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I heard somebody say the other day, ‘Try, try and try and if it still looks like success is far away, oh! then you know what they say just try some more!’ And this, I felt was true for this magazine but saying that will just limit my perspective. I can apply this to our country as a whole. For a country that is eternally branded as ‘In Progress’ and ‘Under Construction’ - people have finally begun to try! I knew it when people didn’t put down their protest cards when the government hastily produced the guilty in the Delhi rape case to the nation. Our nation didn’t just want the suspects to be hanged; they wanted a change, a change in the system as a whole. We just didn’t just look to firefight the situation, we wanted to try and make sure it never happened again. Every day I see people trying to make a change, trying to create waves of progress or trying to create something new. I am not just talking about the young generation here (we are a young country with 51% of our citizens under 25 and 66% under 35). Three-fourths of our entrepreneurs are still above the age of 35 with women forming the helm. Bored old house wife is fast becoming a myth… We are slowly but finally inching towards the developed nation tag. Honestly though, I never fancied the whole ‘Developed Nation’ hoopla. What is a developed nation any way? Whole lot of industries, swanky cars, rich citizens and then what - give up trying? Look where it’s got America now? The key is in learning and marching forward every single day! So, with this spirit of trying and trying some more, I am happy (and thoroughly relieved) to present you our 3rd edition. Have a rock and roll year ahead! Shruthi Nadiminti
Nobody is ever too busy to do anything. It’s all about how we prioritize things on our list. Especially for a student like me, it’s a joke if I think I am over burdened with work. In this alleged busyness, we often tend to tramp over what we really want to do, and say. We forget to notice how important it is to say things! There is a dream, and then there is the desire. The line that connects the both is your effort. This magazine did not start as my dream, it was a desire, and still is. A desire that rested in my mind like an old blanket in the closet. I avoided it, kept it away, never bothered to dust it after the initial excitement of bringing two issues out fizzled. I was a swinging table fan that would shift attention to other things, whether important or not. But sooner or later, the blanket started to bother me. Moths egging for attention started spilling out of it. I could no longer afford to let it decompose. Because if that happens, my closet would be empty, with nothing to boast about anymore. This is thus, not just an attempt to bring out another issue, but to understand how important it is to revive the chance-denied old blankets that we tend to ignore in our organised chaos of life. The philosophical overtone is more a matter of my mood, and less profound. Flip through for a round up of art, rant and ramble! Sindhu Sree Kamaraju
While my peers go utopian or contemplative in their notes, my head is brimming with questions, I wonder why our nation hasn’t been able to reach a consensus on a single major issue till date. Here goes my rant: Assumptions, predictions and opinions from everybody are spreading everywhere but no one has a freaking clue how to solve anything! First and foremost thing that comes to my mind is the Separate Telangana issue, but its better we skip this for now, Delhi rape case – what has happened to Rapists? What decision did GOI take? Why did the God of Cricket, retire from the One day format but not from the Tests? How long will Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy be behind bars? Are we really supporting Art and Artists? If yes, then why not VISWAROOPAM? What went wrong with Mayan predictions? Is the Government really following the manifesto it announced in 2009? What has happened to window tint film manufacturers? What are they doing now? And where will the peeled tint films go? When can we expect a final call on the Vodafone tax dispute? Why is the Apple IPhone user friendly but not technically compatible with other devices? Why don’t we still have a cancer cure? How long will we wear the same Blue Jeans? Why don’t we spend lavishly on Indian brands? How long we watch periodical movies? Why aren’t they any new faces on the screen? Why do we give compliments on facebook when we are supposed to comment? What has happened to Anna Hazare’s Lokayukta bill? And what is Mr. Arvind Kejriwal doing now? The list goes on… Shrinath Kondagari
Credits Editorial Team
Shruthi Nadiminti Sindhu Kamaraju
Designer in Spirit
Hriday Ranjan Rajitha Sanaka Sri Vidya.P
M. Deepu S. Ajay Kumar Ankita Agarwal Pulak Patnaik
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Ganesha’s Revenge As he huffed and puffed his way to his home, Ganesha felt a sense of relief. It was always good to be back here. The silence, and the pristine scenery suited him better than the noise down on earth He saw his father, one leg crossed, the other dangling down. His incredibly handsome face, his eyes closed, two hands holding a chillum to his mouth. As Ganesha sat by his side, Shiva sucked hard, and blew out a cloud of smoke. “Where’s Kartikeya?” he asked his father. Shiva shrugged his shoulders. “After the Challenge incident, he doesn’t seem to stay around here much.” Ganesha’s mind went back to the incident. Years ago, his parents threw a challenge to both the brothers. Whoever circled the earth thrice and returned would be the winner. While Kartikeya set off on his magnificent peacock to circle the planet, Ganesha merely walked around his parents and said, “You both are my world.” When Kartikeya returned, he wasn’t very pleased. Ganesha missed those childhood days, when the entire family would be together. It was a ruckus, with Kartikeya’s peacock constantly eyeing Shiva’s snake, who would constantly hiss at Ganesha’s rat. But they were fun days! After a long silence, Shiva turned to him. “So how was it this time?” Ganesha kept quiet for a bit. “Same
as the last time, I guess. But I fear things are getting worse every year….” Shiva said nothing. He brought the chillum to his mouth and took another puff from it. “Why do you think it’s getting worse?” he asked. “It gets to me, sometimes. I have to sit in one place for eleven days, with loud music blaring from all sides continuously. If you were in my place, you’d have opened your Third Eye on the second day itself.” Shiva smiled. “Sometimes, our devotees do things in devotion without knowing when to stop. It’s all a part of being a God.” Ganesha frowned. “Devotion? Really?? How is it devotion if you play ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’ at full blast? There was another silence. After a while, Ganesha said, “You know, father. Sometimes I wish my devotees were like your devotees…” Shiva smiled. “Why is that?” “I don’t know. For your devotees, devotion is a way of life. They do not get caught up in rituals and forget the point of religion. They keep to themselves…” “Son, you have to understand that the purpose of religion keeps changing. Earlier, religion provided a set of beliefs to live by. Today, it is what brings people together. It gives them a reason to celebrate, to meet their loved ones. We gods have no control over how men interpret religion.” Ganesha nodded in agreement. “I get that. But it isn’t about that an-
ymore. Every year, there are lakhs of new idols built. And all of them are dumped in water. Don’t they realise that water is what sustains them? Civilisations have always been built around water.” Shiva smiled, and waited for his son to vent out all his frustration. “And it’s like a contest now. Who will have the largest, noisiest Ganesha this year? The whole point of devotion is lost. And I have to go into those dirty rivers and lakes,” Ganesha fumed. “Ask me about it,” Shiva said. Ganesha looked at his father. During his childhood days, the water from the Ganga that flowed out of Shiva’s hair was clear, pristine and pure. Today, it was a muck, coughing and spitting out brown, dirty water. The two of them sat in silence, lost in thought. Shiva broke the silence. “You know what? These people are just inconsiderate. You are the God of Knowledge. Why don’t you do something about it? May be make those guys really stupid or something?” Ganesha turned to him and smiled, “Well, what do you think?” The two of them laughed out loud.
