Creativity has a new address

If you are always looking for inspiration, is the site to be at. It tells the stories, trivia and more about creative professionals throughout India who overcame personal hardships and are now well known in the field of music, writing, art, design and other refreshingly different avenues

Arun Kale, founder-editor of Helter Skelter magazine likes to take the creative route. After all, he is in the middle of mapping the shifting contours of Indian creativity with the launch of his new initiative Astray, a website that celebrates India’s best
creative minds.

“I’ve always enjoyed talking to other creative people: to explore new ideas, to dissect their rituals and processes, to learn about what makes them tick. For a while now, I’ve wanted to start a website featuring in-depth interviews with creative people in India, but between running an online magazine (Helter Skelter) and juggling client projects, it hasn’t been easy to make time for it. But I stole moments from other projects — and I finally launched Astray at the end of April this year,” says the 28-year-old who is based out of Andheri.

Illustrator Janine Shroff has been interviewed by Kale for his new initiative,
Illustrator Janine Shroff has been interviewed by Kale for his new initiative,

The website is driven only by Kale and unlike other interviewers, likes to explore the personal journeys of creative people. As of now, the website brackets creative people as “writers, visual artists, designers, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, game developers, etc.” Speaking of the changing times where the C-word is becoming big, Kale shares, “In the past few years, there have been more avenues in India for young people to explore what they want to do in and after school. There are more real career options, and it is easier now to try different things and find your calling. Parents are slowly becoming more open to the idea of their kids pursuing less traditional vocations as well.”

Vinay Venkatesh of the music band, Bhayanak Maut has been interviewed by Kale.
Vinay Venkatesh of the music band, Bhayanak Maut has been interviewed by Kale. Pics courtesy/Arun Kale

The name ‘Astray’ speaks of those who have strayed from their conventional paths. Speaking of which, the young entrepreneur recounts some memorable interviews; “Everyone I’ve interviewed so far has lovely life stories, and I’ve enjoyed talking to all of them. There are people like Vinay Venkatesh (vocalist of metal band Bhayanak Maut) — the band is one of the biggest in India; Janine Shroff, who is an acclaimed artist; Priyesh Trivedi, the creator of the wildly popular Adarsh Balak series of paintings spoke about his disillusionment with the animation industry in India; and comedian Kaneez Surka spoke about what it was like growing up in a dangerous neighbourhood in South Africa.”

Arun Kale
 Arun Kale, founder,

With his eyes fixed firmly on broader horizons, Kale hopes to “build the site into a resource that all creative people will derive inspiration from. I’ve recently also started a Workspaces section where I showcase how different creative people work daily, the tools they use, etc. I’m also thinking about doing live events in the near future, but there is nothing concrete right now.”

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