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    June 30th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Sports


    The members of Suzuki Shogun Club ride with pride. Be it the sound of the machine or the look of it, every aspect of the two-stroke bike attracts them to it. The bike, which was manufactured in the 90s, was every college student’s dream bike those days. And for these members, who call themselves the ‘gunners’, nothing much has changed over the years. 

    “I had bought it back then,” reminisces Jaswant, a businessman, who started the club in the City in August 2012 with 15 members. Now, the members of the Shogun clubs from various other cities join these bikers on their rides too. “We have a pan-India presence and sometimes, we have members from Mysuru and Hubballi joining us. We are highly grateful to the Mysuru ‘gunners’ for helping us with everything,” he adds.

    Some of the members just love the sound of the Shogun. Says Rishith, a student, “One of my brother’s friends had it and I would often see it. I loved it so much that I ended up buying it. My favourite part about it is the sound!” According to him, it’s just the ideal bike, to which Rahul Ravishankar, a business, adds, “These bikes were developed on the race tracks. So they give a good competition to four-stroke bikes.” Rahul feels that the Suzuki Shogun is lighter to ride than an Activa! “It’s very easy to ride them on the roads,” he notes.

    The group has done many long-distance rides to places like Nandi Hills, Chikkamagaluru and Ooty. Every year, they organise a ride on August 15 and this year too, they plan to go to Sakleshpur. Jyothirmoy, an engineering student who is one of the youngest members, is looking forward to this ride. “I have missed out on all the other long rides, so this will be my first one,” he exclaims. Another member who enjoyed the Ooty and Chikkamagaluru rides is Sai Som, a sound designer. “It has been two years since I joined the club and I have made some great memories. The only challenge is to find spare parts.”

    For Mahesh, a mechanical engineer, it’s all about the friends that he has made in the club. “Once a month, we meet in Airlines Hotel for breakfast and go for a ride. It’s just great to meet a set of like-minded people,” he informs. Dhruva agrees as he says, “The best part about our meetings is that everyone knows what the other person is talking about.” He further adds, “In fact, my son has become as passionate about the Shogun as me.”

    Rahul Roy, another regular member, has wonderful memories attached to the bike. “When I was around 13 or 14, my brother put me on the tank of his friend’s Shogun bike and took me for a ride! I was so scared back then but I just loved the bike. I ended up getting it later,” he smiles. “The bikes are simple so it’s fun to work on them,” he adds.

    Ask Ajith what brought him to the club and he says, “It was a long search online! I used to see many active bike groups on Facebook and would always look for a Shogun bike club. When I came across this club, I was so happy.”

    All the members agree on one more thing — they can’t help but give the bike a second look each time.

    “My parents always tell me that I am washing my bike half the time while the other half, I am admiring it,” jokes Jyothirmoy. For details, call 9886148380.

    source: / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> MetroLife / by Deepa Natarajan Lobo / DHNS – June 30th, 2015

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    June 30th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment


    Pandit Indudhar Nirody has been conferred with the Akademi Award for the year 2014 by Kendriya Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, for his outstanding contribution to Indian Classical music, who is a top grade artiste of repute and who has relived Pandit Vishnunarayan Bhatkande by digitising his (Bhatkande’s) work into DVDs.

    Panditji came to Mysuru in the year 2001 as an individual artiste but today, he has become an informal institution around him with disciples and admirers. He is not only respected but loved by them. The outcome is the monumental work of documenting the work of Bhatkande using the information technology tools — a great step forward in tune with 21st century need.

    Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande, a distinguished musicologist of the twentieth century, became the Euclid (Geometry) or Vyasa (Vedas) of Hindustani Sangeeta Paddati by documenting the compositions of the great musicians of his time and before, into six volumes under the head ‘Hindustani Sangeet Paddhati: Kramik Pustak Malika.’ A total number of 1,896 such compositions, including his (Bhatkhande’s) own addition of lakshana geetas and surawats (Saragams), have become a boon to practitioners of Hindustani music including performers, teachers and students.

    The best available technology during his time was the paper which he used to document the knowledge available in oral tradition though not the ideal medium for music as music lies in sound and not in letters. Nevertheless, it did serve the great purpose of transferring the knowledge to the posterity by the musicians as gurus and performers ever since. Pandit Indudhar Nirody, an octogenarian, with an analytical musical experience and mind, and a top grade AIR artiste as well, who is trained by stalwarts like Pandit S.C.R. Bhat, Pandit K.G. Ginde, and Pandit Dinkar Kaikini, has relived Bhatkandeji by transferring all the compilation of Bhatkhandeji onto a pair of DVDs entitled Samarpan by singing with an appropriate accompaniment and a good recording studio.

