Emotions & Expressions – Part I – And the Lefty-Lefty Bond.

Emotions lead to expressions and without expressions, caricatures are merely dead drawings, only marginally better than portraits. To breathe life into caricatures we must attempt to reflect their emotions on their faces, even postures.

According to Robert Plutchick there are 8 basic emotions:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Joy
  • Disgust
  • Surprise
  • Trust
  • Anticipation

If the list was limited to these 8 emotions, and corresponding 8 expressions, the caricaturists would have been a happy lot. The problem lies in the following two facts:

  • humans experience these emotions in different degrees – thus, the intensity of fear could cause either a slight tingling of the spine or a need to…scat. Thus, one might be “apprehensive” or “scared to death.”
  • humans often experience a mix of different emotions and not a single, isolated emotion. We experience a combination of anger, fear, and sadness when we experience jealousy; a concoction of sadness and disgust when we are dumped in love; and a heady mix of anticipation and joy while falling in love.

The following drawing (a very rough sketch. Allow me to quickly blame it on bad lighting and a crick in my neck painstakingly acquired through my bad posture,) too presents a mix of emotions. Which ones can you identify?

Anxious, worried, troubled, afraid, angry? Emotions and Expressions - Caricatures and Cartoons

A sketch from my sketchbook – Photographed in horrible light.

And now…a story 🙂

I was at the bank waiting in a long queue.

I ask you. What does an artist do when she must kill time?

Correct Answer: She draws.

So standing between a rather large gentleman in front and a rather skinny lady behind, I drew out my sketchbook and began sketching.

I ask you again. What happens to an artist when she starts drawing?

Correct Answer: She loses touch with her surroundings.

So as I furiously sketched some furious looking faces from my imagination, I lost touch with reality. People who stood around me realized that they could kill time too…by watching me draw.

I ask you, one final time. What happens when a small crowd begins to watch an artist?

Correct Answer: One of the interested onlookers decides to destroy the artist’s peace.

So while I was floating on a different and rather enlightened plane, hanging safely from the parachute of peace, I heard a chirpy voice, which sliced through the fabric of my metaphysical parachute and sent me hurling back to the harsh terrain of reality.

“Ooooooooh…,” cooed the young fashionista who had materialized in the bank while I was on my plane of enlightenment. “So you are left-handed? So am I.”

I stared at her blankly. Oh wow! I thought. I must be so fortunate to meet another one of the 750 Million lefties of the worldWho would’ve thought of it! Somewhere at the back of my mind, I knew that I should throw away my sketchbook, open my arms, and hug the lefty woman like I would hug my only sister who I may have lost in the Thar desert (and who my parents never told me about.) But I didn’t. Instead, I chose to lose that opportunity by nodding at her and saying, “um…oh,” whatever that meant.

The young woman gave me an odd look (expression?) that I read as, “is she dumb or what?” Actually, I was dumb…founded. I guess the lefty-lefty bond is something to cherish and celebrate, but I can’t imagine what good can come out of it.

  • Could it be that if two lefties walked into a bar, they’d get two drinks for the price of one?
  • Or could it be that if two lefties got together, they could change the world?
  • I mean, what difference does it make to anyone, if two lefties fell in love and had lefty babies?

The only thing that happened that day was that I couldn’t complete my drawing, and she went back with a long-face. So when one lefty accosts another lefty with an “oooooooh…” neither gets anywhere!

Now, back to the drawing board to right the wrong…the sinister…the gauche…the…

Oh, what the heck!

 

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Aspiring Writers! Looking for the ‘W’ Factor? Let David Farland help you find it :)

A Drawerful of Manuscripts begs their Creator to Pursue Publication – This month we are sharing a writing success story for anyone who writes manuscripts with their whole heart and soul . . .

and promptly puts them in a drawer.

 Or

for anyone who stresses over if their stories have the W factor.

If you are an aspiring writer and don’t yet subscribe to David Farland’s Writing Tips, please do so now 🙂

Remember this badge I once shared on the blog:

Writers of the Future - Honorable Mention badge for my science fiction short story.

My first sci-fi story won an Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest, and his Writing Tips newsletter is what motivated me to participate. His book Million Dollar Outlines helped me see my writing from the reader’s viewpoint, and this year, I might finally start approaching agents and publishers for those manuscripts in my desk-drawer 🙂

David Farland's Newsletter and Website - My Story Doctor.

On the art-front, after I’m finished with my current illustration assignment, I promise to draw a few light and bright caricatures, solely for this blog and for you 🙂

A Creativity Carnival – for Artists, Writers, Poets, and other Oddballs!

Friends, I still haven’t decided upon a Feature I’d want to go ahead with, but I did have a Creativity Carnival in mind.

I trust the following image captures what I had in mind for it. I’d like to thank my blogging101 friends for their inputs on it. While I am still not sure whether this should be a weekly event, I was wondering if some of us would like to give it shot, if I started it, say, coming Friday (July 31, 2015.)

Possible rules in a nutshell (Please recommend addition/deletion)

  1. Participating bloggers will have a week to make the post.
  2. The Pen and Ink Caricature drawing will serve as a cue.
  3. Participating bloggers would be welcome to write a story, an anecdote, a poem, or even draw a picture or post a doodle in response to the cue.
  4. Participating bloggers  will integrate the caricature-drawing into their posts.
  5. Participating bloggers will provide a ping-back to the carnival post so that other participants can visit their blogs and comment, like, and socialize.

Creativity Carnival for wordpress bloggers

Should I, should I not?

I had tried it once, but such an event cannot thrive on its own. I looked at the Daily Post event form – and a Creativity Carnival doesn’t fit into any of the given categories.

