31 December 2009

twenty ten

It seems like we've just had nine blinks from 2000 and we're here at 2010!

2009 has been a satisfying year : I tried my hand at a lot more sketches and have gotten better. I tried my hand at new kinds of prose (I'm referring to - 'fortress of solitude' and 'the return of the knight'). I redesigned the site myself instead of using an existing template.

Anyway, let me share a few stats of the site - Skybound got a total of 1649 pageloads with around 1.71+ pages/visit in 2009. The most popular posts have been - 'the windmill landscape' and 'the fortress of solitude'. Come 2010, I wish to increase these numbers. I think its a decent enough resolution to make for Skybound's sake :).

Finally, it is now time to usher in the new year with all the celebrations, resolutions, joy and kindness. I wish that each one of you have an year where you better yourselves and bring joy to your family, friends and the rest of the world (too). Thank you folks having been a part of this flight.

I wish you once again - Have a great twenty-ten folks!

Remember to fly high... Get skybound...

01 November 2009

Design Redesign

Whew! After a day's long work, my blog redesign is complete. Well almost! There are still a couple of things I need to take care of.I will do so over the coming week.

There were a few reasons for the redesign. One thing for starters - the previous template NiteLife from Blogger-Templates was stunning and I loved it. And it was Skybound's template for almost 2 years. Though it was beautiful I decided to move on to something new, something that I wanted to create on my own.

Photo by: pareeerica

That said, I had a lot of help on the way though and I need to thank :
  • Stargazer - for letting me reuse his site layout.
  • Webtreats etc. - for the beautiful background image and beautiful icons (free). Do visit their site.
  • As you can see the background has both dark and light elements. Displaying text as-is would spoil the font visibility. blog.zurka.us had a way out.
  • pareeerica's lovely picture in this post.
  • And You folks, my passengers - for the feedback, inspiration, love.
So, I present to you my new and shiny design! I believe this will give you guys a better experience. In case you notice any issues, chinks in the armour or have suggestions, please feel free to reach me.

Have a nice day!

22 October 2009

Pencils : Ever sat in a super car?

This time around, I decided to draw a super car - a F1 car to be precise. The recent F1 2009 race is still fresh in my mind, with Jenson Button winning the Driver's Championship and the Brawn GP winning the Constructor's. As in last year, Interlagos circuit in Brazil again turned out to be the championship decider!

By the way, ever wondered what 'formula' stands for in Formula 1? Well, here is what wikipedia has to say about it:
The "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules to which all participants and cars must comply.
So tell me, what does your speedometer show? :)  

P.S. This time I did not have my usual set of tool(s) - MS Paint on Windows. Used Paintbrush on Mac instead.

05 October 2009

The Run Through

As I mentioned in my previous post, I present to u a cut-snip, re-edited version of chronicles 1 and 2. Enjoy the read!


It was a bright day and the daily chores had already begun. Being in the countryside you would wonder if life without so much chaos is even possible. In this calm little village lived a little kid – Shankar.

Shankar was playing by the gate in the courtyard. His amma (mom) brought him some breakfast. He quickly finished it and was ready for some more. This guy could definitely eat a lot! Amma went to the kitchen to get more.

Shankar was preoccupied with swinging on the gate. That was when he saw that his thatha (grandpa) had gotten ready to drop his cousins to the school. He always loved rides on the moped and, as usual, wanted to go along. Since it was already late, thatha decided otherwise. Even before Shankar could retaliate, they had left! Shankar decided that he had to follow them and began running behind the moped. Unfortunately for him, his tiny legs could not match the moped's speed. Even on village roads, the moped could wind its way on the narrow paths pretty fast!

Meanwhile - a herd of sheep and a bullock cart were directly ahead of him. The herd was being taken to a nearby field for grazing. Though Shankar never liked sheep, he was determined to follow the moped. He continued to run in the direction of the moped.

Soon he was completely surrounded by the sheep on either side and he did not like it one bit. The bullock cart was now right in front of him. Making matters worse, the sheep and the cart were both moving slowly. He had, just a second, to make a decision. He decided that the best way to cross to the other side was to go right under the cart and in between the two bulls! And he did exactly that! He ran between the two bulls! For a small guy he was quite a package.

