With spiked-up hair, funky one-liner T-Shirts, sporting a devilish grin and an undying spirit to constantly explore, he's a cartoonist, a blogger, and an illustrator. Not just that, he also dabbles in photography, theatre and athletics! He's probably one of the most widely read bloggers of our coeval. Amrit Vatsa is quite famous in the blog circles, especially for his quirky posts, caricatures and most of all his really witty and funny cartoon illustrations that he calls, ‘Shitoons'.
Amrit is a quintessential ‘doer'. An engineering post graduate from IIT-Madras, he'd not someone you'd call a nerd! In fact, he is everything that is far from it. With schooling honours from St. Karen's and DAV in Patna and Ranchi respectively, he claims he is a typical ‘bihari'. On grilling him about how he ended up at IIT, he blinks and says, “I came to IIT by fluke. I had messed up my exam and was pretty sure I was not going to come here. But then I did! And I must say, I felt very proud about it though I hadn't done much to be here.” His blog Vatsap.com is a bright mix of voyeuristic diary writing, some crass and rip-roaringly hilarious and clever cartooning, and random theories with an open space for commenting and it all started a few years ago. What drives him? He believes, it's his ability to laugh at himself that gives him a kick and his weird sense of humour does the trick for people. A good caricaturist, his work has a definitive and unique style. “I am good enough at it and I am constantly learning and someday I might become a great caricaturist! It could be in the genes — some of my uncles and aunts were pretty good at painting, I guess my family had it in the culture and it's been passed on quite gracefully.” says the 26-year-old illustrator, who's done a cover for Rashmi Bansal's book and designed templates for a few textbooks.
Fit it is
Talk to him about running and his face lights up, as he looks on to his run down pair of adidas sneakers. He is a passionate runner; his day is incomplete without a 15-kilometre stretch. He's been a part of lots of running events in various parts of the country and he plans to take up his first half-marathon in the coming months. His mantra — “Running makes me feel good and strong!” He's hyperactive and on weekends, if he's not travelling, he's planning trips, marathons, drawing caricatures, taking pictures and composing music. How does he manage all this and where is his energy reserve we ask him, and he promptly replies, “I would die otherwise! I have loads of energy and I have to keep doing something or other!”
He has a few to-do's that he talked to us about, involving something as whacky as playing the role of a villain in a Bollywood movie, to running full marathons, authoring a graphic book and releasing his music album; work is in progress for the latter, he claims! We'd like to see how that comes out!
This quirky blogger claims he has a long way to go, leading two lives as a regular engineer stuck in Orissa and one of that of the guy next door who escapes to the valleys of Leh and Ladakh at every chance he gets. The lone traveller, the jack of all trades and the master of some, a half poet, the perfect son and brother and the perfect co-worker and the overtly enthusiastic blogger, who doesn't stick to just saying things, but actually resorts to doing them — Looks like somebody's living life king size!
Vishnupriya is a IIIrd Year BA Journalism student at Madras Christian College.