounted

I am an out and out Tirupati obsessive, I love the place, the energy and the healing nature all around. This time, I quickly made notes of what I was seeing and tried to paint it.

Windows Vista 2015, 8" x 11" Pencil and Ink on Paper, unmounted
My homage to the information highway, online holiday planning, the Hyderabad metro rail, and to all 50 million plus displaced people (not counting the pigeons of course) on this planet who wonder what their next step should be.

My First Virtual Flash Art Exhibition And Sale

"Then you have an artist who says he doesn't want to paint at all." ~ Mark Knopfler, In The Gallery

I have a tea business and a digital marketing business. And while I have tea and worry about how to keep my digital marketing business afloat, I write and draw. I first shared my artwork on this blog when writing about Hindi poetry bloggers, and since I didn't get any adverse comments, I thought I would put some more out. As a digital marketeer I will do what I can to sell my work using social media. Once the groundwork is over, I will carry on with my life, only to come back in 24 hours to shut shop. (Update: The exhibition was ultimately kept open for 36 hours in order to include 12 hours of Monday - from Sunday early morning to Monday evening.)

These are from the last 10 years of my journey as an art student and aspiring artist and as a social entity living in the most challenging of times. Like my writing, my painting tends to be aimed at dissecting ideas rather than achieving anything of substance. As an amateur (one who is in love with what he does as opposed to professional), I feel totally within my rights. However, I accede to my times the right to not know WTF I am talking about.

This is a flash sale. Prices do not include shipping, framing, or digital reproduction rights. Most of these works are available online for lower priced reproductions. Prices of originals apply only to this experimental sale. I will do my best to update in real time, and I promise to put out more work if and as I clear my inventory. Commission undertaken subject to availability. (Update: I sold six paintings in the 36 hours out of the 9 that I exhibited. Two of these were by family members so they don't count. One was not for sale. That makes 4 out of 8, house-half-full. Pleased and grateful.) 

More than anything else, I would like this exhibition to be the beginning of a new conversation, a new dialog, one without a discriminatory or judging tone, to discuss where art goes from where it has been over the last few very exciting decades. I invite art students, scholars and lovers to jump in. Let us find, nurture and cherish the art that should define our time.

For everyone who happened upon this post, enjoy!!

"Family" 2015, Oil on Canvas, 11" x 14" Mounted, 10,000 SOLD

"Ascetic" 2015 Oil on canvas board, 8" x 11" 40,000 SOLD

"Study for Three Treasures" 2015 Oil on canvas board 12" x 15" 10,000 SOLD

"Study for Ascetic" 2015 Oil on canvas board, 8" x 11" 5000

"Study for Queen of Arts" 1985, Ink on Paper, 8" x 11", Not for Sale

"Forest" 2011 Mixed media on cardboard, 8" x 11", unmounted, 5000 SOLD

"The raised hand/A double edged sword," 2007, Watercolor on paper, 8" x 11" unmounted, 2000

"Study for Forest" 2011 Mixed media on card, 8" x 11" unmounted, 2000 SOLD
"Self Portrait" 2011, Pencil on paper, 8" x 11", unmounted, 10,000 SOLD

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