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The Artists Living Young



“There’s no space for artists here. That’s one thing I have understood.” Here, I gloomily quote a friend I was in a conversation with, the other day. While his words hit me like a pickup truck, they also filled me with the inspiration and a sense of duty to produce this piece for a society that should not only love art but also uplift it.

The article features seven young artists from impressingly vivid fortes – each from a different background, having a different story to tell, striving, and winning the soul all day, every day.

  1. Jillian Thottan

Jillian Thottan is a visual artist and an illustrator who makes doodling look absolutely effortless. It is phenomenal how certain pairs of hands graciously move on paper to create something which is beyond breath-taking and this artist here, is possibly the greatest example. She’s done it all – from freehand mandalas, ink and watercolor series to symmetrical as well as asymmetrical pieces where every dot, every dash collide and clash to create nothing but absolute beauty.Jillian Thottan (1)

Jillian has been featured on a number of artsy Instagram feeds like, daily.arts, creativeempire, art.magazine, artist_publicity and artistic_share. She has been enlisted by Polka Cafe in a number of articles like ‘Top Illustrators In Mumbai’, ‘Top Women Illustrators In India’ etc. on their blog as well as being featured on Cupick’s ‘Big Bad List: 150+ Female Illustrators, Designers and Visual Artists From India’ and ‘Big Bad List: 23 Doodle Artists On Cupick You Should Keep An Eye On’ etc.The Doodle Time has also featured her artworks on their Facebook page multiple times. She has also been interviewed on a blog called Thottan (2)

With wonderful accomplishments like these at a tender age, Jillian Thottan rightly gives art a whole new dimension. Hence, I can’t help but agree with her words, “Give me a paper and a pen, you’d be amazed.”

To check out more of Jillian’s magnificent artworks, log on to:

Instagram | Facebook | Cupick

  1. Shweta Ranka

Who knew sketching that was once fun and games would turn out to be a burning passion for Shweta? Although graduating in a field absolutely contrasting to sketching, Shweta’s heart and soul has always and only belonged to the idea of gorgeous, willful strokes of pencil against paper. One of the most striking features of her work is the almost surreal celebrity sketches including Aishwarya Rai, Rajesh Khanna, Marilyn Monroe and more.Shweta Ranka1

In all true senses, her inspiration and mentor is Mr. Avdhut Narvekar – a man of great artistic talent himself. For Shweta, it has seldom been spilling her thoughts, views or feelings on paper and the beauty of it is that it always works, creating wonders to both – the eye and the heart. Picked up sketching since the time she started talking, for Shweta, there is certainly no looking back.Shweta Ranka2

  1. Riya Duggal and Simran Duggal

Riya Duggal and Simran Duggal are a singer-songwriter sister duo who collectively go by the name ‘Simetri’ . “Simetri means ‘Sim’ and ‘Ri’ in French which is why we thought of going by that name”said Riya Duggal, which stunned me to know how precisely fine the sisters are! The duo also fronts a band called Twisted Paradox. Their forte is western rock and pop while they are also into Indian classical – I can only imagine how much they have to offer with the smashing blend of western and Indian music that they make, music that will sweep you off your feet and chase all your blues away!Riya Duggal and Simran Duggal (1)

The sisters have successfully performed at Boveda,Canvas Laugh Factory, Hard Rock Café (Andheri), Three Wise Monkeys, Score and have also been featured on VH1 Music Diaries with their band ‘Twisted Paradox’. Their latest achievement has been singing for the background score of the film ‘Kapoor and Sons’. They have sung for a number of advertisements and jingles incuding the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ad featuring Ranveer Singh, the Kindle Ad (We are the readers), iBall Andi and more.Riya Duggal and Simran Duggal (2)

Simetri’s cover set usually consists of the latest pop/rock songs and are backed by a full band set up. The duo focuses on creating enchanting yet catchy melodies – songs about love, heartbreaks and the intricacies of human nature, sung parallely with signature harmonies of the vocalists. With their family being into music for two generations (them being the third), they never had imagined how music could turn from passion into something they saw themselves doing for the rest of their lives.

Youtube links-

Lean On Acoustic:

Drag Me Down cover:

You can find some of their originals on SoundCloud:

Pay the sisters a visit there facebook fan page.

  1. Megh Bhavsar

Monochrome, Monochrome, Monochrome. If only there were words enough to describe the talent of this artist here. Megh Bhavsar has been practicing photography for the last six years. “I believe photographs should be black and white. They are the colors of photography. They represent the distress and pain which mankind is forever subjected to.” Says Megh. Ansel Adams, Prabudhdha Das Gupta, Mary Ellen Mark, Henri Cartier Bresson and Stanley Kubrick are some of the photographers who Megh looks up to and whose work he admires. Megh Bhavsar works as a content writer for an e-Learning firm, which has, in a way, guided him to explore the unfettered territories of his heart as he has also developed an interest in writing off lately. With respect to this, Megh has done three photoshoots of automobiles for a magazine called Pitstop.Megh Bhavsar (1)

His work has a painful, humanistic approach with a little moral behind every photograph.Megh Bhavsar (2)

Megh only makes me muse that maybe black’s not that much of an unpreferrable color after all, for there’s always some amount of beauty in pain which makes us all humane, one photograph at a time. It’s beautiful how his works would give you the perfect Victorian (abstract, too!) feel and chill, hence transporting you to the 60’s, without needing a time machine!

Visit his Instagram handle

  1. Pooja Khanna

An empress of words that she is, her mystical, lyrical poetries would not only lull you but also haul you to a land trimmed to perfection and fantasy, a land which is past all human definitions. Along with being a mistress gracefully courting unimaginable lines, Pooja Khanna also majorly writes realistic pieces. While in a conversation, Pooja humbly quoted, “There is nothing much that I have received except for a few school and college based competitions.” But the greatest thing she said she received from her writing was peace – for every time she’d write, it would be like meditating.Pooja Khanna (1)

All it takes for Pooja to fuel her writing inspiration is a paper, a pen and a genuine need for solitude and this in turn led her to create poetries about aggression and inner turmoils which later went on to lovely pieces on realization and being happy. Pooja co-runs a blog called The Civil Poets where artists- big and small, are invited to bask in the glory of their poetic findings. With so much going on for her, I could not wish any lesser of a luck to Pooja – a woman with great poetic abilities.Pooja Khanna (2)

Visit her blog to find out more excellent poetries | Instagram handle

  1. Darshana Dhakan

Darshana Dhakan is a dream-catcher enthusiast, successfully running The Beige Box, which is the first ever thing in craft she started as a business/service. Darshana’s sister, father and grandma are all skilled artists ( Knitting sweaters, bags, purses, caps; pearl garland; pearl temples etc.), hence the passion for art in her comes in built. “I love fidgeting around and try making new things from the materials available,” says Darshana who first thought of venturing on to this art was when her bestfriend gifted her an unfinished dreamcatcher which she was quite pleased with due to its design and the love that had gone in making it.Darshana Dhakan (1)

So you see what an unfinished business (in this case,an unfinished dreamcatcher) could do? Zainab Attari (Chimerical Dreamcatchers) is one of the artists she frequently looks upto. Since Darshana  sells her work solely through Instagram, she often gets inspired by other artists online and the rest at the Lil Flea Market. Creating something worthy and trendy yet making a business out of it is a dream for many. However, creations as exquisite as these come with their own share of hardwork and commitment and Darshana’s is surely not to be doubted. Because truth be told, I already count on her to be the best artistic businesswoman the world would ever see!Darshana Dhakan (2)

To view more of her work, click here.

  1. Joseph Francis

“I used to pray to God that He show me dreams while I was asleep. That way, I’d still be living somewhere.” With noble thoughts such as these fused gorgeously into digital art and micro-fiction, Joseph will jog your brains till it tires, only leaving it wanting more of his surreal works. It gives me immense pleasure to witness someone mastering the know-hows of micro-fiction as rapidly as him.Joseph Francis (1)

Joseph Francis goes by the name ‘Peesauf’ which is nearly enough to describe the quirky, witty stories he creates. He writes largely on battling human thoughts, philosophies and a big pocketful of artistic emotions that would not only make you drool but also inspire you in the littlest of ways. Sarcasm with a tinge of humor surely would go a long way in Joseph’s case. With a talent as artistic as his and an excellent sense of verbal humor, ‘Peesauf’ is not far from being the next TTT (Terribly Tiny Tales).

InstagramJoseph Francis (2)

As I near the end of the article, I can’t help but count myself magnificently fortunate to have known such handsomely talented folks with their own strengths and stories which are sometimes inspiring and at other times, a calming catalyst to the chaotic mind.

Stay strong, stay artsy.

Cover Image : Source

A little suburban woman aspiring to provide the world with strong journalistic and anthropological content. Forever looking for that tenuous grind and delving deeper into the beautiful complexities of life, I strive. I go on. And on.


These Musicians Soulful Composition Is Beating Virus Blues



These Musicians Soulful Composition Is Beating Virus Blues

The three musketeers are back, and this time with beats and notes full of hopes and positivity. After all, this is what we need in this grave situation.

Srinath, Sameel, and Debarpan of Green Room Tapes have shared their experience and journey of music and upcoming song. A citizen engagement platform of Government, approached green room tapes, to share their work on the website. With the kick and encouragement of this initiative by the Government, they decided to create their own composition and a music video at their respective homes. As it might seem, it was more than challenging for these guys to do it individually from their homes while one of the guys is in the US.

They were skeptical as a lot of technical aspects can hinder the quality of the song, especially when they have very little set up at home.

They did face a lot of hurdles in the making of the song. However, nevertheless, on April 17, they released ‘Ghangor Ghata,’ a beautiful melody composed by them where each word and beats in the song resembles optimism. Happy with the work, the Government has also released the song on their social media platforms.

Debarpan wrote the song in just a day. Words are simple, understandable, yet effective. With Liboy Praisly as the lead guitarist of the song and Sameel on the tabla, the song truly became a wholesome. On asked upon their motive behind the song, they explained how the current COVID-19 situation impacts everyone. Loneliness and depression has become a common state of mind because of the inability to spend the day as usual. So they came up with an idea to do this specifically to fight back the present situation.

One of the guys said, “Not just lighting candles but lighting the hope in our mind and heart is more important.” Music can soothe any mind; this song and their music does the job very well.

The musicians also shared the short story behind the name green room tapes, when they started with their journey they recorded the songs in a room painted in green which belongs to Srinath. Slowly the guys got recognized with their music, and it was a green room. This idea of green room made more sense because an artists share their most inevitable moments right before their performance in the green room.

These musicians have performed live in various cities. You can enjoy some of their best songs on their channel. They are about to reach a million views in a concise span of time.

In the upcoming months, they are going to upload a lot of soulful music. All we need to do is sit back and enjoy.

These musicians have sent the message to all their listeners,” Stay home and stop the spread of the virus. We all can fight it together. Let the art inside you bloom.”

We at News Aur Chai believe it too.

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Passion Is A Misused Term For The Sake Of Drama – Aditya Kambhampati



Passion, is a misused term for the sake of drama - Aditya Kambhampati

While surfing through Youtube this track came up “Tukda”, the name itself was ‘hatke’. After listening to the song  I realised, it is something that every person goes through. In the hustle and bustle of life, we forget to enjoy our life itself. So let me introduce you to Aditya Kambhampati, the person behind the beautiful track of ‘Tukda’. Let’s have a look at what he has to say about ‘Tukda’ and his passion for life.

1. Can you give a brief about yourself?

This is almost like a cool version of a job interview. Reminds me of the days I sat for campus placements.

Aditya is just your guy-next-door, a regular Bombay guy, who loves eating all sorts of foods, hanging out with friends, have a couple of drinks at times and yeah also likes music. So, music and football have been the two main driving factors in my life since childhood.

Unfortunately, I can’t pursue football as a practical career option, so I’m trying my hand in music.

2. Tell us about your new song. What is ‘Tukda’ all about?

‘Tukda’ is actually a piece of your life — a piece of your world. You obviously can’t have the world, so relishing the piece in your hand is what tukda is all about.

