Saturday, October 31, 2015

Takht-e-safar, Herat: Acrylic on Canvas

I am teaching a student in Afghanistan via an American people-to-people-peace organisation called Pax Populi (Applied Ethics, Inc). My student, Qasem, is from Herat, a town near the border with Iran which is steeped in Islamic culture and is famous for Sufism. One of Qasem's favourite hobbies is to climb up the mountain called Takht-e-safar early mornings. He described the views from there and I was inspired to paint it. 


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Five sisters: Oil crayon on paper

I had the rare privilege to Skype with my Afghan student, Qasem's, five sisters in Herat. When he was trying to get them all in one frame, the youngest one simply turned around. The imagery stayed with me and so I drew them all like that. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Peace

I asked my friends of Facebook to throw at me the first word that comes to their minds when I say, 'peace'. They suggested home, inner, harmony, sleep, unity, animals, Buddhism, nature, peace, green, tranquility and joy. This is what I made of with some of them.

Peace

This talk of peace
That we make and keep
Of quiet and sleep,
Are expressions we seek.

Unworthy governments, 
Their brutal policies
The United Nations
And many bureaucracies.

A soldier's plight
To defend and fight
Wrapped in a blanket
He watches every night.

In a quiet village
Far from the post
Where music plays
A gentle harmony.

Secure and warm
A comfortable home
A family's unity
Sheltered with hope.

There comes a stranger
A messenger cloaked
Animals in the barn
Sense the danger.

He comes to the door
Reads out a letter
A family's future
Will change forever. 

The marked prejudice
The lack of options
A fate decided
A family disunited.

Carers, keepers
Lawyers, well-wishers
Activists, writers
Rights' protectors. 

Petitions, programs
Campaigns, causes
Funds and fairs,
Cameras, journalists. 

Discussions, decisions
A family waits:
"How much longer
will they take?"

Then one day
Justice prevails
A sigh of relief
Prayers on lips.

They return home:
Nature's tranquility
An inner conflict
Buried in secret.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Kalam: Mixed media on paper

A portrait of India's former President and youth icon, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. He never ceases to inspire me even after his death.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Belief

It's on those days

When trust falters

Your weary mind

Leaves Hope out.


It's on those days

When bubbles burst

And your dreams

Come crashing down.


It's on those days

When Love is lost

The heart aches

Your soul cries out.


It's on those days

When the spirit's broken

Your voice is choked

Your tears undammed.


It's on those days

When fear rules

Pressure's fist

Clamps you down.


It's on those days

You find Belief

A saviour,

A friend in need.


It's on those days

You find the light

A sudden thought,

An idea, bright.


It's on those days

You find yourself

Your soul, your spirit

Your heart mended.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Eisha's Professional Experience Visualized

I always fumble when I am asked about my professional experience over the past decade, for I have done many, many things. So I decided to follow data journalist David McCandless and visualized my professional experience on Google Spreadsheets.



Fields: Ink and oil crayon on paper