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India's Only Cultural Magazine for Expatriates

VOLUME 2, iSSUE 8 October 2011

o! ethereal

the avatar

A journey to Buddha's tree of light

one A tribute to Indian women and their traditional attire


D e a r

R e a d e r s

Happy Diwali – “Di” as you know comes from the Sanskrit word “deepa” or the Hindi word “diya” meaning “light” and “avali” means “a row of”. Just around Diwali united by new clothes, fireworks and sweets, we suddenly become one nation, retaining quirky regional differences that usually go unnoticed. “Di” for team Culturama was the story of discovering Di – thi this time… Artist Dithi encapsulated this glory and subtle differences of India, portraying an owl, instead of an elephant, as a creature of Goddess Lakshmi, on our cover. Culturama’s advisory board member, photographer Venket Ram ,chanced on her enchanting work for a cover, we are most grateful to him. Then we set off to find her via cyberspace, and instead of Kolkota where we expected to find a Chakrabortty, she was gloriously ensconced in the mountains of Switzerland. A few chats and voila we have a great cover for our special Diwali issue dedicated to the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi. I am sure you will enjoy the Coffee and Conversation with this talented and articulate Geneva-based artist. An award-winning blogger in the United Kingdom, Nisha Thomas writes a new food column, Curry Country that talks about Indian food in an international context. We also feature writer Vikram Seth in the Star Struck column which introduces a Star Indian we ought to know about. In Bursting the Bubble, Ian Watkinson, our Scotsman (who claims to be an Indian reincarnated) continues his unique views – even while writing about a seemingly “dry” topic of history of India and our other expatriate voice continues with Marina Marangoes and her trip to rhinoland in Kaziranga National Park. In our feature this month, join me on a visit to Akshardham with Kate Sweetman, one of the 50 Best Thinkers of the World, former editor of Harvard Business Review, and experience her immersion into India. I would also like to thank www.imagesofasia. com for the brilliant images of women's traditional attire. they shared with us for our A-Z column. And don't you agree, Darrin Zeer's Office Yoga, for the elevator this time, is delightful every month? May your life be wealthy and wise – like Goddess Lakshmi and her owl! Ranjini Manian Editor-in-Chief To contact me directly, e-mail globalindian@globaladjustments.com

Read Upworldly Mobile by Ranjini Manian published by Penguin India. Turn to page 60 for details. culturama | october 2011

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contents 22

10 Coffee & Conversation

Thou Art Woman!

14 A-Z of INdia

Traditional Trends

October is a special month filled with celebrations, of our gods and many goddesses. Our cover image pays tribute to Lakshmi, whose worship is most important to Diwali, the festival of lights. Lakshmi is also one of the goddesses revered during the Navratri festival celebrated across the country.

18 curry country

Gorgeous Goa 22 Feature

Journey of India 26 Look who's in town

Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi

28 bursting the bubble

Hysteresis of History Cover Art Dithi Chakrabortty Editor-in-Chief Ranjini Manian business head susanna kurian Associate Editor Lakshmi Krupa Assistant editor Amreetha Janardhan creative head JayaKrishna Behera Associate Designer Prem Kumar Advertising Chennai rohini chandrakumar, trishla jain Bengaluru mukundan T Delhi-NCR Preeti Bindra, Ruchika Srivastava Mumbai & Pune Farah Bakhshay, Ashish Chaulkar Advisory Committee Timeri N Murari, N Ram, Elaine Wood, James J Williams, G Venket Ram, Carmen HUTHOEFER-HEINRICH

Buddham Sharanam Gachchami

30 office yoga 32 India & I

Rhino Reigns

42 Cause & effect

34 Calendars

Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi

Delhi-NCR Level 4, Augusta Point, DLF Golf Course Road, Sector-53, Gurgaon - 122 002. Haryana. Tel.+91-124-435 4236. E-mail: del@globaladjustments.com Mumbai/Pune Rustom Court, 2nd Floor, Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400030. Tel.+91-22-66104191/2 E-mail: mum@globaladjustments.com

Published and owned by Ranjini Manian at #5, 3rd Main Road, Raja Annamalai Puram, Chennai – 600028 and printed by K Srinivasan of Srikals Graphics Pvt Ltd at #5, Balaji Nagar, 1st Street, Ekkattuthangal, Chennai – 600032. Editor: Ranjini Manian

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The Right Click

46 star struck

Seth In

48 India immersion centre

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50 namesake

Knowledge is Power

50 inner space

Of Jumbo Families

52 Holisitic living

Patience Pays

Chennai 5, 3rd Main Road, R. A. Puram, Chennai 600028, India. Telefax. +91-44-24617902 E-mail: designstore@globaladjustments.com Bengaluru 216, Prestige Center Point, Off Cunningham Road, 7, Edward Road, Bengaluru 560052. Tel.+91-80-41267152/41148540. E-mail: blr@globaladjustments.com

40 Photo feature

54 View from the top

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Beyond Paradise

55 FESTIVALS OF INDIA 56 iSeries

iRead, iSee, iAsk and iLike

62 space & the city


N e w s w o r t h y

The Fast and the Furious

Letters to the Editor Dear Editor, Your September issue had a distinct festive flavour to it! I enjoyed reading it. — Laura Weidanz, Denamrk

Dear Editor, Your magazine has always caught my attention for its exquisite images and its beautifully written pieces. This edition of festivals captivated my imagination through its unique representation of every day festivals that happen across our country. Kudos to the Culturama team. — Gayathri G.K

Dear Editor, I received my free copy of Culturama last month and was most delighted. Many thanks to you. — Anusha V, Chennai

Dear Editor,

I saw the e-version of your magazine and in facebook terms, I must give it a thumbs up and use the Like buttton. — Shanti Kumar, Cochin

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In what has been termed by many as the ‘second freedom struggle’ of the century, India recently made progress regarding its anti-corruption laws for the first time since attaining Independence. Walking in Gandhi’s footsteps, activist Anna Hazare staged an indefinite fast on August 16 demanding the passing of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament, which will give citizens the right to question corruption even up to the highest powers in the government. His cause and Nehru cap became a fad among the youth of the nation. In lesser known news, Irom Sharmila continues her fast, her demand being the amendment of the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) after the Malom massacre in which 10 civilians were killed by Assamese rifles. It is 11 years since Irom from Manipur began her fast in November 2000 with little or no consequence. Amidst repeated arrests and being force fed through a nasal tube, Irom still stands strong.

The Million Demonstration After Egypt and Libya, it was Israel’s turn to take to the streets in September when students protested against the rising prices and demanded a better standard of life. The middle class of Israel has been protesting over the high taxes and low wages. What started in July as a student sit-in turned into a March of a Million Protest in September, aimed at bringing together a million protestors. They are now demanding that the cost of living be brought down and that the promise of better education and healthcare is kept. Organisers now say that despite the underplaying of the momentum, the protest is gaining in strength – over 5,00,000 are currently participating in the march.


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Thou art woman! In Geneva-based Indian artist Dithi Chakrabortty’s work, mythology mingles playfully with colour. Every portrait tells a story of an ancient tradition, such as the one of Kamadhenu – the wish-fulfilling sacred cow – and the mythical golden deer inspired by Bengali poet Radindranath Tagore’s words. In her work, art flirts freely with commerce, and has been sought after by interior designers looking to do up urban Indian homes with a splash of nativity as well as large newspapers for ad campaigns. Dithi offers Lakshmi Krupa a sneak peek into her world of colours, fabled women and folklore...

ARTIST Dithi Chakrabortty, who hails from Bengal, India, currently, calls Geneva her home, from where she creates art that goes on to adorn both homes as décor and newspapers and other commercial spaces as part of campaigns across India. Hers is a story of technology meeting art, for it was her art blog (a weblog of her work) that first brought her fame. The self-taught artist’s earthy, folksy designs with colours that carry urban, aesthetic appeal to both patrons of art and lovers of design. Her artwork, she says, is inspired by the traditions, folklore, women, mythology and all that is India. Let us start at the very beginning. Can you tell us about your childhood and growing up years? Did they have an influence on your artistic pursuits? I was born and brought up in a joyous little part of West Bengal – Bardhamaan (very close to Kolkata). I am the youngest of three sisters. We grew up in a house that was surrounded by rose gardens and tropical fruit trees, where hundreds of parrots greeted you while battling for blueberries on a gigantic ‘Jaam’ tree right in front of your

eyes every summer morning. Those years in our ancestral home were precious. I went to school there. We came often to our North Kolkata home, which subsequently became my second home as I studied Nutrition (5 years, MSc) in Kolkata. I had trained to be a Nutrition expert and was working in Mumbai with hospitals and fitness centres. How did art happen to you? From where I come, art is a family God. We painted every weekend, for every birthday, made ‘alpona’ (Bengali floor designs) for festivals and ‘kirtans’, handcrafted gifts for family and friends. Through college, work and home-making – painting took a back seat. When we moved to Europe, life had to start from scratch – with too many unknowns. I turned to art again; it started as a coping mechanism to deal with this huge change in our lives. Your art of the goddess Durga (like the cover art of this issue of Culturama), has garnered a lot of attention. Is a Bengali identity deeply interwoven with your art? Yes, it is. I am in love with the folk art forms of rural Bengal, namely the Patachitra art (narrative scroll

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paintings), works of the Kalighat and Bengal School masters. Having said that, I enjoy depicting my Goddesses in different styles to suit regional contexts. For instance, the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi has an owl as her ‘vahana’ (vehicle) only in the Bengali context. Therefore, the rendition of Bengali ‘Lokkhi’ would probably have a rural Bengal backdrop and the Goddess would be adorned keeping Bengali aesthetics in mind. In the North Indian context, she would probably be seen as ‘Gajalakshmi’, in a lotus pond flanked by elephants and sans the owl. In fact, some of my blog readers from the South pointed out that they were surprised to see the owl and Lakshmi association, as the bird is considered a bad omen in some southern cultures. You currently live in Geneva and produce Indian art that is bursting with colours – how does this contrast work for your art? It balances out the dullness of Europe completely! Well, living in Europe has certainly helped me appreciate the Indian life more, observe more closely how art and colour are interwoven into everyday living in any region or culture of the country with the rangolis, alponas, kolams, even street art; how the villages are steeped in the folk arts and crafts, how the countless festivals make your senses come alive!

