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Volume 1 | Issue 2 | August 23, 2012 | Rs 10

talk the intelligent bangalorean’s must-read weekly

INCREDIBLE

TALK SPECIAL Craig Venter, who cracked the DNA code, says humans will soon be downloading vaccines from the Net 7 FOOTBALL As the EPL opens this weekend, we bring you a list of matches you can’t miss 12

INDIA A man who was to walk free four years ago is still rotting in jail because the governor and the state government can’t agree on a formality, reports Bhanu Prakash E S Page 16

RAMESH HUNSUR

PANIC EXODUS Has Bangalore changed for people from the North-East? A writer’s first-person account 10


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mail

Interesting, illuminating, and funny too I wanted to write to you and say I not only read the paper but found lots to read in it! Raghavendra, Dev and Swar’s pieces had interesting things to say. The music review, of course, was most illuminating. Hanumantharaya’s series ought to prove very gripping. (I remember him from my Karnataka Civil Liberties Committee days when he argued a bonded labour case for us.) By the way, didn’t expect Sreedhara Murthy to turn Agony Uncle! Liked the bits of fun dotted throughout the paper. Wellwritten, real humour featuring a range of subjects, and not the coy, ooh-la-la type of brainless and often sexist snippets that most publications carry. For instance, Shubangi’s cocktail column too had fun in it. Not just Funny Side Up. I look forward to your next cartoon strip, and wonder which character you have picked. C K Meena, by email

Sorely needed Congratulations on bringing out a weekly with a focus on Bangalore city. It was something sorely needed, especially with the influx of several people from other states, making Bangalore a very cosmopolitan city. Several years ago, I worked with a Bangalore weekly, a tabloid, called City Tab run by Mr and Mrs Tharakan. Since then, there hasn’t been another! I look forward to a never-ending tryst with Talk in Bangalore. All the best! Beena Muthana, by email We fell in love My younger brother got a complimentary copy of the inaugural Talk edition at a traffic hub in South Bangalore, and I fell in love with it. So did my brother, who works with a business daily. The very first impression is that the magazine looks to divine the best of Crest and Mid Day, though it is appallingly incorrect--I must admit -- to say it resembles products already in market. The

team talk EDITORIAL S R Ramakrishna Editor Prashanth G N Senior Editor Sajai Jose Chief Copy Editor Savie Karnel Principal Correspondent Basu Megalkeri Principal Correspondent Bhanu Prakash E S Senior Reporter Prachi Sibal Senior Features Writer Sandra Fernandes and Maria Laveena Reporters and Copy Editors Anand Kumar K Chief of Design Sridhar G Kulkarni Graphic Designer Ramesh Hunsur Senior Photographer Vivek Arun Graphics Artist

EXECUTIVE TEAM Sumith Kombra Founder, CEO and Publisher Ralph Fernandez Manager - Marketing Aaron Jones Asst Manager - Marketing Abhay Sebastian Asst Manager - Sales Aman Preet Singh Asst Manager - Sales Kishore Kumar N Head - Circulation Vinayadathan K V Area Manager - Trade Praveen Prabhu Asst Manager - Subscriptions Mahesh Javvadi Asst Mgr - Corporate Sales Yadhu Kalyani Sr Executive - Corporate Sales Lokesh K N Sr Executive - Subscriptions Prabhavathi Executive - Circulation Syed Nizamuddin Executive - Circulation Sowmya Kombra Asst Process Manager

Printed and published by Sumith Kombra on behalf of Shakthi Media Ventures India Pvt Ltd - FF70, Gold Towers, Residency Road, Bangalore -560025 and printed at Lavanya Mudranalaya, Chamarajpet, Bangalore-560018. Editor: SR Ramakrishna. Editorial Office: FF70, Gold Towers, Residency Road, Bangalore -560025 Email: info@talkmag.in Phone: 08049332100, 08040926658. © All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited.

starkest of all is the quality of editing and writing -- very cogent, no jarring notes. Looks like both bureau and edit team are giving their 200 per cent to the edition. The choice of stories for the first issue is arresting. I would like to read the magazine for a couple of more weeks before crystallising my thoughts. I wish all the best to the Talk team. Vraj B, Banashankari

Stamp of excellence I went through the launch issue of Talk, and found there was so much good stuff to read. I am very impressed with your selection of subjects for stories. The articles were written and edited well. The magazine, overall, bears a stamp of excellence. I wish you and your team all the best. Baloo, by email

Good concept I must say I really liked the concept and brilliant implementation. I am very sure I am going to be a very religious reader of your news magazine from now on. Once again, keep up the good work. A Varsha Rao, by email These letters came in response to our launch edition. What do you think of this one? Write to letters@talkmag.in


politics watch

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Sorry, Mrs Reddy won't enter politics Janardhana Reddy’s wife Aruna Lakshmi is second accused in the mining scam case that sent him to jail, and if she joins Sriramulu’s party, as everyone believes she will, the CBI will be quick to lock her up as well

BASU MEGALKERI basavaraju@talkmag.in

ews broke last week that Aruna Lakshmi, Janardhana Reddy’s wife, would join the BSR Congress. That won’t happen, Talk discovered from sources close to the Reddy family. The ‘cash for bail’ scandal, in which the Reddy family allegedly bribed a judge in Hyderabad, has already sent Kampli legislator Suresh Babu and Somashekhar Reddy, Karnataka Milk Federation president and one of the three Reddy brothers, to prison. Janardhana Reddy has been in jail for eleven months after his arrest in a case related to illegal mining. Janardhana Reddy was tourism minister in Yeddyurappa’s ministry, and led the ‘mining mafia’ that controlled Bellary and the Karnataka unit of the BJP. “Sriramulu was shocked to hear the news that Aruna would join his party,” said a prominent

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ALL MINE Aruna Lakshmi decked up in gold, and (top) husband Janardhana Reddy

RICHIE RICH 2009-10 Janardhana Reddy Aruna Lakshmi NO CHOICE Aruna Lakshmi recently made a leader-like speech, but is in no position to take over the reins from her husband

Rs in crore

162.00 145.00

2010-11

Rs in crore

Janardhana Reddy Aruna Lakshmi

144.00 230.00

(Wealth as declared before the Lokayukta)

member of BSR Congress. The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Hyderabad is also hinting that BSR Congress President Sriramulu could join the big league behind bars. Sleuths allege he played a role in bribing a sessions judge, now imprisoned, to grant bail to Janardhana Reddy. On Sunday, August 12, Bellary MP J Shantha (Sriramulu’s sister), MLC Mrityunjay Jinaga and hundreds of party workers met at the residence of Janardhan Reddy and later addressed a public meeting. A huge crowd had gathered, anticipating news about the Reddys’ strategies. Aruna Lakshmi addressed them and said, “We are here for you, don’t panic. If you have any problems, please share them with me.” Supporters of the Reddy family and workers of Sriramulu’s party just couldn’t believe their ears. Even when Janardhana Reddy’s mining empire was thriving, Aruna never came out or spoke in public. This cloudy Sunday, she was making a speech rich in political significance. She continued, “My husband is facing so many difficulties only to see Sriramulu become chief minister.” That was another signal, at least for journalists, that she would enter politics. With her husband and brotherin-law locked up in Hyderabad, she sought to counter the opinion that their supporters had no hope. “Don’t think there is no leader... Don’t panic, this is only a temporary situation. We are here for you,” she declaimed. Aruna spoke for more than 15

minutes, in rhetoric we associate with seasoned politicians, sparking speculation that she had turned into a politician. People started asking: “Are women taking over the Reddy empire?” There was a reason for that. After the death of Y S Rajashekhara Reddy, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, his wife Vijayalakshmi entered politics and faced an election. When their son Jagan Mohan Reddy was arrested, his sister Sharmila jumped in and took over the reins of the party. The Reddys in Bellary are closely associated with YSR Reddy’s family, and often replicate the Andhra family’s political strategies. But Aruna Lakshmi has good reason not to enter politics. The CBI, which has arrested Janardhana Reddy and three others in the illegal mining case, has named Aruna Lakshmi Reddy as second accused. When investigators issued summons to Aruna, her lawyer defended her by saying, “She has no connection in the business owned by Janardhan Reddy. Even if any relation exists, it would be as a sleeping partner, and nothing else.” On July 10 this year, the CBI court granted conditional bail to Aruna. She had to deposit Rs 1 lakh as surety and also sign a bond. She can’t leave the country without prior permission from the CBI. Aruna Lakshmi is a co-owner in Obalapuram Mining Company (OMC), Deccan Mining Syndicate (DMS) and Associated Mining Corporation (AMC). Her legal team has

told the court she has no interest in politics, and should not be held responsible for her husband’s actions. If she now makes any political move, she will give the CBI a chance to press for her arrest and incarceration. Her participation in political meetings could become hard evidence against her.


fad watch

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Cosmetic danger Many Bangaloreans want to remake themselves in the image of celebs, but they could end up with scars and infections SANDRA M FERNANDES sandramarina.fernandes@talkmag.in

uscious lips like Angelina Jolie’s, a perfect nose like Natalie Portman’s, to-die-for dimples like Preity Zinta’s—these are some of the popular requests women make when they visit cosmetic surgeons in the city. With more and more people opting for ‘beautyenhancing’ surgery, demands for facial features of movie stars and

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NOT SO JOLIE Women who desire Hollywood star Angelina’s bee-stung lips shell out between Rs 18,000 and Rs 30,000

celebrities have risen. Dr Surindher DSA, director, Cosmesis India, says Angelina Jolie’s lips, Malaika Arora Khan’s body and Reese Witherspoon’s nose are in demand among his patients. “And men want their nose done like Hollywood actor John Travolta.” Dr D R Sekhar, plastic surgeon at Sagar Apollo Hospital, gets similar requests. “They tell me specifically what they need,” he says, warning that it is impossible to replicate the stars’ features as their facial structures differ from those of his patients. People opt for cosmetic surgery for many reasons, but according to Dr Surindher, a majority come from the glamour industry and those under peer pressure. While for the first group it’s almost a must-do, those in the second group spend a lot of time agonising over the decision. The irony is that patients with actual physical deformities—those for whom the procedure was originally invented—are fewer. Dr Surindher and Sekhar confirm this. They name rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, as the most popular. Breast augmentation and liposuction (fat removal) are the

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next most sought after. By today’s standards, cosmetic surgery procedures are not very expensive. Patients shell out about Rs 35,000 to 40,000 for a nose tip correctional surgery, whereas rhinoplasty costs approximately Rs 1 lakh. “Though cosmetic surgery has proven capable of accentuating a person’s features, it also comes with side effects, which most patients fail to understand,’ says Dr Surindher. A Kannada movie starlet got rhinoplasty done recently. She explains, “When a director suggested that I had to get my nose corrected, I went for it." However, the new nose didn't bring her much luck. After doing a few item numbers, she bid farewell to films and took up a corporate job. Julie (name changed), a BPO employee, underwent breast augmentation before she went overseas on a holiday with her English boyfriend. Patients often ignore the side effects of scarring, swelling and infection, which may take as long as six months to heal. “The public thinks cosmetic surgery is a fool-proof process,” Dr Surindher says.


gender brief

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RAMESH HUNSUR

A bill to be introduced in parliament proposes to make the existing rape law gender-neutral. Traumatised male victims in Bangalore are upbeat their assailants could soon be brought to justice, but the change is opposed by some women’s groups

‘Raped’ men see new hope SAVIE KARNEL savie.karnel@talkmag.in

he word ‘rape’ conjures up a picture of a crime committed by a man against a woman. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) also defines rape as an act in which the victim is a woman and the perpetrator a man. Soon, rape law is set to change. The term ‘rape’ will be replaced with ‘sexual assault’ and the law will become gender-neutral. In other words, the law will accept the possibility of men being raped. But, to go back to a basic question, can men be raped? Talk spoke to some male victims and found them dealing with the same trauma the law associates with women rape victims. Twelve years ago, Balakrishna was raped. “They were eight men,” he recalls. “It went on all night, from eight at night to five in the morning. Then, they left me naked and bleeding in the Hesaraghatta forest.” In 1999, on a night he will never forget, Balakrishna was waiting at the bus stop in Jalahalli. When no bus came, he boarded an auto, sharing it with two men. Little did he

