Page 1


India's Only Cultural Magazine for Global Citizens

Brought to you by Global Adjustments

tracing back Journey of Islam in India

VOLUME 3, iSSUE 5 July 2012


culturama | july 2012

D e a r

Follow us on

R e a d e r s

BEING in the business of cross-culture, I am always thinking of what constitutes this word, ‘Indian’? How can one begin to define this word? Where does one even start? Every time I am in this space, I quickly close my eyes and think of the first image that comes into my head (After the 200th issue of Culturama, there is simply no dearth of visual imagery!). Sometimes it’s a person, sometimes a place, sometimes a turn of phrase and sometimes an attribute. Every time it’s something new, something different. More so, when you meet somebody from the outside, so to speak. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with the new US Ambassador to India, Nancy Powell. Tea with a handful of Indian women leaders and Ambassador Powell was power packed. Her Indo-Western kurta and slacks outfit and elegantly draped dupatta were impressive. But the accessory she wore best was her warmth towards building friendship and trade between India and her country as she told me a quick story. An Indian man parked his Ferrari outside a bank in New York, walked into the manager’s office and asked for a $50,000 loan. Seeing the well-dressed man and noticing the Ferrari, the manager offered the loan, provided he could give some collateral. “Will the Ferrari outside do?” he asked. “Sure,” said the bank manager. A week later, the Indian came back to the bank to return the loan. The manager charged him an interest of $51.65 cents, and then asked him why he took a loan he didn’t seem to need. “It’s the only way I could park a Ferrari for a week in New York for $51 and find it safely kept when I returned,” he retorted. This is the smartness of Indians, Ambassador Nancy Powell said to me. That, to me, was yet another image. What did this Indian look like? Well-dressed could mean anything. What did it mean to me? Quite unconsciously, it meant a well-dressed Tamilian. Very often, we fall back on our upbringing and exposure to fill the gaps, and are seldom conscious of India’s varying ethnicities. And so, for this revamped issue of Culturama, the stories we have presented are our attempt to remain conscious of the many Indias in this ‘Indian’ – be it our ‘Future Tens’ interview with the young V R Ferose, MD, SAP Labs India; our Feature story on Islam; our food series, ‘In Your Kitchen’, that gives a flavour of the communities of India; or even the various expatriate experiences that have become so much a part of India’s culture. After all, our strength lies in that. And so does our identity – yours, mine, this magazine’s, and the large readership from other shores that discover insights here. Ranjini Manian Editor-in-Chief E-mail:

Follow us on YouTube! We are at and bring to you exciting videos about the happenings at Global Adjustments.

culturama | july 2012


contents 24

8 Present tens

Intellectual Property

12 Past Tens

Aryabhata JULY 20 marks the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims all over the world begin their fast that will last a month and end in the breaking of the fast, or Eid. Our cover page, that shows a Muslim in prayer or Namaz, is a perfect representation of the essence of what this faith stands for – love, submission, peace and tranquillity. Photo Enric Donate Sanchez

14 Short message service

18 A-Z of INdia

Code of Conduct

20 Feature

Prophetic Statements 26 in your kitchen

These Old Tastes

32 Look who's in town

Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai

48 Thought Leaders

Uplifting Service 52 seeing India

Life in Ruins

40 Calendars Editor-in-Chief

Ranjini Manian

business head tiia vaataja Consultant Editor praveena shivram Editorial desk

vatsalya janani

creative head JayaKrishna Behera Associate Designer

Prem Kumar

Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai

46 picture story

Wish Blowing Train

Advertising Chennai trishla jain, pallavi roy choudhury


Bengaluru mukundan T Delhi-NCR

Preeti Bindra, Ruchika Srivastava

Mumbai & Pune

Vijaya subramaniam

Advisory Committee

N Ram, Elaine Wood, G Venket Ram, Marina Marangos,

Suzanne Mcneill

54 being India

Real Time Story

56 Rhythm of life

The Poetry of Movement

58 India immersion centre

News & Happenings & IIC Calendar


Executive Decision

62 Holistic living

Chennai (Headquarters) 5, 3rd Main Road, R. A. Puram, Chennai 600028, India. Telefax. +91-44-24617902 E-mail: Bengaluru 7/2, Edward Road, Off Cunningham Road, Bangalore - 560 052. Tel.+91-80-41267152 E-mail: Delhi-Gurgaon Level 4, Augusta Point, DLF Golf Course Road, Sector-53, Gurgaon - 122 002. Haryana. Tel.+91-124-435 4236. E-mail: Mumbai/Pune Rustom Court, 2nd Floor, Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400030. Tel.+91-22-66104191/2 E-mail:

Reality Check



'Messers' India Ltd

65 FESTIVALS OF INDIA 66 iseries 68 Tell us your story

The House Whisperer

70 space and the city 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


culturama | july 2012


culturama | july 2012


“I congratulate you on your lovely 200th edition of Culturama. A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes, and the photos not only provided a beautiful overview of India’s diversity but the captions provide a wealth of information for newcomers about its traditions and customs. I’ve already made some notes of things I’d like to see in my next year in India!”

Letters to the Editor

“I just looked through the current 200th issue of Culturama and I simply wanted to tell you how taken I am with the photographs. They are absolutely stunning. The selection is varied, the colours take my breath away, and I will go back to look at this issue over and over again. Thank you for this beautiful issue – it is extraordinary!” – Debbie McMurray, USA “What a lovely issue – wonderful articles and amazing pictures.” – Dr. Charles M. Savage, Germany “Congratulations for this terrific 200th issue of Culturama! Every word and each picture reminds me of the India I know and like... A good summary of that we have already experienced in India and all that we still have to discover! This issue is full of examples of how Indian and foreign cultures interact and meld.” — Patricia Lesage, France “What a terrific 200th issue! The pictures have been very well chosen. There is a lot of depth to the pictures than just usual, pretty, tourist advertisement pictures.” — Vivian Summers, UK

– Jennifer McIntyre, U.S. Consul General, Chennai, India

“The special issue (June 2012) of Culturama has come out splendidly. Congratulations to you and your team.” — N Ram, India “The 200th issue of Culturama is simply awesome, a true collector’s item. Congratulations team GA!” — G Venket Ram, India “Loved the cover of June Culturama.” – Atul Kumar, India “What an honor it is to see the 200th issue of Culturama come to print! It has been such a privilege to receive – over the past three years – issue after issue of a magazine that not only highlights that amazing things that India has to offer, but also features the fantastic things that adopted citizens of this country have to offer India! I look forward to reading future issues, and see the future journeys that Culturama will take .. and remember fondly my time with those connected with the magazine!” — Naomi Hattaway, UK “The pictures in the June issue of your magazine were really impressive, especially the photograph titled, ‘Push Over’ in the Unique India category. A group of men trying to push the plane is all we need in today’s oil price situation!” — Vaishali Ramesh, India


culturama | july 2012

culturama | july 2012


Present Tens Sripriya Va d a s s eri


culturama | july 2012

Intellectual Property “I absolutely need to run,” said V. R. Ferose, in performing artists as often as once a week. It is an Managing Director, SAP Labs India, as we finished our open session, and people are free to attend. And I have interview and tour of the office floor with him. We had observed that these sessions yield magical results. exceeded our allotted hour and had just finished viewing As Indians, when we talk of culture, family, the original music album that Ferose had helped his commercial and national culture all come together. assistant, Nippun Amayruss, create. As we started putting What is the role of diversity in our business away the many author-signed books that we were invited to culture? help ourselves to from his office collection, Ferose quickly For me, all the cultures that you mention converge. added with his typical enthusiasm, “Take your time. I’ll Culture is a part of us Indians and for me, what is leave my office open. My wife needs to head to work now fundamental is the culture of innovation. Once this culture and I need to babysit my son.” Ferose’s parting greeting, of innovation is established, everything else will reflect in many ways, reflected what he had said earlier: “A lot from your employees. I feel we are inherently trained of what I am today is because of my upbringing”. Born in to adapt and equip ourselves to face a new culture. As Kottayam, Kerala, Ferose was raised mostly in Kharagpur, a child, I had to keep shifting all around the country. It West Bengal. Growing up, he moved every five years meant losing friends and familiarity, but now I am thankful since his father worked in the Railways, and has hence that I have been exposed to different ways of living and lived in seven different Indian states. people. The best part is, Ferose, the 37-year old first Indian MD this assimilation can pay of SAP Labs, talks to Culturama about off when you least expect it. Culture is a part of Indian diversity, building a culture of For instance, I had to once us Indians and for me, innovation, and the power of giving. take an appointment with What is your connect with India an important person. What what is fundamental and what of that do you bring to would have taken me weeks is the culture of your work? and months took just a little It’s the sheer diversity in our country while because I could talk innovation. Once this with which I feel the connect. It makes to the Personal Assistant in culture of innovation is you complete as a person and thus Bengali. A language helps you become more successful. From you open unexpected doors. established, everything a business side, people often don’t It serves as an icebreaker. understand what diversity means. The else will reflect from more diverse you are, the more creative 3. In India, we have your employees. you get and thus more innovative. We the mindset to handle as Indians are equipped to deal with ambiguity. How did that diversity. We are adaptable, flexible and this is our asset. work for you when you were the EA to Gerhard If you look at the workforce within this company, it is Oswald, who would have been a structured generally a mix of engineers from diverse backgrounds, German? and yet they are similar. They all have similar friends, When you work for a member of the Executive Board, watch the same movies, read the same books, and so your priorities change every minute. There are so many on. We can’t influence a person’s preferences, but we things you need to handle. From his view, work is very can present a variety of choices. And that is what I did. structured. But for me, that’s not the case, because I I influenced the work culture inside my office. I brought need to jump from one task to the other. As an Indian,

culturama | july 2012


I was able to change my priorities, multitask, and still give a structured output. This made all the difference. When we compare ourselves with our German colleagues, we should always see how we can complement each other. There are certain things that we are inherently good at, some others that they are good at. I was an unstructured person until then. Working with them helped me integrate my strengths with theirs. When you were chosen to become the leader, was this quality acknowledged by the company? I would say, in some ways, yes. My position has high accountability, responsibility and is impactfull. At this level, I can either keep the business running as ever, or I can create something new. In our business, intellect is the only asset. Eighty percent of our revenue gets used for the salaries and the last 10% is reserved for new machines. How do we keep renewing this intellect? In a business where technology gets outdated within no time, it is important to remain innovative. This is the reason why I bring in artistes, something that people don’t understand. They ask me of what use it is. I have been given the intellectual bandwidth to experiment and I am using it in the way I know and it is paying off at the moment. What is it that the Germans and Indians can learn from each other? If you work in the SAP lab in Germany, you will see that it is very quiet. No phones ring because it is considered rude at the workplace. Over here, it is total chaos. Phones are ringing constantly, everyone talks to everyone else. For them, meetings start and end on time. Everybody comes prepared. Clear updates and decisions are made. For us, it is the other way around. We go to the meeting and then decide what we should do. So, the German’s meetings get predictable, whereas the spontaneity of Indian meetings often gives new and unexpected ideas. Both ways have their own pros and cons. I wouldn’t recommend one over the other. Situations need to dictate how something must be done. Do you feel proud to be the first Indian head of a German company? I’m very proud and very humbled. I think it is a testimony of how great the company is, and not a testimony of how good I am. For a large organisation to trust someone young, it is the company that has taken the bigger risk. I think this is a huge testimony of the great culture that we have built and the investment in the future that we are making. We have a mantra about ‘Indian roots and global wings’. How necessary is it for India and how do we take it forward? It is important to understand history. It completes you as a person. When you join an organisation, you need to know its history. That binds you to the organisation and you are able to deliver more. It’s the same if you don’t know the history of your own country. A piece of history gives you a sense of understanding and a sense of connect. There is a little lack of knowledge about India among the youth. How can we bridge


culturama | july 2012

it is important to understand history. it completes you as a person. A piece of history gives you a sense of understanding and a sense of connect

that “We respect our country but don’t know enough about it”? We are getting to a stage where everything has to be done in short spurts, it has to be easy to consume. History is not easy to consume; it takes time. We should not blame the youth for it, they are impatient; they want everything in one-minute modules. It is very important for us to find creative ways to make information not just accessible but provide it in a form that is both entertaining and useful. For example, at a corporate level, we call it ‘gamification’ of products, of strategy. Strategy is very boring, so we teach strategy through a game. Maybe we can gamify history. We have to find smart solutions to the problems we face today. If your mantra is ‘Be brief, be precise, be gone’, how are you balancing it with the niceness that you have. That line is my way of saying ‘I value your time, so value mine too’. I do it the other way around too. I am always as precise as the other person is. When I schedule meetings, I do my groundwork and expect the same from the other person too. In the short time that we have, both need to make the best of it and be gone. What is your message to the aspiring global Indian? Each person should realise the power of giving. I am happy to see the youth today understand that. When you give, do not think about it at all, but when you take, think a thousand times if you should. These needn’t be just materialistic things; time is the most precious commodity that you can give others. I speak often at business schools, engineering colleges, I go to villages and I’m on the board of various NGOs… the only thing they ask for is my time and my intellect. It’s never about the financial aspect. Giving is very, very powerful. When you give with good intentions, it always comes back, with ten times the original intensity. The power of giving is immense and it makes you a better human being.

culturama | july 2012


Past Tens Su s an P h ilip

Culturama invites you on a journey back in time, to meet up with eminent Indian personalities who greatly impacted their fields of work in one way or another. The first of our trysts is with Aryabhata, the ‘father’ of Indian studies in mathematics and astronomy


Illustration Vincent Moses Raja

Early Years Aryabhata was born in 476 CE, though his place of birth remains debatable among historians as no one knows if it was North India or Kerala in the south. Academic Excellence: He lived at the peak of the Gupta period. Their capital, Pataliputra, now called Patna, was a centre of learning. Nearby Kusumapura was renowned for mathematics. He studied and worked at both. Career Graph: He was in charge of an institution in Kusumapura, and headed a centre of learning in Pataliputra too. His work, ‘Aryabhatiya’, is a record of his theories and findings about arithmetic, algebra, spherical trigonometry, quadratic equations and astronomy, among other topics. Much of it was pathbreaking. For example, he worked out an approximation of π.


culturama | july 2012

Zero Hour: Aryabhata is often credited with the invention of zero. Although he didn’t specifically use the figure ‘0’, he had the concept and knew the place value system too – his number system, giving numerical values to letters of the alphabet would not have worked otherwise. Astronomical Wonder: Aryabhata propounded that the earth rotates on its own axis, which makes the heavens appear to move. He also stated that planets have elliptical orbits, and that the moon and planets reflect the sun’s light. Age Factor: Aryabhata was around 23 years old when he wrote Aryabhatiya, and two other books: Aryasiddhanta, his work on astronomy, which is unfortunately lost, and another book that exits now only in bits of translations. Deep Impact: Aryabhata’s work was read by thinkers both in India and in neighbouring cultures, particularly the Arab world. Through Arabia, his thoughts influenced Europe. Though he died in 455 CE, his calendric calculations still form the basis of the Panchangam, the Hindu calendar, as well as the national calendars of Iran and Afghanistan. What’s in a Name? India named its first satellite after this mathematician. There’s also a lunar crater, and a research institute in astronomy bearing his name. But did you know that the Indian Space Research Organisation’s scientists even named a bacteria the Baccilus Aryabhata? Word Power: Here’s what Bhaskara I, another ancient Indian mathematician who lived about a century later, wrote: “Aryabhata is the master who, after reaching the furthest shores and plumbing the inmost depths of the sea of ultimate knowledge of mathematics, kinematics and spherics, handed over the three sciences to the learned world.” Look See: If you are curious to see what Aryabhata looks like, then visit the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, where his statue stands. Since there are no physical records of his image, Aryabhata remains open to any artist’s interpretation.

culturama | july 2012


Short Message Service Sari t h a R a o


g Showcasin aspects of re in Indian cultu tible easily diges snippets


THE British Raj used the term ‘Hindoostani’ interchangeably for two languages, Hindi and Urdu, with Hindi spoken by the Hindus and Urdu spoken by the Muslims. In post-Independent India, Standard Hindi was selected as the official language, incorporating much of the Khariboli dialect spoken by those living in the region surrounding Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. While this dialect included Urdu words, the script adopted for Standard Hindi was Devnagari. Hindi is spoken as the mother-tongue by 180 million people, and as the second language by 300 million people. It has 11 vowels and 35 consonants. Those consonants, borrowed from languages such as Persian, English and Arabic, are denoted with a dot. Some of the most famous writers and poets in the Hindi language include Kabir, Goswami Tulsidas, Munshi Premchand, Maithili Sharan Gupt, Jaishankar Prasad and, more recently, Nirmal Verma. Hindi classes are available in many cities across India and there are also proficiency examinations in the language. Source for numbers data: Central Hindi Directorate (Department of Higher Education)

Interpretations photo philip james clegg, UK

photo melissa enderle, Usa

THERE are many forms of Indian calligraphy or stylised writing. Beginning with edicts on stone to the use of copper sheets, Indian calligraphy can be seen primarily in the recording of religious texts, chronicles and literature. Palm leaf was a much-favoured medium to transcribe Hindu, Buddhist and Jain teachings. This was particularly used to copy out the orally transmitted fables, myths, songs, scriptures and religious treatises in Sanskrit, Pali and numerous Indian regional languages and scripts. Some of them even had illustrations. The Mughals brought in the Persian script that was used in religious texts and to chronicle achievements on numerous surfaces. They also used stone, marble and fabric, but incorporated elaborate, exquisite embellishment. The Urdu newspaper, ‘Musalman’, published out of Chennai, is the oldest hand-written newspaper in India and perhaps the last in the world. It continues to employ calligraphers to transcribe the content into fluid right-to-left Nastali'q script.


culturama | july 2012

A MANDALA is a sacred Buddhist representation in the geometric form of the Universe. As per the Buddhist tradition, not only is the representation in the mandala important as a visual concept to focus one’s meditation upon but also the very act of creating the mandala, as a learning tool for monks. At the end of a ceremony, the sand mandala is usually swept away (representing impermanence) and allowed to flow in the waters of a stream. In this picture, a group of monks pray around a sand mandala of myriad colours in a monastery in Sikkim.

culturama | july 2012


Dabbawalas DABBAWALAS (dabba = container, wala = man) are people who are in the business of picking up and delivering lunches to workplaces in Mumbai. At a mere Rs. 300 a month, a dabbawala picks up a packed lunch from the client’s home every morning, and transports it to the workplace. In the afternoon, the reverse process takes place. This complex delivery mechanism employs about 5,000 dabbawalas delivering 200,000 lunches every day with a unique coding system to minimise errors. The error factor is 1 in 16 million transactions. It’s this high level of efficiency that has earned dabbawalas a Six Sigma Certification from the Forbes Group. And that for an organisation where 16% of its members are totally illiterate and only 5% are educated above the SSC level. The story goes that when Prince Charles and Richard Branson wanted to observe the process, they had to align their schedules to that of the dabbawalas! Source for numbers data: photo saritha rao, india



LEHERIYA (leh-heh-ri-ya) is a technique of dyeing, named after the ‘leher’ (wave) pattern of the finished product. This tie-and-dye printing technique, an offshoot of the original dyeing technique of Bandhini (from the root word ‘baandh’, meaning knot), also originated in the western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. As in the case of Bandhni, the process of creating a leheriya pattern is divided into three fundamental steps – preparing the material, making the knots and then dyeing it. The wave pattern is achieved by rolling the fabric diagonally and binding the roll in intervals with thread. The bound roll is then dyed. The traditional leheriya is usually in the colours red and yellow. While the technique is used for sarees and odhnis (veils), the leheriya is favoured by the men to add a touch of resplendence in the form of turbans. It is said that the wave pattern is worn mainly during the monsoon and was traditionally favoured by the Rajputs.


culturama | july 2012

photo courtesy: L&T Construction

photo thorsten vieth, germany

THE gravity-defying traditional sport of Mallakhamb (Malla = wrestling, Khamb = pole/pillar) referred traditionally to a pillar used by Indian wrestlers to exercise stretches and twists to make their bodies lithe and their spines supple. The name has come to signify a group of gymnastic sports, of which Pole Mallakhamb and Rope Mallakhamb are the most common. In Pole Mallakhamb, the gymnast must balance on a standing wooden pole with a bulbous head. The gymnast performs twists and yogic asanas while balancing on the pole. In Rope Mallakhamb, a thick cotton rope is suspended vertically. The rope is grasped in the space between the big toe and second toe of either foot and the gymnast winds it around the body to perform some seemingly impossible balancing exercises and asanas. The sport has its own National Championship in India and there are training centres primarily in the state of Maharashtra, where the sport originates.

culturama | july 2012


A to Z of India Su s an P h ilip

Code of Conduct

Arms akimbo: Watch out for this pose. As in many Asian countries, it signals active displeasure. Don’t adopt it even casually, as Indians usually take this stance as an indication of arrogance and rudeness. photo violette brand, usa

Barefoot traditions: In India, every dwelling is considered holy. It is customary to remove your footwear before entering a home. Places of worship also require you to enter barefoot. The scientific basis is, of course, hygiene.

photo vhenry kiner, usa

Cheeks are for pinching: Don’t be surprised (or annoyed) if total strangers walk up to your children and pinch their cheeks! It’s only a gesture of affection.


culturama | july 2012

Dress codes: These are pretty strict in India, especially for women, and at religious functions and places of worship. Modest necklines and skirts below the knee are rule of thumb at public places. Many temples in all parts of India specify modes of dressing, especially with regard to the head being covered. It’s about showing respect to the Gods.

photo aude dussert, france

Unfamiliar body language and behaviour can be a minefield for intercultural interactions. Here’s a cheat sheet for expats, demystifying common Indian mannerisms and behaviour patterns

Eating etiquette: Indians are comfortable using their fingers to eat, and they do it gracefully. The left hand is considered ‘unclean’ and so only the right hand is used to eat. At traditional and religious functions, food is often served on banana leaves. It’s biodegradable and eco-friendly, so enjoy the experience.

Finger pointing: While in India, do as the Indians do, and use the whole hand, palm facing down, and wave your fingers to beckon. The hand held the other way will be taken as an insult. Gifting it right: Indians don’t go empty-handed, even when they make casual visits. If you’re invited to someone’s home for a meal, it would be polite to take a small present along. But there are some general dos and don’ts. Colours are significant, so to be on the safe side, avoid anything that’s either black or white. Something neutral, like sweets or pastries, will always be welcome. Heads are for wobbling: Many an expatriate has been flummoxed on seeing Indian colleagues or friends doing this. Contrary to Western body language, in India, in general, it signifies agreement and attentiveness, rather than disagreement. It’s like that only! In India, we have certain general character traits which may be very off-putting to someone from another culture. But we have many endearing ones too. For instance, punctuality isn’t one of our strong points. But loyalty is. Extended breaks are routine. So are working all hours till a job is complete. Take us as you find us, it’ll work out fine. Jokes apart: Indians have a funny bone, same as everyone else. It’s just that to us, some things are no joking matter. Religion, for instance. Jokes about ethnicity may not go down too well either.

photo anabel loyd, uk

photo dylan sullivan, usa

Knuckles are for breaking: You may find old ladies waving their hands around your head and then breaking their knuckles on their own heads. Don’t be alarmed. It’s a gesture believed to ward off the evil eye. Legs crossed: No, it’s not taken as a sign of demureness in India. On the contrary, it can be considered rude or arrogant. It’s safer to sit knees together, with ankles crossed. Male superiority: This is something you learn to live with in India. Though social mores are changing, women traditionally take second spot. Be prepared to be talked over if you’re a woman, never mind that you’re the boss. No insult intended. It’s just a culture thing. Names: What’s your good name is a question that’s frequently heard. It’s a literal translation of a Hindi phrase. Names are significant in India, as it helps place a person in an ethnic context, and helps the questioner figure out how to behave, going forward. On your head be it! The head is considered sacred, so take care not to touch someone’s head unnecessarily. The exception is, if you’re asked to bless someone.

Right of way: In every part of India, traffic is unique. In rural areas, bovine break inspectors are constantly on patrol, and you commonly come across mats laid right across the roads, holding sun-drying farm produce. Sharing space: Queuing up is a concept quite alien to the Indian psyche. Conversely, personal space is important, especially when two genders are involved, so if you see someone backing up as you approach, take that as a signal that invisible barriers have been breached. Treading on toes: In India, we make amends for unintentionally bumping into or treading on someone by making a traditional gesture of apology – actually touching or gesturing towards the person who has been trodden on, and cupping the hand to the heart or eyes. Up on your feet: Indians respect age, irrespective of social standing. So when older people enter the room, youngsters usually stand up and wait to be asked to be seated. The Namaste is another respectful gesture. Voicing views: Don’t raise your voice in India; it will not go down well. Speak softly for power. On the other hand, quietness is alien to Indians in many contexts, particularly weddings and funerals. Welcome moves: Indians usually greet important visitors or loved ones with an ‘aarthi’ which, in its simplest form, involves circling their heads with a plate on which camphor has been lit – to ward off evil spirits.

photo steven bernie, usa

photo ann cambier, uk

PDA: Public displays of affection are so not India. In many contexts, Indians are uncomfortable with even casual acts like draping an arm around someone of the opposite sex, or even giving them a welcome air kiss. Questions, questions, questions: You’ll hear a lot of those in India. As a rule, Indians are interested in other people’s lives and lifestyles. Expect questions about your marital status, the size of your family, and even of your pay packet. If you don’t want to answer, you can always give a non-specific reply, and the hint will be taken.

Xpressions: In India, winking, eye contact and whistling, may be used as sexual innuendos. Take care not to misconstrue or be misconstrued. Yea and Nay: These are not simple words in India. Indians don’t like saying ‘No’. Instead, euphemisms like “We’ll try” are used. Or the topic is changed. You may even get a half-hearted ‘Yes’, so be alert for a ‘No’ in any other form. Zero error: Would be an ideal situation. Misunderstandings are common even among Indians hailing from different ethnic or cultural groups. But no solecism is beyond repair by a genuine apology, followed by a sincere attempt to learn a different language of heart and mind.

culturama | july 2012


Feature P ra v eena S h i v ram

photo michelle klakulak, usa

Prophetic Statements

Islam and India share a long history of culture, tradition and philosophy, making each inseparable from the other. As Muslims the world over begin their fast this month, the holy month of Ramadan according to the Islamic calendar, we take a look at the religion’s growth in India


culturama | july 2012

THERE are some things you cannot change about India. The head bob, the ‘just two minutes’, the ‘please adjust’, the mass hysteria for anything, from a song to an anticorruption campaign, the warmth, the spirit, the heart. And somewhere in that list, is a five letter word: Islam. You cannot change what Islam means to India – brotherhood, peace, discipline, biryani – or what India means to Islam – home, freedom, history, roots. For behind the picture that the Western media paints of this particular faction of the world, or the volatile history that India shares with Islam, there is a culture, a tradition, a philosophy, that has seeped into the Indian psyche so seamlessly, it is little wonder the country is home to the third largest Muslim population in the world.

Early Years

Historians believe that Islam reached India via Arab traders visiting the Malabar region of Kerala, from where they accessed the ports of South East Asia. This trade route existed much before the Prophet’s word of truth united Arabia under the panoply of one religion. Eventually, much like you had Christian missionaries spreading the teachings of Jesus to the world, these Arab traders and merchants became the voice of Islam, and the people of Malabar, particularly the Mappila community who lived along the coast, became the first Indians to convert. In fact, Malabar is said to house the first mosque of India – the Cheraman Perumal Juma Masjid, though historians believe there was an older mosque, built during the time of Prophet Muhammad. If Islam reached the south of India innocuously through trade, it reached the northern part of the country assertively through Muhammad bin Qasim, who conquered Sindh (now in Pakistan) and Punjab, and began the reign of the Umayyad Caliphate. This was in the 8th Century, and even though the Caliphate’s hold was short-lived (they were defeated in the Battle of Rajasthan by a Hindu army), it marked the beginning of Muslim conquest in the sub-continent.

Delhi Sultanate

The Delhi Sultanate was made up of five different Delhi-based dynasties in medieval India – the Mamluk dynasty, the Khilji dynasty, the Tughlaq dynasty, the Sayyid dynasty and the Lodi dynasty. It was during their reign, which lasted from the 13th Century to the 16th Century, that much of the Islamic traditions that exist in India today flourished. The fusion of Indian and Muslim cultures led to the birth of Urdu, a confluence of Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic and Turkic, apart from the rise of architecture, music and literature. Towards the end of their reign, the famed Mughal Empire took over. photo Nathalie Jauffret, france

culturama | july 2012


photo michelle klakulak, usa

Sufism, through its songs and message of love and harmony, impacted Indians of different faiths. If conquerors conquered lands, Sufi saints conquered hearts and brought the original teachings of Islam to the masses

photo dany haim, usa

photo marianne van loo photo michelle klakulak, usa

Mughal Empire

In the annals of history, Genghis Khan is a name to reckon with, thanks to his aggressive campaign that conquered most of Eurasia, part of Central Asia and China to form the dreaded Mongol Empire. The Mughal Emperors, who ruled India from the 16th to the 19th Century, though their decline began in the 18th Century, are said to be direct descendents of this conqueror. It all began with Babur, who wanted to regain parts of Hindustan (as India was known then) that were once controlled by his ancestors. He took over from the Delhi Sultans, defeating the last king in 1526 (it apparently took him five attempts!), thus establishing the roots of the Mughal Empire. From Babur, his son Humayun took over, followed by Akbar, then Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. History books tell us that it was during Akbar’s reign and his secular views that led to the Golden Age of the Empire, while architecture and the arts flourished in Shah Jahan’s time. The Taj Mahal, in Agra, is of course, proof of that. As much as Akbar was known for his secularism, allowing different faiths to thrive, his great-grandson, Aurangzeb was said to be just as obstinate about Islam. By now, however, Islam had been irrevocably integrated with the Indian culture and ethos. Even though Islam’s inroads into India was originally in the South, the spread of Islamic rule was limited to the areas that now make up the states of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The Deccan Sultanates might have been unable to fight the might of the Vijayanagara Empire, but eventually, it did fall to Muslim invaders. With the arrival of the East India Company and the British Raj, the Mughal Empire fell and the long history of Islamic rule ended.

Sufism in India

One of the reasons for the debate on the spread of Islam in India is the presence of Sufi saints, or the philosophy of


culturama | july 2012

Sufism. The Sufis are divided into several tariqas or orders, though India primarily saw the rise of five orders, the most prominent being the Chishti order. Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti was instrumental in the spread of his order of Sufism in India, and was particularly patronised by Akbar. Sufism, through its songs and message of love and harmony, impacted Indians of different faiths. If conquerors conquered lands, Sufi saints conquered hearts and brought the original teachings of Islam to the masses.

Islam in Modern India

Two of the biggest events in the history of Islam in India are the Partition, when Pakistan was carved out of India after independence from British rule, and the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. The first saw a long line of bloody carnage as Hindus moved from Pakistan to India and Muslims from India to Pakistan, which to this day remains etched in the collective memory of Indians, leading to a deep sorrow and mistrust that is slowly melting away with cultural efforts from both countries. The second, more recent, was the result of political factions trying to gain popular votes, on the surmise that there once existed a Ram temple on the grounds of the Masjid, which only led to disillusionment and the eventual defeat of the political party in question. Today, Islam’s true message is gaining strength. As a close Muslim friend said, “There are two sides to Islam: the administrative guideline to live a decent and honourable life given the frailties in human nature, and the spiritual side where pure love goes hand in hand with unfaltering faith.” In India, the journey that the Prophet began many years ago, Islam is a word unto itself.

culturama | july 2012


photo Alan Dougans, usa

Know Your Islam “Islam” means “submission to God”. A follower of this faith which embraces all brotherhood is called “Muslim”, which means “a submitter”. He worships Allah, which means “God” in Arabic. The place of worship is called "Dargah", which means Mosque. The five pillars of Islam which Muslims believe in are: Shahadat which is a declaration of faith, recited aloud; Salat or prayer (called Namaz in the Indian sub continent) where followers pray five times a day; Zakat or tax which is voluntary donation or obligatory charity (the “have-nots” are taken care of by the “haves”); Saum or fasting for the month of Ramadan; and Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca.


culturama | july 2012

Friday is the holy day of Islam and all gather at the mosque to offer prayer in unison, wearing white caps. You will find stores run by Muslims closed on Friday afternoons as they strictly adhere to this practice in a disciplined manner, unmindful of the loss of revenue. Salam Alaikum is a popular form of greeting among Muslims and it means, “May God be with you”. Other popular terms are Inshallah, which means “God willing” and Mashallah, which means “God has willed it”. Bismillah is an Islamic ceremony where a child is initiated into reading the Koran (the Holy Book) at the age of four. Nikkah is a marriage contract. And finally, most of the top actors in Bollywood are Muslim — Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan!

culturama | july 2012


In your Kitchen Harini San k aranarayan

these old tastes Sugar and spice and everything nice would probably best describe the Parsi community of India, and that could well be said for their food too!

FARAH Bakshay still remembers the smells emanating from the kitchen of her childhood. As her grandfather fried some fish, its delicious aroma drew everybody to the kitchen table. For a Parsi family, food is a very integral part of how the family bond together. The tables are loaded with various meats and vegetables, inviting even the most diet-conscious persons to forget about their regime, at least for that particular moment. “I am a Parsi/ Irani,” says Farah, and it does not get more traditional than that. She recalls the Akuri or scrambled eggs speckled with onion, chillies and coriander that they would have for breakfast. These same eggs became a Baruchi Akuri or celebratory eggs with the addition of dry fruits and nuts. The Patra Macchi, fish with green chutney wrapped in banana leaf and steamed, was a family favourite, as was the famous Boti and Dhansak (a melange of lentils, meat and vegetables). Many years ago, the Persians migrated to the Indian coast and landed in the western Indian state of Saurashtra. The local monarch was not too happy and believed that the migrants would not really fit into the existing society. The leader of the Parsis then held out a bowl of milk and added a handful of sugar, which instantly dissolved, illustrating to the monarch that the Parsi community would be the sweetening agent and add a new dimension to his kingdom, without really disturbing the status quo. And since, the Parsis have lived in India, adding their own flavour to the melange that is India. Their food reflects this. The Parsis are basically two communities, claims Farah, letting us into a little known fact – the Paras who lived near the sea and the Iranis who lived in the mountains. So they brought with them a love of fish from the sea and meat from the mountains. They cleverly blended the local spices and vegetables to come up with something we today call Parsi food. The flavours are robust with a perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy – the sweet from the liberal use of dry fruits, sour from tamarind and lemons and, of course, the depth from the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, chillies and cardamom. So we have the katta meeta kheema, a sweet and sour mince, or the famous lagan nu achaar, a delicious sweet and sour dry fruit pickle served as a starter with bread at every Parsi wedding. Rice is, however, the staple cereal for the Parsis. The Parsi Pulao is the perfect foil for the succulent chicken or lamb. No meal can end without dessert and for the Parsis it has to be the famous lagan nu custard, a Parsi version of Crème Brulee. As for a snack, all you need to do is step into one of the many Irani cafés that dot the landscape of Mumbai to check out the various buns and biscuits, such as the Bun Maska (bread and butter), Khari biscuit (a puff-pastry-like biscuit), a sweet Nankatai (a crumbly shortbread), coconut jam biscuit or any of the Dutch influenced treats, all accompanied by the super sweet Irani tea.


culturama | july 2012

culturama | july 2012


Not enough can be said about the Parsi obsession with eggs. Even their vegetables are usually covered with a generous layer of eggs, adding a fluffy nutritious topping. Do try one of Farah’s personal favourites, papeta par eddu, a simple egg and potato frittatalike dish, which is versatile enough to be served for breakfast, brunch, snack or even supper. Like any traditional recipe, each family has its own little twist to the basic dish.

Papeta par Eddu (Serves 2) Ingredients

Potatoes – half a kilo Eggs – 2 Red chilli powder, pepper or finely chopped green chilli Salt to taste Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp Coriander leaves chopped Oil – 1 tbsp


Did you know? That Sir Ratan Naval Tata, chairman of the Tata Group in Mumbai is a Parsi and his favourite dish is Dhansak? That Café Brittania in Fort, Mumbai, serves the best Dhansak? That Jimmy Boy in Hutatma Chowk, Mumbai, is one of the Parsis’ favourite restaurants?


culturama | july 2012

• Cut the potatoes into medium, even chips and soak in water (alternately, you could coarsely grate the potato). • Heat the oil in a pan and add ginger-garlic paste and fry for two minutes. • Add potatoes and salt, red chilli powder, pepper or green chilli. • Sauté for four minutes and add enough water to cook the potato. • Cook till water is evaporated but make sure that the potatoes are not mushy. Flatten the potatoes in the pan. • Beat the eggs till fluffy, season and then spread on the potatoes. • Garnish with chopped coriander, cover the dish with a lid and leave till the egg is cooked. • Some people like to break the eggs directly over the potatoes and cook till the yolks are just barely set. • Cut into wedges and serve hot. Try the same recipe with potato chips for the added crunch – guaranteed to be the children’s favourite. And do experiment with the addition of your favourite herbs or spices.

culturama | july 2012



culturama | july 2012

culturama | july 2012


Look who's in Town bengaluru

Space Age

American John Barnes, Vice President, Technology, Model Metrics, who moved to Bengaluru last year, talks about the city’s unique spaces

“WHEN I first came to Bengaluru, I knew very little about the city or India for that matter. I had visited Bengaluru on work before, but it’s very different when you are actually living here – no staying at hotels, being driven to work, and eating out at nice restaurants. Naturally, I was overwhelmed, as I suppose everyone is,” says John Barnes. “In retrospect though, it probably took me a couple of weeks for the transition, from new city to home,” he adds with a smile. Every new city involves mini quests, as bit by bit it unravels itself. For John, and his wife, Leah, the magic of Bengaluru lies in its individuality and distinctness, epitomised in her spaces. Home & Away I suppose a unique space in Chicago, my home town, would be this Italian family beach restaurant, that’s probably been around since the 1940s. They serve the best sandwiches in Chicago, and I don’t think there’s another like them in the world. Of course, once you come to India, the definition of a unique space changes. There’s just so much to explore! Must-Explore in Bengaluru I would rate the Bengaluru Palace, Lal Bagh and Nandi Hills as the top three spaces to visit. Apart from that, I


culturama | july 2012

think Commercial Street offers quite a unique shopping experience for expats. Tips in Bengaluru Don’t be afraid of the experience. Ignore the crowds and stares and don’t let that stop you from looking for things you care about. Just roll with the experience and don’t compare with what it’s like back home. Experiential Moment On our trip to Hampi, when we were out looking at a temple there, a group of Indians asked us where we were from and if we liked India. Our immediate response was that we loved it here, and they were really happy to hear that, and it was a really positive experience. I think people are surprised here when we say that, but it’s true. And, experiences like these help you tide over the twenty percent who stare at you, and the twenty percent who are uncomfortable around you. Must-Explore in Chicago Definitely visit the Chicago Lake Front and the Millennium Park there, the Art Institute of Chicago and Sears Tower, now called the Willis Tower. And don’t be surprised by the lack of people on the streets!

culturama | july 2012


Look who's in Town d el h i

The Weekender

Australian Martha Chivers, previously a resident of Chennai, now a resident of Delhi, shares her experience of what weekends mean in the capital city FIVE minutes with Martha Chivers and you can feel the buzz of Delhi. Her energy and enthusiasm for the city is infectious, as is her penchant for new experiences! “My first impression of Delhi was how much it had changed in 4 years that we had last visited. New airport, new roads and many more building sites, if that was possible, and a sense of prosperity with all the new shopping malls, expensive cars on the road, along with the high property prices.” President of ANZA, a social network group of Australian and New Zealand citizens living in Delhi, she is currently busy planning the Melbourne Cup Charity Brunch, to be held in Delhi in November, apart from “discovering Delhi”. “Some days I feel that I have a hang of the city and other days I feel like I don’t know it at all. I’m still a tourist, experiencing the excitement of getting to know a new city, and other times, I am so overwhelmed that I just hide in my “cave”. Most importantly, Delhi now just means – home!” Weekends At Home Weekends in Sydney mean catching up with family and friends, walks and picnics around Sydney Harbour, a swim at the beach, shopping at the fresh food markets, visiting the local theatre, and occasionally a lovely sail or row on the Harbour.


culturama | july 2012

My Pick in Delhi Do take a walk around Lodi Gardens for some history, visit Santushti Markets for some retail therapy, and embrace the chaos with a cycle rickshaw ride around old Delhi. India Weekend Tips Like any major city, Delhi does not show us the real India. While you are here, you must explore the sites just a few hours’ drive or train ride from Delhi and explore Incredible India. Or get some friends together and enjoy a Sunday Brunch at some of Delhi’s hotels and restaurants. Australia Weekend Tips Walk it! Sydney is a lovely and easy place to walk around and it is the best way to see the place. From the Bondi to Bronte walk, Manly to the Spit, over the Harbour Bridge to the Rocks and Circular Quay. Enjoy the great outdoors – picnics at Nelson, Botanical and Centennial Parks, Clifton Gardens, a swim at Bondi Beach or Balmoral (don’t forget to visit the fish and chip shop there – it’s fantastic), a sail or ferry ride on Sydney Harbour. Visit a local food festival or great markets such as Kirribilli, Paddington, Rozelle, and don’t forget the fish markets in Pyrmont!

culturama | july 2012


Look who's in Town c h ennai

Food Fetish Scotsman Jim Kerins, Regional Head, TWI India, talks about his Chennai experience of food! JIM KERINS is a busy man. Having arrived in Chennai last November, he has been busy setting up TWI’s training division in India, fully functional since April 2012. But that is not the only thing that is keeping Jim busy. Interspersed into his workday routine are the many gastronomically inspired adventures that Chennai has on offer. “Eighty percent of the restaurants back home are Indo-Pak and Chinese restaurants. So I am quite familiar with chappathis, parathas and your rogan gosh. But this kind of Indian food, with the coconuts and the fried bananas, is a big change for me, a pleasant change,” he says, as he sits in Sangeetha, his favourite restaurant in the city, and shares some of his ideas on exploring food in Chennai. Favourite Restaurants ‘Sangeetha’, of course, tops my list. For a high-end restaurant, I would suggest ‘The Burgundy’. And if you like your fish, try the ‘Moonraker’ in Mahabalipuram, or any of the restaurants in the area.


culturama | july 2012

Favourite Food My pick would be dosas (definitely a must-try), idlis and vada. Eating Out Experience That would be eating out of a banana leaf at Murugan Idli Shop in Besant Nagar. It was a different experience, right from cleaning the leaf to the actual eating. I haven’t quite mastered the art of eating with my hands, though I managed quite well that day with a fork and spoon. India Eating Tips Go with an open mind. If you are worried about places to eat, look for busy places. And try restaurants other than the cosmopolitan, high-end ones. Scotland Eating Tips Look for the Haggis. It’s the national dish of Scotland. It’s made with the offal of sheep, mixed with oatmeal, onions, spices, and stock, covered in the sheep’s stomach and cooked in a pot for three hours. The story we tell foreigners though is that Haggis is a small animal with its two left legs shorter than its right legs, so it can run around the hills of Scotland without tripping over!

culturama | july 2012


Look who's in Town mumbai

Spirited Encounter

Californian Master Patricia Smith, who runs the NGO, Soul Mind Body Wellness Foundation in Mumbai, shares her India experience of the soul, the divine and the universe


culturama | july 2012

WHEN you talk to Master Patricia Smith, you realise that she earned the epithet of ‘master’ the hard way. After a terrible accident that crushed her spine, forcing her to walk with crutches for four years, and a long battle with cancer, Patricia discovered the healing power of energy and the limitless potential of the soul. “It was only after I met Master Zhi Gang Sha, founder of the Institute of Soul Healing and Enlightenment, that I recovered 100%.” So three years ago, when he told her that her calling was to go to India, she didn’t question it. “The strange thing for me was how it felt so natural to be here. I am Irish-American today, but I must have been an Indian in my past life!” India and the Divine In our work, we believe that everything has a soul and begin our healing process from there. The best thing about India is that this thought is already ingrained in her culture, and it’s a lot easier here than anywhere else in the world. People already believe in Karma. India and You For expats looking for a spiritual journey in India, know that the country already has a rich, spiritual tradition that literally permeates life here. India also gives you the opportunity to see the whole microcosm of life through a wide variety of human existence. And there is a deep love and compassion that feeds your soul. Top Tips A spiritual seeker needs to keep the soul open in order to benefit from what India has to offer, as the country is a lesson in flexibility of the mind, spirit and soul. Stick to any one path of learning. Learn to heal the soul, everything else will follow. Indian Experience To be honest, I haven’t had a chance to explore the different facets of Indian spirituality. But the two individuals who left a deep impact with their kindness and generosity are Sri Sri Ravishankar in Bengaluru and Baba Hardev Singh in Delhi. I was touched by their selfless service. California Calling California is the kind of place where when you go grocery shopping, it’s common to hear conversations around you in at least two different languages. Every tradition is represented there, so you are bound to find what you are looking for.

culturama | july 2012



Patty Smith, a resident of Mumbai for the past one year, presents her pick of events for the month of July, to launch the new format of Culturama’s popular calendar page!

Documentary Film July 13 | 1830h

NCPA Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai. Ph: 022-22824567 Khayal Darpan (Music Mirror) is a documentary based on classical music in Pakistan. On a fateful day in 1947, an arbitrary line sundered through the Indian subcontinent, giving rise to two nations recognised today as India and Pakistan. Having shared the same cultural heritage over several millennia, what happened to those cousins engaged in the same profession but now drawn across different political boundaries? The movie has English subtitles.

Food Festival

Every Friday and Saturday, all month | 1900h onwards JW Marriot, Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai – 400049. Ph: 022-66933344 Celebrate the flavours of the Mediterranean with ‘Sabor del Mediterraneo’ at Lotus Café. A unique selection of Lebanese, French, Italian, Spanish and Greek influences make up this buffet, available through the month.

Basics of Photography Workshop

Jul 28 and 29 | 0930h to 1800h Hotel Parle International, B. N. Agarwal Market, Vile Parle (East), Mumbai. Ph: 022- 26162476/2480/2482 A two-day workshop for beginners is being conducted by award-winning wildlife photographer, Sachin Rai. Voted the ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ in 2007, Sachin’s work can be viewed on his website at


culturama | july 2012

Designer Labels Sale

Till July 15 | 1100h to 2030h Kitch Boutique, # 48, Dr V.B.Gandhi Marg, Near Rhythm House, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai. Ph: 022-22687777 Kitsch, a multi-designer boutique, brings together a collection of the best designer labels from the world. Brands such as Stella McCartney, DVF and Alexander McQueen and MCQ will be on display with up to 40% off on the current season’s ready-towear and accessories collection for men and women. Open all days of the week, except Sundays.

Hamlet – The Clown Prince July 21, 22, 24, 25 & 26 | 1800h and 2100h Prithvi Theatre

What happens when a bunch of clowns put up a show of Hamlet? You get a play in English and Gibberish! Sometimes misinterpreting the text, sometimes finding new meanings, sometimes trying to understand it, but often making a mess of it. With a stellar cast, this Cinematograph production is directed by celebrated actor/director, Rajat Kapoor. The play is for an hour and 35 minutes, with no interval.


Our advisory board member and long-time resident of New Delhi, Marina Marangos, presents her pick of events for the month of July, to launch the new format of Culturama’s popular calendar page!

Company Paintings

Evening Decko

This event documents major expressions of 19th century. Indian Art, showcasing a charming mixed style, drawing elements both from Indian Miniatures and European naturalism in a period of synthesis and integration, reflecting the values and aspirations of the time.

Spend a lovely evening listening to live music at nU.Delhi grill and bar restaurant. This 100-seater Indian restaurant combines food, cocktails and music for a different experience in the heart of Delhi. Most evenings there is Jazz playing from 2030h to 2200h and from 2230h there is live music.

All month The National Gallery of Modern Art (Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India), Jaipur House, India Gate, New Delhi. Ph: 011-23384640, 23382835. Guided Tour of NGMA available on request

The Italian Cultural Programme All month | 1400h and 1800h The Italian Cultural Institute, 50-E, Chandragupta Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi-110021 (Entry from Nyaya Marg). Ph: 011 26871901/03. E-mail: Website:

The Institute is showing a number of films throughout July and August in their Multimedia Centre, though do check their website in the first week of July for times and movie listings. Membership required to attend.

Pub Hop

All month | 1800h onwards Urban Pind, N4, N Block, Greater Kailash, New Delhi – 1. Ph: 9818805909 Ranked #103 of the 258 things to do in Delhi by Lonely Planet travellers, Urban Pind is a great place for drinks and snacks. With comfortable sofas, three floors of space and imitation carvings, do check out their Expat Nights with special offers, usually held on a Thursday night. They also have Salsa night every Tuesday, with free lessons from 2100h.

All month | 1800h onwards nU.Delhi, 14/48, Malcha Marg Market, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi – 110021. Ph: 011 47378800. E-mail:

The Foundations of Western Civilization

Every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month | 1830h "The Attic", # 36, Regal Buildings, New Delhi. Ph: 011 23746050 These are a series of 24 video lectures given by Professor Thomas Noble of Notre Dame University. The lectures, an overview through the history of earlier times, are both instructive and entertaining. You can discover the essential nature, evolution and perceptions of Western civilisation from its humble beginnings in the great river valleys of Iraq and Egypt to the dawn of the modern world. The ones scheduled for July 2 are ‘Dark Age and Archaic Greece’ and ‘The Greek Polis Sparta’, and for July 23 it is ‘The Birth of History’ and ‘From Greek Religion to Socratic Philosophy’. Please do check the dates as the programme for July is not yet released. Lecture series free for all.

culturama | july 2012




Teresa Heart, a resident of Bengaluru for the past three years, presents her pick of events for the month of July, to launch the new format of Culturama’s popular calendar page!

Dine in Style

Every Friday this month | 1800h onwards Turquoise Restaurants 9, 17th A Main, Kormangala 5th Block, Bengaluru Ph: 080 65776588, 9739942912 Spend a lovely Friday evening with great food and beautiful music by Mike Kerr at Turquiose Restaurants. Retro, soft rock and conventional genres, Mike sings them all. Savour the best of European cuisines ranging from Italian to Spanish to Mediterranean.

Suchitra Short Fiction Film Festival (S2F3)

July 7 & 8 Suchitra, # 36, B V Karanth Road, 9th Main Road, Banashankari II Stage, Bengaluru – 560070. Ph: 984 505 5034 Suchitra is a 40-year-old, not-forprofit cultural organisation, engaged with cinema, theatre, literature, media and the performing arts by screening films, staging plays and performances and organising seminars and festivals. S2F3 is designed to promote films made by new filmmakers of any age. Screenings are followed by discussions between an expert from the industry and the crew of the film. For more details, call the venue.

Fashion Forward

July 26 to 29 Hotel Matthan, #134, HAL Airport Road, Near Manipal Hospital, Kodihalli, Bengaluru Ph: 080 4249 4949, 42048764/65 42048571, 42048270 This is an annual event that acts as a platform for Indian designers. Look out for evening wear, wedding gowns, fashion accessories, handbags, shoes, casual wear, silk, and more.


culturama | july 2012

Whitefield Music Festival

July 7 & 8 | 1600h MLR Convention Centre, Whitefield, Dyavasandra, Mahadevapura Post, Near Brigade Metropolis, Bengaluru It is a unique combination of one of the most rustic Indian instrumental music, clubbed with traditional dance and vocal music performances.

Rainforest Expedition July 14 & 15 Agumbe, Bengaluru, Karnataka. Ph: 990104434

Explore the wild side of the Western Ghats at Agumbe, India's first Rainforest Research Station and photograph some of the most beautiful waterfalls, landscapes, plants, reptiles and amphibians. Wildlife photographer, Amoghavarsha, and researcher Gowrishankar, are the guides who take you through the natural history and bio-diversity of the place.

culturama | july 2012



Mari Kontio, a resident of Chennai for the past one year, presents her pick of events for the month of July, to launch the new format of Culturama’s popular calendar page!

International Film Festival July 14 to 21 | 0900h to 2100h Various

Presented by InKo Centre, this is an annual event with 130 feature, short and documentary films from India, Korea and approximately 48 other countries screened over seven days in Chennai. The screenings this year are being held at the British Council, Goethe Institute, Kalakshetra Foundation, Apparao Galleries, Loyola College, LV Prasad Film & TV Academy, and Russian Centre of Science and Culture. For more information, contact InKo Centre at # 51, 6th Main Road, Raja Annamalai Puram, Chennai – 600028 or call 044 24361224.

Theatre Festival

July 11 to 22 Alliance Francaise Auditorium, #24, College Road, Chennai. Ph: 044-28279803/28271477 This is probably the ‘Biggest Little Play Festival’ in the world. Enjoy over 150 of the best ten-minute plays from local and international writers. The top 20 plays though will feature in the week starting July 11 and July 18. The top ten plays from the festival will be showcased as part of the grand finale on July 22

Zoological Park

Monday through Friday except Tuesdays | 0900h to 1800h Near Crescent College & Team Company, Vandalur, Chennai. Ph: 044-22751089 The Arignar Anna Zoological Park or the Vandalur Zoo, first established in 1855, is the country’s first public zoo. It has attractions such as the nocturnal animal house, butterfly house, a walkthrough aviary, the cave-model waterfall entrance, prey-predator enclosures and an aquarium. After Mudumalai in Nilgiris, this is Tamil Nadu’s second wildlife sanctuary. A must-visit with children.


culturama | july 2012

Special Children’s Festival

July 15 onwards | 1000h to 1800h DakshinaChitra, East Coast Road, Muttukadu, Chennai – 603118. Ph: 044-27472603, 27472783 DakshinaChitra is a centre for the living traditions of art in South India. They are organising a children’s festival with folk dance sessions, puppet shows, glass blowing and much more.

International Fashion Week July 25 to 29 Hyatt Regency, Anna Salai, Mount Road, Triplicane, Chennai. Ph: 044-61001234

Season 4 of the Chennai International Fashion Week is here, and this year it promises to be bigger and better. The event will showcase an impressive line-up of designers and their collection. For more details, write to

culturama | july 2012


Photo Feature

P ra v eena S h i v ram

wish blowing train

Ever y ordinar y face has an extraordinar y stor y behind it, more so in India with her abounding population. Culturama attempts to capture some of these in this new series of shor t stories

WHEN Rizwan came to Mumbai for the first time, he was six years old. He had come with his mother to visit his father, who had been hired as a sub-junior railway staff, a glorified term for the odd-job man – cleaner, tea-bringer, errands-runner and sometimes, a masseuse for tired VIPs resting in the officer’s lounge. He was reporting directly to the TTE, the Travelling Ticket Examiner, a short, thin man, with spectacles much too big for his face and his black and white uniform untidy and creased… the sign of a man who knew his importance in the world. But, for Rizwan, the TTE hardly left an impression on his mind. He was simply what his abba called him – Saab. Master, Superior, Better. It wasn’t something he needed to worry about; the nomenclature safely marginalised the TTE to the ‘other’ world. What did leave an impression on his mind was the inconspicuous black badge pinned to his father’s crisp khakhi uniform, and his father’s name in white, all in capital letters: Bismillah Khan. The letters, neatly spaced out and evenly sized spoke to him of a world of safety, where everything you touched would magically be transformed to rightness, where precision would be the law, and rectitude the norm. Rizwan’s young mind was transfixed on the promises the badge was secretly making to him, that he did not register his father kissing him goodbye, the small change he hurriedly pressed into his mother’s hands, if only to remember how they felt, or the TTE barking orders to an embarrassed Bismillah Khan. Rizwan did not see any of that, as his mother, holding him firmly against her chest, slipped into the forever open maw of Victoria Terminus, the jostling crowds and fractured dreams colliding with each other in this race against time. That was the last Rizwan saw of Mumbai. For the next time he came, it was 10 years later, a week after his father died in an unexpected stampede caused by a bomb scare alert at the station. Rizwan was asked to take over his father’s position, which after 10 long years of service, remained that of a sub-junior railway staff. The day he landed in Mumbai was the day he needed to report to work. He met the TTE, the same short bespectacled man, except, his uniform was now neatly ironed. He seemed paler in comparison to the man of his memory, almost a shadow of his former self-assuredness. He stared at Rizwan for a long time, searching for something he knew should be there. “You look nothing like your father.” It was almost as if he was accusing Rizwan for this injustice, a brief cloud of suspicion fogging his vision. The tension was broken by the distant ring of a telephone, and the TTE grunted and left the room, pointing to a tattered cardboard box on the table in the far corner of the room on his way out. “Your uniform” was all he said.


culturama | july 2012

photo michele bosciano, italy

photo lee webb, usa

Rizwan walked towards the box, flashes of his father’s khakhicoloured smile framed within the rectangular orderliness of his badge playing hide and seek in his mind. He knew what was in that box. Every step that brought him closer to it, also took him farther back in time – his father’s monthly visits, the endless waiting at the small station in their village for his arrival, the sweets he always brought, wrapped clumsily in yesterday’s newspaper, the hours they spent touching up the chipped letters of his badge with white paint, the stories he told him, well into the night, of missing cargo, VIP passengers, First Class cabins, the delicious food people always wasted, the sounds of nature that were magically muffled in the AC compartments, and the inevitable goodbye. After his father’s death, they sent his khakhi uniform and badge by post. The badge was broken, neatly in half, as if even when its end came it had to be precise. Rizwan closed his eyes to will the images away, swallowed hard and opened the box. There was a khakhi uniform, brand new. And right next to it was a badge with his name – Rizwan Khan – gleaming with fresh promises.

photo ingrid ritter, UK

culturama | july 2012


Thought Leaders t eam cult urama

uplifting SERVICE Ron Kaufman, Founder & CEO of UP! Your Service, and author of the bestselling ‘Uplifting Service’, talks to Culturama in an exclusive interview of India’s path and role in building an effective service culture

WHEN somebody who has been voted the ‘Top 25 Who’s Hot’ speakers by Speaker Magazine says that “there is now a crisis of service that exists” in the world, you sit up and take notice. Ron Kaufman, a leading exponent of the importance of building service cultures as the foundation for success, wears many hats—of a speaker, educator, motivator, leader and author. What drives him is a vision of “a world where people are educated and inspired to excel in service” and he believes that India is no exception to this. “In a country like India, the whole focus of service is not on what is in it for me, but what I can do for you. There are powerful icons in India like Gandhi, Mother Teresa and others whose lives have been made meaningful and are full of richness by serving others. Indian culture is passionate about learning and academics. When service is taught as an


culturama | july 2012

area of study, as a discipline based on an anchorage in fundamental service principles, people will then have the opportunity to engage with the idea of service to create value, and that becomes the key to personal advancement,” he says. In a world where boundaries are fast shrinking and distances are defined in microseconds, a central idea of “service” might be idealistic in its approach and ambitious in its reach, but Ron begs to differ. “If one culture values speed and transparency and another values patience and diplomacy and so on, one can legitimately say that different cultures value different things. But service holds the same meaning, whatsoever. It is creating value for others. This is to be understood and is the reason why we want an educated world where people are inspired to excel.” A challenge indeed for India, not just in terms of the battle with literacy but also with the very perspective of service that is often coloured by an overture of hierarchy, at least at the workplace. Given that, corporate India certainly has its hands full, but Ron believes the answer to that lies in breaking away from the traditional adage of ‘customer is king’. “We need to terminate the notion that being in the service industry makes you subservient. If the customer is king, who is the service provider? A slave? Every one of us provides service and is the recipient of services. That is how the world works. Addressing the issue of hierarchy, it is outdated. How is it that people from lowly backgrounds have successful careers? And is there a guarantee that people from historic backgrounds always fare well? Creating commercial success is creating value for people and that is service. I have been coming to India for the last 22 years. I have seen how it was and I am seeing how it is now. I not only think it is ready but we are also ready to see Indian companies lead, grab opportunities, commit and also break away.”

Corporate India’s Three Fold Path

(i) Understand fundamental service education: It is essential to build a successful service culture. It is not taught in schools or professional courses. That is why corporates are burdened with this challenge of

educating not just the people who handle customers but also all the employees in an organisation. (ii) Twelve Building Blocks: They are culture building activities like Recruitment, Rewards and Recognition, Voice of the Customer, Service Recovery that every organisation is already doing. It is essential that these are evaluated, improved and aligned to support the education and to incentivise the desired behaviours, and successfully engineer the service culture. (iii) Recognise that there is a fundamental leadership role that everyone has to play: That includes not just walking the talk as an excellent service provider to colleagues and customers, but also ‘talking the talk’. Every leader must understand and apply the fundamental service principles.

organizations are unable to provide consistently satisfying service to customers, clients, and colleagues. And, second, many service providers complain continuously about jobs they dislike. With service all around us, and so much a part of our daily lives, why aren’t we doing it better? Why is service in this abysmal state? What is the problem?

Excerpt from ‘Uplifting Service’

The Problem with Service Today We are facing a crisis of service all over the world. Huge economies are transforming from manufacturingbased to service-based at record speed, and our populations are largely unprepared. Customers are angry and complain to anyone who will listen. Service providers are irritated to the point of resentment and resignation. Countless organizations promise satisfaction to external customers and then allow internal politics to frustrate their employees’ good intentions to deliver. And our early educational systems don’t even recognize the subject of service as an area for serious study. Yes, we face a service crisis. But, how can that be? Service is present in every aspect of our lives from the moment we are born. We enter this world completely dependent on other people to serve us with food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, and affection. Longer than any other species on earth, young people are dependent on constant service from parents, teachers, doctors, and community leaders. As we grow, we go to work, become professionals, and get jobs, earning money and building our careers in successful service to others. When we become parents, we are service providers to the next generation. And when we become caregivers to our own parents, the roles are reversed and we are service providers to those who fi rst served us. We live and work in a world that is completely infused with service. In commerce this includes customer service and colleagues providing internal service. We have roadside service, desk-side service, counter service, delivery service, and self-service. In our communities we depend on the civil service, public service, government service, military service, and foreign service. When we gather to worship it’s called a religious service, and when someone dies there is a memorial service. Service is all around you; it’s everywhere you look and live. But still, there is a vast disconnect between the high volume and the low quality of service we experience every day. In fact, there is a twofold catastrophe in our lives that makes very little sense. First, many individuals and

culturama | july 2012



culturama | july 2012

Advertiser's Feature

culturama | july 2012


Seeing India M a s arra t h A li K h an

Life Ruins in

Once the capital of the famed Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi, may now lie in ruin, but every piece of stone here tells a story of lost grandeur

I LANDED in Hampi on a cool wintry night. A power cut had imparted a ghostly look to the temple town. A white bulb glowing on the summit of the Virupaksha Temple’s tower looked like a jewel shining in the crown. Minutes later, I was rewarded with an ethereal vista. Clouds gave way to a clear sky, and thanks to the full moon, I saw the magnificence of the Virupaksha Temple bathed in moonlight, enough to chisel its image in my heart. Hampi, the capital city of the South Indian Vijayanagara Empire, situated on the southern bank of the River Tungabhadra in Karnataka, is also known as Pampakshetra, Pampa being the local name of the river, and that of Goddess Parvati,


photos masarrath ali khan, india culturama | july 2012

consort of Lord Shiva. Hampi’s monuments were built during the period 1336–1570 AD from the times of Kings Harihara-I to Sadasiva Raya. But it was Krishnadevaraya (AD 1509–1530), the greatest ruler of the dynasty, whose name is synonymous with Hampi’s glory. It was during his reign that the region witnessed a resurgence of Hindu religion, art and architecture on an unprecedented scale. After the disastrous battle of Talikota in 1565, Hampi lapsed into decline and abandonment. The Virupaksha Temple is the heart of the town around which life revolves in Hampi. I dumped my luggage in a small guest-room in Hampi Bazaar Street, and took a leisurely walk in the darkness. The aroma of Mysore bajjis and fast food being fried in makeshift stalls impregnated the air. An old woman was selling tea and sweetmeats in a pavement stall on Hampi Bazaar Street. A tourist was making the portrait of the tea-owner, and a local girl voluntarily beamed light on her canvas with a cell phone! Next morning, I chose to visit the Vijaya Vithala Temple, the crowning glory of Hampi dating back to 1422–1426 BC. The temple has many mandapas, each surpassing the other in beauty and brilliance. Its musical pillars (now out of bounds for tourists) are well known for producing the octaves of Indian classical music. The stone car, carved on a single hard granite rock placed in the temple’s courtyard, is the signature of Hampi. All the intricate and delicate details found in a wooden chariot are simulated in this stone car, and even its stone wheels revolve! By the time I returned to my room at 10 a.m., my guide Hanumantha was waiting for me. Clad in a white dhoti and kurta, he turned out to be a man of outstanding qualities, always willing to lend a helping hand to tourists. An indigenous masseuse, he knows Hampi and its history like the back of his palm. He runs the Mahatma Gandhi Bookshop of English titles and picture postcards in Bazaar Street and offers excellent guiding service at reasonable rates. He helped me at every step during my stay in Hampi. While the other tourist guides take tourists to places in cars, Hanumantha prefers and encourages the tourist to walk, for that is the best way of exploring a historical site.

