March 19, 2021

How to honour nature?

 I honour nature nature in two ways: I sit amongst trees, shrubs, under the sky, wherever I can get a home in nature I can connect to - in the city, in a garden, or while I'm travelling, and am truly in the wilderness...and

1. Breathe in deep, meditate, let my thoughts flow gently, and then ebb..It is that nothingness I feel when I am truly connected with what's around me, and I am a part of it

2. Honour it with the one talent I possess - my creativity.

This is an outcome of the second way of honouring nature. 

My house is flanked by bahunia trees - and it is one tree that personifies beauty in all ways: It has the most beautiful flowers, wonderful, butterfly leaves with veins so perfect, and lovely, shining seed pods that sometimes curl up when dry. 
I created a backdrop of these gorgeous pods and styled myself a simple look (with braided curls) that complements these..

Here is a post I created when I was inspired by bahunia flowers, many years
t just proves to me that trees can give me happiness, and keep me inspired and act as true guides throughout my life, without even me realizing it ..


February 18, 2021

February 2021: Mom's Saree


This Valentine's, we did something different. We went for a staycation in a heritage hotel in Bangalore! I wore a saree for the date evening. The outfit was a gorgeous, shimmery Maheshwari saree with an understated beige body and a patterned pallu. <3
And it was my mom's!

Masks-on-the chin was my official fashion accessory for the low-covid months of this year.

October 12, 2020

things I did right in 2019

1. Learnt to say no, and not feel bad about it

2. Started yoga

3. Made some big changes in my career path

4. Engaged with a small, trusted circle

5. Did a brownbag (public speaking event)

6. Breathed more, smiled more

7. Healthy habits

8. Realised the value of Focus time

9. Walked in the ocean

10. Went on a friends-only trip

Here's to committing to be better, more aware and happier each coming year :)

September 29, 2020

2020, we made it, well almost :)


Despite the air of hopelessness and some bad days that shall not be named, we made it through six months of Coronavirus. PJs, lipstick, and sometimes fresh cherries as earrings formed the bulk of my wardrobe.

And also, flowers took me through. Lots and lots of them. 2020 began with me seeking out flowers - on street corners, in our landscaped apartment lawns, and on walks. And now, they are everywhere. I am so blessed.

Pajamas, a jacket thrown for the consistent Bangalore chill, and a generally serious face while a giant Champaca flower solemnly sits on the ear.

April 19, 2020

Lockdown, 2020

Strange times we live in, these. It's 2020 and the Coronavirus is around. I'm just biding my time, working away unwillingly at my laptop, getting pulled further back by a hand injury, and trying to make the best of things. 

The days are bright, summer is here. The seasons change as if there's no change. The air is cleaner, birds chirp in the afternoons. The gates are locked. 

Cooking and watching 'The Office' are my only respite. And smelling my cat's soft fur. 

A part of me hopes that this will be over soon. 
A part of me hopes this will go on, forever.



August 21, 2019

A letter from 2019

Hello blogsphere,

Is there anybody here?
I just realized that it's been 7 years that I started this blog, which kick-started my creative journey in this world. What have I been doing since? Essentially, still pushing through. Constantly re-inventing myself, trying to find meaning, finding jet-packs to take me over obstacles, finding strength and happiness in all situations, and being grateful for EVERY.SINGLE.DAY I'm alive.

Also, I am @splashartgirl and @preenart on Instagram since the last 5 years or so - and satisfying my restless creativity by micro-blogging there. I still love animals, play music, draw everyday, take photos and feel the magic in the everyday.


September 04, 2018

Pale Blush

Like a breeze after the rain
Like the bird-song in the dusk hush
Like the first buds of spring
Take me back to the time

When the world was a dull shade of pink blush.

Photographs by Abhishek Sarkar.


