Book Corner: The Maharajas (Treasures of the World)

Books are an essential part of my life- mysteries, comics, romance, fantasy, horror, thrillers, religious, conspiracies, detective, science fiction, mysteries, you name them!  Besides giving us a lot of information, books transport us to a parallel world, transcending us from the mundanity of existence to an ethereal universe. Recently I started borrowing  books related to art more than before from my library and so I thought why not review (not exactly a review but sharing a few points which caught my attention) some books that I found useful in my art journey and hence, this space “Book Corner”. I am so glad that I could get a few quality books on Indian art, architecture and sculptures from here!!!


The first book that I am going to introduce to you is called The Maharajas (meaning the great kings or rulers). It is a beautiful book with an equally lovely cover- a maroon coloured one with an old world feel and elegant look- with intricate golden patterns and a silver Ganesha statue in the centre (as you can see in the photo here). As the book is about the glorious Maharajas and their opulence that prevailed once and still continue to do so, the cover itself is no less glorious!

The book has been written by the seven time Emmy award winning author, editor and American historian Geoffrey C Ward, and is packed with vibrant photographs exuding charm and grace taken by Seth Joel. It was published by Stonehenge in the year 1983. Grandeur is the word that comes to our mind when we hear the term Maharaja or Maharani (great queen).We imagine a hoard of treasures, fineries, exquisite jewellery and a vast trove of sculptures & paintings strewn across great temples and palaces.

Each chapter highlights a few of the prominent princes during the British rule in India out of the 700 princely states which were present during that time. The first chapter is dedicated to the history and customs of the Rajputs who were celebrated patrons of art and architecture- be them paintings, sculptures, jewellery or palaces. The chapters outline the then fabric of the Indian society and situations that prevailed, invaders who coveted India’s natural resources and great wealth; brutal conquerors who were later integrated into the existing folds of the Indian life, like the Bactrians, the Scythians, the Mughals, and the British who later had to go go back to their country. The Indian subcontinent has seen the rise and fall of many different cultures and rulers within herself. All these influences are reflected on the art and architecture of several places. The princes and kings commissioned portraits of themselves as well as sprawling palatial  buildings for them and their consorts. Often these buildings bore the influence of the foreign art and architecture.

The Rajputs being the Kshatriyas or the military caste, prized their weaponry as much as they did their jewels and fineries. A photograph shows a leather shield painted in lacquers showing the scenes of hunting – one of their favourite pastimes, painted in such miniature lines and curves (look below). Details on such things as these nefarious weapons of warfare are themselves so intricate and gorgeous. The gold inlays, the immaculate polishing, the vibrant colours and the jewel encrustations fill us with an inexplicable awe, just by looking at the photographs. Just imagine the pride and the twinkle in the eyes the rulers had when they held them in their hands!! Or even the satisfaction the artisans had when they finished a piece of meticulous craftsmanship!


The Benares rulers were no less flamboyant than the Rajputs in their lavish lives. They too spent their wealth creating wonders. Each page of this wonderful book is covered with incidents in history about both the magnanimous and ruthless kings and their treasures. But not all kings were wise enough in their use of money; many of them squandered their wealth on erratic whims and fancies, as outlined by the author. This book is a virtual treasure chest showcasing portraits and personal belongings of the rulers, all studded with gems and jewels in the form of photographs.

Similarly the other rulers like those of Baroda and Mysore were also ostentatious in terms of the wealth and the commissioned articles of luxury. The Wadiyars of Mysore who are still a continuing royal family (sans the old positions) in India, boast of a number of artifacts dedicated to the Goddess Chamunda who is the presiding deity and protector of Mysore. What a sight it would have been to witness the procession of the Goddess during the Navaratri festival when all would be clad in their best jewels and the whole city would wear a festive look to catch a glimpse of the Goddess in all Her glory!!!?

‘The Maharajas’ will be a prized possession to those who love both the art and history of India equally. This is not a mere book comprising of papers and letters rather a trip through the riches and enormous wealth which once ran through the veins of the subcontinent with well laid out and close up lavish photos. A tribute to the glorious past- remnants of a withered past! Hope you all liked this discussion here and my views on this book.