After a belated breakfast, Hanumantha and I paid a visit to the large and ornate Krishna Temple, yet another masterpiece of Hampi. He showed me all the ten avatars of Vishnu, including the rare one of Kalki (the tenth avatar), carved in this temple. In the western wing, he showed me the stucco figures of warriors with shields, spirited horses and elephants. Hanumantha told me that Krishnadevaraya fought a war against the Gajapatis, a medieval Hindu dynasty, and won. He brought an idol of a young Lord Krishna to commemorate his victory and built this temple to install that idol. Presently, that idol is not in the temple, but in Chennai’s Museum! The Hazara Rama Temple (temple of a thousand Ramas), built by Krishnadevaraya in 1513, is a veritable picture gallery with its walls and pillars capturing the immortal legends of the Ramayana in stone. The friezes depict a procession of horses, elephants, dancing girls and soldiers attired in splendid weaponry. We found an elegant example of the fusion of Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture in the Lotus Mahal. The palace has beautiful geometrically arranged cusped arches that resemble the petals of a flower opening to the sun. The Elephant Stable is an imposing edifice, facing west with arched entrances and many domes, that once housed the magnificent state elephants. The next morning, I visited the Virupaksha Temple well before dawn. This is the only temple that is still used for worship. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort, Pampadevi. Parts of the temple are older than the Vijayanagara Empire itself. The temple, with a ninestoried gopura, towers above the other structures of Hampi. The ceiling of the Ranga Mandapa is beautifully painted with scenes from India’s ancient texts. Minutes later, the temple’s elephant was taken out for a bath in the river and I followed him, only to see hundreds of tourists waiting to capture the jumbo in their camera! At the end of the day, as I stood by the banks of the Tungabhadra, listening to the music of history and silence, I knew, somewhere deep in my heart, that even a lifetime would not be enough to absorb the sights and sounds of this city of ruins.

culturama | july 2012


Being India L i s a Hey d lau f f

story real time

Can the power of a story be measured? At Going to School, they believe it can, through the transformations in the lives of India’s children from low-income groups. And it all began with a story 54

culturama | july 2012

ONCE, many years ago now, I came to India for the first time because of a story.In fact, it was a story that I did not check out of a library, I remember that the title of the book was Women, the Press & Partition, but nothing more – then there was a question from Oliver, age seven, who asked me, hoping that I just might know, “What is it like to go to school in India?” I promised Oliver that if I ever did go to India I would find out. My story moves between continents. Because I moved from school to school when I was young, and I was always the new child in school, I find my home in what I do: Going to School makes magical media (movies, books, radio) for children in India to inspire them to change their lives by going to school, just as I hoped and believed was possible when I was young. In India, I found, you can have an idea and make it come true because other people dare to believe in the idea too. Going to School in India was my dream to make a beautiful book about what school could be – a dream that independent media could play a role in transforming the way children see their lives, education and opportunities. The Bharti Foundation took a risk and believed too, and today we have the book that started the journey we are still on today. For me, India is about the power of a story to change reality. Girl Stars, Going to School’s second project, are extraordinary tales of ordinary girls who have changed their lives by completing their education. From Anita the Beekeeper to Kiran the Junkyard Dealer – Girl Stars’ magical movies and books celebrate the journey of young women – who against all odds – overcame challenges to change their lives and the lives of those around them. Because Girl Stars exist, girls see that they can change their lives too. “Are they real?” children ask us, and we nod, knowing that now we must tell many more stories that are both magical and true, to be able to make real, the potential that young people in India hold. And so, our work continues. We learnt so much from Going to School and Girl Stars; we learnt that although improving education is the key to our vision of change – education must be linked to the world around us, enabling young people to create their own economic opportunities and wealth for their communities.

And so in our next series, Be! an Entrepreneur communicates to children about the need to go to school, create their own opportunities and pioneer enterprises to solve the problems they face in their lives. Be! asks children to choose to become entrepreneurs, and shows them that in many ways they already are – children in India use their entrepreneurial skills everyday to negotiate their way to school, build relationships and create new ideas out of limited resources. Be! Books are delivered to children in schools, so they can learn key skills at school. Once they complete their education and are 18 years old, they can submit their business ideas to the Be! Fund (part of a linked project). Be! Fund is India’s first not-for-profit risk capital fund that invests in the poorest young people to start sustainable enterprises that solve problems where they live. What’s different about the Be! Fund is that we invest in young people’s ideas, not ours! From water to waste, energy to education, we believe young people who live in poverty have enterprise ideas to the problems they face; they have just never been given the chance before to solve them. We find our entrepreneurs by releasing our Be! Movies series (with the support of our channel partner), about hero entrepreneurs from low-income groups on national TV channels (we have a radio series too!). Each Be! Movie asks young people who have a business idea to solve a local problem to call the Be! Fund. When our movies aired on STAR UTSAV, we received over 68,000 calls from young people with business ideas. We’ve

invested in 17 entrepreneurs so far, all are successful and returning the capital to the fund that we will reinvest in more entrepreneurs. Pushing a ripple effect, inviting scale, once a young person succeeds, we then tell these new hero entrepreneur stories on national television to inspire the next generation, and other financial institutions to follow, and we create graphic novels of these epic stories, Be! Books, that are taught to children in schools, so they can learn about enterprise at school. After nine years of working at Going to School, we think Be! just might be the answer. We want to prove that stories change the way things are. They are for children you’d think need everything else but a story: shoes, lunch, uniform, Internet, electricity, an inspired teacher, a bicycle to get to school. We believe beautiful stories can change the way children see their lives and opportunities, for us, India is about the power of individuals choosing to believe in a story so passionately (a story larger than themselves) that together, they make it come true. Today, we are an organisation of 15 people, committed to making mass media to transform children’s lives. We face incredible challenges, of course we do – everyday our ideas fall apart and are reassembled again with the belief that it is important to tell beautiful stories to the poorest children in India. We tell stories to children about how they can use their education to transform their lives, in the hope and belief that one day – their stories too, will come true.

Lisa Heydlauff is the director and founder of Going to School, a creative non-profit media trust for children in India.

culturama | july 2012


Rhythmof Life A d i t i M angal d a s

Kathak, the classical dance from Northern India originated with performances of storytellers narrating and singing songs from epics and mythology

The Poetry of

Movement 56

culturama | july 2012

THERE are times in one’s life when one feels like experiencing something totally different. I have often imagined myself leaping off a plane, drifting with the clouds, letting my body mould to the music of the wind and the pull of the earth’s gravity. Or imagined myself going into the depth of the ocean, dark, forbidding, where silence is all pervading. The body, flowing, suspended, constantly in motion. Feeling the sheer weight of the water. Experiencing the fluid poetry of that world. All forms of creative expression must have begun with this need to plunge into the unknown. It is not always possible to leap off a plane or dive deep into the sea! But the mind has no barriers and can be as adventurous as one wants. It can explain, innovate, break boundaries and seek new frontiers. Yet the spirit is trapped in the body and the body needs extensive training to follow the mind in its myriad flights of fancy. This demands strict discipline and unquestionable ‘sadhna’ (practice) for both traditional and contemporary art. So is it true for dance. The impulse to do, this comes from within. As the noted philosopher J. Krishnamurti said, “The distance to the stars is lesser than the distance that one can travel within one’s self.” I started learning kathak at the age of five and was extremely fortunate to be under the guidance of Smt. Kumudini Lakhia and Shri Birju Maharaj, both pioneers in giving a contemporary approach to kathak. They have drawn their strength from a tradition that has grown and evolved during the past thousands of years. Kathak is a classical dance style of North India. It is the only classical dance, which has incorporated within its repertoire, both Hindu and Muslim cultures. As the saying goes, “katha kahe so kathak” – A person who narrates a story is called a kathak. “Kathiks” or narrators would dance and sing, narrating stories from mythology in temples along the Gangetic valley. When the north was invaded by the Mughals, this existing dance form was transported from the temples to the grand Mughal courts. Its purpose from a social dance changed to that of entertainment. It kept its original literature and style, but incorporated within its repertoire a very dynamic aspect – intricate footwork and rhythmic patterns, stunning pirouettes and Mughal grace or “nazaqat”. Then, pure entertainment, enthralling and sensuous, overshadowed the social significance. Dare one imagine how contemporary the dancer of that court could have been? Unfortunately, during the British rule, kathak was looked down upon, called “nautch” and was eventually confined to the “durbar” of the courtesans. After independence, there was a great revival and a resurgence of this style in its full glory. Still performed mostly by men and that too by dancers from a hereditary background. It was deemed not proper for women to dance kathak due to the notorious reputation that it had acquired. Hence the women who did venture out to learn and master it, were trailblazers and unconventional and thus added a breadth of fresh air and intellectual substance to the style. So kathak has come a long way. From the temple, the courts, the Kothas and now on to the proscenium stage. I have performed in many countries, from a remote village in Uzbekistan to the Lincoln Centre in New York. From a windy beach in Seychelles to the huge theatres in China. It has been my endeavour to reach out to different people with different cultures and sensibilities. Dance has a universal language and

yet Indian classical dance has with it, its history and geography. So is it possible to keep the essence of this dance, the spirit and core of this dance, and yet infuse in it contemporary sensibilities? I have a wanderlust. Just like people who roam the whole world, explore its remotest corners and try to fathom what lies beyond the earth, the solar system, the universe. I travel through my body and my mind. To explore new places, new routes, diverse avenues. To travel through various parts of my body and to let these parts travel through different parts of space. Would it be possible to watch the space within you, like you watch the space outside you? As you see a dancer move through space, could you see the space move through you?

The writer is one of India’s renowned Kathak dancers, who has won accolades and awards for her performances the world over.

culturama | july 2012

57 57

News & Happening

Two Good!

ON JULY 11, Hedwig Baars (R&D Head of Ericson, India) and his wife, Bernadette, had an unusual farewell organised by Global Adjustments (GA). The farewell was an Indian wedding ceremony! Why? Because for GA, Hedwig and Bernadette’s relationship epitomises the values of an Indian family, the beauty of togetherness, the serenity of love and the comfort of friendship. With traditional music, balls of rice warding off the evil eye, the customary banana and milk for the couple, and an air of good cheer, it was a fitting finale to their India sojourn of four years. And as always, GA’s special touch of warmth included a sprout ritual as well. Sixteen pots of sprouts signifying the 16 treasures of life were placed and each GA member spooned in a wish of their choice, making it meaningful for the couple. During his farewell speech, Hedwig said, “As an MNC in India, it was most useful for us to have a partner in Global Adjustments, as they were able to help us in many ways, including making a difference with corporate citizenship for awareness creation in schools.” Thank you, Hedwig, and Bernadette, for being the first member of the India Immersion Centre!

Weaver Land

Myth Busters GLOBAL ADJUSTMENTS, in collaboration with Brass Tacks, a boutique store in Chennai, recently introduced the famous Indian weave of Ikat to a group of Japanese friends. In an interactive session, the participants had a chance to feel the fabric and differentiate between the actual weave and a printed pattern, apart from trying their hands at weaving, dyeing, sketching and even designing! To be invited to the next event, email


culturama | july 2012

AT DILLI SAGA, an exclusive expat culture hub in Delhi, a fun session on ‘Why do Indians do that?’ was conducted at The Park in Connaught Place, the perfect event partner. Dilli Saga is a joint venture of Global Adjustments (GA) and AGS 4Winds to unravel India insights to expatriate spouses. Ranjini Manian, Founder and CEO of GA, answered a wide range of questions from ‘What’s with the famous Indian head bob?’ to ‘Why do brides never smile at their weddings?’ with interesting anecdotes and stories from Indian mythology. A group of 35 women from various nationalities, who attended this event, added their own flavour with funny facts from their countries. To be invited to the next event, e-mail

Going Bananas over Mangoes!