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The Hindu Goddess of Lakshmi has an owl as her ‘Vahana’ (vehicle) only in the Bengali context

Your art has also gained momentum as interior decorators and home décor aficionados’ favourite here. How did this happen? My blog www.deezden.blogspot.com had the biggest role to play in getting me a platform and a connecting point with other artists/bloggers, art, décor and design aficionados. I got a huge amount of support from the prominent bloggers in the Indian art and design world today as well as journalists and writers who featured me in print. Can you take us through your creative process – from the idea to the final finished piece, how do you work? It depends. Sometimes a painting or a sketch is spontaneous. At other

times, it is conceived over time, through research and reference work and several studies in sketch. In fact, I make a mind map before starting with any of my larger canvases and then, once you start painting, the process takes over so that the outcome is not completely predictable. I work with acrylics on canvas. For commissions, I like to exchange notes with my collector to establish some key elements that would guide the work. Can anyone commission art for professional and personal purposes with you? Of course. That is what I do! In fact, a chunk of my work is commission based.


Amree t h a J a n a r d h a n

A to Z of India

traditional trends A catalogue of women's traditional attire accompanied by paintings of mahadev vishwanath dhurandhar that are over 90 years old Bhatias – Bhatias are a caste hailing from Sindh in Rajasthan comprising mainly of Hindus and Sikhs. Their clothing is relatively conservative.

Gypsies – Nomadic people who dress in bright and colourful attire like skirts and blouses, with patchwork and chunky jewellery.

Brahmins – Brahmin women drape themselves in a saree that is nine yards long!

Kolis – These fisherwomen use a short version of the saree to accommodate their working lifestyles

Gond tribals – Their attire does not include modern accompaniments such as the blouse, ‘underskirt’ or slip, and so on for the saree.

Kashmiris – Kashmiri women wear a pheran, which is one robe on top of another often decorated with zari work. Headresses such as the taranga and the kasaba are included too.

Jain nuns – Living a life of nonviolence and detachment, these nuns dress in unstitched white robes.

Gujaratis - They wear a decorative blouse with a short saree, draped to the front over the right shoulder.

Jodhpuris – Known to be the descendants of the warrior kshatriya clan their attire includes many lively colours. Images courtesy: Images of Asia

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Marathas – Marathi women wear the saree but with the pleats tucked into the middle of the back

Mewars – Wearing bangles that go past the elbows and the saree draped to the front across the shoulder, the Mewars from Rajasthan have a unique style indeed.

Mussalman Weaver – The Islamic community with Rajput origins was known as Musalman Rajputs. The women have their head covered most often.

Pathans – With Afghan roots, a majority of Pathans are Muslim and descendants of the Pashtun people. The women wear solidcoloured trousers and hijabs to cover their heads.

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Mahomedans – Muslim women across the country often dress in clothing that varies according to their regional styles. Here is a Muslim woman from Bengal.

Mysoreans – Famous for its Mysore silks, the women wear the sarees with the pallu (fabric hanging from the shoulder) draped conservatively around the shoulders like a shawl.

Parsis – Known to be a lineage of business aristocrats, the saree differs with long-sleeved blouses and the covering of the head make it distinguishable. Western elements often found their way into their clothing. Rajputs – A warrior clan where the women’s clothes reflected their strong values of pride and valour.

Tanjore dancers – Tanjore has been a hub for learning the classical dance form of Bharatanatyam. Here the saree is tied over a blouse in a way that it facilitates ease of movement.


Curry Country

Nisha Thomas

Gorgeous Goa

Goa, with its beautiful beaches, colourful culture and special sea foods, is indeed the perfect place for anyone looking to unwind and just be!

Goa brings back a lot of fond memories of my trip, where I spent a whole week lounging on the beach, drinking beer and gorging on some amazing Goan food. I remember waking up in the morning looking forward to some spicy Goan fish curry and then finishing it off with some coconut soufflÊ. Coconut milk along with kokum and a variety of spice pastes dominate Goan cuisine, making some of its dishes intense and spicy, but absolutely flavourful at the same time. Goan delicacies such as the Vindaloo, a spicy curry made with pork, Sanna – steamed rice cakes with coconut and Sorpotel made with a variety of meats and cooked in vinegar-based gravy, have become popular especially in Western countries. But it goes without saying that Goan food is incomplete without the inclusion of seafood, and hence this month I am sharing the recipe for the gorgeous prawn curry for you to make at home and feast on. It would be ideal if you can get your hands on some freshly grated coconut and then squeeze the milk out for the curry, but using canned coconut milk or even the powder works just fine. You can also replace the prawns with any firm fish of your choice and maybe even use vegetables if you prefer it that way. Whatever you choose, the end result will be a sumptuous, creamy dish that takes less than an hour to prepare. Pair it with some steamed rice and dinner is ready!

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Method - Grind together the dry red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and turmeric powder in a spice grinder till you get a fine mixture. • In another bowl, mix the garlic paste, ginger paste, white vinegar and the spice powder mix to form a smooth paste. Keep aside. • Heat oil in a saucepan or kadai and fry the onions till they become light brown. • Add the spice paste and sauté for a few minutes on medium flame, till they become nice and fragrant. • In go the sliced tomatoes. Cook on medium heat till the oil starts resurfacing. This step is crucial, so take your time. Try not to hurry the process by cooking on high flame; instead, keep the heat on medium-low and continue. • Once the mix becomes nice and mushy, add the prawns and mix well, making sure the masala coats the prawns. • Add the coconut milk, season with salt and give it a good stir. • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 more minutes. • Once the prawns are cooked, take off the flame and serve hot with some steamed rice.

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Goan Prawn Curry Ingredients

• Prawns – 250 gm, peeled, cleaned and de-veined • 1/2 tsp garlic paste • 1/2 tsp ginger paste • 3/4 tsp white vinegar • 1 small, thinly sliced red onion • 1 small, thinly sliced tomato • 3/4th of a cup coconut milk • 2 tsp oil • 2 dry red chillies • Salt to taste • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds • 1/2 tsp corainder seeds • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

The curry tastes even better the next day as the flavours would have caught on well on to the prawns. If you plan on doing so, once the curry has cooled, store in an air-tight container and place in the refrigerator. Just before you plan to use, heat it up lightly over medium flame. Also, remember that prawns require very little time to cook, so add only after the masala is well cooked. Biting into overcooked prawns is not really a pleasant experience. But once you have done it all right, sit back and bite into little bit of heaven, with some generous servings of rice!

Nisha Thomas is an award-winning food blogger. She is an Indian, currently living in the UK. Read her recipes at www.mykitchenantics.blogspot.com 20

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Feature

ranjini manian

Journey of

India

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Why should travel always be about far off lands? Why not in our own country in a far off time? Travelling 10,000 years instead of 10,000 miles

When I was in Delhi recently, my hostess Mala said to me, “Take your US visitor and do a quick tour of Akshardham. You are so into Indian culture. I heard there is a boat ride, which I’m sure you will enjoy.” So off I went with my visiting scholar of MIT thinking I would do this 45-minute touristy thing and then we could head out shopping. How right and how wrong Mala was. It was stunning and inspiring to visit Akshardham, and it was impossible to leave doing just a “quick” tour. We don’t know where the four hours went or how.

Sail Through

The cultural boat ride called Sanskruti, which lasts only 12 minutes, leaves one breathless, providing glimpses of India’s 10,000-year rich heritage. As we waited in the queue, the sayings on the walls about India remained with us. And once inside the swan-shaped boat, life of yore pulsated in what must be “the world’s oldest Vedic village life and bazaar”. We glided past Takshashila – the world’s first university, and poignant life-like wax dolls reminiscent of Madame Tussaud’s. Here Sage Pathanjali teaching Yoga, there Rishi Aryabhatta with his invention of zero and value of Pi long before Pythagorus, now Sushrutha performing real-life surgeries long before the world of Western ‘allopathy’ was born… an enigma unveiled.

Robotics

The guard said ‘Robots hain’, meaning there are robots here. And we went in expecting something from science fiction. Instead, in a neatly laid out amphitheatre seating, with the central area stage lit, room after room had animatronics – characters that recount the life and philosophy of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. It had a feeling of déjà vu a la Walt Disney and Universal Studios but a great message to spread and so much more enduring than cinema. Stories of his life and incidents that portray eternal values of ‘Sanatana Dharma’, of doing one’s duty well, making miracles happen, but preserving ecological balance and human faith were all timeless lessons. The storytelling kept you wanting more. Air-conditioned comfort, narratives par excellence and valuable takeaways were a winning combination here. “Don’t feel you have to do it all yourself.” “Do add value to what you are doing.” It resonated as leadership ideas for business as well. But weren’t our rishi-scientists best at leadership lessons anyway?

