Id Mubarak

Aditi Raychoudhury. Id Mubarak. 2021. Adobe Illustrator

عید مبارک ईद मुबारक

Aditi Raychoudhury. Id Mubarak. 2021. Adobe Illustrator
Aditi Raychoudhury. Id Mubarak. 2021. Adobe Illustrator

Id is a time of celebration after a long period of fasting. In a typical year, millions would travel to their hometowns to celebrate the end of the fasting month of #Ramzan ( #ramadan) with their families, and crowd into markets and malls sharing greetings and sweets. However, this year, celebrations are more personal and less communal – due to a dreaded pandemic.

India is home to the second largest muslim population in the world. Surprised? So, when I was growing up, we saw Id celebrations everywhere and my grandfather’s best friend would present him with a #raan (leg of goat). In India, almost every Muslim stops to rejoice for a few minutes following the adhan. Muslims break their fasts with family and friends, with most Mosques also arranging free ‘iftar’. Preparations for #iftar commence hours before, in homes and at roadside stalls – may be even buy a lovely new umbrella to prepare for the impending monsoons a couple of months later. Iftar begins by eating dates or drinking water, but this is only the opening of a rich meal. The spread of ‘iftar’ can be grand, with both vegetarian to non-vegetarian dishes and a variety of juices and sherbets. Iftar usually is a heavy meal and is followed by a second, lighter dinner eaten before the night (isha) prayers and the taraweeh prayers.

Since India is a diverse country, there are variations in how Id is celebrated as well. In Hyderabad and nearby areas, people often break their fast with #Haleem because it has a rich taste and is quite filling. In other southern states (Tamil Nadu and Kerala), Muslims break their fast with nonbu kanji, a rich, filling rice dish of porridge consistency, cooked for hours with meat and vegetables. This is often served with bonda, bajji, and vadai. Vegetarians break their fast with a dish called surkumba, which is prepared from milk, and this is particularly popular in certain parts of Karnataka. In northern states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, the fast is typically ended with fresh dates, cut fresh fruits (sometimes served as chaat) and fruit juice along with fried dishes like samosas, pakodas etc.

Given that I was witness to these joyous celebrations, and looked forward to the muezzin’s call to prayer, I am utterly ashamed of the anti-muslim rhetoric growing in strength in India today. Let’s not forget the true message of ANY religion or festivities which is to serve others and bring communities together, and at no time is this more important to remember than now as we are still in the middle of a pandemic.

Let’s remember to love and protect each other by following all the protocols necessary to stop this virus in its tracks, so that by next year, we can all celebrate as we have for centuries.

Save Climate Refugees

Aditi Raychoudhury. Save Climate Refugees. 2020. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Save Climate Refugees. 2020. Adobe Illustrator.

Shefali scrambles through her day cooking and cleaning homes in Delhi. It’s backbreaking work that starts at the break of dawn and doesn’t end till well past sundown. But, she didn’t always live this life of a lowly paid, classless migrant worker struggling to make ends meet in a large confounding city. In fact, she and her husband owned land, a store and a fulfilling life in the Sundarbans. But one day, the hungry tide gobbled up their land – taking with it their home, their middle class life and worst of all – their dignity. Her heartbroken husband tried to find work in his beloved Sunderbans but was ultimately resigned to managing a tiny shop in a tiny scrap of land in the Sundarbans, despite the knowledge that this too shall be fodder for a now hostile sea. 

But such is the magnetic draw of the Sundarbans, which I visited a few years ago. This unique region that is now ravenous for land is also great at stealing your heart. So profound is its tranquil beauty. 

Shefali’s story of loss and displacement is just one out of numerous others who have been rendered homeless by the rising sea.

The Sundarbans Mangroves ecoregion on the coast is the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem, with 20,400 square kilometres (7,900 sq mi). Sundarban (সুন্দরবন) in Bengali means “beautiful forest”, named after the dominant mangrove species Heritiera fomes which is locally known as sundari (beautiful).

The Sundarbans are located in what used to be my beloved ancestral homeland of undivided Bengal that was partitioned into present day West Bengal and Bangladesh in 1947. Apart from having once been a sanctuary to the refugees of the bloody partition of India, the Sundarbans is a UNESCO world heritage site and home to the rare Royal Bengal Tigers, Gangetic and Irabati dolphins and other species unique to this region. But human development and climate change with its sea level and surface temperature rise, severe hurricanes and increased salinity could lead to the destruction of 75 percent of these mangroves as the sundari trees are exceptionally sensitive to salinity. This poses a threat not just for the survival of the indigenous flora and fauna but also for the protective biological shield the mangroves form against cyclones and tsunamis, putting the surrounding communities at a devastating risk. The submergence of land mass has already rendered up to 6,000 families homeless and around 70,000 people are now threatened with the same. 

