9th grade l Nasr school Heard of people who have a fear of fruits or all things that smell like fruit? I recently learnt that there are quite a few people who fear fruits so I looked it up and it has a name- fructophobia. Amma would feed me a quarter of a grape when I was an infant and I’d throw up instantly. This continued through the rest of my life. This is an illustration of my friend Natasha chasing me in school with a tiny piece of grape knowing that I was terrified of fruits 😒 Btw, this phobia has been handed down to me by Ammamma(my maternal grandmother).
Speaking of grandmothers, want to know what I inherited from Nainamma? Claustrophobia + Anxiety, in the 1 + 1 free offer. This is an illustration from a flight I took during Christmas of 2019. I've had all kinds of reactions to my panic attacks on flights. I've had the sweetest lady hold my hand and tell me it's okay, some people freak out because they think I am going to throw up when I ask for an air sickness bag to breathe, some continued to drool in their sleep and then there were these two. I was stuck in between this couple who took selfies diagonally across my face, insisted on me taking up a job with them in logistics(even after learning that I am a designer) and then ofcourse lectured me on how my generation creates new problems because claustrophobia isn't a real thing. I have learnt that one of the most effective ways of getting rid of claustrophobia or anxiety is by experiencing another emotion just as strong. Soon as they insisted that I should repeat "Jesus is here to save us all" out loud, they met my best friend rage. Safe to say that the rest of my flight was peaceful and I overcame not one problem but 2! :D
Nainamma aka OG:Original Grumpudding and I have a very special relationship. She loves to talk about 2 very inevitable things: The digestive system(particularly bowel movements) and death. I believe she hates everyone but loves me because she believes I am a reincarnation of her mother(who passed away 3 days after I was born). Either way, it works out for me cos i call her my child and get away with a lot. This illustration is from when she was knitting a sweater for my unborn child. She asked me when I am planning to have kids and told me she wants to see me have a baby before she dies. So I told her she'd have to die and be reborn as a baby 😛 to see that happen Guess who is suddenly okay with me not having babies 😎 Note: zoom in for an enhanced experience of our expressions
2009 l Visiting my parents Nainamma(paternal grandmother) aka OG, Anasuya Rao. The second oldest of 7 children, grew up in Vijaywada and has been living with us ever since my grand dad passed away. She spends most of her day Knitting, watching TV, gardening and yelling at anyone who crosses her path of vision. But strangely loves me. With that in mind, I went to her when I was in need. I wanted to visit my sister in London and clearly freelancing as a designer couldn't sponsor my trip entirely. So I went to all my relatives shamelessly asking for chanda money(strictly only coins) to see if I could make up for the ticket money in exchange for hugs. After collecting a few coins, I went to Nainamma with a smile and an open box. I asked her if she wanted a hug in the hope that she'd give me some money but she looked up at me and said “This is all mine. You owe me money, for last weeks household expenses!” She then patiently goes on to counting 400 rupees in coins and puts it back in the box saying, here you go "your ticket money" 😐
This is from a couple of years back(Pre-covid times, when people would visit home and hang out in close proximity) One of the things I look forward to when I visit my parents is to sleep in on Sunday mornings. So after a long night of stuffing my face with yummy food and drinks, I went to bed assuming I'd wake up at my own time. My father has been famous for waking people up when they are fast asleep. You know those people who wake up a sleeping person and ask them if they were sleeping? That's him 😂. This time, I woke up at 8 am to the sound of a few men(not Bapu) screaming "ooookhhhaaaay Gooooogle!" "Oookaay Google, play mohammed Rafi songs! okhaaay!" "Okhaay google, play dev anand songs!" I walk out to find 5 men in their 60s screaming at a device out of excitement while it just sat there trying to decode their instruction. I guess there are a few upsides to Covid, no more loud, early rising uncles at home.(Sorry Bapu!) 😆 Have a good Sunday! 😛
Around 2 and a half years ago, my roommate(@adityasoma87 ) and I moved to Bombay, into our perfect little happy place. Thanks to a friend passing my portfolio around I was called for an interview almost immediately, by a really enthusiastic guy from a start up(@writeous.studios where I now work). We worked on multiple fun things and I had a ball, I was living the life I wanted in the place I loved. Until 2020 happens to all of us 😒 @adityasoma87 and I decided to move out of Bombay temporarily to move closer to our folks and that meant leaving our happy little place. So we packed up our home and our bright sunny Bombay “terrace” to leave it behind for some one lovely who can enjoy the space as much as we did. Over to you @sidmathur89 (enthusiastic guy from a start up) 😄 It’s funny how things turn out :)