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WHERE’S THE HELP? Rajesh (above) was traumatised after he was molested by a transgender celebrity, but has no legal recourse

realise the intentions of his fellow- the law was inadequate. The police passengers. would only have charged the perpeTheir friends joined them on trators under Section 377, which bikes and drove Balakrishna to a spoke of unnatural sex. wooded area on the outskirts of But Balakrishna is gay, and he Bangalore. There they took turns could have been indicted, too. sodomising him. “They stubbed cigaThe law is more sensitive today. rettes on my body, and poured liquor “The Delhi High Court has repealed on the wounds. When I writhed in Section 377. But there is no protecpain, they slapped and kicked me,” he tion for a rape victim if you are says. not a woman,” says Siddharth The morning after the incident, Narayanan, lawyer with Alternative Balakrishna managed to get to a Law Forum. friend’s place. In hospital, they went How did this change come about treating him routinely. about, and what lies in store? On July That was 20, the cabinet because, he surapproved the introAs of now, the mises, hospitals duction of the Indian Penal Code Criminal see many cases like Law his. “It’s nothing (Amendment) Bill of defines an act as new,” he says. A 2011 in parliament. rape only if there bigger jolt came One proposal in it is is penal-vaginal when he discovto replace the word penetration ered he had con‘rape’ with ‘sexual tracted HIV. He assault,’ making the believes the rapists gave it to him. law gender-neutral. This will also “I bled for two months. Even change the definition of rape. now when I think about it, I feel the As of now, the IPC defines an pain,” he says. act as rape only if there is penal-vagiBalakrishna has spent all these nal penetration. With the amendyears cursing his assailants, but has- ment, sexual assault will include n’t been able to take any legal action. penetration into the vagina, mouth He didn’t go to the police because he or anus with any part of the body or didn’t know what to tell them. Even an object.

ELDERLY WOMAN'S CASE Many groups have been fighting for the change for years. In February this year, a Delhi sessions court gave a wakeup call. An 18-year old man had dragged an 80-year-old woman to a secluded place and repeatedly penetrated her with a stick. Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau noted in her order that the law could do little to punish the crime. Despite the barbarity, the assailant could not be tried under the rape law, and the act had to be described as a man trying to ‘outrage the modesty of a woman’. The offender was also charged with kidnapping and attempt to murder. “The law will now cover a range of sexual acts. The victim or the perpetrator could be any person, any gender,” says Aravind Narrain, a lawyer with Alternative Law Forum. Rajesh Srinivas (24), an activist, alleges he was sexually assaulted by the transgender Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, who became a celebrity after she was featured in the reality show Big Boss Season 5. It happened in January this year in Chennai, when Rajesh was attending a conference. He was in a bus meant for delegates. Most passengers were transgender individuals. Continued on page 6 Î


gender brief

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RAMESH HUNSUR

Continued from page 5 Î “I was holding my bag to protect myself. But they pulled it away from me. Laxmi pulled away my pajamas and touched my private parts. I don’t want to get into the details,” Rajesh says. His colleague Shankari came to his rescue and Rajesh managed to get off the bus. “People in the bus were saying things like, ‘You should be lucky. Laxmi is after you.’” The experience has shaken Rajesh. “I haven’t been able to sleep at night. It took me months even to speak about it,” he says. In fact, Rajesh has still not spoken about it to his family. “I know they will stand by me, but how can I tell this to them,” he says. Rajesh filed a complaint with Committee Against Sexual Harassment (CASH) at Sangama, an NGO. The committee found Rajesh’s allegations true and asked Laxmi to give a public apology. Laxmi did, and added that she wasn’t aware Rajesh would perceive her behavior as harassment. “If a law had been in place, I would certainly have filed a police complaint against Laxmi,” Rajesh says.

WILL IT BACKFIRE? Despite being a victim, Rajesh feels the

SILENT VICTIM Exisiting rape laws cannot help Balakrishna, who was brutally raped by a gang

new law should not generalise. “The women at the grassroots do not get justice. The amendment should not go against them. The finer points should be worked out well,” he says. Women’s organisations echo Rajesh’s sentiments. They fear the amendment may backfire on women victims. “When a woman files a complaint, the perpetrators can now say the woman raped them,” says

Shakun of Vimochana, an NGO working for women. She supports gender neutralisation but feels not all sexual assault should be brought under the ambit of the rape law. “They can come under new sections,” she argues. And then there is the question of whether men can be raped by women. “Such cases are hardly reported, but it is not impossible,” says Siddharth

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Narayanan. He narrates the examples of sexual assaults in Abu Ghraib on Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. “There the commander in charge was a woman. She directed the sexual assaults on the prisoners.” Many men don’t report sexual assault because they are afraid their ‘masculinity’ will come into question. Men’s organisations feel that it’s high time the change in law was brought about. “We have come across cases where women have sexually assaulted men. But not many want to talk about it in the open. When the Bill was introduced in 2010, we led a campaign. We welcome the cabinet’s decision,” says Virag Dhulia, Head, Gender Studies, Confidare Research, a group working for men’s rights. In 1997, Sakshi an NGO working for women had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court, seeking the substitution of the word ‘rape’ with ‘sexual assault’. Now, with the law becoming gender-neutral, we still do not know if it will actually help women rape victims, and cover men victims too. “The draft has not been made public yet. Only after seeing it will we know the nuances,” says Aravind Narrain. “Including sexual assaults against men in the ambit of law is definitely a progressive move.”


future in sight

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COURTESY: LOOKFORDIAGNOSIS.COM

GENE KI TAMANNA Craig Venter describes DNA as ‘the software of life’

’You’ll come to a point when you can download C

PRASHANTH G N prashanth.gn@talkmag.in

vaccines on your computer’

Craig Venter, called the 'creator of life' after he announced he had synthesised a living cell in a lab, talks about how science fiction fantasies are coming true

raig Venter is the controversial 65-year old biologist and scientific entrepreneur who famously challenged the establishment in the race to map the human DNA (the race ended in a tie in 2000 for Venter’s Celera Genomics and the US government progamme, with Venter and Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health sharing a podium at the White House.) Today, he is still brimming with the zeal of scientific enterprise, and is one of the spearheads of synthetic biology - in other words, creating life in the laboratory. Interestingly, according to his Wikipedia bio, this ‘creator of life’ (as the media called him) had attempted suicide while serving with the US forces in Vietnam in the 1970s. Anguished by the sight of the bodies of maimed and dead soldiers coming into his hospital day after day, he had swum a mile out in the Vietnam waters, before deciding to head back. Continued on page 8 Î


future in sight

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COURTESY: TUMBLR.COM

If you change a single letter in the genetic code, you can perhaps prevent cancer

information on genes will be used to make medicine and the digital world and actual world get closer. Clinical trials, drugs and cancer treatment therapies are being developed based on genetic code. If you change a single letter in the genetic code, you can perhaps prevent cancer. Understanding gene code is vital for medical practitioners to be able to identify and change certain letters to prevent certain illnesses. SCIENCE FIX Soon, the earth will have an additional billion people. Synthetic genomics, Venter says, will help us find energy, water and medicine

Continued from page 7 Î

pop corn

What does DNA stand for? :) National Dyslexics Association.

alive? We’re in synthesis stage now and teams are involved in synthesizing genomes. We have three designs. Hopefully one of them will work to show signs of a minimal life form.

At the Euro Science Open Forum 2012, the world’s second largest science conference held in July in Dublin, Venter spoke on his synthetic cell project. The world was agog when Talk chanced upon I sought Venter on the final day of multiple ethical you announced that you created a synthetic the conference and got reviews before had cell, a life form. What’s him to answer some larger commencing left to do? philosophical questions. Lots. I first sequenced the Would you want to experiments. human genome. That live 300 years, Talk ven- They looked at done, I started sequencing tured for example, if you oceans (sequencing genes manage to create a cell what can and of microbes on the ocean that will make it possible? can’t be done bed), I went on to gene “I would be too bored! I am not sure I want to be around that transplantation and then to synthetic life. If anything, we’re limited by long.” Well, would you wish to create our own imagination. There’s a big human beings? Laughter. “The planet world out there to explore. will add another billion people in the next 10 years. We have enough on Did other labs in the world conour plate, I have no desire to add to tribute to the synthetic cell? There have been inspiring labs outthat.” How would you define life? side the US but you’ll make enemies “DNA is the software of life. Change if you name only some. Europe and the DNA software, you change the Asia are growing rapidly in genomics, species.” Edited excerpts from the and in Asia, China has made an excellent start. I can only say some woninterview: derful research is happening on synthetic biology globally. I believe sciScientists say new cell creation is ence has borders only when borders routine in molecular biology. So interfere with science. what is new in your work? In 2010 we produced proof of concept for the synthetic cell, though Has the ethics question in ‘synthetic scientists thought this would not cell’ creation been addressed? work. Then we were determined to I sought multiple ethical reviews create a new life form. We wanted before commencing experiments. Institute of something that would live, else the Massachusetts project would be science fiction. We Technology’s Sloan Foundation did have challenged teams to create a one, President Obama ordered a biominimal life form—can we say it’s ethics commission to examine the

issue. The reviews looked at what can and can’t be done. We completely respect the observations made. Should we patent life or life forms? Life is patentable. Any new species should be patentable. But the positive forces of patenting have to be enforced. You don’t patent carbon dioxide, do you? The next wave of intellectual property and patents will devise solutions to find water, more medicine. We have to build an economics out of this science.

How much do we know about genes now? There are hundreds of thousands of genes to explain. We have found only 20,000 so far. Of course you can reduce genes to numbers like 1 and 0 on a computer, but be sure gene complexity is more than just numbers. In what ways would synthetic biology help the world? A billion people will come on to the planet in the next 11-12 years. That means we’re adding people the size of India’s population. We will be seven billion. Where will we find new sources of food, energy, water, medicines? We must develop a species of organisms that would, for instance, absorb carbon dioxide. Synthetic genomics will be part of the solution.

Is there hype about human genome sequencing? Hype I don’t know, but hope, yes. We’ve unravelled the genetic code through human genome sequencing and we hope to find out more. Very few genes were known before. The human genome can now be How is synthetic biology regulated? sequenced in two hours, a decade ago There’s accountability and transparency in our work and it this was not possible. So far is easy to check what we it has been a five-billion If you want to dollar programme over 15 live for ever, do do. We report all facts in scientific literature. We years. something are very public, we keep no secrets. We drive ethical How will genome sequenc- meaningful. Get around and intelligent discusing influence the world of sions. We even have a biomedicine? What do medboredom ethics group. We try to live ical practitioners say? Viruses will be sequenced in 24 hours by the ethical standards we create. and vaccines produced in less than a week compared to what now takes Do you ever experience boredom? nearly six months. You’ll come to a I try to keep from getting bored. You point when you can download vac- ask many questions of life, devise cines on your email—no waiting for ways to answer them. You look at life months any more—this almost in different ways to make it exciting means science fiction and real life to live. If you want to live for ever, do something meaningful. Do everyscience merge. This is the first major revolu- thing while you’re alive and get tion we expect, where digitally stored around boredom.


ethnic tension

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PANIC ATTACK People from Assam and other North-Eastern states flooded the Bangalore city railway station on Wednesday and Thursday after they heard rumours about impending attacks

Two sisters, two Bangalores What has changed overnight to make this city a nightmare for people from the North-East? An insider’s story n 2002, I was visiting Bangalore for the first time. I had come down from Delhi to meet my boyfriend, now my husband. I had the afternoons to myself. I did two things: visit as many parks as possible and walk up and down MG Road. Why did I do that? Because for the first time in my adult life, after leaving Imphal to study in Delhi, no stranger was groping me and calling me ‘chinki’. People

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Who spread fear?