Hope you liked this post. This is my first attempt at reviewing a book! Keep watching out for this space under BOOK CORNER in the menu for more posts on art books.

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.


DOODLES · illustrations

Igniting inner peace

It’s been a long time since I have posted something as I got a bit busy with a little trip. So here is a little food for thought along with one of  my favourite drawings so far- a lady who sits in the middle of a lotus flower that signifies the world we are in surrounded by fleeting thoughts and disturbances in the form of birds and nature around us, igniting peace from within. I have named it inner peace- but inner is a redundant word in this context in that peace has to stem from inside; peace is not something that we can buy from outside or dig up from the ground. I would love to know your views on the same. Please feel free to comment in the comment section.

Inner peace

Peace is an absolutely important ingredient to live our life to the fullest. Of course, we being humans, it is only natural that we are subjected to circumstantial stresses and tensions and succumb to it. But controlling it to an extent can give us immense relief. Meditation is a great way to attain peace. We do not have to go through any complicated techniques or mumbo-jumbo; even a simple 5 minute relaxation by closing our eyes will do. A simple technique which I did when I was in school was called Jyothi or Light meditation. It involves sitting cross-legged preferably on the floor in a quite corner and obviously closing your eyes. Then imagine a flame of light passing slowly through your body and dwelling in each and every organ and tissue of your body. This is a slow process which helps you relax and breath slowly but steadily in a rhythmic manner. Finally the flame should rest in the middle of your forehead at the position of the third eye which is the seat of wisdom and spiritual enlightenment. Breathe out and slowly come out of it. I am sharing this so that all can benefit from it.

Self introspection is a great way to look into ourselves and to diagnose the problem that is disturbing us or talk it out to a trusted confidante like your best friends or family. Stop criticizing yourself because come on, there are hundreds of others outside at your disposal to do just that. Don’t ever listen to slander- it is just a waste of time. Believe in yourself and you don’t need a stamp if approval from anyone but we being a unit called society, have to adjust at times to fit the norms; we are social animals.  We lose peace when we try to impress everyone every time which is not possible. It is nothing short of conquering the Everest for the layman.

Dream, dream and dream, travel to places that call out to you, explore, experiment, try new and bold, expand your territories, push out of your comfort zone and cut the crap out!! For most of us it is easier said than done but still it is worth giving a try for the prize that is peace. Being content is another aspect of peace. When your mind is in turmoil, try to calm the turbulent waters by praying to God for assistance- He is the One who will ferry us across the storms. Soak it all in and bask in the peace. Anxiety coupled with pessimism will lead only to further trouble. We must develop equanimity  in these days of increasing insecurity and intolerance. Get a grip on yourself and act as one cohesive unit when in a family which is where our heart will be. Armed with self esteem and copious amounts of optimism, go conquer the world overcoming existential crisis. Prove no one else but yourself by being true to your self and being unique. Leave your mark and signature and cultivate peace!!

Linking it to the amazing ladies at PPF.

P.S: I will be introducing a new section “Book Reviews” where I will be introducing art related books that I have read or currently reading along with its details and recommendations. Do watch out for it here!

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

DOODLES · illustrations

Miniature May: A brand new challenge!

I am back with a new challenge again, for May 2018 by the amazing Kick in the Creatives team!!! This time the challenge is to create miniature artwork of size less than 5×5 inches. I have taken up my own theme- miniature mandalas! Tadaa!! Mandalas as everyone know are designs in the form of circles with multiple concentric I am also going to share different mandala facts with each posts which are inspired by what I have read and collected from books and the internet. I have also experimented with a different photography style!! Enjoy!

  • Miniature May: Day 1/31: This mandala here is of size 4”×4” and has a Ganesha in the centre.

#Mandalafact: Mandalas are basically spiritual and ritualistic symbols used in                    Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe.


  • Miniature May: Day 2/31: Here is another miniature mandala to drive away the Wednesday woes!!😁 holding the mandala in hand will show the scale..#Mandalafact: The word Mandala is generally used to denote any pattern or diagram that depicts the cosmos- it is in fact the microcosm that is picturised.


  • Miniature May: Day 3/31: Mandala mandala everywhere!!😁 Mandala within greens to cool your eyes!!