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statues. The effect is literally “cool”. Eight hundred and sixty-nine sculpted peacocks, 1,152 pillars, 148 life-sized elephants, 108 gaumukh fountain spouts holding waters from 151 rivers and lakes of India. The facts and figures are as mind boggling as the aesthetic visual appeal and the chant of M S Subbalakshmi’s Vishnu Sahasranam as you walk by enrich the ambience.

Ritual and Rationale

An Imax screen

Let’s skip this one, we thought; we already know the story of Swaminarayan via the robotics we just saw. But the 85-foot screen encapsulated the Himalayas and holy rivers palpably; we imbibed the scenery through the length and breadth of India. The story of the young boy Neelkanth, later to become Swami Narayan who scaled mountains, waded rivers, to spread the message of Oneness in all, was an exercise in visual and aural treat that touched our heart.

The temple

Kate, my visitor, was not up for one more temple. She was already “templed-out” with her tour of South India the past week. But this intricate newly built temple is quite unlike any traditional Hindu temple. It is on the banks of the river Yamuna on a sprawling 100 acres, although the visiting areas are well contained and easily navigable. Pristine surroundings, superb maintenance, and disciplined queuing make it less daunting than at first sight. Seven thousand workmen had carved sandstone and marble to create these thousands of pillars and

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Kate wandered towards a hallway and sat down to perform Jal puja (water worship) enthusiastically, and I follow suit. The traditional pot of water, the spoon, the plate, following the priest’s instructions and revering water as the supreme gift of nature is a ritual in outer and inner cleansing. Performing abhishek, or pouring the water, over the statue of SwamiNarayan at the end was a bond we built across the oceans so to speak.

Food for Body and Soul

The canteen serves delicious chole and bread, ice-cream and coffees at reasonable prices in a clean outdoor area. No cell phones, cameras or bags are allowed, and people queue up for the Rs. 130 a photo, with the temple as the backdrop. It is the mind’s eye that has to be most alert at Akshardham, although as we live momentarily in this gadget-free world. Every Indian should visit Akshardham, “the eternal abode”. Every Indian should bring one other visitor from the world when he visits Akshardham to spread the word on Indian culture. The Rs, 170 entry fee and time are both well spent. And Indian Soft Power prevails. In the words of the video at www.akshardham. com “Akshardham is a place where art is ageless, culture is borderless and values are timeless, an experience which elevates the conscience of our country and culture.” Make sure to creep up to the Noida border, next time you are in Delhi.


Look who’s in Town spain

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Dolores and Cesar Cuesta Jennifer R Meddick Home maker

My India, My Country In India family is the back bone. In the US, family is important too but the main difference is that while Indians live with their extended family, Americans live with their immediate family. My Favourite Indian My driver, Jairaman. He is my goto person. I can ask him for anything. He is very pleasant and courteous. My Indian Cuisine Chicken mughlai, malai kebab, spinach paneer. Indian food is one of our favourites. I previously lived in the Netherlands which is where I was first introduced to this cuisine. My India Insight I love learning the history, the dance and music of this country – it is such a vast educational experience. We have occasionally celebrated festivals like Diwali, but after coming here we have learnt a lot. The poverty here saddens me, but it makes me thankful for our blessings. My Tip to India 1. A courtesy call informing us that you will be late would be appreciated. 2. Traffic laws can be better obeyed. 3. I enjoy living here. I like to learn as much as possible and I also like to share.

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My India, My Country The one similarity between the two countries is that family is normally close and is important. In Spain yes means yes but here it may mean ‘may be’ or ‘no’. Indian people are generally patient except when they are in a queue or driving. Normally in Spain it is the opposite. My Favorite Indian Not anyone in particular, but I admire the many people who do not complain about the hardships they face every day and still always look happy. My Indian Cuisine Butter naan is the best! We also enjoy parathas- especially onion paratha, aloo tikki, pakoras and masala dosa. My India Insight We like how people are able to keep calm and maintain their composure especially while driving. It troubles us that many people do not care about having a clean city. Everybody should be more concerned about it. Change should be brought about through more advertising on TV, news, in schools, etc. My Tip to India Appointments: Timings should be respected Queues: It is disappointing to us if somebody does not respect it. We normally avoid personal questions the first time we meet somebody.


Japan

mumbai

bengaluru

USA

Tanaka San

My India, My country We have a short rainy season(June – July) in addition to the four regular seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter. This helped in accustoming myself to the long rainy season in Mumbai. In recent years we have had extremely hot summers in Japan - probably due to effect of global warming which has helped me survive the heat India. My Favourite Indian As I waited in line to board an aircraft at the Mumbai airport, the sliding door of a van that had pulled up opened and there was Mr. Amitabh Bachchan- with the aura of a superstar. I knew him because I see him everyday on TV, in magazines and on posters around town. How could I not name him here after such amazing experience? My Indian Cuisine As a beer drinker, I’d say the dish that goes best with it is tandoori murg! I eat tandoori murg as soon as I reach India everytime. My Indian friends keep telling me that there are a lot more Indian foods which are tasty. I don’t deny it, but my favorite still is tandoori murg. It is the best. My India Insight There are too many things in India which puzzle me, surprise me, annoy me and please me. Once I have settled in here, I will enjoy the cultural differences more. My Tip to India I am confused or, to be blunt, I dislike seeing Indians talk on their mobile phone up until the very last minute before an aircraft is to take-off, or to see them switch it on immediately upon touch-down at the airport. It seems almost like an addiction. At least while on the aircraft, relax!

Matt and Jen Weimann (In photo: Rachel, Erica, Michael and David) My India, My Country Similarity – There is a lot of horn honking in Boston! Dissimilarity – In India, drivers don’t seem to get as mad over bad drivers as the US drivers My Favorite Indian Mother Teresa was an amazing woman because she lived the majority of her life helping the sick, poor and destitute. We also admire Anna Hazare for his courage in standing up to corruption. My Indian Cuisine Matt and I are a bit more adventurous than the children; however, we all liked masala dosa! We look forward to trying a lot more Indian food during our stay in Bengaluru. My India Insight I love the kindness of the Indians. They are so quick to flash a friendly smile! I dislike the trash on the roadsides. Maybe our family could start a weekly trash pick-up club?! How about something like “TrashTime Tuesdays”. My Tip to India Americans like to be punctual, so if you give us a meeting time, try to be there on time.

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Bursting the Bubble

I a n W at k i n s o n

Photos: Ian Watkinson

Hysteresis of History The anthropological interconnection of ancient peoples across a wide cultural spectrum from India to Ireland remains indisputable – religiously, artistically and linguistically

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For Western outsiders, the history of India remained a huge enigma for many years, a vast landscape, without fixed dates and points of reference – those ‘pins in the map’ which form the backbone of the idea of history in the Western world were unnecessary and unknown within the Indian traditions of continuity, essentially a sequence of moments. Here in India the past was never “catalogued” but encapsulated in folklore, the Puranas, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, then transmitted from generation to generation by oral traditions of storytelling and by the recording of events in paint or stone or wood; many times within these traditions we see variations of the archetypes of Vishnu, Siva and Brahma underpinning time, existence and perception – pivotal in the Indian psyche in rationalising how we got to the present moment. There is no parallel ideology in Western history, which is a catalogued observation of dates, names, locations and certainties, much an externalised and disconnected process from the present. Indian history, at least until recently, was the precedent to an ongoing continuum leading to the present, one process, integrated not extrapolated. Thus from East to West the mindset of ‘history’ is almost juxtaposed.


Winding the clock a few thousand years, we find sketchy details still being sewn together concerning the origins of the Vedic peoples and the ancient Harappans and the Indus Valley civilisation. Recent discoveries of cities in the southern Hindu Kush show how far the culture of the Indus Valley people spread, with the generic brick-making process employed throughout the structure but independent metropolitan cities being the connective key, a truly incredible technology for the time. The long-held belief, perpetuated by the 19th century European historians that these Vedic or ‘Aryan’ peoples were fierce invaders from the Black Sea or Eastern Europe who subjugated and destroyed the Harappans has now been refuted because of lack of any archaeological evidence, and this “invasion and subjugation” by the Vedic peoples is now viewed as a 19th century colonial attempt to further strengthen the Eurocentric historical perspective, thus further dominating India’s culture, language and philosophies. It is far more conceivable that a gradual, peaceful and pastoral migration took place over many centuries into the huge rural tracts of land and forests separating the widely dispersed Harappan cities, and that the collapse of the Indus civilisation was not due to ‘Aryan invaders’ but catastrophic environmental changes, including the drying up of the Saraswati river, around which many Harappan cities were built and which used to flow eastwards from the Indus Valley to join the Ganges. This is known to have happened around 2000 BC, the same time as similar scenarios of catastrophic climactic or seismic change caused agricultural and urban collapse in Egypt, Mesopotamia and in the Mediterranean region. The anthropological interconnection of ancient peoples across a wide cultural spectrum from India to Ireland remains indisputable – religiously, artistically and linguistically – so intense migration, trade by land and sea and intercultural exchange of technologies seem to have been carried out over distances we find hard to comprehend with our modern view of the ancient world. Seals from Harappa have been found in Mesopotamian sites, Lapis from Afghanistan was used in Egypt around 3500 BC, and skill sets of metalworkers (or tinkers) who were the alchemists, the magicians in a post Neolithic world and able to change stone ores into shining bronze, or later iron, were vital in every culture. Metals were vital

for the subsequent creation of tools, jewellery, implements and unfortunately weapons and the tinkers crossed the great plains of Asia and Eastern Europe back and forth, carrying cultural, technological and religious ideas and up-to-date skill sets from East to West and West to East. Similar designs in metalwork from the Bronze and Iron Ages have been found in Western European Celtic sites and also in South Asia. The interconnectivity is real, and the foundation stone of all our modern cultures. These were the technocrats of the Bronze and Iron Ages. Linguistics and its development over a common platform evolved in parallel to facilitate these exchanges, hence the ancient root connection between Latin and Sanskrit. The early Europeans and Arab travellers who came to India from afar were, with a few notable exceptions, itinerant seafarers who came here to trade and subjugate the land for spices, opium, precious stones and metals. But they also bought other spices to grow here in India – nutmeg and cloves from the Indonesian islands, cashew and chilli from South America, and took spices from here to grow elsewhere. So the exchanges via trade continued. The invading Moguls and Turks who came from the Western Steppes had their own emerging Islamic culture that they bought to northern India. Some rulers such as Akbar were impressed by and tolerant of the existing Indian culture they found, and in essence fused together language, society, art and architecture to create the great Moghul Empire. Many of these powerful men were totally illiterate, and whilst being great warriors and leaders they had no real desire to unravel the past, they were too busy creating the future. Literacy was another man’s pursuit. But elements of the Turkish, Persian and Arab languages, culture and cuisine became embedded in those of India by necessity, and the continuum integrated this with ease. History in the making. The present is built on the cultural and technological exchanges, movements, communication and battles of the past. We are still making history, day by day, just as it always has been. At a root level the same basic exchanges are still being made the world over, with trade, technology and language. One day we might understand how to do all this globally, peacefully, without wars. Only then we will all have truly have evolved from the Stone Age.

The writer is British and lives in Chennai. culturama | october 2011

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Office

Yoga

Elevator Stretch Crowded Elevator Stretch Place one hand on a wall for balance. Standing on your left foot, cross the right foot over the left leg just above the ground. Feel the sole of your left foot rooted into the floor, lengthen your body. Relax and breathe, then switch legs.

Empty Elevator Stretches Place your right hand on a wall. Stand up straight and bend your left leg back. With your left hand, hold your toes and pull your foot to your buttocks. Breathe, hold, release, and switch sides. Place your hands on your hips. With your legs apart, bend both knees slightly. Make wide circles with your hips. Reverse directions and breathe.

Courtesy: Darrin Zeer “America’s relaxation expert!” –CNNwww.HappyYoga.ME

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culturama | october 2011


India and I

marina marangoes

Rhino Reign

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culturama | october 2011


A visit to the pristine landscapes of Assam is never complete without a pitstop at the Kaziranga National Park where the famous onehorned Rhinoceros lives

SIKKIM on the map is long and thin and sits remotely in the northeastern corner of India. I smiled when I read that the narrow strip connecting Assam to the rest of India is called the ‘Chicken Neck’ or Siliguri Corridor. We flew into Guhawati, the capital, and were very excited at the prospect of visiting Kaziranga, one of Assam’s biggest national parks. A lot of road construction was going on, creating a four-lane highway across Assam. Clearly they take road safety seriously, with hand-painted signs appearing all along our route. “If you are married, divorce speed” “Be a careless overtaker and you will meet the undertaker!” All along the journey we saw neat, mud houses with bamboo screens set back from the road and water tanks with hyacinths in full bloom. Pigs, goats, and cows grazed, geese and ducks waddled, children played and women went about their daily chores. Some were even laying the floors for their mud houses. Their saris were tied the Assamese way. People from Assam are welcoming and friendly, and a lot of them, certainly in the city, speak English well. You cannot visit Assam and not enjoy the vibrant green tea plantations that grace the plains and the hillsides and the women with the baskets on their backs plucking the new shoots. Interspersed among the tea bushes are the pepper corn vines. The National Park is a World Heritage site and famous for its conservation work on the Great One Horned Rhinoceros. It is definitely one of the main reasons we wanted to visit, but it is also home to a healthy population of tigers, the Asiatic buffalo, the Asian elephant and swamp

deer and, of course, countless birds and reptiles. The park is vast with three separate entrances, and in our visit we were lucky enough to visit all three. It is a very wet corner of the country, so it is lush and fertile with grasslands and forests on the southern side of the great Brahmaputra River. Travelling in jeeps on raised murrain roads you get a good view of the grasslands and the plains. These flood in monsoon time. We saw lots of rhinos and elephants. Going on an elephant safari allows you to approach the rhinos, and the many babies they had at the time, without disturbing them. We took a close look at what seems to be their prehistoric armoured plating. It is really like seeing an animal from a different age. Entering the easternmost corner of the park, which is more wooded, we were able to enjoy the birdlife, with citrine wagtails contrasted against the blue hyacinths. We saw Chinese pond herons and spotted owlets, herds of swamp deer and coral and pompom trees. The orchids grew prolifically on the branches of the trees. On one of our journeys, we were caught in a tropical storm and we watched the black clouds rolling over the river and expelling sheets of rain over the park. We took refuge in the warden’s hut and then as the rain subsided we enjoyed the unfolding magnificence of the plain in the setting sun. The park is open from November 1 to April 30 every year. There are a number of pleasant hotels and lodges in the area. You need to book elephant safaris in advance as only limited numbers are allowed out everyday.

The writer is Greek-Cypriot and has lived in Delhi for the last two years. We extend our support to Assam and neighbouring state Sikkim and all those affected by the recent earthquake. culturama | october 2011

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CALENDAR CHENNAI THEATRE & MUSIC

* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

The Sartorial World October 1—10 Anita Ratnam, a noted dancer, presents her persona as a dramatic icon and Sharon Apparao, a gallerist and curator, shows her instincts in a crossover exhibition from the two. Apparao Galleries, Ground Floor, No 7, Wallace Gardens 3rd Street. Contact 044 28332226 Solo exhibition October 10—31 Natraj S. presents his solo show, an exhibition of water colour paintings that will invoke the senses. Apparao Galleries, Ground Floor, No 7, Wallace Gardens 3rd Street. Contact 044 28332226

Comedy Knight October, Wednesdays, 8.30 p.m. onwards Evam brings you Chennai’s first ever English standup comedy act. Leave your mid-week hassles at the door and let you hair down for some local laughs. Tickets – Rs. 500 (Rs. 250 cover) Star Rock, Spring Hotel, Nungambakkam A Play about Death returns (cue dramatic music) October 8, 3.30 p.m. & 7.30 p.m. Peter breaks away from the mediocre script set before him to forge his own story. He attempts to summon the Grim Reaper himself to explain the true nature of death, but things rapidly go far beyond his control. Alliance Francaise, 24 College Road, Nungambakkam "Vidhuran" – English Play October 9, 7 p.m. Inspired from the Vidura of Mahabharata, Vidhuran is an amalgamation of theatre, dance and mime – three varied modes of expression that lend a hand in conveying a single story to its audience. Note: Students to carry identity card. Smt. Sivagami Pethachi Memorial Hall, Mylapore

Dagmar jewellery launch October – all month The pieces are designed to make any woman feel like a recherché beauty. So everything from the colours, forms, the filigrees used, all personify the vital breathe of Ibiza. Collage, 153, Angson Centre, Greams Road. Contact 044 2829 1443 One-Day Photography Camp October 4 & 8, 10:30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. Learn the basics of photography as well as understand the camera and its features through a photo walk reviewed by ace photographer Praveen Padmanabhan. Ages 9 to 14 years. Cost - Rs. 600 per child Vanilla place, No. 89, Bishop Garden, Greenways Road, R.A.Puram Contact 044 4206 6660.

culturama | october 2011

Shristi – Festive collection October 8, 10 a.m. Shrishti Latha Puttanna, the almost two-decade-old premier designer label from Bengaluru, now presents its festive collection with a host of exotic ghagras, sarees and salwar kameezes in various fabrics and patterns. Chola Sheraton, 10, Cathedral Road 044 28110101 Grand Annual Sale October – All month, 11 a.m. This Diwali, pick up a light wallet and visit our grand annual sale! Let's together revamp your child’s room in the most exciting and affordable manner and gift your child an apt environment for the precious moments of life. Peek-a-boo Patterns, Express Avenue Mall Contact 044 28464091 Design One exhibition October – All month Sheila Bhogilal and Nilima Kilachand along with Sahachari Foundation will be showcasing fashion wear, jewellery, couture accessories and lifestyle products followed by an early shopping spree for special invitees. Abbotsbury Ballroom, The Hyatt, 365, Anna Salai Contact 044 61001234

aRT & EXHIBITION

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FOOD & SHOPPING

wORKSHOPs & EVENTs

Svanubhava Chennai October 10—12, 9 a.m. The concert will feature Carnatic flute concerts, yakshagna, odhuvars, vocal concert, villu pattu, talavadyam performance, violin concerts, Bengali folk music, documentary films and lec-dems. Sastri Hall, Luz

Painting and Sculpture Exhibition October 1—6, 10.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m. A solo painting and sculpture exhibition by P.Gnana from Singapore. Artworld, 1/12 Ganeshpuram 3rd street Contact 044 24338691

Tee Shirt Painting October 1 & 8, 3 p.m. – 4.30 p.m. Using stencils and paints of varied hues, artist Prema Howard will guide children in designing their own T-Shirts. Ages 7 to 14 years. Cost Rs. 300 Vanilla Place, R.A.Puram

Creative writing workshop October, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 12 noon Praveena Shivram will conduct a one-month workshop encouraging participants to develop the right tools for imaginative thought and creative expression through the world of stories. Ages 9 to 15 years. Cost Rs. 1,800 Vanilla place, R.A.Puram

Furnish your home October 11, a.m. – 7 p.m. Coffee tables made from repurposed roof rafters, mirrors framed in filigreed teak, handmade leather pouffes in bright colours, candle stands, leather platters and more. Palmyra Home, 25 Kotturpuram Main Road, Contact 044 24470438


CALENDAR BENGALURU THEATRE & MUSIC

* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

Thousands of traditional dolls – Art Exhibition October 1—22, 3 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thousands of traditional dolls on display at Dhaatu. Dhaatu, 3944/F, 17th D Cross, 4th Main, Banashankari 2nd Stage. Nirantara by Srinivasa Prasad October 1—22, 11 a.m. Inspired by the landscape of rural Karnataka, the works are poised between the spectacular and the introspective – change and movement are inherent in the works themselves. Galleryske, 8th Cross, Sampagi Road Malleswaram

Love Letters October 2, 7 p.m. A.R. Gurney's internationally acclaimed stage hit is a heart warming, poignant play about Andy Ladd III, an attorney, and Melissa Gardner, an artist, who write letters to each other over a period of fifty years. Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Gayathri Devi Park Extension, 16th Cross, Malleswaram Contact 080 23445810

Fiesta of Art October 1—31, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sharpen your creativity with our display of new paintings this month at Gallery Third eye. Artist : Mr. Ashok Kumar G Hiremath and Mr. Swapan Sarkar Gallery Third Eye, 2nd Floor, Yemlur Main Road. Contact 080 41640471

One on One – 9 Short Plays... 1 fun evening October 16, 7 p.m. A unique theatrical evening brings together ten of Bombay's finest actors, India's most talented playwrights and seven of our best known directors. Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Malleswaram

aRT & EXHIBITION An Artist's Quest: KK Hebbar – A Retrospective October 1—20, 11 am onwards NGMA Bengaluru has organised 15 outreach programmes during the period of the exhibition. National Gallery Of Modern Art, No.49, Manikyavel Mansion, Palace Road.

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Hyderabadi Food Festival October 1—9, All day Revive the ceased culture of Nizams and savour the flavours of genuine dishes like kacchi biryani with mirchi ka salan, dahi kebab, haleem, qubani ka meetha and double ka meetha . Khayal Restaurant , The Chancery 10/6, Lavelle Road Bangalore New Discoveries October 19, All day Chef Jaydeep gets creative with our bar menu. Bite into crunchy Maryland crab cakes,succulent Bostonstyle lobster and corn sandwich or a local favourite of rawa-fried lady fish. Polo Club, The Oberoi Festive Feasting October 24—29, Dinner Celebrate with Chef Saket as he brings you an indigenous repertoire of Indian festive thalis ideal for this indulgent season. Le Jardin, The Oberoi, 1, MG Road Candle Light Dinner October 1—30 Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings are candlelit romantic evenings. Listen to the very best love songs ever sung by Prof. Srinivas – Solo on 12string.. Casablanca Restobar

Peace Elephant Train – Puppet Dance Circus October 2, All day A puppet-dance-circus theater production aimed to educate and enthuse children to learn the importance of peace. K H Kala Saodha, 5th Main Road, Hanumanth Nagar, Azad Nagar Contact 080 64505457 Jai & Juliet October 15, 7 p.m. What happens when two 'best' friends start living together forced by circumstances? Both of them as different as chalk and cheese; while helping each other through the agony of divorce. Ranga Mandira, No.109, JC Road.

FOOD & SHOPPING

wORKSHOPs & EVENTs Workshop – Dance-in-Education October 2, 9.30 a.m. Facilitated by Tripura Kashyap and Brinda Jacob, the workshop explores theories and practice of teaching dance to children and young adults. On 8 Dance Company, 204, M B Centre, 134, Infantry Road. Acting Workshop – Orange Sky Production October 20 Orange Sky Productions announces a workshop in acting for film and theatre. The participants will undergo training in a number of areas – developing emotional intelligence, movement and speech, dialogue, Pitter Patter Nursery School, 3rd Block, Koramangala.

Sunday Grill at City Bar October 1—30, 11.30 a.m. (Sundays) Take a pick from the yasai tempura or cajun chicken dippers and fill up with grilled lamb chops or grilled bechamel moussaka and end it with the sinful desiree chocolat or apple tart tatin. City Bar, UB City, Vitthal Mallya Road


CALENDAR MUMBAI THEATRE & MUSIC

* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

aRT & EXHIBITION

Nakshatra Dance Festival – October 2011 October 13—15, 7 p.m. An array of Indian classical dance forms, a constellation of dancing stars, Nakshatra brings you performances by Priti Patel’s Manipuri troupe, Margi Madhu’s Kudiyattam and Aditi Mangaldas’ Kathak/ Contemporary. Tata Theatre/ Experimental Theatre/ Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point Contact 022 6622 3737 Jazzmatazz – 2011 October 14—16, 7 p.m. Some of the best available jazz talent from the USA and Europe such as The Cedar Walton Trio, The Cannonball Adderley Legacy, led by drummer Louis Hayes, The Steve Turre Band, Jon Faddis, Helen Sung will be performing at the festival. Tata Theatre, Nariman Point Frankenstein (English Film) October 20, 6.30 p.m. Henry Frankenstein is a doctor who is trying to discover a way to make the dead walk. He succeeds and creates a monster that has to deal with living again. Little Theatre, Nariman Point

Capoeira Class October, Children: 6 p.m.–7 p.m., Beginners: 7 p.m.–8.30 p.m. Monitor Baba and 'Cordao De Ouro India', India’s first Capoeira group, bring to you a Brazilian form of dance and martial art. S. S. Sahani School, 18th Road, Khar (W). Contact 98690 55371

Memories/Memoirs October 15, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. A painting exhibition by Vijay Belgave – an artist discovered in Jan 1999, who has since developed wonderfully. Jamaat Art Gallery, National House, Apollo Bunder, Colaba Contact 022 2282 2145. Bako Exists. Imagine October 20 Twelve paintings and an installation with nine Wooden cabinets. Bako is a young boy who meets Bapu – Mahatma Gandhi – in his sleep. Chemould Prescott Road, Queens Mansion, Ghanshyam Talwatkar Marg, Fort Contact 022 2200 0211 / 0212. Writing On The Wall October 29, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sandeep is strictly old school, working by hand alone. Unlike a traditional canvas, duralene can take several dozen layers of paint with no discernable damage to the surface which he uses. Project 88, BMP Building, N.A. Sawant Marg, Colaba, Contact 022 2281 0066

What a lota (English play) October 25—26, 9 p.m. A witty story about the magical journey of a young girl. On your way, be prepared to meet crazy characters who will make you laugh, cry, and introspect till you say 'What a Lota!' Prithvi Theatre, 20.Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road. Contact 022 26149546

Learn to make authentic and exotic Thai food with celebrity caterer Radhika Khanna. Go through a step by step procedure of this gourmet journey to learn a complete Thai meal. Price: Rs. 750 per head Malabar Hill, Mumbai Contact 9967624034

FOOD & SHOPPING Lunch Bites at Elbo Room October 1—15, 12 p.m. Introducing new lunch bites such as veg nawabi, Thai chicken fingers, fish Amritsary, babycorn fritters, beef komroski and exotic vegetable pakoda. Elbo Room, Plot 500, Sant Kutir Apartments, Khar Link Road, Khar West Contact 022 2648 3315/16. Sandwich & Burger Fest October 1—31, 12 p.m. – 1 a.m. Indulge in a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian sandwiches and burgers. Malt & Pepper, 16, Marzban Road, Fort Contact 022 2203 7357 / 58 Donbury October 1—31, 12 p.m. – 11 p.m. It’s time to enjoy rice, knowing it’s a healthy and tasty meal! Served with appetizing toppings that include sweet miso marinated salmon, chicken and egg simmered in Japanese stock. At 022 Trident, C – 56, G – Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East Contact 022 6672 7777.

wORKSHOPs & EVENTs Kshitij: New Perspectives October 8, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. WorldKids Foundation brings you a showcase of thought-provoking films including ‘Kirikou and the Wild Beast’ and ‘The Kid’. Children from 7 to 13 years Little Theatre, Nariman Point Contact 0222367 9656 Email: worldkids.filmclub@gmail.com Thai Cooking Classes, Radhika Khanna October 1—25, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Monday to Thursday)

culturama | october 2011

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CALENDAR DELHI THEATRE & MUSIC

Woody Allen’s God October 7, 7 p.m. This mad "play-within-a-play" flits chaotically back and forth between ancient and modern times as the line between reality and fiction is playfully treaded. American Center Auditorium, No 24, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Connaught Place Contact 011 23316841

* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

temporary reprieve from the frenzied music of life. – Ranjit Hoskote Gallery Escape, Community Center, Friends Colony, New Delhi Contact 011 26922947

A self-exploration journey through various emotions and their transformation through Osho meditations, into deeper love and intimacy. The Village, NCR

Vintage Photographs of the Maharajas October 1—6, 11a.m. – 6 p.m. An exclusive photography exhibition on the royal Indian Maharajas – an evocation of princely India and a historical record of an age we will never again experience. Gallery Art Motif, F 213 C Lado Sarai, New Delhi Contact 011 4266 4343

FOOD & SHOPPING

Children of peace by Shantam October 1—14 An exhibition of art photographs and animated films made by children compiled as a Serbia-India cultural exchange program. Habitat World, IHC, Lodhi Road, New Delhi Contact 011 24682001–09, Manifestations 6 October 1—30, 11a.m. – 7 p.m. The sixth edition of the biannual exhibition featuring