200 Times Over! Dilli Saga also played host to the launch of the 200th issue of Culturama by Eva Jimenez , spouse of one of our key clients and a dear friend. “As a satisfied client and well wisher of Global Adjustments, it was my pleasure to launch the 200th issue of Culturama. This is a unique magazine that gives expats living in India rich insights of her culture, and helps one experience India in the different cities with its calendar of events and tips on festivals.” “I thoroughly enjoy reading the Culturama magazine and learning about the Indian culture. To the Global Adjustments team – thank you for the outstanding services! “ – Marcel Hungerbuehler Chief Operation Officer, Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd. ‘’ Culturama really helps bridge cultures and provides interesting info on cultural events in India ‘’ Furthermore the warm, diverse and always interesting personalities of Ranjini and her team at Global Adjustments are themselves a well matched representation of the India that they have educated us about and that we since experienced for ourselves.” – Richard White, Trade Commissioner- New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

Make way for the king of fruits—the mango ! The IIC in Chennai is all set to celebrate in a unique cookery session, as a drink, a starter, a main course and dessert. Come see how the Indian kitchen has embraced this fruit in a live cookery session followed by a traditional lunch. Take away some lip smacking recipes and cookery tips from Mrs Krishna Nambiar, Chennai's own Master Chef. Date & Time : Saturday, July 21, 2012 Time : 10 am to 1.00 pm Price : US $35 Venue : India Immersion Centre, # 5, Third Main Road, R.A. Puram, Chennai 600 028






Indian Cookery

A gastronomical journey with the king of fruitsMango! A cooking demonstration followed by lunch!

Saturday, July 21, 1030a.m – 1300h



Dilli Saaga

Celebrate Raksha –Bandhan. The story and significance of the festival which celebrates the special bonding of a brother & sister.

Thursday, August 31, 1000 —1200noon


Australian New Zealand Association, ANZA

ANZA coffee mornings, All Australian & New Zealand passport holders and/or spouses are welcome!

All Fridays 900—1030h At Olive Beach Hotel, Diplomat Sardar PatelRoad, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

Contact AnzaNewDelhi

culturama | july 2012


Global Citizen N eil M iller

Executive decision When it comes to decision-making, culture seems to play a key role, as our columnist discovers at a recent cross-cultural event

SVPs from the finance industry in a Behavioural Skills training programme for Global Citizenship

I RECENTLY attended an event held by the IndoFrench Chamber of Commerce featuring a panel of Indian and French business people talking about cross-cultural issues. At the end of the Q&A time, one Frenchman asked, “What are the stereotypes that Indians have of French management?” One daring Indian panelist spoke up and said, “The French discuss and argue and discuss and argue, but they never will just take a decision and go with it.” Immediately the Indians in the room smiled in agreement, as if a longheld secret was just released. However, one French panelist spoke up and said, “Actually, we feel that Indians are always waiting on us to decide things in their areas and won’t just make a decision and go with it.” This time all the French were smiling. After an evening of discussion focused on crossculture from a theoretical standpoint, we had a real, honest example of two sides with totally different assumptions coming out in the open. Each group anxiously waits for the other to make a decision, engaged in a standoff that keeps real business from happening. What makes this such a troublesome challenge to global businesses? From the Indian perspective, the essential role of management is to make decisions

and inform the team where the ship is heading. Why should I make a decision if you have the degree, experience, position and salary to make it? To take a decision on your own exposes you to risk, failure and possibly being the scapegoat. The currency of Indian business is loyalty, which Indians will give in droves, but initiative does not offer the same guaranteed rewards. The French perspective says that if I’ve hired you to be the VP of HR, then why in the world do you need to wait on me to take a decision? I hired you to do a job and that includes making decisions and executing them. Failure can be an option and a good teacher, as long as you learn, and your manager will be supportive as long as you are making the best decision you can. To take a decision is to accept responsibility, to prove yourself as a leader, to be shown as trustworthy and to gain respect. Europeans like results and the only way to get better results is to try something new. Is this an area where we should compromise, or is one way better than the other in the international business world? It’s probably not for us to say, but if there is so much confusion surrounding who is going to make a decision, it sounds like a good place for the Global Citizen out in front.

The writer is Head of Business Strategy for Global Adjustments (GA). He is American and has been living in India for the past two years. For a copy of GA’s New Training Catalogue featuring all of our courses and modules, including ‘Being Assertive’, contact For a list of our courses and descriptions, visit our website: 60

culturama | july 2012

sri lanka Office


THIS is a good pose if you're feeling selfconscious about doing yoga at your desk. No one needs to know! But as subtle as it is, don't underestimate the benefits of this yoga pose. It can really help relieve lower back pain. While sitting in a chair, cross your left leg over right and rest it just above your right knee. Maintain an upright posture and a relaxed body. Apply pressure on the crossed kee with your left below or left palm. You should immediately feel a deep hip stretch. Imagine you are breathing all the way down to the stretched hip area. When you have had enough, switch sides.

Best for July & August: Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle with a beach break at Trincomallee

milesworth holidays india • srilanka • maldives • and beyond


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

Milesworth Travels & Tours Pvt. Ltd., 39 R M Towers, 108 Chamiers Road, Chennai. Tel: +91-44-24320522 / 24359554 Fax: +91-44-24342668 E-mail: culturama | july 2012


Holistic Living E k na t h E a s waran


Check THE night sky in a South Indian village is ablaze with stars, thousands more than a city-dweller can imagine. Thousands of years ago a boy like me might have lain awake next to his granny watching the very same stars in the deep darkness of a tropical night, asking the same questions we ask today: What are the stars? How far away are they? What do they portend? How do I fit in? Like ancients everywhere, my ancestors five thousand years ago studied the night sky and found patterns in it, and meaning in those patterns, driven by that age-old need to understand that is so characteristic of our species. The Gita has a good name for such people: jijnasu, “those with a passion to know.” In many ways, this search for truth in ancient India followed a pattern familiar in other cultures, studying and classifying objects and creatures and seeking unities by which to explain the details – a passion for abstraction that reminds us of the ancient Greeks. But there were some – the sages who gave us India’s most ancient scriptures, the Upanishads – who were not content with naming and classifying and theorising. They wanted knowledge that was sure, invariant, something to build one’s life on: a truth beyond change.


culturama | july 2012

photo lisa payne, usa

Through the second chapter of the Bhagwad Gita, where the real lesson begins, Sri Easwaran eases us into the journey of the real world and beyond

All of nature is a flux, they observed, never the same from minute to minute – not only natural phenomena but all of human experience. Even death, so sure, is merely life’s last great change: everything in our experience is in a continual process of coming into being and passing away. Philosophers elsewhere in the ancient world made similar observations, but these seekers of the Upanishads took a different turn. Rather than reason about change, they focused on the observer: the senses, intellect, and mind. If what we know depends on what is presented to us by the senses, they asked, how reliable is this knowledge and how much can it really tell us? This is a subtle position, easy to misunderstand. The sages are not saying the world we see is unreal, but simply that it is a construction of sensory data within consciousness. That construction is real, as real as our everyday experience. But it exists within consciousness, not “outside”. Change in the world outside and change in the mind are the same phenomena, simply seen from different points of view. The world of experience is one undivided world of flux. Yet might there be a way to rise above this flux, to stand apart from this world of change within the mind? Might there be a mode of knowing higher than the mind, by which reality can be known directly? This is the question these sages asked, and its pursuit is probably India’s greatest gift to the world. The sages of the Upanishads turned Descartes’ dictum inside out: “I am; therefore I think.” They made the radical discovery that thinking is not a requirement for consciousness. It sounds absurd in English: isn’t thinking what consciousness does? But this isn’t philosophical speculation; it’s an experimental observation. Instead of thinking about thinking, these sages focused attention on the thought-process itself by withdrawing attention from the senses, and when they did so, they discovered that it is possible to stand apart from the thought-process and observe it objectively. As a result, the study of the mind in ancient India took a radically different turn from the West. In Indian thought, the study of the mind is not subjective but objective: brahmavidya, “the science of reality,” which has been called “the study of the mind by the mind to go beyond the mind.” Its method is meditation, which in the Gita we can see presented in general terms long before it developed into different schools. I would not hesitate to call meditation one of the most important of human discoveries, an evolutionary development as important as speech or writing. Meditation begins with withdrawing the senses from the outside world by concentrating on a focus within the mind. As concentration deepens, thought merges in one titanic

inquiry beyond words: “Who am I?” Finally, this inquiry itself dissolves and the mind becomes completely still – yet awareness remains; we are immeasurably more awake than when the mind and senses are active. The body functions in space; the mind functions in time. In meditation, when all consciousness is retrieved from the senses into the mind, the eyes don’t see, the ears don’t hear; the sensory world has been left behind. In that state, if you cannot observe yourself through your senses, you – as the observer, of course, not the physical organism – don’t have a body. And when awareness of the body is lost, consciousness is no longer confined in space. Beyond and beneath the world of change, there is only direct awareness of a world that is one and indivisible, infinite, radiant. Observer and observed become one in pure consciousness, pure energy, the same energy that flows through all life. And because this state is indivisible, it is not touched by time, by age, by death. It is by repeating this experience over and over again that one comes to understand and realize the words of the Gita: The impermanent has no reality; reality lies in the eternal. . . . You were never born; you will never die. You have never changed; you can never change. Unborn, eternal, immutable, immemorial, you do not die when the body dies. (2:16, 20). To be continued…

Join us every Saturday India Immersion Centre in Chennai facilitates a weekly spiritual fellowship group following Easwaran’s Eight Point Programme of Meditation. E-mail us for more information at contactiic@ and Sharanya Govind at 9710947713. If you are in other cities, visit www. for e-satsangs.

Reprinted with permission from Essence of the Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary Guide to Yoga, Meditation & Indian Philosophy by Eknath Easwaran (Nilgiri Press, 2011). Copyright 2011 by The Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, P.O. Box 256, Tomales, CA 94971,

culturama | july 2012


Myth and Mythology De v d u t t P a t t anai k

Messers India Ltd Culturama asked Devdutt Pattanaik if he had a story to share about the creative chaos that is India and this is what he had to say

BOTH Indian mythology and Greek mythology refer to creatures that are composites of other creatures. There is the Nava-gunjara of India and there is the Chimera of Greece. But while Nava-gunjara represents divinity, Chimera represents chaos. The one is celebrated, the other needs to be tamed or killed. Increasingly, India’s chaos is being feared, and there is a gnawing sense amongst the educated that it will collapse if not tamed, ordered and organised. Is the problem with the beast or the gaze? I am convinced it is the gaze. I recently visited the city of Nathdvara, an old temple city in Rajasthan. The roads are narrow and they wind into a labyrinth lined with shops that have served customers for hundreds of years. Money is exchanged, value is generated. Yet, this is dismissed as the ‘unorganised’ sector. Is it because our educated gaze compares it with the malls of cities, especially Western cities? Could it be that ‘organised’ means not under central command? When things are not under one command, then different people think differently and this is seen as anarchy in the West. In India, everyone thinking did not create chaos. At the boundary between ‘mine’ and ‘not mine’ negotiations took

place and order emerged as everyone balanced their need with that of their neighbour. There was no need for one almighty God – everyone was a God, capable of being benevolent to the other. The result is an effective system, though not the most efficient one. Monotheism is highly efficient but demands alignment to one way of thinking. It is this gaze that looks down upon cities like Nathdvara and seeks perfect urban planning. So you build a planned city! For whom is this planned city built? Can the gaze of the urban planner accommodate the poor? But he assumes a system where one has to pay for water and electricity and services of the city. The poor cannot pay for it; that’s why they are poor. So we will subsidise it – but who will stop the rich and the powerful from exploiting this subsidy? So we create law after law to create the perfect cityscape, and no one looks at the flaw in the gaze. The notion of ‘context’ does not exist in modern thought. The word exists because it is politically correct. If there were a genuine acceptance of the idea of ‘context’, then few would be obsessed with planning and laws. Planning demands knowledge of most, if not all, variables as it aims to create a predictable space. But in a country like India, with a diverse population, not just economically but also linguistically and culturally, there are too many variables to predict. The context is dramatically different. Yet we strive to plan – go after ‘5-year plans’ and blue prints for fancy offices and cities, and wonder why everything collapses. It is not about problems with implementation, it is the stubborn refusal to believe in the possibility that Chimera is actually Nava-gunjara.

The writer is the Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group, and a writer and illustrator of several books on Indian mythology.


culturama | july 2012






Festivals of India


Guru Purnima Guru Purnima (Guru = teacher, Purnima = full moon) is celebrated to honour gurus who are traditionally spiritual teachers. It is also known as Vyas Purnima, named after sage Vyas, who wrote the Indian epic of Mahabharatha. On this day, every individual worships his teacher by offering flowers, fruits, and so on.

Jamshedi Noruz


It means ‘New Day’ and is the beginning of the New Year for Parsis – immigrants from Iran who have now become an integral part of Indian culture. Family members dressed in new clothes gather for the traditional feast or Haft Sin that starts at midnight. As a rule, the table cloth is a pristine white, symbolising purity. The table also bears a mirror, candles, Zendavesta (the holy book), painted eggs, live goldfish in a bowl and lentils that have been growing from early March.


Ramadan Ramadan, or the holy month according to the Islamic calendar, is when Muslims around the world fast during the day, a mark of self restraint to focus on God and His guidance, practice self sacrifice, and cleanse their souls.

Naga Panchami Most animals are worshipped in India and snakes are no exception. This festival is dedicated to this deadly reptile, where people who worship snakes undertake a fast and offer them milk, in exchange for protection from its deadly bite. This festival is popular at the Kukke Subramania Temple in Mysore, where the idol of the snake is bathed with honey and milk.


culturama | july 2012


Child Friendly Y a s meena K h an

Kolam t eam cult urama

In Name Only Ever wondered how a young mind looks at our changing world today? Introducing our youngest columnist, a 12-year-old from San francisco and a true global citizen, with her half-Indian, quarter-Pakistani and quarterDutch roots! MY NAME is Persian. In Persian it means jasmine flower, the small white petalled flower with a sweet fragrance. Nobody notices the jasmine flower, they walk right by it; it is so small and unobservable and the scent so faint you would not find it unless you are looking for it. Jasmine bushes flourish even in San Francisco, in the cold fog that is neither here nor there; it is a survivor flower. In America, nobody pronounces my name right. I suppose they would only pronounce it right in Persia. Who knows, maybe even I am pronouncing it wrong. When I was little, I hated my name. I felt like it was a too small coat, a glove whose thumb is on the wrong side. I thought everyone else saw this too. There was a time in which I wanted to be called Jasmine. Now I like my name, and I realize that it fits me. My name originates from Yasmin, which means jasmine, which is Persian as well. In fact, that was almost my name. My parents, not able to make a decision, simply called me “Baby”. My sister, of course, was rooting for “Toilet”, her favourite, or “It”. Finally, my parents filled out the birth certificate. In the seconds before it was due, my father requested an “a” at the end of my name, making it unique and special. Sometimes I wonder if my name is too unique, too different. Then I think of its meaning and I realize, my name is me, and I am unique and different.


culturama | july 2012

KOLAM (or Rangoli, as it is known in North India) is one of the oldest surviving forms of art in the country. It has been referred to in the ancient epics, more than 2,000 years ago. It is an art that can either be simple designs that are born out of joining dots, or intricate, elaborate ones. Kolams are drawn on auspicious occasions. If you are invited to someone’s home and it is not a festival day, but you see a large kolam decorating the floor at the entrance, then it is a special sign of welcome to honour you, the guest. To all Indians, rice means prosperity and hence, rice paste or flour is used most often for the kolam. The flour’s white colour symbolises peace, purity and tranquility (it is a popular belief that if ants found the rice at the doorstep, they would feed on it and not come indoors). Sometimes turmeric powder is used to fill in the white outlines, as the colour yellow symbolises prosperity. Vermilion is also considered auspicious. Here’s a simple way to draw a basic kolam. Make nine dots with rice flour as in Figure 1. Copy the lines as in Figures 2 and 3.


i read

Sari t h a R a o

What is it about? This collection contains some of Saadat Hasan Manto’s best-known stories set in India and Pakistan during the period of the Partition in the 1940s, including his legendary story, the darkly comic, ‘Toba Tek Singh’, where he speculates on what would happen if India and Pakistan exchanged mental asylum inmates on the basis of religion! The stories focus on the forgotten, the displaced and the marginalised in both societies, and are written with a combination of irony, intensity and brevity.

Book Selected Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto Translated by Khalid Hassan

Who is it by? Manto has been long regarded as one of the most prolific writers of Urdu fiction, his disdain for hypocrisy and his unvarnished depiction of sexuality earning him as many brickbats as admirers.

Album The Best of Wadali Brothers – Music Today

What is it about? This is one of the few albums by the Wadali Brothers, well known exponents in the vocal musical tradition inspired by the Sufi poets. This mini-album contains three of their most popular songs – Tu Maane Ya Na Maane, Ghoonghat Chuk O Sajana and Duma Dum Mast Qalandar. Who is it by? Ustad Puranchand and Ustad Piyarelal Wadali belong to Punjab and are the fifth generation in a line of Sufi singers. Ustad Puranchand was awarded the Padmashri in the Arts category by the Indian Government in 2005.

i hear

Why should I read it? The charm of the book is as much in the author’s intensely human voice as the milieu in which his stories are set – the political climate bears an eerie resemblance to the testy relationship between the two countries today.

Why should I listen to it? Sufi music has always been traditionally performed at dargahs (shrines) of Sufi saints and they express different forms of longing for the divine. The Wadali brothers believe that their songs are voice offerings to the divine. Their music is perhaps the next best thing to hearing a live performance at a Sufi shrine.

i see

What is it about? Cyrus Pithawala (Nasseruddin Shah),

a Parsi film projectionist, befriends Allan (Corin Nemec), an American who is in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, to complete his PhD on Gandhi. Allan witnesses the disintegration of the Pithawala family, when Hindu mobs go on a premeditated rampage to kill Muslims in the city. The family gets separated from their 10-year-old son, Parzan, the violence leaving them forever emotionally scarred.

Film | Parzania Language | English

Who is it by? Parzania was directed by Rahul Dholakia who went on to win the Golden Lotus National Award for Best Director in 2005 for Parzania. Sarika, who plays Cyrus’ wife, won the Silver Lotus Best Actress award 2005. Why should I watch it? Parzania depicts the psyche of terror. It is based on the true story of a boy called Azhar, who remains missing from his Gulbarg Society residence in Gujarat, after a massacre on February 28, 2002, much like what is depicted in the film.

Visit to buy the book, movie or CD featured in this column. culturama | july 2012


Tell us your Story

The ouse Whisperer Anita Krishnaswamy, President of Global Adjustments and relocation expert, will answer all those niggling questions you might have on housing and realty in India. Anita comes with many years of experience of working with expat clients across the major metros in India to help them find their perfect home. She can be reached at

Why do Indian windows not have standard sizes? It is so hard to fit out the soft furnishings in because there is no uniformity of windows! — American tenant, Delhi It is true that there isn’t any uniformity of windows in the construction of homes in India. In the north, the openings are smaller to keep the warmth in, while in the south, windows and doors have grills, a remnant of the British days. Currently, windows are becoming very modern, light and airy, but custom-made drapes are still the way to go. Why don’t homes have a clean welcoming look when we view them? — British tenant, Mumbai Landlords in India feel it is better to spend money to clean, polish, scrub and paint after a tenant is confirmed to suit their taste. They don’t want to do it up first and then have it changed again to suit another person who might rent the property. External appearances are not given much importance, but once fixed up, it can look wonderful. We encourage visitors to use their imagination and work closely with their realtors to find their perfect homes. What is a phase changer in a home? — Australian tenant, Chennai It is an electric rotary switch that can be swapped when power goes out in one of the incoming lines to a home, especially in areas known for power outages. The three phases of power supply have been created to distribute the load evenly in a home. Clarify with your landlord if this is a problem in the property you take. Usually, the modern ones have automatic phase changeover.

Follow us on If you have any comments, suggestions or queries for this column, write to 68

culturama | july 2012

culturama | july 2012


Space & The City

Global Adjustments

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

Easing your passage to and from India


17 years of bringing the world to India

South Bangalore Fully Furnished Apartment • Club amenities • 4 BHK apartment • Gated Community

North Bangalore Beautiful Apartment • Pollution-free location • 3 BHK apartment • Gated community

South East Bangalore Semi Furnished Apartment

Central Bangalore Semi Furnished Apartment

• Club house amenities • Excellent ventilation • Gated community

• Club amenities • 4 BHK apartment • Gated community


For the above sample and many more such properties call 91 80 41267152/9986960315 or email:

Bandra West Exclusively Furnished Apartment

Bandra West Spacious Apartment

Powai Beautiful Apartment

Prabhadevi Fully Furnished Apartment

• 5 BHK • Area 4,800 sq. ft • Marble flooring, modular kitchen, pool, car parking space • Gym, children’s play area and servant’s room with bathroom

• 3 BHK, fully furnished • Area 3,200 sq. ft • Modular kitchen, marble flooring, car parking space • Gym, servant’s room with bathroom

• • • •

• 3BHK • Area 1,800 sq. ft • Marble flooring, modular kitchen, aesthetically furnished • Car parking space and servant’s room with bathroom

Beautiful Apartment 3 BHK, fully furnished Area 2,150 sq. ft Modular kitchen, Italian marble flooring, pool, car parking space • Gym, garden, servant’s toilet


For the above sample and many more such properties call 91 22 66104191/9833392620 or email:

Gurgaon, Beverly Park Apartment for Rent

Delhi, Chanakyapuri Independent House for Rent

Delhi, Vasant Vihar Duplex Apartment for Rent

Delhi, Defence Colony Brand New Serviced Apartment

• 3BHK, well lit and airy • 100% power back-up, and security • Tennis court, gym, swimming pool • Centrally located, close to the malls and metro station

• Brand new house with 6 bedrooms • Duplex with elevator • Fully air-conditioned, spacious living room • Front garden, park facing

• 4BHK • Aesthetic interiors • Air-conditioned, 100% power back-up • Spacious terrace

• 3 bedrooms • Fully furnished and serviced • Internet, housekeeping, inverter back-up • Air-conditioned, aesthetic interiors

For the above sample and many more such properties call 91 124 435 4236/9811111759 or email: 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.


culturama | july 2012

culturama | july 2012


postcard from india

Pots, Ahoy!

ONE of the first things that strikes you about India is the constant jostling for space – where two can fit, ten will manage, where ten can fit, 20 will manage. I love the Indian people’s imagination to carry all kinds of things and people – 10 children in a rickshaw, 20 goats in a tempo, and here, 200 pots on a bicycle. We were on the road between Chennai and Pondicherry and we stopped the car for a few seconds when it seemed like several pots were passing by us. Our first impression was that the pot was moving alone! It was only later that we realised it was a pot wallah carrying his pots on his cycle. Truly amazing! This picture was an entry at the 2006 Bangalore Expatriate photo competition by Herve Beaudet, France.

Hats Off!

THE MIX of the old and the new! The weathered but still beautiful structure in the background and, closer to my heart, the incredible street life of modern-day India. This kind of scenario, along the main streets of Vadadora, never failed to fascinate me during my four-year stay in the country. It doesn’t matter in which state one may be, but business on the streets will always be part of the landscape. People making a living on the road, on the pavements or just about any place where their wares will find their way to the customers. I spent a lot of time running and cycling in India and was completely overwhelmed by the friendly smiles and good nature of all whom I met in these outdoor venues. This photograph was an entry at the 2006 Expatriate photo competition by Paul Fejer, Canada. He is now based in Kuala Lumpur.


culturama | july 2012

culturama | july 2012



culturama | july 2012

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

Lovely House ECR

Brand New Villa ECR

Beach House Kovalam

• Area 4,000 sq.ft, 4 BHK with modular Italian kitchen • Semi-furnished with power back-up • Quiet location

• 4 BHK with modular Italian kitchen • Gated community with 24x7 security • Excellent landscaping, large pool with cabanas • Gym, pool table, walking track, indoor badminton court

• Area 3,500 sq.ft, 3 BHK • Luxuriously furnished • Overlooking the backwaters • Fully air-conditioned

Beach House for Rent ECR

Spacious Apartment Nandanam

Beautiful House near the Sea Neelangarai

• Area 6,000 sq.ft • 4 bedrooms with formal and informal living rooms, entertainment room • Fully air-conditioned with power back-up • Swimming pool

• Area 2,500 sq.ft, 3BHK • Excellent ventilation • Fully air-conditioned • Fully furnished

• Area 6000 sq. ft, 5 bedrooms • Modern and fully furnished • Ample natural light and cross ventilation • Beautiful garden

Centrally Located Apartment Poes Garden

Property close to the Beach Panayur

Brand New Apartment R.A.Puram

• Area 2700 sq. ft , 3 BHK with a study • Contemporary style • 24 hours power back-up • Separate servants’ room

• Area 4000 sq.ft, 4 BHK • Western style open kitchen , dining & living area with elegant kitchen cabinets • Full electricity back-up • Sea view from terrace with sit-outs

• Area 2200 sq.ft, 3BHK • Fully furnished luxurious interiors • Large balconies in 2 bedrooms • Fully equipped kitchen with microwave, induction plate, refrigerator

For more such properties, call Global Adjustments at 91 44 24617902/9551695968 (Chennai), or e-mail: 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.

culturama | july 2012


RNI NO.TNENG/2010/32752

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

Culturama July 2012 Issue  

CULTURAMA’S 201st issue exudes the very essence of new beginnings with new columns, features and writers, and little cultural twists and tur...