Insignificant Extra#4 The wannabe progressive, cool uncle who like every other extra thinks he is important and youngsters care to hear his opinion. This “uncle” is an acquaintance to my dad. He saw a recent illustration that my dad was tagged in and took the liberty to not just comment on my post but also gave me amazing advice. Please see the next picture for the screenshot. 😂 I only have one thing to say to him- go back to school, pay attention in biology class and ofcourse be blessed always! Also, I think the point of calling these people insignificant extras will be lost if I keep drawing/talking about them and give them so much of my time. So this will be the end of the insignificant extras series and hopefully the last of them too in my life. (Maybe I’m asking for too much) PS: the reason he has no features is cos I’ve only met him twice and can’t remember how he looks 😁
Insignificant Extra #2 My folks and I were invited to a farmhouse for a weekend. Unfortunately for me the weekend was all about getting free advice from the host. She asked me what the deal was with me and why I haven’t had kids yet, while the entire room sat there in shock/silence. She was surprised to learn that my reasons for getting married were mainly to spend my life with the person I love and not just to procreate. I then got an aggressive lecture about not knowing enough about life. Fyi, this was probably the first real conversation I had with her besides formal, polite hi-byes in the past. This is an illustration of us saying bye to each other. The most pleasant part of my visit for both of us I’m sure. Being older or having experienced more in life doesn’t give any one the right to question someone else’s choices. It’s just a great excuse to be intrusive, entitled and interfering. Okay boomer?
If I’m the lead in my Biopic, these characters that feature in this next series are the extras who like to believe they play a very important role in the movie. They are of the opinion that everyone cares about their opinion. This illustration is from when I got myself a personal trainer(first and last time). This personal trainer did nothing but get personal. I was asked if I’m married, what my husband does for a living, how much rent we pay, why we live in Bombay when we can live in Hyderabad with our parents, what about babies?? Why don’t we want babies, we are already in our 30s?? Why don’t we buy a house instead of paying so much rent? When I go back to my hometown, do I live with my in laws or with my parents and much more... Unfortunately, the only consequence to all that amazing intrusive advice only lead to me quitting gym and him losing a client. Here are a few name options for this series: 1) Nosey Farts 2) No brain, no boundaries 3) Morons 4) The Insignificant Extras Please help me pick one?
Our parents met each other soon after @adityasoma87 spoke to Bapu. And they were in a rush to get things going. Like most couples our age, we also had a zillion fights and arguments about how the wedding must be done whether Arya Samaj or the regular Telugu wedding. For Soma it was just one day in our lives for a lifetime of togetherness. It didn’t matter how it was done. For me, it was the beginning of a life together so it mattered how we started it 🙃 After all the drama, we were finally married(As per society and our parents). Turns out if you marry in the Arya Samaj way outside their temple, then you aren’t legally married unless you go to court and get your marriage registered or go to the Arya Samaj temple and register. And we’ve been so busy ever since haha So I guess you can say that my roommate and I are doing quite okay(touch wood). It’s been 4 years, many fights and differences, more than enough fun memories and thankfully even now nothing has changed the way we feel about each other. This illustration is from our wedding in Feb, 2016. As you can see in the last photo, Bapu is most happy about this “wedding” and is clearly in love with Soma(and they live happily ever after) 😁
After you tell an Indian dad about a guy you like, there is usually an expected awkwardness in the air everytime the guy visits home. To break the ice after 12 years and make it official, @adityasoma87 decided he will meet Bapu and have a one on one chat with him about us now wanting to live together(which for parents obviously means marriage). They met at bapus office. It was the longest 1 hour of my life. My imagination ran wild in those few minutes when I couldn’t reach either of them on the phone. I even considered going to bapus office to try and stop them from killing each other. Yes, I can be dramatic sometimes. To my surprise they both hit it off. Bapu was very warm and welcoming- A serious contrast to what I had imagined. Year:2015
It took me 2 days to get Bapu to sit with me so I could tell him that I liked someone and was ready to spend the rest of my life with him. We finally sat down to talk and my throat was dry as hell. I somehow gathered the courage to say one sentence: “I like someone”. And he said “I knew it! I knew from the beginning that there was something going on!” I broke into laughter cos that was not the case but that helped get rid of some amount of anxiety. We had an entire conversation about “this guy” I liked without mentioning his name. We both knew who we were talking about and never once brought up the name. Bapu always said I should find someone who is a self made man. And that a persons capabilities and qualities are more important than anything else about him. I told him that I ended up following his brief haha! And that this person i speak of is a self made, super capable person who I strongly believe in. He ended the conversation with “if you are sure, then it’s fine with me”. I was super surprised at his reaction. We hugged it out and left the room to watch some light hearted non sense on television haha Year: 2015.