January 25, 2018

Incidental Poetry


  • Sometimes when I look up to the sky I see,

  • Slept-in bedsheets
    Ceased cotton
    Rolled up comforter
    A Botticelli bottom.
    . . .
    Peaks of meringue
    Ink-bottle blots
    Cinnamon rolls
    Whipped-cream clots.
    . . .
    Nuclear explosion
    Chimney smoke spires
    A trail of exhaust
    Glowing fires.
    . . .
    Snow covered roofs
    A weeping willow
    Bales of hay
    A feathery pillow.
    . . .
    Vanilla cake-dough
    Paw of a kitten
    Wispy goose-feathers
    A furry mitten
    . . .
    Oil-painted strokes
    A watery wash
    Graphic gradients
    An ink splosh
    . . .
    White towel rolls
    A puffy sweater
    Tail of the squirrel
    A tear stained letter.


  • Looking up is good. It brings hope, and is good for the neck. Also, it leads to some incidental poetry during long walks..👩🏽‍🎤

January 16, 2018

Happy 2018!

Just keeping something very special alive, you'know?
Here's to a year of love, travel, adventure, and a life fully lived.
Here's to being strong, unconquerable, vulnerable, all at once, for a life fully experienced.
Here's to keeping the thankfulness alive.

Here's to more images, that capture fleeting moments of time, and give me a reason to be here.
For you.


January 21, 2017

That Coffee Shop

Poetry by :Shakun Grover

Outside that dimly-lit coffee shop
He stood
waiting for me
while I ignored him,

I stared at my phone
waiting for him
to come hither.
Such are first times?
I wonder.
I stole a glance at him
my heart pounding,
trying desperately
to hide my anxiety!

In that dimly-lit coffee shop
he held a constant gaze
I couldn't hold my eyes to his
for I would blink in that blaze.

Outside that flickeringly-lit coffee shop,
the coffee shop of comfort and quiet
We stood
after an evening of hushed giggles
and stares inadequate,
of casual poking
and entwined fingertips,
of my fingertips that tickled
to run through the little dent
on his cheek.

I stood
gulping down the fear
of him being
just another

Miles away
from that lovely, small, barely-lit coffee shop
after a kiss on his cheek
and a hug so long,
walked away
my tall and handsome,
my heart's fire
but not before
making a promise
of another beautiful evening
in that coffee shop of love and desire.

January 18, 2017

Hello, 2017

It's been some time that I have not posted, and this is the first I'm time i'm posting in 2017. Do life events wait for the annual calendar to turn over? Does the new year magically turn over a new leaf, full of exciting possibilities? Do birthdays do that? Does anything really?

Before you think I'm turning into Ebenezer Scrooge (I saw an extremely mediocre rendition of Dickens' 'The Christmas Carol' on Christmas Eve last year, by the way), hear me out. Yes, new years, birthdays, festivals, and the like give you an opportunity to look back, and possibly step into something new. Its like we are virtually stepping in and out of invisible buckets- ones we have created in our own minds. While its good to take stock of one's situation every once in a while, these days are just one of the many, where we can take the opportunity to do so. Parties are best when they happen on an impulse. Resolutions can be made any time. And broken any time. Nothing is set in stone.

So just live in the moment, and don't forget to breathe.

Well as new years go by, this one so far has been extremely tough for me. I'm trying to take every day as it comes, deal with situations in the best possible way, respond, not react, and keep my cool. Work has been tough, challenging, and amazing in certain ways - but life, not so much.

I feel i'm achingly close to finding the answer to what I want to do - to do next, anyway. It's like i'm standing on a springboard, ready to take a leap into the unknown, but too afraid to jump. Not just afraid, uncertain - and lazy, even.

Meanwhile, I have found the time to do something creative everyday. Something that might be small, as trivial as a crayon drawing or a well-crafted insta-story. (If you don't follow Shubhi's Revels on Instagram, you might want to think about it now :)

And I hope that as the year progresses, I will keep at it, and it grows bigger and bigger everyday. The blog is of course a place where I plan to keep sharing what I do- It has given me so much over the years, and I don't intend to give it all away.

We are nothing but stories, and it's a shame if those stories do not get told.
For those of you that read my Manhattan Chronicles, there is a part II coming up, and on the way. A more cheerful and less sombre version of the first part :)

Until then, adios, cheers, and may the new year bring new light!


