My favourite pass time as a teenager growing up in a suburban industrial town was to leaf through the pages of my Atlas. Against the sombre back drop of a steel manufacturing factory and the regimented lives of its employees (and their families) , the candy coloured maps glowed like fireflies flitting in the dark, promising adventure, boundless possibilities and deliverance for one curious and utterly restless mind. Countless after school hours have been spent on my study table examining landscapes, tracing fingers over dark patches of emerald forests, around little blobs of turquoise lakes, across golden deserts and along spindly roads vanishing into horizon; spelling out unpronounceable names of places and rolling them on my tongue to savour their exotic unfamiliarity, memorising them and finally, drawing outlines of maps in the notebook ,colouring and labelling them. It was all very fascinating.
Little did I know that the wondrous child’s play I was so enamoured with would resurface in adulthood, that I would get to illustrate an article I wrote for Selamta magazine called 24 Hours in Mumbai (click here to see the massive sized digital image and/or read the write up). The illustration you se below is a hand drawn map. Yes, it was a grown up job with deadlines, approvals and all but I was just as giddy with excitement as I used to be during my Atlas-loving days. What a sense of déjà vu!