#Mandalafact: Mandalas exhibit radial balance since they usually originate from a            point and spread outward.


  • Miniature May: Day 4/31: Look inward into the microcosm that you really are and unravel the spiritual wisdom within!😁 Mandala amidst blossoms to cheer your mind!! Today’s miniature mandala with triangles, spirals and lines in a harmonious geometric interlude.

#Mandalafact: Mandalas are often used as a spiritual aid in focusing attention, for             meditation and to establish a sacred space.


  • Miniature May: Day 5/31: A half mandala for the weekend!

#Mandalafact: Historically and politically, in ancient India the term mandala was                used to denote political formations such as states.


  • Miniature May: Day 6/31: A half mandala again..#Mandalafact: In certain sect of Buddhism, the mandala is used to represent the divine powers of the enlightened mind.


  • Miniature May: Day 7/31: A quarter mandala…This is the smallest drawing I have done so far..

 #Mandalafact: The outer circle of fire in certain mandalas represent wisdom.


  • Miniature May: Day 8/31: This mandala did not turn out well because it was done in a hurry😶😑 Mandala for #miniaturemayby @kickinthecreatives#Mandalafact: Sand mandala is an interesting Tibetan Buddhist tradition which involves creation and destruction of mandalas using coloured sand.


  • Miniature May: Day 9/31: A white on black mandala with a lacy look.#Mandalafact: There is a mandala ceremony performed by monks. Once a mandala is finished, however long it takes them, they pray over it and destroy it as the ceremony signifies that everything is transient- nothing is permanent. It is in fact true as we know everything in this universe is subject to change. Change is inevitable. Change is the only thing that is constant!


  • Miniature May: Day 10/31: A monochrome sunflower mandala for #miniaturemay

       #Mandalafact: The famous psychiatrist Carl Jung was the one who introduced the             eastern concept of Mandalas to the western thought as a means of psychological                 well-being.


Hope you all liked these miniature mandalas!! More to follow!!

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

My paintings · The 100 day project 2018

The 100 day project!

As I always say, Instagram is a great place to meet new artist friends and get loads of inspiration. And that is exactly how I came across The 100 day project which was all over insta where artists were creating particular pieces of art or repeating a particular action for 100 days! I found it cool and so far the only longest challenge I took part in was the 5 Minute March challenge. This project I found was an extra challenging one and I also wanted to attempt something which I hadn’t done so so far. That is how I decided to do a 100 coffee paintings for this one. I did try coffee painting a few years ago but it didn’t turn out well. So after a hiatus, I tried it out again and voila, it produced some amazing results which surprised me. The shading and emotions on the face are so tough to express!! I am sure that by constant practice anyone can improve their art. The only things required are passion and constant perseverance! The first and third ladies below are inspired by the super talented and amazing artist Mona Biswarupa Mohanty.


The 100 day project is currently hosted by artists Elle Luna and Lindsay Jean Thomson who are doing their own exciting 100 day projects. According to the rules of the challenge, we need to decide upon the action that we would be continuing for a 100 days starting from April this year- in my case the coffee paintings. I was already a bit late but nevertheless decided to give it a go because I was so much captivated by the idea behind it. After deciding upon the project, we need to create a unique hashtag (follow my hashtag #100daysofcoffeepainting on Instagram to view all the art in one place) for the project so that all the works can be seen together when searched. Announce the project on insta and keep posting the works like I am doing now.


I am a big time coffee lover and adore it, both in its hot and cold avatars but my favourite is the cold coffee. It gives you a sort of kick to keep you awake and get the ideas running around!! Creating magic with coffee is an art which I wish to sharpen. Let us see how it goes..I will keep you guys posted on my progress in the coming posts. I might give a couple of tutorials once this project is done. I am trying to learn the techniques by watching tutorials on youtube and following some articles on Google.

Linking this post to the ever supporting and lovely lady bloggers at the Paint Party Friday blog!

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

DOODLES · illustrations

Nocturnal love!