  • Inspiration
    The inspiration is clearly from my life experiences. I see and hear many people saying I hate my job, and I want to quit my job, wow you’re so lucky you have something to fall back upon, you can follow your passion and what not–what hit me is that they never realise where they are and what it truly means. To be very honest ‘Tukda’ is about being grateful for what you have in life and still try to thrive for more. I am very grateful to my days in the corporate bank job, and I have no shame in admitting it. So that’s it.
  • Motive
    Motive, as I said, it’s just to talk about how relevant the world around you is, and one should always relish it. People spend a lifetime cursing their lives.
  • Message
    Very clearly, I didn’t want to disrespect the corporate desk job or the working-class. I have immense respect for the people who work hard to earn a living and support their loved ones. So the message was to take a break, get away from the grind and peep into your soul. That’s all.

3. Passionate about music, then why still in corporate life?

That’s a tough one — I don’t know for sure, but as of now, I think I am still learning both sides. I’m still working on my musical skills. Also, as of now, I am able to maintain a balance between both the worlds and trust me; it’s not that difficult. The avenues in music for me as of now are limited, so I am working in a bank. The bank job helps me to be on my toes and helps me to be disciplined. No matter how many open mics I’ve attended, no matter how long I’ve been working on a song and mixing it in the night, I have to wake up at 6.30 and hit the office at 9. I think that helps. Plus it gives me a lot of content and inspiration to go back home and work on songs. Besides, the bank job helps me pay my bills for sure as of now.

4. I have noticed an odd alarm time in the song, why so?

It wasn’t planned. I wasn’t even there when we were shooting the indoor parts of the video. However, yeah my alarm also is set on some random time and it snoozes that’s why I guess it’s odd–I can’t say for sure.

5. How is this song related to you?

If you have noticed, the guy in the video (Ayaz Merchant) is doing many things, which I usually do every day. Moreover, as I’ve already said it comes straight from my life.

6. In the song, you are missing someone. Are you really missing someone?

No, I don’t think so. I am a pretty content soul as of now, touchwood. The only thing I miss is, maybe some good sleep. I should really be getting more hours of sleep regularly.

7. Why are shoot locations essential for any song?

To make it clear, everybody need not go to scenic landscapes to shoot their songs. It’s just that while composing this one, I always had a road trip in my head and hence we went to Tahmini ghats and shot it. It was one hell of a ride. We woke up at 5 in the morning and literally shot it the whole day till we felt we had enough footage material to edit. Lal the director of the song, I’m sure is still not happy because he didn’t get a few shots in daylight. However, you can’t have it all. I think the output turned out to be pretty decent.

8. Why Indie song?

In the past couple of years, I’ve heard many Indie artists, and after listening to them, I felt wow this is something I want to try. I think Indie gives you that extra bit of a room to experiment and to be imperfect, which is incredible. Also, to be honest, no music label has approached me. Being Indie is also an attempt to reach out to the world and help them have access to my stuff which is really good. Indie is empowering in many ways.

9. Will you go for a Passion driven life?

Yeah yeah of course! I don’t see a reason why somebody wouldn’t. However, again depends on what is one’s idea of passion? Passion, I think, is a misused term for the sake of drama and always associated with arts and sports. Also, the term passion is too romanticised. People can be really passionate about anything, and they don’t need to pursue it as a career option necessarily. The most important thing is, to be honest to it and keep in touch with it every now and then.

Adithya 1

Source: Facebook

10. How do you manage work-life with music?

As I said, it’s not as hard as people make it sound. My work at the office ends at 7. I literally have at least 6 hours before I sleep. I use it to perform at open mics and get feedback on my songs or spend time alone composing, playing around with notes, figuring out what works what doesn’t and maybe program a track on my laptop. It’s enjoyable and consumes a lot of me and helps me sleep well in the night. It’s all about having a good night sleep in the end, you know.

11. If given a choice to pick between music and job, what you will choose, and why?

My goal is to make a living out of music and performing arts. I’ve been very clear about it, and I will do whatever I can in my capacity to achieve it. However, I need to be calculative and not go all out.