If you think that you’d like to be a part of it, please leave a smiley in the comments 🙂

More later – Keep drawing, writing, and smiling!

 

Finite Creatures: The Evening of the Storm (A Short Story and Ink Drawing of a Sinner)

The Evening of the Storm

(A Short Story)

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Finite Creatures.”

I can’t really remember when I first discovered that our lives were finite, so I’ll take refuge in fiction and tell you the story of a girl who wouldn’t die.
 
It had happened on the evening of the storm. The townsfolk still remembered that evening. They talked about the storm and the brave truck driver who died that night.
“He died trying to save her,” said her grandfather, pointing a knobby finger at her.
“Not a drop of gratitude,” said her grandmother, adjusting her bifocals and looking across the room at Leah.
She tried to drown their voices by turning her attention to the storm that was brewing outside. Lea hated her grandparents who whiled away their time recounting events that had turned to dust, except in their minds.
She had trained herself to ignore them but she knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, especially tonight. This treacherous night looked a lot like the night that they were talking about. Before she could steel herself, the stormy night colluded with her grandparents’ conversation and pulled the plug. Memories tumbled in.
Terrible memories. Of the storm, and of death.
Leah was returning from school when the skies had turned dark. She was just a hundred yards away from home; she just had to cross that wooden bridge across the river and she would have been home. 
But at that point, right before the bridge, her memories slowed down – they turned into a series of snap-shots.
First, the cold steely feel of the knife on the skin of her throat, then the violent shove; little later a familiar smell riding on a hoarse whisper, “come with me.”
Then it all turned into a blur.
A blur of rain, the sound of clothes being torn off, a raspy voice, an unbearable stench of sweat mixed with that of rotting teeth, and throttled cries for help…
That was all she remembered of it. But the memory of the pain still made her clench her teeth and cross her legs, really tight.
It must’ve lasted an hour or more – she couldn’t remember, but those bruises were everywhere.
Later, he lay satiated on the rotting floor of the log-cabin and said in his slimy, wheezy voice, “Don’t tell anyone, or you will die.” She didn’t know then, what dying meant, but she nodded. And then it happened. A strong gust of wind was all it took. The last thing that she remembered was that the cabin shook wildly and then rotten logs under him gave way. They crumbled, then cascaded down into the wild river. The logs were swept away, but he wasn’t. She saw him impaled upon one of the jagged rocks. The overhang was all gone and she lay on the edge, face down, watching his body twist and turn as the water hit it.
She was found two days later. She didn’t tell anyone. She was eight and she thought that if she told, she’d die too. She didn’t want to die.
Leah turned and looked at the pictures on the mantel.
They were all there. Her mother, her father, and he. All three. All dead.
Caricature Cartoon of a sinner - angry mad man with a guilty conscience - fire of hell.

The Sinner

 

The Genesis of this Post:
When Lydia and I discovered that we had both used the Photo-prompt for our blogging assignment, we decided to do the assignment once again, with the correct prompt this time. So we set ourselves a time-limit of one hour for the post, in which we had to think about the prompt, crystallize our thoughts, and make the post. I overshot it by 10 minutes 😦 She was in time with hers 🙂 Please visit her blog here.

The Highborn Lady and the Golden-haired Girl (A Short Story and an Ink Drawing.)

The Highborn Lady and the Golden-haired Girl
(Fiction…hopefully.)

She looked down her powdered nose and peered at them. She hated them all. That she was forced to walk the same earth they did, was a fact that rankled all the time, oozing acid into her heart.
“Cretins,” she mumbled, then mused, “how could they have been created by the same God who created me?”
As she looked at them under the wavering light of the torches lit in the wall-sconces behind her, a thin smile crept over her lips.
She looked through the iron-bars into the dungeon from where the tear-stained faces of seven teenaged girls looked up at her silhouette, and wondered if she was an angel who’d free them from their misery.
Free them, she would. One by one. Her eyes moved from one scared face to another, evaluating them for a purpose of her own.
“The one with golden hair and green eyes,” she turned to the gaoler and said in her strong, stern, and clear voice.
A hushed silence fell in the dungeon. The cries stopped, and twelve jealous eyes turned to the girl with golden hair and green eyes. She was going to be freed tonight. Others will remain. Right now, they were all the same, and she was different. The similarity of their fates bound them together in their hatred for her.
The girl with golden hair and green eyes looked up, and through the bars that made up the dungeon’s ceiling, she tried to look into her savior’s eyes, but her face was in shadows.
The lady turned and left. She walked through the labyrinth that took her away from the darkness of the dungeon into her palace above.  In an hour, her bath would be drawn. In the shimmering glow of a hundred candles, the silky smooth mixture of milk, honey, and blood will enter her pores and rejuvenate them. God had given her the boon of eternal youth, and this was why the same God who had created her, had created them. For her.
She smiled again. The thin, controlled smiled of a high-born lady.
Caricature - a pen and ink drawing of a proud, rich, and evil woman.
About the Artwork:
This artwork is important, both due to its inspiration and its timing. I did it about 8 months ago. It was inspired by a high-born lady who I’ve known quite well. Not directly, but through someone I deeply care about. I did this caricature-art when I was hospitalized – a day after my surgery. (That’s why the line-work isn’t clear. There’s only so much you can accomplish when you are propped up on pillows and still under the influence of pain-killers and other medicines.) This artwork is about things that are seldom spoken, and never talked about in public. It’s about mothers who should never have been mothers, about ladies who aren’t ladies, about empathy or the lack of it, and about the pain that’s inflicted upon you, merely because you are you.
The story, however, is fiction; perhaps inspired by a historical account of a countess…I think. Let me google it out. Oh   yes…Elizabeth Bathory.

