Our first @UAEArte

I was nervous. This was the first time I’d be placing Artism in the limelight, the first time I’d be seeing whether Karan’s work would be received well by the general public. I’m happy to say it went well and I’m looking forward to the next Ramadan market by ARTE on August 26, 2011 at Dubai Festival City, from 6-11pm.

It started out well, I got there at 5pm to set up and landed a sweet spot near the parking entrance, which meant loads of people saw my table first. Properly set up by about 5:30pm, people slowly started stopping at the table and having a look.


Many stopped by, commented on what was on offer, picked up the leaflet I’d printed out (which explained more about Artism) and almost all had something to tell me. To say I was overwhelmed by the encouragement would be accurate.

Karan stopped by too, with my parents. He sat at the table for a bit, then got excited (not sure why) and got a hold of one of his creations and energetically snapped it. Then began the rummage to find the beads that had exploded all over the place. He’s been told he’s going to have to make it again!

But the night went very well. We sold about 60% of the stock we had, with people asking if we took orders, which is great! Hope to see more people at the next one.

For the full set of photographs, check them out here.

Check out the snazzy slideshow of his work that was on display:

Tweets from the night:

View “Artism at ARTE” on Storify


If my brother didn’t have autism…

Inspired by this fantastic post from Love That Max.


“If I didn’t tell you, would you even know my brother has autism?”

If my brother didn’t have autism, I wouldn’t know as much as I do about various medicines, various therapies and feel like an expert in anything autism-related. As Ellen mentioned in her blog post, we’re all ready to open our own practices!

If my brother didn’t have autism, I wouldn’t have realized that something like drinking water from a glass is a milestone achievement. It’s when the kids achieve small things that everyone else takes for granted, that we appreciate it so much more. From being able to use a spoon, to drinking water, from being able to wear his socks on his own to understanding he’s not supposed to spit all over my photo frames (he still does this to annoy me, then looks at me from the corner of his eye and laughs at me as I come over, oh-so-angry) … we celebrate everything he does. No achievement is too small. It’s all AWESOME. He’s recently done something many children figure out before they are 4 or 5, and we are SO ecstatic. So ecstatic that we haven’t told anyone yet because we want to hug it to ourselves, be sure it’s here to stay before screaming it from the rooftops.

If my brother didn’t have autism, I would be so, so, so much more selfish than I already am. We’re all vain and selfish creatures – well most of us are (My Mom isn’t – hey Mom if you’re reading this, can we extend my curfew past midnight in lieu of the lavish praise? No? Okay.). And I’m quite honestly admitting I was, and sometimes am, a very selfish person and look out for myself. My brother’s autism has made me change my perspective about a few things, with me being less shallow than I could have been. 

If my brother didn’t have autism, I’d be more helpless than I am now. Unsure how to get things done.

If my brother didn’t have autism, I wouldn’t have realized what a wonderful world is out there, filled with families devoted to their children. I would never have realized how important it is to have passion in a family. I wouldn’t have felt this sense of community I do feel when I meet families with special needs.

If my brother didn’t have autism, I wouldn’t have had the courage to shout at truck drivers. True story.

If my brother didn’t have autism, I don’t think I would have loved him as much as I do now. We would’ve been the typical family, where I would bat him off for entering my room (now I always want him with me), where I would not have so many pics of him and me around, where I’d tell on him to my Mom for something he did. Oh wait, I still do the last thing 😉

If my brother didn’t have autism, I wouldn’t know what unconditional love means.

If my brother didn’t have autism, I wouldn’t have the a sense of empathy for other families who deal with special needs. Before we knew what autism was, I always had sympathy. Now I have none. I only have empathy. Because one thing I’ve realized families with special needs HATE… it’s sympathy and pity. Save it for yourselves. We just want to be understood.

If my brother didn’t have autism, I wouldn’t know who my real friends and supporters are. He helps weed out the trash from the gems. He helps keep the backward, mentally stunted (attitude-wise) and disgusting people away. I have real treasures with me because of him.

If my brother didn’t have autism, he wouldn’t be who he is – an amazing person who is smart and has a pretty decent sense of humour.

If my brother didn’t have autism, my life would never be same. He made me who I am, and for that I will always be grateful.