by Hriday Ranjan
How did you begin with this work? And what does your work include? I fixed up a contract with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Society (GHMC) and have been assigned 400 houses to attend to daily. My normal day’s routine includes going to each of the 400 houses, collect trash onto my hand driven rickshaw and move the whole waste to the nearest dump yard behind Kothapet fruit market. It will then be transferred to Keesara by a truck. Who do you have to report to and on what basis is your wage generally calculated on? I don’t get paid by the society directly but I do collect money from people for moving their dump. There is no financial relation between the society and me. How do you transfer this dump? What resources does the society provide you with? Until 10 years ago l used to have hand-driven trolley to collect trash and commute to the dump yard. Later, a pulling rickshaw was given to me, and I have been using the same till date.
It has been more than 20 years since Ganesh started his life as a manual scavenger and contract trash collector in the city, in 1991. While the whole neighbourhood is still on the edges of sleep at four in the morning, Ganesh goes knocking and collecting trash from and clearing every household of yesterday’s waste. Even while the human rights fraternity in India are fighting to abolish manual scavenging on grounds of violation of basic human rights, Ganesh continues to do his job, like many such others. Excerpts from his conversation with Shreenath.
Do you go to all the 400 houses regularly? No, I manage 200 houses in a day and the other 200 the next day. I have fixed up a time table on area basis and cover all the houses in a particular area based on that schedule. What does your regular schedule comprise of? My work starts at four in the morning daily and I return home by three in the noon. My work takes time as I have to go to each and every house, even if it is an apartment, and collect the dump. Unlike other jobs, there is no holiday for me. Seven days a week, irrespective of weather or other difficulties, I have to be on duty. It is difficult to think what happens if I do not go for a single day.
Life of a Ragpicker
You seem happy with your work. Is that true? Not really, because when I was young I used to finish my work on time but now I am 35 years
old, and it is becoming difficult for me to carry on with the tiring work. If I fall ill, the entire work comes to a stop. To avoid that situation, recently, I hired two assistants and have taken two rickshaws for them. Now, they get to do the work and I am happy organising them. Although if they fail to come, I have to go on the field, which means one has to be at work at any given time. Do you pay the assistants or do they also collect money from residents? And how much do you earn at the end of every month? I earn 8000 rupees every month after paying 5000 to each assistant. Initially the society used to bear maintenance charges for the rickshaws, but now I have to bear that cost too. Who do you consult in case of any issue you face in your work? Workers cannot individually go and report his/her problems with the Society. We have our union where we discuss issues and deliver reports to the GHMC office. Is there no safety gear that the society provides you? Does the society support your medical treatment in case of illness? As I mentioned before, there is no relation between the society and us. We have to bear all the bills. We used to wear masks before but stopped using them as they proved to be an extra expense. We just get used to the smell as we go. .Do Hisyou job expect is not anany ordinary one,atand there many like help from GHMC regarding your work? changes work orare additional him. He is company eager to know whereishistying photo be GHMC published, A private RAMKY upwill with to manage waste disposal in the city. If that happens, I would and brings his assistants in for a group picture.
be an employee of RAMKY and eligible for a better, fixed salary, and we would be assigned auto trolleys to move the dump instead of manual rickshaws. Thatâ€™s definitely a good sign.
Ganeshâ€™s is a story starting from rags and ending in trashes. He has never been interviewed before in his life. His job is not an ordinary one, and there are many like him. He is eager to know where his photo will be published, and brings his assistants in for a group picture. by Shrinath Kondagari
Are you a Rapist You mus Are you a rapist? Have you been spending your life travelling, raping man, woman, and child? You should visit India. Let me now, dear rapist, list out the many ways in which we as a country shall ensure that you have a pleasant, rape-filled stay in our country. Politicians: We are the largest democracy in the world. Quite naturally, there should be quite a few rapists in the Parliament. There are 369 MPs/MLAs who have criminal cases against them, and I am only talking about crimes against women. Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the most famous family in India, has been accused of rape. Narendra Modi, whom many herald as India’s only hope, has been banned from the UK and US for orchestrating an extravaganza of loot, murder, and rape. Also, the politicians will generally take your side, accusing women of not being appropriately dressed, or inciting the incidents by dressing vulgarly. Legal System: India also has a unique legal system. Cases take years to get heard, if at all. The most famous lawyer in the country has been in the news for fighting cases of criminals – Sanjay Dutt, Haji Mastaan, and Manu Sharma. Of course, the man is held as an inspiration by thousands of law students, who claim he only does it to extend the boundaries of the legal system. Police and Army: They say ‘Long is the arm of law’. In India, the long arm of law is used for the wrong reasons. Most police officials think women ask for it by dressing up in skimpy clothes and having a boyfriend. And surely, if a girl sleeps with one, she will be ok with sleeping with others, right? Bingo! Complaints are rarely registered, and if they are, the victim has to undergo a
t? st visit India
A Bloggers take on the Delhi Rape Incident
medical test to validate her complaint. The army is a different case altogether. The AFSPA law in North East India has a history of raping women in those states. Why doesn’t anybody raise this issue? Come on, man! It’s the North East states. Who gives a damn? Apart from this, the country also provides other recreational options for rape, if you belong to a niche group. FETISH RAPE: If you are among the kinds that have a special thing for perverse pleasure, look no further than India. Here, we rape minors, pregnant women, grandmothers, children, infants, foreigners and even dogs! There is no discrimination in our country at all. RAPE IN TRANSIT:If you are a busy man without much time on your hands, and like raping on the go, India again has a plethora of options for you. BUSES: Rapes in buses have become common. Apart from the famous gangrape case, there have been other cases as well. For eg, in Pipili a girl was gangraped in a bus in front of other passengers. When one of the girls testified in court, she was gangraped as well. TRAINS: Scenic locations, long journeys, lack of security measures, and delayed schedules provide the perfect opportunity for you to rape a few women while on a long journey. To avoid hassles, you may consider throwing the victim out of the moving train. There will be a hue and cry the next day, but like the rest of the country, you would have moved on. FLIGHTS: Now, I cannot guarantee you can rape someone on a flight, but you can definitely molest a few women. Flights are still a luxury in our country, so you will not find much diversity to choose from on a flight. The delays in flights will be a hurdle in planning a rape. Also, the air hostesses on Air India and Indian Airlines are middle aged women who dress up in sarees. And as anyone in India will tell you, dressing up in a saree is the best way to avoid rape. May be that’s why they say Air Travel is the safest mode of travel??