Behind the Boarded-up Window – Portrait Art: Hat No. 3

Hats that Women Wear – Hat # 3

Boarded-Shut!
(Chapter 1)
I looked out of my window. The house across the park that was directly opposite mine, gleamed in the afternoon summer sun. The house looked like the houses around it, but in my eyes, it was different. I knew that if I opened the gate and walked along the southern wall of the house, I’d come across a window that was boarded-shut. I doubt if anyone else had noticed it. The honeysuckles that grow around the house are dense, and that particular window has a sandpaper-vine twisting diagonally over it – ensuring that even the board would be seen only by those with a lot of imagination.
Those others…their imagination was jaded, sucked dry by their daily rut. But I was different. I had seen strange things happening in houses that looked perfectly normal, so when I saw that boarded-up window, I knew something wasn’t right. I looked around. The streets, the park, the verandahs of the houses, all bore a deserted look. The hot sting of the summer wind kept everyone inside in the afternoons.  I knew that a middle-aged man lived in that house. Every morning, five days a week, he’d open the gate, wheel out his motorcycle, shut the gate, and ride away. Every evening around 7, he returned. On weekends, he stayed home. At this hour, on a weekday, the house would be vacant.
All I had to do was go down, walk through the park, open that gate and walk in.
I locked the house, set my phone on Silent, and went down the steps of my house. Outside, I looked around. If anyone were looking they’d just see a housewife running an important errand. Satisfied, I walked through the park, crossed the street on the opposite side, slid the catch on the gate and got in. I was there. I could hear my heart thumping, beating against my rib. And then the enormity of my action dawned upon me. I was trespassing. I looked around again. Surreptitiously. The streets were still deserted. I looked up – to check the windows. A few were open, and I wondered whether those dark square holes contained a pair of watchful eyes.
I shrugged the thought aside. I could just be lady calling upon her neighbors. What was wrong with it? Nothing!
I turned around and walked into the house – right to that mysterious boarded-up window. I bowed a little to reach under the sandpaper vine and tried to find a hole from where I could peep in, but in vain. Someone had done a thorough job of sealing it up. Then I tip-toed around the house and stepped into the backyard. I was shocked to see how beautiful it looked. For a moment, I lost myself in admiring the beauty of the summer-flowers that grew there.
Then I heard a sound. The sound of a person moving, a few yards away, inside the house.
There was someone inside, and the door was cracked open. I turned around and climbed the two concrete steps that led to the door – battling the issue of propriety within, I opened the door some more and peeped inside. It looked pretty. This was their morning room, I thought. The the flower-vases, the floral curtains; they all suggested a woman’s touch.
“Anyone in there?” I called out, cold sweat breaking in my palms and my heart threatening to break my rib-cage; I was ready to run. The curtain moved, and I almost bolted, but the vision that materialized in front of my eyes stopped me dead.
 I stood rooted to my spot; speechless, and shocked.
This is what I saw.
Hats women wear - hat number 3 - portrait art - shafali - emotional and physical abuse
Why was the window boarded up?
Who kept the garden?
Why didn’t the woman leave?
Other Hats that Women Wear:
Hat#1 and Hat#2
Hat #1
Women Girl Portraits - Face and Hat - Depression - Digital Painting by Shafali
Hat#2
Portraits of Women - Face, profile, side face, hats that women wear - this is hat 2, the hat of ambition.
(Note: The story began with the Clean-Slate prompt, which I misunderstood, at least partially.)

Aunt Rosie’s Fables – The First Dozen (Stories for Kids) is Free to Download Today – View my Children’s Illustrations.

“Rose S. Ferguson’s Fables – The First Dozen” is available for a Free Download. Please note that it’s a promotional offer by the author and it will be available free only on May 27th and 28th.

If you want to check out my Children’s Illustrations along with twelve cute and funky children’s stories – download it now. The stories are cute, crazy, and completely off the track!

Click here to Download “Aunt Rosie’s Fables – The First Dozen” from Amazon.

You don’t need a Kindle to download it – Any hand-held device/computer will do. You can download the Free Kindle Reading App for any of the non-Kindle handheld devices (Tablets/Smartphones) from: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000493771)

Here’s the cover once again 🙂 (Yes. I just LOVE it!)

Cover Art for Aunt Rosie's Fables - The First Dozen

 

The 12 stories are:
1. Supercool Sewster and his Super-dream 
2. Emoti and Emoto – The Mushroom-dwellers 
3. Moms are Cool! 
4. When Fibby was Caught Lying 
5. Romulus – The Rodent Soldier 
6. When Terry Challenged Harry 
7. Rolly – The Tourist from Antarctica 
8. Rooney Reinster Learned a Lesson 
9. Mumbo – The Mouse-elf 
10. How Justin Rooster became a Good Singer? 
11. Zick, Zack, Zuck! 
12. Smucko and Sparky – An Odd Friendship 

My personal favorites are:

  • Romulus – The Rodent Soldier
  • Rooney Reinster Learned a Lesson, and
  • How Justin Rooster became a Good Singer?

So go check it out 🙂

This week’s going to be uber-busy. I’m doing two magazine covers and one interior illustration. The first week of June’s going to be a little relaxed with just one book cover artwork for my dear old friend who’s an awesome client too. So, I’ll reappear in a week from now. Until then…go meet all those fun characters in “Aunt Rosie’s Fables – The First Dozen!”

I know that a post on “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” is pending…perhaps the next one.