Allosanfàn October 19 & 22 A former political extremist strives to resume normal family life after being finally released from jail, but is convinced to take part in a revolutionary cause. Italian Embassy Cultural Centre, Chanakyapuri Contact 011 26871901/03/04 Opera Night – Embassy of Sweden October 21, 7.30p.m. An evening of opera featuring tenor Mats Carlsson, pianist Michael Engström. Habitat World, IHC, Lodhi Road, New Delhi Contact 011 24682001 –09 Teen Behnein October 23, 7 p.m. There are many tragic news stories of multiple suicides in India because dowry. The film opens with three sisters about to commit the act when they are interrupted and forced to postpone their deaths. Habitat World, IHC, Lodhi Road Metallica Concert October 28, 8.30 p.m. Metallica, a multi-award winning band, is all set to rock Delhi this October! Leisure Valley, Sector 29, Gurgaon

aRT & EXHIBITION Gallery Escape October 15, 11a.m.– 5 p.m. Gobhai's paintings are suggestive of cool metal, burnished leather, weathered stone or the edge of luminosity signing a margin of reassurance against the dark. They seem to offer their viewers a 38

culturama | october 2011

75 iconic artists. In being non-thematic and nonlinear, the process allows for the best selection based on each artist's unique or distinctive quality. Delhi Art Gallery, 11, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi Phone 011 46005300, 41004150

wORKSHOPs & EVENTs Master Stroke: A Photography Workshop October 1—2 Come participate in the live creative and conceptual photography workshop conducted by renowned photographers – Rafique Sayed, Ashok Kochhar and Dheeraj Paul. Fee: Rs. 14,000 per person (including food and accommodation). The Village, 7, Tropical Drive, MehrauliGurgaon Road , Ghitorni NCR Emotional Wellness: A Health & Wellness Workshop October

Navratra Thali October 1—10, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m & 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. The thali will offer aloo paneer tikki, chaats or pakore with drinks, followed by thali of three vegetables, raita, papad, salad, poori, rice and a sweet dish. Price Rs. 155 only. Nathus Pastry Shop, 12-13 Bengali Market Connaught Place, NCR Sea Bounty with tantalizing dishes October 1—10, 12 p.m. With Blanco indulge yourself in seafood in the most delectable way. Enjoy the fruits of the sea to tantalize those seafood-crazy taste buds – from Malay to Asian and Konkani to Vietnamese! Blanco, 62, Khan Market, Middle Lane, Khan Market, Delhi. Contact 011 43597155 The German Kuche – German Food festival October 1—12, 12 p.m. – 3.30 p.m & 7.30 p.m. – 12 a.m. Indulge in our special German food festival as the chef cooks up specialties such as Maultaschensuppe, Rheinischer Braten and Deutsche Bauern-Bratwurst. Price: Rs. 2500 + taxes Olive Beach, Diplomat Enclave, Chanakyapuri, Delhi, Contact 011 46040404 Martini Festival October 22, 12 p.m. – 1 a.m. A variety of items such as peach and basel martini, chocolate martini, ginger and honey martini, pomegranate martini, apple and cinnamon martini, grand basil martini, wild veg martini, lychee martini and double lemon tini. Earth Italian Lounge, Sector 15, Gurgaon Contact 011 46520001


Photo Feature

text & photos: lakshmi krupa

Buddham Sharanam Gacchami “I go to Buddha for refuge.” It is the only thought that lingers as one enters Bodhgaya, in Bihar. All around, monks clad in robes walk with their prayer beads, seemingly in a state of meditation even while carrying on a conversation with someone else. They exude a sense of serenity that one so rarely finds elsewhere in the country, particularly in places of worship. Bodhgaya, where prince Gautama attained ‘Buddhahood’ is home to not just the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Maha Bodhi Temple but also to monasteries built by different governments of the world. Sitting under the Bodhi tree it is almost easy to imagine a young disillusioned prince finding peace here. Stores that sell colourful products made by Tibetan refugees are a big hit in Bodhgaya and find several patrons.

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photo: nancy reiseg, USA

culturama | october 2011

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Cause & Effect

marina marangoes

the right click An expatriate discovers a social enterprise in Delhi helping people through photography

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culturama | october 2011

I met an interesting young man at ‘Mesh’, taking pictures. Mesh is a shop that sells handicraft items produced mainly by disabled persons and particularly leprosy sufferers. This in itself is an interesting initiative, but today I want to talk to you about Ramachandran Rajagopal, a photographer with a vision. Ram set up a social enterprise for people who love photography but who were also happy to contribute to society. I was immediately drawn to his originality of thought and met him to ask how it all started.


The name SochYo! can be interpreted in two ways - 'Social change & You!' and 'Soch' + 'Yo!' which, in vernacular Tell me what made you start this initiative? How did you choose the name? In November 2010, I decided that I wanted to take a break from jobs and careers and try to find opportunities to combine my passion for photography and travel to do something for the underprivileged (I think it is not exaggeration to say many in my agegroup feel that way at a certain point in their careers). Although I was close to making a decision on travelling to Peru as a photo-volunteer, I started wondering. Can the impact that I wish to make be multiplied? Is there a necessity and most importantly, a possibility to create a movement of photographers who could contribute positively? That is where it all started. I came to Delhi to validate the concept through a pilot and that’s when I met Tanu. She loved the idea and ever since has been part of SochYo! The name SochYo! can be interpreted in two ways – 'Social change and You!' (which is the essence of what we are trying to do – your contribution, your way to offer to society) and 'Soch' + 'Yo!' (which, in vernacular, Hindi translates to

Hindi, translates to 'Time we started thinking mate!'

'Time we started thinking, mate!' What are you hoping to achieve through it? Broadly, we aim to have a threepronged impact. For non-profits, we hope to help broadcast their activities, important social messages, mobilise resources and share best practices without any constraint on creativity or funds. Interact with, educate and inspire NextGen's representatives. For NextGen individuals (photographers), to do something meaningful and impactful with an art so close to their hearts (instead of going on photo walks and random pointless shoots), get published and get due credits for their contribution (in India, it is so difficult to get noticed for your photography and get sensitised about 'the other India', the India that to most

of our generation is remote, and nonexistent. To help address society’s ‘mass lack of participation’ by converting ‘nonparticipants’ to ‘volunteers’. Make society more cognizant of the issues around them through the use of the visually impactful media of communication and inspire a new wave of ‘change leaders’. Who are the people who are coming to you? Amateur/semi-pro photographers (college students, young white-collars), freelance professional photographers and some photographers from mainstream media as well. What interests are you unlocking in them? Their potential as photographers, doing real-life photo assignments, getting published. Most of the photographers we work with have expressed a genuine happiness in being able to 'contribute to society in my own way'. They feel the happiest and most satisfied contributing through something they are best at! Where do you see yourselves in a year’s time? A pan-India presence, close to a 1,500 select photographers, working across a variety of causes with significant impact on all the three fronts I talked about.

Founder & CEO, SochYo! Ramachandran Rajagopal can be contacted at +91-9717793064 www.sochyo.com 44

culturama | october 2011


STAR STRUCK

T E A M C U LTU R A M A

Seth In

A man who wears many hats, most loved at literary meets, author of one of the longest novels, a poet, Commonwealth Writers Prize winner and a Padma Shri awardee. Meet Vikram Seth into an opera in the United States. His second novel, A Suitable Boy, took him a decade to write and was a bestseller in spite of being one of the longest novels to have been written. It follows the story of a mother wanting to find a suitable boy for her daughter. An Equal Music followed A Suitable Boy, and Seth is currently working on a sequel to the book called A Suitable Girl, which is scheduled to be launched in 2013. The 59-year-old author has won several writing awards over the past two decades, including one of the highest civilian honours awarded to Indians, the Padma Shri. His latest book, Two Lives, is a memoir about his great uncle Shanti Behari Seth and GermanJewish great-aunt Henny Caro. Seth is a regular at several literary festivals in the country and is a crowd favourite too. The much-adored author will talk at the ‘Lit for life’ conclave organised by Chennai-based national newspaper The Hindu in late October.

In write mind

VIKRAM SETH, born in Kolkata, shared his time between India and London for most of his life. The writer, who first won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award for his travelogue From Heaven Lake: Travels through Sinkiang and Tibet, is a polyglot and a musician, playing the cello and flute. His novel An Equal Music is about a musician and is based on his relationship with his former partner Philippe Honoré. Seth, who is also well known for his poetry, has published six poetry collections so far. His first novel, The Golden Gate, released in 1986, is a novel in verse made of 590 Onegin stanzas – written in iambic tetrameters and is currently being made

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culturama | october 2011

Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy is 1,349 pages long with 5,91,552 words. His novel An Equal Music was described as being one of the most accurate descriptions of the psyche of a Western classical musician, something even European writers hadn’t achieved before him. Seth also won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia) for his collection titled The Humble Administrator's Garden.


Taste of India

Through the Five Senses, leaving you with a sixth Sense of Wonder

Mr. Morton Schapiro, President, Northwestern University, USA was given a traditional Indian welcome at the India Immersion Centre in June 2011. “Why would anyone visit India and not visit the India Immersion Centre? I learnt a lot from the programme “Taste of India”.

Recently, we immersed the entire leadership board of the largest infrastructure company of France (VINCI) into India and this is how Xavier Huillard, President, VINCI evaluates us: “You have taught me more about India in the last 3 hours, than I have learned in the last 3 days being in India.” A delegation of the Women’s Leadership Board of the Harvard Kennedy School was immersed into India through our “Taste of India” programme in March 2011.