    The quality of the end product is superb in terms of the quality of voice and the accompaniments are clearly heard with a rich voice of Panditji obscuring his age.

    It was the team of five, including the technician-cum-studio owner Vidwan A.P. Srinivas, an accomplished Karnatak Music violinist, Swarasankula President Dr. M.S. Bhaskar, a neurosurgeon by profession, who is a Hindustani vocalist in his own right. The harmonium support was by Pandit Veerabhadraiah Hiremath, tabla by Pandit Bheemashankar Bidnoor for some and Pandit Ramesh Dhannur for some others.

    The unique feature of the venture was that all people engaged in the project are musicians; hence, the quality of the end product is very good. Swarasankula, a Sangeeta Sabha in Mysuru, though not very rich in terms of resources, is very rich in progressive thinking and was instrumental to realise this project. It was the passion and perseverance of the entire team that drove the project forward as it took about four to five years being stopped intermittently due to some unavoidable circumstances.

    I know Panditji well, who is guru saman to me and keep visiting him often as we both stay in the same locality in Mysuru. He is a very modest and warm person who shuns publicity to the extent that he flatly refused to include his name in the invitation of the DVD releasing occasion on Mar. 15 at Mysuru.

    He gives all the credit to his gurus and he says he is only an instrument to realise their dream. He is contended with this ‘Samarpan’ to his gurus and to the world of Hindustani Music. At the age of eighty, he is well-versed in using the editing software of the audio recording which he was busy with when once I went to his residence. Full of zest for life and learning attitude at the age of eighty.

    I have always wondered with the way Indian Classical music is ‘managing the change’ adopting itself to the time without losing its identity and character. Incorporated western instruments like violin, guitar and others making them play Indian Classical Music; adopted technology starting from finer public address system through using portable electronic tanpura and teaching distant learners using skype. The reach of Indian Classical music is global today.

    Taking it still further, Pandit Nirodyji has documented the work of Bhatkandeji using Information Technology tools for the posterity. How I wish if our younger generation passionate about Hindustani Classical music would carry Bhatkandeji’s creations with them in their pockets with earphones into their ears!!

    Our Samarpan of congratulations to Pandit Nirodyji on his getting the award and kudos to Panditji and his team for reliving Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande using the IT tools with their Samarpan to the world of Hindustani Classical Music.

    —Dr. G.N.M. Dixit, Trustee of JSS Sangeetha Sabha, Mysuru

    source: / Star of Mysore /Home> Feature Articles / Wednesday – June 24th, 2015

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    June 30th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    ‘Vishwaroopa,’ Watercolour and Pen on Paper, 27x36 cm. Collection: Museum of Sacred Arts, Belgium.

    ‘Vishwaroopa,’ Watercolour and Pen on Paper, 27×36 cm. Collection: Museum of Sacred Arts, Belgium.

    Mysuru :

    The well-known artist, who has specialised in Ganjifa paintings, Ganjifa Raghupathi Bhat, was invited by Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, to participate in the celebration of International Day of Yoga held from June 21 to June 27, 2015 at Rabindra Bhawan, New Delhi.

    Ganjifa Raghupathi Bhat was the only artist to be invited from Karnataka to exhibit his works related to yoga, while only the works of others from all over India were exhibited on the occasion.

    Ganjifa Raghupathi Bhat had exhibited 14 art works of his, among them were eight yoga related Ganjifa paintings and another six were line-drawings that were made at the venue. Bhat is specially known for using natural colours in his Ganjifa paintings.

    The week-long exposition of various kinds of yoga related paintings and line-drawings was called ‘Yoga Parva’ which took the viewers through centuries of art expression informed by yogic discipline found in dance, music and the visual or literary arts.

    According to Helen Acharya, Secretary, Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, the work on this project began soon after the declaration by the UN of June 21 the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, as the International Day of Yoga.

    Ganjifa Raghupathi Bhat was born in 1957 at Udupi and grew up in the precincts of the temple city where his father was a priest. He studied at the well-known Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, Bengaluru and then an Institute at Kottayam where he mastered techniques of mural painting and making of natural colours. His works are inundated with mythological narratives inspired by the temple sculptures. Many of his Gods and Goddesses are drawn strictly as per the description given in epics and scriptures and are drawn in his unique style which is easily identifiable as that of Ganjifa Raghupathi Bhat. He is a resident of Mysuru and has done proud to the city and the country as an artist.

    He is also recognised as the first person to revive the dying art of Ganjifa miniature paintings using natural colours. Ganjifa Raghupathi Bhat’s paintings are also exhibited at the Museum of Sacred Arts, Durbuy, Belgium.

    On the occasion, the Sangeet Natak Akademi has brought out a 223 page souvenir titled ‘Yoga Chakra’ with all the paintings and other artefacts exhibited at the centre. It also carries two works of Raghupathi Bhat which are produced above (‘Vishwaroopa’ and ‘Arjuna Surrenders to Krishna’). In the one titled ‘Arjuna Surrenders to Krishna,’ it may be noted that he has used Kannada calligraphy which is also his specialty, because he is the only artist in Karnataka who uses Kannada letters as a work of calligraphy, as commonly found when Arabic or Urdu letters are written.

    The other pictures produced here are also in the Museum of Sacred Arts, Durbuy, Belgium.

    source: / Star of Mysore /Home> General News / Wednesday – June 24th, 2015

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    She looks like a toy car. Yet, she is just like the present-day automobiles. The ‘queen’ who once graced the French roads, she remained a competitive car for a long time because of her front wheel drive and fuel efficiency. The 1973 Citroen Dyane 6, she is the prized possession and a ‘member’ of Steven Rebello’s family.

    “She is a second generation car in our family. It all started with my dad Ronald Rebello, who was a car afficionado. I lost my parents early in life but I have terrific memories associated with them. The same holds true for the car. Whatever was close to my father is very precious to me,” says Steven.

    His passion is an inherited one as “the only talk in his house would be about cars, gear boxes and power steering.”

    A small but strong car, she came all the way from Delhi to Bengaluru. “It was in 1975 that my dad learnt about this car, which was in Delhi then. An adventurer, he took my mother and my infant brother to Delhi. He bought this little car and started his journey to Bengaluru. It took him three days in that sweltering heat to reach but the car did not give any problem,” he explains.

    It was after this journey that Ronald fell in love with Citroen and from here began Steven’s passion for these unmatched machines as well.

    “This car looked very funny when we saw it the first time. But then, they were far ahead in terms of technology. She has travelled the rough terrains of Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga and she is perfect till date,” he says.

    A 600 cc air-cooled engine, this car has a canvas roof, radial tyres, high clearance, synchromesh gearbox and is one of the first cars to have a front wheel drive. While it is the mechanism of these cars that holds great value to Steven, it is also the priceless memories attached to it that makes it a part of his family. “We have spent our childhood popping our heads out from its roof and waving at people. It has a bouncy suspension, which is why the villagers would start shouting ‘kappe car’ (froggy car), whenever they saw her on the estate roads,” he reminisces and laughs.

    As the saying goes, ‘history repeats itself’, Steven’s daughters, Keya and Fiona, treasure the beautiful car. “It has been great having this car,” says Keya. The story does not end here.

    “I have always been a lover of Citroens. As a teenager, I had seen another Citroen in Shivamogga that was owned by two Catholic nuns and was used as an ambulance. I admired it back then and moved on. But after 20 years, when I had the money, I went looking for this van.” He made a sketch of the van, which was a 1974 Citroen AK 400, and went to all the garages of Shivamogga.

    “The nuns still had it and one of the mechanics told me the rank of the nuns and where it was available. It wasn’t an easy task as I had to beg them for it,” he explains. As the van needed restoration, Steven restored it with a touch of creativity by combining two of his passions — Citroen and coffee. “I am into the coffee business, so I converted the Citroen van into a mobile cafe,” he says. As the coffee was brewed and cookies were baked, the van surely “steered up all his five senses” and his love for the Citroen grew multifold. His wife Anjali too has a soft corner for it.

    “While dating her, I used to pick her up in this car and it has been a part of our lives. These cars have a mind and soul,” he says.

    source: / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> MetroLife / by Prajna GR / DHNS – June 30th, 2015

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    Road rovers


    Thanks to the number of food trucks that have come up in the City, the foodies here are a happy lot. Though the concept of food trucks is not new in India, it has been gaining popularity in Bengaluru only over the last two years. These trucks have found many takers and one can always spot a lot of crowd around them.
    Owned by Sudarshan MS and Francis Xavier along with two others, ‘De3-The Eatery’ was started in March 2013 and serves Continental, Italian and American food. One can spot it in Shanthinagar, Kammanahalli and Jayanagar. “We always wanted to do something different and focus on quality and cleanliness. The idea of starting a food truck came in as we wanted to popularise the concept of mobile and clean restaurants with an open kitchen. So when people see how their food is being prepared, they get a sense of satisfaction,” says Sudarshan.