Caricature/Cartoon of Ajit Ninan – The Great Indian Cartoonist.

Presenting Ajit Ninan, the Indian Cartoonist who breaks all established standards of quality in cartooning.

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Sketch, or Drawing of Ajit Ninan, the Great Indian Cartoonist (Times of India.)

I foraged the web to ferret out some information on Ajit Ninan, but returned empty-handed. I don’t know when he celebrates his birthday, I don’t really know a lot about his early life, and except for a few details, I know nothing about his professional life.

So what does the Caricaturist do when faced with a blank page?

She closes her eyes and lets her thoughts travel into the past, where she sees a young boy with a dimpled smile, who would become the Ajit Ninan whose drawings tell her that there are people who refuse to kill their skill – come what may.

Here’s the story of this little boy, who became one of the two Indian Cartoonists who’ve made me experience both pride and joy in equal measures.

The Caricaturist concocts a story:

Leave the Roses and Embrace the Thorns

He loved the afternoons. Hyderabadi afternoons were scathingly hot during this time of the year but the heat didn’t deter him from enjoying them. He’d walk back from school with his friends, feeling under the hot glare of the Sun on his brow, his arms, and his spindly legs only half covered by the shorts of his school uniform; but he always looked forward to the afternoons. They were his to do whatever his heart desired. Deep inside he felt that whatever he might end up doing all his life – these afternoons would remain etched in his memories forever.

This was one of those unforgettable afternoons. Ajit had returned from school, and after a quick snack of Idiyappam that his mother had made for him, he was now lying on his stomach, with his feet up in the air – letting the coolness of the marble floor seep into his body. His sketchbook lay open in front of him and propped upon his left elbow, he drew in it feverishly. He had wanted to finish the drawing of that toy car before his father arrived home from work. He looked over his shoulder to check the clock in the living room. It was past four already!

He returned to his drawing, and then drew away to look at the whole picture. What should he do with wheel? Should it be a little bigger? Would it look funnier if he made it bigger…a lot bigger than the other one?

Thoughts swirled about in his mind, blocking everything else…reducing the sounds around him to an unrecognizable medley – the slight hum of his mother’s voice in the kitchen, the distant din of the vendors in the street, even the creaking sound of the door opening…

So when he heard his name being called in his father’s loud but stern voice, Ajit almost jumped out of his skin. The drawing pencil shot out of his hand and landed under his table that was set near the window, and his sketchbook lay open on the floor – the proof of his being a wayward son.

“What are you doing?”
“Nothing, Father.”
“Doesn’t look like nothing to me,” his father took a step forward. Ajit shrunk away. He wished he had listened to his intuition, but then his father never came home early. What was different today? And then it clicked. His parents had to attend a wedding today! While Ajit’s revved-up mind was busy figuring out all this, his father had picked up the sketchbook.

Ajit held the edge of the table to steady himself. This was going to be one of those days.

“You made all these?” His father asked.
Isn’t it obvious? It’s my sketchbook, isn’t it? Ajit thought.
“Yes, Father,” he said.
“You think that these scribblings would get you a job?”
“…
“You think that I am spending on your education, so that you could become a painter?”
“…
“How many marks did you get in Math last year?”
“…
“How many? I am asking you a question. Answer it.”
“45,” quaked Ajit.
“45. 45 out of 100! How you’ll ever make it into Engineering is beyond me.”

“Tell me. How will you ever become an engineer, if you go on neglecting Math for these…these…” his father struggled to find the right word.
“Drawings?” Ajit couldn’t stop himself from supplying the word, but regretting it immediately after.
“Drawings. Yes. You are good at making these – and this skill will help you a lot when you study engineering. These tractors, these jeeps, these pumps…” he continued as he flipped through Ajit’s sketchbook, while Ajit waited for the tirade to end.

It ended, as always, when his mother intervened. Oh, how he loved her. She was the only one in the whole family, who truly supported his love for drawing – but even she fretted about his future. If only he could prove them wrong.

Later that evening, as Ajit sat at his table near the window, absently trying to resolve those improper fractions into proper fractions, random pieces of conversation floated in from his parents’ bedroom.

“He takes after you…all these feminine habits.”
“He takes after both of us.”
“I never got 45 in Math.”
“But he’s as stubborn as you are.”
“I am telling you…he’s got this stupid thing for drawing! I am telling you, I don’t want him writing letters to the black sheep of our family.”
“I don’t think he writes to him.”
“I don’t know. Who knows anything about what that boy does? You have to ask him.”

Ajit turned his attention to his notebook. Those fractions kept changing into cartoon characters. Why? Didn’t 2 look almost like a serpent and the number 8…he found himself doodling two meshing gears into the 8! The “black sheep” of the family. That had to be his uncle Abu Abraham. He worked for this American Publication called the Guardian, but he was shortly returning to India. Abu’s atheism and the way he thumbed his nose at traditions had ensured his symbolic ouster from the family.

His whole body tensed up in anticipation as he waited for them to leave. Ajit’s parents were going out for a Punjabi wedding, which meant that they’d not return until late in night. He could now look forward to many hours of unadulterated drawing pleasure.

Ajit Ninan’s Nonexistent Biography

I couldn’t find his biography, so I tried to glean whatever information I could from a variety of sources, especially from this post by Abhijit Bhaduri.

Here’s the sum total of my learning.

