BENEATH A DESERT MOON

¡Hola, mis amigos! (I don’t always greet y’all, maybe I should? I just get into the thick and thin of it and that’s kinda rude, innit? I mean, I care because you’re reading which is really sweet because it’s me, and you know, you’re still here – you guys make up a handful, and you make me happy.)

Because I was so incognito back then, you would’ve missed this – this year, I created/made up themes for every couple of months in the year (I divided my year into four parts, and not quarters). Each period was to tell a story by way of the content I would be covering and sharing on my blog etc. Except you know that it didn’t work out that way, I wasn’t actively working on any material; the ideas, of course, piled on and on and you know what went down. Nothing!

SO. What the illustration for this post is meant to be is an introduction to the story I wished to tell during the months of May, June and July called…

The Song of the Seamstress

As one could tell, the drawings are inspired by Mexico (a country I have never been to – but am really keen on visiting, soon) – the colours and clothing; some desert cactuses; the marigolds and roses; the ofrendas and sugar skulls etc.  The Song of the Seamstress also drew colourful and cultural inspirations from: cameo pendants; dulce de leche; floral embroidery; Frida Kahlo; la combinación de naranja y rosa; Lisbon (I really like this city; it’s colourful and so very warm – it makes me think of Cuba, Goa and Mexico, all at once!); Mother Mary; Pablo Neruda; ruffled clothing; the Día de los Muertos festival; Ugly Betty etc.

P.S. (Would you get a better idea if you saw this? It forms the display picture and cover photo for when I did publish this theme on Facebook and Twitter etc.) – This might be continued in the posts that are to come but it’s also December and so, I will be covering some other *fun* material (I haz ideas)! We’ll see.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

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LOST IN TRANSLATION

What shall we talk about, in this post? How about… Why I was gone for so long? Nope, I am kidding. I have already bored you enough.

Let’s maybe talk about tea?

I am drinking some, as we speak, not rose tea (as could have been implied in the illustration, here) but mint (Moroccan mint, if you please) – and I quite like it. It’s a refreshing change from the several cups of black coffee I am otherwise used to consuming on a daily basis. That hasn’t stopped; I just have started drinking tea on the side. I like drinking it on a late night after having had an early dinner – alongside reading a book, watching a movie on my computer or something. I am saying the most obvious things one would do while drinking a beverage they particularly like, none of this is unique and yet I continue to ramble on, relentlessly.

So… What shall we talk about? It is hard being asked questions, isn’t it? I am not sure I like it very much. Especially when it is about myself, because I don’t have answers. Even so, I know that asking yourself questions is essential, sometimes. Questions that cause you take stock of everything… What you’re doing, where you’re headed, where you are – right now, how close or far are you from what you seek to do or be, etc.? I still have not figured out much of it. It sounds like a shame to admit, and I suspect that I never fully will know everything there is to know, and do and be.

I also think it’ll only come to me in bits and pieces, but I do not need to collect them to build the picture. It isn’t much like a puzzle, though it seems like one – now. What I believe is that… These contemplative moments help you come upon discoveries – they are observations you make about your life. What you have done and are going to do, who you were – then and who you are – now; my mind is in a state of upheaval, good that it might be – however, hard to explain.

‘Lost in translation’ if I may. A romantic way of putting it would be (oh, this is all me): Drink tea, and uncover your mysteries. Think about your life, your moments, your now… See with your inner eye. There is much to uphold and keep, to find and seek. Growth and decay, growth and decay – it’s the only way of the world; an infinite, repetitive loop that keeps you in check.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

MORINGA GLORY

Ta-da, here it is!

Don’t know if I have said this on the blog before, but I love The Body Shop – it is one of the few bath and beauty brands I buy from, constantly. Perhaps not as often as I used to; stuff’s expensive, and it’s harder still, when your sources of income aren’t guaranteed or stable – no more. – Every once in a while, when I do visit the store – it is because I want to restock on a product or two, etc. Anyway, I chanced upon this particular fragrance, last year at the outlet which is at the domestic airport and haven’t looked back, since.

