When (Ayush) Wadhwa approached me to write for his website (I hope that's what this is), he also suggested a few topics to mull over. As a rule of thumb, when you're waking up from a writing slumber, you accept whatever is readily available to you- be it topic, content, or inspiration.
Comic by 'The Oatmeal'
In this semi-cooked, off-the-top-of-my-head list of topics, I found one that called out to me. It was simple, the topic was common. But, whoever would write it, would inadvertently make it unique. I saw my window. The topic simply said- My Favourite Creators.
Thankfully, this is a time where atheism is acceptable, otherwise, the list of anyone's Favourite Creators would have been-
I wonder how many readers did my joke cost me. Bold of me to assume that I had any, to start with.
Anyway, for those of you who stuck through, I thank you now, and you can thank me later after you go through this eclectic, wholesome list (which I plan to publish one by one, in the interest of procrastination and to cater to diminished attention spans).
I have had the great fortune of knowing these creators personally, and I count them and their creations a blessing and a treasure.
(In a cultivated emcee voice) "Ladies and gentlemen" (and the innumerable genders who sadly haven't been included in this addressing that dates back to Adam) "to start this off, we have a very special lady with us." Dear Reader, I can see you're not clapping. Remember,
I have had the pleasure of knowing Vidhi since the fall of 2016. I have known her as the sweet and fiercely talented over-achieving lady that she is. But, something changed in the summer of 2019 when she transformed herself into @kindofahappystory. Sometime in the month of June, last year, she started making comics and posting them online on her new Instagram page.
The comics made me giggle and chuckle on some days and shamelessly guffaw on others. Some comics would send me down the over-analyzing rabbit-hole, others would render me sans words and thoughts.
But what this array of comics as a collection successfully managed to do was to consistently amaze me and all its viewers.
"How", you ask? Well, nothing special about it except she managed to make one comic, every day, for 400 days in a row. That's more than 13 months of daily art, never missing even a single day. She managed to do that along with-
completing a summer internship,
bagging a job offer,
becoming All-India female topper in CAT 2019,
concluding a 6-month long internship with Amazon,
getting into India's top business school- IIM Ahmedabad,
graduating from BITS Pilani
So, yeah, as I was saying- nothing too intimidating.
What seemed like a soon to be forgotten New Year Resolution taken mid-year continued for 400 glorious days. I was expecting this practice to have an off day, but hoping otherwise. Lucky for me, there were no offs, and that surprised me every day for 2 reasons. One, the comic was hilarious. Two, a comic was posted.
One (not-so-)fine day I messaged Vidhi-
"Hey, you're doing such an amazing job keeping this a daily business, it's been 2 months and even during this horribly strenuous placement season, you have managed to do this every day, without fail. Till when are you planning to do this as a daily activity?"
To which Vidhi, very simply replied-
"As long as I can."
A reply that wasn't even in the realm of responses I expected. By the way, dear reader, if your filmy mind is interpreting "as long as I can" as something in the vein of "until my dying breath" or anything nearly as melodramatic, you ought to be prescribed a lower dosage of movies. Without me probing further, Vidhi substantiated her comment with another bumper-sticker: "If I can't find half an hour for what I claim to love, I am disrespecting myself."
A comment I etched in stone, or rather the modern-day version of it. I star-marked it on WhatsApp.
I do visit this message time and again, often on days when the extrinsic motivation to do something, anything creative is in dearth and is desperately needed. I lack the discipline to practice what I preach, but I love to stick this message Vidhi sent me to everyone I meet, as a quote once said by a wise sage. (In the rare situation when I have to impress da ladies, I brandish this quote as my own. Shhh... it's a confession, Father. You're in a legally binding contract not share my moves.)
I can be myself and go out on long ramblings about what these comics mean to me, but adding so much gravitas won't be coherently comical. All I can say is if you have the capacity to create something that makes you happy, and in your journey takes others along, why not do it, and why not do it daily?
In times like these, no yesterday is like today, and no today is like tomorrow. But, every day the sun did shine, and every day a comic was posted. Both made my day a little brighter.
Much like Tom Hansen's 500 Days of Summer, Vidhi's 400 Days of Drawing came to an end. I am equally sad, till Autumn comes around (if you get this pun and reference, shout out to you, fellow Keith Urban fan). Our Vidhi is off to greener pastures, formulating bigger, better, and more creative ideas. I shall eagerly wait for the next comic to be posted and make my day a bit more bearable.
Quarantine-while, enjoy these wholesome comics-
And I shall see you next time, with another favourite creator o' mine.
About the author- I graduated from BITS Pilani in 2019 and have been working with Oracle in Bangalore ever since. I like to think of myself as an artist at heart with a penchant for philosophical blabbering, and grunge. You can follow my musings here- https://medium.com/@durjaisethi6 Feel free to message me on Instagram- @fading.facades