“Customers rule! And you obviously know that because you’re treating your customers very, very well!” – Jeff Bezos, Founder CEO Amazon

Global Adjustments Easing your passage to and from India

Venue: India Immersion Centre, #5, 3rd Main Road, R A Puram, Chennai – 600028 www.globaladjustments.com

Sign up

for this cultural experience – Taste of India

Call : Email : Register at :

+91-44-24617902 +91-98402 28008 contactiic@globaladjustments.com www.globaladjustments.com

If you have visiting delegations or overseas guests or are a curious Indian, bring this cut-out to avail of special offers. 48

culturama | october 2011


Name Sake

s nair

Inner Space

photo Natalie Von Hoffmeister, Canada

Knowledge is power

THE Indo-European kn or gn gave us the English knowledge and Greek gnosis, besides being the basis of the German kennen (to know) and its English form ken. A search of the Indian lexicon came up with an interesting finding – this root gave us the Sanskrit jna and its derivative jnana, meaning to learn or experience. In Hinduism, jnana or knowledge is total knowledge, a word that takes on connotations depending on the context. It can lead to complete enlightenment by following its path or translate as self-realisation when wisdom dawns that the self is identical to the ultimate reality. Although tough on the tongue for the uninitiated, jnana, at times spelt gyana, is a word that symbolises India as a knowledge society – both academic and self knowledge – since time immemorial. Used in the sense of spiritual awareness, jnana is that which delivers from ignorance. Its practitioners are called jnanis or philosophers. They are interested in knowledge for its own sake, pursuing it through meditation and the study of the Vedas, and are not keen on material results. The cultivation of knowledge with a spiritual purpose is called jnana yoga. By extension, it can include the study of the cosmos and man’s attempt to unravel life’s mysteries. From knowledge to ability is therefore a short step. To get back to the root of the matter, the Indo-European original also produced words related to femininity such as queen. Any wonder then that the Sanskrit word for woman is jani!

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culturama | october 2011

Of Jumbo Families An aspect of the traditional joint family culture prevalent in the South Indian state of Kerala, especially among the Nair community, the tharavadu (from veedu meaning house, and so the family to which one belongs) was the system where the oldest man – the karanavar or maternal uncle – ruled over relatives spanning many generations. Other men, the fathers and husbands, had a minimal role to play in the affairs of the household! Before the onset of nuclear and nano families and even the karanavar rule, the senior-most woman held sway, and all members tracing their lineage through the female side lived together in a block of buildings, sharing meals and enjoying the common property. A sign of the harmony that marked the matriarchal system then followed in Kerala. Every tharavadu has a unique name and although Nair families have established independent settlements, the shakhas (branches) still retain identifiable parts of the main family name. Each tharavadu had a temple, a pond and often a sarpa kaavu or serpent grove. Other communities such as Namboodiris, Ezhavas, Syrian Christians and Muslims too refer to their ancestral home as tharavadu. Unlike the Nairs, however, the Namboodiris trace the name by their fathers’ tharavadu. Grand in style and architecture and built on vast expanses of land, these houses had many inner courtyards with specific locations for prayer rooms, kitchens, granaries, and living rooms. With time, the matriarchal system disintegrated, customs changed and families started caring for individual units, ushering in today’s small is beautiful trend.


Holistic Living

ek n a t h e s w a r a n

Patience pays Patience is the best insurance against all kinds of emotional and physical problems – and it is absolutely essential for learning to slow down

photo: John kivel

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Patience is one of life’s unsung virtues. When people write about love, they use capital letters, italics, and calligraphy; everybody gives love the red-carpet treatment. But where patience is concerned, who cares? Nobody writes poems about patience. There are no popular songs about it. If the word does make an appearance, it is only because it contains two syllables and fits the meter. This is unfair, because patience is the very heart of love. I don’t think any skill in life is more valuable. Patience is the best insurance I know against all kinds of emotional and physical problems – and it is absolutely essential for learning to slow down. Very few people are born with patience, but everyone can learn to develop it. As with slowing down, all we have to do is try to be patient every time life challenges us. And there are many, many opportunities to practice every day. This doesn’t require a gigantic canvas. Mogul art, one of the highlights of artistic achievement in India, often is in miniature. The artist concentrated on very small areas, working with such tenderness and precision that one has to look carefully to see the love and labour that has gone into it. Living is like Mogul art: the canvas is so small and the skill required so great that it’s easy to overlook the potentialities for artistry and love. One beautiful, balmy Sunday soon after my mother and nieces arrived from India, Christine and I took them out for ice cream. I rode in the back of our VW bus with Meera on one side and Geetha on the other. They chatted gaily the whole way, without a break, asking me all kinds of questions. I kept reminding myself of what most of us older people forget: that every child has a point of view. They have their own way of looking at life which makes them ask these questions, and for them, things like why Texaco and Mexico should be spelled differently when the endings rhyme are matters of vital importance. When we got to town, we had to walk slowly because my mother was almost eighty. The children, however, wanted to run – and they

wanted me to join them. I didn’t say, “It’s not proper for a pompous professor to be running about. It takes away from his pomp.” Instead, I made a good dash for it. I thought I would meet with appreciation, but little Geetha just objected, “You’re not supposed to step on the lines.” There was no “thank you,” no “well done”; I had to do it all again. Geetha had just learned to read, so when we reached the ice cream parlour she stood staring at the big board. “What are all those flavours?” I protested, “There are over a hundred!” She tried to read a few and then asked, “What is that long word I can’t read?” I said, “Pistachio.” “That’s my flavour.” So she got that, double dip, and Meera got butter brickle. They nursed their cones all the way home. I was in the back seat between them again, and every now and then they would exchange licks – across my lap. My first impulse was to warn, “Don’t drip on me!” Then I reminded myself that from their point of view, ice cream is much more important than clothes. We made it home without incident, with the girls and my mother laughing happily about a perfect day. We learn patience by practicing it, the Buddha says. What better way than by sharing time with children at their own pace and seeing life through their eyes?

Join us every Saturday India Immersion Centre facilitates a weekly spiritual fellowship group following Easwaran’s Eight Point Programme of Meditation in Chennai. E-mail us for more information at contactiic@ globaladjustments.com and Lakshmi Menon at 9710947713.

Reprinted with permission from “The Goal of Meditation” (Blue Mountain, Spring 2009). Copyright 2009 by the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, PO Box 256, Tomales, CA 94971, http://www.easwaran.org Eknath Easwaran (1910–1999) founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in 1961. The Center offers books and retreats based on the eight-point program of passage meditation that Easwaran developed, taught, and practiced. To learn more, visit http://www.easwaran.org culturama | october 2011

53


View from the Top

L a k s h m i K r u pa

Beyond Paradise

Gurgaon-based Nilakshi Borgohain, a journalist, poet and author, recently launched her first novel Waltz in Happiness, set in Guwahati, Assam and Gurgaon, Delhi

Can you tell us about your new novel? How did you decide on writing it? Waltz in Happiness is the story of a chap from Assam adjusting to a life in India’s millennium city, Gurgaon. It is a story about a regular modern Indian who aspires to become a part of the success story that is present-day metropolitan India. It is the story of a young man who, with his share of shortcomings, tries, falters and finally, learns to become a good man. I wished to explore how a present-day young person is adapting to the rapidly evolving society; to try and etch the struggles in his road to success and his path to achieve happiness. The northeastern part of India still remains a new area as far as literature is concerned. Why do you think so? The region comprising the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura and Sikkim that we encapsulate together as the northeastern region is a treasure trove of vibrant, varied and a vast literature. The region is flourishing with an interesting array of customs and traditions, so the area will continue to remain a new and fertile ground for stories to be written. As I see it, the immense wealth of remarkable diversity of the people of the region will carry on fascinating authors and dazzling readers for many more years. What are some of your favourite things about the Northeast, particularly, Assam where the novel is partly set? Nature, in all her abundant glory! From the cuckoo’s songs in springtime that uplifts one with the irresistible urge to hop, skip and amble around the few remaining pine-scented hills of Shillong to the Kooli’s (Assamese for cuckoo) raaga softly serenading in the valley of Assam, inspiring one to pen the sweetest poems. The seductively serene landscape with the gorgeously lush greenery cradling, ever so faithfully, the magnificent beauty of the mighty Brahmaputra. What areas of Northeast do you think still need more attention? Education. Many more good institutions of higher learning need to be established. Infrastructure development, more aggressive promotion of tourism and creation of more job opportunities are areas that need urgent attention. What next? Any projects you are working on? My next book is based in Europe, where I recently travelled extensively.

Look for Waltz in Happiness at www.flipkart.com 54

culturama | october 2011


5

22

8

OCTOBER

4

Durga Puja

6

Dussera

26

Festivals of India

13

THIS is a ceremony performed in honour of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated in states like West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Punjab, to name a few, and occurs during the last five days of Navaratri (which is a nineday festival). This festival has some similarities to Ganesh Chathurthi; devotees pray to an idol of Durga with great pomp and ceremony, immersing the idol in the Ganges on the last day. In the South, it is known as Ayudha Puja and is considered an auspicious time. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 start their formal education on this day

This falls on the last day of Navaratari and is also known as 'Vijayadashmi'. It commemorates the day on which the demon king Ravana was defeated by Lord Rama. This day symbolises the victory of light over dark and good over evil. In most northern states and others like Maharashtra, large effigies of Ravana are burned. In the days leading up to the festival, plays based on the story of Rama, known as Ramlila, are put up. The spectacular Dussera parades around the country are worth watching.

