It is a brand new year. And I have brand new interviews lined up on Scribbles@Arpita. Presenting before you all today is the ever so quirky Anand of Anand’s Parodies & Caricatures. Anand is a blogger and caricaturist with a great sense of humor, so it is best to let him do the talking! Here we go!
1. Tell us about yourself.
And…the interview begins! Why do interviews always start with this question, is a question that demands an answer! Speaking of demands, I am reminded of myself – a thirty-some common urban Indian man of today, who is always in demand. Don’t get me wrong. The sort of demand I am referring to, is the demand for unpaid labor, unfelt emotions, and uncalled-for duties. I am a self-proclaimed representative of the Indian family man who runs chores for his mother, mediates the household quarrels between the two women who rule his life, and tries build a bridge between his passion and his work, while struggling to keep a lid on the mouth of his volcanic family that can erupt any moment.
2. How long have you been creating caricatures?
For a while now. I was inspired by another artist, who wants to remain anonymous. I always had good control of the pencil and from the childhood, a passion for geometric drawing – but caricatures happened quite late in life. But all said, I think that if you can draw and you have a quirky and somewhat snarky way of looking at life, caricatures happen automatically!
3. Tell us about the QSM magazine. What inspired you to take up this project?
The QSM magazine (http://issuu.com/qsm-magazine) just happened to me. I took the blogging101 course, and realized that readers liked my humor and my caricature-renditions. So I thought why not put them together and present a magazine to my readers. So the decision was quick, but it’s implementation was killing. Wifey went ballistic. She nearly smashed my computer, because after sitting on my butt and programming for 8 to 9 hours a day, I’d spend about 5 hours on the magazine, every day! Mom went on her usual routine of how the demure dusky diva had enticed her brilliant, IITian son and changed him into an artist-programmer. If Mom and wifey happened to learn that my blogger friends were responsible for my descent…they might join forces and come after you with a red-hot frying pan and a rolled up magazine respectively.
4. Anandhotep fans want to know, how appreciative is your Mom about QSM? Has she read any edition?
She detests it. Her son had fallen from the sky and managed to get his diapers caught in the branches of programming – he still could’ve earned a decent living (thank god, he learned to program; as an artist he’d have starved!) In her opinion, the QSM Magazine is that storm that will unhinge him even from programming and toss him into the abyss of obscurity! “Puttar ji, thookan nal papad jai tale jaande” (Son, you can’t fry finger-chips in saliva…or words won’t pay your bills!) That I am still publishing the magazine, proves that she hasn’t read any edition! (There are times when I feel grateful for her being far-sighted!)
5. Your pet dog features prominently in your blogposts and QSM (and is one of my favourite characters). How long have you had her? Tell us something about her that we don’t know already.
She is the love of my life (and wifey is mighty jealous of her.) That she has me wrapped around the pinkie of her left paw, is wifey’s opinion, and I concur. She’s had me for almost a decade now. She’s bilingual and has a vocab of more than a hundred words (Hindi and English combined.) All I can say is that among the ladies of the house, she appreciates my efforts the most.
5. Scrolling down the digital pages of QSM makes me feel that if someone really has the passion to pursue his/her hobby, then a day job is hardly a hindrance. Tell us how you balance life and your art.
I work from home, and while this arrangement gobbles up my weekends, it also saves me the commutation time. I take time off between projects (if I can,) but being responsible for paying the rent and putting food on the table, does put a certain pressure on you. You are right, passion for creating what I consider the best Indian humor magazine out there, keeps me going, despite all the hurdles. I wake up early (at 4,) and work on the magazine for at least two hours before everyone else in the house is up. The only adverse fallout of this is that I am now expected to prepare the morning tea and rouse everyone else.
6. Do you feel a good caricaturist is also a good humorist?
Not necessarily. While both possess humor-tinted glasses, they must express what they want to in their own ways. I think I am a jack of both the trades, but a writer needn’t necessarily draw or the vice-versa. A lot of excellent caricaturists believe that language is only a tool to communicate with the client, and they never stop to burnish it; similarly many writers think of drawing as something that must be left either to kids or professionals. This is why one may not be the other; not in most cases.
7. What are your future plans with QSM? Do you plan to pursue a self-publishing route for it, or will it always be free (for our delight)? Do you have other projects in mind?
I’m looking for humorists who want to find an intelligent and appreciative readership. I’d also love to find caricaturists/cartoonists who’d like to contribute to the magazine. If I find great authors and artists, the QSM Magazine will grow, because then I can spend some of my time improving the design and focusing on promoting it. The third issue of the QSM Magazine (http://issuu.com/qsm-magazine/docs/the-qsm-magazine-issue-2) literally flew off the shelves of ISSUU.com. QSM humor has an international scope but an Indian flavor – so regardless of where you are and who you are, there would always be something for you in the magazine. I cannot say if it will always be free, but till I have the support of the readers, I’ll try to keep it free. I’d like to request the readers of the QSM magazine to help me promote it. Share its link/icon, tweet about it, write to me with your thoughts, write for it – do whatever you want with it – and do double; there won’t be any trouble! (I must’ve caught this bigg bugg from Bigg Boss 9!)
8. Any message for the readers for the New Year?
Get some Quirky, Snarky, Malarkey in your life! Have fun, poke jokes, draw to your heart’s fill, write to make the world smile, and subscribe to the QSM Magazine! Heeng lage na fitkari, aur rang aaye chokha – to kyon nahi, hain ji? (You don’t have to pull out your wallet, nor do you have to swipe your credit card, then why stop yourself from sampling the cerebral delights of the QSM Magazine? Right?!) Do what makes you happy, because the quest of happiness begins at home.
QSM on the Web:
The QSM Magazine Online: The QSM Magazine
Do follow Anand on his blog for more of Quirky, Snarky, Malarkey! And don’t forget to sign up for your copy of QSM!
P.S: All the caricatures published in this post are created by Anand. The images are subject to copyright.