Swar Thounaojam Playwright and theatre director

In Assam, the All Assam Students Union blamed Badaruddin Ajmal, president of the All India United Democratic Front, for spreading terror among people of the North-East in other states. No attack has been reported in Bangalore, where the police and the government are going all out to reassure migrants from the North-East.

didn’t stare at me and giggle after looking at me. People were polite and left you alone. In 2002, the film Phone Booth was released. At that time, Colin Farrell was as famous as Leonardo di Caprio and Plaza on MG Road was an active cinema theatre. I watched the film alone at Plaza on one of those afternoons. In 2005, my younger sister shifted to Bangalore to study at Mount Carmel College. She was here till 2010. By the time she left Bangalore, people were groping her on the streets and calling her ‘chinki’. People stared at her and giggled looking at her. People were no longer polite and

Mischievous SMS

This text message hints at an impending attack on people from the NorthEast. Bangalore police responded with another text: ‘Do not panic.’

didn’t leave her alone. And she would never dream of watching a film alone. Bangalore lives differently for two sisters. When #Bangalore started trending on twitter on the night of our 65th Independence Day, I was writing furiously to meet a deadline. The hysteria that unfolded on my timeline stunned me and I stopped writing. I became obsessed. The moment I scrolled down to read 10 tweets, 30 more were loaded up. Everybody was hysterical of an exodus of people from the North East leaving by special trains from Bangalore. I had been reading about attacks

in Pune. I had some friends talking about alleged threats and attacks in Bangalore. I was saddened by what was happening in Pune. I was sceptical about what my friends were saying about Bangalore. What exactly happened last night? Is my sister as sceptical as I am of what is unravelling in Bangalore right now? Or does she feel Bangalore is now a city capable of the worst, the way many young people of her age from the North East do when they tweet about their experience in the city? Has Bangalore changed its character?

Bangalore wants you to stay back Some Muslim organisations in Bangalore took out a march to express solidarity with people from the North-East. They held placards at the railway station saying, “Don’t leave Bangalore. Dear Assamese friends. We love you.” Law Minister Suresh Kumar was at the railway station all day on Thursday, persuading people not to leave. Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok also visited the railway

station. Representatives of people from the North-Eastern states living in Bangalore met chief minister Jagdish Shettar, who promised to protect them. The police have been using SMS, Facebook, Twitter, TV and radio to stem the flood of rumours. Anyone from the North-East who feels threatened can call Deputy Commissioner of Police Vincent D’Souza on 94808 01020.


football frenzy

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COURTESY: PHILLIP CHAMBERS

The English Premier League begins on August 18, bringing more thrills in the wake of the exciting Euro 2012. Here are the matches you can’t afford to miss

RIDDHI MUKHERJEE uro 2012 has once again proven the best international football tournament, providing more excitement than even World Cup football. It has fuelled anticipation of a pulsating English Premier League (EPL) season. Over the past few years, EPL has emerged the best football league in the world, overtaking both the Spanish Primera Liga and the Italian Serie A. EPL 2011-2012 was one of the most exciting seasons in over a decade and was voted the greatest in the Premier League 20 Seasons Awards, marking the completion of 20 years of the league since its inception in 1992. Last season was one of many firsts. The title was decided on the last day and the eventual champion, Manchester City, won it on goal difference, which was a first. It was also for the first time that the title went to a previously relegated team. The 2012-2013 season will kickoff on August 18 and it promises to be a crackerjack affair. The red side of Manchester will be waiting to snatch the top spot from the blue side. Here are the matches you shouldn’t miss (all on Saturdays):

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8 December 2012 Manchester City v Manchester United (City at home) 6 April 2013 Manchester United v Manchester City (United at home)

STAR ATTRACTION Steven Gerrard, centre mid-field striker, is expected to change Liverpool’s fortunes

Both Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur performed exceedingly well in the previous season and a similar quality of football will be expected of them. The Spurs finished fourth (but missed out on the final Champions League spot) and The Magpies capped an excellent season with the fifth spot. The Spurs faltered a bit midway, but recovered towards the end. They have a balanced side and good bench strength,

Get your free kicks which is second only to Manchester City’s. Players like Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Rafael van der Vaart, Scott Parker and Younès Kaboul form the team’s backbone. 6 October 2012 Newcastle United v Manchester United 10 November 2012 Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur 17 November 2012 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur 2 February 2013 Newcastle United v Chelsea

Since their “invincible” days in the early 2000’s (especially the 2003-2004 season when they ended the season unbeaten), Arsenal have been in a downward spiral. Last season began with the heart-breaking news of Samir Nasri and club captain Cesc Fabregas leaving the club for better pastures. Newly appointed captain Robin van Persie stood up to the occasion and almost single-handedly ensured that Arsenal finish the season at third spot. This season the club has signed on Lukas Podolski from Cologne and Olivier Giroud from Montpellier at a combined cost of 23.8 million pounds before the start of the season. Both Podolski and Giroud were match-winners for

their respective clubs and their style of play will fit in perfectly with the counter-attacking style of Arsenal. It will be interesting to see if Arsenal can finally end their trophy drought in this campaign. 29 September 2012 Arsenal v Chelsea 17 November 2012 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur 27 April 2013 Arsenal v Manchester United

Chelsea could manage only a sixth place finish in the last Premier League, but more than made up for it by first winning the FA Cup and then the UEFA Champions League crown. Adding to their chances this season are the impressive signings chalked up by The Blues during the off-season. Eden Hazard, the Belgian playmaker was signed from Lille for £32 million, and Werder Bremen midfielder Marko Marin, who has been described as a “player who can decide a game on his own”, has signed on the dotted line for Chelsea. 27 October 2012 Chelsea v Manchester United 10 November 2012 Chelsea v Liverpool

23 February 2013 Manchester City v Chelsea

Ex-Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers is now in charge of Liverpool and it will be interesting to see how he works towards galvanising the side. Liverpool need to give some out-of-favour players like Joe Cole and Maxi Rodriguez a longer run. Fabio Borini, a striker, was recently signed from AS Roma for 10 million pounds. But let’s not forget that despite all these issues, Liverpool won the Carling Cup and reached the finals of the FA Cup. 25 August 2012 Liverpool v Manchester City 22 September 2012 Liverpool v Manchester United 20 April 2013 Liverpool v Chelsea

The UEFA Champions League group games will add to the drama. Teams like Manchester United and Arsenal play five and three away games respectively, immediately after the Champions League group stage matches. Manchester City and Chelsea, on the other hand, need to play just one away match during the same phase.


goodbye, games

talk|23 aug 2012|talkmag.in

13

(C) TRANSPORT FOR LONDON

Theories suggest the rise of a dangerous kind of nationalism, with sports as its vehicle, but there was little evidence of fanaticism in England

An English lesson for our city

CIVIL PASSION A double-decker goes around town celebrating the arrival of the Olympics torch. Londoners displayed patriotism when they supported their side, but weren’t boorish

It’s over. The half-month long global celebration of sport finally wound down with a grand music show, leaving us with memories and lots of analysis to do. India finished 55th in the medals tally; the country didn't do as well as expected (the general consensus before the Olympics was between nine and eleven medals); but we’ll take six. After all, it was India’s bestever haul. I watched the closing ceremony at Greenwich, close to the Royal Observatory, where a public screening was arranged. There was the feel of a night-long festival, with people parking themselves on the grass and spreading out mats and peacefully sipping beer and drinking in the music. From time to time, as the screen showed British athletes, they applauded. On the streets and trains, the last few days had seen people proudly displaying the British flag. The Union Jack had suddenly become more visible. There was no doubt that, as the Olympics progressed, a deep-rooted nationalism was out in the open again, but it was a nationalism that was cheerful; not boorish, for I noticed that everybody applauded the non-British athletes as well.

Among British athletes themselves, the crowd had responded with equal warmth to the likes of the Somaliaborn Mo Farah, and had adopted him as one of their own. There are theories on the rise of a dangerous nationalism with sport as its vehicle (the most common reference being made to the 1936 Berlin Olympics organised by Hitler), but I couldn’t detect any strand of that brand of nationalism. Perhaps there are just too many internal contradictions in Europe’s identity politics of today for such a view to prevail. I ask this of myself: as a Bangalorean, what does the London Olympics mean to me? It all looked so flawless on TV; such a far cry from the way Delhi organised the Commonwealth Games. But closer to the action, the feeling is: London did not do anything out of character. London did not have to transform itself fundamentally for the Olympics the way Delhi had to for the Commonwealth. The support system of the city, such as its public transport networks, information systems for visitors, accommodation,

wasn’t stretched. In other words: the average Londoner went about his life with hardly a blip. There wasn’t therefore a feel that a special event was on. It was business as usual in the trains and on the streets. As the Games progressed, one got to see people wearing British colours, and chatting excitedly, but that was about it. London’s infrastructure was good enough to accommodate the Games without appearing to be burdened with it. New Delhi, on the other hand, had to undergo a fundamental transformation ashamed of its ‘Delhiness’, it had to shift the homeless and the destitute outside the city; it had to create separate bus lanes, and create entirely new sporting edifices that all had to be protected within several rings of security. For a fortnight, Delhi aspired to become a city of its own limited imagination, without beggars and poverty and traffic jams for all the thousands of visitors. Once the Commonwealth was over, it was back to business, but in a different way - the office-goer or student returned to his own Olympic chal-

lenge of surviving the day. As for the street-dwellers, it was probably a question of which street was better: Delhi’s or Lucknow’s. What is more important for us, as citizens, is to have ease of transport without requiring an Asian Games or Commonwealth to necessitate it. Of course, transport is just one of several parameters of liveability in a city. The greater its liveability, the more we will appreciate a Games of this scale. We can also see how Western Europe produces more sports champions than we do. It’s essentially because sport is built into the fabric of everyday living. Sport access is not only for the privileged. Each borough here, for instance, runs several inexpensive and excellently-run sports centres. We cannot aspire for airconditioned badminton courts and swimming pools, but surely we can expect open grounds with a running track and changing rooms? I notice that the churches here have sports programmes - they’re considered healthy community activity. Surely our centres of worship of all religions, which have vast lands and generate millions of rupees annually, can invest in a good earthly life for their believers rather than promise them a glorious afterlife?


memoirs

talk|23 aug 2012|talkmag.in

14

A

away briskly. Chittaranjan excused himself, but Balakrishna and I followed Shivarudraiah, who walked past the bustling Kempe Gowda Road and B V K Iyengar Road and entered the smaller Gundopant Road. His house was on one of the bylanes. A woman leaning on crutches opened the door. We guessed she must be the sister who had survived the accident. We introduced ourselves and told her we had heard that Shivarudraiah had been a top-ranker. “We just wanted to know about his family,” I said. The sister called us in. Meanwhile, Shivarudraiah sat on a stool and continued talking away. He showed no sign that he recognised us from our college encounter. An elderly woman came out and offered us coffee. We were embarrassed that we were bothering her, but accepted her hospitality. “Does he always behave this way?” I asked. She walked back, wiping her tears without saying a word. His sister showed us photos taken when he had won the first rank. We leafed through the album. He didn’t have a beard then. He looked full of promise, with no hint of his brooding air. “Why does he speak to a tree every day?” I asked. “He would go early in the morning to college. His sister used to study in Maharani’s College, and carry his breakfast. They would sit together and eat breakfast every day,” she recalled. Shivarudraiah was very fond of his younger sister. He would gather the fragrant nagalinga flowers strewn along the way and bring them home to her. Since these aren’t worn in the hair, she would delight in just looking at them. A few days after he had recovered from the accident, he told his family, “I must go to college. Putti will be there, waiting for me with my breakfast.” The family thought he would get over the shock in a few days. “But

to this day, he goes there, eats breakfast with his sister, and returns home,” said his elder sister, in a trembling voice. She said he imagined he was speaking to his sister near the tree, and not the tree. We came away from his house, disturbed by the condition of his family. The following day, Balakrishna and I were returning to college from India Coffee House when our college attendant Beeraiah told us, “He harms no one... don’t know why the police have taken him away.” We rushed to Upparpet police station, where the inspector told us without emotion, “We’ve sent him to the magistrate’s court.” He shouted something to a constable, indicating to us that we shouldn’t say a word more. We walked out feeling miserable. Balakrishna left. I lay down on my hostel bed, wondering what I could do. I thought of Yathirajulu Naidu. I went looking for him at the courts. He wasn’t around. I called him the following morning. He put me on to a prosecutor. “Couldn’t you have come yesterday? They’ve sent him to the mental hospital already,” the prosecutor told me. I asked him why the police had taken Shivarudraiah away. “They’ve booked him under the Lunacy Act,” he said. “They have described him as a lunatic who is dangerous, unfit to be at large.”

Fabled ranconteur and Bangalore’s top-notch criminal lawyer brings you moving and bizarre real-life stories from 40 years of practice

C H HANUMANTHARAYA

The prosecutor asked me how I was related to Shivarudraiah. When he realised I wasn’t related to him, but was still showing interest in the case, he explained, “When the police are short of cases, they book some of these to show numbers.” Dr Verma was then the director of Nimhans, where Shivarudraiah had been taken. The prosecutor called him and explained his case. The doctor said he would discharge Shivarudraiah if someone in his family could write him a letter. I went to Shivarudraiah’s house, where everyone was in distress. As suggested by the doctor, a relative wrote, “He is not a dangerous lunatic. The police have taken him away without reason.” Shivarudraiah did not show any gratitude when we got him discharged. He was muttering away as usual. He was standing under his tree when I went to college the next day. Every time I look at the writer U R Ananthamurthy, I think of Shivarudraiah. He has the same fair complexion, sharp nose and longish face. Translated by S R Ramakrishna

VIVEK ARUN

boy used to stand under a tree at our law college every day. He was lean, fair, over six feet tall, and sported a beard. He was always neatly dressed and wore polished shoes. He was never without a thin khaki coat. He would be lost in chatting with the tree. He would blink and stop talking if anyone went near him. He usually came in at seven in the morning, when our classes began, and go away only when the classes ended. I was intrigued. I asked my classmates Chittaranjan and M Balakrishna about him. They suggested we ask someone about his background. “Why does this boy come here to stand under the tree?” I asked our librarian Malathi. “He used to be a student here. Poor boy, he has gone mad. I don't know why,” she said. She referred us to Prof Basheer Hussein, who she said knew him well. When we went to him with our question, he sighed. “That's a long story,” he said. He told us all about Shivarudraiah, who had won the first rank in his BL exams and earned fame for the college. The professor was proud to have had him as a student. “His memory was brilliant,” Hussein said. “He had the IPC and the CrPC on the tip of his tongue.” Shivarudraiah had joined a master’s course. He was travelling in a car with his parents and sisters when they met with an accident near Tumkur. His younger sister died on the spot. His elder sister lost a leg. “He suffered a head injury,” said the professor. “And that’s when he lost his mental balance.” Shivarudraiah continued going to college every day. He behaved with humility, and had never spoken a harsh word against anyone. Our respect for Shivarudraiah grew. He was no crackpot. One day, we decided to hear what he was muttering to himself. He was speaking in English. I remember a couple of lines: “All laws are useless. For good men do not need laws, and bad men are made no better by them.” “Old lawyers never die; they just lose their appeals.” “Law cannot persuade where it cannot punish.” He used to repeat these aphorisms like mantras. When he noticed us from a corner of his eye, he started walking

crime folio

The boy who spoke to a tree


life in a cell

talk|16 aug 2012|talkmag.in

IMPRISONED BY RED TAPE RAMESH HUNSUR

NO HOPE Rajendran’s wife Sumathi, daughter Sugandhi and son Naveen at their house near Jayanagar 9th Block. His brother Srinivasan (right) was charged as an accomplice, but was soon acquitted

This is the disturbing story of Rajendran, languishing in jail four years after he was due for release because someone in some office isn’t doing the paper work right

BHANU PRAKASH E S bhanu.prakash@talkmag.in

ajendran Kannan, then 34, was handed a life term by the Karnataka High Court in 1996. Two years before his conviction, he had killed a colleague, Amavasy, following a spat. Rajendran used to work for a financier, ferrying suitcases filled with cash to his boss’ associates, and back. The suitcases carried lakhs of rupees, but Rajendran was paid a meagre Rs 50 a day. Tight as he was when it came to wages, his boss would nevertheless ply Rajendran with enough drinks to keep him going in his high-risk, low-paying job. Rajendran struggled to maintain his family. On the night of November 11, 1994, when Rajendran went to deliver a suitcase, his boss wasn’t in. In his place, his assistant Amavasy asked to see the contents of the suitcase. Rajendran, already drunk, refused, and the two got into an argument. Amavasy is said to have insulted Rajendran, and the two soon came to blows. Rajendran drew the knife he carried for his personal safety, and stabbed Amavasy, who died on the spot. Rajendran fled the scene, and took refuge in the house of his brother Srinivasan in Corporation Colony, near Jayanagar 9th Block. The brothers quietly packed up and left, staying away for five days, after which they surrendered at the Tilak Nagar police station. The police took both of them into custody, charging Srinivasan as an accomplice. When Rajendran’s case went up for

R

Governor H R Bhardwaj had not approved the release of any prisoner in the last four years. This Independence Day, he cleared the names of six out of 109 recommended by the government

Jail Minister A Narayanaswamy says he has provided all details to the Governor, but Raj Bhavan insists on a vigilance committee and an unrealistic amount of documentation to release prisoners

trial in a city sessions court, it had 32 witnesses. All except one said they hadn’t seen Rajendran kill Amavasy. A lone woman’s testimony sealed Rajendran’s fate. He pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to life by a court, which also found Srinivasan innocent and acquitted him. Rajendran filed an appeal, and the case eventually ended up in the High Court, which upheld the sentence and sent Rajendran to Bangalore Central Prison to serve time. His brother and his family could not afford to take the case any further, and the matter ended there. By then, Rajendran had already spent two years in jail as an undertrial, and had to complete a maximum of 14 years, the standard prison term in India for a life sentence.

tee draws up a list of prisoners eligible for release from prisons all over the state. A prisoner needs to have completed at least 10 years of his sentence to make it to this list, which is then sent to the governor. Whether a prisoner is released or not depends entirely on the discretion of the governor, as the state’s supreme Constitutional authority. Since the time he took office in 2009, Karnataka governor H R Bhardwaj has rejected wholesale the lists of prisoners eligible for release submitted by the government on special occasions like Independence Day. This year, out of the 109 names submitted by the government, the governor has rejected everyone except six. The governor’s office has repeatedly cited the lack of a clear selection procedure and shoddy documentation of prisoners’ cases as the grounds for rejection. The governor has also accused the BJP government of trying to get its jailed workers and supporters released under this provision. The government, of course, admits to no such thing, and calls the governor a Congress lackey playing politics with the fates of the prisoners. Rajendran’s name appeared on this list for the first time in 2006, two years after he had completed the minimum 10 years of jail time a prisoner must serve before he becomes eligible for release. His name has figured on the list every year since then, but so far, to no avail.

A FAMILY WAITS

21

and the local MLA Ramalinga Reddy, who told him they were helpless, and he had to wait until the government does something about the case. Srinivasan suspects it’s the political instability in Karnataka that is delaying Rajendran’s release. “In the last four years, Tamil Nadu government has released 700 prisoners on August 15, and 900 more on MGR’s (the late chief minister M G Ramachandran) birthday, whereas in Karnataka not even a single person has come out. “It’s certainly our bad luck. When the jail list went out during the reign of Kumaraswamy, there was a political crisis in the state and he was unseated. As a result, none of the prisoners were set free. Later, Yeddyurappa took over and the lists changed again, but soon he too was replaced.” Rajendran’s family has no support, and is petrified even to approach a government authority after Yeddyurappa hated, ‘Thappu madidhavaru shikshe anubhavisalebeku’ which means that whoever has committed a crime must undergo punishment. “We are uneducated and have no knowledge about petitioning to governor or the jail minister. People like us can do nothing,” Srinivasan says.

family as a prisoner but he will come home only after serving his full imprisonment term.” Rajendran’s wife Sumathi says, “Initially, I used to meet him weekly once. But now, he doesn’t want to meet us. In the last five years, I have met him only twice a year. Moreover, even if I want to meet him regularly, I can’t because financially it becomes extremely difficult for me as I have to spend more than Rs 500 on each visit.” Rajendran now tells Sumathi not to bring the children along when she goes to meet him. He feels ashamed and weeps all the time. He feels his growing children shouldn’t be embarrassed because of him. All the years Rajendran has been in prison, Sumathi has been working as a domestic help to bring up their daughter UNCERTAIN FATE Sugandhi and sons Rajesh and Naveen. Now Every Independence Day, when the prison38, Sumathi earns Rs 2,000 a month, while ers list comes up for the governor’s considher two sons wash cars and earn Rs 200 to eration, both sides use it as an opportuniRs 300 a month. ty to score one over the other, often Sumathi pays Rs 1,500 as rent using the media as a proxy. One for her house. Sugandhi has comdoes not need to be a political pleted her 10th standard, and lost analyst to figure out that this interest in studying further. She blame game isn’t about the prisexclusive badly wants her father to be back oners at all, but merely an extenhome to take care of the family. sion of an ongoing political battle. Sumathi has undergone two major What often goes unnoticed among operations and has no strength to work. these fireworks though, is the silent While she rests, her daughter takes up her destruction of lives like that of Rajendran. job (in four different houses) and does all the He has now turned 50, of which 18 years work. were spent in prison, four of them wasted Sumathi has taken a loan from her over a technicality neither he or his family place of work and enrolled her eldest son can understand. Rajesh in college. He is doing his first PUC, Caught up as they are in the battle for while her third child, Naveen, is studying in survival, justice is a distant dream for this the 10th standard at a government school. family.

talk

Rajendran’s ordeal continues, with no end in sight. The prison experience has changed him so much that he has even refused to take parole and visit his family. In all these years, the only time he has been outside jail was during the three months he spent in Victoria Hospital after he developed ulcers in the stomach. RELEASE LOTTERY (Prashanth G N and Maria Laveena Srinivasan says, “He used to tell me SENTENCE WITHOUT END By all accounts, in all the years he spent in the inhospitable conditions at Bangalore that he will never come home and see his Meanwhile, Srinivasan approached a lawyer contributed research to this article) Central Prison, Rajendran has behaved in a manner that amounts to the ‘good conduct’ prisoners, huge numbers of world is one big prison prisons is not that of the lock which the law expects from those it has whom are serving sentences yard,/Some of us are and key but that of the lock punished if they are to expect any lenience. much longer than those given prisoners, some of us are and clock. T H Laxminaraynana, his jailor and the for similar crimes anywhere guards,” [Bob]Dylan sings, and man-in-charge at the Central Prison at That’s why no one who has else in the civilized world— while it isn’t strictly true—just Parappana Agrahara, says Rajendran is a been inside a prison, if only for Texas alone has sentenced ask the prisoners—it contains For prisoners, a single day “transformed man” today, one who can be a day, can ever forget the more than four hundred a truth: the guards are doing stretches out to eternity. The released back into society safely. The nature feeling. Time stops. A note of teenagers to life time, too. US has put 60 lakh people of his crime itself, circumstantial and comattenuated panic, of watchful imprisonment—time becomes b e h i n d b a r s mitted in the heat of the moment, is not of What prisoners try to convey to paranoia—anxiety and in every sense this thing you an extreme nature as murders go, a distincboredom and fear mixed into a the free is how the presence It isn’t the horror of the time serve. tion the law itself recognises clearly. of time as something being at hand but the unimaginable kind of enveloping fog, But here’s the problem. Rajendran is Excerpted from The Caging of done to you, instead of covering the guards as much sameness of the time ahead now doing his 19th year in jail, although he America by Adam Gopnik in something you do things with, as the guarded. that makes prisons became eligible for release four years ago. The New Yorker alters the mind at every unendurable for their inmates. “Sometimes I think this whole Every year, around Independence Day, moment. For American The basic reality of American a government-appointed advisory commit-

What’s it like in jail?