Diwali Get your sparklers and fire crackers ready, the festival of lights is here! Celebrated throughout India over a span of five days, Diwali or Deepavali is common to Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism. Hindus commemorate the return of Lord Rama from a 14-year exile along with his wife Sita and younger brother Laksmana, while for the Jains it is the day that Lord Mahavira attained nirvana. It is also the day that the Sikh Guru Hargobind was released from prison. The word Diwali is derived from deepam, meaning a clay lamp and vali meaning row – a lovely spectacle of this festival is the rows of deepams lining doorways, decorating homes and their entrances. Irrespective of religion, people around the country celebrate and rejoice the victory of light over darkness by doing puja, preparing an elaborate feast, exchanging sweets and lighting fireworks with friends and loved ones.

culturama | october 2011

55


iseries

i read

Book A Tiger for Malgudi

Film The Last Lear

Author R.K. Narayan

Director Rituparno Ghosh

Price ` 90

Language English

R.K. Narayan in this short novel explores how the depth of understanding and intellect, emotions and perception that exists within all living beings is essentially the same. The story is told by a tiger whose journey begins in a jungle. Often fancying himself to be a king, he lives a reckless life. But as his complacency grows, he loses sight of his boundaries resulting in his losing his family and eventual capture by the Circus. Here he meets his trainer and owner, the Captain. he learns fear and discipline having At the circus to succumb to another’s will for the first time. He even successfully masters the act of sharing a saucer of milk with a goat – his natural prey! Madan, a film director is captivated by the tiger and signs him on to star in a movie. As the Captain becomes steadily greedier for Madan’s money, he uses a taser on Raja whilst training. The tiger swipes off the Captain’s head in one clean blow and then escapes. Raja roams the streets sparking panic amongst the villagers until he finds shelter in a school. This is where Raja meets his Master. Staying at his master’s feet the ‘man-eater’ navigates the village heeding the Master’s advice to keep his eyes glued to his path until they reach a cave where they reside. During their time together, the Master guides and teaches Raja's mind. Over time, he hunts scarcely, staying for long periods in meditation with his master until old age takes over and he learns his last and final lesson. — By Amreetha Janardhan

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i see

culturama | october 2011

The Last Lear is the story of Shabnam (Preity Zinta), Harry (Amitabh Bachchan), Siddharth (Arjun Rampal), Vandana (the very talented Shefali Shah), and the film swings back and forth in time to tell their story. The film begins with a confrontation between Shabnam and the man in her life and goes on to tell the story of how her life gets intertwined with that of Harry, a retired theatre actor. Siddharth, a film director, approaches Harry to act on the big screen – the eccentric Harry, his relationship with the perfectionist Siddharth and an artiste in crisis, Shabnam forms the crux of the film. But the most poetic of relationships in the film is the one Harry shares with his muse, Vandana. Although the two barely have scenes together, the script backs their roles in the most poignant manner. Shefali Shah’s presence and performance throughout the film is nothing short of brilliant. Without ever talking about her misfortune, Vandana conveys a deep sense of melancholy. Therein lies her success. One of the best scenes in the film is that of Harry with Shabnam when he helps her calm down by teaching her to scream at the mountains! As the story unfolds, we understand that Harry is in coma when the film in which he acts with Shabnam and is directed by Siddharth finally hits the screens on a Diwali day. Even the smaller roles, such as that of Harry’s nurse Ivy (Divya Dutta), are memorable. The entire film is in English and has the Bengali art house cinema stamp on it all along!


iseries

i ask Ran Levi, israel

mike eliseou, uk

Om My God! Is Buddha an avatar of Vishnu? WHILE Buddha and his teachings have been considered to be a part of a separate religion, he is also regarded as a prophet and god in other religions. In Hinduism, he is thought of as the ninth of the 10 avatars of Vishnu called the Dashavatars. Some versions say that his purpose was to lead demons away from the Vedic religion so as to destroy them; others say that he was to reveal the true meaning of the vedas – though agreeing with much of what the Vedas said he condemned the authority that they held. Why is Krishna blue in colour? Lord Krishna is often depicted as being blue or dark blue-skinned. The word Krishna in Sanskrit literally translates to black or dark blue and it is believed that artists have used this interpretation of his name to portray his identity. The black represents the sky, the universe, and the blue represents the sea symbolising the continuous and eternal infinity that is Lord Krishna. Why does Brahma have four heads? Brahma is the lord of creation and is one of the three gods that form the

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Trimurti or the Hindu Trinity. It is said that he was born with only one head but created the others in the three other directions and one skywards as he could not keep his eyes off Saraswati, whom he had fallen deeply in love with. But in vengeance, Shiva opened his third eye burning one face when Brahma failed to heed his call as he was lost in Saraswati’s beauty. Each of his four heads dictates one of the four vedas (Rig Sama, Yajur and Atharva) and the Vedas themselves represent his four faces, heads and arms. Why does Shiva bear a crescent moon on his head? One belief is that when Lord Shiva drank the Halahal Vish (poison) in order to save humanity, his body was left hot. He then placed the moon on his head to cool himself down. Other beliefs state that the waxing and waning of the moon symbolised the continuity of time. Lord Shiva wore the moon only as an ornament as he himself was the eternal reality and was thus beyond time. The wearing of the crescent moon on his head also means that he has perfect control over his mind.


iseries

i like

an experience in india

Roger Brantsma

THE people – Since my arrival in the country, the local people have made me feel very welcome. As the General Manager of a hotel, I regularly receive positive feedback from domestic as well as international travellers about the genuine friendliness of the people in this part of the world. The cuisine – The Indian cuisine has by far the largest variety of vegetarian dishes I have ever experienced. On top of that, there are many delicious nonvegetarian options that originate from the North as well as the South of the country. The culture – This immense country is so diverse that you have to travel in all directions to experience the country well. Having been here only for two months, I have not had much chance for travel, but I do very much look forward to my first trip!

The colourfulness – I find the many colours in the local art works and in the astonishing sarees that are worn by the women across the country very fascinating. The passion for cricket – Being Dutch, I love soccer and I have seen that the "Orange fever" is so influential that it can bring the whole country to a standstill. Sport creates unity amongst people and that is important. When India plays cricket, everyone shares the same passion and seeing that is beautiful!

Roger Brantsma is Dutch and lives in Chennai where he works as the General Manager of Hilton.

culturama | october 2011

59


upworldly

Mobile Behaviour and Business Skills for the New Indian Manager

By Ranjini Manian

THE BOOK What should you wear when your American colleague invites you to an informal dinner? What is the correct way to address a business associate you are meeting for the first time? When should you shake hands, and when is the right time to bow or do namaste? How can you manage as an Indian abroad when you are faced with unfamiliar food? What clicks with a German client, and how do you win over a Japanese partner? If you get an important business call in the middle of an equally important meeting, should you take it? Is it possible to be succinct in an email without being curt? With real-life examples from world leaders that inspire emulation and featuring an easy ‘pick-a-page’ format, Upworldly Mobile is the ideal companion for Indian managers dealing with expatriate colleagues and global workplaces. It is equally useful for foreign managers looking to decode Indian work practices. Drawing on the author's business interactions with C-level executives of thousands of multinationals across seventy-six nationalities, this book aims to help develop a culturally sensitive outlook that will cement relationships with international counterparts most effectively. Upworldly Mobile tells you everything they don’t teach at business schools - how to hold your own in the global work environment today.

` 250/THE AUTHOR Ranjini Manian is founder – CEO of Global Adjustments, India’s premier relocation, realty and cross-cultural services company. She has had clients from 75 nationalities over 16 years and has lived, worked and travelled in dozens of countries.

‘An extraordinarily practical manual for succeeding in the new flat world’ – Ravi Venkatesan. Former chairman, Microsoft India

Foreword by – Shashi Tharoor

Upworldly Mobile is a great instrument to help you become a global Indian.’ — N.R. Narayana Murthy

Find Upworldly Mobile - Behaviour and Business Skills for the New Indian Manager at leading bookstores across India or log on to www.penguinbooksindia.com ISBN 978-0-143-06803-7

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culturama | october 2011


Space & The City

Global Adjustments

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culturama | october 2011


Space & The City

Global Adjustments Easing your passage to and from India

Owners, list your property with us for MNC clients. Renters and buyers, we are your one-stop shop for all real estate needs.

15 years of bringing the world to India

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Brand New Apartment on OMR

Brand New Apartment on OMR

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• 3 bedrooms with private terrace, 2 covered car parks and servant's room • Elegantly furnished and air-conditioned • Gymnasium, swimming pool, indoor games and party hall • Creche to be set up shortly • Close to IT parks and software companies. 0.5 km from Siruseri IT park

• 2,000 sq.ft., 3 bedrooms • Fully air-conditioned, modular kitchen and power back-up • Swimming pool, gym, club facility and children play area • Close to Siruseri IT Park and other software companies • Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan School within campus • Suitable for the walk to office concept

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For more such properties, call Global Adjustments at 91 44 24617902/9551695968 (Chennai), or e-mail: realty@globaladjustments.com Please note that any changes to the information above are done at the property owner’s sole discretion. Global Adjustments assumes no responsibility for such changes.

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RNI NO.TNENG/2010/32752

REGISTERED No. TN/CC(S) Dn./396/10-12

Culturama October 2011  

For Culturama, just as in the rest of the country, October is a special month filled with celebrations, of our gods and many goddesses. Our...

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