Light, lovely and summery as this fragrance is – I knew nothing about it when I picked it up. – At the time I bought it, I was on my way to a friend’s wedding in Goa, and hadn’t carried any perfume. (Chunky bottles are difficult to cart around and/or pack, and I prefer not to because what if the bottle breaks?) So I stopped by The Body Shop to get an inexpensive bottle of ‘body mist’ or perfume. As it were, I decided against getting the Shea fragrance (I had tried it before, it isn’t the greatest) – Vanilla would’ve been too sweet (though I usually like the smell of vanilla) and then, my eyes fell on the little Moringa bottle and I was, like, “Hey, let’s get this.”

The funny thing is I didn’t quite bother taking a great, big sniff or even spritz it on and let the fragrance envelope me – well, enough to linger, etc. as I usually would’ve done. Yeah, okay, it’s just a small bottle of EDT but still! That was a first for me. (It wasn’t totally cheap, anyway.) And well, as soon as my holiday began and I sprayed it almost everyday, I was slowly realising that I bought something good. It turned out to be really mellow. All the things I said before, and then some (faintly floral, also; I was worried Moringa would smell like jasmine but as it turns out, I know zilch about flowers!). Mildly-fresh and pleasant, it is unlike any other fragrance I have ever had or liked (so I think). The bottle is travel-friendly; if you’re the type that flutters from fragrance to fragrance, the quantity is just about right, too.

What I don’t dig is the price for the quantity being sold (Rs. 895 for 30 ml is not cheap); I think it is Rs. 925, now? (On a sultry day, you might have to give yourself a spritz every couple of hours.) From then to now, I have only used two bottles of the stuff (toldja, been watching my finances). If my income was stable, I’d be buying this pretty often, it’s handy to have on you.

{ Rating – 7.8 / 10 }

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Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes

THE FOUNTAIN OF FAIR FORTUNE

258-the-fountain-of-fair-fortune

It has taken longer than expected (or so I thought) for me to resurface. I went on a two-week holiday with my folks (early June) and yet when I came back, I could not muster the will to work on any posts. I enjoy publishing these stories and knowing that someone out there is reading them or even not, basically I like the feeling of having done something. Something I really want to. Why did I need four months away? Was I developing ah-mazing content, was I revamping this webzine of sorts, was I going to be back with a BANG? Was I sad, and needed time to collect my thoughts? No, no, no and no. I just wanted to take a break; it felt good, four months was goooood and long.

And here I am! We went to Europe, visited four cities/countries there, and I could not be happier that it happened. It was not so much the food or the men, but the sights/sites that had me intoxicated. I definitely want to cover my travels in a series of smaller posts, soon – and I hope you will like reading these tales. But yeah, extremely grateful that everything worked out, and we got to visit some truly wonderful places. :-) Since coming back, I have been working on writing assignments, one illustration project (the business has come from a dear set of friends so I am happy), and another (that I hope to acquire) etc.

Erm, I am also learning a new language online (it has been two months, and I am happy with my progress so far); and I have been watching a lot of movies and shows. I need to stop! But first, let me say this – I discovered the best series yet this August, Stranger Things, it was so fucking good that I re-watched the entire series immediately after completing watching it, the first time. Uh-huh, that level of psychitude, homez!

What is with the title of this post, and the illustration?

Well, I think sometimes we all need space and time to figure ourselves out. And journeys! Not just to places, but within our minds as well. We need to breathe, be free, let go and just be. Experience things or not, develop our wits, learn lessons and move forward. We might feel like we have deeply unsettling problems and that we need cures, and yeah, maybe we do but sometimes we also do not – we are good yet missing the point. Much like the folks in this story; should you dig J.K. Rowling, you will know.

So whether you are hoping to chance upon magical keys or mirrors, ingest a few drops of a magical elixir or potion, interpret the patterns the tea leaves form in your cups, wear some quartz to tap into its energy etc. – also know that you have it in you. Failures and mistakes are okay, I am learning this better with every passing year; plus it does not seem all that nasty when I think of who I am becoming or growing into. I like this person. I have liked me for a long time now, more than I thought I could admit. I have flaws, and want to make the best of all this lesson-learning. I do not want to wither away, I would not like my work to be forgotten or deemed worthless.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes