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The Indian Trumpet’s second birthday. Two is special, two is togetherness. And I confess, two seems like a dream.

4 EDITOR’S NOTE

As I look back at the time spent on pampering each edition with the extra hours of work it asked for, I feel that both the magazine and I have nurtured each other: Getting restless with the tantrums of the other, giving in to the demands of special fonts and images, waiting patiently till we found a word that both felt was appropriate, lending unspoken support when things went wrong and dancing together on meeting the deadlines. Yes, we’ve shared some wonderful memories and it goes without saying that the memories that reflect togetherness are often the most cherished ones.

THE TRUMPET BLOWERS EDITORIAL FIONA PATERSON MONA EL SAMNA SABIN MUZAFFAR ART AVI GOEL KAMAINI MITTAL COMMUNICATION NAMRATA MANGHNANI

So we decided to celebrate this milestone by creating memories that include our readers. This Second Birthday edition is yours and we can’t thank you enough for it. In the last two years, we’ve received a lot of love from Indians and non-Indians across the globe, especially from our readers in Dubai; and that’s where the idea to generate an edition completely created by our Dubai fraternity came into being. So while in the last twelve editions we brought to you the Colour, Culture and Chaos that defines the lives and livings of India and Indians, in this edition we bring to you the chaotic, colourful and cultural charm of other lands. A couple of weeks ago we invited our Dubai-based enthusiasts to play with the three words and share with us what they mean to them in their land, heart and mind. We got an overwhelming response in the form of poems, paintings, short stories, sculptures and more. Writers, artists, poets, lyricists, playwrights and all others in between, sent us their works and helped us make this birthday special. They also strengthened our belief in the fact that The Indian Trumpet has truly emerged as a platform for creative minds to speak their minds in both words and images. I invite you all to flip through the pages and indulge in the awesomeness that you’ve created.

Rights: All rights reserved. The writing, artwork and photography contained herein may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of The Indian Trumpet. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of The Indian Trumpet. All efforts have been made while compiling the content of the magazine but we assume no responsibility for the effects arising there from. We take no responsibility of the availability of the products mentioned in the various sections of the magazine. Reprints as a whole or in part can be done only with written permission from The Indian Trumpet quoting “The Indian Trumpet magazine” for texts and pictorial material. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor. No responsibility can be taken for the loss of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Contacts: Purva Grover, founder & editor theindiantrumpet.com All queries to be addressed to theindiantrumpet@gmail.com The Indian Trumpet Magazine is released six times a year. It is available to the readers absolutely free of cost on the portal theindiantrumpet.com.

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Here’s to many more birthdays, memories and creative works. Till we meet next, happy tooting.

Purva founder & editor editor@theindiantrumpet.com


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two cheers! theindiantrumpet.com


6 TRUMPET FOLLOWERS

I belong to Delhi so you can imagine the excitement with which I flipped through your Dilli special edition. My most favourite reads in the edition were: Tu Janta Nahi Mera Baap Kaun Hai, the piece that carried a fun discussion over Delhi residents vs. NCR residents and of course the Bollywood piece! I really enjoyed the latter, it was fascinating to learn that Delhi has emerged as the new Bollywood. Thanks. Aakriti Thakur, Dubai ............................................................... To Trumpet, Your piece on Delhi street foods called Dilli Ka Zaika was mouth-watering! Just looking at the pictures I felt transported to the streets of Delhi where one can eat a platfeul of delicacies for just a meagre amount. I am a huge fan of all things spicy and so I enjoyed the way you described each food item from Aloo Chaat to Chana Kulcha! I am now craving for a trip back home, simply to eat all the food that you showed us in the story. Vikram, Dubai ...............................................................

18200+

likes on Facebook, facebook.com/TheIndianTrumpet

Your piece on the Auto-wallah Bhaiyas brought a smile to my face! They are such a pain, yet the city can’t run without them. I have had some healthy and some nasty arguments with these Bhaiyas. It is funny how they act like Kings of the road and take pleasure out of making us bargain and beg for a ride. Yet, overall, I have always enjoyed these auto-rides! Thanks for the piece. Sneha, India ...............................................................

This is your space. We’d love to know what you have to say about the magazine. Drop us a line at: theindiantrumpet@gmail.com

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How many stories can merely three words generate? Many, it seems! In our second birthday special edition, we opened up the pages to anyone & everyone from DUBAI who had a story to share. The criterion being that the tale they wished to narrate should revolve around the words: Colour. Culture. Chaos. Our inbox got flooded with poems, short stories, paintings, sculptures, etc. & we created a rich edition! Hope you enjoy the lovely narrations by our special DUBAI contributors.


Indian the

a bi-monthly e-magazine for NRIs

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AN E-MAGAZINE THAT CAPTURES THE COLOUR, CULTURE AND CHAOS OF INDIA THAT NRIs CRAVE AND MISS, ONCE EVERY TWO MONTHS

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colour

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culture

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DAY & NIGHT An artwork that highlights the beauty of the day & the night, and of the dark & the light. THE CULTURE IN MUSIC The sound of Indian music is replete with interesting tales of culture.

chaos

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CHAOS From the battlefield.

colour, culture, chaos

8 FOLLOW THE NOISE

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I AM AN INDIAN The human figure in a yoga posture reflects the quintessential definition of being an Indian.

colour

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COLOUR OF LIFE An artist & poet wonders what her favourite colour is.

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chaos

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CHARISMA IN THE CHAOS Just like there’s method in madness there is charisma in chaos! We bring to you snapshots of a few typical situations & events from the lives & livings in both India and Pakistan. Indulge in this chaotic & cultural charm.

culture

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A TIMELESS MELODY Solace in colours: Awash with shades of bright hues and a mysterious layers of textures, an artwork that exudes love, beauty and tranquillity.

colour

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colour, culture

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KALEIDOSCOPE OF FLAVOURS Indian cuisine is one that can be defined in colours & flavours: Courtesy, the gorgeous range of spices and herbs that go into making each dish an aromatic and beautiful masterpiece! Here’s a look at few of the kitchen gems.

culture

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I HEAR INDIA SINGING The sounds from India.

colour

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MY JOYFUL SOUL Colours, sounds and words influence our mind, heart, health & desire: An artwork, which is a blend of all three.

chaos

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ALEXANDRIAN CHAOS The chaos that continues to fascinate the creative soul.

culture

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FAMILIAR FENCES A depiction of the lives of Indian & Pakistani expats who have forgiven the past & moved on.

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9 FOLLOW THE NOISE

THE COLOUR OF MUSIC Why shouldn’t sounds have colours? Wouldn’t it be beautiful if you could play a chord and see a rainbow? Even if you made it up in your head, what was wrong with pretend?


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MIRAGES OF THE DESERT How does one capture the essence of a mirage? Yes, yes the imaginary pool of water that shines out in the vast expanse of the desert when you are thirsty, lost and your compass sort of gives up on you. Aladdin always saw it as an oasis with lush green trees.

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colour, chaos

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ABSENCE OF COLOUR Black, the absence of colour: It can be as chaotic as the colours in the spectrum.

colour, culture, chaos

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CLASSIC MUMBAI Look closely and you’ll fall in love with the colour, culture and chaos of the ‘classic’ Bombay, now Mumbai.

colour

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MY COLOUR SONG The hues that define India.

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13 COLOUR/CULTURE/CHAOS words & artwork SREE LAKSHMI

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DAY &

MIXED MEDIA

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PATTERN ART THE ARTWORK HIGHLIGHTS THE BEAUTY OF THE DAY & THE NIGHT, AND OF THE DARK & THE LIGHT. IT CONVEYS THE MESSAGE THAT IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT TIME THE HANDS OF THE CLOCK SHOW, NATURE HOLDS ITS OWN BEAUTY. MOTHER NATURE IS AS CHARISMATIC IN LIGHT AS IN DARKNESS. IT IS OUR PERSPECTIVE THAT VARIES.

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NIGHT

THE USE OF BLACK & WHITE GIVES THE ARTIST THE FREEDOM TO DEPICT A STRONG CONTRAST. Sree Lakshmi is a Dubai-based artist, illustrator, art graphic designer; and creative events executive for W2W Events and PR Company. Sketching is an integral part of her life and her mind is always at work, hunting for new ideas. Most of her inspirations for her artworks come from Tim Burton’s movies and sketches.

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“I sleep on my canvas eating pastels and drinking acrylics, in the house made of charcoal & chalk,” says Sree Lakshmi, “There isn’t a single day that I don’t scribble something, I’m a self-taught artist and my art style is a mix of gothic, tribal grunge, comic and pattern art. I mostly do mix media art where I combine paperworks with digital softwares, enhancing the piece and also lending it a dynamic look.”


culture in

music theindiantrumpet.com

words SABIN MUZAFFAR images FABIEN AGON, HOLMES PALACIOS, JASLEEN KAUR, STEVE FREEMAN & VMULKY

Image courtesy: flic.kr/p/eoqXsD

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the


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A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator (usually a tube), in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into (or over) a mouthpiece set at the end of the resonator. theindiantrumpet.com


Image courtesy: flic.kr/p/epnc5C

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T

(Facing Page) A brass instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by sympathetic vibration of air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player’s lips. (Top) Vaja (Harmonium), a western instrument adapted to North Indian classical music. It’s often used in Gurbani Keertan (Sikh Religious Music). (Below) A vinatge microphone.

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he sound of Indian music is replete with colourful stories of culture and chaos. It is a language as potent as it is resplendent, echoing harmoniously the country’s diversity. Be it the sonorous sounds of maestro Ravi Shankar’s sitar or mellifluous voice of the lilting Lata, Indian music is indeed manna for the soul that unwittingly leaves one yearning for more. Music of the sub-continent and specifically India is one that is steeped in history, and religion. It is a binding force that culturally brings people from all sections of society closer together. Intertwined with an array of religions, Indian music has traditionally illustrated an individual’s spiritual aspirations. According to one encyclopaedia of religions: “Sound in its infinite varieties is of crucial importance to Indian religious thought. The universe itself is constituted of and by sound, and the omnipresence of sound envelops daily life. Hearing and listening to sound, therefore, are required of the individual to negotiate a path through life. Accordingly, the ontology of music depends on the physical perception of sound as a means of contemplation and worship. In Hinduism, the primacy of hearing and listening for devotion is clearly evident in the term given to the foundational sacred scriptures, śruti (literally, “something that is heard”), which also refers to the fine divisions of pitch in Indian melodic modes, or rāgas.”

In a similar manner, Indian Sufism – which was essentially inspired by Rumi’s swirling dervishes – was a melodic depiction of ardent devotion. Mysticism inspired ritualistic chants of the Gitanjali as well as hymns and qawalis born in the Chisti school of Sufism (and even before), with imminent follower Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya interspersing prayers with dulcet lyricism. Another Sufi poet, musician, politician and philosopher belonging to 13th century India, Amir Khusro created tuneful fusions from Turkish, Persian and Indian music, introducing uniquely harmonious reverberations to the world. (Top) Image courtesy: flic.kr/p/7vMX3y (Below) Image courtesy: flic.kr/p/oNspeo

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(Below): Tabla is a membranophone percussion instrument, used in Hindustani classical music and in the traditional music of India. (Facing page): Monoj Kumar Sardar was born in 1947 into a family of musical instrument makers going back four generations. His instruments are played and appreciated both in India and abroad, here we see one such instrument: Sitar, a plucked stringed instrument used mainly in Hindustani music and Indian classical music.

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Contemporary or modern Indian music has witnessed numerous transformations, with fusion becoming a buzzword in recent times. Heavily influenced by Jazz and Rock, music maestros in India have been experimenting with titillating blends of Western melodies and sounds.

(Above) Image courtesy: flic.kr/p/ANtrx (Facing Page) Image courtesy: flic.kr/p/7Hr3nj theindiantrumpet.com


A subgenre of Hindustani melody, is the age-old saccharine sounds of Carnatic music. The South Indian melody was stylistically different altogether when compared to the North’s Persian and Sufi inspired music. According to hinduonline.co: “The present form of Carnatic music is based on historical developments that can be traced to the 15th-16th centuries AD and thereafter. From the ancient Sanskrit works available, and the epigraphical evidence, the history of classical musical traditions can be traced back about 2,500 years. “Carnatic” in Sanskrit means “soothing to ears”. Carnatic music is completely melodic music, with improvised variations.

Contemporary or modern Indian music has witnessed numerous transformations, with fusion becoming a buzzword in recent times. Heavily influenced by Jazz and Rock, music maestros in India have been experimenting with titillating blends of Western melodies and sounds. According to an article on Indian fusion music: “Indian

The more mainstream popular music finds a vociferous voice emerging from one of India’s biggest industries – the silver screen. Heavily supported by music that makes up about 72 per cent of music sales in the country, the film industry takes its inspiration from both classical and contemporary music. Showcasing this diverse array of soulful sounds, vibrant voices and mellifluous music, it is in fact the Indian cinema that’s encapsulated a wealth of tunes, showcasing the harmonic Eldorado India has to offer. From Baray Ghulam Ali’s rhythmic expression of adulating love in K Asif’s sweeping epic Mughal-e-Azam, the euphonious songs by genius R.D Burman in the Indian ‘Western’ – Ramesh Sippy’s adventure, cult classic Sholay, to the orchestral rhapsodies of A.R Rehman – all have contributed to recalibrate the universal language of love, peace and harmony, while at the same time celebrating this constant companion of man.

Executive Editor Ananke (anankemag.com), Sabin Muzaffar embarked upon her professional career some 18 years ago. She is currently contributing to major publications in the UAE including daily Gulf News. A reluctant feminist, women empowerment through digital media is one of the many topics close to her heart. Addicted to the silver screen, she spends all her free time watching old Bollywood and Hollywood movies. theindiantrumpet.com

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The main emphasis is on vocal music; most compositions are written to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are meant to be performed in a singing style (known as gāyaki). And then there is the rich, exuberantly chaotic folk music that symphonically represents the joys and hardships of rural life. While the Punjabi Bhangra unveils the triumphant vibe relished in desi weddings and festivals, the cacophonic Gujrati dandiya retraces memories of Raas and celebrates the mighty Durga with its ‘sword dance.’

fusion music came into being with rock and roll fusions with Indian music in the 1960s and 1970s. But it was limited to Europe and North America. For some time the stage of Indian fusion music was taken by Pt Ravi Shankar, the sitar maestro. Pt Ravi Shankar began fusing jazz with Indian traditions along with Bud Shank, a jazz musician. Soon the trend was imitated by many popular European and American music exponents. In the year 1965, George Harrison played the song, “Norwegian wood” on the Sitar.”


The

Indian Trumpet Loud, louder, loudest... Let's make some noise! We'd love to hear from you. Write in to us with your suggestions at

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Chaos words CHANTEL MARSHALL

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Mourn with me, My Brothers The King is dead Taken roughly by cruel hands Snuffed out like a shooting Star Despair with me, My Brothers Chaos rides to meet us Bent on Death and destruction Foul beasts driven by blood lust Stand with me, My Brothers On the Hill run red with blood Death strewn like fallen leaves upon the ground Desperate cries swirling around us Die with me, My Brothers Vanquished swords held to still chests No Glory feast awaits us Evil has over run us Making way for Chaos to roar his dominance over us.

Chantel Marshall, a South African, has been with her family in Dubai for the past 12 years. A self-confessed book worm, she is the most comfortable when surrounded by a really good book. She is currently an active member of the Dubai Writers’ Group where she contributes both in terms of writing as well as critiquing the works of fellow writers. To pursue her passion of writing further, she took part in a Creative Writing Course with Charlotte Smith at DUCTAC, Dubai.

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COLOUR

AND CULTUR IN A STATE OF I AM ALL OF THIS.

I AM AN I

INDI THE HUMAN FIGURE IN A YOGA POSTURE REFLECTS

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BEAUTIFUL CHAOS

INDIAN!

IAN. THE QUINTESSENTIAL DEFINITION OF BEING AN

scuplture creation & words LITA MATHEWS

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RE


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t takes a while to find a medium that speaks the language of the artist in her words. For self-taught artist, Lita Mathews, that medium is clay, one that she discovered as she pursued her other loves: jewellery making, sculpting & painting. As for inspirations, she has a long list of loves: From Indian art to Yemeni jewellery and Arabic calligraphy to Far-Eastern culture. Interestingly, the terracotta tradition, a proud heritage from ancient India and contemporary art forms, are her other strong inspirations. No wonder, she created a sculpture representing all the three words of our theme: Colour, Culture and Chaos. The sculpture made in clay, refurbished with paper, yarn and acrylics, is finished with a varnish. Its base width stands at 15 cm and height at 19 cm.

Lita Mathews loves to wear many hats as it allows her to pursue her varied interests other than art like textile designing, interior decoration, photography and animal welfare. She’s been living in Dubai with her spouse since 2009 and during this course of time she’s held regular exhibitions of her handmade artifacts, reflecting her interests in antiques, architecture, fashion and diverse cultures. She is also keen on spreading the message of ‘Go Green’! Follow her: litart.biz or friend her: facebook.com/LitartClayCreations.

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COLOUR OF LIFE

words RITU DUA

I sat down to think, Which one is my favourite colour? I looked at the jar full of crayons & peeped into my box of paints. I closed my eyes. Orange of marigolds, sunrise or tangerines. Blue of skies or turquoise of the oceans. Fresh greens of fields or deeper hues of the olives. Cheerful yellow of lemons or softer luminousness of daffodils. Perfect pink of lotuses or purer shade of newborn’s cheeks. Brown of hot melting chocolate or earthy terracotta. Red of a ripe tomato or of a beating heart. Indigo of the deep midnight sky or the mysterious violet. White of an angel’s wings or that of a flawless pearl. Shades of a rainbow or wings of butterflies. And then a flash of a blissful smile made me realise. It is the colour of life that I adore the most.

Ritu Dua, a banker and teacher, now focusses on what she enjoys most: art. Self-taught, her forte is mixed media. Besides her charity exhibitions, she’s worked with an NGO, shown underprivileged children how to turn recyclables into art, and volunteers at Dubai’s Al Noor School. She also celebrates all things delicious at beneathmyheartart.blogspot.

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Red of a ripe tomato or of a beating heart.

White of an angel’s wings or that of a flawless pearl.

Cheerful yellow of lemons or softer luminousness of daffodils.

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CRI

CHARISMA IN THE CHAOS

The unnoticed treasure

JUST LIKE THERE’S METHOD IN MADNESS THERE IS CHARISMA IN CHAOS! WE BRING TO YOU SNAPSHOTS OF A FEW TYPICAL SITUATIONS & EVENTS FROM THE LIVES & LIVINGS IN BOTH INDIA AND PAKISTAN. INDULGE IN THIS CHAOTIC & CULTURAL CHARM. words SABIN MUZAFFAR images AJIT KORE, DR EG, IAN D. KEATING & MARK RAMSAY

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ICKET

Image courtesy: Ajit Kore

35 COLOUR/CULTURE/CHAOS A PANDEMONIUM BREAKS LOOSE OUT ON THE STREETS, INSIDE THE DECREPIT DHABBAS, WITH NERVOUS LAUGHTER AND SHUFFLING FEET. BUZZING VOICES INSIDE THE HOUSES, CROWDED CAFES WITH ROADS DESERTED. LITTLE BOYS TO GROWN MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN WONDROUS EXCITEMENT, LAUGHING AND CHEERING FOR A DREAM, REFLECTING ADULATION FOR THEIR CRICKET TEAM.

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RAILWAY STATION IN COMES THE TRAIN, CHUGGING DOWN THE RAIL. HUFFING AND PUFFING, EARNEST MEN IN RED, KIDS CRYING, MUMS DECRYING – SUCH RUCKUS, COMMOTION, ITS BEDLAM IN MOTION! AND AS IT CAME – ALL CHAOS AND SEEMING DISARRAY, FALLS SILENT, AS THE TRAIN FADES AWAY!

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GRADU


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Image courtesy: Mark Ramsay (flic.kr/p/fUWhNi) Changes made: Converted into a B/W image

BRIGHT AND SUNNY, CRISP IS THE MORNING, EBONY ATTIRED CELEBRATING THE MOMENT! EUPHORIC MURMUR, CACOPHONIC NOISES, CHEERY DRONE OF YOUTHFUL VOICES. THE DAY HAS ARRIVED TO STEP OUTSIDE – EXPLORING THE WORLD, FULFILLING DREAMS. BIDDING ADIEU TO ALMA MATER, ENTERING NEW REALM TO MAKE ONESELF MATTER!

Image courtesy: Dr EG (flic.kr/p/7RSJit)

UATION

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THE STAGE IS SET IN HUES OF GOLD, FLUSHED PINKS AND REDOLENT ROSE. PATTERING FEET, REGALIA SASHAYING MERRILY AS IF DRYADS DANCING UNDER THE SCINTILLATING SUN. TEARS OF JOY, AMIDST LAUGHTER, MERRIMENT AND WISTFUL SIGHS. LO! HERE COMES THE BLUSHING BRIDE.

WEDDING theindiantrumpet.com


Image courtesy: Ian D. Keating (flic.kr/p/qgNsUP)

SCINTILLATING RAYS OF THE SCORCHING SUN, DRIVING IN HEAT, CARS ON TORPID RUN, INDEED IT’S LESS THAN FUN! BUMPER TO BUMPER, TEMPERS FLY, ENDLESS STREETS, TIME SELDOM GOES BY!

Executive Editor Ananke (anankemag.com), Sabin Muzaffar embarked upon her professional career some 18 years ago. She is currently contributing to major publications in the UAE including daily Gulf News. A reluctant feminist, women empowerment through digital media is one of the many topics close to her heart. Addicted to the silver screen, she spends all her free time watching old Bollywood and Hollywood movies.

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TRAFFIC JAM


MELODY words & artwork RITU DUA

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a timeless


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solace in co


{ } Nostalgic blues, romantic pinks, happy yellows, fresh greens and luscious reds. Each of the hues in dialogue with one another: Together, creating a timeless melody.

Solace in Colours: Mixed Media on canvas, size: 30cm x 23cm.

Ritu Dua, a banker and teacher, now focusses on what she enjoys most: art. Self-taught, her forte is mixed media. Besides her charity exhibitions, she’s worked with an NGO, shown underprivileged children how to turn recyclables into art, and volunteers at Dubai’s Al Noor School. She also celebrates all things delicious at beneathmyheartart.blogspot.

olours

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“Colours purify my heart and the brush strokes follow the commands of my heartbeats, I thus find Solace in Colours,” says artist Ritu Dua, “When I paint, I let my instinct guide me. Awash with shades of bright hues and mysterious layers of textures this piece exudes love, beauty and tranquillity. I see Buddha in this.” This artwork carries the fragrance of a thousand lotuses. “I intend to grow, every day, just like these flowers. Exploring each petal of my life, gradually: Taking in time to absorb the beauty, staying still and at ease, aspiring with a pure heart, blooming beautifully and bowing my head to express gratitude at each step.”


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colour of

music words HEIDI FROST

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Every time I told Abby my music wasn’t blue, she always said the same thing: “Well, it looks blue.” She would pull my sheet music off the stand down to the floor, trace the notes with her crayola fingers, and say, “See? This part’s blue.” “You can’t even read music!” I would reply, snatching the papers back. “Can too!” was usually followed by, “Then what note’s that?” and the argument would eventually end with, “Mom! Ginny called me stupid!” Once, Abby managed to get my violin case off my desk, open it, and hide my violin in her room. She then spent two hours trying to colour the strings with markers, coloured pencils, crayons, and even a ballpoint pen. I didn’t speak to her for a week. “She’s just a baby,” Mom had said then. “No she’s not! She’s six years old!” But parents are like that I guess. Another time, my parents finally agreed to take me and some friends to a big folk music festival an hour away, and Abby just had to come too. She sat in the front seat of Dad’s car messing up the radio, while my two friends and I pretended Dad and Abby weren’t there. We were doing a pretty good job too, until it started to rain. We were worried the festival would be cancelled, or worse, postponed until next weekend when we had band practice. My friend Sarah was even coming up with some good excuses to get us out of band when Abby decided the situation wasn’t bad enough as it was. “See, Ginny? Rain’s green!” “Green?” Sarah said. “Rain’s blue, like water!” “Nu-uh.” Abby turned around in her seat to shake her dirt-brown hair at us. “It’s green, like a bubble gum popping.” My friends laughed. I started scheming a brilliant plan to get Abby left behind at the festival. Luckily, once we got there, it was easier to ignore she existed and enjoy the festival than to actually shove her into an orchestra pit. The Christmas after I started high school, my parents did the unthinkable, and dragged us away to a rented mountain house for the entire break, and Abby and I were stuck with no one to play with but each other. And the only WiFi was in town. Cut off from real people! It was worse than dying, and in order to somehow survive the torture of only family, I brought every book I could convince my parents to pack into the car. Every day for two weeks she nagged me to play with her. Only at my most magnanimous and charitable did I give in to her, pretending I was a Greek slave and my only hope of freedom was to entertain the dangerous roman senator’s spoiled daughter. But only twice. Mostly I barricaded myself behind books, music, and writing long treatises on the inherent power imbalance between parents and children to post later on tumblr.


BROWN LEAVES

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Without anyone to read them right that second, I started to feel more and more inside the world of my books, and cut off from the real world. In books, I could be anybody. Points of view opened up to me that I’d never even considered. I could understand crooks, pirates, abusive parents, even schoolyard bullies. I could even understand boys. But I still could not stand my little sister. “Ginneee,” she said one day when mom and dad had left us to our own devices to go pottery shopping. “I want to go see the waterfall!” I turned the volume up and put my other headphone in my ear. Today I was Bilbo Baggins and I theindiantrumpet.com

appreciated the comforts of a fireplace and central heating and blankets. “We’re not supposed to go on the trail without Mom or Dad. Go colour.” “I coloured! I wanna go see the waterfall!” She pulled the headphone jack out of my phone. “Abby! Don’t touch that, that’s mine!” I shoved the jack back in, but now Abby had my book. “Abigail, you give that back right now!” I tried to grab it back, but she darted away. Abby ran around the coffee table to the kitchenette to hide behind the island. Furious, I tried dashing around the island to catch her, but she went around


Rain

IS GREEN!

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the other way and back out to the open space of the main room. “Abby!” She hid behind the couch next, but I knew that trick. Pretending to go over the top of the couch, I lunged to the right as she tried to make for the bedrooms. She squealed as I pulled her over the arm and onto the seat. “You’re hurting me!” she said. I pried the book out of her fingers, dropped her arm, and plopped back on the couch, ignoring her now that I had my book. Abby slid onto the floor and rested her head on the couch, doing her impression of a begging cat. “Please, Ginny?”

“Mom and Dad said no,” I said without looking up. I couldn’t read with her looking at me like that, but I could pretend. Why didn’t she ever have fun by herself? All she wanted to play was princesses, and how boring was that. “Please, Ginny?” She put her hands flat on the couch, just beneath her chin. “The waterfall’s only five minutes away.” “It’s like fifteen. And Mom and Dad said no.” “I can walk, I won’t get tired.” “It’s freezing out. Now go colour. I’m reading.” Abby tried crying, but that only worked on Mom. Finally defeated, she went to her room and slammed the door. I hated when she tried to make me feel guilty. It was so manipulative. Abby was going to be one of those popular girls with a soap opera boyfriend, I was sure of it. Not a deep thought in her head. What was even in her head? Why was she always making things up that weren’t even interesting? I had just gotten to the part where Bilbo names Sting when I noticed Abby hadn’t come back to try again. It had been almost half an hour. She never stayed in her room for that long, had she gotten out without me knowing? Taking my headphones out in the middle of the Red Clay Ramblers, I strained my ears for her. “Abby?” No response. “Abby? Don’t make me come in there!” Silence. Cursing myself, I dropped my book on the coffee table, crossed to her door, and shoved it in. Damn! No Abby, and her window was open. Kicking aside her dolls, I dashed to the window and stuck my head out. The porch went all the way around the house, and every window opened onto it, so I didn’t expect to see anything, but I didn’t know what else to do. “Abby!” She had gone to the waterfall on her own, dammit! I yanked on my sneakers as I hopped out the front door, then took off running. Down the steps, around the back of the porch – there – the trailhead was there, by the


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cedar tree and the potato-shaped rock. The ground crunched under my feet, almost frozen, but not iced over. “Abby, you are in so much trouble!” I yelled as I dashed down the trail, but I was the one that would be in trouble. Mom and Dad were going to kill me. The brown leaves from fall crinkled and swished under my shoes until I got to the blonde wood planks of the footbridge. I called her name again, stopping at the poplar trees by the fork to look for footprints in the exposed clay, but it was rock-solid. The cold started to get through my sweater, and I wondered what would happen if I slipped and fell and broke my back. Would she even save me? But if I went back inside and she was still out here, I’d never be allowed to have the internet ever again. Down the trail to the rockier, steeper path, my breath began pulling at my throat. Heat pulsed in my numbing hands. I had to slow down to navigate the purple rock edges over the clay-red mud. That’s when I heard the waterfall. Usually I heard it before then, but I hadn’t run this much since band practice, and most of what I heard was the red thumping of my blood and wet vibrato of my breath. “Abby!” I called again. Down here the leaves between the rocks were damp, and instead of crinkling, they mushed out reddish water when I stepped on them. Maybe it was warmer down here. I wasn’t close enough to the waterfall for mist yet. Its bass thrumming was still a rippling feeling, not the cymbal-strikes it would be when I got around the bluff. I stopped calling her name since she wouldn’t hear me anyway. Around the burnt orange bluff, the waterfall knifed its way into the Appalachian rocks. It wasn’t very tall. Maybe three times my height. And I had heard louder. But where was Abby? I hadn’t expected her to hide from me – she just wanted to see the falls. The trail widened and came to an end at the stream under the waterfall. There was nothing behind the fall, and while I knew Abby was dumb, there was no way she would have climbed to the opposite bank. Covering my ears, I slowed to a walk and tried to catch my breath. Where was Abby? This was her favourite spot. She had said she wanted to come here. She always sat on that speck of mountain right there and stared and stared at what she called the coral fall. It didn’t look coral to me. The clay was a pretty dark red, and the rocks were either grey or purple. Where did that girl get to? Had I passed her on the trail? I kicked Abby’s sitting rock with my untied sneaker and cursed as purple and green sunspots flashed in front of my eyes. Pain was colourful. Abby would say I had picked the wrong colours. Stupid Abby, stupid waterfalls, and stupid, stupid rocks! Hopping on my good foot, I almost took my hands away from my ears, but flopped down to sit on the rock instead. Why was she so interested in this waterfall, anyway? It was noisy, and as much as she loved music, her ears were more sensitive than mine – and this was a rocking racket. Why would she call it coral? The rocks didn’t look like reefs. Water in coral made bubbling, wood-xylophone sounds, not this chorus of percussion and wind. Maybe she meant choral? The way she always went on about colours, I rather doubted it. I stared at the foam under the fall and at the mist wafting away. What did Abby see? What made this waterfall so special? Had I missed

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I kicked Abby’s sitting rock with my untied sneaker and cursed as purple and green sunspots flashed in front of my eyes. Pain was colourful. Abby would say I had picked the wrong colours.


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Heidi Frost is a science fiction and fantasy writer who has a minor obsession with colours and synaesthesia. The fact that colours cannot be easily described has long fueled her stories, world-building, and (much to the annoyance of her friends) conversations. Her writing can be found in magazines such as We Are Here, her reviews on Book Walrus, and she herself at the Dubai Writers’ Group meetings most every Saturday. theindiantrumpet.com


{

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{

And why shouldn’t sounds have colours? Wouldn’t it be beautiful if you could play a chord and see a rainbow? Even if you made it up in your head, what was wrong with pretend?

something? How did six-year-olds see the world? Why was she always trying to share it with me? I was just her annoying big sister. No one wanted to show their sister what they liked best about something. Only sometimes in books. If this were a book, and she were the protagonist, what was supposed to happen next? I sighed and let my fingers sink into the hair behind my ears. My thoughts really seemed to matter to her, though why was a big mystery to me. I stared into the waterfall’s cloud of curling vapour. It was pretty, I had to give Abby that. Water always looked like what music felt like, good music anyway. The best music always had the most wonderful flow. And why shouldn’t sounds have colours? Wouldn’t it be beautiful if you could play a chord and see a rainbow? Even if you made it up in your head, what was wrong with pretend? I’d never admit it to Abby or my parents, but I was jealous. I wanted to live in a world of magic and fairies and hidden worlds in cupboards. She just wanted to live in one where it was colourful. Well, Abby wasn’t here. Either I had missed her on the trail or she was hiding from me to play a game. Let her hide. I had tried to look for her, my parents couldn’t fault me for that. I was getting cold. The ground wasn’t frozen here, but the waterfall made it colder. Back at the mountain house I could call Dad’s cell phone. I stood, turned away from the waterfall, let my hands drop from my ears, and that was when I heard it. It was coral. That pink, orangey colour you read describing ugly sweaters in catalogues. The colour of those mottled apples you could get on the way up to the mountains. The prickly, solid feeling of a pumice stone in your hand. The way a bass drum sounded. Coral! I whipped back around to stare at the falls. No, it still looked blue-grey and white. But there it was, right in my eyes, coral! “Abby?” My voice brushed my skin with soft, feathery chartreuse wisps. What had Abby done? “Abby!” This time it was a greener, tapping finger. I had to find Abby – Abby would know what was happening, Abby would understand! I turned and ran. Under my sneakers, the leaves squished out rusty trickles and the rocks drummed out a pianissimo sepia. My breath whooshed an amber cloud as I climbed the steep part of the clay trail. I looked everywhere along the dry trail for Abby, but all I saw was the crisp iodine of the ground crunching under my sneakers. “Abby!” I called again to drown out the violet smacks of the footbridge. What had Abby done? Or had I done it? Was I imagining this? It looked so real. Then I reached the trailhead, and I pulled up short. Golden yellow blotches passed in front of my eyes as my sneakers skidded on the leaves. “Ginny?” Abby said, her voice a cyan little breeze. She stood right by the cedar tree, her shoes unbuckled. I blinked and asked the only question I could think of. “Where were you?” Fir-tree green tapped my sternum. “Colouring,” she said in a sulky turquoise. She held out a piece of my sheet music, all the notes coloured over with crayon. “Where were you?” A stupid grin stretched my face. I’d finally done it. Or she had. I didn’t know, but this was her fantasy and I was seeing it. “I went to the waterfall.”


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e p o c s o d i e ! l s r u a o k flav f o

INDIAN CUISINE IS ONE THAT CAN BE DEFINED IN COLOURS & FLAVOURS: COURTESY, THE GORGEOUS RANGE OF SPICES AND HERBS THAT GO INTO MAKING EACH DISH AN AROMATIC AND BEAUTIFUL MASTERPIECE! HERE’S A LOOK AT FEW OF THE KITCHEN GEMS. words CHEF CHANDRACHUR (SIGNATURE BY SANJEEV KAPOOR, MELIÁ HOTEL, DUBAI)

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r e g ig n A staple spice in Indian cuisine. Interestingly, other than adding flavour to our meals it also holds medicinal value: Improves blood circulation, reduces motion sickness and nausea, lessens tummy aches & pain & more.

s e v lc o

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Cloves form a very important part of the several dry masala powders that are used in Indian cooking such as Garam Masala (Blend of ground spices). They are used both as a whole in several curries and also along with other whole spices in a fried form. Cloves are the unopened flower buds of the evergreen clove tree: When handpicked, they are pink in colour & then are dried till they turn dark brown. A perfect winter spice, it aids digestion and acts as an antibiotic.


l i s ba

This one is like a perfume for me! I love its aroma, especially when used to create Basil Hammour Tikka. A flavour enhancer, basil also acts as a body coolant hence it’s advisable to consume this herb in the summer.

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c i l r ga Part of the allium family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most indispensable ingredients around, and plays a central role in Indian cooking. It’s used in different forms like dried, fresh, roasted and pickled. It acts as an antioxidant.

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n o m a n cin

Cinnamon is one of the strongest spices in terms of aroma and flavour. It is the key ingredient in making Garam Masala. It’s also used in making Indian sweet pickles and jams. Apart from that it is used in making the famous Indian beverage, Masala Chai (tea).

n r o c r e p ep p

Ancient communities used peppercorn as a currency to buy and sell goods! Boasting strong flavour, it is used both as a whole and powder in Indian cooking. There is nothing better than the aroma of freshly grounded peppercorn.

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n o r f f a s 59 COLOUR/CULTURE/CHAOS Saffron is best known for its aroma, the stigmas are also used to make medicine. I believe that anyone can recognise it just by smelling it. It is used to cure asthma, cough & whooping cough. It’s known as the ‘king’ spice in Indian cuisine, no spice can beat its flavour.

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i l l i h c

Chilli is the ‘power punch’ in Indian cooking, however I use it as little as possible because once you taste the chilli you are less likely to recognise other flavours. Chilli is a rich source of Vitamin C.

s d e e s l e n ef n

A cooling agent & a mouth freshener. A lot of people like to consume fennel post-meals because it aids in digestion.

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d n i r a m ta 61 COLOUR/CULTURE/CHAOS If you wish to taste tamarind you don’t really have to eat it, all you need to do is say the word, tamarind, and you’d be able to feel its tanginess! A source of vitamins, it is also an anti-aging food.

Chef Chandrachur hails from Dehradun and has worked in some of the prestigious kitchens like those of Lalit Ashok, Ananda Himalayas & more. His journey to explore food has brought him to Dubai where he works as a specialty chef at the restaurant, Signature By Sanjeev Kapoor, Meliá Hotel. He is backed by a Diploma in Cookery and Hospitality Studies from the Indian Institute of Hotel Management, Dehradun. Know more about the restaurant here: facebook.com/MeliaDubai

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I hear

INDIA singing! words BINDIYA FARSWANI

I hear India singing varied melodies,

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The rickshaw-wala, singing his hymns as he sounds his horn and weaves his path through the traffic, The dibba-wala, humming while walking and holding various tiffin boxes that are filled with finger-licking Indian food, The chaat-wala singing his own tune while making yummy pungent Indian chaat, The lyrical singing of the Indian wife churning the Indian spices up on the terrace, The melodious lullabies from the mother putting her child to sleep beside her, as she collects money from the people that pass by on the streets, The priest singing his tune to please his lord, the peacocks dancing to the melody of the breeze and rain, and the cows rejoicing in the harmony of it all. I hear each one singing the songs of their lives. I hear India singing.

Bindiya Farswani is driven by wanderlust and ‘Carpe Diem’ (‘Seize the day’). Of Indian origin, but raised in Dubai, she’s optimistic, philosophical, creative and adventurous. Having cerebral palsy, she attended Dubai Center for Special Needs School, pursuing further education to match her excelling capabilities via a home schooling program from Keystone National High School, USA. She believes words can’t express the magnificence of her charismatic persona and unique, kaleidoscopic life.

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MY JOYFUL SOUL artwork & words ANNA MAHARANI

Chakras. Fire. Water. Angel wings. Love. These are some of the words that Anna Maharani uses to describe her artwork titled, My Joyful Soul (facing page). “Colours, sounds and words influence our mind, heart, health & desire. In this artwork, I’ve blended all three,” she says, “The visions for most of my creations come to me as I meditate in the sacred places in the Himalayas and the Buddhist monasteries in Nepal and China.” She goes on to describe the elements used to create the painting. Mantras: Asians use mantras (‘words of power’ in Sanskrit) to harmonise their body, soul and mind. “For me, the Mantras reflect different energies,” she says. Yantras: An ancient form of art, Yantras, which appeared around the year 3000 BC, are considered to be a code of divine wisdom and universal love. “Their colours, geometrical forms and style aid in reaching the highest level of concentration during meditation,” she says. Feng Shui: A Chinese philosophical system of harmonising everyone with the surrounding environment, Feng Shui symbols enhance the energy of abundance and divine blessings. “This piece is dedicated to a Yantra and accompanied by a Mantra, alongside the use of a potpourri of colours and a medley of cultural influences. The painting carries with it the healing energies of all the elements,” she adds.

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67 COLOUR/CULTURE/CHAOS She’s acted in French movies and her works have been on display in French galleries. Having spent five years in Paris studying art, painting and acting, Ukraine-born Anna Maharani now lives in Dubai and divides her time between painting and healing. Her paintings draw influence from her travels to Asian countries - India, China and Nepal in particular - and carry a deep positive symbolic meaning. Trained in the ancient Chinese self-healing spiritual practice, she also conducts meditation and Qigong classes, helping people in the process of healing and finding their physical, mental and emotional balance. She is backed by a Masters Degree in Philology and lives by the words: Success lies in courage.

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Seen above: A scene from the battle where Alexander the Great defeat

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words FOUAD KHAFAGA

ted The Persians

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ALEXANDRIAN CHAOS


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Seen above: Diogenes of Sinope & Alexander the Great

The city was built to reflect the greatness of Alexander himself; Alexandria was destined to embody the idea of culture diffusion!

Once upon a city there was chaos, Alexandrian chaos, rising from the depth of the ocean, claiming its geographical presence and intellectual resistance even to the God who created it. The city was built to reflect the greatness of Alexander himself; Alexandria was destined to embody the idea of culture diffusion, which is the spread of culture, culture traits, or a cultural pattern from a central point. Alexander went his way creating as many of these central points as he could because if the world adopted one culture as the mother culture there would be no clash of cultures – or so he thought. Yet, defying the great himself, the city became a

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cosmopolitan hub; to begin with, the port was left with Macedonian army soldiers by the Greeks, to influence the culture and establish native citizens who would become known as the fathers of the city. Alexandria was also home to the three Abrahamic religions at the same time. It was even considered the thirdmost important seat of Christianity in the world. The Pope of Alexandria was second only to the bishop of Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire until 430. The Church of Alexandria had jurisdiction over most of the continent of Africa. It was an important centre of the Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Hellenistic and Roman & Byzantine Egypt for almost 1,000 years. This is Alexandrian chaos.

Finally an Italian man who was obsessed with the French way of living and the French lifestyle decided to become the emperor of France himself. Napoleon, out of his belief in the French ways, was on a quest to unify the world under his French vision. During the French Revolutionary Wars in 1807, he fought against the British forces in Abu Kair. However, Alexandria resisted both the British and the French and fought back to remain independent. From the greatest Roman to the very living moment that she lives today, Alexandrian chaos has remained a source of inspiration to poets, writers, and artists in general. Bertrand Russell said that hatred is foolish and love is wise – we should have the tolerance and kindness of charity for one another, which are absolutely vital to the continuation of humanity on this planet. Alexandria is an embodiment of that thought; the idea of celebrating our differences and embracing our different colours, thoughts and views is an immortal one. Alexandrian chaos remains, when organised structures and rigid systems fade. The brightness of its colours brings joy to a grey painted life, as it did rising from the bottom of the sea to become one of the most important ports in the world and a witness on human civilisation. It doesn’t matter where we stand in history, or how strong the events, the Alexandrian chaos and the celebration of human thought stood like a lighthouse on the shores of history to guide future generations to safety.

Fouad Khafaga is a writer, public speaker and student of cognitive behaviour. He has shared his writings and lectures with various universities: Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT), Egypt and Istanbul University, Turkey, to name a few. He has been a keynote speaker at many local and global institutions too. He’s also had the honour of being part of the programs with the European Union and the United Nations; aimed at a humanitarian exchange of ideas between youth from different ethnicities and nations. You can follow him at his Twitter handle: @fouad_khafaga

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Another influence on Alexandria was the mystical goddess, Cleopatra. She and Julius Caesar , the man that wanted to be holier than the Roman Gods and wanted to outlast the empire itself, joined forces with a unified vision for Alexandria and the rest of the world with it. But yet again Alexandria emerged to become the cosmopolitan multicultural Mecca that she was intended to be – sending Julius czar home to Rome facing betrayal and a brutal end, and Cleopatra to face an even darker destiny.


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FAMILIAR

FENCES

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words MIR IMRAN HUSSAIN

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A FILMMAKER’S TRIBUTE TO PEOPLE LIVING IN HARMONY, OUTSIDE THEIR COUNTRY – IT IS ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE FORGIVEN THE PAST AND HAVE MOVED FORWARD. A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT INDIAN & PAKISTANI EXPATS WHO DON’T JUST LIVE LIFE BUT LIVE IT BEYOND BOUNDARIES.


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Poster of the documentary film, Beyond Boundaries

I

ndus valley civilization is one of the oldest civilizations on earth; people of this race have been invaded by almost every major power but surprisingly they have never invaded others. India and Pakistan inherit a major part of their genes from this civilization. For centuries they were one but following the Partition in 1947 two new countries were born – India and Pakistan, two distinct countries with one cultural heritage and many similarities. The eating habits, outfits, marriages, celebrations and much more are all alike between the two nations. That which was one became two, partitioned; borders were crossed and boundaries were drawn. In spite of the boundaries even till

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date the populace of these two countries are ‘connected’. Even after decades of separation they continue to influence each other’s lifestyles. The two countries share so many similarities and there are many people who have families across the borders. It is due to such common mixes that in spite of the visa and travel restrictions the families still go ahead and marry partners from each other’s lands, even till date. Post-Partition many of the inhabitants of India and Pakistan emigrated, moved beyond those boundaries, found new places to prosper, to be at peace and to reunite.

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One such place is Dubai, a unique city in the Gulf. This city has grown tremendously in the last three decades. Whoever comes here to stay for a few years eventually ends up making this their home. I am one of those many thousands of migrants who came to Dubai with a two-year plan and have been living here for the sixth year now. Though I have not stayed here for decades like many others, yet in these six years I have developed tremendous love and respect for this city. I am a banker working in Dubai, and my love for film making followed me from India to Dubai too. After having directed music videos and short films I decided to take the next step and make a documentary; I was looking for a topic that would appeal to the masses, especially to the expatriates who live in Dubai. I came across an Indian and a Pakistani family who share a flat and live together in Dubai; over time I came in contact with many Indians and Pakistanis who are interdependent on each other and live in this city. This is how Beyond Boundaries was born. The Beyond Boundaries documentary is a tribute to all the Indians and Pakistanis who live in harmony in Dubai. Beyond Boundaries is about a common cultural heritage and many similarities among both countries. This is a tribute to people living in harmony even outside their country – it is about people who forgive the past and look forward with hope. The stars of the documentary are comprised of a vegetable vendor, electronics showroom manager, saloon barber, fashion designer, makeup artist, husband and wife, artists in a theatre group and a doctor in a mobile clinic. This documentary is about the experiences of these Indians and Pakistanis who share with the world the joy and blessing of living a life Beyond Boundaries. This is a documentary about life lived beyond boundaries; it takes you through the lives of eight expatriates living in a foreign land away from home. They don’t just live life but live it beyond boundaries.

An actor, writer and filmmaker, Mir Imran Hussain belongs to Bengaluru and now lives in Dubai. His latest work includes a documentary titled, Beyond Boundaries. The work captures the essence of harmony between Indians and Pakistanis living in Dubai, and has been screened at some of the prestigious film festivals in both India and Pakistan. Know more about his work here, mushroommedia.com.

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The Indian Trumpet

a celebration o


of the colour, culture & chaos of India ​theindiantrumpet.com ​facebook.com/TheIndianTrumpet ​twitter.com/happytooting


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MIRAGES OF THE DESERT

How does one capture the essence of a mirage? Yes, yes the imaginary pool of water that shines out in the vast expanse of the desert when you are thirsty, lost and your compass sort of gives up on you. Aladdin always saw it as an oasis with lush green trees.

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79 COLOUR/CULTURE/CHAOS words SANMITA PATEL

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t was about 1pm on a hot Friday afternoon; Zainab sunk her feet into the soft sand and stood still. She was lost in the dense desert expanse off Al-Aweer Road. As philosophical and dreamy as she was, she thought to herself, “I have no idea where I am right now. But if JRR Tolkein was with me right now he’d say, not all those who wander are lost”. The idea was to wander off into the desert. “Not the smartest thing to do now that I’m almost out of water,” she thought. To make things worse, her iPhone battery was dead and of course, she didn’t know her current coordinates. “Gosh, my life makes for a perfect movie plot right now. So all I’m going to focus on is, finding that mirage.” She had decided to do a series of desert shots for her photography assignment at school. After having tried her hand at Journalism, Zainab had come to realise her forte lay in Visual Media. By the day, she worked as a copywriter and in the evenings she attended a course in Photography at The American University of Dubai. The theme for her next assignment was “Delusion”. Mirage was the first thing she thought about when she heard the brief of her assignment. Her philosophical rants wouldn’t usually interfere with her decision making abilities on an assignment. So she quickly jumped in on this one. Plus, this was tricky on the

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technical side too. She found the concept challenging, as visually, she was unsure if she’d be able to precisely capture what she saw. “Alright, so how does one find a mirage? Do you go out looking for it, or does it only come find you when you are in dire need of it?” From what she had heard, mirages are a visual play between the mind and the optical plane of the eye. So basically, your mind could possibly be messing around with you. In this scorching 48 degree Celsius heat, she realised her determination was not going to last beyond a couple of minutes. “If I don’t find a mirage in another fifteen, I’m just going to artificially simulate it in the photo lab. Yes, that’s what I’ll do, after all this is an assignment about delusion right.” “Ok, wait, the heat seems to be getting into my head, literally and figuratively. Hey, I see red sand back there. Red sand in Dubai, seriously?


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Delusion

From what she had heard, mirages are a visual play between the mind and the optical plane of the eye. So basically, your mind could possibly be messing around with you. theindiantrumpet.com


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​ UBAI IS A D DANCING STAR OF A CITY, THAT IS THE ESSENCE OF THIS EVER TRANSFORMING, MIRAGE FILLED, BEAUTIFUL DESERT. theindiantrumpet.com


A DESERT CAN TRICK YOU INTO SEEING WHAT MIGHT NOT BE THERE, THAT’S MAGICAL! Yeah, at coordinates... whatever...” As she kept walking and rambling to herself, she thought, “It would have really helped now if the earth wasn’t round. I would have been able to see Burj Khalifa and find my way back home.

Hmm... so I’m talking to myself now... you know the desert feels a lot like “space”, vast expanse of space, like they show in all those Hollywood sci-fi movies, except here, I’m bound by gravity... Ok, I’m parched, I need water... My eyes hurt... I need water... Gosh, how am I going to find my way back... energy levels dropping... last energy bar on me Roger... Houston we have a problem... Hello Houston... Houston do you hear us... Houston...hello... Roger Houston... looks like we lost signal...

“You were always a very imaginative child Diya,” her mom says while packing the scrambled eggs, “You had your imaginary friends,” she smiles while recollecting this memory, “Maybe she is a grown up version of one of them.” (Mom laughs.) “Yeah, but this girl is an Emirati, Maa. I’ve never had any Emirati friends, I wonder why? I should make some Emirati friends, they are such warm and friendly people.” “Oh, you have been saying that forever now, what is stopping you? Go out there and socialise, don’t just shuttle between work and home, Diya.” “Maybe I will Maa. But who gets time in Dubai to socialise?” she puts the tiffin box in her purse. “ Aren’t we all stuck in the rat race of making a living? Perhaps this time at the SIKKA Art Fair, when my work on delusion is displayed in their beautiful galleries, I’ll make some Emirati friends.” “What are you talking about Diya? You are a clinical psychologist, you have never painted or touched a camera all your life!”

Beep... beep... beep... Beep... beep... beep... Beep... beep...

“I know, I know, its Zainab, she is talking. Good bye now Maa...”

Ok ... ok... I’m waking up... yea, yea, yea... I know, I know.

After Diya left, her mother was very concerned. She was going to call up Dr. Bose at the clinic to ensure that Diya wasn’t overworked. She had a bad feeling, that some of her patients were literally getting into Diya’s head. She had to find out from Dr. Bose if there was any patient by the name Zainab.

Appointment at 9 am, can’t afford to be stuck in traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road. But it’s only 6 am. Oh yeah, I live in Sharjah, how can I afford to forget that! *** “Ok Maa, I’m leaving for work now.” “But you didn’t have your breakfast Diya...” “No time Maa, will be late...” “But I made you scrambled eggs, your favourite!” “Thanks Maa, no time though.” While quickly wearing her shoes, she tells her mom, “Hey Maa, I got that desert mirage dream again, for

*** Beep... beep... beep “Oh great, last energy bar, water almost out, where is the mirage? I’m tired, I’m never going to get this assignment out in time. Why did I have to take up such a challenging assignment in the first place!” Beep... beep... beep

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Gosh, I thought you could see Burj Khalifa from every corner of Dubai...Oh right, it’s not a corner, it’s a sphere, this world is a sphere, Dubai is no exception to this sphere rule”... gosh, this rambling in my head has got to stop... “Ok, I need to focus on finding that mirage!”

the zillionth time this month. It’s kinda driving me crazy, I don’t even know who this Zainab woman is and I have got to stop watching Apollo 13 every now and then. Every dream I get ends with, Houston, we have a problem.”


Beep... beep... beep ... (gets louder) “Oh right, nap time is over. Next patient at 3 o’clock, roger that!” Phone rings... “Hello, Dr. Diya here.” “Hello, Diya... this is Dr. Bose.” “Oh, Hello Doctor, how could I help you today?” “Well, Diya if you do not have any patients right now, I’d like you to come to my office. We need to discuss the talk we are going to give the school kids on multiple personality disorder.” “Sure, I can come in now, I have about a half hour until my next patient gets in.”

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*** Cut... Cut... Cut “Ok, good enough for today. Let’s pack up, I’m exhausted,” Tarik retreats into his Director chair. “Tarik, don’t you think we should have a scene about the mother calling Dr. Bose?” “Listen Rohit, this is an art movie, its not your everyday commercial cinema. We must trust the intelligence of our audience for god’s sake! The fact that Dr. Bose has called her, is suggestive enough that he has spoken to Diya’s mother, you still have a lot to learn about the art and craft of movie making, don’t you watch enough intelligent cinema or theater for that matter?” (Tarik rolls his eyes, gets off his chair and walks towards the actress, Mona.) “How was my shot Tarik?” Mona asks. “Good work Mona, you have the potential to be a successful actress. You pull off Diya with such vibrant enthu.” “Alright, alright,” she cuts in, “I get it, I’m good, eh.” Mona winks at him and walks away. Tarik looks at her go and is a little disgusted. He tells Ahmed, “Gosh, I hate how you have to pedestalise these actresses. As if they are Cleopatra’s descendent, she’s not even half as good an actor as Nandita Das, and she has the air of your commercial

Kareena Kapoor. Gosh, makes me think, have I have cast the wrong woman for this role?” Tarik and Ahmed walk toward the university cafeteria. Ahmed pats Tarik’s back and says, “Relax Tarik, Mona is not even an actress, she is your classmate from Theater Acting-101, whom you had a huge crush on until she started dating what’s his name?” “That wanna be stud guy, Shool. What kind of a name is Shool? Who names their kid, Shool?” “Forget her Ahmed, I might not be a real director, but I do enjoy the delusion of being one. Just wait and watch, my passion for Art movies will make me a critically acclaimed director some day.” (raises his collar like a stud) He then puts his hand on Ahmed’s shoulder and says in a frenzy, “You see Ahmed, this movie has the potential to touch souls. Dubai is a lot more than its glitz and glamour. Its hidden crevices of real lives is what makes it a potential place for drama, poetry and creative expression.” “Yes Tarik, we know you love Dubai and you see yourself as a rising star director of Art movies in this region. Gosh, if I wasn’t the producer of this movie, I wouldn’t feel the need to hear all your artistic jargon! Tarik, the truth is, if I wasn’t your producer, you wouldn’t be able to make this movie in the first place.” “Hey, relax man Ahmed, peace out, we are in this together for our passion for Art movies eh.” “No, no, no, Tarik, your passion for your so called “Art” movies and my passion for production.” (Both look dreamily into the far distant clear blue sky of Dubai.) *** “Alright, got it. A dream sequence, real life situation, movie shoot- Russian doll. Story within a story, within a story. Right, so where are you headed with this stuff, Ajmal?” “Oh relax Khaled, why are you so impatient to know how this ends. You’re behaving like those restless commercial developers who want to make every

Sanmita Patel is an architect and an urban researcher. She is dedicated to raising awareness about architecture and its impact on development of the city. For this purpose, she launched an informal initiative in Dubai called YAF’D in Sept 2014. In her free time, Sanmita enjoys creative pursuits such as photography, reading & writing short stories and poems. She is also an active participant in the city’s awareness walks and volunteering groups.

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building in Dubai come up in five days and don’t really care about the process and art of Architecture. Beats the crap out of architects who want to make meaningful designs. Yeah, my sister is an architect, she whines about it all the time.” “Ok, fine help me understand this Ajmal. Are you are trying to confuse people or tease their intelligence? Or are you trying to get them hooked? What is it that you are trying to do?”

“Oh Khaled, either you are a pessimist, or you just don’t believe in me enough! Inception released in what, 2010? That’s ancient time! Christopher Nolan made a movie for the world to watch. I’m sure there were a lot of movie goers world wide who didn’t get the movie. Plus, Dubai is a lot smarter today. Give its evolving populous some intellectual credit. Moreover, don’t you believe book readers in general are smarter than movie goers?” Ajmal moves over to Khaled’s desk and says, “Listen to me now Khaled, I am trying to tap into the essence of Delusion...”

Khaled looks confused and says, “ But that’s what magic does, not a story...” “But words are magical, then why can’t a story be so?” Ajmal moves towards the full height glass window in his office, puts his hands in his trouser pockets, looks over at the city some thirty-five stories above ground, facing Sheikh Zayed Road as the day sets down... He says, “You see Khaled, this city can sometimes be like a mirage, there are pockets of hyper realities that seem to exist, but might not be there at all. It’s a desert, right? Have you ever wondered, what if all this urbanisation is actually an illusion? Imagine, what if we are living in the Matrix and this is not real life? Now that’s a magical thought isn’t it? After all, it is a desert. A desert can trick you into seeing what might not be there, that’s magical, that’s what mirages do. You want to get lost in that dream like delusion, makes life interesting, doesn’t it?...” “Alright, Mr. Christopher Nolan and Sigmund Freud in the making, whatever you say, I’m out of here now that the traffic on the roads must have eased off, this stuff is too heavy for me to handle.” (Khaled leaves the office.) As the office door shuts, Ajmal speculates in silence.. You’ll see, I will win the Pulitzer Prize someday for this book. I know it’s not a unique idea, but has anyone thought about it before? That a glittering city in the desert could perhaps be a mirage? Maybe they have, in a different city, a different world, in a parallel universe perhaps, because you know what? Wonderment and illusions are sweet entrapments. Just like the mirages of a desert. You got to be thirsty enough to find them, chase them and be caught up in their chaos. Like Friedrich Nietzsche would say, “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star”. Dubai is a dancing star of a city, that is the essence of this ever transforming, mirage filled, beautiful desert.

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“I’m a writer and a dreamer Khaled, I don’t have to chase deadlines, it takes time to write a good story. Habibi, relax. Just feel the flow of the illusion at play. You see the Desert is filled with mirages, delusions so to speak. The essence of this book is to captivate that delusion. Create illusions about an existing reality and then make it seem like it doesn’t really exist. Get it?” Khaled rolls his eyes and says, “Do you know what happened when Inception released in Dubai? Half of the people walked out of the cinemas, cause they didn’t understand the movie! You think you are Christopher Nolan to pull off a book about delusions and mirages? Oh, and this book is going into the Dubai book writing competition?”

specific and then turn course and create confusion yet again. You mislead, to direct people somewhere. Get the contradiction at play here?”

***

“Ok Ajmal, how so, cause I’m still not clear about it?” “Well, for starters, you create chaos, you create confusion, you create illusions. You suggest something

ILLUSIONS theindiantrumpet.com


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OF COLOUR OF COLOUR

words & artwork JAN D’SA

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Absence of Colour

Black, the absence of colour. Yes, it can be as chaotic as the colours in the spectrum itself! The layers of resin in this work reflects this unique chaos.

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Medium: Acrylic, resin, salt, gold leaf, wires, tea powder and a range of Indian spices (To name a few: Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander and Pepper), 100 cm (l) x 31 cm (h). On canvas, landscape.

}

Jan D’Sa is a Dubai-based writer, mixed media artist and a travel blogger with a gift of telling powerful stories through her work. Originally from India, and raised in Abu Dhabi, her appreciation of cultures, languages and traditions has infused in her a great love for slow and solo travel as a way of opening up interesting conversations and creating new adventures. Living up to her passion for healing and saving lives, she is equipped with a Masters Degree in Molecular Medicine, which builds upon her life’s calling in using arts for wellness and social change. Over the years, she has teamed up with social entrepreneurs and special needs centres around Dubai to use art as a tool for wellness on many levels. Currently, she serves the healthcare industry through her medical and digital communications business based out of Dubai. To know more: travelartslife.com theindiantrumpet.com

89 COLOUR/CULTURE/CHAOS

Black, the absence of colour: It can be as chaotic as the colours in the spectrum. And that’s precisely why artist Jan D’Sa chose it as the focal point of her painting, “To use black and then superimpose upon it the brightness of the universe by using silver & golden fluids and delicate wire.” Coupled with the heart-warming blend of tea and spices that spans universal cultures, “I built salt and sand cliffs in non-colour that arise across layers of resin. And the liberal use of gold leaves symbolise another aspect of the culture that remains engrained in my being.”


mumbai LOOK CLOSELY AND YOU’LL FALL IN LOVE WITH THE COLOUR, CULTURE AND CHAOS OF THE ‘CLASSIC’ BOMBAY, NOW MUMBAI. words VIREN PAREKH

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classic


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COLOUR THE MEDLEY OF DULL & RICH HUES

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The kid tumbled out of his one-room house and carefully jumped over the glistening six-inch wide, open sewer line that ran right outside the house. The narrow lane he was running on, was curtained on both sides by a seemingly never-ending line of freshly laundered clothes of every imaginable hue. The sweet damp whiff of the wet clothes and that of the Arabian Sea sprawled behind the slum, put a spring in his step and he dashed toward the rocky beach, where his friends waited. The clotheslines would momentarily be interrupted and would reveal small, clean houses painted with the brightest of blues and yellows. His mad dash seemed to heighten the explosion of colours on his senses. He felt the splash of red, yellow and violet flowers in the potted plants outside each house, nurtured by the bright blue of the water barrels right next to them; the giggle of mischievous toddlers rubbing chalk and crayons on someone’s walls; and finally, as he reached the end of the slum, the burst of green moss over the damp rocky beach. In the distance, he spotted his friends, high atop a rock, flying a kite. His gaze moved upward and spotted the bright red kite bobbing peacefully, in the deep blue sky. How wonderful, the colours of Mumbai!

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CULTURE THE HARMONY BETWEEN STRANGERS 08.08 am.

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The train eased into the station. The already crowded train was greeted by a sea of people waiting at the station. Waiting, to get in and reach their destination. To new eyes, it seemed impossible that anyone could get inside the train and yet when the train stopped the bodies inside the train moved, as if guided by a single thought, a single purpose. Necks craned and eyes met, and every possible inch of space was freed for the incoming passengers. In that instant, the train seemed to be one creature. The cables above the train didn’t seem to be merely transmitting electricity to power the train lines. They must have contained a higher order, which orchestrated this harmony of strangers. Something made the people adapt and accommodate. It couldn’t be taught at the highest fee and could only be acquired for free. It is the culture of Mumbai!

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CHAOS THE HIDDEN CHARM IN THE CHAOS

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The sea was particularly unforgiving that day. Wave after wave of dark frothy water jolted the small fishing boat in all directions. The eerie silence of the night was broken, now too often, by strong waves that would lift the boat up effortlessly and then almost instantaneously, would also plummet it downward. He looked nervously at his two companions and could sense they were as scared as him. They were definitely also brave enough not to voice their fears now, when they felt it. It had been a fortunate night so far, a good catch and smooth waters. But now, with dawn approaching, the journey to the shore seemed longer. The cacophony of the water and the wooden boat was no match for the chaos in his head. With each jolt that threatened to capsize the boat, the thoughts of ‘home’ surged in his head. Would his daughter, probably still asleep, be clutching her favourite shawl and doll? Would his wife have got a premonition and be waiting at the shore, her eyes scanning for his boat, which seemed tinier and vulnerable with every passing minute? After what seemed like an eternity, he saw the first lights of Mumbai, still very far but full of hope. He silently cursed the lights for giving him hope and making him feel more vulnerable than he was moments before. His arms ached from the rowing and the strong current made him question if the rowing was even helpful. An hour later, with the sun finally rising, their luck improved. A small change of course, forced by a gut feel and a blind chance led the boat to smoother waters, and he wiped his tears as he smiled at his companions, who were equally shaken up.

Thirty-six stories above and a 1,000 feet away from the chaos, it was a majestic view to see the small fishing boat with its mast unfurled, slowly gliding into its harbour. ‘How peaceful,’ she remarked, as she sipped her tea and got ready for the battles ahead. The hidden charm in the chaos of Mumbai!

Viren Parekh, an internal auditor by profession, moved to Dubai in 2014. An avid cricket fan, on ‘match’ days you’d find him enjoying a drink and watching the game. On other days, he loves to read & write and play the guitar. This traveller nurtures a dream: To set foot on each continent in this lifetime. You can write to him at viren.parekh@gmail.com.

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MY COLOUR

song

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words RITU DUA

My India is my canvas and my box of paints too. She is a divine tornado of colours and a beautiful chaos, with colours on top of colours, within colours and hidden by colours – sumptuous, super vibrant and never fading. So, colours bejewel my India in unlimited shades and hues. The streets here look as if from a page straight out of an old folk tale. The colours of India have always mesmerised the world because of the legends that bind its people, their beliefs and their evershining culture. It is perhaps the common, simple yet emphatic expressions of colour that holds together the multitudes of traditions, opinions and lifestyles. It is a kaleidoscopic insight, which works wonders to elevate the spirit. From colours that are royal to colours that are kitschy; fresh colours to warm colours; calming colours to the spicy, playful ones; the beautiful exotic colours to those which are more dramatic… the colours of my India speak to me in a thousand poetically technicolour ways, each one of them being a celebration of life. Vibrant colours juxtaposed with subtle serenity capture the essence that is India.

you will experience solace in spite of the chaos. India’s red is bright and beautiful. The red wedding dresses and the kumkum on the forehead are the true examples of the bold and beautiful shade. Yellow also plays a significant role in Indian culture. The bright yellow of saffron and turmeric and the soft yellow-brown of sandalwood play their own sacred roles in the day to day life of an Indian. And the famous Indian mango which is neither quite entirely yellow nor entirely orange, but simply, just mango! It is this orange-yellow mango that gave birth to the Indian paisley design. The fresh green colours of the fields and the deep lush tropical forests are absolutely enchanting. The orange of mehndi… And the list can go on and on. Colours are thus an invincible part of India. Each colour symbolises the force of life and is magically spread all over. Be it in the religion, culture, attire, food or festival, the dazzling array of bright colours is there to cast its spell. And undoubtedly the whole palette is hypnotic.

Actually the artist in me is always at awe looking at the exuberant, bold colour palette that every nook and corner of my country offers. Oh! I see a million rainbows in her hair! Once you match India’s rhythm to your heart, its colours to your mind and its warmth to your soul… Ritu Dua, a banker and teacher, now focusses on what she enjoys most: art. Self-taught, her forte is mixed media. Besides her charity exhibitions, she’s worked with an NGO, shown underprivileged children how to turn recyclables into art, and volunteers at Dubai’s Al Noor School. She also celebrates all things delicious at beneathmyheartart.blogspot. theindiantrumpet.com


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July-August 2015  

Our second birthday special: Colour, Culture and Chaos. Our Dubai-based enthusiasts play with these three words and share what they mean to...

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