12. Music is life, true or false? If true, then what is a job?

That’s subjective. For a musician who pursues it professionally, it may be life. For someone who doesn’t, it’s just a good source of entertainment. Moreover, then there are few who appreciate art and are passionate about it but as listeners or somebody who has a life besides it. For me, I grew up listening to music and singing songs and want to have a life doing original songs; eventually, I could as well say music is an essential part of my life.

13. Any suggestion for our readers, who wants to pursue their goal, how and what can they do?

I don’t think I would be the ideal person to be telling someone what to do with their lives, but all I can say is be honest and invest time in doing what you like. However, also smartly detach yourself from it as and when needed. You can’t be obsessed about something, especially your own craft. That’s a curse if you ask me. Once you’re done with something, you should get going. Detaching helps you make your essence sharper and fresher.

14. Lastly, the real reason for anyone to listen to your song.

To get chill feels. The song is also like a warm hug, and frankly, it would work in many setups, like – house parties, long drives, holidays, alone time late in the night and more. It’s also not too loud, so yeah it makes for a decent listen especially amongst all the hustle in the outside world. I won’t get into the technicalities and lyrics part of if because that’s subjective and I want people to have their own interpretations because it’s their song and not mine anymore. So I don’t want to lead them into something; they can have their own stories about the song and I would love to hear them.

Catch more such interviews on #LiteNote follow NewsAurChai

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A Candid Conversation With Priya Pereira



A Candid Conversation With Priya Pereira

Her cheerful smile, balletic dance movements and terrific acting have garnered love and admiration from people across India. Her notable performance in Kannada romance-drama movie — Chandra Chakori — became her major breakthrough into stardom. Woman with many feathers Priya Pereira in an exclusive interview with News Aur Chai takes us through her ups and downs and how she is sailing through this bumpy ride called — life.

1. How you ascertained that dancing and acting were not mere hobbies but more than that?

I was always drawn to the performing arts, mainly dancing and acting. I was about 11-year-old when I realised and knew that this is where my heart belongs. However, I took it seriously only after my Post Graduation, when I finally mustered the courage to tell my parents that I wanted to pursue acting professionally.

2. Acting or dancing. What is more, liberating?

Both, in their own ways, can be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually liberating. It’s what I love about performing. It’s like a little world to get lost in.

3. How you define success, and what is your success mantra?

Success for me is being happy. My mantra is ‘Do what you love and love what you do’. There’s a whole list of things, small and big that I’d like to achieve. Ticking things off that list makes me happy.

4. The biggest challenge of your industry?

Of any industry, the biggest challenge is listening to your heart or gut. Believing in yourself and making the choice that you believe is the most apt for you. ‘Mostly the challenge is within one’s self rather than outside.’

5. When did you feel low in your career and how you dealt with it?

Feeling low can constantly happen; it comes and goes. It’s ok to withdraw and sulk for some time, but you must go on. I’m so passionate about my job that I always get up and push harder every day.

I also believe that one should be open about one’s feelings to close friends and family and seek support whenever needed.

6. What keeps you motivated and what’s the accessory that one needs to wear to keep moving in the industry?

The desire to be loved by people for the work I do and the hunger to get better each day is my motivation. Passion and perseverance, in my opinion, are essential to keep going.

7. That one criticism that you embraced, and it changed your life?

Criticism is tricky! It shakes me up sometimes, makes me question myself sometimes, makes me laugh sometimes… but I’ve learnt with time that criticism is a person’s point of view (as is a compliment). It’s best to stay detached from both and do what you think is right.

8. Go with the draft plan or go with the flow. Which is Priya’s way?

I think I’m more of a ‘go with the flow’ type of person… with maybe a small ‘draft’ sketched up here and there. So a delicate combination of the two, ideally.

9. Why did you decide to try your hands in entrepreneurship?

PRI’S organic peanut butter happened to me by chance. Once upon a time, Priya made some peanut butter at home, and everyone loved it. Soon she sold some jars at a friend’s charity sale, and they all sold out! She then decided to take it further by starting a brand of her own. It’s been almost five years, and there’s been no looking back!

10. Your message for the dreamers?

Listen to that little voice inside you. You will always know what you want to do. Always keep looking for it – that thing that you know you MUST have or do, that thing that will help you become YOU.

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