Sunday, August 21, 2016

Coloring for Seniors - Little India, explained


This is a very special colouring book - sketches of real places and real people of the EXOTIC Little India. It is also special to me as I worked on this book together with my younger son. Inside you will find our sketches, documenting the lives and activities of Little India. The sketches are rendered with lines and etching, creating a classical form with a modern twist and perspectives. You can get a copy here, http://www.lulu.com/shop/meng-foo-choo-and-shengyiyu-zhu/coloring-for-seniors-little-india/paperback/product-22813286.html
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.
The cover is a sketch of the fish monger at the Tekka Market from a high angle. This market is special because the frantic activities can be viewed from the upper floor. Here we can see the spectacle of morning grocery and food marketing. This was a scene recreated from photographs of the 80s, where sign boards and refrigeration were not a common sight. Fishes were laid on top of the stall with some ice cubes spread above and underneath them. The floor was usually wet and soon it would become greasy as one walked along the aisles from one stall to another. Perhaps, one could recall doing grocery with one's mother or aunt, mesmerized by the price haggling, laughter, at times screamings, couples with the stench of raw fishes, pork and mutton.

Drawn with Platinum 3776 EF Nib.
The Gentleman. It is a common scene where old India gentleman’s dressing in their neatly ironed traditional daily wear, having his breakfast. The same beverage and the same Prata, nothing special, nothing bothers him. Every day is just another day. The same dressing, but he is not complaining about boredom as everyday is another repeat of the same. Perhaps he has seen through all the fancy and superficiality of live. Perhaps the ultimate reality lies in the flavour of ‘masala cha’ and the daily recurrence.



The Tailor. The tailor rent the small table outside of the shophouse for thousand over dollars, I was told. Amazing that sewing could sustain that kind of rental! The tailor's main work was to help alter or fix broken button or zip. For each pair of trouser, he collects between $5-$7 dollars. Assuming the rental is $1500, he has to make at least $50 just to break even and that equates to 20 pairs of clothing before he starts to make some profits. Not an easy scenario with this situation. He has no complaint, as he was glad that he has a place in this busy five-foot-way.
An old pawn shop. The decor definitely looks old. Does anyone has the story about this shop? Do comment. They have upgraded the services too, with CES. This is a Chinese Pawn Shop along Serangoon Road, Little India. It is surprising that the Chinese pawn shop has existed for a long time in Little India. Why didn't the Indian open a pawn shop here? There are some other shops and offices listed on the left and right signboard, indicating that the shop has also incorporated new set up to ride on the social trend of the World Wide Web. Perhaps, even a dot-com company in the making.

Surrendering to the all mighty. Often, when we are faced with the situation which seems impossible to overcome, we request for the help of the unknown. Perhaps in this faith, we are calmed and could return to self-restraint and a focusing mind. For the great disturbances we felt are all in our mind. Others would exult the self-confident even after they are battered by the challenges and difficulties of living. They have an outlook that is informidable. Faith is what one needs to face all challenges and no challenge is insurmountable.

I am the King Perhaps all of us wish that we are all kings. For being a king, we can have all we want and be free from the materialistic world. However, can we be free from the spiritual world of GODs. Perhaps not, as we see him, declaring 'I am a King' and yet praying to the Lord of Hinduism. The King of the Jungle looks at him, roaring in his supremacy. The Lion too is a King. Who's the King of Kings. For those who desire supremacy, there is always a price to pay. Perhaps it comes with great responsibilities too. All those idling will look above them to find an easy life, as if the well-to-do ought to share their results of labour. The smart should help those lagging behind. The rich should distribute their wealth. Those who govern should ensure that their citizens benefit and have ample opportunity to have good lives. One wonders if those in power take ownership of  such responsibilities and perhaps would view it as a form of burden. Can the King bear it?

The Mama Stall We common call the roadside stall that sells various newspapers, magazines, and sweets 'Mama' store. He has been here for 20 over years or more. His dad found a job for him as they moved to Singapore. Since then he had been diligently manning his stall without a break. I could always find him without fail. Sometimes we can find his wife accompanying him, she resides in India instead of Singapore. His stall has become a prominent fixture and scene of Little India.

The Prata Man. Drawn with Sailor 1911 Demonstrator Transparent Clear F Nib with Sailor Black Ink. This would be one of the oldest Prata stall in Little India. Most of the cooks appear to be at least above 50 years old. One of them sport a dark glass. He was responsible for frying the Prata, others turned and flipped the Prata while another was the cashier. They knew their job well and they work like clockwork. There wasn’t much talking nor shouting.

The money changer. The guy on the right always stayed outside the money changer cubicle. Why? I had been giving it a lot of thought then I recalled Michelangelo, the great Renaissance Italian. He was the one who added bastions, a protruding part of the city wall fortification. These bastions were placed in strategic locations so that the outer wall can be monitored, and defense directed effectively. In the same logic, placing a person outside the money changer's cubicle helps to improve security as the person outside could see clearly what the customer is doing outside the cubicle. The person inside the counter would not be able to see outside of his counter but the man outside could. I thought this is a brilliant idea.
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

As was mentioned
Adult colouring-in books: the latest weapon against stress and anxiety Zoe Williams



Here are more links to other coloring works with fountain pens,
  1. http://dimagehunter.blogspot.sg/2013/11/tiong-bahru-portraits-of-history-iv.html?view=timeslide
  2. http://www.lulu.com/shop/meng-foo-choo/coloring-for-seniors-penang/paperback/product-22829059.html
  3. http://www.lulu.com/shop/meng-foo-choo/coloring-chinese-calligraphy-dao-de-jing/paperback/product-22823203.html 
  4. Check out my author page at Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/author/mengfoo