Tag Archives: chandigarh


Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog | Interviews

21 December 2017

Interview with Artist: Sikander

Meet Sikander, whose journey of an artist began whilst being fascinated by Sikh gurus painted on calendars.



Inspiro India: How did you get started? What first got you into Painting? Tell us a bit about yourself.

– Since my childhood when I was 5-6 years of age, I knew that I would become an artist. I have always wanted to become a painting artist. I was always fascinated by the calendars of Sikh gurus painted or printed on them. I tried copying them and started following the path of art. This way my journey of art began.


Inspiro India: How would you best describe your style of Visual Art? And the challenges you faced as an artist?

– Visual art is an art which attracts one’s vision and one that an artist creates. That creation of art gives happiness not only to the artist but also to the viewer. It was very hard to describe what art actually is. Generally, people think that an artist paints the walls & hoardings only. But making them realise the efforts and hard work that an artist puts in to make a masterpiece was my biggest challenge and secondly, when you go through the struggle, financially you face a lot of difficulties which I think is very important part of one’s life.



Inspiro India: What are the tools you couldn’t live without? Can you please explain your work process of Paintings?

– Being a watercolour artist I cannot live without my art kit which includes brushes, paint, sheets. They are a must. As an artist I am very fond of travelling and capturing the beauty of this world. Whenever I travel, I click, get ideas and convert them into paintings. I like to paint outdoor and live too.


Inspiro India: Is studying Art in college worth the cost or do you recommend an alternative?

– Of course, I recommend studying in Arts college. I, myself have graduated from the Government College of Art, Chandigarh. So whatever I have achieved until today, my college has equally contributed. You get to learn so much from your teachers, seniors and fellow mates. This way your circle widens and you get quite good chance to improve yourself.


Inspiro India: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?

– My biggest influence in the way of my journey as an artist. The famous artist Sobha Singh. I was so inspired by his art style and the masterpieces he has created.


Inspiro India: What did you want to become as a child?

– I have always wanted to become an artist.


Inspiro India: How would you describe your approach to paint?

– Painting is a meditation in itself. One cannot describe the beauty of art in few or more words. It is beyond description. It is a satisfaction which one can only feel and cannot express in words. One must be thankful if he or she is an artist.


Inspiro India: How would you define beauty in less than 140 characters?

– Beauty in my words is anything that exists in nature. Whether it is the mountains, sky, water, humans, animals, birds or trees, I enjoy everything present in nature. God is the biggest artist. The beautiful creations of nature have so much to see and enjoy that describing it is beyond words. As an artist I love to paint everything in nature like landscapes, portraits etc.


Inspiro India: What are you passionate about besides your work?

– Besides painting I am a gadget freak. I love buying latest gadgets. This is my passion since I started earning. I always keep myself updated with the new gadgets in town.

Paintings by ©Sikander


Inspiro India: What advice would you as an artist give to other creative heads out there? Some creative tips you’d like to share?

– As an artist, I would love to share my experiences with other creative heads, one must be honest with the type of work he or she does. Apart from the commercial approach, I think one must enjoy and feel proud of whatever you paint. Feeling satisfied with your work is the biggest earning.


Follow Sikander: Instagram | Website


Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here


Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine

Inspiro India Official


20 December 2017

Blogger of the Week: Shruti

Shruti is a 29-year-old multi-tasker, who efficiently juggles her life with a 2 and a half year long marriage, her work profile of a UI/UX designer and a blog. She has planned to come up with her online store of curated vintage inspired clothes. She is an ardent vintage lover. Film photography, yoga, classic rock music and clothes are among her other favourites.

Her blog is about her thoughts, things and people that inspire her, and all other things she loves- photography, music, travel, etc.


On being asked about what makes her blog unique, she states

“It’s a difficult one to answer though. I mean someone else would be able to tell it better if it is different at all. On my part, I try to create a feeling rather than something that is commercial or something that looks artificial. It is actually difficult for me to categorise my blog because I write about a variety of topics: everything I feel and experience. To many it may look like a style blog but it’s not entirely a style blog. I also write about my life, my weaknesses, my thoughts – so maybe that’s something that makes it different. I also don’t have regular updates on my blog, because I don’t want to make it something that I need to maintain or feel the pressure to maintain. I started this blog as an escape route and I wish to keep it that way.”