life in a cell

talk|16 aug 2012|talkmag.in

IMPRISONED BY RED TAPE RAMESH HUNSUR

NO HOPE Rajendran’s wife Sumathi, daughter Sugandhi and son Naveen at their house near Jayanagar 9th Block. His brother Srinivasan (right) was charged as an accomplice, but was soon acquitted

This is the disturbing story of Rajendran, languishing in jail four years after he was due for release because someone in some office isn’t doing the paper work right

BHANU PRAKASH E S bhanu.prakash@talkmag.in

ajendran Kannan, then 34, was handed a life term by the Karnataka High Court in 1996. Two years before his conviction, he had killed a colleague, Amavasy, following a spat. Rajendran used to work for a financier, ferrying suitcases filled with cash to his boss’ associates, and back. The suitcases carried lakhs of rupees, but Rajendran was paid a meagre Rs 50 a day. Tight as he was when it came to wages, his boss would nevertheless ply Rajendran with enough drinks to keep him going in his high-risk, low-paying job. Rajendran struggled to maintain his family. On the night of November 11, 1994, when Rajendran went to deliver a suitcase, his boss wasn’t in. In his place, his assistant Amavasy asked to see the contents of the suitcase. Rajendran, already drunk, refused, and the two got into an argument. Amavasy is said to have insulted Rajendran, and the two soon came to blows. Rajendran drew the knife he carried for his personal safety, and stabbed Amavasy, who died on the spot. Rajendran fled the scene, and took refuge in the house of his brother Srinivasan in Corporation Colony, near Jayanagar 9th Block. The brothers quietly packed up and left, staying away for five days, after which they surrendered at the Tilak Nagar police station. The police took both of them into custody, charging Srinivasan as an accomplice. When Rajendran’s case went up for

R

Governor H R Bhardwaj had not approved the release of any prisoner in the last four years. This Independence Day, he cleared the names of six out of 109 recommended by the government

Jail Minister A Narayanaswamy says he has provided all details to the Governor, but Raj Bhavan insists on a vigilance committee and an unrealistic amount of documentation to release prisoners

trial in a city sessions court, it had 32 witnesses. All except one said they hadn’t seen Rajendran kill Amavasy. A lone woman’s testimony sealed Rajendran’s fate. He pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to life by a court, which also found Srinivasan innocent and acquitted him. Rajendran filed an appeal, and the case eventually ended up in the High Court, which upheld the sentence and sent Rajendran to Bangalore Central Prison to serve time. His brother and his family could not afford to take the case any further, and the matter ended there. By then, Rajendran had already spent two years in jail as an undertrial, and had to complete a maximum of 14 years, the standard prison term in India for a life sentence.

tee draws up a list of prisoners eligible for release from prisons all over the state. A prisoner needs to have completed at least 10 years of his sentence to make it to this list, which is then sent to the governor. Whether a prisoner is released or not depends entirely on the discretion of the governor, as the state’s supreme Constitutional authority. Since the time he took office in 2009, Karnataka governor H R Bhardwaj has rejected wholesale the lists of prisoners eligible for release submitted by the government on special occasions like Independence Day. This year, out of the 109 names submitted by the government, the governor has rejected everyone except six. The governor’s office has repeatedly cited the lack of a clear selection procedure and shoddy documentation of prisoners’ cases as the grounds for rejection. The governor has also accused the BJP government of trying to get its jailed workers and supporters released under this provision. The government, of course, admits to no such thing, and calls the governor a Congress lackey playing politics with the fates of the prisoners. Rajendran’s name appeared on this list for the first time in 2006, two years after he had completed the minimum 10 years of jail time a prisoner must serve before he becomes eligible for release. His name has figured on the list every year since then, but so far, to no avail.

A FAMILY WAITS

21

and the local MLA Ramalinga Reddy, who told him they were helpless, and he had to wait until the government does something about the case. Srinivasan suspects it’s the political instability in Karnataka that is delaying Rajendran’s release. “In the last four years, Tamil Nadu government has released 700 prisoners on August 15, and 900 more on MGR’s (the late chief minister M G Ramachandran) birthday, whereas in Karnataka not even a single person has come out. “It’s certainly our bad luck. When the jail list went out during the reign of Kumaraswamy, there was a political crisis in the state and he was unseated. As a result, none of the prisoners were set free. Later, Yeddyurappa took over and the lists changed again, but soon he too was replaced.” Rajendran’s family has no support, and is petrified even to approach a government authority after Yeddyurappa hated, ‘Thappu madidhavaru shikshe anubhavisalebeku’ which means that whoever has committed a crime must undergo punishment. “We are uneducated and have no knowledge about petitioning to governor or the jail minister. People like us can do nothing,” Srinivasan says.

family as a prisoner but he will come home only after serving his full imprisonment term.” Rajendran’s wife Sumathi says, “Initially, I used to meet him weekly once. But now, he doesn’t want to meet us. In the last five years, I have met him only twice a year. Moreover, even if I want to meet him regularly, I can’t because financially it becomes extremely difficult for me as I have to spend more than Rs 500 on each visit.” Rajendran now tells Sumathi not to bring the children along when she goes to meet him. He feels ashamed and weeps all the time. He feels his growing children shouldn’t be embarrassed because of him. All the years Rajendran has been in prison, Sumathi has been working as a domestic help to bring up their daughter UNCERTAIN FATE Sugandhi and sons Rajesh and Naveen. Now Every Independence Day, when the prison38, Sumathi earns Rs 2,000 a month, while ers list comes up for the governor’s considher two sons wash cars and earn Rs 200 to eration, both sides use it as an opportuniRs 300 a month. ty to score one over the other, often Sumathi pays Rs 1,500 as rent using the media as a proxy. One for her house. Sugandhi has comdoes not need to be a political pleted her 10th standard, and lost analyst to figure out that this interest in studying further. She blame game isn’t about the prisexclusive badly wants her father to be back oners at all, but merely an extenhome to take care of the family. sion of an ongoing political battle. Sumathi has undergone two major What often goes unnoticed among operations and has no strength to work. these fireworks though, is the silent While she rests, her daughter takes up her destruction of lives like that of Rajendran. job (in four different houses) and does all the He has now turned 50, of which 18 years work. were spent in prison, four of them wasted Sumathi has taken a loan from her over a technicality neither he or his family place of work and enrolled her eldest son can understand. Rajesh in college. He is doing his first PUC, Caught up as they are in the battle for while her third child, Naveen, is studying in survival, justice is a distant dream for this the 10th standard at a government school. family.

talk

Rajendran’s ordeal continues, with no end in sight. The prison experience has changed him so much that he has even refused to take parole and visit his family. In all these years, the only time he has been outside jail was during the three months he spent in Victoria Hospital after he developed ulcers in the stomach. RELEASE LOTTERY (Prashanth G N and Maria Laveena Srinivasan says, “He used to tell me SENTENCE WITHOUT END By all accounts, in all the years he spent in the inhospitable conditions at Bangalore that he will never come home and see his Meanwhile, Srinivasan approached a lawyer contributed research to this article) Central Prison, Rajendran has behaved in a manner that amounts to the ‘good conduct’ prisoners, huge numbers of world is one big prison prisons is not that of the lock which the law expects from those it has whom are serving sentences yard,/Some of us are and key but that of the lock punished if they are to expect any lenience. much longer than those given prisoners, some of us are and clock. T H Laxminaraynana, his jailor and the for similar crimes anywhere guards,” [Bob]Dylan sings, and man-in-charge at the Central Prison at That’s why no one who has else in the civilized world— while it isn’t strictly true—just Parappana Agrahara, says Rajendran is a been inside a prison, if only for Texas alone has sentenced ask the prisoners—it contains For prisoners, a single day “transformed man” today, one who can be a day, can ever forget the more than four hundred a truth: the guards are doing stretches out to eternity. The released back into society safely. The nature feeling. Time stops. A note of teenagers to life time, too. US has put 60 lakh people of his crime itself, circumstantial and comattenuated panic, of watchful imprisonment—time becomes b e h i n d b a r s mitted in the heat of the moment, is not of What prisoners try to convey to paranoia—anxiety and in every sense this thing you an extreme nature as murders go, a distincboredom and fear mixed into a the free is how the presence It isn’t the horror of the time serve. tion the law itself recognises clearly. of time as something being at hand but the unimaginable kind of enveloping fog, But here’s the problem. Rajendran is Excerpted from The Caging of done to you, instead of covering the guards as much sameness of the time ahead now doing his 19th year in jail, although he America by Adam Gopnik in something you do things with, as the guarded. that makes prisons became eligible for release four years ago. The New Yorker alters the mind at every unendurable for their inmates. “Sometimes I think this whole Every year, around Independence Day, moment. For American The basic reality of American a government-appointed advisory commit-

What’s it like in jail?


latino fun

talk|23 aug 2012|talkmag.in

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Head over heels with salsa This weekend, our city again plays host to the biggest event on the dance calendar. Why are so many Bangaloreans converting to this form?

PRACHI SIBAL prachi.sibal@talkmag.in

ewer salsa schools coming up in your locality is a sign of how this city has taken to the dance form. This weekend, salsa lovers in Bangalore flock to the seventh edition of the India International Salsa Congress, described as the largest salsa event in Asia. The numbers have been rising steadily over the years, and over 6,000 people are expected to participate this time. Besides a host of performances, salsa lessons, and parties, the congress plans to introduce to Bangaloreans a new style of the dance form. “We are bringing two big companies who perform the mambo to India, so Bangaloreans don’t have to go all the way to New York to pick that up,” says Bindu Prasanna, Bharatnatyam dancer-turned Salsa dancer and instructor at Lourd Vijay Dance Studio (LVDS). Another highlight of the Congress this year is the World Championship qualifier (the final will be held in Hong Kong later this year). Why Bangalore for an event of this magnitude? “The weather is the most awesome part. It works as a great getaway for people. Besides, Bangalore has an international appeal and character. It is also one of the most evolved cities in dance in

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The Salsa Congress is on between August 17 and 19 at Clark’s Exotica, Devanahalli. Call 98452 39123 for details.

the country,” says Lourd Vijay, LVDS founder and artistic director. For him, Bangalore is the dance capital of the country, and not just in salsa. “Dance here is more evolved though it is not as noticeable as it is in Delhi or Mumbai. The Congress is no longer just a salsa event and has become a blanket dance event. The distinction between forms is fading,” he says. Dance schools in Bangalore are reporting a whopping number of students who want to learn salsa. What makes this dance form so popular in the city? What is it that makes aspiring and professional dancers pick salsa over other native forms? “The primary reason is its exotic feel. Most people look at it as a form of fitness. We have already trained 350 students in salsa this year,” says Ree, director, Just Dance studio. On a lighter note, she adds, “A lot of couples form in our dance classes and some of them are married too.” Amateurs and fitness freaks

aren’t the only ones taking to salsa. Instances of classical dancers taking to salsa training are aplenty. Lourd Vijay believes there are both pros and cons of learning salsa after classical training. “Indian classical roots are redundant for salsa. There, the body is used to a certain form, and people who switch will have to do a lot unlearning and learning,” he says. But the unlearning doesn’t quite seem to stop dancers who are willing to experiment. Bindu Prasanna, trained in Bharatanatyam for almost seven years, first joined the Shiamak Davar Institute for

Want to learn the salsa? Here are some options „ Lourd Vijay's Dance Studio No 4, 1st Main, Off Palace Cross Road, Chakravarthy Layout (Above Opus). Call 23315566 „ Furor Entertainment 915, 80 Feet Peripheral Road, Ground Floor of F Chisel. Call 9591006783

„ Studio 5678

Rotary Club, 16th 'E' Main, off 100 Ft Road, Indiranagar. Call 40908733. „ Connie and Danny 453, 5th Cross 8th Main, Vivek Nagar, Vivek Nagar, Call 25714504. „ Just Dance 3rd Floor, 55 Coles Road, Frazer Town, Above ICICI Bank. Call 9845166667.