December 25, 2016

The Manhattan Chronicle: Part I

With excerpts from O'Henry's  short story, 'The Making of a New Yorker' that chronicles the experiences of Raggles, a penniless poet, who understood the soul of cities, and arrived in the city of Manhattan one day, trying to decipher it, and break it down into words.

She landed from a ferry boat one morning and walked into the core of the town with the blasé air of a cosmopolite.

She was dressed with care to play the role of the 'unidentified woman'. She tried to fit in. Scarves- large, wooly and bright-seemed to be the order of the season. She walked into a store and bought an Amber-coloured one, to match the fall leaves that fluttered around the pavements. And a cap -yes, she must have a cap, with a jaunty bauble at the top - might raise her height by a few inches. And boots with heels - Or maybe not. Wouldn't they worsen her backache?

Yes, she had a NYC map- which she hid carefully in her new luxe Polo Assn bag, and peeked at it only in secluded corners - unless she absolutely had to. She had bought the map from a kindly Punjabi gentleman at one of those shops in the subway, ones that sold everything from chewing-gum to Playboy magazines - for a steep price of $8.

With some money - (unbefitting to a poet), but with the ardor of an astronomer discovering a new star in the milky way, she walked into the great city.

On Broadway Raggles, successful suitor of many cities, stood, bashful, like any country swain. For the first time he experienced the poignant humiliation of being ignored. And when he tried to reduce this brilliant, swiftly changing, ice-cold city to a formula he failed utterly. Poet though he was, it offered him no color similes, no points of comparison, no flaw in its polished facets, no handle by which he could hold it up and view its shape and structure, as he familiarly and often contemptuously had done with other towns. The houses were interminable ramparts loopholed for defense; the people were bright but bloodless spectres passing in sinister and selfish array.
The cold besieged her as soon as she strode out in Central Park, in the mid-morning sunshine.
People ran through the park, in their colourful Nikes. Cyclists sailed past. Dogs ran ahead, their owners not far behind, matching their stride. Nobody stopped and stared. 
She finally found the way to the reservoir she had been looking for. The map said it was right there, but she had not been able to find a way to get to it. 

And there it was. The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Impossibly blue, reflecting the gorgeous Victorian architecture of midtown Manhattan, for many miles. She hurriedly unpacked her breakfast, which she had decided to have in the park. The pizza slice had gotten cold, and the hazelnut flavoured coffee was now sickly sweet and lukewarm, but she sipped it, nevertheless. There was nowhere to sit, so she balanced the pizza on the railing overlooking the reservoir, and tried to take in the beauty. 'This was not supposed to be like this', she thought to herself.
Runners ran past, getting their daily mileage in, as she munched on her cold, cheesy $1 pizza.

Other cities had been easier to fathom-but here was one cold, glittering, serene, impossible as a four carat diamond in a window is to a lover outside fingering damply in his pocket his ribbon counter salary.
The walled city of Manhattan gave her no clue. 
The thing that weighed heaviest on Raggles's soul was the spirit of absolute egotism that seemed to saturate the people as toys are saturated with paint. Each one that he considered appeared a monster of abominable and insolent conceit. Humanity was gone from them; they were toddling idols of stone and varnish, worshipping themselves and greedy for though oblivious of worship from their fellow graven images. Frozen, cruel, implacable, impervious, cut to an identical pattern, they hurried on their ways like statues brought by some miracles to motion, while soul and feeling lay unaroused in the reluctant marble.
Brisk waiters in restaurants - Subway station masters that cut you short when you asked them something- unresponsive metro-card-reader machines - Long ramps through the changing subway lines in the labyrinth that is the Manhattan Underground- People absorbed, in their phones and Kindles-  Kindly bartenders(only if she tipped them well) - ATM machines that refused to read her card-Handsome men that sought acquaintance from others around, who, like them, belonged - It seemed that her mask wasn't holding up very well.