In an ironic twist of fate, the progeny of those who found refuge in this bucolic setting during the partition, are now becoming climate refugees with no place to call home. While we can’t stop the juggernaut of climate change from destroying life as we know it, policies within the GREEN NEW DEAL could potentially provide solutions to reduce the impact of climate change and restore a life of dignity for climate refugees.

Love is Love is Love

Just a reminder that #loveisloveislove not just in the beautiful month of June, but all year round. Support the #LGBT community and ask Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would update our civil rights laws to provide all people with full protection from discrimination. #LGBTPrideMonth

Aditi Raychoudhury. Love is Love is Love. 2018. Adobe Illustrator
Aditi Raychoudhury. Love is Love is Love. 2018. Adobe Illustrator

15 X 15 Gay Pride male 2018 - cleaned up-01
Aditi Raychoudhury. Love is Love is Love. 2018. Adobe Illustrator

Women’s March. January 20, 2018

First, we marched. Now, are you ready to run? Print this 11 x 14 image of  The United Faces of America for Women’s March 2018  and print it off your printer. Take it to the streets and claim Justice and Equality for All ! Please spread the word. Thank you!

Aditi Raychoudhury. The United Faces of America (Color). 2017.
Aditi Raychoudhury. The United Faces of America (Color). 2017.

 

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Don’t let the President Steal Our Land

Aditi Raychoudhury. Yes on Trees (for Vote the Environment Campaign for Patagonia). 2014. Adobe Illustrator.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Yes on Trees (for Vote the Environment Campaign for Patagonia). 2014. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Yes on Trees (for Vote the Environment Campaign for Patagonia). 2014. Adobe Illustrator.

Dec 12, 2015: 196 nations agreed to respond to climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Jun 1, 2015: President Trump pulls out of Paris agreement

Dec 4, 2017: President Trump reduces the size of two national monuments in Utah by some two million acres, the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history. Patagonia’s headline the morning after reads “The President Stole Your Land”.

YOU.CAN.STOP.ENVIRONMENTAL.THIEVES by purchasing my poster “Yes on Trees” created for Patagonia’s Vote the Environment campaign in conjunction with Creative Action Network and  The Canary Project .

30% of profits from sales will go towards supporting the project, 30% to HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy, and 40% to me.

Buy a poster, spread the word, and take the planet to the voting booth in 2018!

Support Science. Protect the Earth

Aditi Raychoudhury. Yes on Trees (for Vote the Environment Campaign for Patagonia). 2014. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Yes on Trees (for Vote the Environment Campaign for Patagonia). 2014. Adobe Illustrator.

I made this poster a few years ago as part of Patagonia’s Vote the Environment campaign. 30% of profits from sales will go towards supporting the project, 30% to HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy, and 40% to the artist.

So, buy a poster, from the Creative Action Network, and take to the streets to support science and push for policies that protect the environment.

Celebrate Spring and Earth Day all month long with “Yes to Trees”!

Aditi Raychoudhury. Yes on Trees (for Vote the Environment Campaign for Patagonia). 2014. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Yes on Trees (for Vote the Environment Campaign for Patagonia). 2014. Adobe Illustrator.

 

Support the environment while adding some fresh art to your home by purchasing this poster* I made for “Vote the Environment“- a campaign sponsored by Patagonia, the Creative Action Network and the Canary Project.

It fits into a standard 12″ x 12″ or 16″ x 16″ frame, and can be purchased for as low as 22$.

So, buy a poster,* spread the word, and, think about the planet when you vote to choose your candidate for the Presidency!

* 30% of profits from sales will go towards supporting the project, 30% to HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy, and 40% to me.

Mimi, the Little Umbrella

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“In a very busy town…

A Very Busy Town. 2016. Adobe Illustrator.
A Very Busy Town. 2016. Adobe Illustrator.

Aditi Raychoudhury. A Very Busy Street. 2019. Adobe Illustrator
Aditi Raychoudhury. A Very Busy Street. 2019. Adobe Illustrator

On a very busy street…

Was a very busy umbrella store.