Ajit Ninan was born in Hyderabad in 1955. His parents were from Kerala though. Ajit studied at Hyderabad Public School where he manipulated his way into the library, so that he could go through the Cartoons in magazines. When he was young, he prefered to draw mechanical drawings, which I presume, must’ve made his father believe that his son wanted to become and engineer when he grew up. Fortunately Ninan wasn’t good at Math (I say fortunately, because had he been good at it, he’d have ended up becoming an engineer; which would mean that India would’ve lost one of its few great cartoonists,)so he studied political science, and became a political cartoonist.

Ninan published in first cartoon in Shankar’s Weekly, a magazine that his equally illustrious uncle Abu Abraham also drew for.

Ninan’s Inspirations include Mario Miranda, James Thurber, and Arnold Roth (he used to spend his precious out-of-class-in-the-library hours poring over the drawings of JT and AR.) Ajit Ninan worked with India Today as a Cartoonist and an Illustrator. He then moved to The Indian Express. He currently works with The Times of India as their Group Art Consultant.

Here are some interesting links for you to follow.

What this caricaturist has in common with the Great Ninan?

Believe it or not, I have the exact same lamp on my table that Ninan has on his. I had bought it 15 years ago. I wanted to buy another of the same kind, but failed 😦

The Caricaturist writes from the Center of the Earth

…and should return by the weekend.

You must’ve surmised that the Caricaturist must be on an errand of great importance – only then would she disappear so completely. Imagine. A whole week without a new post. You know that your dear caricaturist would never ever let you down, unless she was called away for a greater purpose – OR unless an unexpected, uncontrollable event took place.

I have to report that it was the latter.

It happened on the 8th of May, 2011. After publishing Gaddafi’s Caricature, I felt extremely tired – It was quite a job scavenging all that information on him, and I didn’t have the US Intelligence working for me. So I decided to make myself a hot cup of tea. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I had run out of tea-leaves – an organized, methodical person like me, who uses innumerable diaries, post-its, and other data-capture devices to keep a tab on everything that has a tendency to vanish. I remembered making a note of the task, “Buy Tea-leaves/Tea-bags”, and adding a red circle with VERY IMP. scribbled in red across it – but I missed it completely. I guess it was because I didn’t open that particular diary for a week, and I didn’t open it because I didn’t remember which diary it was!

Any way, before I confuse you completely, let me finish the story.

When I discovered that I had exhausted the supply of tea-leaves/tea-bags, I rushed out to the unfriendly neighborhood grocer to buy some. In my hurry, I didn’t see the open manhole, and before I realized it, I was tumbling through a dark vertical shaft. I tried to look around, but I was falling at a great speed, and the shaft was pitch-dark, so I couldn’t really make out the texture of walls. Worse, I expected to hit the bottom anytime…in other words, I knew that death was imminent.

I closed my eyes and thought about my sweetheart, my parents, my brother, my dog, and my new-found American friend (and her dogs and her favorite dog’s dad…), my other friends, my office, my co-workers, my landlord, my landlord’s sons and daughter-in-laws, my neighbor’s black cat, the squirrels on the terrace, the birds…the list went on…the prime-minister, the US president, the president’s wife, the Queen, Lady Gaga…and the list continued to grow…the Chinese Premier, Hitler, Muammar Gaddafi, Osama bin Laden, my MOTHER-in-LAW!!!!!

That shocked me! I must’ve reached the end of my list, but there was no end to my free-fall. In fact, it was at that point that I fainted.

When I opened my eyes, I was lying on a straw-mat in a cave. Two cavemen, three cave-women, and about a dozen cave-kids were gathered around me. I tried asking them where I was. The good news was that those cave-kids were smart, so one of them picked up what appeared be a fruit of some sort. He used a stone-knife to cut it into two halves, and pointed to the center. So that was it. I had reached the Center of the Earth!

After a lot of cajoling, the kids gave me a laptop that they had recovered from the stuff that kept coming through the man-hole, and I have managed to contact my family. They’ve contacted the Indian Government, and the Indian Government has contacted the Chilean Government – requesting them to send the rescue team that worked on rescuing the Chilean miners, to…well, pull me back to the terra firma.

I should return soon…until then, pray for the Caricaturist’s well-being.

(Credits: Message posted using the Laptop that the cavekids so kindly shared with me. This post wouldn’t have reached you, if it hadn’t been for those cave-kids and their dream of starting a WordPress Blog.)

A Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – April 2011 – Edition 8!

Header for Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival Contest for fiction writers

Dear Bloggers,

Welcome to the new edition of the Story-in-the-Caricature blog carnival. Call it a storytelling festival or a spark of inspiration for the writer within you – but write a story that wows your readers!

Here’s the caricature to inspire you 🙂

Cartoon caricature of three people in discussion for the story in the caricature blog carnival for fiction or story writers

The rules haven’t changed – but I should repeat them for the new storytellers.

Here are the Rules for the Participating in the Storytelling Carnival

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature.

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature.

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends on April 30, 2011.

The Four Rewards for this Story Carnival

1. All the story links added for stories published along with the above caricature, until the last date, will be published on this blog in May 2011, along with your blog-address, and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blog-roll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

4. The first blogger to do everything right (publish the story on his/her blog with the caricature, and then leave the link of the story against this post) will get the opportunity to name one international celeb that he or she would like to see caricatured.

Important Note:

Pornographic/Obscene Language won’t work:) so keep it clean.

Happy Writing:) I’ll wait…as I always do:)

Caesar’s assassination, his heart-broken guilt-ridden scribe, and his Caricature!

Julius Caesar has been haunting my dreams…

(Memoirs from Another Life!)

At about 2 AM, I woke up…bathed in cold sweat, with my throat so parched that I could barely speak, let alone scream.

Thankfully it was a dream, and so I couldn’t be held responsible for what happened…but not everyone thought of me as blameless, especially not Mark Antony. Here’s what happened.

