Grab a cuppa, tell a story or listen to one.

Everyone loves stories. Everyone has a story to tell.


October 2015

Colorful Dreams

Living Your Dreams – Story #3 

It is not necessary for every artist to be Picasso or have an art museum named after them, every musician to be Mozart or a professional performer and every writer to be a published author. It is however necessary to pursue things that you love and things that enable that creative outlet. 

“Our purpose for existence is wrapped up in the dreams we have. So, we have a responsibility to cultivate them. Life would be boring otherwise. Wouldn’t it?” says Anuradha Mahajan, who has a love affair with canvases, brushes and colors. But she does not sell or present her art work for auctions or galleries. It is a conscious decision. Yet, she continues to create and learn more, almost every single day. 

Ever since I can remember, I have had a passion to create, see the art and beauty in everything and express myself through a brush, pencil, or in any art form… I haven’t had any formal training in art. It comes naturally; it is a form of relaxation for me. To me painting is like poetry. It is a subconscious expression of the self.  It is a proof of the fact that I am alive and doing what gives me true happiness. I believe – Art enables is to find ourselves  and to lose ourselves, all at the same time. 


When we pursue a dream, we are connected with our heart’s desires. I found art as a medium to express my feelings. My paintings and drawings proceed from my inner world of memories and dreams.

I don’t confine myself to one particular art form. I usually draw, but love to play around with different mediums like, acrylic, pastels, charcoal too. I use different techniques to add variety and create different effects on the paintings.I am always keen on learning something new. I utilize my spare time in learning new skills. 

I learnt ENCAUSTIC ART – painting where I use an iron as a paintbrush. I know it sounds bizarre, but it does work. It isn’t as controllable as a conventional paintbrush or pencil. You have to guide it rather than trying to tell it exactly what to do. This makes each painting both unique and a pleasure to paint. It is fascinating to do, but I guess you have to see it to believe it!!           


I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for… I learnt QUILLING – It is the art of creating little rolls from delicate strips of paper and shaping them into intricate designs. I enjoy working with different types of colored strips and various mediums to spark my creativity in designing my artwork…

Recently I have gotten hooked to art of making ZENTANGLE – Creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It’s fascinating, fun and relaxing.

I think of life as a big journey where what happens along the way is just as important as reaching the goal. Even if I never reach my goal of becoming a professional artist. I completely believe the choice to pursue it was worthwhile. I’ve developed great skills and made wonderful relations with other like – minded passionate people. Plus, I am proud that I took the chance on myself; it’s very life – affirming. Pursuing your dreams takes a lot of courage and dedication.


Lighting up a wall with a story written with paint, texture and color is what I love to get lost in. Having someone interpret a story from my painting motivates me. Interpret my paintings, hearing your opinion and story would bring me so much joy. The fact that everyone will interpret a painting in a different way, even more joy! Follow me on my journey as I follow my passion to create… cheers !

Anuradha Mahajan creates masterpieces from her home in Bangalore. When not coloring canvasses or making zentangles, she is doting mother. Time and again, she has received several requests to hold an art exhibition. We hope the response from this post encourages her to do so. 

All work in this post are creation and copyright of the artist Anuradha Mahajan. 

Ready Steady Po(ndicherry)

Living Your Dreams – Story #2 

How many of us have dreamt leaving everything on hand and going on a backpacking trip all by ourselves, exploring the world, living in unknown destinations. Our second story about is about a person who not just dreamt that but is also living her dreams. Solo backpacking tour by a woman in India is almost unheard of. Shalini Gupta is breaking the norm and doing just that. 

Continue reading “Ready Steady Po(ndicherry)”

A Book Lover Sets Up A Library For All

Living Your Dreams – Story #1 

She is a bibliophile (a book lover), a storyteller, a writer and a dreamer. Her dream is simple – books and stories should be accessible to all. But she lives in a city that did not have a library. So our storyteller Tanu Shree Singh dreamt of building one for her city, Faridabad, India and this is her story. 

Tanushree at a storytelling session at Reading Caterpillar, Delhi.  

Earliest memories of stories and books …

Stories preceded books. I remember being hauled up on my grandfather’s shoulders when he went for long walks. He would create these stories about animals on a train and keep me mesmerized for hours. Then my father would tell this yearly story about bears, a lion (who can fly a plane) and a trip to the moon. That was my first engagement with words. Then came the books that my grandfather would get for us and we seamlessly shifted from hearing stories to reading them.
Early reading habits and now..
We had fairly limited choices back then – Lotpot comics, Chandamama magazines and the Classics from the local library. An occasional Tintin or Asterix by way of a birthday gift was treasured.
A distinct influence was my nana /grandfather. He introduced us to the world of books, and my parents encouraged it further. Summer holidays meant trip to the local library to get a pile of books to scavenge through. Today I read everything.  Picture books, middle reader series, young adults, grown up literature – I love it all. In fact the three of us are often found gushing over the latest Picture book additions to our library. So to pick a genre is not possible.
Online reading group, storytelling and drama …
ReadingRaccoons is a FB page where people talk and discuss books and ONLY books. With over 7000 members it is a very active group of parents of young book lovers.(And now there is a page for the senior raccoons too).
The storytelling sessions are basically a medium to spread the love for books. The idea is to introduce children to a variety of literature. I try to explore authors beyond Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl and genres that otherwise are buried under taboos like appropriate age groups. So from Picture books to poetry – everything is read by a bunch of children with age groups ranging between 4 and 14.

Her storytelling sessions are super fun. Usually involve a art work related to the story. 
Tanushree at Karm Marg (A Children’s Home) after a storytelling session- Stories and Books should be accessible to all 
The play is an interesting experience. This time for the Annual Storytelling Event, Pratham books chose “Ladle ka Dhol” which is a play. My group of children performed at Savera (a school for the economically disadvantaged) and Karm Marg (a children’s home) and it was a roaring success.

The dream of setting up a library…

The books coming in for the library 
It had always been there. One day I saw the children of my mother’s help react to books upon being read to. All I did was leave the books there. My Mum would occasionally read to them, and before we knew it, three of the kids started hurrying through their schoolwork to be able to read. That is when I knew that I had to do it. Library is the only way a book can be made accessible and my city had no good, accessible library for all.

The journey so far…

A library needs a space, shelves and books. This is where Tanushree’s library is going to be. 
The work in progress library. The shelves are getting made. 

My father is a dreamer like me and so he takes my dreams fairly seriously. I mentioned it to him in passing and he bought the idea of setting it up in Kisan Bhavan. I was expecting a corner and they gave me a room!  Shelves are being put in. The books are ready. Friends, and publishers have graciously donated enough to at least get it started. Initially I would come back from work and sit down to catalogue them all alone. Then I got lucky and two of my friends pitched in. So now they are all catalogued and ready to be shelved. 

Books lovers can contribute…..
We have a wish list up on amazon which we constantly update. The books can be ordered from here ordered, the order confirmation should be sent to so that books can be removed from the wish list. There is no minimum order, each book counts and matters. Each book that reaches us ensures that a bookworm is created.

If you have used books in good condition and are willing to donate, send them to – 

Reading Raccoons Library, Kisan Bhavan, Sec-16, Faridabad-121001 (Haryana)

On living her dreams…
Dreams remain just that – a fine swirling mist unless they are firmly held on to and worked upon. And dreams are often ridiculed. So the idea is to be fairly block headed and going ahead and do it. I think fear of failure holds a lot of us back. I fear not having tried. So tomorrow, if at all it fails, I’ll be content with having given it my best effort. So anyone out there who has that strange dream which half the world laughs at, while the rest dismisses it, they need to grab it and make it real.

Tanu Shree is a frequent storyteller at Chatoveracuppa. She is a parent to two boys, a lecturer in Psychology, a storyteller, a bibliophile, an artist and a baker among many of her other talents. She blogs at and at Huffington Post India. 

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