Who doesn’t love the young night clad in a sparkling starry cloak and reigning over all things mysterious n unknown? Well I am a nocturnal person and most of my ideas come alive at night. It is almost as if the brain gets active at night!! Though night is usually regarded to be the playtime of ghosts n ghouls n all things creepy (“for the night is dark and full of terrors” to quote Melisandre from Game of thrones!!!), most of us in fact love that part of the 24 hour cycle simply due to its sheer beauty. In fact we acknowledge and appreciate the day because of the presence of the night and vice versa, don’t you think? Here is a doodle and a little poem of mine depicting this nocturnal love! Enjoy!

Nocturnal love

Gazing up at the rotund moon,

basking in her glory in a starry knit cloak,

surrounded by stellar comrades,

reigning over in glorious royalty,

Silver streaks come dancing down,

carrying drops of blissful elixir,

raining down glistening jewels,

waltzing down with murmuring leaves,

gentle breeze playing the interlude,

Inner recesses of the mind,

blossom forth, blooming in pure joy,

pouring out as poetry, sublime and subtle,

in an expression of nocturnal love!

Hope you guys liked this poem and doodle!! Do leave your precious comments if you also feel the same about night!

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.






DOODLES · illustrations

5 Minute March Challenge ends!

The 5 Minute March challenge ends with this post. Those who haven’t read the first and second part of this post please go here and here. You can also visit my Instagram account @desisoularts to view the sketches. All the reference photos are from Google.

  • Day 21/31: Thechi/ Chethi (Ixora plant-Ixora coccinea): This is in fact a bunch or cluster of little red flowers often used in temples for worship..There are a variety of these flowers according to colour and arrangement of the flowers like white,red,pink,yellow and also umbrella shaped clusters…Well,this sketch took over 5 minutes😁
  • Day 22/31: Day 22/31: Thottavadi (Touch me not plant- Mimosa pudica): This is a very well known plant.. The plant whose leaves droop on touching them.. In malayalam we often use this name thottavadi for people who are too sensitive to harsh words😀these plants have beautiful delicate flowers too.
  • Day 23/31:  Thulasi (Indian holy basil- Ocimum sanctum): This is a very holy plant and sacred to India ..Thulasi is considered to be the avatar of Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu.. they have such tiny n beautiful delicate flowers ..the smell is so heavenly and intense. It is also called Krishna thulasi.
  • Day 24/31: Vaka (Royal poinciana- Delonix regia): These flowers are also called Gulmohar and are strikingly red in colour…In full bloom, they are a sight to behold!!
Thechi, Thottavadi, Thulasi, Vaka
  • Day 25/31: Kulamariyan (Chinese creeper- Quisqualis indica): This is an invasive creeper with dark pink pendent inflorescence with some medicinal qualities.The bright pink flowers are beautiful to look at.
  • Day 26/31: Thumba (Leuca indica): Thumba is a delicate white flower. It is the flower used in Athappookkalam, the floral decoration done on first day of Onam festival. There is an interesting story in the Puranas, which states why Thumba is not used for the worship of Lord Shiva. Once Lord Shiva manifested as a large pillar or column of fire in front of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu who were arguing over their position. Shiva then asked both of them to find the top and bottom of the column. Brahma took the form of a swan and flew towards the top while Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and started digging downwards. Both of them traversed a long distance but could not find the end. On the way Brahma saw a Thumba flower which claimed to be coming from the top of Shiva’s head which was a lie. So, Brahma took the flower along with him and returned halfway to present as the evidence. Vishnu too returned without any luck. In Shiva’s presence Vishnu accepted defeat while Brahma presented the Thumba flower as the evidence which angered Shiva as he knew it was a lie. Lord Shiva cursed Brahma that he will not be worshipped on earth and the flower too saying that it will not be offered in worship to Him. Hence ,these flowers are not taken for worship in temples.
  • Day 27/31: Kadaladi (Mexican creeper- Antigonon leptopus): This is a medicinal creeper with teeny weeny flowers used in many medicines of Ayurveda.
  • Day 28/31: Neelakkurinji (Strobilathes kunthiana): This is a wonderful flower belonging to the mighty Western Ghats region especially Munnar in Kerala which is a touristic hotspot as well..The speciality of these are that they bloom only once in 12-16 years and at that time people flock to this area to watch the vast tracts of blue sea of these gorgeous beauties.
Kulamariyan, Thumba, Kadaladi, Neelakkurinji
  • Day 29/31: Brahmakamalam/Nishagandhi (Night flower- Epiphyllum oxypetalum): This is a highly sacred and mysterious flower…It is pure white and blooms only once at midnight every year…It is named after Lord Brahma who is the creator of the Universe…It is believed that these flowers should be gifted and not sold or bought… 
  • Day 30/31:  Orchids: Though orchids are not indigenous to Kerala, they are still extensively grown in many places.. They are very beautiful to look at because of their lilac and lavender flowers..
  • Day 31/31: Anthurium: Like orchids, anthurium is also not indigenous to kerala but is a very popular garden plant with variety if colours like red,white and pink…
Nishagandhi, Orchid, Anthurium

