Venice and romance? Bleh!

Sorry for being such a party pooper for romantics (I consider myself one, btw. It must be society of cynics getting to me). Let me start this blog by copy-pasting a quick Google search I did on Venice.

‘Venice is probably the most romantic city in the world; its unique watery landscape gives the city a magical quality that is irresistible…’

‘The romantic city of water, that is how Venice is known to the masses. Who visits Italy, has to see Venice as well’

Even..

‘Why is Venice Italy a romantic city?’ on answers.com without any answers to it.

And finally, my favourite, from a tabloid The Sun,

‘The singer took a romantic gondola ride with pretty LUSIANA LOPILATO (famous chick in Brit) in Venice, but the stirring sights of the city failed to provoke even the slightest smile. At one point he even looked like he couldn’t wait to get off the watery ride as he rested his head on his hands.’ This accompanied a photo of the a grumpy looking singer.

I like what Sun said. Rather I understand what the Sun said. What is so romantic about the city after all? Why does the whole world keep on gushing about it? Don’t get me wrong, I loved the get-lost-in tiny lanes over canals that Venice is. Venice, I am sorry to say, looks good just in photos (as proof find here the pictures I clicked). It stinks for one. It’s a dead town full of three hundred year old buildings and romantics with gooey eyes.

 

Continue reading “Venice and romance? Bleh!”

FB page for Skull Rosary

Just a few months ago, I announced my upcoming graphic novel The Skull Rosary. To build up some excitement (not only for you guys, but also for myself!) I have just launched its FB page! If you read this, and click on the FB link too, I hope do press that all important LIKE button. The graphic novel releases in May 2012 and will be done in collaboration with artist Vivek Goel and his indie production house Holy Cow Pvt Ltd. I am thinking how I can Do keep coming back to know what more is happening in this!

And a sneak update: The Skull Rosary comprises of five stories and I have already completed one of them! It sounds beautiful to my ears, but you never know what happens when its thrown out there! Fingers crossed.

Preview of my upcoming comic anthology

skull rosary ad

 

This one is completely my baby as a writer with artist Vivek Goel. Comprising of five short stories, this anthology is a new take on a mythology. That’s all I can tell you right now, more will come laters. Oh, and it’s going to release next year during summer holidays. Hope some kids out there are excited!

Were House Volume 1 released!

My first comic short story it out in the market. It’s a horror comic anthology of three authors with artist Vivek Goel. You can order it online at Flipkart

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Would love to hear some feedback on it!

Werehouse out in the papers

The excitement is building up for the May end release of Werehouse-The house of monsters. One of the three horror stories in the anthology are mine and I am quite excited about it as it’s my first horror comic coming out. Here’s what the Mumbai Mirror journalist had to say:

Endangered fury

A graphic novel ropes in some endangered Indian species and narrates tragic tales of the human civilisation through their perspective

Ankit.Ajmera

Posted On Sunday, May 01, 2011 at 06:56:15 PM

w e have seen it all. From Benicio Del Toro playing the werewolf in the film The Wolfman (2010) to Rahul Roy becoming the weretiger in the film Junoon (1992). Cursed creatures have always been portrayed brutally devouring numerous innocent humans to satisfy their lust for blood. A graphic novel on similar lines of therianthropy (metamorphosis of humans into other animals by the process of changing forms through shape-shifting), titled Were House — Volume I, will be launched this month. The novel moves away from the cliched transformations of humans into wolves and tigers and introduces some lesser known but endangered Indian animals such as the Snow Leopard and the Dhol (Indian wild dog), along with a rat, as new therianthropes.
Graphic artist and creator of Ravanayan, Vivek Goel is self-publishing the novel under his newly formed publishing house, Holy Cow Entertainment based in Mumbai. With specie after specie becoming extinct from the world, the novel takes us closer to the heart of animals through therianthropes. Instead of being cursed, the creatures have been blessed with the power to change shapes. “We have conveniently exploited every possible living creature for our own selfish needs. But we hardly know what and how they feel about humans,” says Goel. “I thought it will be interesting to see the world through their eyes.” There is a lot of blood and gore in the story and it justifies the creatures’ need to kill as mere survival instinct instead of a mad blood-lust like that of werewolves and weretigers.

To read the full story, click here.

The photograph which was selected for Haptic 2011

DSC00215

 

About the photograph:
It was during a recent trip to Ajanta Caves that I clicked this. The Ajanta caves which were excavated during 2nd century BC to 5th Century ACE, are a series of Buddhist monastery sites, still beautifully preserved. In one of the caves stood these tall sculptures of Buddha which are more than 1500 years old and still exquisite. Hovering around them was this throng of tourists, both males and females, caressing them softly with their eyes and capturing them in their memories and cameras as they stood unapologetically naked–emotionally, spiritually and physically.

About the exhibition:

Bangalore has hosted film festivals on themes related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT or Queer) communities since 2003. Although they were small events, since their transformation into The Bangalore Queer Film Festival (BQFF) in April 2009, held at the Alliance Francaise, the festivals have made Bangalore a destination for international Queer films. Haptic is a photograph exhibition held during the Film Festival.

