The Story of Us – at TFI Institute 2014

Now that we’re in our 5th and final week of Institute, we were asked to present our “Story of Us” – that’s what it’s called. Basically, we present our journey here at Institute in any form of our choosing. I chose illustration. It’s not as tidy or finished as I would’ve liked it to be, but there’s just no time for that right now. Regardless, I think it still conveys most of what I felt Institute has been for me.

To give you some context before you go through the cartoons-

Institute is the 5 week training period before the 2014 cohort of Teach for India takes on their classes in the city.

There’s no non-vegetarian food served on campus.

The campus is on top of a pretty hill – which makes it hard for us to get to places with chicken.

1 title

2 intro 3 reaching-flame 4 registrstion 5 sessions


6 emoshunal


*these many times a day

7 1 miss-chicken


7 friens

8 commvisit 9 jk 10 dance-song 11dance-sara


12 1 chicken 12 summer-school 13 5am-sleep


14 morning 15 reaching-jaihind


16 staff-energy 17 jk energy

18 lp123 19 lp234

20 night-sleep


21 joy-of-rec


22 head-count


23 terrible-class 24 good-class 25 omb-learn 26 better-worse 27 learn-n-learn 28 hard-life 29 push-self 30 better-teacher 31 thank-you


The Family Rosary

I’m actually glad for today’s DailyPrompt. After my posts on pee and poop, I sincerely hoped my blog wouldn’t begin to be associated with scatological humor. I promise you I am better than that! So in today’s post I’m going to talk about PRAYER. That’s a major upgrade from listening in on someone’s business in the loo, isn’t it?

I come from a Roman Catholic family. And we Catholics pray to (not worship as is widely misunderstood) Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Rosary is a set sequence of OurFathers, HailMarys and GloryBes. And the life of Jesus is meditated upon while saying this 20 minute (approx.) prayer.

Intro over. Google will tell you more if you’re interested. I have a story to tell right now. 🙂

So, my Roman Catholic-ness goes up,up,up my family tree. I’m not sure how up, but that isn’t relevant to this post. Since the DailyPrompt asked what tradition/ritual was my favourite, I chose the Family Rosary. We’ve been praying the Rosary since I was a kid, at home, and in every relative’s house I stay over at during the holidays- therefore, it’s a traditional ritual of sorts.

We usually say the Rosary as a family at night before we all go to bed. And to be honest, Rosary time wasn’t my favourite time of the day growing up.

I’ll give you a peek into what our Family Rosary was like back in 1997 (I was around 7 years old)

Little Black Sheep

Little Black Sheep


Ya 🙂 So that was how our Family Rosary was back then. But after all these years, we still come together as a family whenever we’re under the same roof and say the Rosary.

It’s not exactly the prayer or the beauty or power in praying together that’s made me choose this tradition as one that I’m glad has stuck. It’s that it brings the family together. All of us have our own lives that keep us busy and apart from each other, and then come RosaryTime we’re all together, and since no one is all rigid about the Rosary beginning at sharp 7pm or anything, conversation mum, my dad, my elder sister and I. My parents make us crack up by taking childish jibes at each other, I talk about something that happened during the day, or something my friend told me, my sister gives her opinion on things. Sometimes it’s a big discussion, sometimes it’s one of our anecdotes making all of us laugh..and this goes on until somebody realises they have work or bed to get to and that person gets everyone to start praying.

Now that my sister’s married, her husband is one of us, and joins the fun and conversation.

And now there are 2 toddlers, my niece and nephew, in the mix too!

So, you see what I mean? Rosary time is pretty wonderful- the family, the conversation, and the praying together.

pray together


Audio Cassettes, I miss you.

2002. Westlife came out with their Greatest Hits Album : Unbreakable Vol. 1.


Westlife – The Greatest hits : Unbreakable Vol. 1 (2002)

If I have to mention any one song of that album, I’d choose “If I let you go”..or maybe “Flying without wings”? But, that’s only if I’m forced to choose just one song.

audio cassettes

Dear Audio Casettes, I’m sorry you had to go away.

My year was made. I owned the audio cassette. Those were the years..the last few years when audio casettes still reigned supreme in my life. They made it hard for you to skip songs, so you’d eventually learn to love all songs on Side A and Side B equally. Of course, Westlife didn’t make that hard at all. I LOVED that entire album. Still do!

Oh! I just remembered that whirring sound you can hear between songs and at the end of a side until all the tape rolls to one side. That sound was strangely comforting and yet stirred a tiny bit of dread because I knew an unpleasant sound was to follow- that loud*PCHUKK*noise of the Play button popping up (I hate that sound!), once a side was over. Ugh. Way to kick me out of my happy reverie.

I remember going to bed every night, glad it was time for my nightly Westlife-time. I’d play Side A and if I wasn’t asleep by the end of it, I’d quickly flip the tape and begin listening to Side B. I don’t remember ever tiring of it.

To this day, anytime any song from this album of Westlife’s plays on the radio or in a department store, I drop what I’m doing and sing along to the song. Nothing and no one must stop me from capturing that moment for myself. It transports me back to the nights as a 13 year old, lying on my bed and having Westlife play the soundtrack to my perfect little life.

–This post was written in response to the DailyPrompt : Always Something to Remind Me.

I’ve got 2 months until I join Teach for India, and I want to fill this time with as much writing and drawing as I can. Starting today. I’ll draw in my sketchbook at work, and use the phone camera to upload it. 

A Family Outing

I’m spending this month in Kerala with family. Trips to touristy places was on my Things-to-do-while-in-Kerala list. I didn’t intend a family trip, but that’s what I got on my first attempt at a trip to Fort Kochi. Eventhough we didn’t go to any of the places I wanted to visit, there wasn’t a dull moment. And that’s because it’s my family packed into an Innova. More importantly it’s because my dad who drove us there wanted to be back home all the while.

He says “There’s no parking spacee!” while passing empty parking spots.

He says “See??you can see from the car itself. Why you want to get out and walk in this heat?

Ya. So that’s mostly why it was eventful. Getting to our destination was a result of my willpower pitted against his.

I like quick cartoons..if asked to express myself- this is what I prefer. So, here’s a look at how a trip with my family looks like 🙂

Sex & Cash Theory

As the previous post indicated- it means I’m going back to my job as an engineer, but this time around it feels different, and I feel excited about it- hope that lasts. But a lot will have to change- my perspective for one, has already changed. And I’ll let change keep happening until I feel all snug and happy (happiness is relative in an IT company) in a certain role. And I’ll use my earnings for my art and other stuff*. And one day in the future I’ll quit my job and have a little business of my own? Maybe:) Yea so I’m quick to build castles in the air..I’m yet to figure out a lot of things..and it’s all alright. See what Henry David Thoreau says >

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.”

Corporate employee by day, Creative by night

* There’s something I found over at Hugh Macleod’s blog that resonates with my line of thought- The Sex & Cash theory. Here’s a snippet:

“The crea­tive per­son basi­cally has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, crea­tive kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills.

And I’ve grown to trea­sure the dua­lity. Every time I’ve  tried to per­ma­nently wear just one hat,  the per­so­nal hat or the busi­ness hat, I get bored silly within a week. The work seems to need the cons­tant dia­lo­gue bet­ween the inner and outer.

Fin­ding that sweet spot where that never-ending dia­lo­gue can exist hap­pily fore­ver, is one of THE great tasks (and gifts) our brief life gives us.”