And so now it is a wrap…March went by so fast and I am so glad that I could finish a whole challenge which is something new..Starting a challenge is fine but to complete it takes real patience as you tend to move away from the subject at hand..It is not everyday that you feel like drawing..Thanks a lot to @kickinthecreatives for organising this challenge..It definitely improved my sketching skills in very less time and with very few strokes❤.. I am glad that i could share some interesting facts and stories or local myths about the flowers too.. 

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

illustrations · Sketches

Illustrations by a wannabe fashion designer

Which Indian woman does not love being clad in a saree? I bet that there won’t be even one who hasn’t donned a saree atleast once in her lifetime. From being the traditional apparel of India, to scaling new heights in her modern avatars as gowns and dresses mimicking the elegant drapes, this attire called the sari/saree has definitely come a long way. I totally love saree and the elegance it imparts to a woman. Also no other dress can accentuate a woman’s charm and poise like a saree does. What swag! Having said this, I am yet to master the nuances of draping this six yard wonder, that is saree!!!

Being a malayali (from Kerala), I have grown up seeing hoardings, ads and articles displaying the opulent sarees by the ace designer Beena Kannan of Seematti who is one of the leading textile tycoons in Kerala..Her sartorial sense is sure to sweep you off your feet!! So yes, she is a big time inspiration. N bollywood movies opened up new avenues to drool over lovely creations by a brigade of super talented designers; my favourites being Manish Malhothra (OF COURSE), Sabyasachi (another Of course obviously :)), Anju Modi, Anita Dongre etc etc (Ah the list is endless)… I have always wanted to be a fashion designer from the time I was in school but life has a funny way of leading you to other destinations like in my case an engineer..hehe…so I had to drop that wish but i believe you can always pursue your dream if you are still passionate and ready to work for it. I hope that at some point in time I will be able to take that plunge!! *Fingers crossed*

Sooo coming to the point, this post is about a new series I am doing!! Saree illustrations!!! Yaayy!! Saree is one of the most elegant, gorgeous and stylish pieces of garment ever.. It really never goes out of vogue; rather it always come back with a bang in its updated avatar!! Inspired by my dear friends on insta @thedoodlingowl and @_ucreates_, who create amazing fashion illustrations, I am here with my illustrations…

Here is a Minnie Mouse inspired saree😍 because yes, i am a Disney lover!! With red polka dot tube blouse n white dotted black saree, for gorgeous ladies out there…Hope you guys liked them..

Minnie Mouse inspired saree

Here is yet another saree sketch I made- a grey one with pearl accented blouse having net yoke..the upper half has black geometric patterns…I have always been in awe of the fashion designers and their creations.. and it hasn’t stopped even now… Creations of stalwarts like Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra and the rest of the designer talents mentioned above have inspired me a lot.. They have got me dreaming of all the fineries that I could create one day… Right now drawing illustrations is the only way in which I can live that dream😁😁 and hence the title of the series ‘Illustrations by a wannabe fashion designer”!! Among the designers of Kerala, Beena Kannan of Seematti Silks is a person to look up to as a role model… She has revolutionised the whole of silk saree industry down south of India single handedly…

Greys n pearls

Here is another saree illustration with a pop of colour amidst my grid of monochrome drawings in the Insta grid…a maroonish red saree with black full sleeved blouse having jali design..Jali designs are patterned or perforated stone or latticed screens used for decorative purposes like as screens n partitions.. Fashion in itself is another form of art I believe..Art is woven into the fabrics which we get to exhibit by dressing up…so I definitely believe that art and fashion do indeed go hand in hand…

