It’s a date: Here are some amazing calendar options if you haven’t yet got around to choosing one for 2023!
This Pongal, we curate a list of the most exciting calendars from Tamil Nadu for 2023. While some celebrate causes, others are simply focused on good thoughts and reasons to make you smile...
Calendars have become so much more than mere reminders of dates these days. With artists and creative thinkers pouring their hearts and souls into these once-in-a-year creations — we were overwhelmed by the number of great options available out there in the market today. We, however, sifted through several of them to come up with a list of six interesting calendars that journey through several themes and piqued our imagination. From a calendar that celebrates actor Vijay Sethupathi as ‘a creator’ in several avatars to a calendar that reminds you about a Tamil word and kural that could define the positive vibes for the month, to a tabletop piece of art that celebrates doors in pure artistry and a tribute to the now trending, Ponniyin Selvan — we’ve got it all! Plus, there’s a Vadivelu homage that we just couldn’t get enough of. Let’s hope you get your hands on one of these soon enough! Happy Pongal!
ADORNING THE GODS
Kalpana Sonthalia, homemaker and designer
This is the third year that I am doing this calendar and the idea to do this came from my passion to decorate my personal deities at home, every day. I am very passionate about decorating these deities and I used to take pictures of the ensemble I put together every single day. Over the years, the collection of pictures became quite large. So, for the last few years, I selected a few of these images and put them together as a calendar, because what could be better than bringing in the New Year with a darshan from a divine deity! Choosing the images and which ones to use is a tough decision, but there are some main occasions and festivals like Janmashtami where I really go all in and ensure the ensemble is celebratory and it is those images that often get selected for the calendar. I have a group of about 100 people who I send the daily image of the ensemble that I put together and they all wait for that darshan every single morning. The idea was to share the physical calendar with them, initially, but over the years, more people have been asking for personal copies and I am more than happy to share it as a blessing for the New Year in the form of a calendar. Write to email@example.com for a copy.
‘THE ARTIST’ CALENDAR
L Ramachandran, photographer
I pick up a unique theme every year for my calendars and have worked with Vijay Sethupathi in the past, producing two interesting calendars — Human (2021) and Kalaignan (2022), both featuring different aspects of the talented actor. This time, for the third consecutive year, I worked with Vijay on a creative pursuit titled The Artist. I’ve shot him in interesting portrayals of ‘a creator’ such as a painting artist, a sculptor and a graffiti artist, among others. We are also very excited that the sale proceeds of this calendar will go towards the Vijay Sethupathi Charitable Trust to be utilised for social welfare. Also, since the actor celebrates his birthday on January 16, the calendar will be available for a special price on that day alone. INR 699 (INR 499 on January 16). store.lramachandran.com
NAAM ’S PONNIYIN SELVAN CALENDAR
Gopi Krishnan, managing trustee, Naam Foundation
In 2020, the Naam Foundation organised a fundraiser with the unique concept of recreating Ravi Varma paintings in a calendar with popular people featuring in it. In keeping with the tradition, this year, the Naam Charitable Trust has come up with the idea of bringing out a calendar with 12 beautiful images from Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan. The novel Ponniyin Selvan is 70 years old and is considered as one of the greatest in Tamil literature. It continues to be admired by the Tamil speaking families in the modern era, thus developing a fan base among people of all generations. We can be sure that at least one person in every Tamil family living in India or abroad would have read it. Naam, founded by Suhasini Mani Ratnam is now happy to bring you the NAAM PS Calendar 2023 — a limited-edition calendar with 12 images from the movie Ponniyin Selvan and 12 specially commissioned illustrations of the characters based on the novel, as a fundraiser for this year. INR 2,000. +919094677777.
DOORS OF HOPE
Latha Menon, cinematographer and director
This calendar is inspired by the opening up of the planet after the successive lockdowns that the pandemic brought on. We all began appreciating smaller things in life. I was always shooting around doors, often being more curious about what was happening behind them but this pandemic switched that around and now the door was a gateway to the outside. Just stepping out beyond the threshold of the door after the lockdowns were called off were one of the greatest joys most of us experienced in the recent past. I worked along with a group in Kochi, Graycell Design and we collaborated on these sketches based around my pictures. I have always liked the idea of postcards, I love the habit of writing letters and all of these passions have contributed to the look and feel of the calendar. We’ve kept the themes simple, like cycling and discovering your own neighbourhood; and we’ve used a lot of animals — because so many people chose to adopt during the lockdowns and these pets became our closest friends, perfect to cozy up with. I had shot a lot of the images on several of my trips around the country and I am happy that it all finally came together in such a nice way. INR 1,199. DM on Instagram: latha_menonomaniac
SOL: TAMIL WORDS & KURALS
Rajavel Sundarajan & Avanti Natarajan, The Art Brew Creative Company
Avanti Natarajan: Every year, our creative company, Art Brew, comes up with a New Year kit to give our clients. One year, it was Attangudi tiles, another year, it was Channapattna toys and this year, we decided to project Tamil in a different way. I read a lot of Tamil books and I have a great love for language and so we decided to focus on interesting words in Tamil, hence SOL. The Tirukkural came to our rescue and we were able to find kurals and words from them that could be used. It all began with the kural that said: speak purposefully, speak not in vain. So, the first month is vaazh (live), the perfect beginning to the year and the last month is mutivili (infinity), the promise for the New Year. Each month focuses on a specific Tamil word and revolves around a thought that the viewer can hold on to. Featuring a vibrant cover that screams retro, the calendar is deeply rooted in our culture. Characterised by minimal design and functional date spaces, SOL is crafted to be a year-long companion helping you organise your everyday. INR 1,299. theartbrew.co.
THE VADIVELU CALENDAR
Aishwarya Ramesh, artist
I’ve been illustrating for a while, and last year, I tried designing a calendar as an experiment. Knowing that I could do it inspired me to make the calendar for this year with support from my friends and family. I grew up watching Vadivelu comedies and laughing aloud at his body language and iconic dialogues. Therefore, I wanted everyone to start the day with a smile only he could bring about. First, I started to collect all of his most popular dialogues and my friends helped me with dialogue suggestions to fit the months and finally we came up with this cute little calendar. I’m sure we’ve missed many other dialogues that fans would have loved to see, but we hope they appreciate it as a token of our love for Vadivelu and his contributions to our lives and Tamil comedy in general. I am very grateful that the calendar has reached a large audience. INR 499. DM on Instagram: @pic_ashu