My first graphic novel with Campfire

Just discovered my debut novel’s cover on the Campfire website. Here’s a sneak into what the beautiful book, illustrated by Rajesh N, will look like. I am so, so excited about it!

Krishna, Defender of Dharma


The best part is that you can PRE-ORDER the book now! It costs Rs 195 and delivery worldwide is free! Click here to pre-order!

My photo exhibits in BlrQueerFilmFest

Quite unexpected I must say! I saw a call for entries to the Bangalore Queer Film Festival and send in a photograph I took on recent roadtrip. It’s from Ajanta caves (yes, yes a blog on the travel experience coming soon!) and was my first experience of the spectacularness that is Ajanta. So I open my email on Sunday and I see an acceptance email from them!

Yes, my photograph will be exhibited during the Bangalore Queer Film Festival 2011 in Alliance Francaise to be held February end. Will post the photographs of my photograph (yes, vain I know but I am exhilarated!) soon 🙂

Meeting up Wikipedians

A lazy Sunday afternoon, I picked up my backpack and entered the relaxed office of Centre for Internet and Society. The occasion was a Wiki Meetup. My first and as I would learn, first for most of the ten people present there. The meetup officially started with a gang of boys walking in, mostly dressed in black, denims, floaters, and laptop bags. No, none of them were wearing specs (except me). Gautam, the conveyor of the meeting said hello and gave us all the wireless code to internet. Internet unfortunately was down.

No women, except me. All engineers mostly, except a couple of advocates and one motley writer (me).

All sat down, opened their respective laptops and started typing or browsing. Imagine a group of people, all casually sitting on plastic chairs, laptops in their laps, quietly typing away in their keyboards. The silence was a surprise. Always interested in group behavior and body language, I also noticed that most of the techie boys, as I was calling them in my head, had black laptops with colourful stickers on it displaying the brands they were proud to be associated with. Other than your obvious Ubuntu, one saw stickers from conferences like Open Hack, NGOs like Pratham Books and others. Their relationship with their keyboard seemed more interesting than their relationship with the person sitting next to them. A whisper in a sidebencher’s ear went through typing. Talking while you are looking on your laptop screen was not considered social suicide. It was the cool thing to do.

It was deathly quiet. As one of the seasoned Wikipedians (I didn’t introduce myself to him and was daydreaming when he introduced himself to the group) started to give an intro to most of the newbies—engineering college students and a vague writer like me. We got to know how one should contribute to Wiki, the same rules I was taught in my Masters for submission of criticism and assignments—keep a religious track of references, don’t make up things (never followed this one) and don’t believe what is said, believe what is written down somewhere. A good question asked was about oral histories and how does one write about those. Apparently, they have to be written down somewhere before they become worthy of an online entry into Wikipedia as a reference (didn’t know that). Wish this obsession with references gets over, especially when it comes to the varied, colourful, creative means of converting a fact into a story, which Indian oral histories excel it.

But then, most of us today will be uncomfortable with that. And that is an uncomfortable state of being, no? I was reminded of a story on Wikipedia I did for Digital Natives website recently where I was left wondering who the invisible writers / volunteers of articles to Wiki from India are. Now I finally met them. Was feeling good about that. If someone has a doubt that Wikipedia gets self-promoters or people with dubious designs, they should have looked at these faces. Most students, there to learn and do their bit in knowledge sharing.

Oh, well. Maybe some people would consider them clueless to write on Bharatnatyam and still double check. These same people call students the copy-paste generation. Dubious people remain dubious, don’t they?

Blogging with www.digitalnatives.in!

I came across this interesting ongoing project called ‘Digital Natives with a Cause’ which is a collaboration of youngsters and internet addicts from across the world and how they are using the online space to change their lives and the lives of those around them. Since I am a curious cat, I wanted in. After persuading Nishant and Hasina, I am in and blogging with the website! Check out my latest post on the blog www.digitalnatives.in.

Why I fell in love with this project

Submitted by redpixie on Wed, 10/13/2010 – 08:59

Hi Everyone!

I am a new entrant to this website, so thought will introduce myself and the reason I wanted to be here. So desperately that I bugged poor Hasina, pushing constantly at the closed doors of DN (more about tht later) till I could get an elbow or aleast a toe in.

So my toe’s in and I hope to squeeze in completely slow and steady 🙂

I am a writer and a journalist based in Bangalore, India. I got to know abt DN when I did a story of it for Time Out Bengaluru last year. Spoke to Nishant then and fell in love with the project. It was at the back of my mind till the workshops started to happen. I wanted to get in it with a passion that drives vague people who make up and listen to stories.

I dont know what DN still means. And I dont plan to find out. It’s such an academics term! What I plan to do here is hear, listen, talk, chat and learn. Internet and this kind of a get together is such a dynamic space. As a writer, I want to hear different voices, try out new things, new perspectives, different cultures…different ways people express emotions, connect to internet, the idea of their space…you get the drift.

Most of the times, all I get to hear are voices of elders, respectable adults, authority and people who know what they are saying and what they want us to do. It is in spaces like these where one can hear uncertainly, the feeling of getting lost, of searching or just ambling along sheer darkness, of inguenity, of illogical ideas which work.

To read the complete post, click here.