@adityasoma87 went from being my most annoying friend to being one of my best friends(we even consoled each other through heart breaks and all sorts of things) and eventually as predicted by everyone(mostly @kaniks88 ) we ended up liking/loving each other and most importantly could tolerate each other enough to want to spend the rest of our lives together haha But now that we knew we wanted to be together after 12 years of knowing each other so well came a real big concern. I had to tell my Amrish Puri of a Bapu about my feelings and a decision of a lifetime that I had made. This illustration is from a day in 2015 when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with somberri/Somalia/Somajiguda/somasundaram 😬 He surprised me by getting us tickets for a Cat empire gig, while we were in San Francisco(when I was there visiting my sister) 😬 In the next episode: I will reveal the reaction of my grumpudding of a Bapu.
This is the beginning of a love story. Sometime in the year 2006, Bapu was hanging out at gymkhana club and invited me and my friends over to hang out when he learnt we were in the neighbourhood. He opened the door wide and welcomed everyone until he saw @adityasoma87 . Bapu was always so loving and affectionate with all my friends(even the boys) excepting this one, the one) hahaha To be continued.... Disclaimer: This illustration might seem more dramatic than it was.
Challenge Accepted! Make a self portrait in black and white.
The other day mirabee(my niece) told me that she has a few other options for me to travel to San Francisco to meet her, this being one of them. She says she will send her “little” brother sorbet pupsicle to pick me up and I can travel with him across the ocean and get to her. This is just until she gets her quick flying paper plane ready to travel across the world.
This is Mira, my 5 year old niece who lives in San Francisco with her puppy brother sorbet pupsicle and her parents. We speak every evening, especially since covid. We’ve been making a ton of plans everytime we talk about all the fun things we are going to do together when we meet in that post covid world. One day she got so impatient that she climbed onto the dinning table and tried getting into the iPad hoping she would somehow magically appear here in India next to me. She tried very hard and nothing worked, so she decided she’s going to work on a magical paper plane that can come here and take me there. It’s a work in progress and I have faith in her. 💙
Generation differences generation 3 illustration 6(also the last of the generation series) 🤓 This is Akka(my older sister). She was famous for jumping walls, even when we were kids she’d love to climb trees and walls. She once climbed into our own house to let us in cos we didn’t have a key and couldn’t get in. This is her during her days at NLU(studying law) where she was jumping a wall in her campus cos she missed her curfew eating dinner and having drinks with friends. This is the only time she was caught by a lecturer. Amma said we should be glad she was jumping into her campus and not out. Akka now has a 5 year old daughter who jumps from sofas and beds as of now. Can’t wait to see what she has in store for us :)
Generation differences series generation 2| illustration 5 Amma was not the ideal student in School and wasn’t treated very well by her teachers. However, college seemed to bring out the best in her. She ended up being friends with her professors who were super encouraging of her. The 1st year of college, she stood for college elections thanks to one of her professors who pushed her and won the post she was nomitated for- Commerce Secretary. Second year she stood for General Secretary herself and won. Towards the end of 2nd year she got married and was told she has no chance of winning for college President because she was a married women. Swipe right to see her become President in 3rd year :) Random facts: 1) In the year 1978, Bapu would print out posters for her elections before they were married and source Dunhill cigarettes for her and her professors too and they would all smoke it together 😂 2) “Ranjita ne Mann Jeeta” was a line from one of her campaigns.
Generation differences series generation 3 illustration 4 Unlike any of the previous generations I had the comfort and luxury to experience cheap thrills and things I did “just for fun”. This is an illustration from my college days. My parents sent me off to Madras to study Visual Communication since I needed some “getting independent” and growing up to do. I hated the thought of leaving my hometown because all my friends and family were in Hyderabad. So I’d board the train in Hyderabad, say bye to Amma and Bapu and tell them I am going to miss them terribly(cos I did) and get off the train in the Secunderabad station where my friends would be waiting to receive me. I’d exchange my first AC ticket for a non AC ticket(with that 75% refund I got). I stayed in @shilpasingh25 ‘s place, watched a ton of movies, worked on college projects, went out partying and then I’d leave for college 5 days later. By the end of the IInd year, thankfully I made decent enough friends in Madras and stopped feeling the need to bunk college to stay in Hyderabad.