training in Bollywood dance before she became a salsa dancer and trainer. “I was looking for something new and was bored of Bollywood dance,” she says. She joined LVDS and later went on to feature in the television show Dance Premier League judged by Rani Mukherjee and Shiamak Davar. She still takes her time off to perform Bharatnatyam and has been instrumental in bringing ‘mujra’ performances to Bangalore. She agrees Bangalore is the salsa capital of the country in some ways. “The most number of technical dancers are here. The only thing that is not on our side is the numbers. Mumbai and Delhi are perhaps bigger with the numbers,” she says. While all those pursuing the form believe the demand has created the supply of salsa schools, others feel it could be the lack of options. “More and more people are getting interested in physical expression. Sometimes, what happens is that the options are limited. There was a time when many people were into

Bollywood dancing. I welcome this interest in movement but believe people must have more options so they can make an informed

People who switch from Indian classical dance to salsa need to unlearn and learn a lot Lourd Vijay Salsa guru choice,” says Jayachandran Palazhy, founder and director, Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts. For him, salsa brings a ‘Latino feel’ to movement, and is a good option. “But, when you are connecting your life to dance, you would look for roots. That certainly doesn’t mean people should not do salsa though.”


talk|23 aug 2012|talkmag.in

19

The Persian dish became our own

Biryani SAVIE KARNEL savie.karnel@talkmag.in

here is no Eid without biryani, and where there is biryani there is Eid (festivity). The word biryani has its origins in the Persian word ‘birian’, which means frying before cooking. It entered the Oxford English dictionary in 1932, where it is described as “an Indian dish made with highly W seasoned rice and meat, fish, or vegetables.” There are many theories about the origin of biryani. While some believe that the Mughal cooks invented it, others are of the view that Arab merchants brought it to India. Lizzie Collingham in her book Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors, says the Persian dish pilau was transformed into biryani in India. Akbar, who is known to have merged Indian culture with

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Persian traditions, extended this process his son to send of synthesis to his kitchen as well. The Sulaiman, who Persians marinated meat in curd. The cooked biryani, to Mughal cooks added spices, almonds, gar- work in the imperilic and onions to the curd to make a thick al kitchens. When coating on the meat. They then cooked the his son refused, a meat briefly and poured it into a pot. Like frustrated Aurangzeb the Persians who partially cooked rice for asked him to send the pilau, the Mughal cooks added rice to the chef’s pupil, who was as meat. Saffron soaked in milk was added skilled as his master. for colour and aroma. It was then cooked With the expansion of the Mughal like the pilau with coal on the lid and empire, the biryani too reached newer below to get spicier and more aromatic regions and took newer forms. It became results. The Ain-i-Akbari, a the spicier Hyderabadi biryani in the court chronicle of Akbar’s time, of the Nizams. After the British forced talks of the tweaking of Wajid Ali Khan into exile in Kolkata, the Persian dishes to include Nawab of Lucknow found himself unable Indian flavours. to afford meat, so his cooks added potaSpanish traveller toes to his favourite biryani. To this day, Sebastian Manrique describes the food biryani in Kolkata has potatoes. sold in the markets in Lahore in 1641. He Incidentally, Hindu bookkeepers of the says, “Among these dishes the principal Muslim rulers made a vegetarian biryani and most substantial were the aromatic and called it Tahiri biryani. Mongol bringes (biryanis) and Persian There are also theories that pilaus of different hues.” dishes like the biryani existed Aurangzeb was a great even before the time of the The Talk lover of biryani and sought out Mughals. 11th century Persian column on traveler Al-biruni in his the best cooks. He once asked word origins

K E Y

O R D S

Ta k h t -A lHind describes many Indian dishes very similar to the biryani. Some scholars argue that the Arab merchants first brought the dish to the Malabar coast. Perhaps that’s why the Kerala biryani tastes different from the Mughlai biryani. Some texts mention that the Tamils made a dish like biryani called Oon Sor in the second century to feed soldiers. It was made with rice, ghee, turmeric, pepper and bay leaf. With time the biryani has evolved. These days we even have the readymade mix to which you simply add the rice and meat for a hassle-free biryani, while microwave ovens too come with a biryani option. Its continuing popularity means we don’t mind an Andhra biryani off a plantain leaf, or even a home-delivered biryani in a paper box.


kitchen talk

talk|23 aug 2012|talkmag.in

20

RAMESH HUNSUR

From emu to partridges, a fresh choice of meats now comes to the Bangalore foodie’s platter

New tastes in town SANDRA MARINA FERNANDES sandramarina.fernandes@talkmag.in

eat lovers in Bangalore seem to be, well, broadening their horizons. Meat, for them, no longer means just staples like chicken, mutton, beef and pork. Emu, duck, turkey and rabbit, once difficult to find, are now gaining popularity among foodies. Emu, the not-so-famous cousin of the ostrich and a relative newcomer on the Bangalore foodie’s platter, comes all the way from Australia. Over the past one year though, the demand for emu meat has increased so much that emu farms and hatch-

M NEW STUFF Food Hall at 1 MG Road, a mall at Trinity Circle, is among the stores stocking exotic meat varieties. Below: Turkey sales soar during the Christmas season

eries are coming up all around the city. One reason why the meat has caught on despite its hard texture and high price (Rs 400-450 a kilo) is its vaunted health benefits. Chicken costs just Rs 150 a kilo. Despite being poultry, emu is red meat of ‘a healthier variety’. It is said to be 98 percent fat free, with nearly no cholesterol. Another plus point is its rich iron, phosphorus and protein content. It has been termed an alternative to beef by the American Heart Association. Emu oil’s anti-inflammatory properties can heal mild burns and even act as a moisturiser. For over a year now, city stores such as Spar Hypermarket and New Frosty’s Cold Storage have been stocking emu meat. Mohammed Shoaib, assistant department manager in charge of the non-vegetarian section at Spar’s Oasis Mall outlet, says the meat mostly comes from within India. “The meat is procured from local farms or is provided by farms from other states. Sometimes it is imported from abroad as well,” he told Talk. So far, customer response has been lukewarm. “Many people are curious to try out emu meat, but they hesitate because of the price,” he says.

Anil Harris, proprietor of New Frosty’s, says freshly cut emu is difficult to get and the frozen variety is the only kind readily available. Vani Emu Farm in Hyderabad is one of the biggest suppliers of emu meat in the country, and its produce is available at many stores in Bangalore. Proprietor S V S Ramaraju Rudraraju says the demand for emu meat has increased in recent years. “But still, many people don’t know about it, and some find the price high,” he explains. Susee Emu Rusee Emu, a restaurant in Indiranagar, boasts of an all-emu menu. They offer emu in various delicacies such as biryani, tandoori and continental flavours, with dishes priced around Rs 200. Not everyone is a fan of emu meat though. Ramya Suresh, a freelance designer who tried an emu burger at a Pondicherry restaurant, found the meat “hard and not tender like beef.” Unlike emu, turkey, duck and rabbit are available at most stores. Turkey and duck are usually seasonal and are popular during Christmas, whereas rabbit is available throughout the year at about Rs 450 a kilo. Rabbit eaters prefer it because it is similar to mutton but more tender and tasty.

Food Hall at 1 M G Mall offers exotic varieties of turkey: cooked, smoked, honey-flavoured, and more. “The turkey we have comes from South Africa, Saudi Arabia and local farms. The local ones cost less than the imported ones, and prices range from Rs 1,000-2,200,” says Saleem Pasha, department manager at Food Hall. Those who want to sample these exotic meats at ‘non-exotic’ prices though, are better off heading towards Russell Market in Shivajinagar, where a wide and affordable range is available. Duck is priced at Rs 250 a kilo, whereas turkey costs about Rs 280. They also sell quail, partridge and guinea fowl for anywhere between Rs 200 and Rs 500. This being the month of Ramzan, stalls also sell cooked camel meat nearby. So how do you cook these meats? Should they be cooked like chicken? Well, that really depends on your taste. Still, for each of these meats, some methods are more popular than others. For instance, emu usually tastes best when grilled or pan-fried, turkey and duck when roasted, whereas rabbit oozes with flavour when cooked in a curry or sautéed.


stage craft

talk|23 aug 2012|talkmag.in

So you’re a character? Kamal Pruthi Arora, Bangalorean director and actor, has devised a new form of theatre that does away with the stage altogether. And what better than the work of Saadat Hasan Manto—the Urdu writer who famously lacked a fixed address—to premiere such a style?

PRACHI SIBAL prachi.sibal@talkmag.in

nteractive theatre is now common. Director and actor Kamal Pruthi Arora hopes a technique he has devised, which he calls museum theatre, will count as a fresher form. Says Kamal, “When there is a stage, with sets and curtains, even a child can tell that a play is about to begin. The idea is to break that convention and take people by surprise, giving them performances in places they least expect them. Here, the style is like a visit to a museum, where you walk towards every piece of art.” Performed in New Delhi previously and at a private session in Bangalore, the upcoming performance in Koramangala will be the first time the technique will be explored publicly. Just like in a museum, a tour guide will take the audience through every part of the space. Actors are ‘planted’ in discreet corners and will break out into performance once you reach them. Explains Kamal, “They will be all those people you see, but fail to notice.”

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INNOVATOR Director Kamal Pruthi Arora

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Manto days

Fondly known as Manto, he was born in 1912 in British India. He came into the literary world with translations of works by authors like Victor Hugo and Oscar Wilde, but soon began doing original work. One of the best-known chroniclers of the Partition, which he experienced first hand, Manto’s stories are simple, and bring out a lay perspective on being forced into two different countries. His first story Tamasha was based on the Jalianwalla Bagh massacre in Amritsar. Besides being about people he met every day, his stories were subtly anti-establishment. He could write anything from a story that told all it had to in three lines to longer narratives like Toba Tek Singh. He was tried for obscenity thrice in India and thrice after he moved to Pakistan, but was never convicted. This is Manto’s centennial year, celebrated with performances and tributes around the country.

Toba Tek Singh God, what’s your religion?

NO CURTAINS Aadab Manto Saheb is based on six stories by the legendary Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto. This is his birth centenary year

First in a series of performances planned in this style, Kamal’s unnamed theatre group has decided to pay its tribute to legendary Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto with a play titled Aadab Manto Saheb. Six stories will be performed across the different floors of the venue with the tour culminating in the popular story Toba Tek Singh. The stories have been translated into 12 different languages including Hindi and Tamil, and will be performed in clusters, depending on the audience and the availability of actors. This will also be the first performance based on Manto’s work in his centennial year in the city. Kamal is a recipient of the Goethe Scholarship for Theatre for 2006. He conceptualised museum theatre along with Srishti professor Deepak Srinivasan as they looked around for alternative venues for performances. “We said why wait for an auditorium? Why can’t theatre be done in its truest raw form, with the sheer strength of actors and costumes?” says Kamal. “We are against using

make-up. Costumes and acting is our only strength.” Kamal spent many years reading stories by Manto and Ismat Chughtai. “I decided on Manto so it would coincide with the centennial celebrations. I plan on doing Chughtai’s stories next. Manto’s stories, though written many years ago, seem to fit any time and style. There is fluidity and scope for improvisation and translation”, he says. The form may be new, but at the heart of it, Kamal assures us, this is for the die-hard conventional Manto fan, too. The stories being performed include Khabardar (Beware), Karamaat (The Wonder), Bekhabri ka Fayda (The Price of Innocence), Ghate Ka Sauda (A bad deal), Hindi Aur Urdu (Hindi and Urdu), Halaal aur Jhatka (What’s the difference) and Toba Tek Singh. Catch Aadab Manto Saheb at 75, 2nd Main, 1st Block, Koramangala on August 18 at 7.30 pm and August 19 at 4.30 pm. Call 30181626 for details.

There was another lunatic in that madhouse who thought he was God. One day, Bashan Singh asked him whether Toba Tek Singh was in Pakistan or India. Guffawing, he replied: “Neither, because I haven't yet decided where to put it!” Bashan Singh begged this ‘God’ to resolve the status of Toba Tek Singh and thus end his perplexity. But "God" was far too busy to deal with this matter because of all the other orders that he had to give. One day Bashan Singh lost his temper and shouted: “Upri gur gur di annexe di be-dhiyana di mung di daal of wahay Guru ji wa Khalsa and wahay Guru ji ki fatah. Jo bolay so nahal sat akal!” By this he might have meant: “You are the God of the Muslims. If you were a Sikh God then you would certainly help me.”