She trudged along, with four bags that were twice her weight, while the streets of 33rd and Broadway hummed all around her. Miles around, neon shop signs as high as the sky, and glittering buildings above them, clouded  her mind, and engulfed her senses. Road crossings, subway stairs, and crowded escalators - She made her way through these, feeling a sense of utter discomfort and alienation that was impossible to describe. Dare she ask one of these people for help? She was not bashful - she had overcome her shyness many years ago- But those impenetrable faces, and the speed at which they walked past  - She thought almost caught a few, but realised after they walked past, that she hadn't. Had she imagined that microsecond of eye-contact? That tiny sliver of empathy that had peeked through? Well, she must have imagined it.

Raggles summoned his courage and sought alms from the populace. Unheeding, regardless, they passed on without the wink of an eyelash to testify that they were conscious of his existence. And then he said to himself that this fair but pitiless city of Manhattan was without a soul; that its inhabitants were manikins moved by wires and springs, and that he was alone in a great wilderness.

She had met places before. Some welcomed her into them, with a natural embrace. Some were intriguing, distant, but exciting nevertheless. And some, so huge, so magnificent, and sure of themselves, turned on her, entirely full of themselves. 

Well, the city did have a heart. She had seen it when she visited it, a long time ago. In the windows of west village. In a steaming hot cup of coffee. Hidden in the complements of an Italian shopkeeper. In the endless delicious layers of a Mexican bowl. 

It was not buried so deep within its glittering exterior, than it was shrouded in the clouds of her mind. She went on to find it as the days passed, and she stored up those memories, treasured, and put them in a bottle like a time capsule. And she will write about it someday, soon, too.

Until then, this is what she did go through, and we capture it in this chronicle, true as day.


November 28, 2016

Traveller, Twice

Lately I have been finding myself going to most places I have travelled to, twice.
Some travels to places are by serendipity, some by design. The feeling that these travels evoke, are always distinct, and interesting. They range anywhere from renewed wonder to glassy eyed boredom. But almost always, they evoke a reflection of your self - of what you were like when you last went there, and what has changed. You can see a distinct difference in the way you looked at things, and how life, as it is, has changed you.

As a feeling, I love the way Nostalgia makes me feel. I love remembering good things fondly, and travels, which always affect me in a good way, are no exception to this! Because of this trait, I am always excited to do things over again, given a chance! It's not like I don't like to try the new things - but I have been guilty, on multiple occasions, of picking out a book that made me feel contemplative when I read it before - or of picking out a movie that I have watched before, knowing the exact reactions that I would have, or of frequenting the same cafe, listening to the same music, and so on.

I love looking at these things with new eyes, and yet sinking into the familiar feeling that they give me. Thankfully this habit of repetition does not extend to my outfits - I DO NOT like wearing an outfit in the same way twice, and hence, since four years, this fashion blog thrives.

As an extension to this, I have made a mental note to not travel to the same place twice, not on purpose atleast. There is so much to be seen,  heard and experienced- and so little time!

Posting some pictures of my most recent travel to Cochi, Kerela. The last time I visited, I wrote this post.  I visited this time again, to attend a wedding, though the experience was quite different :)
I ended up visiting the close friend who got married last time I visited, and visited familiar temples and walked some streets, once again!

Sharing some pictures now!

Stalls decked up in preparation of the upcoming temple festival.

Me, and some retail therepy. The variety and variations of the simple white saree were mind-blowing! Ended up crushing on quite a few and even getting myself one!

Around the street of the familiar temple - got to see the elephant processions again! Though I apparently missed the big temple festival that was about to happen next week!

The demonitization move has affected  everyone quite badly - From arranging for change, to drop in sales of some goods, the effects have been multifold. People do accept  old currency - Our cab drivers took old 500s and 1000s gladly - along with the new notes. 
More Stalls alongside the Temple Road

Spent some time at the Hill Palace, saw some deer in the park, ate some ice-cream - It was like childhood revisited :)

And this is the simple outfit that I wore to the wedding! 
A photograph from last time, the same temple, the same elephant, and the same me.
But not quite.

Writing this travelogue, because I will probably love reading it later on. I hope you will like it, too!