It was March 15, 44 BC, and Caesar was rushing to address the Senate. He was wearing his toga and looking as charismatic as ever. I was right behind him – a scribe who definitely didn’t look like a woman, and I know this because I caught my reflection in a pond that we passed on our way to the Theater of Pompey. I looked worried and rushed, but what was my rush beside Caesar’s need to be immortalized. I had been chosen to be his ghost-writer. It was a great honor, as you can see, but the task was fraught with dangers, and the gravest danger of all was Caesar’s anger. Caesar knew that many Romans were plotting to have him assassinated, and he was dictating me something on this topic, when I heard hurried yet hushed footsteps behind me.

From the corner of my eye, I saw Mark Antony hurrying behind us. He looked worried and I knew that he wanted to say something important. Suddenly I saw him raise his index finger to his throat. Before I could understand what it all meant, Caesar asked me if I were listening, and I had to turn my attention to my notes. I wrote as we walked. A difficult feat indeed. We must have presented quite a picture. Caesar in the front, followed by me hurrying along to be on his side, and the ink-bearer behind me hurrying along to be on my side.

Just before we arrived at our destination, the clatter of Mark Antony’s wooden sandals stopped. I looked around, but I could see him no more. I could see many other Roman Senators because we had almost reached the theater, the arena in which the Roman political games took place. I was not allowed any further, because the proceedings of the Senate were not for me to record.Caesar stopped and looked into my eyes.

“You are doing a good job. Have you checked on that lazy artist who was commissioned to do my portrait for the cover-page?” he asked me. I had checked, and our Caesar was looking terribly handsome in it. I nodded my head and told him that it was ready.

“Good. I’d like to see it this evening,” said Caesar, dismissing me. He then turned, climbed the steps and disappeared inside the Theater of Pompey.

I and the ink-bearer had just turned for returning to Caesar’s villa, when we heard the commotion from within the theater. Something had gone wrong. The senators were always noisy, but the scream sounded ominous, and the voice that screamed sounded like it belonged to…Caesar.

I turned to see Mark Antony – his eyes accusing me of something. …Something?!

And then it all fell in place with a deafening crash. The gesture that he had made with his index finger flashed in front of my eyes…he had asked me to warn Caesar. I didn’t do it! And he was way-laid by another Roman who was an accessory to the crime…so he couldn’t warn Caesar either.

But what was done was done.Caesar was dead, but he wasn’t yet free to ascend to the heavens. He had an unfulfilled wish.

He wanted to see his Caricature!

He haunted me the whole night, and I bet that he’s haunted me through all those centuries that have passed by – but being the forgetful person that I am, I don’t remember. Nevertheless, this haunting has to stop…and although the India-Sri Lanka match for the Cricket World Cup Finals is beckoning me…I have to publish Julius Caesar’s Caricature before I go to bed tonight!

Blog Carnival, Some Reflection, Future Direction.

Blog carnival story telling story writing story in the caricature

NEW, IMPROVED?!

Dear Readers and Visitors,

I’ve been thinking about the “Tell-the-Story-in-the-Caricature” blog Carnival and though I tried very hard, I couldn’t let myself euthanize it. There’s a lot of life and promises left in the Carnival, but I guess I haven’t been able to do justice to it. So I took an off from the Carnival this month, and did something that artists are never given credit for doing. I chucked the pencil, sat down, and thought. Here’s what came of it.

1. The Carnival lives but it doesn’t stay confined to this blog. It moves. The writer who posts the first link gets to take the Carnival to her/his blog and then it remains there for that month. I’ll still do the caricature, but I send the caricature to the writer and she presents it on her blog. I’ll do a post promoting the carnival.

2. I’ll be able to bring the Carnival back by being the first to post a story for a caricature, and believe me, I have no qualms bringing it back:)

3. Oorvi won’t be writing any more stories for the Carnival. She tells me that she wants to write dog-stories, and I have told her that I don’t want to do dog-caricatures…so we are likes cats and dogs now – and we don’t see eye-to-eye.

My takeaway would be the happiness of seeing my caricature on your blog:) What do you think?

‘guess that’s about it. I’ll be posting the February 2011 Carnival soon and see if we can work with its New Improved Version.

Ideas for improvement would be appreciated, as long as they don’t include doing Free Caricatures because I don’t really have the bandwidth for it. I work about 14 hours a day, and the only reason I do caricatures is because I appreciate the freedom of doing what catches my fancy.

Will set the ball rolling if I get at least five votes in. More are appreciated:)

Another interesting idea (for the Artist Visitor of this blog) is brewing in my overworked mind…it’ll spillover shortly:)

Best Regards and Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Shafali the Caricaturist who wants to DRAW TO SMILE!

Update on Feb 02, 2011:  The idea got just one vote in the last three days 😦 So…crish…crash…crush…idea balled up…and here it goes sailing into the waste-basket! More on this later. Ajay, thanks for your kind support:)

December 2010 Story Carnival – “Walking in Circles” – A Short Story by Oorvi

Well…well.

Finally my dog shook off her sloth, got out of her bed, and posted her story.  You know how lazy she is…and so it shouldn’t surprise you that she’s posted her story as a .pdf.  The good news is that the .pdf also includes the caricature, and so if you click the download button, you’d get something more than the WiseK9’s Twisty Tale “Walking in Circles”!

Do read the story to figure out why you can’t control everything, and why Sid keeps walking in circles.

That’s all for now…

And yes, please let me know if you’d like the Blog Carnival to continue…because I am not sure 😦

 

 

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – December 2010 – Edition 7!