Her style statement is not of a trend follower or a brand conscious person. Versatility is her keyword. She shares, “My style keeps on changing on how I feel on a particular day or the kind of music I am into.”


Music is a major influence on her style. On days when punk rock is in a loop, her attire reflects that. Her wardrobe reflects her playlist of the day, let it be Kenny Rodgers, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles etc. To pin down, her style is a mix of the 60s and androgynous fashion.


She feels her inspiration doesn’t come from trendsetting and high ended fashion journals but from street style and music. She likes what she terms practical fashion, something that you can carry every day. She is fond of efficient tailoring. TV shows have been her major source of inspiration lately, some of the characters from Downton Abbey, Mad Men for example. She has also explored the arena of men’s fashion and loves to borrow stuff from her husband’s wardrobe.


She started her blog in 2013. It started as a platform to spill out her thoughts. She developed upon her blog as a style curation feed a year after in 2014. She finds blogging a great platform to share, a great way for her to express her creativity and thoughts. For someone like her, who started a blog solely to express thoughts and share photos – she feels blogging has also lost its essence in many ways. According to her blogging is a great way to know a person. She says, “for me – to be able to feel/ connect with someone just by reading about them is really important. To be able to feel like you know them and you can relate to them or think they are really cool or just like you makes you feel like you will be great friends if you met in real life.”

She believes blogging has become a source of income, a full-time job, a feedback forum in many ways but feels that connection to be able to relate on a personal level is missing.

Her blog which is called Retro Days comes from her love for everything vintage such as old music, retro/vintage fashion, film photography, old architecture and many other things.


Her posts are quite relatable to people who are in their 20s/30s but sometimes it becomes hard for her to judge her audience as people from various ages have liked her content from time to time just like her yoga posts that are liked by people of different age groups.




Long-term planning is not the kind of game that she plays but wishes to keep having fun and follow her passion. She says, “I really like blogging, so I’ll keep doing that for sure. I am planning to launch my online shop soon and I’m really looking forward to that. Exploring my creative potential is something that is always on the cards. To stay happy and fit is my everyday goal”


Shruti uses her iPhone to click her pictures but prefers using a digital camera when someone else clicks for her. However, she wishes to start using film cameras as they bring a type of feel that most other cameras cannot capture.


She says that people should not start blogging with a notion of making money on it because at that very moment one ends up losing authenticity which causes the focus to get diluted and she believes that one should write and blog just for oneself.

Words by Laveena Behl

Follow Shruti: Instagram | Website


“Inspiro India will be featuring bloggers every week irrespective of what they blog. To get featured on Inspiro India simply use ‘#iiblogger’ on Instagram ”

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine

Inspiro India Official


13 December 2017

Blogger of the Week: Shubhkiran

Shubhkiran is a 25-year-old Business and Design graduate from Chandigarh. She juggles between a routine of 9 to 5 Design job during the day and a fashion blog by night. The blog began as a medium to share her favourite buys and budget finds. It has now transformed into a kaleidoscopic display of everything from travel and fashion to beauty and lifestyle.


The uniqueness of the blog lies in presenting the mundane everyday style in an impressive way. It’s about clothes that are versatile, shoes that are comfortable, beauty products that are great yet affordable. It stands out because it’s less about the current trends and fads and more about individual style.


Describing her personal style statement, Shubhkiran shares, 
’My style is very minimal and basic chic but with a bit of edge. It’s about low key yet timeless pieces topped with fun or a statement accessory to uplift the overall impact.’




Her major sources of inspiration are all the fashion magazines and personal style blogs she grew up reading. While she learnt about what’s new and ‘it’ via magazines, style blogs paved the way for moulding her personal style. Hence, print and digital media are the key factors of her style enhancement.


Shubhkiran started her blog in June 2015. She ardently followed fashion blogs from her high school days, which lead her to discover the lack of content about the everyday budget fashion online. Thus, she started documenting budget-friendly daily outfits on social media. Once that gained momentum, he gave his blog a proper professional touch.


Blogging, according to Shubhkiran, is a great platform to express oneself and share one’s passions. One earns a lot of exposure and opportunities via connecting with like-minded people. To be precise, it’s an online portfolio of your digital presence and helps you establish your personality in the desired arena or industry.


She also shares the anecdote behind the blog name,
’I always dress up in fragments i.e. tops and bottoms. Whenever I have to break down my outfit, I begin with the top and then the bottom and then all the other accessories or add-ons. The method in which I explain my apparels pinned down the name of the blog to “TOP TO BOTTOM”. It is an exhausted term in my vocabulary till date.’


The audience ranges from the age of 15 to 35, comprising of mostly college youth and women on the move looking for everyday outfit inspiration.


She plans to venture into YouTube and building a more personal rapport with her audience. She has also planned to introduce more segments into the blog and converting it into one comprehensive style guide for everyday women.


She uses a Canon 70D but at times resorts to her first camera i.e. the Nikon D3200.


An advice from Shubhkiran to upcoming bloggers to people who are stepping into this field,

 ‘Be 100% original and show the real you. People identify more with someone who has flaws and is closer to reality rather than a person who is perfect but stagnant. Secondly, be consistent if you want to build a community out of the traffic, but make sure to periodically refresh content on your blog, and give a reason for your followers to return to your blog, and grab attention of the newer audience as well.’

Words by Laveena Behl


Follow Shubhkiran: Instagram | Website


“Inspiro India will be featuring bloggers every week irrespective of what they blog. To get featured on Inspiro India simply use ‘#iiblogger’ on Instagram ”

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine

Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog

13 October 2017

Creative Head of the week : Himanshu Sharma

Himanshu Sharma always wanted to do something in art, right from his school days. It was pretty clear to him from a young age that a 9 to 5 work style wasn’t for him.


The vision of making art on someone else’s body left him utterly inspired when he got his first tattoo. What drew him even more, was meeting new people with new ideas and concepts. Every day is a new journey for the artist!


A sketcher in his free time, at 14 years, he made up his mind to become a tattoo artist and started learning how to tattoo at the impressive age of 15! A professional artist ever since he was 16, he has been creating and spreading happiness to his clients.

Whilst the learning process, Himanshu realised that art as a hobby is always going to be compromised as he won’t be able to give his hundred percent. That’s when art became a career and has never made him feel like he has been working thanks to such an amazing job which is also his passion!


He set eyes on becoming a tattoo artist even though his parents were sceptical and reluctant of their son’s decision.

‘In the beginning, it was not easy, imagine a 15-year old telling their parents, I want to be a tattoo artist!’, says Himanshu.

He also wanted to change the mindset of people regarding tattoos and tattoo artists.

With no formal education in tattoo making, with a heart full of dreams to become a tattoo artist, the creative had the support of his family and mentor ‘Rishabh’ who guided him in the right direction and with right skills to go along with.


A belief system with focusing on himself and not caring about what others might think of him, he made himself strong and ventured out into owning India’s first luxury tattoo studio.

‘The Art Attack’ which is located in Chandigarh, he is also one of the youngest tattoo artist and owner of a tattoo studio!


The artist describes tattoos as emotions which represent who we are! He considers himself to be an artist first and then a tattooist. ‘Any medium where I can be creative is what makes me happy. Art for me is like meditation, I find myself happy and calm when I work on an art piece’, says the creative head.


Instead of going online and being up to date, he feels to focus on oneself and know who they really are is much more important for journey called life.

The tattoo artist also believes tattoos to be memories, life stories which are unique to every person, meaningful in a way they won’t regret later.


There is a difference between being an artist and being born as an artist, one can learn the skills but never the imagination stresses the tattoo artist!

‘What makes a good artist stand out, is good designing and authentic touch. I create my own style instead of copying the designs from the Internet. My vision is to inspire people to do and be original’, says Himanshu Sharma.


With different art styles to work and giving a unique touch of his own to every art form he creates, he imagines himself as one of his clients so that the tattoo does not form a part of any regrets later. ‘Artist, with his bird’s eye, can visualize better and how to give a more artistic touch. When you think like a client, that is when you give hundred percent’, quotes Sharma.



Not giving up, determination of constantly moving and working hard each day with discipline is definitely the artist’s strongest skill set.

As a tattoo artist, he refrains from using an eraser when he does something permanent on paper before tattooing.

Not just an artist, he also enjoys photography, fashion blogging, inspiring and motivating people, travelling and meeting new people, is always open to learning new things!


