Tag Archives: India

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Inspiro India Official

Blog | Photography

24 October 2017

KANDASSANKADAVU: Boat Race | Photo Series By Binto P Anto

The Kandassankadavu Boat Race is a kind of the popular traditional boat race in Kerala, called Vallam Kali. It is held in the Enamakkal Lake and Conolly Canal in Kandassankadavu of Thrissur District, Kerala, India. The race is conducted on the Thiruvonam day of the Onam festival followed by a 10- day festival. The trophy is known as Chief Minister’s ever-rolling Trophy.
Competitions are held for a few specific types of boat categories, namely the Iruttukuthi and Churulan boats. The tradition started in 1955 when the state of Kerala was formed. Due to fiscal problems, the boat race was discontinued by the organisers for a long time. In 2011, with the support of Government of Kerala, Thrissur istrict Tourism Promotion and Manalur Grama Panchayat the race was allowed to commence again. This popular boat race is an absolute delight.
Shot on: Nikon D750 + Tokina 16-28 mm | Tamron 70 – 200 mm.

 

Photos & Words by Binto P Anto

 

Check out his full feature in July’17 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#40 – Download Free.

 

 

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Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

21 October 2017

Chandernahan Trek: A Hidden Paradise in Himachal Pradesh

Intrigued by an Instagram post on Chandernahan trek, our adventurous traveller friend Harish Sharma was fast to elope into the throes of beauty at Chandernahan. With backpacks, a childhood friend and a cooked up story about leaving for a friend’s sister’s wedding to convince his parents,  Harish left home with quite an itch in his feet.

 

He boarded an HRTC bus from Shimla to Rohru and the journey was filled with bumpy rides, unplanned night stays, the random surprise of a new company, and unknown paths.

After a bus to Rohru, then Rohru to Chirgaon followed with another two-hour journey from Chirgaon to Tagnu village, they commenced walking to a nearby village called Janglikh. That is where they had to start trekking for Chandernahan via Dyara Thach and Litham.

 

It hadn’t been a smooth journey as it is, with collapsed bridges, long walks, heavy rainfall and unplanned delays. It had already been half-past five in the evening and the villagers recommended that they stay the night there as they can’t reach Dyara Thach the same night. Being the rebels they are, Harish and his entourage started trekking right away and they were glad to have done so as the trek up was lush with greenery and the beautiful landscape enveloped them with magnanimous streams of water flowing down the mammoth mountains. The dense forest with deodar trees and the green meadows were worth the trouble.

Finally, they reached Dyara Thach around 8 pm and set camp with packed paranthas from Chirgaon and a sky full of stars. That’s everything they needed to devour!

After a well-deserved slumber night, they started out early the next day to reach Litham and yet again, everything around left them spellbound. It was no less than the landscapes they see in the movies, except it was even better to experience the cool breeze and the raw beauty of nature, in reality, the trek seemed easy and upon reaching Litham within two hours, they got into a conversation with an amiable Shepherd with interesting stories to tell. He guided them further to reach Chandernahan. That 2 km trek was a steep climb up the mountains and took them about an hour.

 

 

Finally, Harish and his friends reached Chandernahan and what they saw from up there can’t be put into words, they say. At an altitude of 4000 metres, they were surrounded with snow in the month of June. Except for beautiful brooks flowing with a delicate magnanimity, there was nothing to touch their own sweet solitude.

 

There are seven lakes in Chandernahan and mostly, the people of the valley walk on the frozen lakes barefoot and never go beyond three lakes because of a religious belief that all their Gods originated from these lakes. When Harish and his friends went to the frozen lakes, there was nobody to see if they went without shoes but they decided to respect the beliefs and launched into the lakes bare feet.

They were like kids running and chasing each other on the glacier with feet all bare and well, it was indeed fun and adventurous.

 

By noon that day, they had found and enjoyed all the lakes, breathed in the stupendous view, filled their lungs with air as pure as it gets and finally, decided to head back.

 

The journey back was as eventful and tiring as before, or even more. But this time these boys were taking back what they had come for. An experience where they followed their heart, treated their eyes with everything heavenly and satisfied their souls.

Words by Aishwarya Choudhary | Photos by Harish Sharma

 

Check out his full feature in July’17 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#40 – Download Free.

