Mar 6, 2016


The magic of transforming a length of white cotton cloth into a bright myraid magic of colours is this art called TIE and DYE.

This is the method used in our traditional Bandhini work of Gujarat and the Madurai Sungidi sarees of Tamil Nadu.

I will try to explain this process which may seem complicated but is relatively easy .

We use resistance technique to preserve colors in areas where the design requires ,using "tying " technique and then "Dyeing "the fabric.

Hence the name -TIE and DYE.

Once you master the basics,you can create umpteen number of patterns .

You need ...

  • White cotton fabric -destarched.
  • Threads,ropes ,stones,lentils of various sizes and shapes.

  • Direct dyes of desired colors
  • Salt
  • Fixing agent
  • A Large basin to boil water and to be used as your dye bath


  • Take a well ironed cotton cloth of required size.
  • Keep  a tiny round dhal in the center.Tie the dhal with a fine thread firmly.
  • The basic circle is fixed in your cloth now.
  • Now,gather the cloth and tie in equal distances where you want the white color to be fixed.
  • Now , add a few liters of water in a metal vessel ,and mix some yellow color to a paste with hot water and add to the bath.Add a handful of salt to the dye bath.
  • When it is fully dissolved,add the cloth and boil well,stirring now and then for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the dye bath and soak in cold water to which a teaspoon of fixing agent is added.Let it stay for a few hours.Dry without opening the ties.
  • Now,the whole cloth will be yellow.
  • Tie up areas where ever you want yellow to be preserved.
  • Now use a similar method and dye the cloth in red color.
  • Next,preserve the red areas and dye it in dark brown.
  • Soak your cloth in fixing agent for a day and rinse well in plain water  .
  • Dry the cloth.
  • Open up the knots patiently taking care not to tear the cloth.
  • Now you will see various hues and patterns coming alive in this fabric right before you....
  • Press the cloth and use it as your duppata,cushion cover,table cloth etc.

Some more Tie and Dye posts to follow soon...

Feb 17, 2016

50 ways to be more healthy,happy and stress free in life

1. Take A 10-30 Minutes Walk Every Day.
And While You Walk, Smile.
2. Sit In Silence For At Least 10 Minutes
Each Day.
3. Sleep For 7 Hours.
4. Live With The 3 E's -- Energy,
Enthusiasm, And Empathy.
5. Play More Games.
6. Read More Books .
7. Make Time To Practice Meditation, Yoga,
And Prayer. They Provide Us With
Daily Fuel For Our Busy Lives.
8. Spend Time With People Over The Age Of
70 & Under The Age Of 6.
9. Dream More While You Are Awake.
10. Eat More Foods That Grow On Trees And
Plants And Eat Less Food That Is
Manufactured In Plants.
11. Drink Plenty Of Water.
12. Try To Make At Least Three People
Smile Each Day.
13. Don't Waste Your Precious Energy On
14. Forget Issues Of The Past. Don't
Remind Your Partner of His/her
Mistakes Of The Past. That Will Ruin Your
Present Happiness.
15. Don't Have Negative Thoughts Or
Things You Cannot Control. Instead
Invest Your Energy In The Positive Present
16. Realize That Life Is A School And You
Are Here To Learn. Problems Are
Simply Part Of The Curriculum That Appear
And Fade Away Like Algebra Class
But The Lessons You Learn Will Last A
17. Eat Breakfast Like A King, Lunch Like A
Prince And Dinner Like A Beggar.
18. Smile And Laugh More.
19. Life Is Too Short To Waste Time Hating
Anyone. Don't Hate Others.
20. Don't Take Yourself So Seriously. No
One Else Does.
21. You Don't Have To Win Every Argument.
Agree To Disagree.
22. Make Peace With Your Past So It Won't
Spoil The Present.
23. Don't Compare Your Life To Others'.
You Have No Idea What Their Journey
Is All About. Don't Compare Your Partner
With Others.
24. No One Is In Charge Of Your Happiness
Except You.
25. Forgive Everyone For Everything.
26.. What Other People Think Of You Is
None Of Your Business.
27. GOD and time  Heals Everything.
28. However Good Or Bad A Situation Is, It
Will Change.
29. Your Job Won't Take Care Of You When
You Are Sick. Your Friends Will.
Stay In Touch.
30. Get Rid Of Anything That Isn't Useful,
Beautiful Or Joyful.
31. Envy Is A Waste Of Time. You Already
Have All You Need.
32. The Best Is Yet To Come.
33. No Matter How You Feel, Get Up, Dress
Up And Show Up.
34. Do The Right Thing!
35. Call Your Family Often.
36. Your Inner Most Is Always Happy. So
Be Happy.
37. Each Day Give Something Good To
38. Don't Over Do. Keep Your Limits.
39. When You Awake Alive In The Morning,remind