Indian jali inspired design

Hope you guys liked these and my rants… Thanks for listening😁

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

Artists' Corner

Artists’ Corner: Sandhya Vaidyanathan

The creations of the brand ‘Masala Popsicles’ are a glorious marriage between kitsch and traditional designs with a myriad of bright colours and hues. You are very much attracted to the various bold shades once you set your eyes on them. Masala Popsicles is the brainchild of the architect cum interior designer turned artist Sandhya Vaidyanathan who was sweet enough to spare some of her precious time for this online interview. Her portraits are so realistic be them painted or digital. She sure leaves her signature in all the pieces by giving them a quirky twist as well. Sandhya painstakingly creates each and every piece that leaves her studio, with her own hands. It is such a comforting pleasure that dawns upon the onlookers when they view the intricate and colourful details that she paints on various surfaces like trays, jewellery organizers, jewellery boxes or name boards- she surely sprinkles pixie dust and magic on them. She is also a restoration artist who brings back to life, old boxes called “azhakupetti” from their faded former glory in fresh colours. Let us now listen to her artistic travails!

Sandhya Vaidyanathan (Courtesy:

Q. Please introduce yourself to us.

A: I’m Sandhya vaidyanathan. I’m based out of Bangalore and I’m an artist.

Q. How did you decide to transition from an architect cum interior designer to an artist creating customised products?

A: I was practicing as an Architect before I got married. Marriage brought me to Bangalore and since I was new in the city , I decided that maybe I should start something of mine own. I’ve always loved to paint and I’ve learnt art. So I decided to use my skills and that how I started customizing products. A family friend asked me to make a nameboard for them and that’s how I got my first order .

Q. What does your brand name Masala popsicles signify? I am sure it must be something close to your heart. Please do share it with us.

A: Actually , I was looking for a quirky name when I started my FB page and I was thinking of something that represented colors and fun and that reminded me of the Golawala and his cart and the colorful bottles he has and that’s how the name “Masala Popsicles” came about.


Q. Please tell us about the different art pieces that you passionately and painstakingly craft with your own hands. How does the creative process take place?

A: I make several pieces of art, mostly a lot of portraits of couples and also large family portraits of 10 members etc. People also love getting jewellery boxes and trays with coasters made because it’s so quirky and also custom made to their tastes. People come through word of mouth or Instagram and my FB page and enquire that they want till get something made and once we discuss ideas and concerts and budgets I send them an invoice and after the transfer is made I queue them up into my work schedule.

Through the process of making it I keep sending them pictures and updates to keep them involved.

Q. Where do you derive the inspiration for such beautiful works of art?

A: Mostly my inspiration comes from my state of mind or a color I’m currently crushing on .. my patterns are mostly inspired by nature .. I love painting flowers, birds and Indian patterns and I’m known for my loud bright colors.


Q. What are some of the most popular items that clients want from your studio? What is it that attracts them to your store?

A: I’m a perfectionist and I don’t send out an item unless I’m convinced about how it’s made. And people like that..they are very thrilled that a concept in their head can be made into a product or an old wedding picture can be recreated. The most popular items are the portraits.


Q. Any advice you would like to give to aspiring artists who would like to follow your path?

A: Be true to yourself and your art and never ever send out shoddy work. You must fall in love with what you make before you send it out to a customer. And always ensure you get paid for your work before you start the project.

Q. How can people reach you?

A: I’m available on my phone at +91-8147299663.

Instagram at @masalapopsiclesart and on Facebook as Masala Popsicles- Weaving colourful stories.


We really hope that Sandhya will continue to create more and more stunning works like these in all the years to come!Thank you for spending some time with us!

Please note: All the artwork shown here are the sole property of the artists featured. All rights reserved to the artist.

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

Random thoughts

Mini blog interview by Kick in the creatives

I am so happy to share that I have been interviewed by Kick in the creatives for their blog on artists who are participating in their art challenges. It is a mini interview that has totally made my day!! Please do read the whole interview here. Thanks a lot to Kick in the creatives! Lots of love!



You can read the interview of Kick in the creatives directors Tara Roskell and Sandra Busby here. Do check it out.