He gets to interact and meet new people with different stories regularly. One such encounter happened when a girl planned to get a tattoo of her brother’s name who had passed away when he was only 17 years old. Her mother started crying after the tattoo was done which gave the artist tears as well. Such moving stories like this remind him how the tattoo will always be close to the client even though the person doesn’t exist in their real life anymore.

There’s only one life given to everyone, it is short and should be made better to live one’s dreams and what one enjoys doing and to get better by the passing day, advises Himanshu Sharma.


Photos by ©Himanshu Sharma

Follow Himanshu : Instagram | Facebook


“Inspiro India will be featuring bloggers every week irrespective of what they blog. To get featured on Inspiro India simply use ‘#iiblogger’ on Instagram ”


Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here



Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Photography

30 May 2017

Portraits Of Punjab | Photo Series by Samar Singh Virdi

Samar Singh Virdi is a freelance photographer from Chandigarh. He is a young creative head who has just finished school and is in the process of getting a college admission. Samar considers himself to be an artist who doesn’t restrict himself to a particular medium as he believes a story should be told in a format which can be justified the best in.

Virdi is the mind the behind Portraits of Punjab which is a collection of personal stories of people across Chandigarh and Punjab. The stories are both intra-personal and interpersonal. His thought process behind the series is to give a piece of his own thoughts and philosophies through his photographs. His true intention behind the project is to work against the Drug Abuse in Punjab. Virdi has been extensively working with Drug Addicts in Rehabilitation centres in Chandigarh and surrounding areas.

The pictures of his highly commendable project will be released soon and he sincerely hopes that the project develops to be powerful enough to bring a change among the youth of the state. He usually shoots his work with his Iphone 6s when he is on impromptu schedules. For high end shoots, he uses his Sony a58 camera. He says it is easier to carry his phone and also believes that his subjects won’t get intimidated by a big camera. He finds it easier to make them feel comfortable with a phone camera.

Samar gets his inspiration from the beauty of life and workings of the universe. He tries to include similar thoughts in his stories that there is nothing greater than the working of the universe. He gives attention to everything that is around him while he is on shoot, everyone who he encounters and all the little surprises he finds on the way. He believes there is no destination but just the journey as he states that he never worries about getting the perfect picture but stays happy with whatever he shoots.

Words by Arvind Vairavan


What if you found out that there is no purpose to life ? Would then the destination be as much important as it is now ? Or would the journey become more meaningful ? This thought stuck in my mind when I was shooting the streets of Batala. This particular photograph symbolizes the different stages of a man. An old man sits peacefully, retired from his duties enjoying the small things on the streets. A middle aged man walks through the street on the way to his own commitments and entanglements. A younger man pulls his cart in the sun, working hard towards his desires. Lastly followed by a kid happily dancing and striking a pose in his own rhythm. It is important not to make your dreams and desires a destination but just stations in your journey. Batala may have been my destination but this photograph compelled me to think otherwise.
– Samar Singh Virdi

“It’s all about the business, It really doesn’t matter how I look,” says Suresh. I met him in a local vegetable market and told him how I loved his ultramarine blue jacket, it went well with the cadmium yellow bananas stocked on his cart. He smiled but said he really didn’t care, selling bananas was more important. Talking to Suresh taught me that only those people appreciate fashion who have the resources to do so!
– Samar Singh Virdi


The Chaos Theory in fractal mathematics explains how an initially insignificant change in a chaotic system can develop and organize the system itself. A similar theory in the sociological sense is the butterfly effect. I witnessed this when I photographed this particular image. When shooting at the Chandigarh Railway Station, a boy rapidly climbed a bogie and glanced from the other side to communicate with his friend. Little did he know that I noticed his action and advanced to shoot. When I shot the image I realized that how systematically the colors in the photographs were arranged in an alternating pattern of blue and yellow. Surprisingly the color of the boy’s shirt was also blue that matched the train itself. The boy hadn’t realized it but I was lucky enough to witness the little games the universe plays with us. Bringing order from chaos. This was not something I had expected in the chaotic rush hour in the evening!
– Samar Singh Virdi

