A Microcosm of sorts

In a world of dark and light, as children we assume and imagine a time and space in our worldly lives. We build our own surreal microcosm that our elders often refer to as our “bubbles”. Most of us grow on to forget all the real dreams we have had while being awake as children, but a lot of us tend to go on to have them imbibed as a part of our beings, as something to hold on to or maybe just to keep us going. This is one such instance of a child who at the time believed to have stumbled upon this new creature with an ornamental

magical quality to it. Nature never fails to enthrall us, does it!


Enter, the pon vandu or the golden beetle, as it is so popularly called. This is her story:





“As a child, I loved insects and exploring the wild. One day I discovered the shell of an insect that was incredible. A metallic green creature with a gold head that laid neon green eggs. I was so excited by my discovery. I decided to name the creature Alien Bug. I thought I’d get famous for my discovery – “Sofia Ashraf the explorer”. But, I was later heartbroken to find out that people knew of this insect already. And that it had a name – Pon Vandu. And those neon eggs were actually its poop. I sulked. Those moments of discovery were some of the most exciting moments of my 10 year old life.


I guess that’s why I make art. Through filmmaking, I can discover new worlds that nobody has ever explored. I get to stay that explorative 10 year old and can keep reliving the excitement of discovering alien worlds in my mind. I can remain “Sofia Ashraf the explorer”.”








Tattooing is a ritualistic exchange of energies between me and my tattoo canvas. This is my form of story telling through my art work for this lovely story teller.





A marigold, symbolic of her flare for creativity



Koi fishes, symbolic of the upstream movement of these magnificent creatures and the tenacity they uphold against a barrage of the river water


Casuarina, is where Sofia discovered her magical jewel beetle



All of these elements neatly tied together to the Pon Vandu with some ornamentation and a mandala.

After all, we are just a tiny speck in the universe but we all hold our own universe within us.
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