So there, my rapist brothers from across the world, where else in the world will you find such facilities? Where else will you find that that the entire system bends over backwards so that you can feel the rush of forcing yourself on an unwilling woman? Where else can you feel like a real man, thrust your hard cock into her, and feel her warm blood flow down your loins, with the security that you can walk free? Why do you think it’s called Incredible India? by Hriday Ranjan
Hriday Ranjan is not just a blogger on the job for 5 years now. He is also an aspiring writer, planning to publish his book next year, and a passionate teacher at a school, helping kids understand basics of robotics and engineering. His style of writing can best be described as an intelligent fusion of information, activism and entertainment. What’s a read that doesn’t bring a smile or frown to the face! Hriday not only informs about burning issues in the country but also adds in a satirical overtone and salty prose to the narrative, to make it as relatable to an intellectual as to an iguana. That’s definitely a skill. Apart from regular blogging, he also writes short stories that can be viewed on his blog, which he is planning to convert into a website soon, at www.hornyintellectual.com. Find the link to his blog below heartranjan.wordpress.com
Leonid Afremov Leonid Afremov, the artist, was born in the city of Vitebsk in 1955. Amazingly enough Leonid was born in the same town as Marc Chagall, the famous artist who also co-founded the Vitebsk Art School of which Mr. Afremov is both a graduate and one of the elite members. Leonid Afremov about his work: â€œI tried different techniques during my career, but I especially fell in love with painting with oil and palette-knife. Every artwork is the result of a long painting process; every canvas is born during the creative search; every painting is full of my inner world.â€? Afremov says, â€œEach of my paintings brings different moods, colors and emotions. I love to express the beauty, harmony and spirit of this world in my paintings. My heart is completely open to art. Thus, I enjoy creating inspired and beautiful paintings from the bottom of my soul. Each of my artworks reflects my feelings, sensitivity, passion, and the music from my soul. True art is alive and inspired by humanity. I believe that art helps us to be free from aggression and depression. Tangentially, it is interesting to know that Leonid Afremov, after discovering that only communist propaganda posters would sell in the Soviet Union, moved to Israel in 1990. Within two weeks, he had found a job in an advertising agency painting billboards, but on the eve of an exhibition, his studio was broken into and vandalised. Later Leonid moved to the United States where hecurrently resides in Mexico.
Afremov’s works have many patrons reaching across vast geographies. “Currently my art is being collected all over the world. There are many pleased collectors in the USA, Israel, Italy, France, England, Spain, Norway, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. Presently it is just enough to type my name in an internet search engine to discover the value and magnificence of my art. True to his spirit and confidence Leonid Afremov’s art creations are constantly selected and displayed in exhibitions at art museums and other art tenements.” We salute his effort and take pride in displaying a couple of his magnificent works here on DCL. Both the works shown here follow the same technique. The choice of colours and the fleeting swiftness of the knife are impeccable. We are immediately drawn towards the precision with which he brings out the contrast between the lights and the images he wants us to concentrate on. Only light; can show the shadow. You can reach Afremov through his website www.afremov.com
A Girl At The Bus Stop
The title might lead you to an image of a beautiful girl in a white dress, open hair, and an angelic smile on the face waiting for her bus to arrive. You can almost imagine a violin playing in the background, right? But, I wonder how many of these visualizations are from the girl’s viewpoint. In fact, it’s sort of a spoiler for all those with this conveniently filmy notion. I am a girl who travels by bus and you can take my word for it - it’s evil to leave your hair loose or to wear an all-white dress at bus stops. Why? Because something as simple as matching earrings could get you extra looks and comments from chichoras (as I like to call them) at and around the stop. It might sound really silly and trivial to most, whatever I have written and what I am going to write down here, but believe me, you feel really trapped, suffocated and caged when even what you have to wear has to be decided according to the pleasures of these honoured men. There are always the few who would say, “Come on! They’re just looks! It’s because they think you are beautiful. Take it as a compliment!” Well, I would, if those looks were directed anywhere above my neck! Also, I never understood the denim-fetish our much discussed ‘bus stop guys’ have. I have always observed, if a girl at the bus stop happens to be wearing jeans or clothes from the west, the looks linger longer and are dirtier. If you are wearing anything apart from a salwar kameez, your mom has to send you out as if she were sending you to war. Come to think of it, you could wear just anything a bit colorful and dread the wait of a mere 5 minutes at the bus stop. You just have to go through the ‘sizing-up’ ritual by every passerby. It astonishes me that you have to put up even with middle aged uncles at times. How creepy is that! But again, these bus stop guys’ looks aren’t significant
enough to have chat shows about and yet not petty enough to ignore (at least for us). I guess some of you already think I’m a feminist lunatic, who thinks every tiny thing that happens in the world is bringing about the doom of womankind, and I feel all those who do think so, are men. But trust me we are tired of waking up in the morning and thinking of ways to look unattractive; bugged with avoiding eye-contact with anyone who passes us; sick of burying our faces in our cell-phones, pretending to text while someone is scanning us from head-to-toe, fed up of asking ourselves ‘Why do we have to go through this over and over every day?’, and accepting there is no answer. This isn’t a plea for a solution or an attempt to solve the mess, we don’t even expect a solution; it’s just something putting forth the thoughts and questions haunting the minds of every girl at the bus stop. How to look, what to wear, where to stand, when to react… There is always an answer for how, what, where and when, but there’s never an answer for why… Why?
by Sri Vidya.P
Arnab Ray, better known as the blogger Great Bong and, for his sarcastic overtones of humour on Indian films and politics, published his second novel, The Mine, last year. Although the book hasn’t received much commercial success, it has been acclaimed as a fine novel by many renowned literary critics. Indian writing, of late, has progressed into a counter-culture symbolizing the dynamics of the evolving subculture of values and norms of the mainstream society. This is more conspicuous in the writings of the emergent collect of writers, who make little pretense in expression and description in the narrative.
The Mine revolves around the story of five characters that are drawn into a façade of an underground mining facility in Rajasthan, which is an ancient place of worship, ridden with strange, disturbing and nightmarish experiences. Although we are made to believe that these people have been chosen by virtue of their actions (each character has a story of dark allusions to its past) to endure the unforeseen torture during this deep, perilous journey, one cannot help but notice the intention of the writer to juxtapose the spiritual element with that of accepted logic. Each character, through the course of the journey relives his/her past and repays for the sins they had committed. In a way, the writer might have hinted at the after-life of these people drawing allusions to the concept of hell and heaven. How each person finds and makes peace with the past is described in intense detail and a sense of leisure. It carries an undercurrent of revenge, repentance, raw carnality and retrospect. While all the characters manage to remain in the memory, however, the women in the book are portrayed only little more than objects of lesser temerity and purpose which is starkly visible in the meek etching of personalities and their subdued submission to erotic coquetry. The reason for not mentioning the names of characters is because the plot is the central character here and the title of the book is just one letter short of the ‘mind’ of the writer. It should be a good read if you are fan of gore, blood and raw energy, or not! Haven’t we all endured Evil Dead?
by Sindhu Kamaraju
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As every true artist’s delight is to exhibit his/her work, Juliana has also been lucky enough to display her tour de force at the finest of art galleries and was also featured in magazines like Zola and Coldtea. It was quite an achievement for us to get in touch with this young art maker who gets chatty about her work and her chosen painting Melilah. “I’m a Colombian Visual Artist and most of my Art work involves graphic design, acrylic colour painting, photography and drawing. My trajectory lays in developing and exploring a style that encompasses a love of print, pop art, graphics and the presence of saturated colours. My studies of Graphic Design and Visual Arts complement what I do, being able to offer a fan of possibilities at the time of projecting a work. Without aesthetic classifications or prejudices, images, as I believe, are fragments of histories, dreams and illusions caught with a lens, a brush, a pen or any other way.
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My inspiration comes from the people around me. Friends, familyand people I get to know, people I admire or even people I don’t know but had the pleasure to see their work. As I work on portraits I get inspiration from the person I’m working on, always trying to show part of what they are if I really know them or the impression they gave me as I’m working on their portrait. Every person has a story and some of them just let you see part of it as you see their work (Sometimes I work with photographers or other artists I know) or talk to them for 10 minutes, every second can be inspiring). Melihah is part of a series of women portraits with an atmosphere based on feelings and emotions; capturing a part of their personality and their beauty at the same time. In some way each of the girls I’ve painted has part of what I am. Melihah came from a photograph of another artist I admire, the picture is just her listening to music and I wanted to show an atmosphere of her feelings, the music she was listening, her emotions, etc. The name Melihah means beautiful, sweet and charming.” Just as she is!
exuality in India has been largely on conservative crutches, with only the cosmopolitan cities, influenced by the western-style sexual revolution are opening up to discussions and debates around the subject. Heterosexuality, even with its latent popularity, does not find space for dialogue in either a public domain of a macro society or the private confines of a micro family. “It can also be due to a multitude of factors such as our upbringing, conditioning, effect of culture, religion and literature,” says Padmaja, Associate Professor of Psychology. In such a context, addressing homosexuality or the existence of an alternate gender becomes extremely difficult. Sexuality is not a bipolar phenomenon where it can be divided into either heterosexuals or homosexuals. There are other identities and alternate sexualities that demand attention, such as bisexuals and trangenders. And even in the ambit of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) spectrum, it is mostly the ‘gay’ men who get more space than the others. “Gay hegemony has to do with class, race and gender. Those who spearheaded and articulated
The Neutral Gender by Sindhu Kamaraju
the movement in the west were privileged, white, bourgeois gay male and the legacy is continuing. Lesbians still have less visibility and more
constrains than elite gay men,” says Dr. Pushpesh Kumar, Reader at the Department of Sociology. What the society needs to understand is that being a part of the LGBT community is not a cultural anomaly as much as it is a genetic pre-condition. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) has derecognized homosexuality as a medical disorder as early as in the 1970s. But still there is much stigma surrounding it. Ms Padmaja reasons saying, “In the Indian society, procreation and marital stability form the basis of marriage and relationships.” As this is not possible in a same sex marriage, we condemn the practice. According to the IPC (Indian Penal Code), the decriminalizing of section 377 means that homosexual intercourse is no more a criminal offence and does not clearly indicate provisions for adoption, land ownership, employment in the public sector etc. Moreover, same-sex marriages are not legal in India yet. The repealing of the law is seen in the light of
changing times. So, one might be prompted to ask if it has done any good to the cause in concern and what can be done at a policy level to improve the condition. “The Queer Movement, which is gaining currency through organizations fighting for lesbian and gay rights, has to be included in the developmental agenda of the state,” says Dr. Pushpesh. Culturally too, we have instances of transgenders (Hijras) occupying a space in the society and concepts of Ardhanarishwar and Mohini (Vishnu) referring to homosexuality in the mythology. But now, people are fighting for that very space and basic human rights. Does it mean that we have regressed over time? Smriti, a student of Research in Sociology says that it again creates a myth of stereotyping of appearances and answers, “Erosion of space is attributed to colonialism through section 377 of IPC embodying Victorian sensibilities.” Referring to the recent changes in the Indian policy making, Ms. Aparna Rayaprol, Faculty of Sociology adds, “The government has recently included the ‘other’ gender in the electoral forms creating a political space for transgendered.” At a discussion that followed the LGBT awareness film festival, Mahendra, a Ph.D student at Hyderabad Central University, pointed out that there is no discourse in our regional languages surrounding this issue and it is a hindrance to communicate
with family about it. While it is true that there is very few gay literature in India, Hoshang Merchant, a Professor at the English Department, is one of the poets to have edited India’s first gay Anthology. Dr. Pushpesh further adds, “Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai’s ‘Same-Sex Love in India’ could be prescribed for the beginners.” In a larger framework, the emphasis on separate identity sometimes creates a ‘labelling’ where the need to mention a gay person’s sexual orientation becomes imperative. But then, “Only the marginalized groups voluntarily label themselves to legitimize their space by recognition of oppression,” says Ms. Aparna. To spread the same word, now we have Pride Parades and Film Festivals but they cater to an urban audience who can afford to take time out for participation while a person from a rural area might as well be forced into a ‘normal’ life. This cause remains an urban legend in such a case. Dr. Pushpesh agrees and says, “Queer movement needs to expand and travel to semi urban and rural spaces too to become all inclusive and strong.” While appreciating that there is more openness about the subject in the public domain, we still are far removed from a state of absolute tolerance to gender and sexuality. We are still largely the ‘neutral gender’ that remains unresponsive to the needs of these ‘other’ people.
10th World Junior Table Tennis Championship
While I was thinking of lazing around taking the whole of december off, bang came an international sporting event to hyderabad. Although table tennis is not a very popular sport in india, with the efforts of the Andhra Pradesh Table Tennis Association, the 10th world junior table tennis championship, sponsored by Volkswagen, was held at the gachibowli indoor stadium from december 9th to 16th. The stadium wore new colours and hosted the grand affair with aplomb. Here are a few snippets and snapshots from the event that take us from the start to the end of the game. Some important, some offbeat and rest of the miscellaneous pictures here present an overall image of the prestigious tournament that echoed the motto - Spin the ball, win the game! My december was not all that lazy after all, being a spectator of this fast game.
Pictures Courtesy S.Ajay Kumar
Kyla Nichole Kyla, a student of Theater Art from Queensland University, is a passionate actor and a spirited artist. When asked about what inspires her to create art, she echoes Leonid Afremov’s artistic sentiments, “I began creating art when I was quite young, always favouring acrylic paint above all mediums. Since then I have been immersed in the possibilities that a creative mind can bring to art, and the different ways paint in particular can be handled so to create the reality of a vision. Each of my paintings brings out different moods, colors and emotions. I love to express the beauty, harmony and spirit of this world in my paintings.”
“The inspiration for my painting ‘Fish Mosaic’ was the bountiful beauty of colour in this world being unrecognized. The sightless fish unable to view their own and others’ beauty reflects how many of us continue to lead our lives, even when surrounded by the ‘mosaic of colour’ which life offers.” There isn’t the slightest hint of exaggeration in her words. Kyla truly is what we call a true art fanatic with an acute sense of expression which can only be acquired by an imaginative understanding of the form. The intense painting we see here mirrors her veneration towards all that is art for her. This sure is thought provoking. We don’t have to be an artist to find resonance with her inspiration or her work. All we have to do is feel the “colour.” Kyla sells art internationally, primarily advertising her large and varied collection of art work through her web-page www.kyla-nichole.deviantart.com
ust has once more settled over the roads and lawns of Hyderabad two months after the Conference of parties (COP 11) ended when the entire city was busy in clearing the decks and decking up venues for the international summit. While delegates from across the globe were busy deliberating about how to safeguard bio diversity, parallel efforts were being made to bring attention to local crafts and livelihoods. Anthra, an NGO that works with pastoral communities in Medak district, organised a Gongadi exhibition at Malkha, Masab tank for the 2nd consecutive year. The traditional woollen blanket of the Telangana region, the Gongadi is woven out of the wool of the Deccani sheep which is locally called nalla gorre. The Gongadi is not just a garment. It also has a cultural significance. The men, of the Kuruma (sheep breeding) community, wear it on their shoulders at all times. It also holds an important place in religious rituals. “The birth of a child in a Kuruma family is marked by making it wear a small sized Gongadi, called the puttu gongadi,” says Yadamma, who works for Anthra. However, the Gongadi today has reached a point where it needs to be revived and the exhibition was organised to spread the word.The
Telling a story, selling a gongadi
challenges faced by these pastoralist communities are many. “Government policies were introduced in the mid 90s. These shepherding communities saw no scope in rearing these sheep and they started shifting to agriculture. The invasion of meat breeds also added to this,” said Sanyasi Rao, field co-coordinator at Anthra. “The farmers began losing the Deccani sheep, the dependable local breed, and got stuck in the cycle of debt as the new breeds could not survive the weather of this region.” Anthra has been working with these pastoral communities for the past two decades organising them into collectives and helping them preserve and promote their knowledge of local biodiversity (plants, animals, disease, seasons); all of which is involved in the making of aGongadi. One among such collectives is the Unni Sangham that works for the revival of the Gongadi. “We have been trying to mobilize more youngsters and help them interact with the older generation, encouraging them to participate in reviving this almost dying craft,” says Sanyasi Rao. The organisation has also been giving them veterinary support by teaching the younger generation the techniques of vaccinating, assisting them in defending their rights to grazing
areas and forests as well as creating a market for the Gongadis. Alena Dickson, who hails from London and assists the NGO in publicity and design, says that the craft of Gongadi is very special and that she saw the need to tell people its story. “This is the 2nd year of the exhibition and the response has been overwhelming. Not only were the few exhibits sold out the first time, but we also got more offers. The word has been spreading fast,” she says. She adds that the traditional designs were impressive and needed revival. The weaving process is very intricate. “The sheep are sheared in winter and the wool is hand-spun by us. This yarn is sent to the men who weave it into a Gongadi on a loom,” shares Yadamma who has been spinning wool into yarn since her childhood. “While the Gongadi is woven on the loom, men from the older generation make the kada, which is the design on the borders and this is a skill on its own,” she adds. The aim of the organisers is to spread the story of this almost-dying craft as far as possible and help in its sustenance. “It is important to tell a story than selling,” said Alena Dickson with a smile. by Rajitha Sanaka
oseph Walrave’s work is inspired by black and white photographs of movie stars, fashion models, pop icons, painters, architecture, culture, religion, literature, erotica and the news. In his own words: I prefer black and white photographs, because they give me the opportunity to determine my own feelings on the subject. Based on those feelings, I choose the colors and the style of the picture to draw. Colors block this process, since they already define the atmosphere of an image. Upfront, I never know what the result will be. Only in the end I will know whether I have succeeded. Then I give the piece a fitting title. My goal is to catch the attention of people that are interested in art.
As a young boy I was intrigued by the art of famous painters like Dali, Chagall, Bacon, Picasso, Matisse, etcetera. I also admired the works and perfection of the Renaissance. To me, art was simply intriguing and beautiful. Even though I enjoy art that has a deeper meaning, I think it should basically act as a visual stimulus. The piece itself must be intriguing and not predominantly because of a certain philosophy. That’s one of the reasons I love the art of Basquiat so much. When I start with a new piece it is often inspired by a song. ‘Dia de los Muertos’ for instance, was started with the idea of paying homage to the beautiful actress Romy Schneider, who died in 1982. Somehow, I associated part of the lyrics of ‘Bloody Mary’ (by Lady Gaga) to the idea of paying homage to a deceased person in a religious sense. The ‘Day of the Dead’ is a Mexican holiday, during which people pray for their lost ones. The concept of the ‘Dia de los Muertos’ is actually not bound to a specific period in the year as people always tend to express their feelings about another human being more easily when this person has passed away.
“Love is just a history that they may prove. And when you’re gone I’ll tell them my religion’s you”. “We are not just art for Michelangelo to carve. He can’t rewrite the agro of my furied heart.”
Joseph Joseph Walrave
Inspiration: The portraiture ‘Serenity’ was inspired by a beautiful black and white picture of Liu Wen. That evening I watched the movie ‘Lost in translation’ for a second time. I wanted the art piece to have a luxurious yet modern look and feel. I therefore used gold for the background and pink for the earring. You can buy prints of Joseph’s art at: http://www.redbubble.com/people/jwalrave.
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Aaron Jasinski’s paintings have been shown across the US, and internationally. He also illustrates children’s books, album covers, and creates electronic music. Aaron grew up in in a family of musicians and the love of music is a major influence in his visual art. He graduated with a BFA in Illustration from Brigham Young University and has been painting professionally ever since. His paintings often feature musical and nostalgic themes peppered with social commentary and whimsical creatures (think morose hipsters mingling with monkeys in space suits), utilizing a Technicolor palette. Aaron resides near Seattle Washington with his family.
Aaron Jasinski Pictures inspiration: According to Aaron the picture ‘We Played Our Souls’ represents something that he’s been wanting to say, but couldn’t find the words on. This picture represents a feeling that would otherwise be lost in translation! His Deviant Art ID is http://jasinski.deviantart.com
How Corrupt We All!
Corruption is the buzzword that has been ringing in the minds of the new, vigilant Indians for quite a while now. The very word might make the reader either impassive or extremely critical of what is written under it. The anger and resentment people attach to corruption is intractable. It renders itself impossible of a definition as it is a part of the society as much as the society is a part of it. The fact that corruption is not a recent phenomenon and that it cannot appear or disappear overnight can be understood by a brief chronology of the multitude of scams, scandals and related scoops that marked the plurality and diversity of India’s spirit. The first major Jeep scandal in 1948 brought a loss of a few lakhs to the country. Independent India had arrived and set benchmarks already! It has been a celebrated journey ever since. On an average, till the 1990’s, the country had seen at least three scandals each year. The Bofors scandal in 1987, the Harshad Mehta security scam in 1992, the Stamp Paper scam in 2002, the Cash for Votes scandal in 2008 and the more recent swindles in the 2G, CWG scams and the Coalgate controversy which has caused a loss of Rs. 1,86,000 crores to the Public Exchequer have reflected India’s ‘growth’ story. The Indian Penal Code, 1860, originally a little better than the previously existing Shariah Law, has been amended several times to make it what it is today! The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and the Lokpal Bill, 2012 are the other laws existing. It is true that the public has little or no say in the course of most of these mind-boggling scams, and yet be angered by the atrocities of the politicians and bureaucrats trapped in the power-responsibility-greed nexus for eternity; but it nevertheless highlights two major points. The first is the lack of more stringent anti-corruption laws by the state and second, the lack of awareness among citizens to demand the implementation of the existing laws. What is it that makes corruption so perpetual? Is it that we don’t have a choice or is it that we don’t care about the consequences of that choice? We either choose to be corrupt and take the easy way out or brood over the fact that the country is going to dogs. I wonder, is there no other way out? On some level, it becomes impossible to identify what makes this body of corruption. At the risk
of sounding liberally sermonizing, our attitudes, mindset, social structure of values and ethics and our whole ethos contribute to the phantom phenomenon in more than one way. Apart from the vengeance-inducing political and administrative forms of institutionalized corruption, there exist other accepted communal forms of it such as social and cultural corruption which set the tone for a bigger crime. Dowry, festival-gifting etc fall under this category. We don’t intend to say that both are the same, but it is suggestive of the fact that there can’t be a sudden overhaul of the country’s moral complex. Unless there is awareness generated in public (although a cliché) making them intolerant towards the issue and make them understand that corruption is not an incurable parasite, but a hermit crab shar-
ing a symbiotic relation with the society. The worst forms of corruption are visible in the transactions of those in power and the lower sections of the society. Instead of playing victim politics, we could try building our future generations in a more action-intensive way? Schools are to function as not objects of superficial information units but try to foster knowledge that capacitates them to identify the cause, anticipate the effect and find a solution. Unless we know what the law says, how do we make use of it? It is clear the politicians are taking this question a tad too seriously. The current movement might be flawed, but it at least invoked a collective response from the nation. I am slightly caught between optimism and cynicism over the indefinite future of the situation, just like the government!
