[THOUGHT] The Human Experience – Scenes from the Metro

Every weekday morning, walking to catch the metro to office, inside the long Metro station corridor I pass by people hurrying on.

But certain scenes stand out.

A kindergarten toddler, hardly 5 years old, in her school uniform frock, wearing a backpack, holding onto her father’s hand toddling along trying to keep pace with his longer strides. I could hear her asking him in Hindi, “Daddy, when will we go to the beach again?”.

I don’t know about you but this broke my heart. The picture of that little girl running trying to keep pace with her dad who was obviously in a hurry to reach her to school and then get to work, and that little girl’s thoughts were elsewhere, she wanted to be free, at the beach. Maybe the beach would have made a better institution of learning than the walled ones we go to.
This gives me an idea, a moving school where classes happen in natural environments like parks, zoos, beaches, gardens. What schools were like in a previous age, before we lost ourselves wrapped in this complex sophistication of our modern age.

The other scene that plays out regularly. The same long metro station corridor. Same morning time going to work. People passing me by, I pass by people and these two pass by me. A man in his thirties, probably an elder brother, dragging along a boy with special needs, maybe in his teens, wearing a backpack, uncomfortably trying to keep pace, not looking too happy. Probably getting dropped at a daycare. The same rush. The world is turning non-stop and we have to keep running to stay in the same place.

This third scene, a more recent one. Same morning time. A middle-aged middle-eastern woman in a black abaya with her head covered, pushing with one hand a wheel-chair carrying a 12-year old differently-abled kid and with the other hand pulling a trolley-schoolbag. The kid is in uniform and asleep. The lady pulls along with a grim determination and will.

One day, when barely managing to get a place at the entrance in the crowded carriage, found myself face to face with a father standing with a pram (baby-stroller) in which a 8 month old baby was sitting and looking up in wonder at all the faces crowded around and looking down at it. My hand holding my mobile phone and bag was at its reach. It tried tugging at my mobile and the father tried to distract it with his mobile. Early morning at the metro, I have seen parents carrying babies and toddlers, some half asleep to affordable day cares in my area.

And today, a heart-warming one, in the long metro corridor leading to the ticket booth and turnstiles. A middle-aged couple, both obviously going to work, but walking at a more leisurely pace. The man, was carrying his kindergarten kid in school uniform on his shoulders – a joy ride for the kid.

Somewhere at the back of my mind, Paul Young’s version of “Love of the Common People” plays. The human experience, love it or hate it but you can’t escape it.

[SOCIAL MEDIA] – Instagram – Laptop Lunch Dubai

In 2017, got an opportunity to ideate and write a few Instagram posts for Laptop Lunch – a Dubai based caterer.

I created a content calendar to keep track of the ideas and approved copy in a Google doc spread sheet to collaborate with the Art/Creative Directors.

Copy: Umesh Ponnusamy

Art: Malesh Ponnusamy

Calendar - Laptop Lunch
Calendar – Laptop Lunch
Instagram Posts - Laptop Lunch
Instagram Posts – Laptop Lunch
Instagram Posts - Laptop Lunch
Instagram Posts – Laptop Lunch

[CARTOONING] – Creating a web comic using only the drawing tools in Microsoft Powerpoint – [Cartooning] Paper Recycling


BACKGROUND: In 2006, navigating online forums in the UAE got me in touch with two creatives who had started a social work forum for creatives. One of their projects was Paper Recycling and they wanted a simple comic explaining the benefits of recycling paper. The script was already written and they couldn’t find a cartoonist yet. Being an amateur, I decided to take the plunge and use the opportunity to see what I was capable of.

CLIENT: Creative Majlis, Dubai

 

PRODUCT / SERVICE: Paper Recycling

BRIEF: Visualise and convert the written script into an entertaining and educating comic.

MEDIA: Web

YEAR: 2006

ART: Umesh Ponnusamy

COPY: Mayura Sandeep

INSPIRATION:

Since the day I had  created a killer resume in MS Word using it’s drawing tools (this was in 1998), I was fascinated by the possibilities these tools offered. Later in my work, I had created diagrams, charts, illustrations using these very user-friendly drawing tools.

I had even created a simple cartoon for a newsletter for an online group using the drawing tools in MS Word in 2004.

All these previous efforts, gave me the confidence to go ahead and try to visualise and execute the script given to me. It was a simple enough script.

Maybe someday if I have the time and inclination, I’ll document the entire process in this post.