Aditi Raychoudhury. A Very Busy Umbrella Store 2019. Adobe Illustrator
Aditi Raychoudhury. A Very Busy Umbrella Store 2019. Adobe Illustrator

At the very back of this umbrella store, lived a little umbrella named Mimi. But, Mimi wasn’t fancy at all… in fact, she was just a plain black umbrella. But Mimi had a secret, which, made her special… very special indeed.

Mimi. 2021. Adobe Illustrator
Mimi. 2021. Adobe Illustrator

On Rainy Days. 2021. Adobe Illustrator
On Rainy Days. 2021. Adobe Illustrator

Aditi Raychoudhury. On a Very Bury. Busy Town, Busy Street, Busy Store, Mimi Panoramic. 2015. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. On a Very Bury. Busy Town, Busy Street, Busy Store, Mimi Panoramic. 2015. Adobe Illustrator.

On rainy days, lots of people came into the umbrella store to buy, well …umbrellas! And the shopkeeper would always show them his fanciest umbrellas”….

….”But, the shopkeeper never showed plain little Mimi to anyone… and no one even asked for her.
So, she just lived quietly at the back of the store, waiting for the right person to come along.”….

Does the right person come along? Does Mimi ever get to leave the store? What made Mimi special? What is her SECRET?

I am not telling till some one publishes this story… till then.. here are some illustrations/sketches of work in progress.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Very Busy Street. 2014. Pencil on Tracing.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Very Busy Street. 2014. Pencil on Tracing.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Busy Little Umbrella Store (With Baskets). 2014. Adobe Illustrator CS5.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Busy Little Umbrella Store (With Baskets). 2014. Adobe Illustrator CS5.

Busy Little Umbrella Store
Aditi Raychoudhury. Busy Little Umbrella Store. 2013. Pencil.

Character sketches –

Aditi Raychoudhury. Blue Boy with Mamma. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Blue Boy with Mamma. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Blue Boy with Mamma. 2013. Pencil on Paper.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Blue Boy with Mamma. 2013. Pencil on Paper.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Dad with Stroller and Runaway Girl. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Dad with Stroller and Runaway Girl. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Close-up of Runaway Girl. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Close-up of Runaway Girl. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Close-up of Dad. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Close-up of Dad. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Runaway Girl. 2013. Pencil on Paper.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Runaway Girl. 2013. Pencil on Paper.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Couple Behind Counter. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Couple Behind Counter. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Couple Behind Counter. 2013. Pencil on Paper.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Couple Behind Counter. 2013. Pencil on Paper.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Toddler Girl with Trench Coat Mamma. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Toddler Girl with Trench Coat Mamma. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Toddler Girl with Trench Coat Mamma (Refined). 2013. Blue Pencil on Tracing Paper.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Toddler Girl with Trench Coat Mamma (Refined). 2013. Blue Pencil on Tracing Paper.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Toddler Girl with Trench Coat Mamma. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Toddler Girl with Trench Coat Mamma. 2013. Pencil on Paper.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Exiting Mamma with Runaway Son. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Exiting Mamma with Runaway Son. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Exiting Mamma with Runaway Son. 2013. Pencil on Paper.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Exiting Mamma with Runaway Son. 2013. Pencil on Paper.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Tall Man With Umbrella. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Tall Man With Umbrella. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.

Tall man with Umbrella. 2013. Adobe Illustrator CS5.
Tall man with Umbrella. 2013. Adobe Illustrator CS5.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Trio. 2013. Adobe Illustrator CS5.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Trio. 2013. Adobe Illustrator CS5.

Trio. 2013. Pencil.
Trio. 2013. Pencil.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Smarty Panta Girl with Father. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Smarty Panta Girl with Father. 2013. Adobe Illustrator.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Smarty Pants Girl with Father. 2013. Pencil.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Smarty Pants Girl with Father. 2013. Pencil.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Smarty Pants Girl's Father. 2013. Pencil.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Smarty Pants Girl’s Father. 2013. Pencil.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Smarty Pants Girl. 2013. Pencil.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Smarty Pants Girl. 2013. Pencil.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Aditi Raychoudhury. Happy Valentine's Day. 2015. Adobe Illustrator.

Aditi Raychoudhury. Happy Valentine's Day. 2015. Adobe Illustrator.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Happy Valentine’s Day. 2015. Adobe Illustrator.

Enjoy with your loved ones!