Real bruises. Loud screams. Friendly matches. Dirty hands. Tents made out of mom’s sarees. Views from atop dad’s shoulders. Wonderful laughs. Mischievous secrets. Silly fights.
THE TRUMPET BLOWERS EDITORIAL FIONA PATERSON KASHMIRA PATEL ART AVI GOEL KAMAINI MITTAL SPACE SELLING BINDIYA FARSWANI SAAD ABDULLAH SOCIAL MEDIA BINDIYA FARSWANI PRIYA AGARWAL
It’s not always easy to go back to what you leave behind… the playground that you ran the first race on, the trees you climbed and fell from, the doctor who gave you the stitches on the knee, the candies you overstuffed yourself with, the sleepovers at your friend’s home in the neighbourhood, the paper boats you made out of used wrapping paper, the red pen with which you checked your sibling’s notebook, the running & screaming while playing Vish-Amrit, the utensils you shared with cousins while playing Ghar-Ghar, the forced baths mom gave you after you’d rolled in mud, the bedtime tales grandma narrated to you, the first cricket bat gifted by dad, the filling up of notebooks with Name, Place, Animal, Thing…
What would be childhood without being out in the sun all day, clothes full of mud, bruises everywhere, tears in your eyes after losing a match & shouting till you lost your voice? This was the question that perpetually popped up in my head while making this edition. Over artworks and copies we shared anecdotes from our childhood and realised they mostly revolved around funny adults, silly role-playing, innovative games, good ol’ band-aids, best & ‘bestest’ friends… and that’s what we’ve brought to you in the pages of this lovely, nostalgic edition, tales from under the yellow sun, grey cloud and silver moon.
Here’s re-living the moments from our childhood & wishing that our children get to taste it too.
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 email@example.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.
Join us in looking back to the times when little girls dressed up in party frocks and the whole school knew it was their birthday & when little boys came home with dirty knickers the whole neighbourhood knew they’d won a match. Meet us at the grounds to visit the games, tricks, surprises, giggles and squabbles of the Indian soil. Till we meet next, happy tooting
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the child in you...
The Indian spirit, Within me, Rages like a fire. Indian soil, I have grown up on. India will forever, Stay in my heart, We can never be apart. It has always been, India and me since the start. The love for my country will never die The peace and hope will never lie The Indian flag is flying high, flying high. Drishti Punjabi, India ............................................................... Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a beautiful edition. The visuals are so fresh. I like the adrak ki chai.. so well knit together along with the text... I feel like preserving a copy for the rest of my life. Kudos. Manoj Nath, India ............................................................... Purva and Team Trumpet, I totally loved this issue of your magazine. It is so amazing. While reading it feels like you have put your heart and soul in it. It touches the heart of any chai loving Indian. I must say this issue has raised the bar way high for many/any magazines. Purnima Palkar, Dubai ............................................................... Purva, Lovely work with the latest edition! Its absolutely beautiful and I am having such a great time reading your FB page updates. Cheers, Prashant, India ...............................................................
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We walked down the memory lane. We got our hands dirty in the mud. We played under the sun. We got bruised. We played Chupan-Chupaiye, Name-Place-Animal-Thing, Vish-Amrit, Caroom, Kho-Kho, Oonce Neech Ka Papda & more. We screamed, laughed, fought, ran, fell...There were no candies to crush or angry birds to deal with. The sounds, games, fights and injuries were real. We rejoiced in relationships that were formed over a friendly match, a bruised knee, a shared tiffin, a paper boat & more. We promised ourselves to introduce our children to the childhood that was. We became children once again. Meet us at the grounds!
Remember! The most easiest thing to do is : CRITICIZE!
Suggestions , Ideas and
Criticism is most welcome!!!
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12 70mm THE CHARM OF TWO Bollywood’s obsession with double roles continue. When and with whom did this trend start? Who are the people we would like to see enact double roles? 16
AUR NAMAK SWAAD ANUSAR Taking charge of the stove. Wielding pots and pans. Conjuring up countless masalas. Authoring books. Judging competitions. Empowering women. Dishing up delicacies. Hosting shows. Running a food channel. And more. Just how does Sanjeev Kapoor do it all?
COME THOU PLAY There’s no childhood without getting out in the sun all day, clothes full of mud, bruises everywhere, tears in your eyes after losing and parental scolding for
follow the noise
dgk¡ x;s oks fnu--A mother of two (grandmom of one) dwells on the differences between the childhood that was, is and would be. A thought-provoking piece in Hindi.
coming home late. Then getting up again in the morning and practising harder. WHICH COLOUR DO YOU WANT? An artist confesses that she owes her fondness for colours to the simple, innocent and lovely game of Tippy Tippy Tap
THE GAMES WE PLAYED! If you grew up in the 80s and 90s we bet you played Vish-Amrit, Kho Kho, Ghar-Ghar & Name, Place, Animal, Thing. Games that led to wonderful laughs & silly fights. We look back at these joys of the Indian soil.
THE REAL RICHES Would lives improve if the rich sought simpler pleasures & the poor stopped measuring wellbeing against economic yardsticks? We stop for a while to smell the roses, ignore the greener grass, & discover the real riches available to all.
SEVEN FLAT PIECES OF STONE! Pitthu or Pittu Garam, Lagori or Dikori – the game that revolved around a ball & seven stones. What do you remember most about the game: the screaming, hitting or running?
REAL FRIENDS FOREVER In the India of the 80’s and 90’s our BFF (best friends forever) were our siblings, classmates & neighbours. We bonded over badminton games, mischievous secrets & schoolyard bruises. This was the India that taught us how to bond with real playmates.
STOP FOR STAPU! “Girls must respect the stapu court,” says veteran player Archana. Once a champion, she still loves regaining her one-legged stance and jumping back into childhood.
KAI PO CHE! Do kites still send our spirits soaring?
KHEL KHEL MEIN An artist brings alive beautiful memories of the traditional Indian games.
STRIKE OUT! We bat for two of our favourite outdoor
childhood pursuits, gilli danda and cricket. 66
Let’s dress up every little corner of our homes
Just a few of our favourite things for the adorable angels & brats
Transform from a simpleton to showstopper with these buys
over a cup of chai
the globe & the gully
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS Animal sightings, luxury in the wilderness, elusive felines and other tales from a jungle in Rajasthan
GHOSTS NEED TO BE UPDATED TOO Conversations between a grandson & grandfather MASTI KI PAATHSHALA Will Delhi University’s educational use of Bollywood films succeed or fail at the BO? VROOM VROOM... Behind the wheel of a car racing simulator at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Lokn lM+d ds
follow the noise
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY! The world looks shiny & colourful when seen through a goti.
Every state, city, town & village in India has street food of all its own. Here’s a handful of soulful snacks that’s had us licking our fingers for decades.
The screaming headlines on gang rapes have got us fuming. Each issue, we bring to you our readers views on the topic of women’s safety, security & respect. HEY WOMAN! That’s the message Aanchal Chanda aspires to send through her designs celebrating female strength, beauty and individualism. THE DENNER They rule and run the playground fun, with rhymes we choose, and never lose.
,d nks rhu--A short poem from the days of the past
t n e r e f f i D trokes ath S by Manoj N
Art | Graphics | Illustrations
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THE DOUBLE ROLE GENRE OF MOVIES CAME INTO EXISTENCE BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF ACTORS, FOLLOWED BY THE AUDIENCES’ GREED TO SEE MORE OF THEIR STARS! LATER, THE PLOT & TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES HELPED IT GROW & EMERGE. WE VISIT THE ‘TWIN’ PLOTS & MORE. words FARHANA AHMED
Double roles have always been important in Bollywood. The stories of characters enacting dual roles have always piqued the interest of the audiences providing right dosage of suspense, drama and comedy. Think the yesteryear tales of parting and reunion of twins. Twins get separated at the Kumbh Mela, one is brought up by fate and the other remains on his/her parents’ lap; a story that has over the decades penetrated the hearts of millions. Later, the twins get reunited as if scripted by fate itself. Sometimes, one of the twin sons of a zamindar gets abducted by an angry peasant to take revenge upon him. In other cases, the mother loses one twin in a natural disaster. The storyteller makes various strokes of his pen in the lives of such kids — leading to the blue blood ending up in the land of criminals and cons. As a result, the criminal brother has to sacrifice for his aristocrat twin brother in the climax of the movie. The lost twins lose the eligibility to be members of civilised society by living under the open sky. They lose their earlier belongings bit by bit in the course of survival. Among the lost twins, the girls face more misery — losing everything, so they cannot return to their look alike sisters. Thus the stories of double role in Bollywood depict the dichotomy — good and evil.
The first movie to introduce double role was Dadasaheb Phalke’s Lanka Dahan (1917). Anna Salunke, the actor who played Rani Taramati in Raja Harishchandra (1913), played both Ram and Sita in the movie. It is said that when the film was screened in Bombay people took their shoes off when Lord Rama’s character appeared on the screen. Now isn’t that interesting? But it was rather a necessity at that time to cast the same actor in two different roles than the requirement of the plot. It was Gemini Production’s Nishan (1949) directed by S.S. Vasan, which introduced double role as a genre in Bollywood. In this Ranjan-Bhanumati starrer movie, half portion of the camera lens was covered by a piece of cloth for a shot involving the same actor in two different roles in the face to face scenes and the second shot was taken by covering the other half of the camera lens. Double role returned with a bang after a lull of two years in B.R. Chopra’s directorial debut Afsana (1951) in which Ashok Kumar played the role of twin brothers Ratan and Chaman falling in love with the same girl. In Bimal Roy’s mystery classic Madhumati (1958) Vyjayanthimala enacted double roles, Madhumati and Madhavi. Its climax scene was recreated in Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om (2008) in which debutante Deepika Padukone appeared in two different look alike roles. In 1955, Dilip Kumar acted in two different roles as Azaad and Abdul Rahim Khan in S. M. Sriramulu Naidu’s Azaad. Decades later Dilip Kumar epitomised double roles in Tapi Chanakya’s Ram Aur Shayam (1967). Based on Alexander Dumas’ story The Corsican Brothers, Ram Aur Shyam is the cult classic of Bollywood double roles where twin brothers are separated in childhood and reunited at the climax. The Corsican Brothers also inspired later double role Hindi movies Seeta Aur Geeta (featuring female twins, played by Hema Malini) in 1972; ChaalBaaz (starring Sridevi) in 1989; and
In the 1970s movies on double roles emerged as a successful mantra for hits & as many as 19 films on the subject were produced
Recently, Dhoom 3 saw a double role Kishen Kanhaiya (starring Anil Kapoor) in 1990. In 1961, Navaketan produced Hum Dono in which Dev Anand played two look alike persons serving the British Indian Army — Mahesh Anand and Major Verma. As Maj. Verma is found missing in action in Burma, Mahesh is sent to Verma’s family to convey the message where he faces the problem of mistaken identity. It would be worth to mention Rajesh Khanna’s Aradhana (1969) here, which was a remake of Hollywood’s To Each His Own. Heroines stepped into double roles in Bollywood with Sadhana in Raj Khosla’s psychological mystery Woh Kaun Thi? (1964). She again appeared in a double roles in Raj Khosla film Mera Saaya (1966). Interestingly, the “Jhumka Gira Re” girl is the only actress in Bollywood to have played dual roles in the ‘same kind’ of mystery movies. Another noteworthy performance by an actress is Sharmila Tagore’s An Evening in Paris (1967). In 1968 Rajendra Kumar acted as two different guys as Sanjay and Tarun in Lekh Tandon’s Jhuk Gaya Asmaan where Sanjay’s life was mistakenly taken away by the angel instead of Tarun. However, when the mistake was uncovered Sanjay was put in the body of Tarun! In the 1970s, movies on double roles gathered momentum as a successful mantra for box-office hits, and as many as 19 films on this subject were produced: from Hema Malini’s Aansoo Aur Muskan (1970) to Vinod Khanna’s Lahu Ke Do Rang (1979). It all began with Rajesh Khanna starrer Sachaa Jhutha (1970) by Manmohan Desai. Here, Rajesh Khanna played Bhola, an honest simpleton and a con man Ranjeet. It was followed by a heroine starrer double role movie, Sharmilee (1971) by Subodh Mukherjee where Rakhee acted in dual roles of Kamini and Kanchan. However, it was perhaps next year’s Pakeezah (1972), the masterpiece by Kamal Amrohi where Meena Kumari set many standards of portrayal of the Indian women by acting in the roles of both the mother and her daughter.
Gulzar’s Mausam (1975), based on A.J. Cronin’s The Judas Tree is another memorable film. Gulzar also brought Shakespearean romantic comedy Comedy of Errors to Bollywood with his 1982 film Angoor in which Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma both acted in double roles. Earlier Sanjeev Kumar also acted as Indian Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in Raj Tilak’s Chehre Pe Chehra. Big B played double roles in couple of films notably in Chandra Barot’s Don (1978) and later in The Great Gambler (1979), Desh Premee (1982), Satte Pe Satta (1982) and Mahaan (1983) — where he appeared in triple roles. He did as many as 13 movies of this genre. In Humjoli (1970) Mehmood, I.S. Johar in Johnny Mera Naam (1970) and in Hum Nahin Sudherenge (1980) Asrani appeared in triple roles while Sanjeev Kumar acted in as many as nine characters in Naya Din Nayi Raat (1974). Shah Rukh Khan also played double roles in Duplicate (1998), Paheli (Kishanlal and ghost, Prem) in 2005 and Don in 2006. Hritik Roshan’s debut film Kaho Na Pyar Hai (1998) is another successful Bollywood production on double role, so is critically acclaimed Ranveer Shorey starred Mithya (2008). This just states that double roles have been a phenomenal characteristic of Bollywood’s reel life during the last three decades of the twentieth century. Why did it work? It worked because of the larger than life stature of the stars of that era that the audiences couldn’t get enough of! But the reality checks of the present time and spectacular technological advancements failed to attract the audiences on this subject, particularly after Hollywood’s techno-flick Face/Off (1997). However, it returned to captivate the audience despite such improbabilities in real life—that’s why we saw Aamir Khan doing the ‘double’ in Dhoom 3 (2013). I am convinced that the audiences would like to see Irrfan Khan, Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in double roles. However, my personal pick would be Rekha!
Farhana Ahmed is a crazy nature lover! She’s passionate about blue skies, wild ducks, finches, rivers, reeds and orchids. Celluloid is in her blood and the silver screen in her eyes. An eternal Dev Anand fan, she loves to write about cinema, with two published books to her name. She’s also a fashionable interior designer who hates politics. Right now she’s working as a journalist for a prestigious Assam daily.
‘aur namak swaad anusar’ TAKING CHARGE OF THE STOVE. WIELDING POTS AND PANS. CONJURING UP COUNTLESS MASALAS. AUTHORING BOOKS. JUDGING COMPETITIONS. EMPOWERING WOMEN. DISHING UP DELICACIES. HOSTING SHOWS. RUNNING A FOOD CHANNEL. AND MORE. JUST HOW DOES SANJEEV KAPOOR DO IT ALL? words PRACHI GROVER
(Top to bottom) Gulab-e-Gulkand, a signature recipe by Sanjeev Kapoor. A book cover. Shaam Savera, another delicacy by the Chef.
We’re waiting for Sanjeev Kapoor at his restaurant ‘Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor’ (Meliá Hotel, Dubai). Moments later, he arrives wearing his best look: a million dollar smile, a crisp white shirt and pair of denims. That endearing smile has made women across the generations adore him. We go a little weak in the knees, too: we’ve watched him saying “Aur namak swaad anusar (salt to taste)” since we were kids. We tell him that just last week we were in Amman, Jordan and noticed a restaurant brimming with people oblivious to what was happening around them because they were so busy enjoying their curry and naan. That restaurant was ‘Sanjeev Kapoor’s The Yellow Chilli’. So, how do you manage to keep Indians all over the world happy? As well as people who want to experience and enjoy Indian food? I manage to do that because I’m passionate about what I do and just enjoy doing it. I do the same thing day in, day out but with the same passion. The day I stop enjoying it I’ll stop doing it. It’s that passion that translates into the happiness you see on the faces of people enjoying the food. Agreed, but there’s a global audience relishing that food, and everyone’s tastes vary. Isn’t keeping them happy a measure of how successfully one adapts one’s food to differing preferences?
True, but I don’t change. I keep it true to what it is and that’s what works for me. Localisation? Yes. I try and understand local sentiments and then decide what I think will work. When we opened our first restaurant in Dubai some 17 years ago the first thing I did was to spend a lot of time in the city going to successful restaurants - not necessarily Indian restaurants - to observe which tastes work here. Also, the repertoire of Indian dishes is so large that you can easily pick and choose what you think will work in a market outside India. This also holds true for restaurants within India. For instance, what might work in Pune might not work in Jalandhar. You may have more liberty with coconut-based dishes in Maharashtra than you would in Punjab. But then, you don’t change the coconut-based chutney and use chana dal to make it in Punjab. In today’s age, that bit of intelligence and understanding is simple. But what about when you have a number of restaurants in the same city? How do you make them different from each other and justify their existence? Each market is different. Someone who books a table at ‘Signature’ comes to us with very different expectations than someone who goes to ‘Options’ (another of his restaurants in Dubai). Lifestyles vary and the profiles of the people are different. It’s like when you’re flying on the same airline. There’s first class, business class and economy, and each customer has different wants and needs. Luckily, that understanding comes naturally to me. Which is why you say it’s simple.
‘I do what I enjoy doing & the day I stop enjoying it, I will stop doing it’
True, and it’s worked for me. A lot of food companies consult me only because I can predict if a certain product will work or not. The thing is, typically, people give more importance to what they need rather than the needs of their customers. Like our magazine: we might want to write a lot of things about India, but need to write what our readers want to read about India.
Right. For example, when I started ‘Khana Khazana’ (his successful cookery show), I was the best executive chef in the country. In my first episode, I did two
dishes, one that no one remembers and one that people remember to this day. The latter was Sham Savera, a simple palak paneer, which the audience loved. The other was a complicated breast of chicken stuffed with cream cheese and saffron in an orange sauce, which was too complicated for a home cook. That was more ‘me’: I wanted to do it but no one talked about it. Much later I would tell all the chefs: it isn’t about what you know, it’s about what people want to know. And within a week I understood that. It was a lesson, and, thinking about it, one of the most important principles of marketing.
Some things you need to know about ‘brand Sanjeev Kapoor’ if you didn’t know them already!
Awarded the title ‘India’s Best Chef’ by the Indian Government. Chosen as Indian ambassador for the United Nations’ ‘Clean Cookstoves’ campaign, targeted at underprivileged people in developing countries. One of India’s most famous faces, through his cookery show ‘Khana Khazana’, a continuous TV presence for nearly two decades. First Chef in the world to start his own 24/7 TV Channel: ‘FoodFood.’ Author of over 150 best-selling titles in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. His restaurants ‘Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khazana’, ‘The Yellow Chilli’, ‘Signature’ and ‘Sura Vie’ are buzzwords for the finest in Indian cuisine at home and abroad.
‘Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khazana’ brand Indian Blended Spices, Ready to Cook Mixes, Pickles and Gourmet Chutneys are creating waves in the US, Europe and the Middle East. Another Sanjeev Kapoor brand - ‘Wonderchef’ - is enabling Indian women to empower themselves by starting their own businesses selling world-class kitchen gadgets. www.sanjeevkapoor.com attracts more than 7 million page views per month and over 6 lac fans follow him on Facebook. His website has more than 8,500 proven recipes. He’s on the board of Singapore Airlines’ International Culinary Panel and joined the panel of Judges for ‘Master Chef India: Season 3’.
(Left) Covers of the books authored by the Chef.
I do new things to constantly challenge myself. The unexpected: that’s what excites me. Which is why the show has been one of the longest running of its kind in Asia, broadcast in 120 countries and with more than 500 million viewers. Yes, but you know what? After all these years when I see my show I think it’s so boring and can’t watch it.
I intervene and tell him my mum used to watch his show - she made me write down the recipes - and now my little girl also watches him, so across the generations he’s never bored anyone! My editor pitches in: her mum gave her his books with ‘Happy Cooking’ written in them as a wedding gift, and recently a neighbour told her why she likes him so much. “When I look at his recipes I know I won’t have to go to some fancy supermarket for the ingredients and I’m confident I’ll cook a great meal.” He smiles.
Cooking is obviously an intrinsic
When you start doing something and become successful the tendency is to do that thing over and over again because it becomes part of you and easy. But that’s not why I became a chef. I became one because I wanted to do something different and that’s what I do: new things to constantly challenge myself. The unexpected: that’s what excites me. When I started television I didn’t want to do restaurants because I’d done them all my working life: eight years. And you’ll be surprised to hear that I only opened my first restaurant in Dubai because I was forced to. It’s only in the recent past that I’ve started looking at it seriously, the reason being that
there’s now a whole new generation who doesn’t know the chef Sanjeev Kapoor: they only know Sanjeev Kapoor the TV personality. So it’s the right time to do something new. Also, I’ve realised that when it comes to Indian food there is no brand that’s local. So now we have 55 restaurants and in two years there’ll be 150! Of course, today ‘Sanjeev Kapoor’ is a brand and is defining Indian cuisine for the world. But what is Indian cuisine? How do we as NRIs explain Indian cuisine to people from other countries? Indian cuisine isn’t something you can define in one line. There are different regions and different tastes: it’s complex. Three sides of India have the coast and they’re all marked by the use of coconut. As you go inwards there are many differences but what‘s common is the use of spices. World-wise, there are very few cuisines where in one dish you can have 10 to 15, even 20 contrasting spices. And some of them are rarely used the way we do: turmeric’s a good example. By using a combination of spices
Doing that initially was difficult because I wasn’t trained for it. I was trained for complexities, because that’s what the hotels and colleges teach you. So I had to unlearn, and learn, and then teach cooking on TV.
part of who you are. Cookbooks and restaurants are associated with chefs. But you’ve gone in all directions: judging shows, creating products, running a 24hour TV channel, venturing into Bollywood, even training women how to stand on their own feet by selling what they make at home. What inspires you and gives you the strength to try such diverse things?
NRIs should do their bit to promote contemporary Indian food, the way it is in India today. Make a point of talking about it, and most importantly take pride in it. Talking about home cooking, you’re the only chef who’s made people appreciate it, and moreover the women who cook it. The long hours behind the stove, and all the love and work that goes into it are now acknowledged.
[By that stage - well past our allotted time slot - we were getting dirty looks from the PR team we’d been conveniently ignoring. We smiled sheepishly and asked permission for one last question.]
you can give an Indian flavour to anything. That’s what makes Indian food ‘Indian’. And we have curry. Curry is something that binds us. We curry everything: potatoes, beans, lentils, chicken, mutton and even yogurt. As I said, you can’t capture the whole essence and represent it accurately in one sentence. Also, there’s restaurant style and there’s home style. People worldwide know the former. If someone truly wants to understand Indian cuisine, they need to travel to India and spend at least three weeks going around eating only Indian dishes. They’ll realise the cuisine is primarily vegetarian, and come to understand the unique and diverse ways we cook vegetables, ways that hardly anyone else uses.
What would be your message for the all the NRIs who are going to be reading this piece? They adore you. Indians who live outside of India should do their bit to promote contemporary Indian food, the way it is in India today. Make a point of talking about it, and most importantly take pride in it. Everything Indian is not bad. We nod our heads and find ourselves agreeing: as NRIs, much as we wear our love for India on our sleeves, many of us are guilty of seeing the worst in our country. And on that important note, we say our goodbyes to a man who’s living his dream of making Indian cuisine the world’s No. 1, and empowering Indian women to become self-sufficient through the power of cooking.
Prachi Grover is a food maniac (read: food blogger and consultant). On days she’s not able to cook a lavish meal large enough to feed friends and family she suffers a migraine. Design is her other obsession: her home turns a new leaf every few days making you want to re-visit for inspiration. She can be found at orangekitchens.blogspot.com and purplehomes.blogspot.com.