yourself a that this day is a special gift for you from God.
40.Do not do something to live up to the Joneses.
41.Do not always be hooked to your gadgets.
42.Get some time off for yourself,however busy you may be.
43.Have a helping of fresh fruits every day.
44.Stash off a small amount for the rainy day every week.
You will be surprised how big it grows in a few years.
45.Keep in touch with  your old friends and associates.
46.Check your vital parameters once every month even if you feel fine.
47.Undergo a complete medical check up once in 2 years.
48.Sometimes,things may go wrong even if you are 100 % careful.
Take it easy.That is life.
49.Take off some time for your aged parents.They are not eternal.
50.Think positve.Surround yourself with positive people.

Jan 2, 2016


Here is my favorite Kerala Mural

of Lord Ganapathi....

I present this mural 

along with Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar's

Sanskrit verse on the Lord...

along with it's meaning in English....

Maha Ganapathim Manasa  

Ragam: Nattai
Talam: Aadhi
Parent Ragam: Chalanattai (36th melakartha)
Aa: S R3 G3 M1 P D3 N3 S
Av: S N3 P M1 R3 S
Composer: Muthuswamy Dikshitar
Language: Sanskrit


mahaa gaNapatim manasaa smaraami | 
mahaa gaNapatim 
vasishTa vaama dEvAdi vandita || 


mahaa dEva sutam guruguha nutam | 
maara kOTi prakaasham shaantam || 
mahaa kaavya naaTakaadi priyam 
mooshika vaahanaa mOdhaka priyam || 

Core meaning: 

Mahaganapathy! My namaskarams to you. I meditate on You, the Great God Ganapathy. You are the one who is worshipped by great sages such as Vashishta and Vamadeva. You are the son of the Great Lord Shiva. You are always adored by 'Guruguha', Lord Skanda. You have a beauty and shine with the brilliance of a thousand 'manmadhas' -  Cuipds. You are the embodment of peace and tranquility. You love great poetry and drama. You have as the vehicle, as a mount,  a small mouse. You love the modhakas, a variety of sweet made of rice and coconut.  I bow to thee. My lord, Maha Ganapathy.

The stories here : 

Mahadevasutham : He is the son of the Great Lord Shiva. How Ganesha was born as the son of Shiva is an interesting story in itself. For the complete story, check out : The Birth of Ganesha : Story

Mahakavya Natakathipriyam: Lord Ganesha is the one who wrote Mahabharatha. This is an interesting story. Vyasa, who wrote Mahabharatha, needed someone who could write as fast as he could recite the slokas of Mahabharatha. He chose Ganapathy as the right person who could do it. Lord Ganesha agreed with one single condition : Vyasa should tell it as fast as he could write it! Vyasa also agreed and put a condition back : Ganesha should write the slokas only after understanding the meaning of the sloka. Ganesha agreed. Vyasa told it real fast and in between slokas, describing the slokas, he would put in one sloka which could have very subtle meaning. This, Ganesha had to decipher and it took slightly more time. This gave Vyasa a little more time to compose the next set of verses and be ready to dictate. Refer this for a little More on Vyasa 

Vyasa is revered for his contributions. He is seen as Lord Vishnu himself. The Vishnu sahasranamam says :

"Vyasaya Vishnu Roopaya,
  Vyasa Roopaya Vishnave"

It is no wonder that for Lord Ganesha accepted such a person's request.

Lord Ganapathy broke one of his tusks to be used as the pen. Elephants love their tusks. The tusk is the pride of any elephant. And yet, Lord Ganesha sacrificed it to be used as the pen to write the great epic. That shows how much love he had for the poetry and dramas. He used the great Mountain of Meru (Himachala) itself as the writing pad.

He uses Mooshika - the mouse as his vehicle. The mouse stands for ignorance and greed. It tries to nibble away at almost everything that it sees. When you pray MahaGanapathy, you will become the master of ignorance and greed as much as Lord Ganesha himself is.

(Verse courtesy-Internet)

Jun 22, 2015


Here is my 3-D mural of Lord Balaji/Venkatachalapathi,Sreenivasa...

The base is wood and I have used uncut stones

(Tanjore painting stones) to embellish the crown,jewels etc.

 and add to its richness...

Jun 16, 2015


Here are a couple of fancy candles (moulded wax candles) made by me...

Jan 9, 2015


Here is a simple yet strikingly attractive thread work done by me ....

Anyone who sees it for the first time will think it is a piece of simple embroidery.


This is a simple thread work which is done without a stitch!