 

 

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Inspiro India Official

Blog | Photography

20 October 2017

Creative Head of the week: Roshan Ravindra Mandavkar

Roshan Mandavkar is a 20-year-old professional photographer who captures portraits, people in situations and real life events in an artistic manner. Roshan owes his inspiration to his friend with exceptional photo skills when he was in grade 9!

Sumedh Sawant is one of those persons who inspire him because of his will, determination, perseverance and the willingness to never stop learning.

 

As a kid, Mandavkar was very fond of painting which is art and very similar to photography, he says. During this time he came with an idea to click first and paint the same picture later. This is when he realised there is a lot more to than just taking a photo.

He believes photography is not only about creativity and clicking photos, basics are to be known. Roshan joined a photography institute to acquire the fundamentals of photography, he also got to meet people who were creative, had amazing vision, were willing to share and always willing to learn.

 

Roshan started out with a Canon 600D enough for his amateur days as a photographer graduating to a Canon 5D Mark III. He uses Adobe Photoshop CS6 for post-processing his works.

The young lensman imagines how a picture would look before clicking a photo. He then decides on the background, foreground, his subject and lastly the exposure.

He then compares the picture taken to his actual visualisation, if the picture is the way he had imagined he goes ahead otherwise he keeps clicking till he achieves the point.

 

Photos by ©Roshan Ravindra Mandavkar

Follow Roshan: Instagram 

 

“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 his full feature in March’16 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#34 – Download Free.

 

 

 

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Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog | Interviews

19 October 2017

Interview with Illustrator: Harshvardhan Kadam

Meet Harshvardhan, a Mural Artist and illustrator. 

Harshvardhan Kadam

 

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

– Curiosity was what really got me digging a step further in what seemed familiar. My parents illustrated many volumes of books for Indian comic book industry. I grew up looking at the art of making comics and wanted to make mine. But could never draw as good as my parents did. Also, I was not limited by the term illustration per say because I never started off as one.

 

Inspiro India: How would you best describe your style of illustration? Any challenges you’ve faced as an artist?

– My style of visual arts is a rather unconventional evolution of even I don’t know what. It is a process and is always evolving. You can see the roots are based on Indian aesthetics which I have a very keen interest in. I am building a visual language which has become a new beginning of the chapter of Indian aesthetics. As many of our traditional artistic practices are vanishing I find it essential to retain certain aspects of this subcontinent’s diversities within my capacities. In my attempt to evolve this further I have kept all of my personal preferences away from my practice to produce a volume of work where through stories the people keep getting inspired. Challenges are many but the intent is pure so much gets resolved within the process.

 

 

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

– An ink brush and paper is all I really need but I have way more that I need for finished work pieces.
My work process is really simple most of the time. I start on simple paper, usually copy paper, with a pencil. Once I finish the sketch, I ink it with an ink brush or a regular paintbrush and ink. Then I scan it and colour it in digitally! Voila! That simple!
Of course, there are times when I throw in photographs and textures, which involves a few more steps but the above is my usual process.

 

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

– My process is a merger of the latest digital tools available for visual art. My iPad Pro and the Pencil, a loaded MacBook Pro, my sketchbooks, a stationary kit, backpack, sunglasses, brushes, rollers and my music.

 

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

– No school in India teaches illustration dedicatedly. And study after all is a personal preference. In India the general idea of studying is competition. Where studies should be time spent to enrich our lives with knowledge and empower self to be a better human along with formal education, a personal discipline makes a lot of difference.

 

Inspiro India: Who/What has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?

– My mother

 

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

– An architect haha! Also a farmer because I just loved to see a seed become a plant.

 

Inspiro India: What do you enjoy most about being a Mural Artist?

– There is not a lot to enjoy while making a mural. The process is exhausting and tiring but in this whole process, I get to talk to people from the region I paint and to listen to them is what I love. Hear their stories and a bit about their life is a good window to listen to someone out even if it is not related to work. That is very beautiful. It makes me realize that so many people want to talk but do not have ears to listen to.

 

Inspiro India: What according to you is the future of Street Art and Artists in India?

– Most artists who practice making murals in public spaces in India are the leaders and game changers in the current art or design scene of India. We are the ones who took that step to change how the world around us look a few years ago and are making groundbreaking work already. India is a tricky canvas at the same time and hoping to see more cities coloured and more love everywhere in India.

 

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

– I am a rider and very much an outdoor person. I love forests and mountains and rivers and seas and I am more passionate about them than my work I guess. To be with them I have to work. So my love is bipolar haha!

.

 

Photo by Naman Saraiya

Photo by Ranjith P.M

Wall Art by ©Harshvardhan Kadam

 

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

– The only advice my father gave me was to draw. He never taught me anything. He said, draw and you will know. Just like reading,  you will know.

Many tell me that they want to be like me. To be honest I did not have a reference point to look up to in artistic graphs. Even today, my biggest inspiration to push myself further is at Khajuraho, Ajanta Ellora, and are mostly anonymous. I see honesty there. Sublime honesty. So draw honestly 🙂

 

Check out his full feature in January’17 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#34 – Download Free.

 

 

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Inspiro India Official

Blog

18 October 2017

Blogger of the Week: Neha Menghwani

The immense love and support from you ‘Creative Heads’ have been surreal over the past few years. Inspiro India wishes to grow with the growing population of ‘#inspiroindia‘. We’re continuously working to bring great content to anyone and everyone following us on various platforms.

This year we present to you, an all new feature presenting ‘The Blogger of the Week’.

 

Neha, a Design and Styling Head at a high fashion label has always been interested in fashion. She realised at a very young age that style would always dominate her life no matter what.

A studious kid, the now blogger topped Mumbai University but she never got the encouragement to study fashion. However, she ended up following her heart and entered the fashion industry, incorporating her passion with her job.

 

Neha blogs predominantly about her personal style and how she dresses on a day to day basis along with a few magnified looks.

She describes her style to be very basic but wearing them differently to add her own twist to it. She says, ‘It’s all about styling, and that’s what I give tips about on my blog. I also include a “Pro Tip” in every blog post’.

The young stylist believes styling key pieces to be her biggest strength. She wears garments differently than people normally would. Her style is raw, edgy, street chic, extra, colourful, tonal and much more!

 

Neha Menghwani

 

‘I would say I am head to toe well styled – meaning every garment and accessory is playing a part and contributing to the whole look’, emphasizes Neha. A style chameleon, she gets really excited and tries out something new every single time.

Having said that, the young blogger takes inspiration from street style photographs she spots on Instagram and Pinterest. Every individual creates a unique look and wears clothes differently according to the fashionista. There’s so much creativity which gets her mind working and right back styling.

 

Fairly new to starting a blog but not new to styling, Neha decided to document her style when fashion insiders from the fashion industry kept complimenting her amazing style!

Stylessential, a blog name which also describes what the stylist believes in, ‘Style Is Essential’, a sense of style is something an individual has and will always have, says the stylist. Good styling can make the most unflattering garment look amazing stresses Neha! She also wishes to expand her blog into beauty and travel related stories.

 

Not to forget, a majority of her followers are based in India which consists of college students, fashion students, aspiring bloggers and also working professionals.

 

To click pictures, Neha uses a HTC phone or a friend’s iPhone and also adds that only 10% of the pictures for the blog are taken with a DSLR. ‘I edit all my pictures myself and that’s really where the magic happens’, says the blogger.

 

Great at blogging her style, she admits it is challenging as well. The fact that she can inspire people to go the extra mile when it comes to dressing oneself also gives her a high when she wears certain apparels and blogs about them! It is hard to be regular with blogging along with having a killer Instagram account and a full-time job but nonetheless, she loves it!

Words by Harpreet
©Neha Menghwani

Follow Shivani : 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 ”

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Art | Blog

17 October 2017

Marvel/DC | Type Series By Deanne Fernandes

Deanne Fernandes is a Delhi based Design Enthusiast who has worked as a Communication Designer for almost 9 years now. The love for art and design in any form has excited her all her life. Participating in art activities at school and college level and winning accolades for the same, not to forget including a few national and international competitions, motivated her to take up new challenges in this field.

 

After completing her post-grad in advertising and PR, she worked at an ad agency, a design studio and freelanced for a year as well. She is presently the head of a creative group at a design studio for the last five years. She thoroughly enjoys creating corporate identities, packaging, campaigns, websites and much more at the studio!

 

As a communication designer, illustrator, hand letterer and dreamer, Deanne loves to experiment with new styles and finds inspiration everywhere. A long list of artists inspire her, she admires anyone from a well-known international artist to a street painter or a colleague at work to a 5-year-old. Every time she tries to master a style, she gets introduced to something new. It is amazing and challenging at the same time, a reason good enough to pick design for her career!

 

Deanne does not believe in sitting idle. Whenever she reaches home, she spends time with her family and gets right back to designing but this time, it is for herself!

Devoting time to do more personal artwork made her realize that she was getting better at her craft at work as well as receiving a great deal of satisfaction and happiness.

Fernandes’s personal projects range from themed typography series, illustrations and hand lettering which also includes the 36 days of type project.

 

Type Series by ©Deanne Fernandes 

 

The 36 days of type is a popular worldwide challenge that invites designers across nations to create 26 alphabet and numbers from 0-9, one for each of the 36 days.

She picked superheroes and super-villains of the Marvel and DC universe as her theme for this year. Extremely exciting at first glance, it turned out to be quite challenging to complete one every day. But the acknowledgements, on and off Instagram, support from family, colleagues and friends made up for all the amazing artwork. It also brought greater motivation and strength.

 

Deanne hopes life keeps surprising her with new opportunities so that she can surprise herself by becoming better every passing day.

Words by Harpreet

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Blog | Travel

16 October 2017

Traveller of the Week : Akhtar Shaikh

Akhtar Shaikh, a simple human being who seeks happiness in the little things in life, loves to see the smiling faces of people when they see him like a twinkle in the children’s eye when he holds their little hands! ‘Connecting with nature, open skies, green boulevards and streams of water, birds chirping, colours of the mountain and the diversity in the culture of this country attracts me’, says the traveller.

 

A creative thinker, Akhtar loves to ride his Royal Enfield Classic motorcycle and has been an enthusiastic biker for 10 years now. A lover of creative forms of art, music, travelling and riding his motorcycle, he says, ‘I put my mind and soul into exploring new places and meeting new people and witness new culture, their living, food, personalities and all that while I ride to these places’.

 

Akhtar Shaikh

 

Riding solo is not only a sense of freedom for the happy traveller, it also helps in self-healing and self-development. Riding has not only been a hobby or a source of transport to move from one place to the other, it has also developed into a passion over time. Riding his 535 cc Royal Enfield Classic changes his interpretation of being a just a biker!

 

The traveller prefers travelling solo, group travel prevents him from self-reflecting which is vital in improving himself.

Riding solo is not only a sense of freedom for the happy traveller, it also helps in self-healing and self-development. ‘There’s a certain beauty in riding alone and engaging into your possibilities are limitless’, says the rider.

 

Travelling wasn’t full-time spree, ‘Initially, I used to travel on weekends or 1-2 days for an extended weekend and complete my rides. However, now I am fortunate and have the liberty to plan and travel as much as I can and whenever I can’ adds the solo rider. His family has been an immense source of inspiration and believe in him more than he himself would. A great support system and understanding from the domestic front have actually allowed him to perceive his passion and endure his dreams!

 

My family has been the most important source of inspiration and their Belief in me is more than myself and in fact that their complete support and understanding has actually allowed me to perceive my passion and endure throughout.

 

A planned traveller, everything ranging from servicing his bike, finalising the route and booking accommodation is a must. A checklist helps to minimize any breakdown and helps in a hassle-free trip. The traveller does believe impromptu trips to be a challenge for oneself and thrilling as well. Offroading into most of the hilly terrain of Maharashtra, Goa and Bidar come under the spontaneous trip category for Shaikh!

 

Akhtar has covered Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Goa, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Kerala.

Topmost locations worth every traveller’s while according to Akhtar are Leh, Spiti, Jammu, Rann of Kutch, Uttarakhand, Old Goa and Rajasthan.

 

 

The motorcycle traveller also directs in investing in a riding jacket if one’s a rider or a nice weatherproof jacket to keep oneself warm and cosy along with cash, camping equipment including a tent, good sleeping bag, water bottle, outdoor chair, a stove, kettle and maggi. Not to forget a good mobile phone for photography and videos, a GoPro or DSLR will do too!

 

‘Never ever give up and keep trying’ advises the rider! A lesson he has learnt during years of motorcycle trips, he also believes ‘Happiness is only real when it is shared’, a very famous quote by Christopher McCandless.

Words by Harpreet
Images by ©Akhtar Shaikh

 

Follow Akhtar:  Instagram | Youtube

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Art | Blog

10 October 2017

Desi Aunty Series By Megha Sharma

Megha Sharma is a self-taught, 20-year old illustrator obsessed with galaxies, making art, reading books and enjoying food and tea! Megha started making art in her second year of college and then there was no looking back to the point where she says, people may find it cliche when she says it has become a part of who she is now!

A sucker for stationery, she shows love to both digital and traditional art, also trying to make a living out of her passion.

The idea behind the ‘Desi Aunty Series’ hit her during one of her visits to the local salon. The first reaction she got from the neighbourhood parlour aunty was, ‘Haww! Itni growth leke aaye ho! Whilst bearing the pain from the waxing strips, I kept thinking of making a series and the ideas kept coming up’, says the swift thinker. The quirky illustrator starts with a rough sketch and then jots down ideas. Changes are made as the illustrations form sense along with content formation. A final drawing on paper, scanning via phone and ultimately vectorizing in the laptop, further polishing and colouring take place. She works with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop with her Wacom Intuos graphic pad.

 

Relative aunty

Bank wali Aunty

Parlour wali aunty

Kaam wali Aunty

Padosi Aunty

Metro Aunty

Series by ©Megha Sharma 

 

The young illustrator finds inspiration online, observing artists every day and eventually grabbing something from them. She says, ‘I feel I have so much to learn from the artists out there. It scares me and makes me happy at the same time. Weird, I know.’ She draws inspiration from regular people which also form the inspiration for this close to home, everyday women’s life-based series. ‘So, I just try to keep my eyes and ears open all the time and look for inspiration’, says Megha Sharma. 
 Megha took about 7-10 days to complete the series. Steering away from ‘Aunty’ cliches, She came up with a new series called ‘Bank Wali Aunty’ which is much more relatable and not like every other post on ‘Aunties’!

Words by Harpreet

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Blog

21 June 2017

Blogger of the Week : Mawi Neitham

The immense love and support from you ‘Creative Heads’ have been surreal over the past few years. Inspiro India wishes to grow with the growing population of ‘#inspiroindia‘. We’re continuously working to bring great content to anyone and everyone following us on various platforms.

This year we present to you, an all new feature presenting ‘The Blogger of the Week’.

 

Mawi is a 90s kid, who’s obsessed with fashion, food & of course Selena Gomez! haha
Apart from that, she considers herself as an (annoying) perfectionist. Her blog is a reflection of who she is and what she believes. Mawi says, “I write about my take on fashion and my personal fashion choices. If you love thrift (and budget) shopping, Welcome to my world! I try and keep it as real as possible and this might come as a shock to most of you but I do not see my blog as a means of making money because to be honest, I started my blog out of passion and even today my main focus is to share my love for fashion and style to my readers and followers rather than making my blog a source of income.”

 

Mawi Neitham

 

On asking about her sense of style, she quotes, “I do not have any specific style. I love experimenting and how I dress up depends on my mood. I can go from edgy streetstyle to feminine all in a week. The only thing that’s constant for me while picking up an outfit is Comfort! I make sure that I’m comfortable in whatever I wear”.
Mawi loves spending multiple hours on Instagram and Pinterest and that’s pretty much where most of her inspiration comes from.

Mawi talks about her blog as how she initiated, “ I started my blog in 2013. Being a college student who’s constantly on a budget, I always had a hard time finding budget friendly blogs especially in India and that’s where my inspiration for starting a blog came from. I’ve always believed that fashion does not come with a heavy price tag and you can always stay stylish and be on trend without burning a hole in your pocket! That’s what I try and convey my readers through my blog.”

“It’s quite interesting to see how the blogging industry has grown over the years and people have (up to an extent) realized the worth of bloggers. I love the fact that blogging helps us connect to people worldwide and seeing them getting inspired from our blogs is one of the best feeling ever” Mawi talks about her take on blogging..

On asking about her blog’s name, “I’ve always loved thrift shopping and collecting vintage pieces since the very beginning and while deciding my blog’s name I knew I wanted to include my name along with something I love. So that’s how Mawi’svintage was born (hehe)”

Her audience are mostly teenagers and young adults!
“I love watching fashion and beauty channels on Youtube so I’m thinking of giving Vlogging a try. But considering the perfectionist that I am, I want to make sure all my videos are perfect to the T so maybe I’ll learn to edit first and let’s see where it takes me. *fingers crossed*” Mawi talks about her future plans.
Regarding cameras, Mawi uses Nikon D7000 when shooting on her own but when she’s working with photographers, they usually use their own cameras.
“It’s totally cool to draw inspiration from latest fashion trends or influencers but make sure you give it your own twist. Also, don’t follow trends blindly! If you wanna start a blog of your own, the only thing I would suggest is to be yourself. Just keep it real because that’s how this blogging industry works. Love what you do and try to be as consistent as possible. Apart from that, just enjoy and have fun blogging!” Mawi advices people about blogging.

Words by Archita Rajkumari
©Mawi Neitham

Follow Mawi : 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

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Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

17 June 2017

A trek to remember – Chadar Trek on the frozen river of Zanskar

Situated in spectacularly jagged, arid mountains of Ladakh is India’s coldest river Zanskar. And come the winters, this incredible body of water transforms itself into a carpet of thick ice, locally referred to as Chadar.

Over the years, this frozen wonder has been attracting countless adventure-seeking enthusiasts for what we now know as the Chadar Trek. Named in Lonely Planet’s list of the world’s top 10 treks, it is one of the most thrilling experiences in the Himalayas. To complete this trek means to be able to claim to have walked for over 150 kilometres in temperatures dipping 35 below 0.

The only way to reach here is by air, followed by a 4-hour journey from the city of Leh. Once you are at the starting point, a small village called Chilling, you are on your own to brave nature’s amazing and extreme form. Not for the faint-hearted, it is a full-scale winter expedition that will test you at all twists and turns and the occasional thin sheet of ice. Never having walked on ice before, the first couple of days will ensure you develop a strong resistance to falling with a loud thud. And when finally you get used to walking, you can start appreciating the impressive white landscape all around you. It is something you will have never seen before.

The full-scale trek is 15 days long and will make you stop at three villages over the entire journey. Each village is different from the other, and the warmth of the people is in stark contrast to the weather you will face every day. You will bunk at village guesthouses, at caves, tents where the luxury of a cave is not available and learn to admire the things often forgotten with the fast-paced metro life. Never will you get a chance to see so many stars amidst the sweet music of a flowing river and crackling bonfire.

The guide and the helpers are all excellent cooks, so be ready to enjoy a sumptuous hot meal every day. With their piping hot black tea to the sour and warm butter tea and the quintessential Maggi, you are always left asking for more. Those get even better at guesthouses, where you meet other trekkers and share stories of your life and times. The villages on the way are Nrerak, Lingshed and Padum. Each has its own monastery situated on the hills above. The Karsha monastery, a couple hours away from the village of Padum, which is the last stop of the trek before you start the journey back, is one of the biggest monasteries in the Zanskar valley.

 

 

 

Not only the monasteries, but the spectacles of huge frozen waterfalls greet you at every other turn. You can only look in amazement as to how something so utterly majestic is waiting to welcome you.

Along the way, you will encounter really thin sheets of ice, and that is where the experience of your guide will be a making or a breaking factor. There are certain parts where there is no ice at all, and you have to negotiate such a sector going around the mountains.

Be it the snow-clad hills on your way to Lingshed, or having warm lugdi (local alcohol) to keep you from freezing, every day has something new to offer and you are left wondering as to how this simple frozen carpet of ice finds something different every day to fascinate you.

You can call your loved ones from the village of Padum, but by the time you reach there, this surreal path has you enchanted enough that you forget about the world you left behind. And by the time you are back, having walked more than what you manage in a city in 6 months, you cannot help but have become so fond of the place that saying goodbye brings tears to your eyes.

For anyone who is trying to find something that will give them a sense of fulfilment, a huge adrenaline rush, and a chance to experience winter like you never have before, your search ends, and the Chadar Trek begins.

Words by Nisarg Malde

 

Photos by Bharat Baswani

 

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Art | Blog | Interviews

1 June 2017

Interview with Lettering Artist : Chandan Mahimkar

Meet Chandan Mahimkar, who started designing posters for inter school competitions & info charts, diagrams for his school science lab. And didn’t know much about lettering back then.

 

Chandan Mahimkar

 

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

– It all started during my school days while designing posters for inter school competitions & info charts, diagrams for our school science lab. I didn’t know then that lettering was some form of art. I joined Sir J.J.Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai’ to pursue my formal training in art, advertising & design. After getting my B.F.A. Degree in Applied Art, I got into advertising and since then I have worked with top ad agencies like FCB-ULKA, Grey Worldwide, DDB Mudra. Creating ad campaigns for renowned brands and working on prestigious design projects for key clients like Amul, TCS, British Airways, IDFC, Ceat, Cricket Rating, Wipro and Kotak Mahindra to
name a few.
For the past decade, I have been with L&K Saatchi & Saatchi (formerly Law & Kenneth).The entrepreneurial spirit of this company has helped me create a specialist design division ‘Design L&K Saatchi & Saatchi’ where I serve as a Chief Creative Officer. Besides advertising, I help my brands by being their Design Strategist and create Corporate Identities, Packaging & Retail Design, Environmental Graphics, Coffee Table books and Brand Experiences.