Header for Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival Announcement December 2010

Dear visitors, bloggers made of matter as well as antimatter, and all other esteemed treasure-seekers,

The November 2010 Storytelling Blog Carnival was…well, to be honest…it had but one participating entry – so, you can’t even say that it was a carnival 😦

But let’s not worry about the past; let us charge into the future!

Here’s the caricature for the December Carnival.

Caricature, Cartoon, Color Drawing of a Sad young man sitting on the steps - Concept image for the Tell the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival.

What's his story?

Here are the Rules for the Carnival:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature.

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature.

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of December 31, 2010.

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added for stories published along with the above caricature, until the last date, will be published on this blog in January  2011, along with the blog-address, and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll, and of course in the Carnival posts that I make through out this month.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has absolutely no tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Let your creative juices flow…tell us your story 🙂

Can you Pull yourself up?! The Caricaturist asked and Confused herself.

Can you pull yourself up?

Imagine that you are sitting in a loop at one end of a rope passing over a pulley attached to the ceiling, holding the other end of the rope in your hand (please recall a similar dilemma, which our dear pathetic Romeo faced,)  The question is – can you pull yourself up? What’s your answer?

  1. No way! Nobody could do that!
  2. I can’t do it but I am sure that Schwarzenegger could.
  3. I can’t but Keira Knightley could. (BTW, interesting picture on that link…the third when you scroll down – 99% of the women in this world won’t be able to wear that dress without making it look vulgar.)
  4. I can but nobody else can.

What do you say?

I’ll share my personal experience. I was down in the dungeon of Sloth, waiting for the devil to send his minions to get me – so that I could burn in hell for my deadly sin when I had this inspiration. I thought that I’d shed sloth and confess my sins on my blog, and everything’d slide back to normal! So I tried to pull myself up and out…and I wore myself out the last three days trying to get out, but I failed.  Fortunately, just before the minions arrived, Oprah Winfrey came to me with a conditional pardon from Hell. I am under observation and if I don’t become lazy again, I might be a free woman again.

So, despite the complete lack of response for the Story Carnival, I am smiling:) I’ll post a caricature of the sad me soon, when I share my Story Carnival woes with you. In the meantime, I’m back on duty – Oprah wants a payback for her good deed:-)

The First Entry for the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival is in!

Thought I’d make this quick announcement for those who like to read fiction in small doses:) i.e. in form of short stories.

The first story for the Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival – November Edition is in. Read Oorvi’s Twisty Tale, “The Love of my Life” at the WiseK9‘s blog.

The Caricature for which this story was written is this. Click the picture to read the details of the Carnival and see the bigger version of this caricature.

Waiting to read your story:)

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – November 2010 – Edition 6!

Dear Visitors, Aliens, Occasional-stopperbys, and Everyone Else in this Beautiful Virtual world,

The October Carnival ended on October 31, 2010 – on a really low note (sniff!) I guess the drawing failed to get your creative juices flowing. But two brave-hearts persisted.

Here are their stories:

Now if you are wondering why I am still keen on continuing the Blog Carnival, the answer is:  I have a lot of faith in my fellow bloggers. I know that there are many who are sitting on a gold-mine of talent (including some who’ve recently visited mine,) and that one day, I’ll come up with a caricature, which will make them want to write a fabulous story.

So, here’s the Caricature for the November Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival, which I hope will inspire you to write:)

A Caricature, Cartoon, or picture of Romeo and Juliet, the characters from Shakespeare's drama, in a modern balcony scene.

O Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thou?

The rules remain the same, but I am adding a new constraint.

Your story SHOULD have a Romeo and a Juliet, who are called Romeo and Juliet, respectively!

Here are the rules:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature.

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature (A link to this blog would be appreciated, but it isn’t necessary.)

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of November 30, 2010 (Tuesday.)

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added until the last date, will be published on this blog in November 2010, along with the blog-address, and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has absolutely no tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Waiting to hear from you, O fellow bloggers! Tell us your story!

The Trump Card – A Story by Oorvi for the October Blog Carnival!

This is Oorvi’s entry for the October 2010 Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival. I am publishing it here because Oorvi is between blogs:) I shall link it to her new blog when she gives me the go-ahead for it. You can leave your comments for the story here.

Another story that this caricature has inspired, has been written by Barb. You can read the Story “Robin & Beth” here.

The last date for the 5th Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival is October 31, 2010, so if you are planning to invite us into the world of your imagination, please find your notebook soon:) Read the Rules for Participation here.

The Trump Card!

(A Short Story by Oorvi)

The Day they read the Will

“This is impossible! He doesn’t have a brother,” Rita shrieked. Her shriek changed into a gasp of surprise as George’s twin Matt walked in. Matt had the same eyes, the same nose, and the same height as George, however, he was thinner by at least 20 pounds, his brows weren’t as bushy and he sported a beard. He also looked muscular and tanned, which George never did, at least not in the last eight years of her marriage with him.

Matt smiled and bowed to her. After all, Rita was his brother’s widow, and who his brother had left nothing except the clothes on her back and the paltry sum that they had in their joint account. Even the palatial house, in which she lived now, had been left to him, along with everything else that George owned. Matt was now as rich as George was when he were alive.

Rita couldn’t understand it at all. What had gone wrong? She knew that George had willed it all to her. She was sure about it. He had done it a few months before his death, and in those months, she had given him no reason to change that will. And to leave it all to this brother of his, who he never even talked about. But then the solicitor told her that after their parents had divorced, Matt’s father had taken him to live in India – and the brothers had met only a handful of times – and never after they had grown up.

