THE ORACLE SAID WANDER

Hello friends!

February has been a month of many happenings – two weddings (Valya married Nigel, Neola married Jason); a birthday (mine); and a most wonderful holiday (thank you, Ajay and Minila), etc. I could say that this time was consuming, but only in the most rewarding way possible. Yeah! I dared! Be cheesy, that is.

No, really.

It has just been the happiest, healthiest state of mind that I have ever been in – after ages. It blew me away! This February has to be one of the best out of all the Februaries I have lived! (I am supremely grateful, if you couldn’t already tell.) Much of it has to do with my stay in Bangalore, this past week (I am going to cover that in some detail, but not in this post) – everything just feels like “growth”. Things are growing. Blossoming, even. Plants and thoughts, saplings and sounds and whatever-have-you. All good things, all the important ones. (Like I said, truly grateful.)

Birthdays ought to be unusual (there is an auspiciousness of new that accompanies it, I would like to believe) because whatever it was, I experienced something joyful. When I was leaving Bangalore, I felt alive with all the new I discovered (books and gardens, friendships and food, places and people), the ideas I nursed (slowly filling up the jar); my mind was bright – brimming with a peace that comes from possibilities. What a beautiful word, right? Poh-sah-bi-laa-tees.

(Ah, there’s much to tell.)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

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THE SEARCH FOR EVERYTHING

Hi.

How are you doing?

Ever since getting back to writing and publishing posts on this blog again, I have a newfound enthusiasm to keep up, continue putting up posts as often as I can. I had a bunch of ideas for Christmas – not all of them saw the light of day (you know this); I was keen to put up a post in the first week of January but fell sick (I am better), some unexpected news came my way and well, there has been a bunch going on in my personal life… But, hey, I am here, now.

This post is just one of those where I muse over the near future and nurse wild hope that I can make things work, this year. I am determined to work extra hard and give everything all I have (one life, they say); take up an interesting full-time job (the focus is to make money but I would like for my weekends to be stress-free and so); continue drawing and pursue even more personal and professional projects (as I have in 2017) etc. (There is a whole list.) The Search for Everything – if I may, friends (thank you, John Mayer)… I wish you love and luck on your journey too. Thank you for your support through mine (silent or otherwise); your comments and compliments fill me with encouragement and a quiet determination to do more (with my craft). For this, I am eternally grateful.

P.S. Kevin, you are sorely missed and will be – forever more; you are loved more than you could have ever fathomed. I know that you are in a better place, now, but I do wish you were still here. Thank you for the memories, and rest in peace, brother. (Should you pray and/or be a believer in the divine forces out there, could you please spare a thought for Kevin and his family, tonight? Their hearts are in need of healing; and their souls – to be soothed.)

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Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes

THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS

¡Feliz Navidad, mis amigos!

Whether you spent Christmas all by yourself, with family or friends, your partner or pet – I hope it was filled with ‘roses’ and warmth. There are some days and nights when you have to tell yourself that the light of sun, moon and stars are worth it. Everything! Life, and all its many mysteries. The little things. Spending part of your time reflecting on love and loss – it is hard, sometimes to count just your blessings. For cracks tend to run deep and show all that is in between. Yes; deep gulps, bitter swallows.

We are here, now and I am grateful. I cannot be anything else. There will continue to be joyful, wild hope following every desperate/destructive moment; there will continue to be plants shooting out of a ground that was only watered by hate – I will try to remember all of this. – So I spent Christmas quietly, with family – as I usually do. There was mulled apple cider that I made (it was my first time making it and uh, it was okay but yay), roast chicken with a home-made stuffing and some saffron pilaf-ish rice (cooked by my sweet, talented mother); we also met my aunts, uncle and cousins for dinner at their home in Mahim, last night. It was surprisingly low-key and lovely – we talked about mental health and sexual harassment (would you believe) and though most of our arguments weren’t met by the elders with conviction, I am glad that the conversation was had.

P.S. This post is dedicated to the inhabitants of a beautiful home in Porvorim (Goa); I have been thinking of all of you, most – this December. (And should you, dear reader, pray on a regular basis to a deity or our mother – Earth, could you please ask for love and light to swiftly and slowly be on its way to this particular family? Thank you for your ears, and eyes, dear reader – you may have them back, now.)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

THE WRITING ON THE WALL

It has been what? – one week into December, and Christmas already is so close. Should you need to know… Christmas began early for me, this year; it has been feeling like the festive season from November onwards (never mind that the Christmas spirit has momentarily abandoned me now that December is actually here but oh, well).

And oh, hello to you too. (Explaining more, below.)

#FacesintheTwitteringCrowd

This is a project inspired by the #visiblewomen I know on and off the interwebz. I titled it so because I figured that some of you enjoy your online presence (thanks, social media platforms) and perhaps might like to have an illustrated profile of yourself for personal or professional use. (If not for yourself, you could perhaps ‘gift’ this wee, intangible summat to someone you reeeeeally like/love; heh, you know ’cause… Christmas.) Personally, this project is for me to: hone my craft; make money (being a freelancer and lover of learning has its perils); and make a fun project out of.

Basically, I can render an illustrative likeness of yourself in the form of a JPEG/PNG illustration (I will even make a portrait of your prized pet, should you like); this, I will base on a photograph of yours (preferably vertical) and 3-6 questions that I would be asking you (your most worn colours/motifs etc.). To get ideas on how your likeness might be rendered, please see the poster I made for this series or check out the women I drew back in March-April of this year, etc. (The pricing details are in the poster; payments can be made to me – electronically and I make and deliver the illustration to your Inbox in 3-6 working days.)

Thank you for hearing me out! – This is something new I am trying and should you like my work and are keen to do business with me, I would be pleased to hear from you (by way of a comment or an e-mail).

P.S. The one-off chance that you are new here or have come upon this solitary post, an introduction might not be out of order. My name is Roanna Fernandes; I am a features writer and illustrator who lives in Bombay. I have had this blog for about seven years now; it has served me well as a platform to express myself, artistically  and gotten me a few illustrative assignments, etc.  Uh-huh, here’s the ‘however’: I have been harbouring doubts/thoughts about why this space continues to exist. After months of staying away though, I found myself back in the place where it all began yet I feel a lightness of brain. (At this point, my brain interjects with, “A feeble yay is better than none in the head.” Gee, thanks, Brainah, what would I do without you?  That more than you needed to know?

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes