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Volume 29 n Issue 3 n May-June 2015

FINEST LITERARY TREASURES OF INDIAN YOGA

SNAPSHOTS RESTORING HAMPI

PARTNERSHIP SAGAR YATRA

CONVERSATION DR TESSY THOMAS


INDIA PERSPECTIVES NOW IN JAPANESE

India Perspectives will now be published in 16 languages, the latest being the Japanese edition. The inaugural issue of the Chinese edition was released earlier this year. Other languages include Persian, Pashto, Sinhalese and Tamil.

第29巻 第3号 2015年 5月~6月

DÉCOR IDEAS

GANGA DUSSEHRA

WHEN: June 25-27 WHERE: Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

WHEN: May 28 WHERE: On the banks of the Ganga

For the latest in design, visit Ambiente India, a trade fair for interior decor and home accessories. Products from leading companies as well as upcoming ones will be displayed at this hub for manufacturers, designers and suppliers.

The day the sacred River Ganga descended to the Earth, bringing with her the purity of heaven, is celebrated as Ganga Dussehra. People bathe in the holy river to absolve themselves of sins and offer donations of 10 edible items.

インドヨガの 素敵な話

撮影 リストリング

ハンピ

協力

会談

サガール ヤトラ

テッシー トーマス 博士

DHARAMSALA FILM FESTIVAL Films from across the world will be screened at the Dharamsala Film Festival. With ‘consciousness’ and ‘creativity’ as themes, the line-up will include films that exemplify women empowerment. WHEN: June 11-13 WHERE: Upper Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh

MANGOES GALORE

AUDIO FEST

WHEN: June 30 - July 2 WHERE: Delhi Haat, Pitampura, Delhi

WHEN: May 28-30 WHERE: Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai

Delhi International Mango Festival is an opportunity to taste over 1,100 varieties of mangoes from across India. It includes eating competitions, quizzes and folk performances, all inspired by the ‘king of fruits’.

Be part of the 15th edition of PALM Expo, an exposition for pro audio, lighting, live sound, install sound, musical instruments and AV integration industry. With a legacy of 14 successful years, the Expo offers the best from global players.


Foreword As the first International Day of Yoga is being celebrated on June 21, we focus on this ancient practice that is about harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. Some classical and authoritative texts on yoga are highlighted in our special feature. We review The Power of Yoga by Yamini Muthana, a book that balances technical and philosophical aspects of yoga and Yoga: Aligning to the Source, a film produced by Ministry of External Affairs and PSBT that explores yoga’s origins. On the bilateral front, the SAGAR Yatra that comprised Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka envisages a more proactive role by India in developing the economy of the Indian Ocean region. On the anvil is another important venture – Project Mausam – that looks at rekindling long-lost ties across the nations of the Indian Ocean. The Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ initiative received a boost with the momentous Aero India 2015 in Bengaluru, a show for Indian and foreign aerospace companies. Meanwhile, Border Haats are being opened up to build Tripura’s trade ties with Bangladesh. We have a photo feature on the awe-inspiring ruins of Hampi, poised for restoration efforts with the Union Budget of India that targets nine heritage destinations across the country. On July 7 and 8, you can be part of the annual Hemis Festival in Ladakh that celebrates the victory of good over evil with mask dances, prayers and more. We also talk to heirs-apparent of Hindustani classical music gharanas who are experimenting with their instruments. As a tribute to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on his birth anniversary on May 7, we take a tour of his ancestral home in Kolkata. Dr Tessy Thomas, the woman behind some of India’s key successes in the field of missile technology, graces the pages of our Conversation section. India’s innovation capabilities are showcased in two articles, one on solar energy being harnessed to improve winter livelihood in Ladakh and the other on electricity being generated from pine needles in Uttarakhand. Volum

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FINEST TREASU LITERARY RES OF INDIAN YO

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SNAP REST SHOTS ORIN G HA M

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Volume 29 n Issue 3 n May-June 2015

Editor: Vikas Swarup Assistant Editor: Nikhilesh Dixit Ministry of External Affairs Room No. 152, ‘A’ Wing, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi - 110001 Tel.: +91.11.23388949, 23381719 Fax.: +91.11.23384663 Web: www.indiaperspectives.in For feedback/ inquiries: osdpd2@mea.gov.in MaXposure Media Group India Pvt Ltd Publisher & COO: Vikas Johari CEO & Managing Director: Prakash Johari Executive Editor: Saurabh Tankha Head Office MaXposure Media Group India Pvt Ltd Unit No. G-O-A (Ground Floor), MIRA Corporate Suites, Plot No. 1&2, Ishwar Nagar, Mathura Road, New Delhi - 110 065 Tel: +91.11.43011111, Fax: +91.11.43011199 CIN No: U22229DL2006PTC152087 For feedback/ inquiries: indiaperspectives@maxposure.in

FOR INQUIRIES | MMGIPL Tel: +91.11.43011111 FAX: +91.11.43011199 www.maxposure.in

India Perspectives is published in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Pashto, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Sinhala, Spanish, Tamil, Chinese and Japanese. India Perspectives is printed and published by Vikas Swarup, Joint Secretary (XP) and Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), New Delhi, Room No. 152, ‘A’ Wing, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi - 110001 and published at MaXposure Media Group India Pvt. Ltd. (MMGIPL), Unit No. G-O-A (Ground Floor), MIRA Corporate Suites, Plot No. 1&2, Ishwar Nagar, Mathura Road, New Delhi - 110065, India. India Perspectives is published six times a year. All rights reserved. The writing, artwork and/or photography contained herein may be used or reproduced with an acknowledgement to India Perspectives. MEA and MMGIPL does not assume responsibility for loss or damage of unsolicited products, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, transparencies or other materials. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the MEA or MMGIPL. Follow us on: http://www.facebook.com/MEA http://www.twitter.com/MEA http://www.youtube.com/MEA

For a copy of India Perspectives, contact the nearest Indian diplomatic mission.

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CONTENTS 28

10

74

PARTNERSHIP

INNOVATION

Colour Code Blue: SAGAR Yatra.....................................................06

Raising living standards..................................50 LANDMARK

Gateway to a bright future............................ 55

PROGRESS

Make in India, the new mantra...................... 10

LANDMARK

First indigenous rotavirus vaccine............... 58

PROGRESS

Ushering in the season of change.............................................16 HERITAGE

Literary treasures of Indian yoga......................................................20

SUCCESS

The great animation boom...........................60 CULTURE

Turning clay into gold.................................... 65 ART

Practical guide to healthy life....................... 26

Grand convergence of cultures........................................................68

REVIEW

CUISINE

REVIEW

Beyond the boundaries of yoga..................... 28

The saga of Indian chilli..................................74 EXPLORE

MUSIC

Of purists and passionates............................ 30

Celebrating hues of divinity...........................80

SNAPSHOTS

EXPLORE

Awe-inspiring ruins of Hampi...................... 34

The Nobel poet............................................... 84

INNOVATION

CONVERSATION

Taming the spirit of pine...............................46

When sky is the limit....................................... 88

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Colour Code Blue

SAGAR Yatra

The reigning colour of Mr Narendra Modi’s SAGAR Yatra was blue, one that envisages a more proactive role by India in developing the blue economy of the Indian Ocean region text | Manish Chand

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hree Countries, One Ocean, One Mission. Colour code: Blue. In March, India’s Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi travelled to three littoral states of the Indian Ocean, cutting across two continents, Asia and Africa – Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. The first such trip by any Indian Prime Minister, it underscored the growing salience of the Indian Ocean in India’s foreign policy matrix and what the Indian Prime Minister has evocatively called the ‘SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) Yatra’. A host of pacts were signed and steps unveiled to develop the economy of the Indian Ocean region.

Seychelles

Marking a significant upswing in India’s maritime security partnership with its Indian Ocean neighbours, India and Seychelles inked four pacts in diverse areas with New Delhi announcing a second Dornier aircraft for the archipelago nation. The four pacts included cooperation in hydrography, renewable energy, infrastructure development and sale of navigation charts and electronic navigational charts. Mr Modi formally launched the Coastal Surveillance Radar Project, a signature project of India that aims at bolstering surveillance capabilities of the island nation.

Mauritius

For Mauritius, a key maritime partner, India pledged $500 million Line Of Credit (LOC) for a host of infrastructure projects and signed five agreements, including a key pact on ocean economy. Both countries also reached an understanding to upgrade sea and air transportation network at Agalega Island and the Outer Island of Mauritius. In a landmark step to bolster Mauritius’ maritime infrastructure, Mr Modi also presided over the formal launch of the Offshore Barracuda in Mauritius.

Left: Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi inspects the Coastal Surveillance Radar System at Seychelles Above: Mr Modi greets the local public at Seychelles

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Left: Mr Modi flags off the Talaimannar-Mannar train at Talaimannar 1650 Pier Railway Station Right: The Indian Prime Minister and the President of Sri Lanka, Mr Maithripala Sirisena offer prayers at the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, India pledged $318 million LOC for the development of railways as the two countries signed four agreements in areas of visa, customs, youth development and culture. Mr Modi pledged support for making Trincomalee a petroleum hub and unveiled a ‘Currency Swap Agreement’ of $1.5 billion to keep the country’s economy stable.

Key drivers

The prime ministerial trip cohered multiple strands of New Delhi’s Indian Ocean diplomacy, which aims at securing a set of interlinked economic, energy and strategic goals. On one hand, there are entwined security challenges including piracy, maritime security, nuclear proliferation and transnational organised crimes. On the other, the Indian Ocean forms the economic lifeline of the Collective vision ambient littoral countries and is critical to New Cutting across the three countries, Delhi’s energy security. India imports the focus was on expanding security, more than around 90 per cent of oil In Sri Lanka, economic and developmental through sea lanes of the Indian Ocean. India pledged cooperation, with the overarching The strategic significance of the $318 million objective of “forging a collective, Indian Ocean, the third-largest water LOC for the cooperative vision for the region”. body in the world, and home to sea development “To me the blue chakra or wheel in lanes that nurture some of Asia’s of railways India’s national flag represents the largest economies, can’t be overstated; potential of Blue Revolution or the with its strategic location, the Ocean Economy. That is how central the ocean maritime region has become the fulcrum of a new economy is to us,” said Mr Modi at the formal maritime great game among leading powers here. commissioning of the India-built offshore patrol With growing incidents of piracy off the vehicle Barracuda in Mauritius on March 12. Gulf of Aden and the coast of Somalia, the Prime “We must promote greater collaboration in Minister unveiled his vision of advancing maritime trade, tourism and investment; infrastructure security cooperation. “We also support efforts to development; marine science and technology; strengthen our regional mechanisms for maritime sustainable fisheries; protection of marine cooperation – from dealing with piracy terrorism environment; and, overall development of ocean and other crimes; to marine safety and natural or blue economy,” he said in defining speech on disasters,” he said. India’s priorities in promoting the Indian Ocean as India’s unique geographic location positions it an ocean of opportunity for the region. in a preeminent role in shaping geopolitics and

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Mr Modi pays homage to the Aapravasis at the Aapravasi Ghat, Port Louis, Mauritius

regional integration of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) through a web of connectivity, energy and transport projects. The driving impulse of India’s IOR policy is to transform the Indian Ocean into a peace zone of win-win opportunities for all the littoral states and prioritises economic rejuvenation above geopolitical games and military projection. The new Indian Government has rightfully seized the initiative to impart a fresh momentum and strategic cohesion to the country’s Indian Ocean diplomacy. With its vital national interests on mind, India has been specially proactive in the Indian Ocean Rim Association and hosted the ministerial meeting of the 20-nation grouping in 2012. The IOR is also an important theme of engagement with the 54-nation resurgent African continent and mapping new pathways of cooperation in the region will figure prominently in the third India-Africa Forum Summit New Delhi will host later this year.

Way ahead

Indian Ocean diplomacy will acquire greater force and solidity under the new Indian Government which has its own vision of trans-regional connectivity, spanning the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The Indian Navy has played a pivotal role in securing the country’s vital interests in the region; its starring role in escorting more than 1,000 ships to safety from pirates in the Gulf of Aden has burnished India’s credentials as a key player in the security of the region and created huge goodwill. Underpinning these varied and multifarious efforts is the idea of global maritime commons – a guiding principle that animates New Delhi’s Indian Ocean diplomacy, with its focus on synergy,

Mr Modi helps with the traditional milk boiling before a family moves into a new house in Jaffna, Sri Lanka

regional cooperation and freedom of navigation. By dovetailing naval modernisation with its bilateral engagements and vigorous multilateral diplomacy through initiatives like the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, India is set to reaffirm its rightful preeminent role in shaping the Indian Ocean as an Ocean of Opportunity.

Manish Chand is the editor-in-chief of India Writes Network, www.indiawrites.org, a multi-media portal focused on international affairs and India Story.

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Make in India,

the new mantra

Aero India show witnessed enthusiastic participation of Indian and foreign aerospace companies text | Pallava Bagla

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(Facing page) Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Light Combat Helicopter; Above: Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi at Aero India 2015

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Photograph: Sujith Nair

engaluru in southern India is the hub participated. Hundreds of stalls displayed their of information technology, but for a hi-tech wares. few days, all eyes in this hi-tech city The aerial display began with an Indian were peeled towards the skies away Air Force (IAF) vintage Tiger Moth plane from computer screens. High-speed low flying reminding of India’s modest origins in an runs, rolls, somersaults and formation flying earlier era of warplanes. Transcending to enthralled spectators. Airplanes today and aptly in keeping with of all shapes and sizes dazzled the Make in India theme, two High-speed low audiences as part of the 10th indigenous creations – Light flying runs, rolls, edition of the Aero India show Combat Aircraft and a Light somersaults held from February 18-22, 2015. Combat Helicopter – flew in and formation Fighter jets, large cargo planes, quick succession displaying flying enthralled helicopters, vintage propeller India’s technological leap in spectators at driven planes and unmanned aerial aircraft production. The frontline the show vehicles all danced in the skies Russian made Sukhoi-30 MKI to enthrall enthusiastic crowds. of the IAF left the gathering India’s indigenously made fourth generation spellbound with its versatility and agility, Tejas aircraft performed to accuracy and performing the vertical Charlie to perfection. earned applause. Not to be left behind were impressive displays According to the Ministry of Defence, by an American fighter jet F-16 and the Government of India, 635 aerospace companies French Rafale jet fighter. Aerial stunts were and nearly 300 CEOs from India and performed by few foreign aerobatic teams abroad including delegates from 42 nations like the Breitling Wingwalkers from the UK


PROGRESS

performed atop the wings of flying airplanes. Number One! Our security challenges are well The show-stopping moment was provided known. Our international responsibilities are by Sarang, the IAF’s helicopter display team, evident. We do need to increase our defence in their sprightly coloured, peacock-themed, preparedness. We do have to modernise our Advanced Light Helicopters. For the first time, defence forces.” two women officers also participated. The Indian Air Force Station at Yelahanka, In a first, Indian Prime Minister on Bengaluru’s outskirts, was Mr Narendra Modi inaugurated converted into a mega-specialised The showthe mega event which in a way was trade fair with participation of 250 stopping kick-starting his pet programme of Indian companies and 300 foreign moment was Make in India, making the country firms vying to do commerce provided by the hub for manufacturing defence at the bi-annual air show. All Sarang, the equipment. At the inauguration, major aerospace companies like IAF’s helicopter Mr Modi said, “This, the largest Rolls Royce; Airbus Industries; display team ever Aero India, reflects a new Boeing, Lockheed Martin level of confidence within our among many others made their country and global interest in India. To many presence felt. Indian giants like Hindustan of you, India is a major business opportunity. Aeronautics Limited (HAL); Bharat Electronics We have the reputation as the largest importer Limited (BEL); the Kalyani Group and Tatas of defence equipment in the world. That may showcased their products and looked to be music to the ears of some of you here. But make joint ventures with overseas partners. this is one area where we would not like to be Towards that after India liberalised the limits

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Photograph: Rod McDonough

Left to right: Sarang helicopter display; Yak-52D and Yak-50 of the Yakovlevs team from the UK; Pilatus PC-7 Mk II manufactured in Switzerland

of foreign direct investment to a maximum nuclear-powered submarines, the combined of 49 per cent, the Kalyani Group and Israel’s cost to be over `1 lakh crore. It has asked HAL Rafael Advanced Defence Systems inked a to manufacture about 70 Pilatus trainer aircraft joint venture. The chairman of Kalyani Group, while acquiring 38 of these planes from the Mr Baba Kalyani said, “Rafael has been an Swiss company. active participant in the Indian defence market. Indian President Dr Pranab Mukerjee, As part of the alliance, we hope speaking in the Parliament, said, to develop military applications “The Make in India programme All major based on our own proprietary aims to create a wholesome ecoaerospace technologies.” Kalyani Group aims system to transform India into companies made to do business worth $100 million a manufacturing hub… Stress their presence in the next two years. India’s is being laid on research and felt at the Indian defence minister Mr Manohar innovation while focussing our Air Force Station Parrikar, an IIT-trained engineer, attention on manufacturing for at Yelahanka said, “With the security scenario, creating more jobs.” India becoming self-sufficient Towards this goal, Mr Modi in defence production is important. Make in said, “In India, the defence industry in the India is immensely important and this is an Government sector alone employs nearly two important time for ensuring that business deals lakh workers and thousands of engineers and are struck.” India is powering its navy too. In scientists. They produce an output of nearly February, the Indian government sanctioned $7 billion annually. It supports a large pool of the making of seven stealth frigates and six small and medium enterprises. Our defence

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Photograph: Vineesh Kaladharan

PROGRESS

industry in private sector is still small. But it employs thousands of people. This is despite the fact that nearly 60 per cent of our defence equipment continues to be imported. And we are spending tens of billions of dollars on acquisitions from abroad. Studies show that even a 20-25 per cent reduction in imports could directly create an additional 100,000-120,000 highly skilled jobs in India. If we could raise the percentage of domestic procurement from 40-70 per cent in the next five years, we would double the output in our defence industry. Imagine the impact in terms of jobs created directly and in the related manufacturing and services sector. Think of the spin-off benefits on other sectors in terms of advanced materials and technologies. That is why we are focussing on developing India’s defence industry with a sense of mission. This is why it is at the heart of our Make in India programme. We are reforming our defence procurement policies and procedures. There would be a clear preference for equipment manufactured in India. Our procurement procedures will ensure simplicity, accountability and speedy decision making. We have raised the permitted level of Foreign Direct Investment to 49 per cent.

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Photograph: Sujith Nair

Above: Breitling Wingwalkers from the UK Right: Civil variant of Indian Air Force’s Dhruv helicopter


Audiences were spellbound by the breathtaking performances

This can go higher if the project brings stateof-the art technology. We have permitted investments up to 24 per cent by Foreign Institutional Investments. And there is no longer a need to have a single Indian investor with, at least, a 51 per cent stake. Industrial licensing requirements have been eliminated for a number of items. Where it is needed, the process has been simplified. We are expanding the role of private sector, even for major platforms. Our goal is to provide a level playing field for all.” The world is welcoming India’s new pitch. Mr Frank Kendall, the American Under Secretary of Defence, writing in The Hindu newspaper, said, “Our governments and industries can work to strengthen India’s industrial base to not only Make in India but

to make the region and the world a safer place.” India and the US have embarked on what are termed “pathfinder” projects as part of the new Defence Technology Trade Initiative (DTTI) which include jointly making jet engines and aircraft carrier technology. While big ticket deals eluded this air show, over 3.5 lakh visitors enjoyed the spellbinding display with Mr Modi emphasising that our aerospace industry alone needs about two lakh people in another 10 years. Major opportunities exist for global giants to make India the low cost reliable hub for manufacturing aerospace equipment as the Government gives this sector the wings it needs to fly.

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Channel The author is science editor for NDTV and author of Reaching for the Stars: India’s Journey to Mars and Beyond published by Bloomsbury in 2015

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PROGRESS

Ushering in the

season of change

Project Mausam is a multi-disciplinary project that rekindles long-lost ties across the nations of the Indian Ocean and forges new avenues of cooperation and exchange

A ship carved on the Borobudur Temple in Indonesia

P

roject Mausam was launched by India in partnership with member states in the 30th Session of World Heritage Committee meeting held at Doha, Qatar in June 2014. The project aims to enable a significant step in recording and celebrating this important phase of world history from the African,

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Arab and Asian-world perspectives. “The primary focus area of Project Mausam is transnational world heritage nomination of cultural trade routes and maritime cultural landscapes across the Indian Ocean. This transnational nomination will be based on specific themes emerging from centuries of cultural exchange among the Indian Ocean


countries such as indentured labour, sites the movement of people, goods and ideas linked to exchanges of Buddhism, Hinduism, across the Indian Ocean, enabling cultural Islam and Christianity, Fortified interactions and exchange until Port Settlements, Navigational when steam-powered cargo Knowledge and Landmarks, sites linked to carriers reduced reliance on manipulation Cowrie trade, Spice trade sailing ships. The knowledge of the monsoon etc,” explains Ravindra Singh, and manipulation of the impacted ancient Secretary, Ministry of Culture, monsoon impacted ancient and historical Government of India. and historical trade, local trade and local ‘Mausam’ or Arabic ‘Mawsim’ economies, religion, politics economies refers to the season when ships and cultural identities. The could sail safely. The distinctive commodities exchanged through wind system of the Indian Ocean region these networks included a wide array of follows a regular pattern which facilitated objects – aromatics, medicines, dyes, spices,

Right: St. Cajetan’s Church, Old Goa, India Below: Stone town of Zanzibar, Tanzania

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LEGEND UNESCO Cultural Sites UNESCO Natural Sites UNESCO Cultural Sites in danger UNESCO Natural Sites in danger

Map of the Indian Ocean ‘World’

grain, wood, textiles, gems, metals and plant and animal products – and were transported through voyages and sold at markets or bazaars along the Indian Ocean littoral. Present-day national identities and perceptions of the past are deeply interwoven with age-old ties.

Project goals

The project aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean ‘world’ – collating archaeological and historical research to document the diversity of cultural, commercial and religious interactions

Stone sculpture on the coast of Bali, Indonesia

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in the Indian Ocean. It will promote research on themes related to study of maritime routes through international scientific seminars and meetings and by adopting a multidisciplinary approach. It will encourage the production of specialised works along with publications for general public, to promote a broader understanding of the Project concept of a common heritage Mausam seeks and multiple identities. to transcend

present-day national and ethnic boundaries

Reviving lost linkages with nations: Countries along the Indian Ocean have shared links with each other for millennia. Project Mausam seeks to transcend present-day national and ethnic boundaries documenting and celebrating the common cultural values and economic ties of the Indian Ocean ‘world’. This will strengthen ties between countries across the Indian Ocean and set a precedent for new bridges of cooperation and continued interactions.


Left: Lighthouse at Aguada Fort, Goa, India; Right: Temple at Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia

Creating links to existing World Heritage sites: Proving a platform to connect discrete Cultural and Natural World Heritage sites across the Indian Ocean ‘world’ by providing a cross-cultural, transnational narrative.

Initiatives within India: Kerala in south India is making efforts to revive the two-millennia-old Spice Route. Besides re-establishing Kerala’s maritime trade relations with 31 countries associated with the Spice Route, the project seeks to prompt modern travellers to undertake voyages and Redefining ‘Cultural Landscapes’: excursions. In the process, there Identifying gaps in listing of would be revival of cultural, Project Mausam sites and filling in lacuna by historical and archaeological is in tandem providing a holistic, multiexchanges. Project Mausam also with UNESCO’s layered perspective and drawing aims to include a significant changing relationships between existing research component. The Project perspectives categories of ‘Natural’ and is also in perfect tandem with on protecting ‘Cultural’ heritage. This would UNESCO’s changing perspectives heritage redefine the concept of ‘Cultural on protecting heritage and Landscapes’, allowing a fresh, fostering creativity. multi-faceted approach to relationships. There are many plans in near future. “India will host an international conference with 39 Achieving transnational nomination member states of the Indian Ocean Region under World Heritage: Advocating in September-October this year to arrive for ‘Indian Ocean Maritime Routes’ to at a collective strategy for transnational attain transnational nomination under nominations under Project Mausam. The world heritage tag, increasing scope for tentative list for Maritime Trade Routes/ visibility, research, sustainable tourism, Cultural Landscapes as per collective strategy heritage development and promoting other and site selection is proposed to be finalised by cultural conventions across the Indian April 2016 for submission to UNESCO World Ocean region. Heritage Centre,” shares Singh.

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HERITAGE

Literary treasures

of Indian yoga

While yoga traces its origins to the Vedas, numerous books have made it popular globally text | S Sridharan

Y

oga, with its roots in India, has been practiced from time immemorial. While it continues to be a part of daily life in most Indian homes, it started gaining popularity when foreigners, settled in India, started evincing interest. The credit for introducing and creating a special place for yoga in the hearts of global citizens goes to Swami Vivekananda who penned books on all four forms of yoga – karma yoga (yoga of action), jnana yoga (yoga of knowledge), raja yoga (yoga of meditation) and bhakti yoga (yoga of devotion). Today, yoga is so popular worldwide that June 21 has been declared ‘International Day of Yoga’. Yoga traces its origin to the Vedas. Written in Sanskrit, the Vedas are among the oldest literature in the world. Though there are references to yoga in the Vedas, these are scattered, often not direct and exclusive.

Natarajasana

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Dandayamana-Janushirasana

Ekapada Kapotasana

Natarajasana variation

Over the years, numerous texts have been today, new commentaries continue to appear on written, born out of the experience of yogis, this valuable text. Patanjali is considered as the practitioners of yoga. The techniques involved incarnation of the serpent lord Adishesha and were systematically documented and a number held in high reverence. of texts are available in the market today. A There are 195 sutras which have been few of these standout as ancient, divided into four sections. Each classical and authoritative texts... section is called pada. Even today, In this text, yoga is defined Yoga Sutra by Yoga Sutra as “the ability to direct the mind Sage Patanjali It is to the credit of great sage towards a chosen object and sustain is, respectfully, Patanjali that an exclusive text the focus without any distractions.” considered the for yoga came into existence. It The central message of Yoga Sutra: source text is in sutra form of literature and “Let us take steps to deal with the of yoga hence popularly known as Yoga pain yet to come.” It shows a way Sutra. Even today, it is considered, through yoga to live a healthy and respectfully, as the source text of yoga. happy life and to manage stress. Patanjali is believed to have walked the It lists a number of tools for practice, the earth between 150 BCE and 450CE. The sutras, famous being the ‘light-limbed path of yoga’. which are the teachings of Patanjali, need The eight limbs are yama (external disciplines), commentaries to understand and explore. Even niyama (internal disciplines), asana (postures),

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HERITAGE

Above: The various representations of Sage Patanjali; Below: Natarajasana variation

pranayama (breathing exercises), pratyahara (control of senses), dharaea (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (total integration). This text is unique in bringing out the subtle dimensions of the way the mind functions. Through the practice of Antanga yoga, the mind is brought under control which reveals the true nature and character of the self which is beyond pain. The final goal is to make the self release from its bondage to Nature and become independent.

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Yoga Sutras by Patanjali

Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Yogi Svatmarama

Yoga Yajnavalkya Saahita by Sage Yajnavalkya

Yoga Rahasya by Sage Nathamuni

Hatha Yoga Pradipika

of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana This text gives the teachings of Lord Shiva to (meditation) and samadhi (total integration). Parvati on yoga. This tradition is called Hatha This text emphasises the importance of living Yoga. In text form, it comprises verses in a disciplined life according to the ancient Sanskrit authored by Yogi Svatmarama. There scriptures apart from the practice of yoga to are in total 389 verses that have achieve desired results. been divided into four chapters. Yoga Rahasya Hatha yoga means ‘joining of two Yoga Rahasya or The Secrets forces called ha and tha’. They are Yoga Rahasya, The Secrets of of Yoga was also known as prana and apana Yoga is in as Sanskrit verses. Its originally which flow in the two nadis called teachings are attributed to Sage written in ida and pingala. It is through the Nathamuni, a south Indian Sanskrit in the practice of pranayama with the Vaishnavite saint. The text form of verses three bandhas that this union is believed to have been is achieved. The practitioner lost over time and revived ultimately achieves the highest state of mind by Yogi Tirumala Krishnamacharya called samadhi. The practice for achieving (1888-1989), acclaimed as Father of this state includes asana, pranayama, mudhra Modern Day Yoga nationally and and nadanusandana. internationally. He was a great Sanskrit scholar who had formal Yoga Yajnavalkya Saahita education in Vedas and allied The teachings on yoga by great sage Yajnavalkya to his wife and disciple Gargi are recorded in this text. It has 462 verses divided into 12 chapters or adhyayas. According to this Lotus position text, the union of jivatma (individual soul) with paramatma (universal consciousness) is yoga which is called samadhi. This is achieved through ashtanga yoga consisting of yama (external disciplines), niyama (internal disciplines), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), pratyahara (control

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subjects. Born in Karnataka, he trekked the Himalayas to reach Kailash Manasarovar and learned under Yogi Ramamohana Brahmachari. His text has 267 verses called shlokas and is divided into four chapters – introduction, application, reflection and parts and the whole of man...

proceeds to say Narayana is the lord present in the hearts of all beings. He is the material and instrumental cause of the world. He instigates all beings to do their duties. After mentioning the six limbs of surrender (prapatti), the author begins the work stating: “Women are said to be specially qualified for the practice of yoga.” Diseases and ailments Ailments of Prakaranaadhyaya: The of the mind and body are of three the mind and first three verses are a prayer kinds – adhyatmika, adhibautika body are of to the teachers of this lineage. and adhidaivika. The author three kinds: The teachings start with the gives an elaborate treatment adhyatmika, introduction of two types of of Pranayama and the use of adhibautika and yoga – bhakti yoga (path of breathing in asanas. adhidaivika devotion) and prapatti yoga (path Asanas are described with of surrender). Bhakti yoga is variations and shown to play a key the eight-limbed yoga while prapatti yoga is role in pranayama. Specific purposes served six-limbed. The eight limbs of bhakti yoga are by important asanas are discussed as is the yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, importance of bandhas during pranayama. dharaea, dhyana and samadhi. This is the same as antanga yoga of Patanjali. Both paths of yoga Viniyogadhyaya: The viniyogadhyaya are to be taken up only with a guru’s grace. It deals with yoga in the order of production,

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maintenance and destruction. Some asanas are to be done before one completes the 25th year. Restrictions on the type of food are also indicated. Treatment of physical ailments is dealt with. Breathing pattern is indicated to overcome certain ailments. Duration and nature of pranayama are also to be studied by the preceptor and taught to the student. Vimarshanaadhyaya: Vimarcanadhyaya deals with the need to be disciplined while undertaking yogic practices. The unsteady nature of the mind and body is attributed to wrong The author food habits and have to be describes the corrected by meditating upon asanas which god and worshipping Him. a pregnant The author describes woman should the asanas and food undertake along which a pregnant woman with what to eat should have according to her circumstances. Pranayama is the only remedy for them to get rid of ailments. Kaladhyaya: What makes a person treat certain matters as favourable or otherwise to him is discussed in Kaladhyaya. A detailed account is given about human behaviour which leads men astray. Man has to guard himself from pitfalls. S Sridharan is trustee, Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Chennai and member, Governing Body of MDNIY, New Delhi.

(Facing page): Padangustha Padma Utkatasana; Right: Balasana

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REVIEW

Practical guide

to healthy life

The Power of Yoga by Yamini Muthana demystifies the profound nature of yoga while giving useful tips to both beginners and regular practitioners

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arely in the exhaustive list of books on yoga can you point out one name that strikes a balance between the technical and the philosophical and Yamini Muthana’s The Power of Yoga is one such rarity. A student of the Mysore-based yoga guru BNS Iyengar for over 22 years, Muthana who also runs her yoga institute in Bengaluru, decided to demystify the profound nature of yoga to

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(Facing page) Chakras – the body’s energy points; Above: Step-by-step visual representations make yoga exercises easier to understand

make it more relevant for the current What adds an extra dimension to the lot of yoga enthusiasts. Her book is an book are the ‘caution’ and ‘important’ exact reflection of her thought, filtering boxes which not just explain the nuances as much philosophies she of a particular asana but can shrouding this ancient also underline the technical The book aims technique to reveal its aspects of it. For example, to demystify the scientific nature. However, the caution pointer for the profound nature she keeps its spiritual aspect Matsyendrasana states that of yoga and intact with an introduction the spinal twist will compress make it relevant to the chakras and the true the diaphragm and breathing for practitioners philosophy of yoga. could be restricted saving us today Extremely reader-friendly from a panic attack! Many and useful, the content has caution pointers like these are been presented in the most comprehensive spread across the book making the readers manner with the help of bullet items, aware of the minute details, ensuring it is highlights, subheads and an extensive set a useful read for both the beginners as well of step-by-step pictorial representations. as regular practitioners.

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REVIEW

Beyond the

boundaries of yoga

Yoga: Aligning to the Source, a documentary produced by PSBT and the Ministry of External Affairs elaborates on the forms and benefits of yoga, weaving in aspects of Indian spiritualism to reinforce understanding of this ancient science text | Aarti Kapur Singh

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he ancient Indian science of yoga, derived from the Sankrit word yuja which means to bind, align and hold, has become one of the world’s favourite holistic health practices. From gyms in the US to cultural halls in China, yoga has become one of the most practiced forms of exercise and therapy. Millions globally practice some form of yoga in their quest for holistic health. Yoga: Aligning To The Source, a short documentary film produced by Public Service Broadcasting Trust and the Ministry of External Affairs, and directed by Raja Choudhury, introduces audiences to yoga. This film explores the origins of yoga, its development and practices, its integration across religions in India, the science behind it and its successful spread world over. It demonstrates how yoga can be a comprehensive set of tools for life, for realigning one’s mind and body in equilibrium and for accessing a higher sense of consciousness.

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The 27-minute film takes you on an enchanting journey through the evolution and meaning of yoga and tries to answer pertinent questions: What really is yoga? Where did it come from? What does its practice do to your body and mind? How did it spread around the world? Can it bring you into balance with your deepest self and nature? The film, through interactions with renowned yoga practitioners, enlightens us on the scriptures, interpretations and acceptance across various dynasties and generations. It dwells into the five koshas of the body, asthangana (eightlimbed paths) and the four yogas from Bhagwad Gita. It further dwells on how yoga is more than a form of exercise and elaborates on its identity as a way of living. Yoga is only partially understood as being limited to asanas or yogic postures. As such, its benefits are by and large believed to be only at the physical level. Most people fail to realise


Stills from the documentary

the immense benefits yoga offers in uniting the body, mind and breath. When one is in complete harmony with one’s surroundings, the journey of life is calmer, happier and more fulfilling. Yoga guru BKS Iyengar holds forth on the development of positive thinking and positive brain. Yoga teacher Sunaina Mathur’s narration of the five disciplines of how you conduct yourself and your relationship The 27-minute with the world is film takes you on insightful and educative. an enchanting Senior politician journey through Dr Karan Singh’s portion the evolution came as a surprise since and meaning not many people are of yoga aware of his study of this science. This film not just elaborates on the form, practice, benefits and science of yoga, but in doing so, weaves in aspects of Indian spiritualism to reinforce the understanding of the ancient science. Delving into the concepts of prakriti, purush, aham, srijan and similar aspects of mythology, the film synthesises and integrates history with tradition. In explaining the history of yogasutras, the narrative flows into explaining why yoga works. With much more to offer, the film explains the benefits of yoga in a profound manner.

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MUSIC

Of purists and

passionates

We talk to heirs-apparent of Hindustani musical gharanas who have struck an amplified note to give classical music fresh appeal text | Shashi Priya

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efore sitar maestro Pandit Kartick A new symphony Kumar’s son, Niladri Kumar, started Compromising on purity of tradition for strumming mesmeric inflections on Hindustani musical gharanas never came the electric version of his acoustic easy. While zitar’s journey was marked sitar, he was struggling to add a microphone with obstacles, sarangi’s love affair with to the instrument. Back in late 1980s when electro-pop was inundated with allegations. Niladri was yet to create the Sarangi legend Ustad Sabri zitar, a unique combination of Khan’s grandson, Suhail Yusuf As the scions sitar and guitar, modifying this Khan’s collaboration with rock of traditional stringed instrument even a little fusion band, Advaita, was looked gharanas drew immense flak. His skill down upon. Eighth-generation take charge, was questioned and his strength sarangi player of Moradabad innovation and ridiculed. “People said I lacked Senia gharana, 27-year-old Khan improvisation strength and that’s why I needed confesses many people even said are natural a microphone to aid my sitar,” his sarangi skills have become recalls Niladri. impure. However, it did not Circa 2015: While raging debates of deter his spirit and thus followed technical purists versus mavericks simmer down adaptations. Khan started using finer cello and Hindustani classical music broadens its strings instead of the traditional ones in his horizons even further, Niladri entertains sarangi to amplify the notes. larger audiences with his amplified meends (a glide from one note to another) at concerts Sound of music where his fingers caress the fiery red zitar Predominantly, Indian classical music, with five strings against sitar’s 20. whether Hindustani or Carnatic, has

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Suhail Yusuf Khan plays his improvised sarangi M AY- J U N E

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Niladri Kumar created the zitar, a unique combination of the sitar and guitar

remained a solo art with just one vocalist or says. Agrees Kumar, adding, “Another major instrumentalist unfolding a raga. Jugalbandi reason that led to the birth of the zitar was that (when two musicians collaborate) too is when collaborating with international artistes, not a frequent affair. No wonder then that the sound of my acoustic sitar became inaudible the sound of Indian classical when played alongside electronic instruments drown when instruments like electric guitar The electric played alongside amplified and drums.” sarod, with a electronic sounds and technical Legendary sarod player Ustad magnetic pickup, adaptations in Indian classical Amjad Ali Khan’s sons, Amaan and went through a instruments do not come as a Ayaan, could not agree more. Two guitar processor surprise. The notes of Khan’s years back, Amaan introduced a to create over sarangi were no exception. They bewildered classical music audience 100 tones were initially overpowered at Blue Frog, Mumbai, to an all-new by rock instruments till he sarod. This black sarod, equipped replaced its strings with that of the cello. In with a magnetic pickup, went through a guitar fact, Khan’s uncle, Kamal Sabri, has replaced processor to create more than 100 tones. “Over his sarangi’s fifth string with a cello’s for a the years, we have tried our best to make better pick up and sound as well. “It does not the sarod reach out to a new audience that change the sound much but amplifies it and perhaps would not be at a classical concert,” takes less time to pick up the pitch,” Sabri says Amaan.

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Amaan Ali Khan (above) and his brother Ayaan created the electric sarod

STRINGS OF CHANGE Electric sarod: With a magnetic pick up, this goes through a guitar processor to create over 100 tones. Sarangi with cello strings: Finer cello strings instead of the traditional ones amplify the notes. Zitar: Five strings and a magnetic pick up keep it at par with the amplified sounds of western instruments.

All the world’s a stage

As the scions of traditional gharanas take charge of their realms, innovation and improvisation find way into Hindustani classical music. “I don’t want to classify my music, I just want to play,” says Kumar who has worked with the likes of tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, legendary English guitarist John McLaughin and Swedish bass guitarist Jonas Hellborg. Amaan and Ayaan have also collaborated with Allman Brothers, guitarist Derek Trucks, American folk song writer Carrie Newcomer and Grammy-nominated oud player Rahim Alhaj. “We can collaborate with musicians across the world without diluting the content. Music is a universal language as it transcends boundaries and can bring people closer, not segregate them into categories,” says Amaan.

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SNAPSHOTS

Awe-inspiring

ruins of Hampi

This UNESCO World Heritage site, former capital of the ancient Vijayanagara empire, is among the nine World Heritage sites included in India’s recently announced budget for restoration

HAMPI

KARNATAKA

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Virupaksha Temple

GOOD TO KNOW  BEST TIME TO VISIT November – February H  OW TO REACH Hubli airport is 144 km away. Take a train to Hospet, 12 km away. Regular buses ply from major cities. A  LSO SEE Hampi Dibba, Monkey Temple

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Left: Stone Chariot in Vitthala Temple is an icon of Hampi Above: A sculpture of Lord Krishna at Hazara Rama Temple

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otted with ancient ruins, Hampi is a unique amalgamation of rugged natural beauty and rich religious history. Millions of years of volcanic activity and erosion have resulted in this fascinating landscape. While most of the architecture is inspired by the Vijayanagara Empire (1336-1646), there are some constructions which predate it, like the Jain temples on Hemakuta Hill. Hampi has a core area of 41.8 sq km, but with the buffer zone, it adds up to 236 sq km. The site is spread on the north and south of the Tungabhadra River linking two districts. Ruins are divided into two main areas: the Sacred Centre around Hampi Bazaar and the Royal Centre towards Kamalapuram.

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SNAPSHOTS

Temple tales

Photographs: Sujith Nair

With large dimensions, florid ornamentation, bold as well as delicate carvings, stately pillars, magnificent pavilions and traditional depictions of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Hampi temples stand a class apart. Each has its own speciality. There are interesting motifs of marine creatures on the Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy Temple walls. Virupaksha is the largest existing temple here and has been extensively renovated. Its nine gopurams (towers) rise above all structures at Hampi. Vitthala Temple, with massive monoliths of Lakshmi, Narasimha and Ganesha, is wellknown. Its slender pillars emit musical tones

Top: Landscape of ruins behind the Vitthala Temple Above: Lakshmi Narasimha statue near Krishna Temple (Facing page): Virupaksha Temple INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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SNAPSHOTS

Left and below: Ancient ruins of royal elephant stables

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when tapped. The impressive stone chariot sculpture in the complex is a Hampi icon. The Hazara Rama Temple complex has elaborate frescoes, a sprawling courtyard and well-laid gardens. Over a thousand carvings depict the Ramayana. Krishna Temple Complex has been recently excavated, restoration work still in progress. There is a sacred tank or the Pushkarani located on its eastern side.

Architectural high

Hampi has palaces, aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, treasury buildings and more. The Royal Enclosure, spread over 59,000 sq m, includes fortified walls, gates and towers, palaces, stables and a beautiful stepwell. A number of stone aqueducts connect around 20 wells and ponds here. In fact, the whole of Hampi is crisscrossed with a network of canals of varying sizes that connect

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SNAPSHOTS

Left: Ancient remains on Hemkunta Hill Below: Sunset at Malayvanta Raghunath Temple Right: Krishna Temple

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everything – temples, palaces, agricultural lands... These are still used for irrigation. The Queen’s Palace is located at the middle of the zenana (female) enclosure and is the largest palace base excavated in the Hampi ruins. Don’t miss Lotus Mahal inside, the socialising area for royal women. There is a lotus bud carved on the centre dome.

The archways, balcony and the domed construction resemble a half-open lotus bud. Nearby are elephant stables, a row of magnificent stone structures. Bheema’s Gateway is an imposing edifice named after the mighty Bheema, one of the five Pandavas from the Mahabharata. It depicts Bheema with his wife Draupadi along with scenes from the epic. Its smart design has won praise – it looks like a blind spot and has sudden turns that made it difficult for an invading army on horses and elephants to manoeuvre. The Mahanavami Dibba is another must-see, a multi-level structure atop which kings used to address public gatherings.

Getting around

Photograph (Facing page top & left): Sujith Nair

Visitors find it easy to explore Hampi on two-wheelers, available on rent. Hampi Bazaar is home to most eateries

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Photographs: Sujith Nair

SNAPSHOTS

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Above: One of the complexes in Vitthala Temple Right: Fine carvings in the ruins (Facing Page): Erstwhile Paan Supari Bazaar outside Hazara Rama Temple

for Indian treats like idli and dosa and thali meals (assortment of vegetables, curries and breads). Western delicacies are also on offer. Take home jewellery and embroidered textiles of nomadic Lambani tribes. Saturated coloured fabric pieces are put together as collages on shawls, wallets, bags, skirts and bedspreads with mirror pieces and cowry seashells to add interest.

Bright future

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Photo courtesy: Š Mukul Banerjee Photography

Archeological Survey of India, Bengaluru Circle, is working on improving facilities in Hampi, promising an improved landscape, greater aesthetics, wider roads, clean toilets, wi-fi connectivity and CCTV cameras along with more conservation and restoration efforts.

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INNOVATION

Taming the

spirit of pine

An Indian NGO has found productive use of pine needles, once the cause of many a fire in the hills, by generating electricity from them text | Siddharth M Joshi

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hen I was a kid, my Almora Whatever the case may be, they pose a huge home in the Kumaon threat to the jungles and ecological system. hills of Uttarakhand, was Watching it from close quarters all surrounded by a thick these years was Rajnish Jain and his wife cover of pine trees. Anytime a southward Rashmi, co-founders of the non-profit breeze blew, we could smell the familiar whiff organisation, AVANI. of resins. On some summer nights, the forest They decided to expand the scope of their would come ablaze in circular patterns. Years rural voluntary establishment and take on passed and the green cover began “harnessing the destructive to reduce, so much so that on a energy” of the pine needles in It was proved recent visit, I was shocked to be Berinag village in Pithoragarh that pine needles able to count them. district of Uttarakhand. The could be used as It took some growing up to NGO dreamt of developing a feedstock for a realise that the pine needles technology that utilised the biomass gasifier or pirul, as we call them, were abundance of pine needles to produce to blame. They are highly in keeping with the motto electricity inflammable due to a high of capacity building and calorific value and low density. sustainable rural development. And their carpet on the forest floor causes This ambitious hope pronounced itself rainwater to drain down the slope rather than as “electricity”. be absorbed in the soil. They are known as Saur Urja in the Sometimes villagers set them on fire to area because of their extensive work with get rid of unwanted shrubs and at others, fire solar energy which saw electrification spreads uncontrollably due to negligence. of 25 villages.

At work on the 9 kW gasifier

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INNOVATION

set up Avani Bio Energy Pvt Ltd in 2012 in Jain travelled places with his hypothesis order to commercially utilise the electricity of using pine needles as fodder for creating thus produced and get connected with electricity but was turned down everywhere existing power grids. Funds were pitched on grounds of impracticality. “The density from organisations such as New York-based of pine needles was too low is what they all Acumen Funds, a Power Purchase Agreement said,” shares Jain. Without a background in scientific research, he continued to experiment (PPA) was signed with UPCL, and a permission to collect pine needles on his own and finally managed on large scale was picked from to overcome the density problem The aim is to the forest department. Finally, by chopping pine needles into generate clean a 120 kW commercial plant was smaller pieces, and developing a energy, jobs setup at Chachret village in technology which is in final stages and restore Pithoragarh district. As of now, of being patented. With this biodiversity a couple of thousand units have success, it was proved that pine by stopping been dumped in the grid. This needles could be used as feedstock forest fires in aims to generate clean energy, for a biomass gasifier to produce the region jobs and restore biodiversity by electricity. But the work had stopping forest fires. only begun. “An average pine needles’ collector can AVANI set up a fully operational 9 kW plant, within the campus, as a pilot that worked make up to `25,000 a month as we pay them at a rate of `1 per kilo. During the favourably. Out of the 9 kW of electricity shedding season, forests are covered with a produced, 1.5 kW was used for running huge number of them. Almost 1,200 tonnes the system and the rest was available for in less than 200 hectares of forest land,” other productive uses such as welding and Jain explains. calendering. Taking it a step further, the NGO Pine needles are used as feedstock for the biomass gasifier

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Left: The 120 kW gasifier; Right: Charcoal cooking

The proposition has given options to the enterprise by donating lands, there are the unemployed and women of the area. many challenges. The biggest among them There is a team of local technicians handis a lack of industrial culture in the area due trained by Jain himself who carry out the to which people are discouraged from being operations with dexterity. The process actively involved. “Young men don’t want of gasification also produces to collect pine needles. They a by-product – high-quality would rather move out of the Use of briquettes charcoal in powder form village to bigger towns or cities,” ensures better which, in turn, is converted opines Jain about a problem that health for into charcoal briquettes. These clubs with it a deeper issue of women who work as top-level fuel for rural out-migration. would then cook kitchens, easily replacing wood, AVANI Bio Energy Pvt Ltd in a smokeless saving forests. plans to expand and go smaller. environment The use of briquettes Jain says, “Smaller units are ensures better health for easier to manage and have the women who would then cook in a smokeless capacity to reach deeper into villages. The environment. They come cheaper than other idea is to get local entrepreneurs involved, fuels and may be purchased for cash or in lieu who can control and manage the supply of pine needles. Where localites welcomed chains, operations and retail of the charcoal.”

An average pine needles’ collector can make up to `25,000 a month as we pay them at a rate of `1 per kilo. During the shedding season, forests are covered with a really huge number of them. Almost 1,200 tonnes in less than 200 hectares of forest land” Rajnish Jain, co-founder of non-profit organisation AVANI M AY- J U N E

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INNOVATION

Raising living

standards

Ladakh Ecological Development Group (LEDeG) harnesses solar energy to improve winter livelihood in the cold desert region of Western Indian Himalayas

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Photograph: Mahendra Singh

Kargil town

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INNOVATION

Designs and insulation techniques are used to minimise heat loss in Ladakh homes

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assive Solar House (PSH), a climate average global solar energy on a horizontal plane responsive architectural concept that varies from 5,530-6,360 Whr/m2/day. However, incorporates features like orientation for PSH, the critical data is global solar radiation of buildings, shading devices and during winter months at 90 tilt as the house using appropriate building materials in order to walls are horizontal. A detailed data on solar conserve energy used in heating, energy in the region collected at cooling and interior lighting of horizontal, 20/ 35/ 50 and 90 tilt The aim is to buildings by utilising sun energy, revealed the annual average global maximise heat has been introduced in the transsolar energy is least at 90 tilt gains from the Himalayan region of Ladakh in the with 4,300 Whr/m2/day which is sun and store rain shadow area of the Greater 1,230 Whr/m2/day less than the solar energy Himalayas. The aim is to maximise energy at horizontal plane.  within the heat gains from the sun, make However, if peak winter months building provision for heat distribution, (November-February) data is storing solar energy within the considered, the average global solar building and maximising heat losses in cold radiation at 90 tilt is 5,417.5 Whr/m2/day climatic conditions. which is 1,735 Whr/m2/day more than the The region is considered well-placed in horizontal plane. Likewise, during peak summer terms of global solar radiation. There are months (May-August), average radiation is 3,090 250-300 cloud-free days a year here and annual Whr/m2/day, approximately 42 per cent less

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than winter months; average. This observed high seasonal variation is favourable for SPH because during winter months, it provides maximum energy. During summer, the observed low radiation helps avoid overheating due to wall and roof insulation. The actual global radiation for PSH at a particular site differs significantly from house to house here. In small cities, high house density and resultant building shade can be another problem for harvesting available solar radiation. Plus houses in mountain areas are scattered and constructed on southern slopes. In Ladakh, bestowed with immense solar energy potential and locked up, contrarily, with six-seven months of freezing climatic conditions, harvesting this abundant, reliable, affordable and inexhaustible natural resource becomes imperative for space heating and other day-to-day needs. Ladakh Ecological Development Group (LEDeG), an NGO, has long been involved in harnessing solar energy amid various natural adversities. Passive solar architecture for space heating aims at collecting

solar radiation during daytime. The barren, inhospitable geo-climatic conditions provide insufficient heating biomass to cope with temperatures. Space heating during winter months becomes inevitable for survival. Energy vulnerability is widely recognised as a factor reinforcing poverty. Majority of people here do not have access to reliable and basic energy facilities and heavily depend on biomassbased energy inputs. Firewood shortfall and expensive imported conventional fuels result in a situation of high energy vulnerability. Ladakhi houses are thermally poorly efficient and room temperature falls below -10C. Traditional chullahs (stoves) fuelled with cow dung, wood and bushes are used to cope up besides kerosene and/ or LPG-based heating systems, depending on affordability and availability. The magnitude of scarce natural resource usage causes irreparable environmental damage. Air pollution is another hazard. LEDeG has attempted to encourage use of solar energy, local resource-based insulation techniques, improved kitchen stoves and architectural designs.

KNOW THE TECHNIQUES Trombe Wall (TW) or Solar Wall: South-oriented double glazed window frame, for maximum heat absorption during day, in front of black painted concrete wall (8�1’) [insulated walls, roof and flooring]. The heat is transferred slowly into the room and is released during the night. The air in the space between the glass and the wall becomes hot and circulates inside the room through the holes located at the bottom and top of the wall. Direct Gain (DG): South-oriented large double glazed windows, insulated walls, roof and flooring. The sunlight is absorbed by the materials in the house which get warm, store heat and re-radiate it back, thus warming up the space. Over 500 homes have received support from LEDeG

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Photo courtesy: Mateusz Emeschajmer/gettingnowhere.net

INNOVATION

LEDeG attempts to improve kitchen stoves to reduce useage of scarce natural resources

Trombe System technology has been by international NGOs including Group developed on the principle of passive solar for Renewable Energy Environment and gain and minimisation of heat loss through Solidarity and Dutch group, Inter-Church various designs and insulation techniques. Organisation for Development Cooperation. In 1984, LEDeG installed 75 solar passive With tremendous environmental, social, systems, in partnership with Ladakh Project financial, health and hygiene and energy as demonstration phase. After two decades, impacts, solar passive architecture is gaining solar passive architecture popularity in the remotest has seen unparalleled villages of Ladakh. LEDeG has Over 508 growth – NGOs, army and local persistently been striving to families in Leh government have also adopted familiarise all stakeholders of and Kargil the technology. this technology and its longdistricts of From 2003 to 2014, with lasting impact on balanced Ladakh have support from Indo-Canadian growth and global health. received support Environmental Facility (ICEF), In-depth monitoring of the from LEDeG 116 homes in remote villages initiative reveals a remarkable of Changthang area of Durbuk decrease of about 65 per cent in block of Leh district have been constructed fuel wood consumption, approximating two with Trombe and direct gain technology. tonnes of biomass. Uprooting of scarce wild Two rooms per house are upgraded; one bushes is minimised, allowing regeneration with Trombe Technology and another for process to happen and to contain direct energy gain. Over 508 families in Leh desertification besides saving considerable and Kargil districts of Ladakh have received amount of dung used to enrich soil fertility technical support and construction materials and to increase moisture retaining capacity from LEDeG to build solar houses supported of the sandy soil texture.

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LANDMARK

Gateway to a

bright future

Building Tripura’s trade ties with Bangladesh is part of India’s efforts at boosting friendly neighbourly relations. This will help integrate the rest of North East into Indian economy and open way for trade with South East Asia

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enerally, political freedom betters Union of India in 1949. So Tripura, as we know it economic opportunities. However, today, is landlocked on three sides by Bangladesh there are cases when newly while other North Eastern states are left with a independent regions find themselves tenuous geographical connect to the rest of the worse off. This is what happened to India’s North country through the ‘chicken’s neck’. East in 1947. The country gained The economical implications of Independence from British rule these changes have been devastating. and awoke to “life and freedom” as The new lines disrupted the old The marketplace India’s first Prime Minister put it, business patterns and nearly destroyed has the potential but Partition and the consequent the region’s commercial eco systems. to revolutionise establishment of East Pakistan Road links from North East, which bilateral trade (liberated in 1971 to become passed through East Pakistan, were and improve modern-day Bangladesh) meant a severed; the Assam Railway segment living standards large part of the new nation found was cut off from Indian Railways; in both countries itself cut-off from the ‘mainland’, Bengal’s jute industry was decapitated almost overnight. and the loss of Chittagong Port meant The erstwhile kingdom of Tripuri received a that Indian tea and timber industries had to take raw deal. Part of the ancient kingdom directly a circuitous route to Calcutta (now Kolkata) under the British crown became present-day Port. It is only when one understands the scale of Bangladesh in 1947 while the rest of it joined the disruption during Partition can one appreciate the

The Border Haat was inaugurated on January 13, 2015 by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce & Industry, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman and Bangladesh’s Commerce Minister Mr Tofail Ahmed

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Clockwise from top: Trading at Border Haat; Designated space for the Haat; Agartala check post at the Indo-Bangladesh border

importance of the first India-Bangladesh border haat set up in Tripura. The marketplace has the potential to revolutionise bilateral trade and dramatically improve living standards of border populations in both countries. Inaugurated on January 13 by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce & Industry, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman and Bangladesh’s Commerce Minister Mr Tofail Ahmed, this market is located in the southern Tripura district on Indian side and Feni district on Bangladeshi side. It opens once a week and nationals from both countries living within a 5 km radius can trade locally produced goods and crops. The specialty – currencies of both countries are accepted and no local taxes are imposed on the sale of 16 designated items which includes crops, spices, minor forest products (excluding timber), fish, dairy and poultry products and

cottage industry items. Four other border haats have been planned in Tripura – one in Sipahijala district, two in Dhalai and a fourth in north Tripura. It is no coincidence then that Tripura is being prepared as a nodal point. The region has historically been one integrated economic unit and it is in the fitness of things that pre-Partition trade and communication links be restored to leverage the full potential of the region. Political stability (in India and Bangladesh) and infrastructure development (such as AkhaurahAgartala rail link) will be other key factors. If these factors can be aligned and Tripura-Bangladesh ties strengthened, the whole project that can be quickly scaled up to bring the rest of the North East under its ambit. This, in turn, can serve as India’s gateway to South Asia as envisioned in the North East Vision Plan 2020.

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LANDMARK

First indigenous

Rotavirus vaccine

Made in India, Rotavac is expected to help significantly reduce infant deaths in the country and other parts of the world

The effort has been lauded as an example of India’s capabilities for high-end research

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Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi at the launch of Rotavac

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he most common cause of severe is the third such vaccine available globally diarrhoea among children has against Rotavirus and, at the current found an indigenous solution in the prices, the cheapest. form of the Rotavac vaccine which Foreign companies currently sell Rotavirus was launched by Prime Minister Mr Narendra vaccines in India at `1,100 per dose while Modi in March. Developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech proposes to sell Rotavac for Bharat Biotec India Limited, it is expected to `63 per dose to the government of India and help significantly reduce infant deaths due other low-income countries. to Rotavirus diarrhoea in India The Prime Minister and other parts of the world. The remarked that India is Bharat Biotech deadly Rotavirus causes over characterised by large size and has proposed 4,50,000 deaths worldwide and diversity and continues to face to sell Rotavac 1,10,000 deaths in India annually, a number of socio-economic for `63 per dose, including 80,000 children. challenges. He hoped that the the cheapest A result of the partnership development of the vaccine Rotavirus among the department of would inspire higher levels vaccine globally biotechnology, Bharat Biotech and of research, development and several Indian and international manufacturing activities in organisations, the successful launch of the first India, not just in medical science but also in indigenously developed and produced vaccine is other advanced areas of science and technology. the result of an effort spread over 25 years. Bharat Biotech has filed four global patents Bharat Biotech India Limited was involved around the technology of Rotavac in more in the development and production of the than 20 countries.  vaccine and was selected in 1997-98 by the Their facility in Genome Valley in Hyderabad India-US Vaccine Action Programme and has an installed manufacturing capacity of 300 the standard government procedures. This million doses per year.

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SUCCESS

The great

animation boom

Indian animation is experiencing a unique phase of growth where it is steadily evolving into an industry in its own right. Driving this change are animated superheroes of today: Chhota Bheem, Hanuman, Little Krishna... text | Nidhilekha Sahai

Indian animation characters are largely drawn from mythology

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A still from Kochadaiiyaan, the first 3D motion capture feature film

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rom the first stop-motion Dreamworks. The large English-speaking animation film created by workforce, low cost of production and stateDadasaheb Phalke, the father of of-the-art equipment, coupled with low Indian cinema in 1941 to Chhota demand in the domestic market led to the Bheem, an animated comedy-adventure emergence of Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, television series launched in 2008 by Green Hyderabad and Trivandrum as the country’s Gold Animation Inc., Indian animation major animation outsourcing hubs. has travelled a long way over the last Animators in India have also contributed seven decades. to globally acclaimed films such Though past efforts at as Life of Pi and Prometheus. In Indian animation such as the landmark recent years, Indian animators animators have animated film Ek Aur Anek are combining technical knowsignificantly Ekta made in 1974 by Films how with creativity to make contributed Division of India and successful their own productions. The to global animated TV series such as release of Hanuman, the first giants such as Ghayab Aya established a sound popular 2D animated Indian Walt Disney beginning for animation in movie, in 2005 marked the India, the huge demand for beginning of the creation of technical skills created by foreign production localised content. The film revolves around houses limited the flowering of the Indian Hanuman, one of the main characters of the animation industry. epic Ramayana. Over the years, Indian animators have Bollywood attempted to create its significantly contributed in creating first commercial animation film in 2008, animation characters and providing special Roadside Romeo. Produced by Yash Raj effects for global giants such as Walt Films and distributed by Disney India, the Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony, Pixar and film was a small step towards ownership of

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SUCCESS

Little Krishna earned tremendous success; Below: Roadside Romeo was Bollywood’s first commercial animation film

content in Indian animation. Kireet Khurana’s Toonpur Ka Superhero (2010), the first Indian film to combine live action and 3D animation, starring Bollywood actors Ajay Devgn and Kajol, garnered moderate success. Arjun: The Warrior Prince, an animated film directed by Arnab Chaudhuri and produced by UTV Motion Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures that was released in 2012 in India and the US simultaneously, was acclaimed for its content and production. The year 2014 saw the release of the first 3D motion capture feature film, Kochadaiiyaan along with Chaar Sahibzaade and Mighty Raju: Rio Calling. On the small screen, indigenous characters such as Krishna, Ganesha and Chhota Bheem are slowly outranking Tom & Jerry, Popeye and Doraemon. Ashish SK, CEO of Big Animation (I)

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Pvt Ltd, that created the Little Krishna series, explains mythology was a good place to start because, as quoted in a media report, “Every time you make a character, you have to spend probably twice or thrice the amount to make the character into a brand,” so to reduce risks to a minimum, “you go with all the stories and brands that already exist”. First telecast on Nickelodeon channel in May 2009, the series is based on interesting incidents from the childhood of Indian god, Krishna. Surpassing Little Krishna’s popularity is Chhota Bheem. Launched in 2008, it is an animated comedy-adventure television series by Rajiv Chilaka, CEO of Green Gold Animation Inc. Though it is a takeoff on the character of Bheem from the Indian epic, Mahabharata, Chilaka ensured Chhota Bheem did not remain limited to mythology. “I wanted


ANIMATION INDUSTRY FUTURE REVENUE PROJECTIONS 12.0

Compound Annual Growth Rate: 7.1%

10.0

INR Billion

8.0 6.0 4.0 2.0 0 2013

2014P

2015P

2016P

Animation Production

Animation Services

2017P P

2018P Projected figures

Source: FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2014 A still from the animated Hindi film Chaar Sahibzaade

to create a character for children which would be ours exclusively,” he said in an interview. Easily the first successful Indian animated TV series, Chhota Bheem is recognised across India, even finding place in merchandising such as children’s apparel, school products and comics. Add to this the co-production treaties signed by India over the years with the UK, Italy, Germany, Poland, France, New Zealand, Spain and Brazil that have encouraged collaborations and pooling of expertise, talent and technology. Animators can now come together and exchange creative ideas and technical knowhow at platforms such as Anifest India, the biggest annual animation festival in the Indian subcontinent started in 2005 by The Animation Society of India (TASI), a Mumbai-based nonprofit organisation. Another popular platform is the 24FPS Animation Awards started in 2003 by Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC), an animation academy that provides education in 3D animation, VFX, filmmaking, graphics design and gaming. There is huge demand for localised animation content. As Ketan Mehta, MD, Maya Digital Studios, states in FICCI-KPMG Indian

Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2014, “International TV channels, that now have a stronghold in the Indian market, have started realising the need for domestic content to reach out to their audience and the demand

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Chhota Bheem, a well-known television series

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SUCCESS

for local content is growing rapidly vis-a-vis international programming.” The success of indigenous animation productions such as Kochadaiiyaan, Chaar Sahibzade, Hanuman, Little Krishna and Chhota Bheem are all indicators of this shift. The FICCI-KPMG 2014 report valued the Indian animation, visual effects and post-production industry at a whooping `39.7 billion in 2013 with a growth rate of 12.4 per cent in 2014. Of this, the share of animation services and animation production comes to `12.7 billion in 2013. With a projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of a healthy 7.1 per cent for 2013-2018, it is not long before the Indian animation industry will be at par with global players. Taking cue from Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative, the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) has announced setting up of a National Centre of Excellence for Gaming, Animation and Visual Arts in the 2014 Budget. The centre is expected to be a training ground for animation, 3D visual effects and gaming.

Toonpur Ka Superhero was the first Indian film to combine live action and 3D animation

“I believe this is an encouraging step by the ministry to drive the animation, gaming and VFX segments. With this step, the youth of the nation will be encouraged to seriously consider playing an important role in developing the sector further,” said Aruna Kumar, media and broadcast relationship head of Maya Digital Studios. The proposal is not only expected to increase revenues and generate employment but also support the ownership of intellectual property by Indians in this sector.

Bal Ganesha’s characters earned huge applause

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CULTURE

Turning clay

into gold

Terracotta votives across the world may just be coming from a village in Rajasthan text | Kalyani Prasher

Terracotta plaques depicting daily village life

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Photographs: Jaishree Khamesra

CULTURE

Artworks are dried for nine days

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urning clay into art is a way of depending on the clay used. Terracotta life for the people of Molela, a may be glazed for extra durability or to village in Rajsamand district in provide colour. It is a waterproof and sturdy Rajasthan, 50 km from Udaipur material and ancient sculptures made from city. It is called the Potters’ Village and it are still in excellent shape. families of craftsmen like Lakshmilal or Like all art forms, Molela’s terracotta Dinesh Chandra Kumhar have art has evolved with time. been living here for centuries, Earlier, terracotta gods were tall Molela turning clay into gold. These idols. The art has transformed terracotta art potters are famous for creating into plaques and tiles used is no longer terracotta plaques depicting for decoration. The dusty restricted to gods votive images, passing the desert landscape of Molela and goddesses; talent from one generation to is punctuated with myriad artisans depict the other, each bringing its own colours as artisans lend colour life around them touch to the art. to neutral terracotta hues Terracotta is a ceramic while they create creative and material used for building construction modern designs. and decorative arts since ancient times Molela terracotta art is no longer in cultures around the world. The name restricted to gods and goddesses. Artisans literally means ‘baked earth’. It is made from have started depicting scenes from life natural clay that gives it a characteristic around them. However, traditional designs reddish-brown colour which varies slightly and shapes remain evergreen, art and

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GOOD TO KNOW  BEST TIME TO VISIT October-April H  OW TO REACH Udaipur Railway Station is 47 km away. Or make a one-day trip from Udaipur, 60 km away. T  OURIST TIP Visit in the first half of the day to see potters at work.

Traditional terracotta lanterns; Below: Plaque with a traditional depiction of Lord Ganesha

religion combines in Molela and forms the fabric of daily life. Simple hand-forming techniques are involved in making these plaques. First, clay is dug locally and then mixed with donkey manure, roughly in a 1:4 ratio to give the clay pliability. Then, a slab is made with distinctive dome-shaped top; the edges are raised to form the rim of the slab. The figures are formed with the fingers and must be hollow so they do not burst in the kiln. They are completed by adding accessories on them like jewellery made of tiny balls of clay. The plaques are dried for nine days. The firing is done in a temporary kiln. Rural Non-farm Development Agency (RUDA), which promotes micro-enterprises in Rajasthan, has a big role in bringing these artisans to the fore. “We take these artisans to large-scale exhibitions in Jaipur and New Delhi. The idea is to expose

them to the world,” explains Om Prakash, OS Marketing, RUDA. RUDA also trains and helps organise workshops. “The idea is to take the art form to the world. We want the creative process to prosper in Molela. We even brought a terracotta prototype from NIFT once. The interesting thing, however, is that even though some amount of modernisation has taken place in terms of designs, the most popular ones remain the old styles like avatars of Lord Vishnu and other impressions of gods,” informs Om Prakash. Murtikala, as this art is locally known, is done by kneading rice husk and dung into clay which is then flattened to make a slab on which votives are shaped. The entire art is handcrafted without the use of any moulds or machines and with only the help of craftsmen tools like chisels and potter’s wheel. Prefer buying these art works directly from the artisans as it is mutually beneficial for them and you.

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ART

Grand convergence

of cultures

Deccani art embodies the spirit of trade and exchange prevalent between the 16th and 19th centuries text | Poonam Goel

I

f you could have touched the Pichhwais, we are more in tune with that ethos,” said displayed as part of National Museum’s Dr Kavita Singh, co-curator of Nauras. This exhibition, Nauras: The Many Arts of might explain why the Metropolitan Museum the Deccan, you would have probably in New York recently showcased an even more come away with specks of real gold on your expansive show of Deccani art culled from fingers. This late 18th century 70 global lenders. The exhibition work extensively painted with at National Museum may only be Deccani art gold, depicting the monsoons a small window into this multihas mostly in Brijbhoomi (land of Lord cultural world in comparison but remained hidden Krishna), is one of the many the pieces on show were largerfrom public masterpieces reminiscent of the than-life. gaze, perhaps highly integrated, hybrid and Take for example, Al-Buraq, overshadowed secular art that flourished under an opaque water colour, which by Mughal art the Deccan Sultanates between the depicted a mythical creature who 16th and 19th centuries. carried Prophet Muhammad on Deccani art has mostly remained hidden a night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and from public gaze, perhaps overshadowed by the back. The imagery was derived from many more opulent and better recorded Mughal art. sources such as the Chinese-looking dragon “In recent years, however, due to globalisation that forms the tail, Persian-looking lions and and the circulation of ideas and influences, the Indian elephant at its heart. “The painting every place has become trans-cultural. Now the was executed by an artist in Golconda in the complex, overlapping, cosmopolitan cultures 18th century but carries impulses from half the of the Deccan are easier to understand, and world,” said Singh.

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A Pichhwai painted with gold M AY- J U N E

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ART

Perhaps the most significant exhibit of the grand convergence of several cultures was a late 18th-century temple hanging embroidered with scenes from the Ramayana. Made in Vijayanagara, this preserved memories of the city’s architecture 200 years ago where temples were made in classical Dravidian temple tradition but royal buildings were constructed in Islamic style. The main scene was of Lord Rama’s coronation being witnessed by the gods and guardians, all of whom stand under the Islamic-style cusped arches used in the Vijayanagara palaces. A magnificent kalamkari coverlet was another example of Deccani cosmopolitanism. The figures surrounding the Persian king

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(Above) King Aurangzeb’s armour (Top) Temple hanging depicting the Ramayana (Right) Al Buraq – a watercolour of a mythical creature


in his palace were from diverse regions including Armenia, the Mughal kingdom, China and Turkey. A series of 44 Ragamala paintings of late 16th century depict intricate handling of miniature art. Its style is flamboyant and showcases the hybrid vision that flowered in the Deccan as a result of Rajasthani idioms brought in by Rajput generals of the Mughal army. Miniature art from the Deccan, in turn, was supposed to have influenced Rajasthani and Pahari courts. “The Ramayana series with some 450 illustrations made for Maharana Jagat Singh of Mewar in the 17th century had, at least, one volume completed by a Deccani artist,� revealed Singh.

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ART

Left to right: Ragmala painting; Artistic representation of Malik Ambar, an African in the royal court; Kalamkari coverlet

Use of rich and luminous colours had, in fact, stayed on in the work of contemporary artists from the region like Thota Vaikuntam, Chippa Sudhakar and Laxam Goud. “They have remained true to their roots and the classical influences of portraying divinity and folk stories can be seen in their work even now,� says Gallerie Ganesha director Shobha Bhatia. Deccani art embodies the spirit of trade and exchange prevalent during those times.

The story of tobacco, first introduced in Bijapur by the Portuguese, later becoming a major export from the region, could be succinctly understood through many of the silver inlaid bidriware huqqa bases. Fortunately, many of the skills like kalamkari and bidriwork survived the test of time, even though the quality of calligraphy and marbling exhibited would be hard to match today.

Left to right: Buraq sculpture; Metalware decor item; Bidriware huqqa base

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CUISINE

Nothing fishy

about it!

Add something spicy and delicious to your high-tea table with this Indian recipe AMRITSARI FRIED FISH

cubes or fingers; place them in a bowl, rub in vinegar and salt and marinate for 30 minutes; drain and pat dry again with paper towels.

Preparation time 15 minutes; Marination 50 minutes; Cooking 20 minutes; Serves 4 Ingredients 750g fish fillets; ½ cup vinegar, 1tbsp salt, oil, lemon. For marinade: 2tbsp ginger, 2tbsp garlic paste, 2tsp carom seeds, 1tsp white pepper, ½tsp salt, ½ cup gram flour, orange food colour, ½ cup water Method 1. Wash fish fillets, pat dry with paper towels and cut into even-sized

2. M  ix all ingredients for the marinade and rub into the fish. Marinate for 20 minutes. 3. H  eat oil in a wok (kadhai), deep-fry the fish pieces a few at a time over medium heat until crisp; remove and drain; arrange on a platter, garnish with lemon wedges. Serve hot.

Courtesy: Fabulous Flavours: Brunch, High Tea, Cocktails, part of a series of cookbooks brought out by the External Affairs (Ministry's) Spouses Association, New Delhi

Golden brown, succulent Amritsari Fried Fish

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CUISINE

The saga of

Indian chilli

In the history of spices, if there is one condiment that has been accorded the status of being ‘hot’, it is chillies text | Madhulika Dash

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hink chillies and it is difficult camp when he landed in India in 1498. not to think of Indian cuisine. Little did he realise that India, back Known for its flavour then, had chillies growing wildly, at least foreplay and generous use of the hottest variety, Naga Jolokia and chillies, Indian curries are Naga Viper. synonymous to them. The Ayurveda, the science of Chillies were perception, interestingly, is living, propagated the use of the first spice not entirely untrue. In fact, spices in food – and in some Vacso da Gama laal maas of Rajasthan and texts directly indicating exchanged for rogan josh from Kashmir are to chillies – as it believed a place to camp known for the use of chillies – that food cooked with the when he landed though of completely different right spices helps preserve in India in 1498 varieties and pungency levels. nutrition. Also, chillies While the former is known control bloating! Whether for Mathania Mirch that imparts a fiery this is true is debatable. However, there red colour, rogan josh is famous for the is no contesting that chillies became sweet spicy taste of the Kashmiri Mirch. popular in India which, during the time, It is said Portuguese voyager Vasco da was in a transitionary phase culinaryGama exchanged chillies for a place to wise as traders and missionaries were

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Boriya Mirch

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CUISINE

Clockwise from below left: Bisi bele bhaat; Laksa; Pork vindaloo; Balchao; Sorpotel; Phaal curry; Fish rechado – all use different varieties of chillies

getting newer techniques and dishes into the country. With da Gama came two dishes: Pork vindaloo and sorpotel. Significant Goan dishes today, both are known for spiciness. The Portuguese got Peri Peri chillies to India which became an intrinsic spice of the Goan masala. As newer variations were grown, chilli reached other regions of India. In Rajasthan, it took the shape of a powder, used in most dishes. Down South, Madras Pari, a special variety, became quintessential in temperings. Bhavnagri Mirch became a choice for mirch ka salan as one could play around with its spice factor. Due to its low capsaicin

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11 SHADES OF INDIAN CHILLIES

JAMMU AND KASHMIR Kashmiri Mirch HIMACHAL PRADESH Kashmiri Mirch

MADHYA PRADESH Sannam,

GUJARAT Jwala MANIPUR Dhani MIZORAM Dhani

MAHARASHTRA Sannam, Nalcheti

ANDHRA PRADESH Sannam, Mundu, Madras Pari, Tadappally, Hindpur

KARNATAKA Byadagi

KERALA Kanthari

TAMIL NADU Mundu, Kanthari

Dhani

Scarlet, highly pungent

Tadappally

Red, thick, mildly pungent

Sannam

Red /reddish hot/very hot

Byadagi

Red, pungency low/almost nil

Nalcheti

Red, very pungent

Kanthari

Ivory white, small, highly pungent

Mundu

Yellowish red/scarlet hot/ fairly pungent

Jwala

Light red, highly pungent

Madras Pari

Bright red, hot

Hindpur

Kashmiri Mirch Deep red, fleshy pungency-negligent

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Red, very pungent

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CUISINE

SHAPES OF HEAT Sankeshwari Mirch: Medium high spicy, often found in Konkan food. Boriya Mirch: Often used in tempering. Kashmiri Degi Mirchi: Long, deep red and wrinkled, whole-dried Kashmiri chilli is mildly hot. Bedgi or Byadagi Chilli: Karnataka specialty is medium on hotness and colour. An essential in Goda Masala. Tarvati: This translucent, shiny chilli is used for commercial red chilli powder. Reshampatti: Broad and short, this mediumhot chilli is used for stuffed pickles. Gundu Chilli: Small, round and shiny, must in South Indian recipes. Naga Viper Chilli: A hybrid of Naga Jolokia and Trinidad Hybrid made by Englishman Gerald Fowler, it is one of the hottest chillies. Naga Jolokia Chilli: A single Naga Jolokia can spice up a preparation of, at least, 200 people. Piri Piri Chilli: Also called the ‘African Red Devil’, it is hot and identified by its thin, cylindrical shape with reddish-orange tint. Light Green Chilli: Best served with vada pav, these look brilliant but are the least spicy. Dark Green Chilli: These tiny chillies are as good as dynamite; often used for tempering lentil curry.

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MIRCHI KA SALAN (Serves 4) Ingredients Green chillies: 18-20 large; Oil: 2 tbsp; Sesame seeds: 2tbsp; Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp; Cumin seeds: 1tsp; Roasted peanuts: 1/2 cup; Dried red chillies: 2; Ginger, chopped: 1 inch piece; Garlic, chopped: 6-8 cloves; Mustard seeds: 1 tsp; Onion, grated: 1 medium; Turmeric powder: 1 tsp; Tamarind pulp: 2 tbsp, mixed in half cup water; Salt to taste

content, Byadagi Chilli works for dishes requiring minor spiciness – bisi bele bath, sambar, chutneys and Udupi dishes along with pickling. Ellachipur Sannam, the quintessential hari mirch, was used across the country to add Method sharpness to the dishes. Slit green chillies lengthwise. Deep fry in a wok. Dry roast sesame, coriander and cumin and grind with peanuts, red Guntur Sannam, another South chillies, ginger and garlic to make a paste. Heat 2tsp oil Indian chilli identified by its wrinkled in the wok. Add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add texture, was used for spicing dishes. onion. Once golden, add turmeric. Add pre-prepared paste and cook for three minutes, stirring. Add half cup water Kerala-grown Kanthari White became and bring to boil. Lower flame, cook for 10 minutes. Mix in the choice for temperings and pickles to tamarind pulp. Add fried green chillies and salt. Cook five help digest food. minutes. Serve hot with chapatti (Indian bread). Few other varieties were known for their heat and pungent taste, like Jwala from Gujarat and Bird’s Eye Chilli from North East. Known to be among the hottest chillies, these are followed in terms of the used in meat preparations usage of chillies apart from a few: An Indian curry across India. The hottest Like Mathania Mirch originating in a stew is an Indian curry for colour in laal UK restaurant, Like that originated in a maas, Deghi Kashmir phaal curry is MEA INDIA restaurant in the UK. Mirch in rogan josh, grilled lamb or Phaal curry is grilled lamb Bhavnagri Mirch in any meat served or any meat served in mirchi ka salan and in hot sauce Follow hot sauce. Phaal takes its Dhani or Bird’s Eye @MEAINDIA inspiration from North Chilli in Assamese East cooking where chilli is mostly laksa and thupka. Guntur/ the only condiment used to spice food. Warangal/ Khammam chilli Channel When it comes to chillies in Indian is the conventional pick for all MEA INDIA cuisine, there are little benchmarks pickling plans.

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EXPLORE

Celebrating

hues of divinity

During Hemis Festival, Ladakh comes alive with dances and colourful celebrations. The religious mask dance remains the centre of attraction text | Supriya Agarwal

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Monks carrying holy water across the Hemis Monastery courtyard for purification

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ynonymous with peace, tranquility and meditation, Ladakh is known as the “land of high passes�. After a long dreary winter, summer is the time to rejuvenate with pomp and fervour. Here, rejuvenation is a celebration, a way of attaining supreme truth. The festivals are a perfect concoction of ancient customs, rich culture and celebration of life. One of the most famous festivals here is Hemis Festival celebrated in Hemis Monastery. Situated 45 km away from Leh, Hemis Monastery is the largest and richest one in the region. It is famous

for its magnificent architecture and the Buddha statue positioned atop a mound overlooking the monastery. This two-day event celebrates the victory of good over evil and commemorates the birth anniversary of Buddhist guru Padmasamabhava who brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Central Asia, China and the Himalayan region. Revered as the second Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava was invited to India in the 8th century to conquer dark forces and transform them into guardians and protectors of dharma. The festival is celebrated every year on the 10th lunar day

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GOOD TO KNOW  BEST TIME TO VISIT May-September H  OW TO REACH Take a flight to Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport, Leh. Or a train to Jammu Tawi, 300 km away. Or drive via Srinagar-Leh or Manali-Leh highways. A  LSO SEE Hemis National Park, the largest in South Asia

of the Tibetan calendar. This year, it falls on July 7 and 8. The central courtyard of Hemis Monastery sets the stage: Drums, trumpets and wind instruments commence the celebrations with an early morning ceremony in which thousands of Buddhist followers take blessings from a portrait of Lord Padmasambhava. Uncooked rice, incense sticks, tomas (butter-anddough dish) and holy water are the main ceremonial items. The chief monk of the monastery carries the holy water throughout the courtyard for purification. However, the key attraction is the religious masked dance performed by the lamas (monks) around the central flagpole in the courtyard. Known as Chhams, these dance dramas are performed wearing vibrant clothes and intimidating masks. The dance consists of two parts: the first pays homage to the eight aspects of Guru Padmasambhava. The second part shows Maha Dongcren, a horned masked figure, slaying demonic forces. The eight manifestations of Padmasambhava belong to the tradition of the revealed treasures. It includes

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Above: Mask dance-dramas called Chhams in progress Left: Blaring horns are characteristic of Chhams

the depiction of union with consort, a fully ordained Buddhist monk, a young crowned prince, the Saviour who teaches dharma to people, the intelligent youth, a naked yogi pointing towards sun, fierce manifestation of Vajrakilaya and the Lion of Debate. These religious dances are used to educate people about the impermanent nature of all phenomena and the victory of mind over ignorance and evil. Blaring horns and hypnotic drums serve as perfect soundtracks for the dance with most movements consisting of measured steps and twirls. The stunning colours of whirling robes, antique masks and swaying movements create a visual treat. Witnessing the mask dances is believed to remove ignorance and take one closer towards to attaining nirvana. “By watching these mask dances, ‘choreographed’ by celestial beings for enlightened masters, we should receive the blessings of being able to cut through afflictive emotions and realise the nature of our own mind and wisdom,” says a monk from Hemis Monastery.

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EXPLORE

The Nobel

poet

A visit to Rabindranath Tagore’s ancestral home, Jorasanko Thakur Bari in Kolkata, gets visitors up close and personal with the life of India’s first Nobel laureate whose birth anniversary is celebrated on May 7 text | Sutapa Mukerjee

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f you happen to be travelling towards over 35,000 sq m, was built in the late 18th north Kolkata, it is impossible to miss the century by Rabindranath Tagore’s grandfather, tall ornate gates of Jorasankho Thakur Prince Dwarkanath Tagore. The land on which Bari (6, Dwarkanath Tagore Lane). Brick the house stands was donated to him by a red in colour, the arched top is held rich businessman. in place by columns of different Besides its architectural value, The name of heights and width on either side. this house holds a special place this abode is The arch is topped by a rectangular in the hearts of all Tagore-lovers derived from structure, on which in Bengali, as India’s first Nobel laureate an erstwhile boldly and brightly, is painted was born (May 7, 1861) and structure of Jorasanko Thakur Bari. Walls have breathed his last (August 7, 1941) two similar beautiful marble carvings. A long here. The ancestral home of wooden bridges verandah runs in front of the rooms Tagore is, at present, located on downstairs with balconies right on Rabindra Bharati University top on the floors above. campus which organises cultural programmes The name is derived from an erstwhile and a festival of arts, Aban Mela, on the poet’s structure of two similar (jora) wooden bridges birth anniversary. (sankho) that existed over a tiny stream that It is imperative to leave behind one’s passed this way then. The house, spread footwear before entering Tagore’s abode,

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The Jorasanko house is a vast, rambling congeries of mansions and rooms, representing the whims of many generations. – Edward Thompson M AY- J U N E

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Photograph courtesy: www.delhievents.com

An artistic representation of Rabindranath Tagore


Photograph: Amit Bhattacharjee

EXPLORE

considered no less than a temple. The house has been transformed into a picturesque museum. I returned another day to take a tour of this landmark building. As always, when I climbed the stairway and felt the marble with diagonal designs under my feet, I was transported to another era. The view from the balcony took me to the poet’s growing up years. Just like William Wordsworth mentioned in The Prelude that his first teacher was Nature, I understood why Tagore mentioned the same philosophy in most of his writings. Tall trees reach up to the windows while birds chirp ceaselessly from their nests. The lonely little boy (young Rabindra) had Nature as his best friend which was so beautifully translated into verses of his poems. Paintings and photographs that adorn the walls today tell a story of centuries ago. There are about 40

Left: A bust of Tagore at Thakur Bari

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MORE ABOUT JORASANKO THAKUR BARI Open all days except Mondays, 10am-5pm Light and sound show November to January: 6pm-7.40pm February to June: 7pm-8.40pm

Above: Jorasanko Thakur Bari is spread over 35,000 sq m

original paintings of the poet The museum has laureate. The museum has three galleries three galleries dedicated to the dedicated to renaissance period of Bengal, the renaissance Tagore’s family and the poet. period of Bengal, In the first, I took a long time Tagore’s family to move from one painting to and the poet another and stood gazing at the gifts received by Tagore during different phases of his life. There were some old manuscripts, books, journals and discs neatly placed here. I then strolled into the dining area. This adorned a large low black-coloured rich wooden table with a few backless chairs. second gallery, dedicated to his family: Two adjoining living rooms displayed Grandfather, Dwarkanath Maharishi; few robes that still draw the same enigma brother Debendranath Tagore that Tagore wore. and nephew Abanindranath Further down was the ‘sanctum Tagore. The third one depicts sanctorum’ of this house – the room the Rennaisance period and where Tagore breathed his last. The personalities of Bengal like folding screen doors let me in and I stood Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and silently, experiencing the peace around Dwarkanath Tagore. me. The subtle light was charismatic and I least realised the hours I from deep within my heart, a line from spent here. As a token of this Tagore echoed poignantly, “And because visit, I bought a few cards and I love this life, I know I shall love death replicas and just allowed Tagore’s as well”. Thereafter, I stepped to the music to play in my heart.

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CONVERSATION

When sky is

the limit...

Dr Tessy Thomas has sky-rocketed to unparalleled success in the field of missile technology

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he gets up at 6 am, goes for a walk, Advanced Systems Laboratory, Hyderabad. watches TV serials and cooks. In her Dr Thomas was associate project director for spare time, she plays badminton and the 3,000 km range Agni III missile and project chess and one of her director for Agni IV. favourite hobbies is gardening. Her childhood fascination She spends 10 Sounds like the life of any for math and science charted to 12 hours in ordinary Indian woman? But her future course of action office working Dr Tessy Thomas is definitely with a school trip to Thumba on powerful extraordinary. She spends Rocket Launching Station in weapons of 10-12 hours in office, working Thiruvananthapuram serving mass destruction on some of the most powerful as the perfect inspiration. She weapons of mass destruction. completed B Tech in Electrical Popularly known as agniputri (daughter Engineering and followed it up with M Tech of fire), she was the project director for in Guided Missiles and a course sponsored 5,000 km range Agni V in 2009, based at the by Defence Research & Development

A model of Agni V at India’s Republic Day parade

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CONVERSATION

Clockwise from left: Receiving a memento at a lecture series; Sharing a light moment with colleagues; At the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award ceremony

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Organisation (DRDO). In 1988, she joined Inspired by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s focussed DRDO and was posted at Hyderabad-based and goal-oriented approach, she keeps a firm DRDO Lab, working with the navigation hold on life, taking both successes and failures and guidance groups. “Then on, it has been a in her stride. “He introduced openness and career of inspiration, opportunity and scientific teamwork and has been a role model for all of us support from colleagues and senior. As a result, at DRDO,” says Dr Thomas. I became a designer for long-range missile Despite her demanding career, she has systems,” she says. managed to find the right workAt present, Dr Thomas is life balance. “In life comes Despite her director, Advanced Systems a phase where one needs to extremely Laboratory, DRDO. As part strike a balance between career demanding of the Agni missile team, she and home. Once we overcome it career, was involved in modelling and successfully, life gets easier and Dr Thomas simulation of missile systems. happier,” shares Dr Thomas. has managed “During the initial While family support has played a to strike the phase of my career, major role in her success, she admits right work-life I participated in all facing difficult times on personal balance technical reviews which front when her son was in school helped me understand and husband posted out of station. the system better,” says Dr Thomas “But we all managed. Tejas, my son, has been who has been with DRDO for the understanding and cooperative. He completed past 27 years. “I have had moments his engineering recently,” she says. of agony and ecstasy. Working Among other recognitions, she recently with DRDO has given me both won the Y Nayudamma Memorial Award opportunities and courage to handle 2014 for her contribution in the field of any problem,” she says. missile technology.

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India perspectives may june 2015 english