Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Musings from someone who sees stories everywhere.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Surpanakha's story

Occasionally doing a Google search of one's name can throw up all sorts of suprises.
I'd submitted my short story 'Dhatura' to Indiacurrents Katha fiction contest last year. My story was not listed among the declared winners of the contest, and hadn't heard a peep from them since. The contest rules say they can use selected stories for a period of one year in any way they choose, but till date, nobody ever informed me that the story was indeed 'selected' for anything at all,

Now after a few days short of a year, I Googled my name and, surprise surprise, found my short story Dhatura published in

The story is based around an episode in the Ramayana, and it's for adults. People I meet often label me as a 'children's writer'. I understand how convenient it is to pigenonhole people into slots. Time and attention spans are diminishing by the minute, and everyone wants to gloss over things before moving on to something else.

I DO write fiction for children and teens and thoroughly enjoy it. But I also write fiction for adults and non-fiction as well. Writing in each genre requires focusing one's thoughts and ideas and working hard to polish every sentence and paragraph. My writings remain an unseemly bundle refusing to fit into any practical and easy to classify slot.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

fashion photography as art

Fashion photography as art? Meaning those inane airbrushed images of models in clothes which nbody will every wear in real life? I always thought of fashion photographs as a marketing and publicity tool, glossy stylised images to make viewers drool or gape over people and situations light years away from real life concern. To me they were aids to escapist tendencies, entertaining images to pass idle time.

Viewing Norman Parkinson's iconic fashion plates from six decades ago gave me a fresh perspective. Norman Parkinson was the original innovator. He took fashion photography from formal studios out into the fresh air. Exotic locales from Africa and Asia formed the backdrop for many of his iconic images. Dashes of humour, touches of the absurd made his images unique. He managed to balance multiple effects and pull of an aesthetically pleasing whole. Imagine a dainty model in high fashion clothes posing beside a cow, or a snake charmer intently guiding his snake to dance! Spectacular backdrops weren't a must for his shoots. Some images are shot in blank London alleyways or nest to a rustic barn in the English countryside. Only Parkinson could carry off such ideas.

Later fashion photographers have by and large merely carried on with the concepts pioneered by Parkinson.
My detailed article can be read in Sunday Herald