“I am a fakeer, I don’t have a permanent residence I keep on travelling.” He replied when I asked his name. He was very happy after seeing his photograph he gave me his blessings. The life of a Sadhu or a Fakeer who sacrifice their materialistic life and relations seems very tough for an average human. But it is for the sake of discipline that they choose to do so which further guides them on their spiritual journeys. Fakeers have almost no belongings with them and this is why I thought about how tough it must be for them to survive especially in this monetary system. The ticket of the train seat he was sitting in was only possible because of generosity and kindness of some people!
– Samar Singh Virdi

“My village is far from here, I come to this traffic signal everyday just to play,” says Shankar a Sarangi player. Sarangi is a special instrument as it imitates the human voice. We came across Shankar and told him to sit in our car because the signal turned green. He played a few compositions for us and even sang. Shankar comes to the Kurali traffic signal and boards random buses which stop. He continues to play for the people onboard. He was sincerely happy from the compliments we gave him. Post meeting, I wondered about the subjectivity of happiness. For Shankar, happiness was about making people smile with his music and touch their souls forever, he doesn’t aim to get into bigger music productions. His art is his satisfaction and not what he gets from his art. It is hard to find people like him but I hope everyone reading this finds his/her happiness in life.
– Samar Singh Virdi

Just 10 meters from the National Highway and a 100 meters from a Police Lock up, Sahil (name changed), 21, and Rishabh (name changed), 19, struggle for their daily high. When I thought about addicts and their hideouts I never thought that everything happened within the city itself. In contradiction, their hideout was in a place so unexpected, I could see balconies of houses. Rishabh told me about how it has been difficult to procure some stuff in the previous days. I asked if it was because of the shift in Punjab’s government, he immediately laughed my question off and told me that the government doesn’t matter, there is never a shortage of supply it is only the price that keeps fluctuating. Every April the price surges only because of the Annual reports that the Police Departments have to submit mentioning all the seizes. They become surprisingly strict after a whole year of co-existence. Later while talking to Rishabh (name changed) I found out that the syringe (last post) used is an insulin unit, not something you can find at a chemist. He told me that I should have picked up the syringe for him, they have been in shortage recently. But immediately rejected the advice telling me that of course he would never put that in him as if talking to himself. He then narrated an incident how he had recently visited a chemist in Zirakpur, just to buy one insulin injection. The chemist had him waiting for 45 minutes and then told him that he had to buy the whole pack of injections instead of just one. Rishabh abused profoundly narrating the incident and also rested his case by explaining how helpless he was, neither could he fight with the chemist as they had a bigger network of people at their expense nor could he inform the police! He returned unsuccessful that day. In this photograph, Rishabh is rubbing cannabis leaves on his hands hoping to get some extract to smoke in the evening.
– Samar Singh Virdi

“I have been admitted into three drug de-addiction centers, including the best ones in chandigarh. No one could keep me! I ran away from two of them, the third time I had to complete for name’s sake.” Says Sahil (name changed) recalling his rehabilitation phase. “You have no idea how smart I am.” He stopped walking turned around and put his hand over my shoulder, ” I went to the local park and collected urine of a boy playing in the ground, gave that to the doctors for my daily dope test. They couldn’t find a trace.” It was evident that Sahil was very proud of his move. Unfortunately the drug de-addiction center could not rehabilitate Sahil, even though it was Chandigarh’s most prominent and successful center. Sahil resorted to cannabis while his treatment and relapsed to harder drugs in a months time. In this photograph Sahil is peeling off the cannabis extract he rubbed from the leaves.
– Samar Singh Virdi

Vicky (name changed), An 18 year old addict retires for the day, enjoying his high in the broken remains of the truck. Vicky and Sahil (name changed) both tell me how tiring their day’s activity was. “It is not easy to rub cannabis leaves, the rubbing heats the blood in our body and makes it unhealthy. My arms are paining a lot now, I won’t be able to repeat this for another week.” Said Sahil, I asked him if it was worth the struggle to undergo such physical strain just for some substance, Sahil started laughing and replied that this wasn’t what he wanted but what he has to do, he doesn’t have money like the other rich kids to afford whatever he wants. This is my last photograph from my first segment of my series on the Drug Abuse of Punjab. Will be resuming the series after some time.
– Samar Singh Virdi

Checkout more from this series here #portraitsofpunjab

Photo Series by ©Samar Singh Virdi

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine