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"Growing awareness is like growing a tree. It will take time for efforts to bear fruit. But if the seed itself is not planted, there will never be a tree!"

Shekar Dattatri


"Be still, my heart, these great trees are prayers."

Rabindranath Tagore

At 4 a.m. in the morning, the quality of air, sound, light, everything is more intimate. The two ashoka trees lean into each other conversing. The neem is rustling softly, her flowers talking to her leaves perhaps. The coconut trees are voluble. It seems as if all them are chattering and they hold secrets that we are not tuned in to. Everything shivers in the subtle breeze and the birds begin to wake up! The conversations of the trees hold such excitement and mirth. Slowly the day dawns and the din of human life takes over!


Can I be an author and Illustrator?

Workshop / Session:
My First Storybook
Ilango’s Art Space, Chennai, India
Friday, December 25, 2009

Fooniferse is 4!

We turned 4 this year! A spectacular journey of finding our directions and paths across these four years. There is much to ponder over and much to celebrate.

Over the years, I have repeatedly asked myself,

  • Why the arts?,
  • why through the arts?
  • What through the arts?
  • When through the arts?  
  • Arts in alignment with what?
  • Arts, media, education, nature, compassion and self reflection - How can they be woven together?
  • Why Fooniferse?

And this year, much of the diverse paths and experiments, have led to new ideas and simple structures. Our work is divided into four initiatives that enable a 360 degree approach to working in and through the arts:

Elephants dream!

Early in July, a bunch of second graders and I were involved in a serious discussion. I had asked them a tough question: if they had to protect animals, would they create a zoo or a national park and how would they protect such a place from poachers? Each child came with unique solutions, some workable, some unusual, some inspiring. But two of the solutions were powerful to listen to. One child, suggested we create forest bridges between roads where animals can cross peacefully. Another child suggested that we create models of animals that would give electrical shocks to poachers when they try to catch it! Amazing stuff to hear from second graders!

Deep thinking and reflection

What is superficial thinking vs deep thinking? How can we know the difference? Why should we even seek to have deeper thinking and reflective practices in our everyday lives?

Increasingly from childhood, we tag "deep thinking" skills as "serious" and associate "fun" with more "superficial thinking." In the process we often alienate ourselves from the hours of 'fun' deep thinking and reflection can provide.

We have been fascinated with the fact that everything in nature is reused, recycled. There is no such thing as waste in nature. Can we be the dung beetle for a day? What would we reuse, recycle, rebuild in our own lives? 

And now is that "deep" or "superficial" to imagine being a dung beetle in a human frame?

Have a good, thoughful, reflective, fun day!

Worlds Within Words Workshop Updates


Worlds within words workshop update 1

26 Dec 2010: The first day of the workshop was totally fantastic! We have twenty two budding authors and illustrators with us today and we are looking forward to three more joining us tomorrow. It is truly amazing to join in the infectious enthusiasm and 'scrumplicious' and "fantabulous" ideas they come up with. All of you are welcome to come by and spend time with us through this week. Watch an amazing creative process unfold!

Worlds within words workshop update 2


Welcome to Fooniferse!

As we go about doodling and creating various things and building our brand, here is a space we can interact. Currently, we want to use the blogspace to receive questions from you and build a questions gallery. So feel free to record your questions here.

Our first question for the day is

How can we measure the happiness of a child who has used a crayon set for the first time?

What is your question for the day?

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