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THERE’S NO CHILDHOOD WITHOUT GETTING OUT IN THE SUN ALL DAY, CLOTHES FULL OF MUD, BRUISES EVERYWHERE, TEARS IN YOUR EYES AFTER LOSING AND PARENTAL SCOLDING FOR COMING HOME LATE. THEN GETTING UP AGAIN IN THE MORNING AND PRACTISING HARDER. words AMIT GUPTA
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The school bus is delayed yet again! And I think I’m going to miss my cricket match! The moment I reach home, I throw my bag on my study table, pick up my bat and run. When I reach the playground, the toss is already done. We’ve won, and I’m sent straight in to open the batting: darn, no time to catch my breath, even. I have to dash between wickets to score runs for my team. But this lost breath gives me the greatest joy I’ve ever had. I’d dozed off in the theatre while watching a late afternoon show. It was one of those lousy Bollywood masala films. Someone’s phone rang and the ‘opening batsman’ dream telecast lost its connection, disrupting my personal show. I wanted to find who
that person was: who’d forgotten to put his phone on silent? To my surprise, it was a kid sitting beside me, playing Angry Birds on his iPad. I whispered to him: “Do you play cricket?” He said: “No, it’s tiring.” The thought of cricket being tiring annoyed me; I decided to go back to sleep, moreover back to my happy childhood days and playing the sport that filled me with energy.
The alarm clock ticked five in the morning and sung melodiously in my ears: “It’s playtime, it’s playtime!” I hurriedly got up from my bed, brushed my teeth, drank a glass of milk and started off on my bicycle towards the playground where defeat meets victory, and sadness meets joy.
White full-sleeve t-shirt Faded black track-pants Black colour sports shoes, partly torn. Straight-handle bicycle My cricket bat on my shoulders And I cycle hard to warm up, To be able to play with all my strength My childhood: this Brings me some injuries and victories And defeats, and trophies. While I was dreaming in the light of those glorious days of my childhood, a sudden noise woke me up once again: it was the interval, and people were getting up, probably to get popcorn and cola. I looked to my right: that kid was still trying to please those Angry-Birds on his iPad. This time he looked back at me: “What’s your highest score?” I wondered how he knew I was playing cricket in my dreams! “One hundred and twenty five, not out.” He started laughing, and said: “Mine is fifty thousand, and I’m getting better with every game.” I couldn’t stop but smile at my dream-mindedness.
I looked at my watch only to find that it was exactly the same time [ten past five] when I used to return from school, and go to play cricket. I got up to drink some water. I needed something as pure as childhood, and what better than water to wake me up from the sight of children playing video games? Instead of an actual sport that keeps them physically fit, helps them build fighting spirit, shows them new heights of elation through victory and teaches them lessons of life through defeat. The thought of this kid shying away from being active and sporty saddened me, so much so that I decided
to leave the movie - which I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t watching anyway - halfway through. I decided to go to some park and watch kids play under the open skies. I walked up to
a nearby park and to my surprise, I found some kids playing Gilli-Danda. Aah! What a sight that was!
These soulful birds on the field, Basked with energy and playfulness, One of them ready to hit the ball Out of the park While the others Were ready to catch it And declare the hitter out. They reached newer heights Every time it hit the skies, And the catchers ran harder Each time to catch it, From the lap of the skies Into their tiny hands The sun was setting, But the spirit of these boys Marked the beginning of a new dawn. Wait; there were a couple of small girls too Among the players; Their clothes full of mud The embrace of Mother Earth, this Made their hearts shine as gold. Darkness was embarking upon the skies But they were walking home with a new light of glory Some children of today, still playing With all their hearts Scoring newer heights Of childhood; Yes, these children of today Living to the fullest Playing to the fullest.
I took out my mobile phone, and started playing Angry Birds: I wanted to see what children get from playing these games. And all I got was pain in my fingers and eyes. Not once did I get any bruises, nor did my clothes become dirty. Sitting in one place I just scored some points, which didn’t take any hard work, courage, determination, perseverance or character. What good are these games anyway?
What would childhood be without these things:
enough passion to play under the sun all day, clothes full of mud, permanent bruises on elbows and knees, scolding from parents for coming home late from the playground, playing harder to win every time, being sad after losing a match, not eating dinner on the days of defeats and then crying… then getting up again in the morning and practising harder to be perfect in the game but above all building that fighting spirit?
O, Child of today Come thou, play Under the open skies And out in the wild. Run and fall, fall and run Remember, Bruises are an important part of growing up Remember, The more thou playest, the more thou learnest And when thou goest out into the fields Play harder each time Life is short, so play with all thy heart Under the sun And in the rain While you still can. Tire not; stop not, Go out and play O, Child of today Go thou, play.
Amit Gupta plays the corporate guy, but at heart he’s a poet, writing secretly for a decade and longing to be where all horizons meet. Right now he’s acting the auteur with three plays under his belt, and penning lyrics for a friend who puts them to music. He loves freezing time with his camera and dreams of taking his piano on a global recital tour.
At Orange Kitchens we believe that children who are more involved in preparing food are more likely to try out new flavours on their plates, respect their food, respect where the food that they eat comes from and in the process wipe their plates clean. When we teach them â&#x20AC;&#x153;realâ&#x20AC;? cooking we talk about where that dish came from (history & geography & learning about different food habits), we follow a certain method (science and following instructions), we are measuring (maths), we are trying to choose the right ingredients (lessons on nutrition and using fresh produce), we share how our elders would always make it or how each Diwali/Christmas/Eid our parents would eat this as a kid (getting to know their family and their traditions better) and of course each time we cook we encourage them to add their special little touch to it... replace that chive with basil, chocolate chips instead of vanilla, serve it differently (getting creative and adventurous)... now that is quite a lot of learning while putting together just one simple dish. While the kids think we are just here in for some fun! For all this and more, send your kidlets to become a part of the food lessons at Orange Kitchens.
Call +971554193522, drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us at orangekitchens.blogspot.ae
which colour do you want?
AN ARTIST CONFESSES THAT SHE OWES HER FONDNESS FOR COLOURS TO THE SIMPLE, INNOCENT AND LOVELY GAME OF TIPPY TIPPY TAP
words RITU DUA
Can you imagine a life, especially a child’s life, without colours? Our world is awash with colours to the extent that we colour code our children right from birth: blue jumpers for the boys and pink frocks for the girls. As we grow up, we make our own colour choices: a bedroom painted in sea foam green and lemon meringue yellow to induce calm, a bright red car to represent power and a black tie to evoke class. And before we know it the colours become a conscious part of us. We begin to understand, identify and connect with life’s objects through their colours: grey clouds for rain; green dots for vegetarian; red script for Coca Cola; golden arches for McDonald’s; green for ‘go’ at the signal. Knowingly and unknowingly, colours leave deep
impressions on our minds. Ask me which colour has left a permanent mark on my heart and mind and I’d say ‘All’! I grew up surrounded by colours, and my first innocent and lovely encounters with the hues revolved around my favourite childhood game, Tippy Tippy Tap. It was a simple game, which began with the denner or chaser shouting out loud: “Tippy Tippy Tap”, and the rest of us would chant back in unison, “Which colour do you want?” The denner would look around and pick a colour, and we’d run to look and touch something, anything in that colour: an orange hair band, a green leaf, a red shoe, a blue book. The one who failed to rush and find the colour would be declared out and
became the next denner. It involved running, chasing, identifying, cheating, screaming and giggling. And, on days when the sun was too harsh we’d bring the game indoors: the origami paper version, often played during school lunch breaks. We’d fold a four-peaked paper fortune teller, marked with different colours on the outward sides and inscribed with predictions like ‘You will get an ‘A’ in the test’ or ‘You will be lucky today’ on the hidden sides. One player would flip-flop the origami and another would select a colour, thereby determining his/ her fortune. There were many versions of this game involving writing numbers and professions on the
hidden sides, spelling out the colour and more, the real fun being in converting every piece of paper to a Tippy Tippy Tap! While not many kids know how to fold the origami these days I still find myself trying my hand at it now and again, scribbling the sides with different colours. But then, I have a special relationship with the colours. I often wonder: was it playtime games that began this fascination? Do I owe being an artist to the innocent, sweet and simple Tippy Tippy Tap? And the answer would be a big, loud, bold YES! I owe the inspiration for my strokes and creations to these colourful memories.
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.
THE GAMES WE PLAYED! IF YOU GREW UP IN THE 80S AND 90S WE BET YOU PLAYED VISH-AMRIT, KHO KHO, GHAR-GHAR & NAME, PLACE, ANIMAL, THING. GAMES THAT LED TO WONDERFUL LAUGHS & SILLY FIGHTS. WE LOOK BACK AT THESE JOYS OF THE INDIAN SOIL! words ISHANA LUTHRA
Oonch neech ka papada: Children asked the denner “Oonch neech ka papada, Oonch mangi ki neech?” (Which do you want, the upper level or the lower level?). The catcher chose either Oonch (any height) or Neech (ground).
Once ‘A’ chose Oonch, he couldn’t step on Neech, or let other players step on his ground. If ‘B’ stayed on the ground by mistake and was captured by ‘A’, then ‘B’ became the catcher in the next game. Langdi Tang: In
a defined area a person hopped on one leg trying to catch all the other players.
Vish-Amrit: The denner ran after the others, giving them vish (poison) by touching them. As soon as vish was given the person
stayed there until his teammates gave him amrit (nectar). The game continued until all the players had been given vish. London Statue: If you were declared the ‘Statue’ you remained like one until released.
Name Place Animal Thing: This game involved drawing four columns and writing the names of a person, place, animal and thing starting with a particular letter of the alphabet. Just two people were enough to play.
SNAKES AND LADDERS
Don’t let the snakes bite
Board games were an absolute pleasure. ‘Snakes and Ladders’, or the desi ‘Saap-Seedhi’ was usually first preference of the two options available (the other being Ludo). The simple board with squares numbered 1 to 100 was overlain with an organised chaos of steps and squiggles. The ladders connected arbitrary squares: shortcuts in the game. By contrast, the snakes were the baby’s dilemma. Without a six,
you were in a fix! If you landed on a square with a ladder, you could climb close to the finish line. Then there was the ‘Catch-22’: an extra-long snake that slid you down to the bottom of the board again. If you threw a 6, you had an extra chance to roll. Our little minds cast spells on the dice to give us winning numbers. Hours were spent escaping snakes and getting to 100.
Little fingers that flew high How this game came into being is a mystery to me. Chidiya Ud could be played literally anywhere: in the kitchen, on the bed, on the floor, etc. It didn’t require any preparations or tools, just a bunch of index fingers aligned in a circle, ready to take flight. One among the group would become game-controller, running down a list of words and affixing them with ‘ud’ (fly). For instance, Chidiya (bird) Ud, aeroplane Ud, peacock Ud, pigeon Ud and so on. Sounds pointless? Read on. At each of the game-controller’s edicts players would raise their fingers, but only at the mention of things that actually flew. This was done very swiftly: if your mind lagged you’d be a defaulter in no time. Ideally, the game-controller’s breathless list would be as random as possible. Defaulters would be evicted for making cars or donkeys fly, and the player with the quickest reflexes won.
The first delight of growing up Tiny hands dragging down a bagful of something… barefoot running to an open space in the house… settling on a carpet and upending the bag: time to play ‘Ghar-Ghar’! The clamour made us smile. The rules were simple: there weren’t any. It was just choosing roles like mum, dad, son, daughter, neighbour, cook, etc. and using props to enact them. The screenplays were inspired by daily routines. Also important were the costumes, often crafted from items in parental wardrobes. Us sisters cut down quite a few of mum’s old dupatta (without her permission) to look the part. The most soughtafter role was that of ‘mum’, followed by ‘cook’, because these people had full control over the toy kitchen set, making imaginary meals and packing tiffin boxes. The game would continue until a silly squabble broke out, or the elders returned home. And once the short-lived fight was over, preparations for the next round began.
The charm of the red pen As children our world was divided into two halves: home and school. I recollect particularly enjoying the eminent role of teacher whenever we played this game. No one wanted to be students so we’d convince younger siblings to form a class. The props were simple: a miniblackboard, a box of coloured chalks, old notebooks, pencils and a red pen. As teacher, I’d give the students class work and homework, then wait for the most exciting part: marking and signing off each notebook with my red pen. The teacher could scold, punish and dismiss students. Looking back, if it weren’t for the red pen, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this game as much.
The lure of the stethoscope
As a child my ambitions changed every hour, brought about by encountering new people or situations. And while like other kids I disliked the injections and medicines, I loved the doctor’s stethoscope. His room was full of things that intrigued my small mind: tubes, height charts (with giraffe cartoons), white coats, thermometers, etc. This game required substantial tools so each one of us brought our Lilliputian doctor sets to mix-match and create a real clinic. The roles were those of doctor, nurse and patient; luckiest was the doctor, who diagnosed illnesses and prescribed bitter pills. The gravity of the illness depended on the number of tools the ‘doctor’ wanted to use. I, for one, recommended surgery to all my patients, and had a fun time ordering the nurse to fetch syringes and knives from the minitrolley.
jktk 1000 ea«kh 800 fli k g RAJA, MANTRI, CHOR, SIPAHI 5 00 h The fun of guessing & cheating
On days when only four children came to play it was an unwritten rule that the afternoon would be spent playing Raja, Mantri, Chor, Sipahi (a.k.a. King, Minister, Thief, Soldier). The four roles would be written on four paper chits, which were then shuffled endlessly. Each player picked a chit and assumed the relevant role, with Raja and Mantri openly declared. The Mantri’s job was to guess who the Chor and Sipahi were. There were points for correct guesses and the winner scored highest. I’d always play this game with a poker face and win! And then there was the match fixing: we’d cheat by making a mark on the chit with Raja written inside it and sail through the game easily.
Ishana Luthra loves to write, dream and travel: she adores her mountain dwelling, craves beaches and lives for the holidays. A workaholic in the meantime, she runs a company called Pattraco, which designs marketing content for businesses globally. An experimental cook, she loves to be with family: embracing the company of children and the elderly defines joy for her. She pens her thoughts at thesunshinepen.wordpress.com.
THE REAL trumpet lead
WOULD LIVES IMPROVE IF THE RICH SOUGHT SIMPLER PLEASURES & THE POOR STOPPED MEASURING WELLBEING AGAINST ECONOMIC YARDSTICKS? WE STOP FOR A WHILE TO SMELL THE ROSES, IGNORE THE GREENER GRASS & DISCOVER THE REAL RICHES AVAILABLE TO ALL. words ARCHANA R SINGH image SUBODH PATHAK
The riches of the wealthy are usually visible, sometimes blatant and often vulgar, but their poverty is camouflaged by layers of insecurity and seldom surfaces. The poverty of the poor is stark and apparent. It is their riches that are concealed and rarely valued.
Must riches always be defined financially? Are there any other measures of richness? Let’s dispense with economic yardsticks and try to identify the unseen treasures that belong to the poor alone. One of the first things brought to mind is the bonhomie of companionship. At the end of the day the family converges before the chulha or tandoor (the earthen oven is usually the only warm place in the house) to eat rotis straight from the fire into the palm of the hand with preserved pickles, onions, green chili, or a seasonal vegetable or dal. Conversation begins: talking, laughing and celebrating the successful completion of one more precious day. There’s no false laughter directed at the din of the TV screen, just real mirth at life experiences being shared amongst family.
In most modest households culture and tradition are passed from one generation to the next. Youngsters learn about family life: the problems faced by their parents (discussed with great transparency), the generational hierarchies (dadi ma getting the first roti), the role of each relation in everyday life, and the decorum of family time. Togetherness borne of smaller shared spaces, meals and conversations enriches life in ways that no amount of money in the bank can. Money, they say, can never buy friends. You may have associates, acquaintances, stooges and hangers-on but real friends are hard to find. The friends who call
Must riches always be defined financially? Are there any other measures?
your mother `Ma’, know where things are kept in your almirah, are privy to all your secrets and work with you at family functions and don’t care whether you’re rich or poor. What’s shared is the treasure of friendship. Happiness is having friends in real time: growing up together, playing outdoors, getting into fist fights, running races in `hand me down’ shoes and preparing for gali cricket with wickets drawn on a rich man’s boundary wall. Real friends are there in flesh and blood. They give of their time, their lives. Quite unlike the experiences of poor little rich kids cocooned in big houses, spending long hours in the make believe worlds of computer games. They hunger for friends and thirst for camaraderie, Skyping for conversation and chatting online with occasionally real, but usually fabricated acquaintances. They may be forced into numerous activity classes by their `soccer moms’. They might be well trained and groomed, with all the material comforts. They’re probably going for `play dates’ arranged by their well-meaning parents
Subodh Pathak is a software engineer by profession, and a photographer and travel enthusiast by passion. He believes that beautiful memories can be preserved in good clicks. He loves the drama created by the lens and light. For him photography is a great stress buster. His works can be found here: facebook.com/subodhPx
so they can spend `quality time’ with their `peer groups’. As soon as friendship started being so planned, child’s play ceased to be child’s play. With no option in the selection of friends, no spontaneity in the choice of games, no say in any decision making, poor little rich kids get poorer by the day. Growing up with lack of material comforts has its social, emotional and behavioural problems but growing up rich in a competitive environment gives rise to its own perils. Having high achievers as parents, attending expensive private schools and being forced into overambitious extracurricular activities can lead to serious maladjustment issues. In a world where nothing is ever enough, where money is always short, where technology demands upgrades every day and where fashions change every week, the rich become stressed simply drawing level. Every individual is poor in some respects. This dilemma will never leave. Since globalisation expanded neighbourhoods, the rich have felt compelled to adopt the
It’s easy to pity people who sleep on pavements but eavesdrop on their conversations and you’ll find real laughter and carefree abandon. Of course they have worries - lack of money is enough worry - but is there anyone, rich or poor, that doesn’t worry?
lifestyles of tycoons and are left always wanting more. It’s ironic that material wealth is so alluring that the riches of humility are completely overlooked. Modest lives, if not misdirected towards getting rich by hook or crook, may be rich in satisfaction because all earnings are channelled into self-motivated pursuits. Rich is he who doesn’t have to keep up with the rich! It’s rare to find a modest home with sleeping pills. Sound sleep is the happy possession of hard working individuals who spend hours sweating to eke out a living. Sleep follows physical tiredness and actually heals the body
preparing it for the next day. In the comfort of air-conditioned bedrooms under silken sheets, insomnia is battled with TV, computers and mobile phones. It’s easy to pity people who sleep on pavements but eavesdrop on their conversations and you’ll find real laughter and carefree abandon. Of course they have worries - lack of money’s enough - but is there anyone, rich or poor, that doesn’t? Life would be simpler if we didn’t judge. It’s comparison that makes us rich or poor. If we didn’t waste time envying the greener grass, we’d have more to smell the roses. And be richest of all!
Dr Archana R Singh has taught at the School of Communications at Panjab University for 14 years, recently taking a break from her work as School chairperson to research new media. A gold medallist throughout her career she has a book, 47 presentations and 21 global publications to her credit, and actively promotes Mass Communications research.
PITTHU OR PITTU GARAM, LAGORI OR DIKORI – THE GAME THAT REVOLVED AROUND A BALL & SEVEN STONES. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST ABOUT THE GAME: THE SCREAMING, HITTING OR RUNNING? words RITU DUA
The fabric of my childhood memories is woven around the feel of dirt under my feet, bruises on my elbows and knees, rambunctious screams and laughter in my ears. The memories are vivid and always bring tears of joy. Many evenings were spent playing never-ending games outdoors. We would skip, hop and never stop. Life was differently beautiful during my first one and a half decades. One of my favourite outdoor pursuits was Pitthu. For those who haven’t played this fabulous game, all you need is a ball, seven flat stones and two teams. The stones are piled up with the largest at the bottom and the smallest on top. A player from Team A throws the ball at the pile from a distance of approximately four metres. Team B players scatter on the field and some of them surround the Pitthu. Each player gets three chances to break the Pitthu. The game begins as soon as the first ‘A’ player actually hits the Pitthu. Team A tries to rebuild the Pitthu and Team B throws the ball their way to try and stop them. If any ‘A’ player gets hit, they’re out, but if their team succeeds in mending the Pitthu, it gets a point. The game continues until all the players have tried to hit the Pitthu, and the team who constructs the most Pitthus wins. I remember looking forward to the evenings when I could go out and play this exciting game with my brothers. There was aiming, running, catching, hitting and topping it all lots of screaming and fun. It taught us alertness and great team spirit but the best part
was thinking up creative ways to distract the other team from rebuilding the tower. Pitthu always reminds me of an incident that was quite some experience. I was falling short of a few Pitthus and approached a house under construction to restock. As I bent down to pick up some smooth and perfect pieces of broken marble slab, I felt a hand on my shoulder. To my utter dismay the chowkidaar (watchman) was standing there with a big laathi (stick) in his hand. He rolled his big, red scary eyes and held me by my arm. My soft little fingers failed to loosen his firm grip. In his kadak (harsh) voice he told me he was taking me to the owner as I was stealing. I trembled and shook and pleaded not guilty but he wouldn’t listen. Suddenly there was a big bang on the other side of the wall and the chowkidaar ran to see what it was. It turned out to be a friend who’d followed me. They managed to cause just enough distraction to let me escape. We ran and ran and the chowkidaar chased after us but who could have caught us flying girls? Breaking window panes with our ball was routine and sometimes even the rear view mirrors of scooters parked in our playing space fell victim. A swollen finger, a bruised knee or a hit on the back or an arm could never kill my passion for this humble game. In spite of the scolding and shouting hurled at us we continued playing Pitthu every evening with overwhelming enthusiasm and undying spirit!
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.
real friends IN THE INDIA OF THE 80’S AND 90’S OUR BFF (BEST FRIENDS FOREVER) WERE OUR SIBLINGS, CLASSMATES & NEIGHBOURS. WE BONDED OVER BADMINTON GAMES, MISCHIEVOUS SECRETS & SCHOOLYARD BRUISES. THIS WAS THE INDIA THAT TAUGHT US HOW TO BOND WITH REAL PLAYMATES.
words PAROMITA BARDOLOI image ANIS SHAIKH
s forever In Pursuit of Happiness: The photographer, Anis Shaikh, captures the beautiful bond between real playmates in this click.
The author, Paromita Bardoloi (second from the left) with her siblings
As I write this, my mind is reeling back nostalgically to the preInternet invasion days, before India had no mobile phones and social networking sites. As little as 15 years ago seems like a different age: an era that can be reminisced about but never lived again. I feel as if I’m writing a postcard from memory with no sender’s address on it.
Looking around I can see life has changed beyond recognition. These days, children have things that in my early youth were a fantasy: Play Stations, mobiles, social networking accounts and fancy apps. Technology is the second name for any child growing up today. At three, they know how
We never had virtual friends at the click of the mouse. We had real playmates. You couldn’t just unfriend someone.
to operate a cell phone, and at four they’re searching for nursery rhymes on YouTube, leaving their parents dumbstruck. The India I grew up in (late 80’s and 90s) obviously wasn’t as connected as it is now. Reaching out, travelling or even discovering beyond what Doordarshan and the newspapers showed wasn’t easy. In that India, growing up meant spending time with the people around you: siblings, parents, cousins, classmates and neighbours. That India taught us a vital concept: bonding. We never had virtual friends at the click of the mouse. Our friends were at home, at school, right next door. You couldn’t just unfriend someone. The only ‘unreal’ friends were in our heads: the ones all kids have growing up, the imaginary buddies. We played in the sun and the mud,
instead of staying indoors. There were no ‘virtual worlds’, where today’s children lose themselves. Our world was completely real, with the schoolyard bruises to show for it. We played cricket, stapu, chor-police and the ever-present running race. Our games never had stylised soundtracks: we had playmates screaming and shouting instead. Going to bed at 8pm was no big deal because our little bodies were tired and the next day we were ready to run again. Our senses knew the trees, the sun and the wind; they didn’t feast on illusory graphics. In the shadow of those games we played and sweated over, we created bonds with the strength to outlast any changes that occurred later in life. We learned the fine arts of conversation, of getting along and dealing with people. Because you knew if you fell out
Anish Sheikh loves travelling in rural areas where life is hard and earning a crust is a challenge. His ‘IN PURSUIT’ series, including the image used here, was shot during three years of roaming by bike over 1 lakh km. He’s mastered post processing and editing, and has 1.6 lakh views on his 500px account. An instrumentation engineer by profession, he’s waiting to complete a design postgrad. Find him at: 500px.com/annishaikh1990 and fb.me/ annishaikh1990.
with somebody one day, they’d be there to contend with the next. The extended family played a very important role. During festivals where the house boomed with streams of relatives, us children would host our own magic shows and cultural nights. The big bed was our stage, with bedsheets for curtains. Our parents had four children: three daughters and a son. My brother was born eight years after me, so us sisters bonded well. My sisters were my heroes: every move of my life was coloured by their actions. Whatever they did, I did too. Once, I followed them to a birthday party I wasn’t invited to, and cried too much. Maa had to collect me; they were clearly embarrassed. I never fared well in class, and used to flunk Mathematics all the time. I did things very slowly, taking hours to complete my homework. But my sisters were school toppers. I think I made it through because they were always there for me: making sure I arrived at school on time, waiting in line to pay my fees and standing in front of teachers who complained about me. When bhai was born I took care of him: he was a little on my side. I took him to his
first school days, cricket matches with cousins and haircuts (though I hated sitting in the men’s salon). Time, like the wheels on a gypsy cart, kept steadily turning, and here we are in 2014. My sisters are settled abroad, and we’re all working now. I have a nephew, too. My brother graduates as a lawyer this summer. Our friends are mostly married and working too, some overseas. But the bonds have remained. I know that most of the things we did as children are outdated now, but what never went out of style is the relationships. We can still pick up the phone and have conversations that warm our hearts for days. Recently, I was talking to my eldest sister - it’s a year since I saw her - and she reminded me of things about myself that I’d forgotten. That day I had a tear in my eye: I realised why some relationships hold and strengthen our backbones whenever we’re lost. Radha has been my steadfast friend since childhood. On my birthday she sent me some scribblings that I’d done on the back of her diary some 15 years
I know that most of the things we did as children are outdated now, but what never went out of style is the relationships.
before. When I saw that, I was stunned. I instantly called her, and she said, “I never lost anything that was yours.” This is what bonding over badminton games, cycling sprees and cleaning each other’s scraped knees does. Time stands still where relationships stay strong. I often wonder, with all the individual games that children play today, will they have anyone to store their keepsakes? May be their only memory stores will be the video games that record their scores and the social networking sites that hold their photo albums. Will selfies make for wonderful memories? Maybe not.
Paromita Bardoloi wrote her first poem at 8; two decades later she’s a writer by profession. When she writes for herself the editors publish her, to her utter surprise. She reviews books for topnotch Indian publishing houses, is trying her hand at poetry and has co-founded a theatre group: ‘Aatish’. Find her at: paromitabardoloi.blogspot.ae.
stop for stapu “GIRLS MUST RESPECT THE STAPU COURT,” SAYS VETERAN PLAYER ARCHANA. ONCE A CHAMPION, SHE STILL LOVES REGAINING HER ONE-LEGGED STANCE AND JUMPING BACK INTO CHILDHOOD. SHE TELLS US HOW TO MAKE ALL THE RIGHT MOVES. words ARCHANA R SINGH
“Stop for Stapu”: the youngest player directed the traffic going past our houses. The road would be blocked in front of the garages because that’s where the court would be drawn. Everyone returning from work was requested to park in the side lane for a couple of hours.
A high decibel match had all the children from the colony participating. Groups of aunties strolling past the court would cheer loudly at an elegantly poised girl. She’d waver blinkingly from side to side, balancing on one leg, and finally take a leap across the rows. The Stapu champ could stay focused, stand onelegged for hours and not tire. She could ‘reserve’ several boxes with her marker and never stepped on ones taken by others. She was a formidable player: the younger participants watched her technique and discussed it amongst themselves after the game. She was yours truly, the Stapu champ of Defence Enclave, New Delhi! In the India of 1980s when we were growing up it was common to find Stapu or hopscotch courts of various sizes drawn with great precision on many neighbourhood roads. The courts told us of the presence of young girls who after a few rounds of skipping rope were likely to begin their game of Stapu.
A girl has to respect a stapu court... The wins and losses were carried home when darkness fell and the games would resume afresh the next day. After the games, a lot of planning and strategising went on, before players returned with greater vigour to recapture lost ground. We’d select the smoothest stones and never shared them with anyone else. We brought coloured chalk from home when it was our turn to play so that the lines on our court were clear and neat. The rules were simple yet uncompromising. Your Stapu (marker) had go right into the box turn-wise until you lost because it went awry. The best boxes had to be
reserved during the game, easing your own progress and making it tougher for the others. Those with small feet had the distinct advantage of rarely touching any of the lines, which the large-footed were prone to: they were often declared `outâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Only a game of Stapu allowed you to reserve the vast ground outside the court called `Samunderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or sea. The one time in your life you had the audacity to book the sea!
Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m on the wrong side of 40 now and still take pride in teaching young girls to draw a Stapu court and play a game whenever I can. The most delightful surprise is when I spot a court lying vacant, after the players have gone home. I take up my one-legged stance and jump through the rows, not bothering about glances from passersby. After all, a girl has to respect the Stapu court!
Dr Archana R Singh has taught at the School of Communications at Panjab University for 14 years, recently taking a break from her work as School chairperson to research new media. A gold medallist throughout her career she has a book, 47 presentations and 21 global publications to her credit, and actively promotes Mass Communications research.
A bunch of children perched on a rooftop wait anxiously to catch a kite gliding towards them and break into a dance as soon as they lay hands on it: the bunch on another terrace concedes defeat. Glimpsing the friendly battle transports me to innocent times, with colourful kites dotting blue skies. To Uttarayan in Gujarat, Basant Panchami in Punjab, Independence Day in New Delhi and Raksha Bandhan in Jammu when young and old expressed unabashed supremacy via patang katna (cutting a kite) and loud, joyful screams. Do the skies still resound with ‘Bo Kaata’ or ‘Kai Po Che’? Or has kite flying been replaced by Candy Crushing? Yes and no.
The most beautiful thing about kite flying is its traditional significance. The sport gained importance at times when India was ruled by nawabs and kings who proved their prowess through kites: those who cut the most down were evidently in charge. Trendsetters in Punjab and Gujarat had the best-looking kites and the sharpest manjha (high-tensile flying line silk). Festival preparations would start a fortnight in advance with the players travelling to Bareilly to purchase
DO KITES STILL SEND OUR SPIRITS SOARING?
the best manjha. D-day brought on the full zeal of friendly competitive spirit. The brothers flew the kites and the sisters held the manjha. There were lots of informal categories: best cynosure-type (with tough competition from fivefeet-high glittery ones, Tirangastyle guddis and Chinese dragons); sharpest manjha (unofficially won by the flyer who cut all before him); best fanfare music; most charming entourage and longest time spent clinging to the roof. No trophies were required to hail the winners: soaring spirits were the biggest prizes. But all this happened a decade ago, before PSPs and smartphones. The pastime still exists but the spirit is vanishing. The dainty Rampuri and Jaipuri kites face harsh competition from costly, fancy Chinese-made kites called Chimgadar. With each passing year, the sport increasingly resembles a formal ritual or an activity to fetch likes on Facebook. Ask any kite-maker. “Even when kids bought a kite from me for 50
paisa I could see the incredible joy in their eyes. The sheen is missing now even if they buy one at 200 rupees.Children are happier with gadgets than watching soaring fighters battle in the sky. What hurts me most is not our negligible earnings now but the fact that young people aren’t keen on learning and passing on the art and science of kite-flying,”says Sheela, a kite manufacturer from Khanna (near Ludhiana), Punjab. Sheela is often referred to as the ‘Queen of the Kite Business’ in Khanna. Ravi Dua, an entrepreneur from the same town adds: “As a child, I was always scolded for running after kites as it could and did give me injuries. Today, we scorn our kids for doing the ‘Temple Run’. Well, nothing’s perfect forever. Without sounding philosophical, kite flying will never be out of fashion: the game relates to kids’ passion for reaching for the skies. The sport’s still popular in Gujarat, Delhi and Cuttack, and although interest has been declining in Punjab it’s not the end.” Ravi spent a good few hours with his son enjoying his childhood passion this Basant Panchami.
words ANU M images AVNEESH MURGAI
KAI PO CHE!
DO THE SKIES STILL RESOUND WITH ‘BO KAATA’ OR ‘KAI PO CHE’?
Snapshots from the Baroda Kite Festival by Avneesh Murgai
We bring Sanjeev Murgai on board, a corporate from Delhi, who seconds Ravi’s opinion. He enlightened us with inputs from 17-year old son, Avneesh: “Delhi still loves kite flying; the bee-like rush in Lal Kuan markets during August vouches for that. It’s an unofficial game in every locality: Raksha Bandhan is semi-final day and victory is savoured on Independence Day. We have other modes of recreation now but kite flying is still very much alive. In fact, every year brings the enchantment of new kites. I absolutely loved the celebrity kites: imagine the fun of an ‘Avneesh Dhoni’ cutting a ‘Virat Kohli’. No other sport gives as much pleasure.”
makes us wonder whether our children will experience
It’s true: kite flying was part of our adolescence and left us all with fond memories. Its decreasing popularity
kite, reach for the skies and shout out: ‘Uddi uddi re
the beauty and passion behind lines like ‘Aayi Bo Kaata’. Says Puneet Jain from Chandigarh: “I miss spotting kites. I was in Ahmedabad in January and I’m taking my son to Gujarat next year. The atmosphere was so energetic; it was amazing to watch families share the happiness of the humble game. I don’t want my son thinking ‘guddis’ mean only A. R. Rehman’s ‘patakha guddis’. I want him to see real guddis in action and take flights of fun.” He’s right: find a spot on the terrace, select a colourful maari guddi!’
Anu M explains that the ‘M’ stands for Massakali, a name earned from friends for her lively spirit. She writes with passion: every piece is her flight of fantasy. She loves music & dance; food, fashion and fun are by default her forte. She can be reached at email@example.com.
KHEL KHEL MEIN...
ONCE UPON A TIME... EVERY NARROW LANE WITNESSED FRIENDLY MATCHES, REAL BRUISES, SILLY SCUFFLES, HEARTFELT PROMISES, GENUINE FRIENDSHIPS... AN ARTIST BRINGS ALIVE THE MEMORIES OF THE CHILDHOOD THAT WAS... artwork & words MANOJ NATH
GUDI-BAAZI OR PATANG-BAZI
I P P U H C A PP U H C R O I A P U I P H P C U N H C A P A K K CHU U L R O I P P A H T A THAPP
A H C N A K R O I T O H K LA I T O G R GOLI O
M A R A G U T T I P R O U H T I R PIT O K I D R O I R LAGO
O Y I B I D N A D R O LA L A I D B N A I T D O O G GILLIR O U D N A D CHINNI-
Manoj Nath is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Bengaluru. Currently, he is working with Hewlett Packard as a Marcomm Designer. He is an avid reader and a big fan of R.D. Burman, and can play his best tunes with his harmonica. A pinch hitter in cricket, this Bong loves punning with words as much as he loves his sweets and fish curry! Although he confesses that he is a die-hard fan of North Indian cuisine too! He can be found at manojnath.com.
EVEN THE NARROWEST SPORTING VENUES CAN BROADEN MINDS. WE BAT FOR TWO OF OUR FAVOURITE OUTDOOR CHILDHOOD PURSUITS, GILLI DANDA AND CRICKET. words PAWAN HORA image AJIT KORE
After spending close to 15 years in Delhi, I now realise that the benefits of being born and raised in a small town (I come from Hazaribag in Jharkhand) were innumerable. We had the privilege of dabbling in many activities that made our childhoods glorious: long bicycle rides, lattu baazi (spinning tops), khokho, pitthu (seven tiles), and, of course, gali cricket and gilli danda. The palatial house we used to live in was fragmented into 7-8 households from the same family. In my generation alone, there must have been 15-20 kids who could play among themselves without outside intrusion or support. A big green field adjacent to our house helped. Vast open spaces were ideal for my favourite games, gilli danda and cricket. I am not sure of the origin of gilli danda but I would assume it started with our fathers and grandfathers’ attempt to make bats. The danda was as long as a baseball or cricket bat and the gilli was a smaller stick, round in the middle and sharp at the ends. One had to use the danda to hit hard on the gilli and cause the latter to flip, followed by smacking it when in the air. Though there were many versions of the game, we played the one in which the striker’s score was dependent on the distance the gilli fell from the striking point.
Gilli danda was a game that improved hand-eye coordination. As for cricket, it’s more evolved, with the positions of fielders, quality of batsmen and type of bowling being discussed after the end of every over. To me it was always a mental game rather a physical one, which is probably why I got hooked on it during my teenage years. Once the adjacent field was sold to a couple of builders and individual bidders it became
subdivided with boundary walls: there went our gilli danda. Thankfully, owing to the extent of our house, we had a big concrete parking area that turned out to be our daytime saviour, as the wall separating the two garages became a new wicket strip. Our school was one of the best in the area (St. Xaviers, Hazaribag) with 7 fields and a couple of nicely rolled-out pitches. Every lunch break brought the spectacle of different groups running madly towards these coveted spots on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. But the ones who couldn’t make it weren’t too disappointed. Scores of peripheral Eucalyptus trees acted as one end of the pitch and scattered piles of broken bricks formed the other. Coal black marks on tree trunks were all that were needed to create multiple pitches. As a father, I’m not too concerned about the availability of play facilities in nearby schools and playgrounds (my locality has plenty), but I am worried about the recreational intent of kids these days. I don’t see too many of them outdoors in the sun, toiling on sand and bruising themselves, although there is a group of boys who play football every evening: it’s a heartwarming sight. It’d be difficult re-introducing games like gilli danda or lattu to our part of Delhi, but I might give it a try. I’d be delighted to introduce my daughter to the world of cricket, khokho, chupan chupai and kit kit (hopscotch) but the problem is that these are all group activities. I wish there were other parents living close by who think that playing Angry Birds at the age of six won’t really set their offspring up for greatness, and who also believe that encouraging kids to get out in the open will make for far more enjoyable childhoods.
Ajit Kore hails from the beautiful city of Nerul, Navi Mumbai. He’s currently pursuing his Bachelors in Computer Science. He loves travelling, and his curious heart and mind are behind his passion and hobby, photography. His best-loved clicks are those capturing the essences of different cultures. Enjoy his works here: facebook.com/K.A.Photobook.
Pawan Hora, historian by background and Public Relations consultant by profession, co-founded WishBox, a PR & Communication Design Studio. Believing firmly in the power of communication, he aspires to take the company to greater heights, so it emerges as a one-stop for clients seeking customised solutions. Know more here: wishboxstudio.com.
N O E the
AWAY! THE WORLD LOOKS SHINY & COLOURFUL WHEN SEEN THROUGH A GOTI. ANYONE WITH A HANDFUL OR BOXFUL CAN RELATE TO THE PLEASURE OF STRIKING, WINNING AND COLLECTING THESE COLOURFUL GLASS SPHERES. words NASRIN MODAK-SIDDIQI
As a young boy of four or five, my husband Tabrez always had marbles rolling around in his pockets. Lots and lots of them: clear ones, coloured ones, cracked ones and perfectly polished ones. They were his favourite toys. Every evening boys in his neighbourhood could be seen shooting marbles and screaming at the joy of winning or the frustration of losing, habitually throwing gotis at the winner. The captivating colours and crystal ball-like appearance of marbles fascinated Tabrez the most. Throughout his childhood, he made a point of winning because victory meant adding more of the little glass globes to his collection. Gradually he built it up to three containers full. Call it lakhoti, kancha, goli, goti or marbles this street game is played the world over. No one knows how it actually originated but with clay marbles found in Egyptian tombs and pyramids and stone and glass ones excavated from the archaeological sites of Mohenjo-daro, a lot can be left to the imagination. People must have been playing marbles for thousands of years. Maybe cavemen started the game with pebbles and perhaps the Harrappan boys made up their fanciful rules one insignificant evening.
Goti is simple and can be played anywhere. Just dig a small hole or draw a circle on the ground, choose the game, and begin. There are several different ways to play, each with its own techniques and rules. Tabrez told me about one version with marbles arranged within a triangular, circular or square boundary. Players would take in turns to try and hit the marbles from a designated distance. The marbles that landed beyond the boundary belonged to the striker. The winner was whoever had the most ‘outliers’. Actor Jaaved Jaffery remembers playing a game called koyba where a rectangle was made on the ground against a wall with a gull (small hole) dug at its centre. Three big marbles or gotas were chosen; two were thrown close to the gull and the third was used to shoot them out of the rectangle. He fondly recalls winning 65 marbles in a single game one afternoon after school. Although Goti is still played in the many lanes of our country, the kids who are glued to their iPads and Xboxes will never know the joy of holding a blue or green goti to the light and seeing how beautiful the world looks in colour. They won’t experience the euphoria of collecting these sparkling little spheres. As for my little boy, I’m not concerned: I know he’ll learn to play from dad and in a few years he’ll be adding to his collection of gotis too.
Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller and movie-buff. She has many stories, some real, others figments of her imagination. On sabbatical from full-time scribing, her current motivators are good trips, meals, books or movies. She writes fiction, clicks photographs and edits old ones to add drama. Find her at continuumera.blogspot.com.
LET’S DRESS UP EVERY LITTLE CORNER OF OUR HOMES
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close encounters ANIMAL SIGHTINGS, LUXURY IN THE WILDERNESS, ELUSIVE FELINES AND OTHER TALES FROM A JUNGLE IN RAJASTHAN
the globe & the gully
words & images BEVERLY PEREIRA
The 120-year-old haveli, Castle Jhoomar Baoriâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s terrace commands a stunning view at sunset
(Top to bottom) Rufous treepie. Ranthambore’s surrounding hills.
Spending time in the wilderness is an experience like no other. Every moment is unpredictable, teaching outsiders lessons in patience and respect for the ways of the wild. You enter a higher state of awareness, always alert for animal and bird sightings: rarities in our own ‘concrete’ jungles. We’re at the Ranthambore National Park, 14 km from Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan. One of the largest wildlife parks in northern India, Ranthambore is to wildlife enthusiasts what Coachella Music Festival is to music aficionados. Everyone you meet is fixated on seeing the star attraction: the tiger. We set out on our first safari at 2.30 pm in an open-top canter. The Rajasthani sun is at its peak, but nothing appears between the wilderness and us. The park is divided into eight zones; Zone 1-6 has tigers aplenty, while the latter two have none. Luckily, we’ve been assigned Zone 1, raising the stakes of spotting a striped beauty. As the canter makes its way over Ranthabore’s rugged terrain, we take in the surroundings, made up of dry deciduous forests interspersed with grassy patches and trees. The game reserve has two lakes, which, we hear, are the best places for animal sightings. But our safari guide tells us Zone 1 doesn’t house any of them.
the globe & the gully
All of a sudden the canter draws to a halt. We spot two varieties of deer (sambar and chital) grazing with their herds. Families of languid langurs sit in the shade of the trees, and peacocks strut around oblivious to our presence. Our guide instructs us to keep quiet, not to take in jungle sounds, but because we might be in the proximity of a tiger. The peacock is sending out an ‘alert’ call, which sounds like the full-throated mew of a cat. Meanwhile, a herd of sambar looks on in a single direction - with their small tails erect - while sending out calls that, without doubt, sound urgent.
The calls eventually pass and the open-top begins to move again along the bumpy path. We silently hope we’ll have a glimpse of the majestic cat as we meander through the jungle. But luck doesn’t seem to be on our side today. Still, there are many more safaris to embark on: we’ll probably see the elusive cat on one of them. A massive orange sun sets behind us as we leave Ranthambore. We’ve chosen to stay at a 120-year-old haveli, Castle Jhoomar Baori, built and maintained by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC). While there are many luxury properties in Sawai Madhopur, this hotel, atop a hill, is the only one within the buffer area of the national park. That’s why we chose to stay there. But Jhoomar Baori is far from basic: its wellequipped, hygienic and spacious rooms command a stunning view of the national park, and the staff epitomise Rajasthani hospitality.
A male chital looks out for his herd
Zone 3 has a paradisiacal feel
On the bumpy safari trail
the globe & the gully
Ranthambore Fort made it to the Unesco World Heritage List in 2013
We spot a chital scrambling deeper into the forest. We’re so close to the tiger, but are still so far from actually seeing it. K P Singh, the fiftyish man who runs the hotel, takes it upon himself to relate his trysts with Ranthambore’s much-feared tigers. He enthralls us with story after story of dangerous and unexpected encounters as we huddle in rapt attention on a terrace illuminated by the waxing moon. Suddenly, he animatedly signals that he has just heard the call of the tiger. We hear it too. Not one, or two, but three distinct snorting grunts from three different directions - that emerge from the jungle below. We hear it again, and our pulses are set racing as we dash from one end of the terrace to the other in the hope of a sighting. But it’s nighttime and the tigers are at their elusive best. All those reminiscences of face-toface tiger encounters appear to have made Singh nostalgic, childlike even. He decides we should take a car down the path leading to the main road. We might, he feels, get a glimpse of at least one of the three creatures of the night. Five pairs of eyes attempt to scan both sides of the path. No luck again, but a thrill nonetheless. Driving back, we notice
two other cars along the otherwise quiet road. Singh tells us that a tiger’s call can be heard from as far as 3km away, and it might have drifted towards guests at nearby hotels. The next day, we hear of a tiger sighting on that very road, from a fellow safarigoer. Besides tigers, the sprawling national park is home to leopards, hyenas, jungle cats, wild boar, bears, marsh crocodiles, neelgai (Asian antelope) and deer. Bird species like the rufous treepie, collared-scops owl, rose-ringed parakeet, redcrested woodpecker, white-throated kingfisher and peacock are also spotted in abundance. Today, we rise early ahead of our second safari. Driving through the park at 6.30am, we feel positive and rested after the previous night’s close encounter. Zone 3 is almost paradisiacal in appearance with the ruins of Pre-Independence Ranthambore Fort looming in the distance, a large lake, and banyan and wild date palm trees. The park was once the hunting ground of the maharajas of Jaipur. Our guide tells us that a tiger had made a kill the previous night, giving us a high chance of a sighting. We arrive at the site only to spot a sambar deer carcass and the pugmarks of a female tiger. A group of people excitedly tells us about a tiger they’d spotted only a few minutes ago, before it left for a nearby body of water. As we wait and watch, a herd of deer sends out ‘alert’ calls. Everybody can sense it: the tiger’s not far. Two hours and many incredibly beautiful bird sightings later, there’s
still no sign of it. There is no point in leaving, says our guide, for the tiger will definitely be back to consume the rest of its kill. Two hours and many incredibly beautiful bird sightings later, there’s still no sign of the tiger. It is an elusive animal, indeed. No prizes for guessing why it’s the most-feared predator of the jungle. Back at the hotel we enjoy a sunset yoga session with a spectacular 360-degree view of the hills and the jungle. We stay on the terrace before taking the 4am train to Jaipur. As darkness descends upon the forest, the ‘churring’ call of the nightjar reaches a piercing crescendo. Then we hear that unmistakable sound again: the booming grunt of a tiger, closely followed by a shuffling noise. We spot a chital scrambling deeper into the forest. We’re close to the tiger, but still far from actually seeing it. It is 3 am when we set out for the railway station and it’s our last chance for a prized sighting. But in no time, we are out of the jungle and on the main road. A slight heaviness fills our hearts. We are jolted back to reality as we spot a cat-like animal crossing the road in two swift leaps. We reverse the vehicle, and using the dim headlight beam, we discover that it is a leopard. As we gaze at it, we realise that it is looking back at us. We can barely grasp the reality of it all. While the safaris didn’t yield us luck on the sighting front, we have now come face to face with Ranthambore’s second largest cat — a young, agile leopard with beautiful spots — perhaps, in the midst of its nocturnal hunt.