He had finally managed to pass the hurdles that came in along his way. But now it dawned upon him that he was completely lost and the moped was nowhere to be seen! He tried to be brave but was almost in tears. He had forgotten his way back too. He continued walking in a direction which he thought thatha would have taken. He came across a flour mill, on the way, which had a set of huge noisy machines with equally noisy clients. The machines caught his attention. He had always been fascinated by machines. As he watched the machines operate, he momentarily forgot his dilemma!

Amma in the meantime came back with more food and called out Shankar’s name but to no avail. When Shankar never responded even after her calling out for five mins, she told about his absence to his aunt. Both of them began to search for shankar frantically inside the house. When they saw that the gate was open, they decided to check if he had run outside someplace.

A lady in the meantime saw Shankar watching the machines and she picked him up. She started walking away from the flour mill carrying him. Shankar was too confused and was not sure if he had to scream out loudly.

The roadside tea stall guy told amma and atte (aunt) that he had seen a small boy running behind a moped. Both of them immediately guessed that it must have been Shankar. They too set out in the direction as pointed out by the tea stall guy. They could see a lady chatting with someone carrying a kid with her. On reaching a bit closer, they saw that it was Shankar in her arms. Amma was overjoyed. She ran forward and hugged Shankar and kissed him.

Amma and atte learnt later that the lady was Shankar's ajji’s (grandma's) friend. She had recognised Shankar and was on her way to drop him back to his place.

10 September 2009

Return of the Knight

The sun's presence was mild. The wind strong. Leaves were sent from their branches on their own journeys. The air made lovely swirls over the lonely land. Peace was disturbed by the howls of the wind. The coarse grain moved from underneath the horse's feet.

The rider eased off the beast...

His cape flew vigorously to his left. The scabbard lay still; but empty. He moved the cape away from himself and moved swiftly to the edge of the cliff. He clenched his fists deliberately. He stood peacefully though. The journey had taken him this far and he had a long way to go. The speech resounded through him as fresh as the morning dew. He had heard it days ago; through different voices. His Father had addressed the kingdom.

Photo by: srtrallybob

His gaze moved to the far reaches of the north-west. He could make out the outline of the fortress - magnificent and calm on the other side. He would reach there by nightfall. Dusk was on them and the moon was reaching out to the gray skies. His steed stood calm in the breeze. As he turned around to start off to his destination, the beast came to him. He quickly climbed on to the back of it. The steed pranced as if it were a sign of accepting its master's command and sped away in the direction of his new destination.

He was returning. Returning back to the Fortress of Solitude

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03 September 2009

Pencils : A ship sailing the high seas

Ever felt fascinated by the navy and their ships? At least I have. I have always been fascinated about ships - be it the modern ones or the kind shown in "The Pirates of the Carribean". Of course the latter would be a bit tougher to draw!

Ok, so here goes. I present to you - MV LEGEND.

[With four artillery turrets at the front and a few more at the sides. State of the art communications to provide real-time information to the other operators in the sea. A helipad to move people and equipment for any land based missions. MV LEGEND could sail smooth in any kind of waters.]

Note: Going on a war would be injurious to your health.


May Peace be with you!

To know what MV in 'MV LEGEND' stands for. Visit here.

24 August 2009

Pencils : A windmill landscape

How to draw a windmill landscape you ask? Its simple alright. You can probably take a look at what I've done and I'm sure you can create one of your own. :). Will take you just a few tens of minutes.

Here, take a look:

Thoughts? Good?

08 June 2009

The Fortress of Solitude

I want you to experience what I have experienced. I have been a silent witness to the event below. I have stood at the sidelines and have been inspired by the event taking place. I ask you to join me and experience the event as it unfolds...

Gigantic pillars stood on either side of the long hallway. Like poetry on a pleasant day, the canvas of a starry sky filled the ceiling. The faint moonlight from the outside lit the hallway. The fake stars twinkled like diamonds on a newly wed bride. The floor gave away a gentle sliver of silver and the curtains swayed in the breeze. Shadows crept in and out with the whims of the clouds. The silence of the night mixed well with the periodic sounds of the night birds. Nothing could have been more poetic on this moonlit night...

There amidst the twilight, at the end of the hallway, sets of stairs seemed to lose to sameplace sublime. And just between the stairs, on an altar, lay a sword - Raw. Untouched. The light reflecting off the raw blade gave away a divine glow.