Generational differences series illustration 3- generation 2 Bapu(my dad) was born in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. The youngest of 3. He and a couple of friends led the protest in REC/ NIT Warangal, (where he went to study engineering) when Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency. Quite a few of his friends(couple of them who are now my uncles) joined him too. The cops caught them all and put them in prison. My dad was let off with a warning thanks to his uncle being a senior cop. However they decided to have an SI(sub inspector| special branch) follow him around to monitor student politics. When Bapu found out that the cops were trying to arrest one of his seniors, he wanted to somehow inform him and save him from getting caught by the police. So he got off a running bus and escaped the SI by running for a couple of kms until he could jump into the campus where he reached his friend and warned him in time to escape. Unfortunately 15 days later, his friend was caught by the cops anyway.
Generational differences series Illustration #2: This is my Ammamma(maternal grandmother). She was pressurised into getting married at the age of 17 because her grandfather wanted to see her get married before he was going to die(based on horoscope). She had 4 children by the time she was 23. She tried to pursue her studies at the age of 28. This is an illustration of her saying bye to her kids while she was leaving to give her matriculation exams in Aligarh university. Eventually she managed to complete her degree in arts. Fyi, her grandfather was alive not just to see her get married but to see a few of her grandchildren too.
Generational differences generation I illustration This is advocate/criminal lawyer Bonala Krishna Rao(my thathayya) 07.06.1929 - 24.01.18 He fought for freedom during his college days. Dated Sumitra Gandhi while studying law in Nagpur university and wrote poetry in Urdu. He scared the living hell out of big scary criminals but still fought for them too. For most part of my life I failed to understand him despite being in awe of all his achievements and accomplishments :)
Everyday at around 4:30 pm, a monkey would sit on a goat and ride into this resort in Kerala with the rest of the herd. It was quite a sight!
This is from back in the 90s when I was hanging out with my little cousin, a pack of sanitary pads fell out of my closet. When I tried to pick it up and put it back inside, he picked up one and said “I know what this is, akka said you have to sit on it 😏” Hahaha I thought this was the sweetest explanation to what a sanitary pad is meant for. If only that’s all there was to periods.
One of my trips to College in Madras by train, the passengers were all warned to hang on to our belongings and watch out for thieves. So I hugged my bag and fell asleep and dreamt that a thief grabbed my bag out of my hand and ran. So I woke up screaming “aaaaaayyy!” (out loud) and woke up all the other passengers around me. They couldn’t tell what happened and where that noise came from and kept asking each other “kya hua!? Kya hua!?” And so I obviously also looked at them and asked “kya hua!? Kisne chillaya”, pretending like I had no clue. 😂😛
This is from back when I was studying in Singapore. The last couple of months were filled with all-nighters working on my final project. One of the nights, I decided to step out to the store close by and get myself some ice cream. So I start walking down my road at 4 am and sensed something/someone behind me on my left. I start walking faster and faster but that feeling of someone behind me didn’t stop. I decided to be brave and turn around only to notice it was my own hair 🤦🏽♀️😂
Another childhood memory: I’d be super excited to play hide and seek. Almost every time we’d play it and I’d hide, out of excitement this would happen and my sister and her friends would find me and my friends thanks to my little trickle of you know what(zoom in for better understanding) 😂🤦🏽♀️
As a result of me being a little scaredy cat(haha), I would have to bribe my sister @kruthikarao with Kit Kat’s every time I had to go pee at night. She’d have to stick her hand through the bathroom door and keep waving so I knew she was there and alive if I needed her 😂 some days she’d even have to sing so I knew it was her and not some one else hahaha
I’m sure most of you who have siblings have funny/sweet stories from your childhood. My crackpot of a sister thought it was super cute when I cried so she’d chase me around the house with a picture of a godly figure(can’t say who but) scared the living day lights out of me for some reason and then I’d cry and she’d come and give me a big hug! Here is an illustration to help visualise the incident 😂 Also, this story has a sequel. So watch this space for more 😛
Bapu and I signed up for a 21 day online yoga program together. And it’s been fun. Forgot how sarcastic and funny he can be. We were obviously the back benchers in class refusing to do all the “fun” group activities haha. This is an illustration of one such thing. We were asked to give ourselves a nice hug and scream “I love you (your name)”. Since we both are awkward at such things we did half the job(just hug ourselves and stare into the camera awkwardly) hahaha 😆
Golden brown texture like sun 🎶 A memory I have from when I was young. My mum would be cooking and I’d be holding on to her, standing and moving on her feet wherever she went.
Prabhu aka K.P Rao(my grand father). Tatayya is a retired air force officer who loves his alcohol and more than that he loves asking questions. So this is him drinking and asking people questions about their life and their plans 👨🏾🦳