I drew the outline of the design on a felt cloth fixed on a hardboard...

Took a few skeins of embroidery thread ...cut the thread into pieces of desired sizes to fill up the designs...and the pieces were neatly stuck to fill up the design with fabric glue...

What you need to master this work is just loads of patience...

Jan 2, 2015


Here is a strikingly simple yet vibrantly eye catching batik painting...

The farmer tilling his land with the bullocks and wooden plough...

The lady nursing the baby...

The plaintain trees and the thatched hut...

All add to the charm of the theme...

Dec 22, 2014


To grow a bonsai tree takes years and years of painstaking ,patient work....

This Handmade Bonsai is an imitation of the real one...

And it just takes a few hours' of imaginative,creative effort....

You need....

  •  Pliable steel wire bits
  • Tissue paper
  • Flower making wire with green gum tape wrapped on them
  • Glue
  • Plaster of paris
  • Acrylic paints in brown and yellow ocher shades
  • Flower making wires wrapped with green colored gum tape.
  • A suitable base/holder (I used anartistically shaped  coconut shell which was sold in an exhibition for just Rs.5)
  • Thread


  • Cut steel wires into 3 -4 inch bits to shape the branches.
  • Cut a few longer bits to shape the trunk of the tree.
  • Cut the green wires into 1 1/2 to2 inch bits. Tie 8-10 bits aroun the tip of a steel wire 
  • Wrap tissue paper soaked in diluted glue around the wires  and shape the branches.
  • Run a thread around each bit and fasten it well.
  • Similarly use more tissue papers and make a thicker trunk.
  • Let them dry for a day.
  • Bend them to your desired shapes.
  • Shape the green wires to resemble some spiky tree leaves.
  • Arrange the branches on the trunk and secure them with thread and glue.
  • Mix the Plaster of paris with enough water .
  • Pour some into the base and set the trunk in it .Let the Plaster of Paris harden well.
  • Mix more plaster of paris and  apply it on the trunk ,base and branches roughly so it resembles a tree.
  • Let it dry well.
  • Paint it with acrylic colors .

The Bonsai is ready for display!

Dec 20, 2014


Here is a simple Batik painting done by me...

Batiks are done on cotton or silk clothes...

I am giving the basic procedure for doing a batik painting ...

Plain white cotton cloth is washed well and destarched.

On that fabric ,the basic design is roughly sketched...

Paraffin wax and bees wax is mixed in the proportion 2:1 nd dissolved on medium heat.The hot wax is painted on the design and then dyed in yellow.(Napthol dyes)

The cloth is then dried and the areas that has to be yellow is coated with  wax and now dyed in maroon.

The cloth is now dried and the areas to be preserved as maroon is waxed 

Lightly crush the fabric so that it develops cracks .

Now,Dye it in the final color-Navy Blue.
Dry well.

Dewax the cloth by dipping it in boiling water to melt away the wax  and iron it between sheets of newspaper to clean the wax stains completey.

The technique used in Batik is called wax resistant technique.

Sep 23, 2014


Here is another of my favorite Ganesha

crafted in Tanjore style...

I wish to share this painting of The Lord

with the lyrics and meaning of one of my

favorite songs on Him

Vatapi ganapatim bhaje .....



vātāpi gaṇapatiṃ bhajē'ham
vāraṇāsyaṃ varapradaṃ śrī

I pray to Lord Ganapathi Who hails from Vatapi;
He Who has an elephant face, and showers His devotees with boons.

I pray to Lord Ganapathi Who hails from Vatapi;
He Who has an elephant face, and showers His devotees with boons.


(madhyama kāla sāhityam)
vītarāgiṇaṃ vinata1-yōginam
viśwakāraṇaṃ vighnavāraṇam

The ghosts and demons who accompany Shiva worship His feet, and surrender themselves to Him.
He pervades the world of the Five Elements.

He is beyond desires, and is glorified by all the yogis.
He causes creation, and destroys all obstacles/sadness

purā kumbha-sambhava-munivara
prapūjitaṃ trikōṇa-madhyagatam

He Who is worshipped by the Sage Agastya;
He Who resides in the center of the mystic triangle;
One worshipped by Lord Vishnu and other important Gods
One Who is present as an important deity in all places.

(madhyama kāla sāhityam)
kaluṣa-vidūraṃ bhūtākāram
haṃsadhwani bhūṣita hērambam

n His lotus-like hands, a noose, a goad and fruits.
He drives away all evil and has a gigantic form.
His form is adored by Hara, Guruguha and others.
He Who is the Lord Heramba decorated by the Raga Hamsadhwani.

(Lyrics and meanings courtesy-Internet)