by Sindhu Kamaraju
Till Feb 6th
Sri Thyagaraja Aaradhana Music Festival Venue: Anand Nagar Community Hall
Urban Ballet: Dance Show (Alliance Francaise) Venue: Shilpa Kala Vedika
Till Feb 8th
The River Moving Within Paintings By Koeli Mukherjee Ghose Venue: Truffles Cafe
Confluence With Ustad Zakir Hussain, Bela Fleck & Edgar Meyer Venue: Shilpa Kala Vedika
Zumba Fitness Workshop Venue: Lamakaan
Till Feb 15th
73rd Numaish Exhibition Venue: Nampally Exhibition Grounds
Harithon (Green Run) Venue: People’s Plaza, Necklace Road at 7 a.m
Feb 19 – 21
The French Film Festival (FFF) Venue: Prasad’s Imax
Top 5 Books
BRING UP THE BODIES - Hilary Mantel The Orphan Master’s Son - Adam Johnson Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil Behind the Beatiful Forevers’ by Katherine Boo ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette?’ by Maria Semple
Music Trends - Billboard Top 5 1. Thrift Shop Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz 2. Locked Out Of Heaven Bruno Mars 3. Ho Hey The Lumineers 4. Suit & Tie Justin Timberlake Featuring Jay Z 5. I Knew You Were Trouble. Taylor Swift Courtesy Billboard.com
Music Trends - UK Top 5
1. Get Up (Rattle) Bingo Players Featuring Far East Movement 2. Scream & Shout will.i.am Featuring. Britney Spears 3. I Knew You Were Trouble Taylor Swift 4. Stay Rihanna Featuring Mikky Ekko 5. Drinking From The Bottle Calvin Harris Featuring Tinie Tempah Courtesy BBC Radio
April as her name suggests is one passionate artist who blends nature into her art! This graduate from Minneapolis College of Art and Design has a tendency to obsess over anatomy and form and it reflects in all her beautiful paintings. Every detail is wonderfully precise like a surgeonâ€™s knife and the impetuous spur of the moment inspiration adds the element of mysticism.
Inspiration for the painting: This painting is the prĂŠcis (epitome, embodiment) of Aprilâ€™s brand of paintings. The painting depicts the alpha and omega of warring personalities/ mental facets. The bull for Taurus, and the Tiger from the Zodiac strewn with lot of symbolism does make it an intriguing piece so we asked the artist herself to unravel it for us Here is how it went:
DCL: This painting shows the potent combination of a bull and a tiger. What does all this personify? April: The bull for Taurus, and the Tiger from the Chinese zodiac. A rather dangerous sounding combination, right? Anyway, I put a lot of my own symbolic sort of meanings in here, and strove to create a sense of unchecked chaos. The two entities spring from the same source, and yet desire nothing more, it would seem, than to destroy one another once they are provoked. Sometimes my thoughts chase one another in such a manner: The one thinks, reflects, feels, imagines, creates, while the other strikes them down, bringing cold, detached logic, rejecting emotion, fueled by irritation, frustration, and a need to smother the other half into silence. We are, more often than not (never have I seen it otherwise) our own worst enemy. DCL: Very true! And the painting how did you work it all out? April: Oh yes. The piece itself: gouache, acrylic sepia ink and colored pencils in A4 size Moleskine. The acrylic sepia ink crackled a bit when laid over the gouache and made quite a lovely texture. Iâ€™ll have you know both of these animals were a total pain to draw. But I guess they could pass until I re-learn.
Diego Mandolini “I wanted to bring out a strong contrast through my painting, a strong relationship, as that of the past with the present. The past, in this painting, is represented by the old and skillful hands rife with wrinkles, the twinkling wedding-ring and the skin bronzed by the tan. And the present is symbolized by the unfinished pot taking a form through the dexterous hands that shape it. Just as the past is intrinsic to the present and none of the two subjects can live without the other this painting reflects that essential juxtaposition that, I think, forms the basis of life. I had come across some similar picture on the web that inspired me to interpret my thoughts and I started to paint! Though I hardly find time to paint for Referring to DCL he noted, “I visited your website myself or my customers, the passion, and I’d like to congratulate you all for what you’re dothe ardor for art comes from my soul, I ing! I know it’s not easy to find time and create the cannot stop painting! My soul needs to stuff young people like you are doing but you could use speak. And that is through the work of appreciation. Keep the spirit alive! Someone said art. In one sense, I am more often than ‘everything in the world is a dream that came true’. Can’t not, a victim of my own zeal (it’s sort of agree more! Thank You. the only way you can stay content). I was always inclined towards drawing and the fact that I started drawing since I was barely 6 years old stands as a testimony to the fact. The feeling of satisfaction my work rendered all these years is the fuel that my heart, body and soul run on!”
Diego Mandolini, Italian by nationality, is one of those intense artists who vouch for nothing less than a zealous devotion in the work he produces. His tools of trade include airbrushes, brushes and acrylic colours. Giorgio Uccellini is his favourite visual artist. His works are mostly ubiquitous of fantasy and Mr. Mandolini has also won several awards and recognitions primarily for â€œAirbrush Showsâ€? in Italy. As is obvious from his speech above, there is a lot of meaning to be inferred from this simple yet intriguing painting. After all this painting is so well done, it could well be masqueraded as a still photograph! All said and done the effort is always more than what meets the eye!
