Remembering Mohiner Ghoraguli

A publication project I had undertaken at design school, following the life and times of Bengali folk-rock band Mohiner Ghoraguli. Sharing the illustrations I had done as part of the same. Barring a couple of illustrations that were done using direct references from original band photographs, all artwork are based on my personal interpretations of their songs and mood. Sketched outlines using pencil, followed up by a quick brushwork with transparent watercolour inks in shades of sepia, stone grey, flesh tint, yellow, blue and red. Later scanned and cleaned up on photoshop. The 32-page book can be read here.

© Dammygraphy and MOONSHINE, 2008-2012.

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Now you’re here, Now you’re away

You could very well feel like the end of the world is here, but for some they’ve never had a more perfect beginning to their lives. You may be standing all alone under the night sky, yet there may be many more yous under the same vast darkness in galaxies not so far away, thinking they’re all alone. Love may make you feel giddy with happiness, even strong and invincible… yet the same love can be tearing someone apart from inside, breaking him, confusing him, threatening him. You may think you have everything figured out… yet you are ready to ignore the premature death of your assumptions. You think you are being wise… but honestly, have you learnt nothing at all?

The Stranger and She

“Hello stranger!” said She, somewhat cockily. She had always wanted an opportunity to say that, but sadly She was no Alice Ayres. It did not sound as cool, quirky or intelligent as She had imagined it in her film-starved head. Stranger awkwardly smiled back at her. He was not entirely used to getting this kind of attention from women. Not that he was a bad-looker. Infact he was quite handsome, with a kind of rustic charm deliciously blended with his carefully careless windswept hair. He was still sitting in his leather sofa where he had been fidgeting all evening, secretly stealing glances at her every now and then with an outward appearance of nonchalance. But he was always the one making the first move. Thats the way it has always been. Law of the universe. Men approach. Women oblige. Or reject. Or tease, as the case may be. This was different, and he could not quite decide what he felt. Flattered… maybe.

But you see he was already taken. Or that’s what he muttered to himself. “Hmmm. It’s a steady ship?” It has not been long, he said. As in, it hasn’t really set sail yet. “Was it going to?” At this, he got up so suddenly, it startled her. He was pacing up and down the length of the room. Then slowed down. The thing is, he said, she did not know about it yet. “But of course, you are not in two minds..” He stared hard. Then looked away. And now back again. No. He was certain. He was going to tell her tonight, soon as he got back home. “Happy to hear that. Nice meeting you… Stranger.” She smiled at him for one last time. “My bus leaves tonight. See you when I see you. And here is my number. In case…” Stranger took the little note she had scribbled on. By the time he looked up, she was gone. The note had a little doodle of something. A flower. Or a puppy, perhaps. There was no number. He scratched his ear, lit a cigarette, and drove back home as nonchalantly as he had been sitting all evening…

Hot Noon in Ahmedabad

The yellow leaves crunched under my shoes as I trudged towards the institute. A great many trees, but no shade. How strange. Lugging my laptop bag, I looked up at the sky, or rather where the sky should’ve been, and all I could notice was a bleached white canvas that dazzled me blind for a few moments. I wore my retro sun-glasses through which I managed to spot three little black specks on the canvas far above. Three large birds of prey doing the rounds, hoping to chance upon some small dehydrated poor thing.

At this moment, I was passing by a bungalow that always fills my heart with a heavy silence. It seems to be abandoned for many years now. The distressed nameplate reads M.A. Koreishi, followed by the house number and the name of the road. Like every other day, I peeked in. The car, once white, was still there, covered in cobwebs and a great many old and decayed leaves. The windows of the house were grey and dusty, some broken by the neighbourhood kids during a game of cricket. Some old clothes hung on the clothesline in the balcony upstairs. The family must have left in a hurry. Or maybe one day, while out on their morning walk, they must’ve wandered too far and decided never to come back again. What if they had been witness to some terrible tragedy – disease, abduction, or the riots? Ok. I chided myself. Enough now, really.

It was definitely getting hotter and I still had to walk about 300 meters more. You can do it, you can do it! Just an incy wincy bit more. I must admit, it was difficult to focus on the gates of the institute when the asphalt of the ground you were walking on was ready to melt. Even the sweat on my forehead evaporated within seconds. It was like facing a giant turbojet blowdryer at its maximum power.  A tiny voice inside me chirped happily. Not too many days till I make my way to cooler climes. Charged with this thought, I raced to the gate with a street dog chasing me madly. I was there, at long last. A peacock looked at me quizically on the path. I caught a breath, smiled at the silly pompous bird and made my way to the lab.