Tree of friendship

One lunatic got so involved in this India-Pakistan question that he became even crazier. One day he climbed a tree and sat for two hours, lecturing on the complex issues of Partition. When the guards told him to come down, he climbed higher. When they tried to frighten him, he said, “I will live neither in India nor in Pakistan. I’ll live in this tree right here!” With difficulty, they coaxed him to come down. He wept and embraced his Hindu and Sikh friends, distraught at the idea that they would leave him and go to India. Courtesy: Kamal Pruthi Arora


L I S T I NGS

talk|23 aug 2012|talkmag.in

Experience Trabbl Mixing travel with socialising, this website promises more ‘immersive’ trips for those who’ve had enough of the circuit PRACHI SIBAL prachi.sibal@talkmag.in ravel the world over is changing more to being about experiences than about sights. This is precisely the philosophy that drives this niche travel website, out to sell a community experience. It covers the sights and sounds Mumbai and London. Unlike other websites that offer travel packages, Trabblr creates experiences through its database of traveller-users who post events and happenings in these two cities. The idea is to promote travel as cultural exchange, and to get users to know a

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place and its people through events that these cities are known for. Residents of the two cities, once they log into Trabblr, can create ‘open events’ that travellers can pick from. A wide range of events is on offer, and includes food festivals, music concerts, plays, photo walks, heritage walks and more. Once you

sign in either with a registration or through your Facebook page, Trabblr customises a page for you, complete with a map which you can use to tag your travels. Though the website is visually attractive and has the tag line ‘Travel. Meet. Repeat', we felt a little lost after logging in as many drop boxes on the top of the page mysteriously disappeared. We finally rediscovered them in fine print at the bottom of the page. Hersh Kumbhani, an investment banker-turnedback packer, and Ashish Mehra, who has studied at Virginia Tech and King’s College, London, are the poeple running Trabblr.

www.trabblr.com

retail therapy  Shop till you drop: With Independence Day just gone by, experience the ultimate freedom while shopping. Grab the most exciting offers and revamp your entire wardrobe. Avail offers on fashion, beauty, home décor and many more. From western to traditional clothing, shop to your heart's content. Westside (all outlets), till August 19  Surprise your lady: With such offers, diamonds become a man's best friend too. Avail up to 20 percent off on great collections and impress your lady this monsoon. Hurry before you miss out on some great designs. Available at all Nakshatra outlets, till August 19  Shopping mania is here: Shopping for the whole family just got better. Avail discounts on a wide range of men's clothing, women's apparel and kids' clothing. You can also shop for accessories that match your outfits. Available at Show Off, Malleswaram and Jayanagar, till August 20 30160047  Artistic creations on display: New Embroidery forms and vintage chanderis by Hands Of India will be on display by Under The Tree. Vintage chanderi sarees that have been revived from old samples will be on display. You can choose from daily wear sarees and festive sarees. Prices start from Rs 750 onwards. Under The Tree, 1st floor, 27/34 Nandidurga Road, till August 24 9902624452  Accessories for all: Here is another reason to celebrate freedom. Yellow Buttons offers a sale of clothing,

food

 Paradise of flavours in town: Try out traditional delicacies from this Kashmiri Food Festival that will bring you the rich flavours from this party of the country. Café Treat, the Pride Hotel, Richmond Road, till August 17, 22112720  Sadda Dilli is here: Delhi's cuisine is known all across the country. Dig in to the region’s culinary delights and enjoy live interaction with the chef. Drown it all with some unlimited beer at the Finest of Dilli. From street food to fine dine, they have it all under one roof. GAD, Taj Getaway Hotel, 66, Lobby Level, Residency Road, August 17 and 18, 66604545

accessories, bags, footwear and much more at a discount of 10 per cent. Wear the three colours of the tricolour and avail an additional discount of five percent. Yellow Button, House# 787, 12th Main, 1st cross, HAL 2nd stage, Indiranagar, till August 19 Â Your shopping experience just got bigger: High fashion at affordable prices. The latest showroom of Inmark opened this week. Men's clothing, women's apparel and many other accessories can be purchased at unbelievable prices. Inmark, Kathriguppe Main Road, 3rd Stage, Banashankari

talk picks  Exploring Gujarat and Rajasthan: A spectrum of dishes from the two states awaits you Sample the likes of dal baati churma from the heart of Rajasthan and options like kadhi, shaak and more from the flavourful Gujarat. St Mark's Hotel, St Mark's Road, until August 19, 40019000

 Get those grills going: Your Grill Your Way, an exclusive grills festival offers a variety of seafood, meats and vegetables. Choose your meat, your own spices and let the exquisite dish make its way to your table. The Raj Pavillion, ITC Windsor, Golf Course Road, till August 19, 22269898  Dubai's souk calls you: A lavish spread of spice awaits you. Inspired by the Cairo’s Khan el - Khalili, Istanbul’s spice market, Dubai's ‘Deira Spice Souk’ and the Cochin spice market, this one is for the bravehearts who take their meal head on, oozing with flavours, spices and diversity. Mynt, Taj West End, Race Course Road, August 18, 66605660

 Ice creams galore: This one is for everyone with a sweet tooth. Chefs at Mama Mia present their skills as they whip up flavours from around the world. Priced at Rs 39 onwards and with special offers, this is one ice cream festival that you cannot miss. Available at Mama Mia outlets in Koramangala and Indiranagar, from August 17 to 23, 41149423  It's raining Biryanis and Beer: This week savour the delicious Biryanis served with a glass of beer. Dig into Peshawari gosht biryani, Awadhi dum murg biryani, Tarkari Lucknowi biryani and many more to choose from. Starting at Rs 300, you can enjoy a hearty meal. Soul Kadhi, # 3 Laurel Lane, Richmond town, Richmond road, from August 15 to 31 22111112

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 Shroom festival: Experience all things mushroom with a variety of dishes and cuisine to pick from. Also, get your hands on many varieties of the fungi like oyster mushroom, porcini mushroom, morel mushroom and chanterelles which are not otherwise easily available in town. Bene, Sheraton Bangalore at Brigade Gateway, 26/1, Dr. Rajkumar Road, MalleswaramRajajinagar, till August 26, 42521000

1 2 3 4 5

Kannada top-sellers at Ankita Pustaka, Basavanagudi

Bara Andre Ellarigu Ista Author: P Sainath, Translator: GN Mohan Publisher: Abhinava Prakashana Price: Rs 350

Mini Central Library Kiram Author: Kalliganura Pundalika Publisher: Kannada Prakashana Price: Rs 110

Roga Nivaraka Jeevanashaili Author: Dr AN Nagaraj Publisher: Ankita Prakashana Price: Rs 150

Chitta Chittara Author: KC Shivappa Publisher: Samvahana Price: Rs 80

Mudra Vijnana mattu Arogya Author: Suman K Chiplunkar Publisher: Abhijit Price: Rs 200


L I S T I NGS

talk|23 aug 2012|talkmag.in

poets of the fall

film

 Head to this Carnival of Rust The Finnish rock band is coming back to town after their performance at the Octoberfest last year. Known for their albums like Carnival or Rust and Signs of Life, the band started out its journey in the year 2003. They call their sound cinematic and have their influences everywhere under the sun, from metal all the way to classical music. Their beliefs lie in personal expression and claim their name speaks of

theatre

grace under pressure. Catch some of their popular singles and head bang away to this international act. The line-up of the band consists of Marko on the vocals, Olli on the guitars, Captain on the keyboards, Jaska on the guitars, Jani on the bass and Jari on the drums. For all the fans, expect some numbers from their newly released album Temple of Thought. Hard Rock Café, 40, St Marks Road, August 22, 41242222

 Ek Tha Tiger Easily slotted as a romantic thriller, the film promises a lot of action without forgetting its song and dance moments. Salman Khan (Tiger) is a secret agent sent by the Indian Government to spy on a Trinity College scientist suspected of selling arms’ secrets to Pakistan. Predictably enough, he falls in love with Katrina Kaif (Zoya) who is the scientist’s caretaker. What ensues is a trail by Salman Khan to Ireland, Pakistan and a few more countries, not without his arm candy of course.

CineMAX Outer Ring road, CineMAX Bellandur, Cinepolis Bannerghatta Road, Fame Forum Value Mall Whitefield, Fun Cinemas Cunningham Road, INOX Magrath Road, Fame Lido Ulsoor, INOX Mantri Mall, INOX JP Nagar, Q Cinemas ITPL, Fame Shankarnag, Rex Theatre, Innovative Multiplex Marathahalli, Gopalan Cinemas RR Road, Gopalan Cinemas Bannerghatta Road, Gopalan Cinemas Mysore Road, Vision Cinemas, Everest Theatre, Urvashi Digital Cinema, INOX Jayanagar, Abhinay Theatre, Lakshmi Theatre

 Bollywood evenings are here: Are you a fan of Bollywood music? Here is a great way to spend your weekend crooning to Bollywood songs with a hot cup of coffee. No karaoke, no prerecorded music, just live bands performing your favourite tunes. Costa Coffee, 261/A, 10th Main 2nd Block, Jayanagar, August 18 26571231  Get jamming: Want to make it big in the

 A Walk in the Woods Marking the directorial debut of actor Ratna Pathak Shah, the play titled A Walk in the Woods brings heavyweights Naseeruddin Shah and Rajit Kapoor on stage together. Written by American playwright Lee Blessing, the original play shows a conversation between arms disarmament negotiators, one American and the other Russian. The play has been adapted to the Indian context to portray a conversation between an Indian and a

art

music  Find solace in the city: Wine and dine in the company of your loved ones and enjoy some country, reggae and rock music by musicians Conan and Jude. They are the lead musicians of Bangalore based group 'Shadow Amp'. Urban Solace- Café for the Soul, 32 Annaswamy Mudaliar Road, Ulsoor, August 17, 25553656

music circuit? Here is your chance to cut your own album and win prizes worth Rs 1.5 lakh as part of ‘Project Aloft Star’. Compete with bands from Bangalore and Chennai as you strum those guitar strings or hit the keys and walk away a rich musician. Aloft Hotel, 17C, Sadaramangala Road, Whitefield, August 18 and 19 66707777 www.alofthotels.com  Classical meets jazz: Founding member of contemporary rock band Indian Ocean, Susmit Sen launches his first solo album 'Depths of the Ocean'. Sway to the fusion of Indian classical music with western rock and jazz. Hard Rock Cafe, 40, St Marks Road, August 17, 8 pm 41242222  Genre no bar: Singer and songwriter Venkat Subramaniyam per-

forms with Floyd Fernandes on the guitars, Karan Joseph on the keyboard and Deepak Raghu on the drums as as part of Venky & the Far Out Funk. Their music stems from the blues but is inspired by gospel, jazz and R&B. bFlat, 100 Feet Road , Indiranagar, HAL 2nd Stage, August 17, 8.30 pm 25278361 Â Classical treat: Well-known Hindustani classical singer Tara Kini will present Ragas in Khyal and Dhrupad for all fans of the genre. The concert will touch upon different moods and also present some semi-classical renditions. Shashibhushan Gurjaron the tabla, Dnyaneshwar Deshmukh on pakhavaj and Dipti Rao on the tanpura will accompany her. Jagriti Theatre, Varthur Road, Whitefield, August 18, 6.30 pm 41248298

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 Playing for freedom: Freedom Jam, the city’s own brainchild is back in its 17th edition, celebrating Independence and the spirit of music all over again. While the first part of the event this year celebrated the acoustic, this one will go all out to bring you rock and metal sounds the Jam is known for. The artistes are all playing for free, as always. The line-up for the days include Lucid Dreams, Audiofile, SilverJar, DeSat, Velvet Trap, Indus Valley Project, Xector, Rainburn, Groove Chutney, Mystix, Azuric, Acid Quartet, Hiphop Rappers Two Much, Reggae Greenwitch, Jazz Revival, Desi Beat Baja, Kannada indie band Antharaala, Born Free Band and World Music Hampi Gali. GO DESI, near Peenya Police Station, off Tumkur Road, August 18 and 19, 11 am to 9 pm