Note: Please do not use any content (both writing and images) anywhere without the written permission of the author. All rights reserved to the author.

DOODLES · illustrations

5 Minute March: Flowers of Kerala

The 5 Minute March challenge continues. Those who haven’t read the first part of this post please go to this link. You can also visit my instagram account @desisoularts to view the sketches.

  • Day 11/31: Mandaram (Camelfoot plant-Bauhinia acuminata): This plant has gorgeous white flowers with such delicate whiteness and sweet smell. Leaves are in the shape of a camel’s foot and hence the name camel foot plant.
  • Day 12/31: Mukkutti (Life plant- Biophytum sensitivum): This shrub with small yellow flowers and pinnate leaves, is very high in medicinal values and hence called life plant… the leaves collapse when touched but regain their shape after some time quite similar to the touch me not plant.
  • Day 13/31: Mulla (Jasmine- Jasminum grandiflorum): Jasmine needs no introduction.. It is undoubtedly one of the most sweet smelling flowers ever.. Those pearly white flowers and buds are so heavenly.. In kerala, Hindu brides adorn a huge (yes you read it right,huge) amount of jasmine flowers on their hair (but it’s totally optional too😁)!!
  • Day 14/31: Nalumanippoo (4 o’ clock plant- Mirabilis jalapa): These delicate flowers have beautiful shades and they bloom at exactly 4 o’ clock, giving them the name nalumani (meaning 4 o’clock in malayalam) poovu (flower). How wondrous is this nature around us which we fail to protect and mercilessly destroy?!
Mandaram, Mukkutti, Mulla, Nalumanippoo
  • Day 15/31: Nandiarvattom (Crepe jasmine- Tabeamaemontana diverticata): This is a white sweet smelling flowering plant also called as carnation of India.. this is widely used in temples for worship and prayers.
  • Day 16/31: Pala (Indian devil’s tree- Alstonia scholaris): This tree has small white flowers with a heavenly intense smell which makes you feel giddy…This tree is often associated with female spirits called yakshi who are said to inhabit this tree and the smell of the flowers is believed to herald the coming of the spirit (Hence the name indian devil’s tree).. usually elders warn the younger or adventurous ones to stay clear of the tree during the the twilight hours as well as the night..
  • Day 17/31: Pichi (Common jasmine/ poet’s jasmine- Jasminum officinale): These white and delicate ornamental flowers are also called jathimalli in malayalam and poet’s jasmine (i wonder why).. There is even a traditional gold necklace of Kerala fashioned in the shape of this flower’s bud called as pichimottumala (mottu=bud,mala=necklace)… often worn by women on their hair.
  • Day 18/31: Rajamalli (Dwarf poinciana- Caesalpinia pulcherrima): This is a shrub with bright hued flowers which are a sight to behold!! The colours of the flower are striking!
Nandiarvattam, Pala, Pichi, Rajamalli
  • Day 19/31: Shankhupushpam (Butterfly pea- Clitoria ternatea): This is a lovely blue flower with a conch shaped inner core..Hence the name shankhupushpam (shankhu means conch and pushpam means flower)….Conch is considered to be very sacred…this flower is a valued medicinal plant too. It has another name Aparajitha which means one who cannot be defeated, in Bengal and Orissa.
  • Day 20/31: Thamara (Lotus- Nelumbo nucifera): This is a lovely flower which has an aesthetic appeal to it…It is the national flower of India and is held sacred..It holds a haloed position in ancient Indian art, iconography, idols, motifs, architecture,literature and poetry from time immemorial..Often lotuses are seen in Buddhist art as well…In Hindu culture, lotus is sometimes personified and venerated as the wife of the Sun god Surya..Lotus is often associated with the seat of learning  or wisdom in India. The unfloding of the petals of Lotus from the navel of Lord Vishnu symbolises the expansion of the soul. The greatest quality of the lotus is that it is completely unaffected and untainted by the mud surrounding it from which it grows. Likewise, we should strive hard to be unaffected by the negativity and all such such dirt that may surround us.
Shankhupushpam, Thamara

Hope you all liked this post!! Thanks again for listening to my rants!! 🙂 You can read the last part of the post here.

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