Photo by: nostromoo

Disturbed dust shone with His each step. The movement of his hair complemented the majestic walk. His cape danced with the breeze. Unseen eyes seemed to be awed by his presence.
He moved towards the altar. His hand reached out to hold the hilt. His firm grip knew the ways of the sword. He held the hilt against his chest. He knelt down, closed his eyes and bathed in the moment. He seemed to learn the story of what he held in his hand. He rose slowly, moved the sword above his head, and placed it in its rightful place - the scabbard tied to his back. He paused a moment and moved away from the altar. He ascended the stairs next to the altar and halfway through he could see the silver light of the moon partially lighting the steps... He reached the balcony. The balcony oversaw the Kingdom below.
He put his hands on the railings of the balcony and stared away into the sky...

16 May 2009

The Trip

It had been quite a while since Shankar had gone on a long trip. Though the trip to the water pump would not be a long one, it was still better than having to spend the entire afternoon at home. The water pump was situated about a dozen miles away from the village and the only way to access it was to either walk down the narrow path or ride on a two-wheeler.

Shankar sat on the edge of the seat, both in anticipation of the ride and also that there was hardly any extra space on the moped anyway! A water pot, one of those new plastic ones that had hit the market recently, sat in front of him. Shankar's cousin had her arms around two more of the empty water pots. Grandpa sat between the two managing to keep the moped on the narrow path.

Shankar noticed that the queue in front of the government tap had grown. Women in the queue had their heads covered in saris to save themselves from the wrath of the sun and their kids were either playing in the mud or were chasing each other around despite the hot weather. As the moped passed the government tap, the village kids jumped about waving at the moped giving an impression to any random soul that the moped was off on a really important expedition! And an important expedition it was.

The narrow path wound in between the hills. There were temples on top of some of the hills. Shankar made a mental note to ask his cousins to take him to the top of some of the hills. He had been to the top of Basavana gudda, a famous hill temple in those parts, two months ago with his dad and cousins and he had enjoyed home made laddoos (a sweet) in the breeze. The very thought of the sweet made Shankar's mouth water. He suddenly found himself craving for some sweet but he didn't dare open his mouth since he was certain that his Grandpa would not be happy about them making a pitstop just moments after they'd left home. He soon forgot about his craving and began to enjoy the ride. Whenever the moped came across big potholes, Grandpa would slow the moped to a standstill and maneuver it around them.

The moped soon reached the water pump. The water pump was surrounded by trees. The entire place was deserted. Grandpa began to fill water in the water pot and asked Shankar's cousin to cover the pot with a lid once it had been filled. Shankar's cousin took the filled pot and placed it closer to the moped.

The pump was situated between a set of hills on either sides. Because of this unusual geography, it was constantly windy throughout. It was so windy that the lid on the water pot flew away. Shankar chased it down and put it back on its rightful place and then sat over the lid so that it wouldn't fly away again. As he watched his Grandpa and his cousin fill the remaining two pots, he was lost in thought. He had missed an opportunity to get his toy fan. The blades of the toy would rotate in the presence of a breeze. Shankar's mom had bought it for him in a fair during their visit to Mysore.

The moped left for home. This time the pace was even slower with the additional weights of the water pots. It took almost double the time to get back home.

Shankar noticed that the scene in front of the government tap had not changed. The queue, in fact, seemed to have grown a bit longer! He could almost notice the women in the queue eying the water pots on the moped! The moped reached the destination.

Shankar's mom was sitting by the door clearing away the bad seeds from the wheat. She put aside the wheat and came to the moped to help take the water pots inside the house. Shankar jumped from the moped and ran inside to eat some homemade sweet.

[Years later - beautiful, tall, calm wind mills were built over the hills surrounding the waterpump...]

Dear Readers,

A writer's satisfaction lies in the reader's joy. :).

What do you feel about this short story? Holler back to me with your thoughts!


01 January 2009

The Winners Race

Left my abode in a hurry;
to be a winner.
To be the first one;
in the Sun's slim shimmer.

Friends followed on my heels.
With the same hope, of hope
of victory, of successes
awaiting us in the journey therefore...

I braved the wind.
We pushed ahead farther.
Leaving fear, we rushed ahead
with all the speed we could garner...

I could see a million faces,
looking upwards; from across the line.
Amidst their beautiful smiles,
the surroundings and the race felt simply fine.

In a hurry we left our abode,
In smell of victory...
To be the first ones,
To reach our destinations.

Destination reached, we were finally victorious.
True winners. For we were the first.
The first snow flakes - to hit
the little kids' outstretched hands...