 

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

– Personally, I love many unique lettering styles, but I practice clean, contemporary & contextual lettering. My style is a fusion of classic & contemporary. I use it for design projects as well as commissioned lettering projects. On the other hand, I also use it as a medium of art through my #letteringonsunday project on Instagram. There are hundreds of renowned artists & beginners who share that same passion and have been contributing to this idea ever since.

The challenge for me is to not get trapped in a particular style of lettering. I love to experiment using different styles. The beauty of hand lettering is that it is organic, unique and has imperfections which makes it visually very attractive. Since past 2 years, hand lettering has re -entered the world of graphic art &design as a wildly popular & sought after skill. The challenge, therefore, is also how can one set oneself apart from the countless styles flooding today’s market.

 

 

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

– Frankly, I am not fussy about tools. It just depends on what I have in mind on that day & the particular style I want to create. However, a simple 0.5mm HB lead pencil, a set of Kohinoor’s artist quality pencils, a good quality eraser, a Uniball 0.7 black pen, a thick black marker, a steel scale, a good quality A3 tracing paper pad and an artist quality A3 thick white paper pad is my basic tool kit when I start any fresh lettering piece.
I follow this simple process –
1. Think of words, quotations that best capture my idea and express them through lots of small scribbles.
2. Develop it in an actual size lettering on paper and then use tracing papers to fine-tune the piece.
3. Decide on the paper, material, colours & tools to be used for final execution.
4. Start creating the final piece in my studio. One very important aspect is that I only do my final hand lettering during the day in natural light. It helps me to judge colours, finesse & depth. However there are times when I recreate the entire piece if I am not happy with the result.
5. Photographing the final piece in natural light, adding few props & tools to make it look as organic as possible. Or put my hand lettering on to one of my favourite images (clicked by me) in Photoshop, lettering juxtaposed against a photo is a great way to add meaning to your art.

 

Inspiro India: Is studying typography & lettering in art college worth the cost or do you recommend an alternative?

– Art School is of great help to get your basics right, learning graphic design & colours is a must before learning lettering & typography. Also, a competitive environment helps you judge your progress and keeps improving your skills. Most important part is to practice, it will develop your skills like nothing else. While learning, don’t bother about tools as they do not help in improving your craft. Even a simple HB pencil and eraser should be enough. In this era of getting hooked on to design softwares focusing on working with your hands, tools and paper is a good thing. Enough books & online courses are available for learning this skill if you can’t join an art school. Copying other artists may be fun, but never helpful. Practising regularly helps you become aware of your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses. Don’t be in a hurry to develop your own lettering style when you are learning.

 

 

Inspiro India: Can you explain a little about detailing in your Hand Lettering?

– A meaningful word or quotation will always be important in creating any piece of hand lettering. I love simplicity & clean styling, touch of classic lettering styles helps me add depth and character. Choosing the right lettering style to express the meaning of words is a very important part of lettering, scribbles & tracings will help you gauge that.

 

Inspiro India: What did you want to become as a child ? Three things you like other than Art ?

– Very early on, I wanted to join the Indian defence force, for which I studied in a Military school for 2 years. Fortunately they had a great drawing teacher who helped me hone my skills. The school got a lot of discipline & time management into my personality. Besides art I love music, live concerts, movies, travel & teaching.

 

 

Inspiro India: What do you enjoy most about being a designer/hand letterer?

– My role as a CCO for Design L&K Saatchi & Saatchi helps me travel to interesting places, collaborate with talented photographers, designers, illustrators and like-minded client partners. Hand lettering has given me the opportunity to work with some of the world’s best design & lettering curators.

 

©Chandan Mahimkar

 

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

– Developing a hobby & pursuing it is a great way to rejuvenate & refresh your thinking. Taking your profession too seriously & treating it like a job kills creativity. Travel, meet people, go out and experience things yourself. Creativity lies in doing crazy things, trust your madness. Whatever you believe in, start now! Good things never come to those who wait.

 

Check out his full feature in March’16 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#27 – Download Free.

 

 

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