253 The Mirror of Erised

We’re all fond of magic, and the folklore associated with it. Well, some of us are – for the most part. A mystical energy possessing abilities not entirely unlikely of making dreams come true, or of taking care of our troubles, et cetera? I, for one, have always been fascinated with all kinds of fairy tales – especially the ones where magic is the solution. Aiding the fair youth as he or she sets upon an obstacle-ridden course excelling in their quest ultimately (locating a wishing-well somewhere deep in a legendary forest) or rousing a prince or princess from the most deepest sleep with a few drops of magical elixir dropped over their closed mouths. Do you know?

We’re older now, and magic does exist. Perhaps not in the ways that we imagined before, but oh, it is around. You don’t see it, you feel it. Sometimes the good kind, sometimes bad. But it’s the positive particles you believe in, and want desperately to feel. (I totally get that!) Do not stop believing, okay?

And as a little something-something, here’s a virtual, ornate hand mirror for you, inspired by the one from the Harry Potter series, The Mirror of Erised – for you to reflect upon every once in while when times are troubled and everything feels out of place. It not always is. You know that! So, harness all you’ve got to create your own kind of magic. Ooh, and it isn’t magic, unless it makes you smile. I know that better, now. Don’t be scared, okay?

P.S. Do you guys remember which fairy tale had an ornate hand mirror in their Disney animated movie counterpart? (-:


Artwork by Roanna Fernandes


Desert Rose

243 Desert Rose

The #LearnToDraw posts are probably going to be a forever thing! At least, I hope so. Drawing cute, tiny objects will never cease to excite me… And because I enjoy making cluster illustrations, it also helps when I have perfected an object that is part of the entire illustration (like a bowl of eggs, or a Nutella jar). I take great pride in mastering all the details (the packaging, labels etc.) even if the drawing really is as little as an Instagram square, or even smaller. 

For some reason, cactus prints have been following me all over town (much like those pineapples), they cheerfully adorn silk shirts in fashion editorial spreads (I wonder if Zara has ’em?); and I also spotted some cactuses on a pair of socks (which I want to order right away), and on someone’s phone cover, too. Observations like these are then carefully made a note of by way of doodling them into a notebook, so that I remember to cover them in posts.

P.S. Erm, you could say that I was very inspired by JODI when I thought of this post, and it seemed fitting to follow the previous one… I would like to turn this baby cactus into a proper print now, I have way too many doodles lying around in my folders waiting to be turned into prints.


Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

Black Coffee

239 Black Coffee

Well, the origin of this post can be attributed to the Persepolis movie (I watched it, last month), and there was a scene (or two) where these patterned cups make an appearance. They’re simple to draw, but for me, it’s much too exciting because of late, I’ve developed a mild obsession for collecting dainty cups that one may drink their coffee in. (Other than my usual ramblings, I had a crazy but very COOL idea about what I should make the rest of this post about… A few poetic lines on my favourite coffee shops in Bombay, hooray! Ooh, alphabetically haan.)

Café Zoe

I don’t go there often because it’s far from the homeland, and is expensive. But the few times I have been there, I enjoy catching up with folks over coffee (and sometimes, Zoe’s seared chicken legs if I’m really, terribly, achingly hungry. Goooood!)… A great place for people who like their space, even while being on separate tables – the place is like a house. A cool house!


This place will never lose its charm, in my opinion because when I lived in Bandra, Candies used to be our (ex-roommates) favourite and only haunt. The Americano there, too is made just the way I like my black coffee!

Chai Coffi

Discovered this place ages ago, all thanks to Minila (Louisa)… We went there sometime ago, and had a ball chatting and stuffing our faces… I think we should go back, soon!

Costa Coffee

Their double chocolate chip muffins are LOVE! Apart from that, I went there a lot when I used to work at Matunga (and later, Bandra)…

Gloria Jean’s Coffees

Ah! I miss the one that used to be at a corner between Manuel Gonsalves Road and Waterfield Road in Bandra… We (ex-roommates) used to go there all the time. Our Central Perk minus Gunther! Also, the coffees were top-notch. (Used to go there between 2008 and 2012.)

Indigo Delicatessen

Though I have gone there before a couple of times just for the food (the one at the Palladium mall), I think it was sometime around last year when I re-discovered it as a coffee shop with Zainab (Badani). There’s a favourite table I usually always sit at, when I go there; and the salmon bagel with cream cheese paired with an Americano (or a single order of their Vietnamese iced coffee) is perfect! Not a bad place to sit by yourself, and a good place for a date.

Le15 – pâtisserie

Erm, so I haven’t actually been here! (The one that opened at Lokhandwala.) But it’s Pooja Dhingra! Who gets the concept of macarons, coffee shops, and Parisian places… I have heard that this outlet serves hot beverages including coffee from Blue Tokai (apart from desserts) and well, is also slightly bigger than the Bandra shop (been here) so you can probably sit down and enjoy your order. CANNOT WAIT TO GO! (Going to get Nina to come with, since she lives so close by.)

Le Pain Quotidien

One of the places I reviewed for burrp! way back in 2011… This is the Le Pain Quotidien at Apollo Bunder (Colaba). Their interiors are very French, spacious, non-intrusive and is another place you can sit by yourself and read, or draw in your journal, whatever. And while it’s always filled with folks, nobody bothers you… I would ideally pick a corner table to people-watch, or go there on a late afternoon to meet a friend for coffee. Ooh, and I love those bowl-like cups they serve coffee in! (Gotta be careful while handling the cups though, but still so much fun.)


Out of all these places, Moshe’s is the one I visit the most. This is irrespective of the area it’s located in, because I love all of the outlets… Minila introduced me to Moshe’s and I can never get enough of their food, desserts or well, coffee. The whole place, really… I can spend hours there going through magazines, drawing in my journal, etc. Their oven-baked pasta and salmon bagels get my top vote. Ooh, and the (baked?) Philadelphia cheesecake is a favourite, too!

Pali Village Cafe

To be honest, I have been here all of just two times. But it’s a lovely place really, to catch up with a close friend or when you’re out with your lover, hahaha!

Starbucks Coffee

Okay, so if it’s not Moshe’s, then Starbucks is where I am at! Call me a hipster or whatever, but I always liked the coffee chain back from my time in the Arabian desert. Apart from that, something about its global branding and presence just always impressed (er, intrigued) me. Ooh, and the siren! (It’s one of my favourite logos.)

The Pantry

Bright, cheery and very cottage-like is what I think of, when I step inside this little restaurant at Kala Ghoda. The food’s about okay-good (their portions are heavy, so you might want to split it with your partner); I really like their espresso which they serve in dainty, dusky blue cups. I told you so!

The Table

THIS PLACE IS EXPENSIVE. (I do think it’s nice to go there on an occasion though, or when you feel treating yourself… Delicious meals, minimalist interiors and good coffee!)

The Yoga House

This is one place I go to faithfully whenever I am in the area (Bandra); it’s a serene place to read a book, meditate while looking at the sunlight streaming in through muslin curtains, et cetera and basically drink your coffee in peace. (Their raw chocolate mousse is goooood!)

P.S. There might be a few shops that I am missing, or yet to discover but for now, these will have to do. Also, this post was very impromptu… I would like to, at some point, shoot posts at some of these places – Coffee places, ooh! ♥


Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

La Fenêtre June

237 La Fenêtre JuneOkay, so the LOVE for arched windows continues! And I didn’t think I would be able to draw this for the #LearnToDraw series (those arched domes are difficult shapes to create, would you believe), but the outcome does not seem too bad. What do you think? There were some other options that came to mind when doodling windows (there’s a picture on my Instagram feed) but some of those were rather difficult to draw digitally, I think that this version was easier. Also, this is a random mention but this palette of colours makes me think of Mendl’s and The Grand Budapest Hotel, too. Non?

What else, what else? The inspiration to draw these arches came from a recent visit to Jehangir Art Gallery with Sonaksha (Iyengar) – who came to Bombay a few weeks ago. There was this one artist’s paintings, whose work I was completely enamoured with; and I’m kicking myself for not writing his name down. :-( The paintings that he made were so colourful and rich; the details were unbelievably poetic (and very real). The focus of his paintings were arched windows on old-fashioned buildings; and colourfully dressed women drying clothes out in the open and/or walking to the bazaar in the background, and such and such, etc. DAMN! 


Artwork by Roanna Fernandes