A writer who lives to discover, Beverly Pereira can be found enjoying a great meal or a song when she’s not creating prose. The art of storytelling, hearing people’s tales, painting and reading inevitably inspire her to write more.
words CHELLE VIEGAS
“Yes yes!” squealed Bob as he got closer to the next level of Angry Birds. He’d just finished arranging the Ben 10 figures he’d been collecting for a year. His Grandpa, Bill, a ghost now, hovered beside him. (Bob referred to his Grandpa as ‘Abba’ out of love.) “Abba, stop frowning. You should be proud of me, some of my friends haven’t reached this level yet, you know. But Allen’s ahead of me. He bet me today that I couldn’t beat his score.” Bill didn’t say anything. He just stood by the window staring outside. “Why are you so quiet, Abba?” Bill burst out laughing but he still looked outside. Bob looked up from the screen of his iPhone wondering what had amused his grandpa and observed the side of his face: the dimples that appeared on the sides of his mouth when he laughed, his thick eyelashes that curled upwards like a girl’s. “Bob, do you know how much fun I had as a kid? Cricket was so much fun! Once our rubber ball hit a woman on her forehead: she’d been walking beside the boundary wall. She fainted on impact and had to be rushed to the nearest
hospital in a rickshaw! The guards came and asked if we knew who was responsible and we looked at each other with the most innocent and confused faces. The laughs we had that day! And there was this silly game we played. I joined in only once. I don’t remember its name. Maybe it was just our invention. It had two players. I had to hold my partner’s left hand with my right, so my left hand and his right hand were free. With our free hands we could hit whoever approached, and the winner was the person who’d pry us apart, like a tug of war. The challenge was to keep holding hands whatever came our way.” He turned to his grandson hoping he was listening but Bob was glued to his screen. “I heard you Abba, I’m just not interested. You didn’t have gadgets like these, right?” Bill chose to ignore his grandson. No one could stop him narrating his childhood stories. “I hated being indoors. It’s like I was born to be outdoors. During monsoons especially, when the lakes became wild. We’d have swimming races. I’d keep hollow coconuts under my chest to stay afloat. Can you imagine the thrill when you don’t know how to swim but the possibility of winning keeps you going?” Bob didn’t reply to this rhetorical question; Bill continued. “If Sahana wasn’t always busy she could take you fishing.
I had a simple fishing rod and used earthworms as bait. And in sweet water, Bob!! Those fish taste totally different from these saltwater fish Sahana gets for you.” His eyes twinkled as he said this. Bill used a lot of gestures while speaking. ‘Those’ was represented with his palm facing northeast and ‘These’ by northwest. But Bob wasn’t noticing this now.
Bill laughed loudly again and said “You know what was my favourite toy or gadget back then? Guess.” He hoped to draw Bob’s attention having finally realised he couldn’t go on without his grandson’s
involvement. “Dunno, Abba.” Bob’s voice was a drone, concentrating on his iPhone. “My catapult! I loved to target woodpeckers. Don’t think I was a sadist: it was just childish fun. For a long time I used to observe birds. I admired the way they made their nests with so much planning and care. The way they searched for materials to make them. The way they made them. Fascinated me. I thought if I built one with love, a bird would lay her eggs in it! I made one with twigs and hay and sat there on the branch for days waiting for a bird but none came.” At this Bob looked up. “I know how it feels Abba, I can’t seem to beat my own high score, forget Allen’s.” “Bob, you need to go out and play along with the boys.” “Which boys, Abba? Everyone’s at home playing on the PS3 or Xbox.” Bill sighed. “Put your phone down. I’ll teach you a new game.” Bill scanned the dimensions of the hall. Is it big enough to play Kabaddi? he thought to himself. “No Abba!! Not now.” Bob shifted his weight on the couch and parked his feet under a cushion. He hoped his Grandpa would get the hint. “I was a Kabaddi player in my youth. I used to scrape my knees while playing.” Bob nodded and wondered what had got into his Abba. “Bob, have you seen buffalos race? Have you heard of the famous Kambala race in Mangalore?” Could this boy be interested in anything? Bill thought. “No, not that. But I may have seen buffalos run on Animal Planet. I dunno. Oh damn, Abba, you made me lose! Oops. Sorry for the ‘word’.” Bill felt sorry for the kid. Was he pushing him too far? “Okay, you don’t want to go outdoors. At least learn to play chess. Carom? You always cheat.”
He went up to the boy and nudged him. Bob looked up, embarrassed. “I never cheat.”
Sahana entered the room. “Bob, enough of your gaming. Help me download your textbooks.” “No Mom, pleeeease.” he squealed and jumped off the couch. “My friends are asking me to log into Facebook. We have to play a game.” Bill remembered the time he helped his mother cover his books. Brown paper was coveted then, before the age of e-books, and he remembered having flung the scissors into his sister’s back during a brawl over who would get the last scrap. A scissor blade met her back in mid-flight and had hung there. Bill shook his head to get rid of the reverie. Oh, how mean he’d been! But at least he’d valued brown paper. Who knew it would become non-existent? What was he doing here? He was just hindering his grandson’s progress. His ghost disappeared as Sahana sat at the laptop table to download the books. Bob sighed with relief as his mom gave up calling out to him. He poked his friend Allen on Facebook and thought to himself “What’s taking him so long? He’s there, next door, I can hear the silence in his house: his parents are still asleep. Should I check on him?” He decided against it, and while waiting for his friends to appear online, smirked at the stories Abba had told him. “Why does Abba always try to get me to play outdoors? He sooo does not belong to this generation. Ghosts need to be updated too. Current status 0%.” He chuckled to himself.
(I created a relationship between a dead grandfather and his grandson to highlight the generation gap. We called our late maternal granddad Gregory Viegas ‘Abba’, hence the name, with love. But the character is inspired by my Dad, William D’costa, so Bill’s childhood experiences are his and non-fictional. My brother Mervin D’costa - his nickname’s Bob - inspired the grandson. The rest of the story is fictional.)
Chelle Viegas is the newly adopted pseudonym of Michelle D’costa. Viegas is her mom’s maiden name and Chelle’s paying reverence. Her mom just started calling her Chelle: she’s loving it. Find her published work here: michelledcostawrites.wordpress.com.
masti ki paathshala WILL DELHI UNIVERSITY’S EDUCATIONAL USE OF BOLLYWOOD FILMS LIKE ‘3 IDIOTS’, ‘PEEPLI LIVE’, ‘UDAAN’, ‘LAGAAN’ AND ‘WAKE UP SID’ SUCCEED OR FAIL AT THE BOX OFFICE? words SACHI KUMAR
“You can learn something from everyone, everything”: I guess it was those words, or similar, that caught the fancy of professors and experts at Delhi University (DU) when they suggested adding Bollywood films to the curriculum.
We‘re a nation obsessed with cinema. We take pride in imitating stars, repeating popular dialogues and watching the same films repeatedly. The fanfare of music, love, friendship, drama, glamour and ‘masala’ defines us all. And from now on it might directly influence our graduates, too. DU’s latest move, designed to make learning more interesting, would see students taking in lessons from the 70MM. The newly proposed four-year curriculum features 11 foundation courses in the first two years. Of the 17 movies slated for inclusion, ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Peepli Live’, ‘Udaan’, ‘Lagaan’ and ‘Wake Up Sid’ would be part of the psychology and life skills course. Will screening these boost attendance? Will the initiative give us filmmakers to make us proud? Or will the ‘masti ki paathshala’ be a Box Office flop? Globally, cinema is used as a significant tool to enhance teaching. Technology has made downloading and watching films smoother, easier and more enjoyable. And it’s safe to assume that if students were told they’d be going to college to watch films, they’d be far more likely to make it to classes on time.
DU’s new approach to enhancing the overall development of students has been given the thumbsup from experts who believe in imparting lessons via theatre. It’s clear that Bollywood movies are no longer merely about poor boys wooing rich girls and winning their love. While the ‘boy and girl running through sprawling fields’ movies still have a lot of appeal, releases like ‘Wake Up Sid’ and ‘3 Idiots’ inspire filmgoers to follow their passions and think beyond the professions of medicine and engineering. My own blossoming romance with photography resulted from Ranbir Kapoor’s character in ‘Wake Up Sid’. From career choices and mistakes to life’s dilemmas and pleasures: this course promises to shed light on them all. It also aims to help students understand and negotiate friendship, love, hate and anger among many other emotions and paradoxes. Empathising with onscreen characters is an important tool for questioning, understanding and discussing everyday issues and circumstances. The struggles and successes of women protagonists, the pains and joys of child characters and the optimism and hard work of male leads might encourage many to persevere. The news has of course piqued student attention, especially among those interested in the arts. And it’s likely this move will bridge the gap between academics and the movie industry. But will students
look at the classes as mere sources of entertainment? Should there be criteria for choosing between course applicants? Will parents discourage their children from opting for Bollywood studies in case the classes distract from core subjects? I guess the answers will only be revealed in the final cut.
I’d like to enroll myself but have a slight concern: Bollywood is inspired by both reality and fiction, and I want to learn from the real world. I’m afraid the melodramatic aspects of fiction might obstruct my progress. What are your views on this?
Sachi Kumar is a finance major and ‘accidental’ writer. She’s crazy about sunsets, Dubai winters and Bombay monsoons. Aside from meeting college deadlines you’ll find her wrapped in blankets and books, surrendering to chocolate. A passionate foodie, she loves eating but dislikes cooking. Her other craves are spontaneity and travelling.
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s d d + M l n k o L
EVERY STATE, CITY, TOWN & VILLAGE IN INDIA HAS STREET FOOD OF ITS OWN. HERE’S A HANDFUL OF SOULFUL SNACKS - DEEP-FRIED, SPICY, DIRTY, CHEAP, MOUTHWATERING, SWEET, FRESH, STALE, OVERCOOKED AND EVENLY ROASTED - THAT’S HAD US LICKING OUR FINGERS FOR DECADES. words & images SANKET GARADE
a t t u h b
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Rainy day. Lots of nimbu and namak. Charcoal. Corn on the cob. Evenly roasted.
Explosive taste. Golf ball-sized dumpling. Tamarind water. Sweet, sour, spicy. No one can have just one.
i l a f g oon Time pass. Salted, spicy, boiled, dry roasted or raw. A large karahi (wok). Roasted in hot salt. Winter.
n r o c t e e sw Red chili. A dash of lemon. Salt to taste. Spoonfuls of masala. A cupful. Golden yellow kernels.
i n a p u b nim Natural. Thirst quencher. Indian lemonade. Sugar syrup. Salt. Desi summer cooler.
m a a a h c c a
Chatpata. Red chilli. Thin, raw. Slurp. Spicy snack. reeti Raghunath goes back and forth from Dubai: this is her third tryst with the city and she’s figured P out she really likes it here! A journalist on mommy mega-sabbatical, she’s currently romancing her Nikon, giving her photos of doors, people and cityscapes a kitschy twist. She’d be happy to chat with you; beyond the clicking she’ll also help decide what would work best in the frames on your walls. Find her here, preetiraghunath.wix.com/preeti-raghunath.
i r u p l e h
Puffed rice. Tangy tamarind and mint chutney. Savoury. Dry and wet bhel. Combination of sev, onions, papadis, potatoes, raw mango, et al.
e l o h c r a t a
Boiled chickpeas. Chopped onions. Small thin kulchas. Favourite lunch dish. Patile wale chole.
Sanket Garade is an electronics engineer who loves trekking, travelling and astronomy. Compelled to capture passing scenes - people, streets, landscapes - he developed an interest in photography, starting with the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;pointand-shootâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, now an SLR. Often, he loses track of time: a sure sign of happiness. Find his work here: 500px.com/ sanketgarade.
WE’RE ANGRY AND WE DON’T WANT THIS ANGER TO DIE. WRITE TO US AT THEINDIANTRUMPET@GMAIL.COM. WE PLEDGE THAT WE WILL KEEP THE ANGER ALIVE IN EACH AND EVERY ISSUE OF THE INDIAN TRUMPET MAGAZINE. as told to MEGHA SABHARWAL
LET’S NOT MOVE ON. DON’T LET THIS PHASE PASS.
Ritu Sharma Have we moved on after the dreadful 16/12? The screams of a 23-year old ‘Nirbhaya’ still haunt us. But is the anger within us reaching the law makers? Even after the ‘Rape Laws’ being passed, are they being implemented effectively? Are girls in India safer now? Have the boys and men stopped raping the innocent girls and hurting them like animals? Has the society changed its mindset towards the countless the ‘Nirbhayas’ in our country? May be or may be not! We will keep screaming. We will keep being angry till India turns to be safer and secure for our girls.
Though women hold a high place of respect in our society but violence against them is increasing by horrifying numbers. Rape, sexual harassment, gender discrimination and dowrydeath, all these issues are increasing at a rapid rate. Women are seen doing a lot for their families but they don’t get the respect they deserve. On one side, we worship Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and Goddess Saraswati for education and on the other side we are molesting her. In this male dominant society, women are being used for their own needs. It’s important to take effective steps to save the dignity of woman. There is a need of social awakening about the contribution of women in the society and also the implementation of some strict rules against the culprits so that due respect and equal status is given to women. The aforesaid can be spread in the form of seminars, media, giving moral values to the children right from the very early age.
Smriti Sandhu A woman is an emblem of beauty but off late it has become synonymous with the word VICTIM! YES, in most of the developing countries like ours, a female has become a victim of grave offences occurring right before her birth in the form of female feticide, to child abuse in her teens and domestic violence in her adulthood! It is anguishing to see the alarming rate of these crimes in a country that boasts about worshiping female deities. Despite repeated protests, there is lack of strict and stringent laws for sexual crimes against women. Death penalty is too meager a price a man has to pay for ripping off a woman of her dignity and leaving indelible physical and psychological marks on the victim. Hence, the perpetuators of a crime as heinous and pernicious as RAPE should be EMASCULATED. With these views, I might sound like a fanatically zealous feminist but safeguarding my dignity is my right and I shall, at no cost compromise with it.
(Please note: The views expressed by readers in this section are solely theirs and don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication. These are original pieces/words sent by the readers, and are being ‘printed’ as ‘submitted’.)
There are seasons. If you are a natureholic then you would know of summer, autumn, spring and winter. If you are a fashionholic then you would know of Winter, Spring/ Summer and Fall/Pre-Fall. And if you are an Indian then you would know of the scam season, rape season, incest season, dowry season, bomb season, murder season… This ‘season’ too shall pass? Once upon a time we got obsessed with kids falling in pits. The whole nation prayed for a child who was in a pit and troops of men tried to save his life. Did no one fall in a pit postthat? Were all the manholes covered after that? We don’t remember. We moved on. Once upon a time we got obsessed with incest victims? Our newspaper splashed gruesome tales. Did no hand reach a place where it should have not, after that? We don’t remember. We moved on. Once upon a time we got obsessed with a 23-year-old who was gang raped? Then a six-year-old, then a 45-yearold, now again a 22-year-old… We will soon not remember. We will move on. This is the rape season. This phase shall too pass?
hey woman, celebrate yourself! THAT’S THE MESSAGE AANCHAL CHANDA ASPIRES TO SEND THROUGH HER DESIGNS CELEBRATING FEMALE STRENGTH, BEAUTY AND INDIVIDUALISM. over a cup of chai
words BHAVNEET BHATTI
India’s vibrant, bustling streets, Middle Eastern glamour, the beautiful Caribbean, New York’s relaxed chic, London’s cocktail hours: Aanchal finds inspiration in diverse cultures
For some it’s the latest trend; for some it’s about personality; for others it’s an amalgamation of style, comfort and culture. For this young designer, fashion means all these and more. Having launched her first line in the US, and with a new collection for Dubai, we find out what Aanchal Chanda’s brand means and how she compares the fashion scenes in India, the US and Dubai. The words ‘fashion’ and ‘style’ have multi-dimensional connotations today. How does your label define and interpret them? My label is characterised by female sensuality, femininity and strength. From early on my approach was to empower women and develop a brand that not only makes them look good but also encompasses their attitude. Women wearing Aanchal Chanda are determined individuals driven to overcome any challenge. What are the main contrasts you see between New York and Dubai? Each city has a different dynamic, with unique viewpoints reflected in fashion, style and attitude. You feel the vibrancy of New York the minute you land; it’s all about energy, creative lifestyles and trendsetting. The Middle East is still very culturally influenced; Dubai itself is a cosmopolis with many different backgrounds. Fashion is a way of life, with women exposed to an array of local, regional and international brands. What do you like most about Dubai? Women here have great taste and appreciation for craftsmanship and uniqueness: it’s an amazing setting for any fashion brand. How would you define the fashion scene in Dubai? How have culture, weather and local fashion sense influenced your collection? Dubai is one of the fastest-emerging fashion capitals, housing some of the world’s finest boutiques. Due to the cross-section of cultures it’s almost impossible to sum up the scene in a sentence. I’ve seen it mature over the years; it’ll always maintain a diverse mix of styles. I work with lots of flowing fabrics, joyful colours and rich, refreshing embroideries, while ensuring every outfit has a structured element. The things I change while designing for GCC women are colour combination, outfit length (because of cultural limitations: something I respect, being from a strongly cultural country) and volume.
Which part of India are you from and what is it you miss most? I’m from Delhi and travel there often: whenever I miss home! I love the colours, the style, and of course the food.
Does the Indian connection play a major role in your designs? How does it influence your choice of colours and fabrics and the styles you create? India plays a vital role in my life and designs. It’s a country where art and tradition are found in almost every place and thing, and my clothes are very influenced by that. I design for all women, regardless of age, size, race, and shape. Every woman has the right to celebrate herself.
over a cup of chai
I draw inspiration from women and life as it appears before me. India’s bustling streets, the glamorous Middle East, the beautiful Caribbean, New York’s relaxed chic, London’s cocktail hours ... my designing so far has been a voyage through the most diverse cultures!
look good all the time, on the red carpet or otherwise. I design according to individual styles and attitudes. Are there any quick tips you could give women picking out garments for themselves? The most important element is comfort so if a dress fits you, wear it with pride and confidence. Aanchal Chanda is about being easy-to-wear, expressing individual styles, blending colours and accessorising. Mixing colours with different styles is an art: be careful. It can be dubbed ‘creative’
but it can also look totally wrong. A fashion statement is about combining a dress with accessories to compliment that final look, something we recommend to the fashionistas.
The strong, dynamic modern woman seems to be your muse. How do you blend in traditional elements when creating collections for modern women? What’s in store for the My label is all about coming season? combining the feel good For Aanchal Chanda, the factors for women. I take mission is to continue building various elements – colours; the brand across emerging cuts; embroidery - and markets as well as expanding encompass them in dresses. distribution through existing Instead of differentiating and channels. It’s important to categorising the factors I create awareness of the embrace and apply them to collection as well as the brand each garment, making every Aanchal Chanda, the designer who is on a colourful mission to and its portfolio in several piece a statement in itself. I empower women markets. As a brand we’ve tend to use bright, rich, deep grown tremendously and are colours complimented by determined to maintain our outreach. We’re looking at fun, feminine cuts with bold prints and extraordinary expanding in markets with limited variety like Malta and embroidery. Tahiti. There are plans to develop new lines, but above Do you think designing for celebrities and women all we’re looking at opportunities to empower women on the go are two different concepts? How do you in India. We’re increasing the production team, offering cater to the two different clienteles? women employment opportunities and encouraging They’re not parallel concepts. I believe women want to them to be independent. If you love to eat then you’d do anything to be in the classroom of Bhavneet Bhatti. For this assistant professor at the School of Communication Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh is likely to reward you for your good performance with a lovely meal. Meals and capturing memories surrounding each is what she loves the most, followed by researching (she is a PhD) & teaching. Also, these days she is back to romancing the words and fall in love with one of her oldest passions, writing.
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THEY RULE AND RUN THE PLAYGROUND FUN, WITH RHYMES WE CHOOSE, AND NEVER LOSE.
words BINDIYA FARSWANI
Ah, rhymes: the beautiful crimes making life so divine. Rhymes play a vital part in all children’s lives. Not least because they have to go through the crucial procedure of deciding: ‘Who’ll be the denner?’ Otherwise known as the player who starts the game, among other tasks, until they’re caught or otherwise declared ‘Out’. Choosing a denner requires chanting the rhymes and when silence falls on the final child, they either yell: “Yeah! I’m the denner now!” or mourn: “Oh no, not me again!” Rhymes are portable playthings. The best part about using rhymes is that only melodic voices and physicality are required to expound the clever, attractive inflections and repetitions. The actions aid memorisation, phonemic awareness and literacy in children. In some cultures rhymes are believed to be innate. Right from the moment children begin talking, they take pleasure in experimenting with sounds. This behaviour acts as a precursor to further enjoyment. With repetition the recitation becomes a form of play, and children develop the capacity to learn rhymes effortlessly. I recollect a story about a friend who was shy and reserved, and took a while to adapt to her new convent school. Eventually she found the courage to trot over to a group. All she could hear was: “You be the denner.” When the kids saw her stare, they
invited her to play. She entered a world of joy where the focus revolved around who was ‘IN’ and who was ‘OUT’. Now she realises the psychology behind the rhymes. But many kids never understand the meanings of the words they sing, only remembering the ring and rhythm. Let’s think back to the first time we bonded with our little buddies. More than likely it was during games such as Chupa Chuppi (Hide and Seek), Antakshari (where each song starts with the last letter of the one before it) or Rigmarole, all of which involve a denner. “Baithe, baithe, kya karein? Karna hai kuch kaam, Shuru karo antakshri, leke prabhu ka naam!” It’s the rhyme chanted at the beginning of Antakshri to decide who’d sing first. While many traditional rhymes are asinine, some have hidden messages, the most famous being: “Ring a Ring o’ roses, A pocket full of posies, A-tishoo! A-tishoo! We all fall down.” Some say its origins lie in the Black Death that swept across Europe during the 1340s, and London’s Great Plague of 1665/6, with ‘ring o’ roses’ referring to victims’ rashes, ‘posies’ signifying herbal remedies, and the sneezing and falling down representing terminal symptoms. The ‘beautiful crimes’ - compact stories with beginnings, middles and ends - fit perfectly within children’s limited attention spans. With all these memories, don’t you feel like reliving your childhood?
Play time! Ip dip dip My blue ship Sailing in the water Like a cup and saucer Ip dip dip Akar bakar bambay bo Asi nabay pooray sao So mein lagga dhaga Chor nikal ke bhaga Inky pinky ponky Father had a donkey Donkey died Father cried Inky pinky ponky Bubblegum bubblegum in a dish How many bubblegums do you wish? In pin safety pin In pin out Khelna hai toh khelo Warna get out Eenie meenie minie mo Catch the baby by its toe If he cries then let him go Eenie meenie minie mo Each peach pure plum choose your best plum chum Baithe, baithe, kya karein? Karna hai kuch kaam, Shuru karo antakshri, leke prabhu/rabb ka naam! Say the bells of St Clement’s You owe me five farthings Say the bells of St Martin’s
Here comes a candle to light you to bed And here comes a chopper To chop off your head! Chip, chop, chip, chop The last one is dead! Ring a ring o’ roses A pocket full of posies A-tish-oo, a-tish-oo We all fall down Aam chori chapa chori Garam masala pani puri Aam chori chapa chori garam masala pani puri STOP (If you’re the person STOP lands on, the person opposite you has to become a statue.) Aakku paaku vethala paakku Thaam thoom koyya Asaka lakadi buska lakadi Balasundaram enperu koya (This rhyme is recited during the traditional rural game Aakku paaku Vethala paaku.) (Just a few rhymes that helped us choose a denner.)
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.
When will you pay me? Say the bells of Old Bailey When I grow rich Say the bells of Shoreditch When will that be? Say the bells of Stepney I do not know Says the great bell of Bow
,d nks rhu
Amit Gupta plays the quintessential corporate guy, but at heart heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a poet, writing secretly for a decade and longing for places where all horizons meet. At the moment heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s busy penning lyrics for a friend whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s putting them to music, and donning the hat of an auteur, with three plays under his belt. He loves freezing time with his camera and dabbles with the piano too. He dreams of the day when he can take recitals of his work on tour around the globe.
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