But…it still didn’t make sense to Rita.

—–ooo—–

Flashback – The Night George Died

George leaned back in the plush seat of his chauffeur-driven sedan, and closed his eyes. Whenever he came home late, he made it a point to bring flowers for Rita. She loved flowers, and he loved her more than anything else in the world. As the sedan turned into the driveway, George opened his eyes, and looked past the trees, beyond that expanse of grass, and into the French-windows of his house. In the distance, he could see Rita waiting for him. His heart swelled with love for her, and a smile spread on his face. She was going to love the surprise he had for her tonight.
“Sir, we’ve arrived.”
His chauffeur’s voice broke his reverie.

Rita was there, arranging the dinner table and looking ravishing in her wine-red off-shoulder gown, with a single strand of pearls gleaming around her lovely neck. She deserves the world, he thought as he took her into his arms, before going in to change into his evening dress.

Rita had planned a quiet evening after dinner – some wine and music. The setting was just perfect for what George wanted to tell her. That evening, he didn’t want to talk business, and he didn’t even want to drink the wine. He was drunk on her beauty and all he wanted to do was tell her about the cruise that he had planned for just the two of them.

Man, woman, wine-glass - Caricature.

Rita however, wanted to talk business, and he put it all down to her love and concern for him. She didn’t trust Steve at all. Steve had joined his company around three years ago, and he was younger to him by at least a dozen years. Steve was also extremely good at cutting the bureaucratic red tape and so George valued him a lot. Though most women found Steve attractive, Rita disliked him immensely and she didn’t trust him around George. She always thought that Steve was never as good as he made himself out to be. In fact, they didn’t get along at all.

So they sat and talked, and so George never got around to talking about the surprise that she had for her.

His head felt heavy, and his limbs felt cold and numb. He could hear Rita’s voice floating in from the other room, but it appeared to be coming from a place faraway. He tried to call out to her but he couldn’t – his voice failed. With a lot of effort, he turned his head to see the clock. It looked hazy, but he managed to figure out that it was about two in the morning.

Gradually, consciousness returned to George and Rita’s voice became clearer. She was talking to someone on the phone. He tuned himself in.

He is dead! I am scared! Just come up to the house.”

“We’ve got to move fast and remove the body. This is the most important part of the plan.”

“Don’t worry about it. I know what’s there in his will. All of it comes to me – to us, I mean. And as it was an overdose of his own medicine, even if it comes to postmortem, they’d never learn the truth.”

George closed his eyes. The pain that shot through his heart made him dizzy again. His wife had tried to kill her, and she said something about a plan to dispose his body off. Suddenly the whole evening and the spell of unconsciousness began to make sense to him. He realized that he wanted to know more…and so he decided to play along. But who was the man on the other end of the phone?

“Steve, he’s dead. We don’t need to tie him up. We need it to look like an accident!”

That’s a smart woman, Steve. Listen to her, you moron, thought George. They were on the riverbank, in his car.

“Okay…okay! But what about the car?” Steve was just a pawn; Rita, his beautiful and intelligent wife, was the master strategist.

“We are going to put him in the driver’s seat, and the push the car into the river. It’ll appear as if he drove the car into the river… after he got drunk and fought with me.” said Rita.

Under Rita’s deft management, the deed was done, and the car with George in it, was safely deposited upon the riverbed. George’s consciousness had returned completely by this time; he got out and swam to the other bank. While he sat on a rock, waiting for his breath to even out, Rita and Steve drove back to his house. As he sat there, watching the lights of his wife’s car recede into the distance, he made his plan.

—–ooo—–

The Day they read the Will

George smiled as he looked at himself in the mirror. He was a new man. The pot-bellied, stressed-out George who looked like an albino fish was gone. Here was the new George – lean, tanned, athletic, and young! The last year had been good to him. Changing the will and his identity wasn’t difficult at all. Despite the strong circumstantial evidence, they couldn’t declare him dead for almost an year, as they couldn’t find a body! An year was a long time for him to straighten up the matters. He couldn’t have planned it better.

George turned and looked out of his hotel-room window. Across the street stood the eighteen-storied building of his erstwhile competitor, Cureall Drugs. For once, their unethical practices had saved a live.

He turned back and smiled at Matt in the mirror. This is who he was now, and who he wanted to be all his life.

—–ooo—–

(Author: Oorvi)

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – October 2010 – Edition 5!

header image for Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival for October 2010

Dear Readers, Visitors, Tourists, Treasure-hunters,  and Creative Bloggers!

The September 2010 Blog Carnival ended on September 30, 2010. Following were the stories that were written for the lady in the caricature.

Stories Written by the Authors:

I thank all the writers who spent their time and taxed their creativity to come up with their colorful stories.  Thank You:)

Now, of course, is the time to unveil the caricature for the October 2010 Carnival. This caricature is different from the previous caricatures in two ways:

  • It’s got two characters instead of one.
  • It shows more pleasant (apparently) people.

So here it is…

Caricature of a man and a woman in a wine glass for the Story Writing Blog Carnival 2010

What's their Story?

Don your thinking cap, get into your most comfortable clothes, and find a writing pad…tell us their story!

The Four Simple Rules for Participating:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature (There’s no upper limit – you are welcome to write a thesis if you please:))

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature (A link to this blog would be appreciated, but it isn’t necessary.)

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of October 31, 2010 (Sunday.)

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added until the last date, will be published on this blog in the first week of October, along with the blog-address and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has zero tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Are you a Storyteller?

Never written a story?
Why not start now?

Read the stories and connect with the authors of the previous Tell the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnivals here!