Venky & the Far Out Funk

 Dual creativity on display: Niriksha and Nainika's art exhibits will be on display, showcasing their latest work with Shakespeare Glass. Head to this group exhibition and get your dose of artistic inspiration today. Walk down to the gallery to see their latest work. Renaissance Gallerie, 104, Westminister, Cunningham Road, till August 17, 22202232  Sculptures come alive: Head to this sculptures exhibition as you look at some sculptures by Ravi Shah on display at the Facing One's Nature sculpture exhibition. The sculptures are made of wood and are figurative in nature. Maya Art Gallery, # 59, Nandidurga Road, Jayamahal Extension, till August 30 9844662547

Pakistani diplomat. The diplomats take the dialogue into informal space by taking a walk in the woods leading to casual conversation. The conversation brings out issues of larger importance in connection with diplomatic talks. Can individuals initiate peace talks? Can rapports built through informal conversation define the relationship between two nations? Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, 16th Cross, Malleswaram, August 17, 7.30 pm, www.indianstage.in

Exhibit at Shakespeare Glass

other artists will be on display at the Pathway to Abstractism art exhibition. Through a myriad of colours, experience the different aspects of art. Gallery Third Eye, F-2, Epsillon Villas, Yemalur, till August 31, 9845585235

 Workshops ahead this weekend: Book your weekend at Art Bengaluru 2012 as you may stand the chance of picking up some artistic tricks. From Pop up art to Pantomime, wax art to making of animation movies, one can find a creative streak in all. The Collection, UB City, 24, Ground floor, Vittal Mallaya Road, till August 24, 41738444

 Capture the world around you: Pick up your camera and head to the Wildlife Photography workshop. The Gerry Martin project presents Bush Skills and Field photography, where you can get hands on experience at actual shooting like camera trapping, flash photography and more. No.33, Carmelaram Post Chikkabellandur, Sarjapur Road, from August 18 to 20, 65700683

 Abstract art at its best: Work of artists Sudeep Mukherjee and Jakir Hossen, along with a host of

To get your event listed, write to us at listings@talkmag.in


noteworthy

talk|23 aug 2012|talkmag.in

27

pop corn

The ugly truth about ‘growth’ W

hile India’s growing economy is becoming the toast of the world, and tomes are hailing it as a miracle, here comes a book that shows us the ugly side of this pretty picture. Churning the Earth: The Making of Global India highlights the sociological and environmental consequences of India's meteoric rise. Aseem Srivastava and Ashish Kothari present evidence on the predatory nature of this growth and

question its political and ecological sustainability. India’s pre-eminent intellectual Ashish Nandy has called it a majestic work on society’s future, while writer Amitav Ghosh has said that it “cuts through the hype to tell you what is going on.” Aseem Srivastava has taught economics for several years in India and US, and was most recently at Nordic College, Norway, where he taught

philosophy. Ashish Kothari is a foundermember of the environmental group Kalpavriksh. He has taught at the India Institute of Public Administration and coordinated India’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan process. The book, published by Penguin, was released in Bangalore on Aug 16

Romeo makes you laugh? hakespearean plays aren’t your idea of weekend fun? Do you check on your phone dictionary to understand what words mean, and wish you had paid attention to your English teacher? Worry not, the Seussification of Romeo

S

and Juliet is here to give you a laugh. Departing from the original, this production by Tortillas Entertainment Company is a humorous take on phonetics. Expect your Romeo and Juliet to look flashy on stage and indulge in slapstick word-

play. We can’t help but get a picture of Gnomeo and Juliet into our heads. They keep the rhyme scheme like their animated counterparts do, we hear. Alliance Francais, August 17, 7.30 pm and August 18 and 19, 3.30 pm and 7.30 pm.

What all, Nagaraj? Vatal Nagaraj, former MLA from Chamarajanagar and Kannada activist known for his eccentric protests, got three chief ministers to come together on a single stage last week. He began his address grandly: “First chief minister Yeddyurappa, second chief minister Sadananda Gowda, third chief minister Jagadish Shettar, and… fourth chief minister Yeddyurappa”. The audience balked in disbelief. What was he hinting at? Yeddyurappa sat gaping. The event, ostensibly to felicitate senior journalist Patil Puttappa, was a political ambush. Vatal said: “An eloquent

politician like me should be in the Legislature Council. You must nominate me as an MLC.” Left with no option but to be polite, all senior leaders present agreed to do so. He also got informal support from D B Chandre Gowda, Ramesh Kumar, K R Pet Krishna, B T Lalitha Nayak, B K Chandrashekhar and other politicians and former ministers who had arrived as guests. Once they left the venue, they completely forgot their promise. Thankfully, Vatal didn’t protest by parading donkeys and buffaloes. GUJJAR


T I M E P A SS

29

Cornered

By Mike Baldwin

talk|23 aug 2012|talkmag.in

The Duplex

By Glenn McCoy

„ I have problems with my elder sister. No matter how hard I try, I can't relate to her. We stay in different hostels. Though we meet every Sunday, we have never had a good conversation. She has fallen in love recently, but I don't like the boy she is dating. This has made our relationship even more stressful. She has stopped sharing her thoughts with me. I feel her boyfriend has been brainwashing her. What do I do? Sophia Janet, Bilekahalli

1st Cross

Talk’s weekly crossword for Bangaloreans who know their way about town Across: 1 Anand Singh, 3 Mary, 5 Coorg, 9 Coffee, 11 Ulsoor, 13 Manipal, 14 Gokarna, 15 Urvashi, 17 Eshwarappa, 18 Chicken pox, 21 Ac & 7 Dn Palace grounds, 23 Styx, 24 Lumbini, 25 Kori roti. Down: 3 & 2 Down Madhura Nagendra, 4 Sankranti, 6 V V Giri, 8 Kemphole, 10 Omkar, 12 Banashankari, 13 Mangalore, 16 Hegde, 19 Kolar, 20 Mysore, 22 Dn & 19 Ac Anil Kumble.

If a relationship is demanding and stressful, it will not last. What is important is trust and respect for private space. Meeting every Sunday has become just a ritual. Poor communication means neither of you is a good listener. As for her boyfriend, you should recognise her sentiments. You can't have some sort of proprietary hold over her just because she is your sister. She won't share anything with you if she knows you have a negative perception about her boyfriend. Just be there when she needs you, and don't try to force a relationship. „ I knew a girl who would chat with me all day. We used to hang out together and had realised we were more than good friends. But because of my busy work schedule, I took a break from my love life. After a while, I tried to get back in touch with her but she is not responding like before. She is not comfortable with me, and most importantly, she is not willing to meet me. How can I make her understand I love her? Dilip Rajendran, Electronics City

Your priorities are different and your feelings are not genuine. She will obviously not return your calls as you have not

Across Poly clinic which shares the name of the road it's on (7) 3 Karnataka Rajyotsava is celebrated on the 1st of ____ (8) 5 The place for sizzlers at Church Street, now shut (4) 8 Hansraj ____ : Current governor of Karnataka (8) 10 Number of districts in our state (6) 11 _ ___ Road: Hard rock cafe locale (2,5) 14 Pub on Residency Road synonymous with what you are solving (4) 17 ____ Soudha: The State Government plans to erect a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in this Government building (6) 1

20 Multiplex at Garuda Mall (4) 21 Satya Sai Baba Ashram at Brindavan (10) 22 India's largest amusement park, situated on the Bangalore - Mysore highway (8) 2 3 4 6 7

Down Act in the news on account of moral policing in the Dakshina Kannada district (6) ___ Hills: Scenic spot around 60 kms from Bangalore (5) National park 25 kms from the heart of the city (12) Restaurant on Cottonpet Main Road recently in the news (11) Serial killer who was recently sentenced to life

imprisonment (7,7) 9 City in North Karnataka (5) 12 Contagious disease which has claimed over 25 lives in the state this year (5,3) 13 ___ Market: Market In Shivajinagar (6) 15 When in Karnataka Shiravati River drops 253 meters (3,5) 16 Tourist destination where R K Narayanan's Malgudi Days was filmed (6) 18 Karnataka town whose name is associated with South Indian food (5) 19 _____ Limbavali :Minister in the news on account of a power plant in Dhanagur reserve forest land (7)

D for Papa A while back, I had gone to meet a friend of mine. While I was talking to my friend's kid brother, his father came and sat before me and was trying to prove how smart his child was. He said “Son, please read A B C D.” He refused. The father said, “Okay, fine. Show me what stands for Papa in the book.” He thought the child would point at F for Father. The kid was very smart indeed. He turned over A for Apple, B for Boy, and C for cat and finally pointed at D for Dog and said, “This is Papa.” The father was shocked; and I burst into laughter. All he managed to say was, “Very good. Is this Papa?” Shivangi Singh, by email

Prof Good Sense been talking to her. She will not wait for you. Maybe you are tired and exhausted, but that’s no excuse to cut yourself off from someone you love. I recommend you read Erich Fromm’s Art of Loving. Love is about caring. You can’t take time off from love. You will benefit from this book. „ However hard I try, I don’t get a girlfriend. Even though I look good and am talented, I am not lucky. Girls I meet say ‘You’re like my brother’ and all that crap. I’m confident about myself but I can’t figure out what a girl needs from me. I give girls attention, respect, care, and love but they just walk off. I keep hoping some day they will realise. Will that happen? And what’s the problem with me? Nikhil G K, Ramamurthynagar

If you are confident, you will have a girlfriend. Don’t be desperate. Having a girlfriend or boyfriend isn’t everything. You have other responsibilities as well. What a girlfriend needs in you is subjective. Don’t sound so hopeless. Prof M Sreedhara Murthy teaches psychology at NMKRV First Grade College. He is also a well-known photographer. Write to him: prof@talkmag.in

Slime and Lemony Cake Drawing inspiration from a television cooking show, my father attempted to make a lemon yoghurt cake from scratch. He enlisted me to assist in the baking. We found all the essential ingredients at home - flour, eggs, milk, lemon and the allimportant yoghurt. Although the yoghurt seemed too sour for our liking, we went ahead with the recipe. Once the cake was baked, we cut a piece with eager anticipation. However, it tasted strange and doughy. After my mother returned home, she discovered that the sour yoghurt we used was actually fermented idly batter! No points for guessing who was enlisted again to finish off the botched batch of lemon idly cakes. Elliot B Clarence, Kothanur

Share the humour in your life, multiply the fun! Keep those anecdotes coming to: features@talkmag.in


talk|23 aug 2012|talkmag.in

Small is back

31

Holstee Manifesto: Read it!

All those who have loved (or hated) our homegrown Reva for the way it looks, are sure to have something to say about this one. The Peel P50 is a three-wheeled microcar that was originally manufactured in the 60s, which still holds the record for the smallest automobile to go into production. Advertised back then as capable of seating "one adult and a shopping bag," it however, had no reverse gear, something a driver in a tight situation wouldn’t find so cute. What has brought the P50 back into the news is the launch of a modified electric version that became a hit with the green crowd. Way to go, should we say?

She’s wearing a sorry, na?

What's that song? It keeps music lovers awake at night —those annoying times when they recall a tune, but not the song. No more. Soundhound describes itself as “the only app in the world that identifies songs you sing or hum.” Switch it on and sing (or simply hum) to it and it will tell you what the song is, and

who sang it. Or if you are listening to a song, it can display the lyrics live and in synch with the music (especially useful if you’re listening to grunge!). Now, that’s an app that comes straight from music heaven. It’s available for free on most platforms, and can identify some Bollywood tracks, too. Good idea to have this on your phone. Get it at: www.soundhound.com

We thought Vidya Balan's fashion goof-ups were a thing of the past after rustled in her ancestral wardrobe and came out a stunner with her kanjeevarams. We hear the horror may just return. Recently spotted wearing a white salwar kameez, Vidya may also resort to other costumes in her upcoming film Ghanchakkar. She will be clad in t-shirts, harems and rubber sandals. Now, that's a lot of hard work to look like a fashion disaster, na? We say just lock up the sari wardrobe and let her pick her own clothes.


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