2013 Music Scene The 2012 music scene shot out big and bright with some spectacular debuts. The new artists weren’t just rookie singers with good voice; they fused genres creating brilliant and emphatic tunes. In here, we run down a list of an eclectic mix of artists – those piqued to hit the stars and those who have already courted tremendous success.
Frank Ocean - Known for his unconventional melodies, Frank Ocean is not what you call a commercial R&B act. His strong ballads and bold lyrics make for an interesting listen. With high profile music collaborations (with Jay-Z and Kanye West) and Grammy nominations, this artist is one to watch out for in 2013. Track pick: Pyramids,Thinkin Bout You & Lost
AlunaGeorge - A part of the BBC Sound of 2013 list, this duo comprises Aluna Francis and George Reid. Their music is a quirky, futuristic mix of electro-pop and R&B. The single ‘You Know You Like It’ is a viral smash hit and yes, they are only getting started! Track pick: Your Drums, Your Love & White Noise
Angel Haze - This spunky, in your face, Brooklyn-based rapper drew the right kind of buzz from the music industry bosses with her epic mix-tapes Reservation & Classick She is predicted to be the biggest breakthrough act for 2013 by music pundits, and her record deal from Island Records only substantiates this. Reason enough to check her out? Track pick: New York
Laura Mvula - All her songs follow a remarkable sequential storymaking. She is the mistress of storytelling. Her deep vocals and Winehouse-ish tenor make her an instant entrant to the success list this year. But Laura stays rooted nonetheless. In an interview with Observer, she only called herself, ‘the geeky kid of RnB’. Modest and super-talented, we like! Track pick: Green Garden, She
The Ones To Watch
Clean Bandit - They are a London based quartet who mix classical, hip-hop and electronic. Intriguing? Add an underwater stint? And how about playing cello from top of a moving car? That’s what makes this band of six! A melee of fascinating acts, bouncy beats and a beautiful culture clash. They are yet to taste commercial success but they have already garnered rave reviews and wide-spread acclaim. Track pick: Mozart House, UK Shanty, Telephone Banking
There is excitement, although a little, on home front too! This year we have a new face to the Grammy scene – Arun Shenoy and his groovy Gypsy Pop instrumental album, Rumbadoodle. Since Indian music is integrated into films, it does not have a separate standing of its own. A few new voices have come up in that area, however. Watch this space as we have a special focus coming up in our next issue!
by Shruthi Nadiminti
While the whole country w in all shapes and sizes, some or moved at broken speeds that kept spinning in a dizz
Old world charm A rustic lantern store in the old city??
Three limbs at work A street artist with his fresh
I prey A lizard on the vig
was stirring and whirring with things that came e things in the queerest of places remained still, s. They stood testimony to the world around zy of importance.
h art work
The world is not such a bad place after all
Idle idols A shop keeper finds no cu
Weighing options A vendor in deep thought about the day
The most beauti
ustomers as people are protesting or you said something??
iful thing on Earth so far
Still and Tranquil A Boat on Calm Waters
Thought for food A fisherman moved by water Pictures Courtesy Pulak Patanik Titles:by Sindhu Kamaraju
The Indian State of Art... As voiced by art students For a country considered to be the birthplace of arts, the Indian art scene is riddled with problems. Though contemporary art is the buzz word in India, we are far behind the western art society in terms of media exposure and marketing. The art market in India contrasts greatly from the west. While the artists around the world thrive hugely on the new media to strengthen their presence and impact, we are still in the fledgling stage. Tradition art markets and galleries rule the roost as artists continue to depend on them. To get an insider view of the complex web that is the India art scene we talk to Anand, a final year art student from UOH. Here are a few excerpts.
How do new artists sell their work?
Art Galleries run the show in our country. Students still prefer to associate and sell their work through a gallery. Gallery is the powerful intermediary and thus has an easy monopoly over both the artists and collectors. Students usually start off exhibiting their work as a group and then move on to solo shows as the occasion warrants. This works to our benefit too. Students are particular about the level of international standing and recognitions the collectors give them and with a good gallery footing them it will be easier to showcase ourselves.
Art material is expensive. How do you meet the costs?
We intern with big artists for monthly stipends, or find freelance projects such as mural work. Architectural firms are another good-to-go option as they frequently buy our work for interior design. How do these galleries work? Art is an investment now. Galleries identify artists with future potential, buy their work and build their brand. The value of work will obviously increase with time. Also, these galleries develop a trust with collectors and clients over time. Clients depend on a gallery for good art recommendations. Apart from creating an art work, we have to develop a theme and write pamphlets for describing our work.
Why do you think Indian artists donâ€™t have an active online presence? New media is still a relatively unexplored field here and experimentation is also less. Also, not many have the money or expertise to make their website. One can have a blog but it has its own limitations. People still prefer to buy from reputed artists and galleries. So, it is unusual for an artist to market himself directly.
Where do you think the problem with Indian art lies?
Collecting and investing in art is still an elite concept in our country and especially when it comes to experimentative and new media art, buyers are extra cautious. Also, Indian artists cannot articulate art and mainly depend on curators to vocalize their work. Our art literature roots are not strong enough and the heavy western influence is taking a toll on our legacy art forms. Even though there are inherent problems with the Indian art scene, our future isnâ€™t that bleak as todayâ€™s artists are more open to reinventing themselves and dynamic in articulating their work. The winds, finally, are blowing in the right direction and the day might not be that far when Indian art is on an equal footing with its western counterpart, in all its vigour and colour.
Shy and demure Sumana is nothing like her art. This is one colloquial artist who lets her art speak for her. Her works are chiefly autobiographical as she bases her work on her own feelings and dreams entwined with tints of reality, much like the works of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and the German expressionist Kathe Kollwitz known for their extensive use of colours and dramatic symbolism. “Dreams are a manifestation of reality,” she quips. Her art is a powerful confluence of feelings fused with eclectic themes like elements of nature, alchemy and culture forming a creative mélange of sorts. Her preferred medium is acrylic on paper. Bolstered by the Inlaks fine art award this talented artist now plans to opt for the Lake House Residential program and broaden her artistic horizons by traveling around the world.