    Many of these food trucks have a clear idea of their target customers. ‘The Great Indian Bhukkad’ was started by Suraj Agarwal in 2014 and caters mainly to the students of PES University, Banashankari. Parked at the college premises, it offers a variety of rolls and wraps among other Chinese dishes. “Our USP is that we cater only to students and our prices are reasonable. The students know that we serve clean and hygienic food and really appreciate the taste. We are glad that we have been able to establish a relationship of trust with them,” says Suraj.

    ‘Spitfire BBQ Truck’, which was started in 2014 by Sidhanth Sawkar and Gautami Shankar, moves around in Sahakara Nagar, Kammanahalli, Indiranagar and Koramangala. As the name suggests, it serves barbecued delights. “Bengalureans today are getting into food culture professionally. As the city is a melting pot of different cultures, people here are open to different types of food. Everyone has high expectations from us not just because of the food we provide but also the personal bond that we have built with our customers,” says Sidhanth.

    Their experience of working in the food industry in the United States led Siddharth and Bharath to start ‘Off Road Food Truck’ (ORFT). The place, which was started in January this year, often stops in Sahakara Nagar and Kammanahalli and serves burgers, sandwiches, Spanish rice, chicken and fried ice creams. “We were working for different restaurants in the US. It was our interest for food that brought us together. Our idea was to go up to people and serve them rather than they coming to us,” says Siddharth. According to him, cleanliness, affordability and convenience are the things that attract the crowd to ORFT.

    Some of these trucks are area specific too. ‘Frying Wagon’ in RT Nagar was started merely two months ago but has been seeing great business. The truck serves Chinese dishes and rolls and the dishes are served only on eco-friendly paper plates. Vijay Kesarkar and Soujanya Vijay, the owners, say, “Our business is picking up and now people are aware of us. They look for cleanliness, quality and hygiene and come to us because we meet their requirements. Our prices are reasonable thanks to which, we have a lot of students coming to us. Even the IT crowd comprises a chunk of our customers.”

    ‘Meals on Wheels’ is another such truck that can be spotted near Richard’s Park in Frazer Town. Serving Chinese cuisine with a twist, one can often see foodies relishing a variety of momos, Chinese ‘bhel’ and saucy lollipops here. “The concept of food trucks is becoming popular in India and people in the City are more open to it now. The business too is growing at a fast pace,” says Syed Harris, who owns the truck along with Aftab and Maaz.

    source: / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> MetroLife / by Surupasree Sarmmah / DHNS – June 29th, 2015

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    Mangaluru :

    Their poor economic background proved to be no deterrent for two students who carved a niche for themselves through sheer hard work.

    This translated into three gold medals and a cash award for Karunya Shetty, a botany student of Mangalore University, and two gold medals for Shwetha Bhandary P of SVS College, Bantwal. Shwetha completed her MCom from Bantwal College.

    Overjoyed after receiving these gold medals and cash award at the 33rd convocation of Mangalore University on Wednesday, both Karunya and Shwetha exemplified their thirst to overcome their economic status and excel academically. Karunya’s father Shekar Shetty is a shopkeeper and her mother Shoba is a housewife. Venkatesh Bhandary, Shwetha’s father, too is a shopkeeper and her mother Vrinda rolls beedi for a living.

    Eligible for Inspire scholarship awarded by the department of science and technology, Karunya said she wants to do research in plant bio-technology.

    Incidentally, she is the first postgraduate in her family. She is presently working as a guest faculty in the same department.

    Shwetha repaid her parents by winning two gold medals. Having already landed a job as a clerk in Indian Overseas Bank at Padubidri, Shwetha said it was marks that she scored in first semester that motivated her to do well in the remaining semesters. She is keen to pursue a course in ICWA.

    The convocation also saw history student Preethi R Udupa of Dr G Shankar Government First Grade College of Women, Ajjarkad walk away with the loudest applause for her two gold medals and five cash awards. Sangeetha Karanth, chemistry department; Logeshwari K, department of human consciousness and yogic science; and Shalini Shetty, chemistry department, Mangalore University, walked away with two gold medals each.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Mangaluru / TNN / June 18th, 2015

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    “Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj was among the most progressive rulers of the world. He introduced bold interventions and welfare schemes that were far ahead of his time,” Janardhan Waghmare, a former MP, said in Bidar on Sunday.

    He was speaking at the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Jayanti organised by the Shiva Chhatrapati Smarak Samiti at the Rangmandira in Bidar.

    Shahu Maharaj introduced reservation and affirmative action in terms of free education, scholarships, hostels for girls, promotion of business by lower cast traders, and equality before the law for all. His unstinted support helped Dr. Ambedkar get education of global standards, he said.

    P.G.R. Sindhia, the former Minister, lamented that politics had become a monopoly of the rich.

    “The rich spend money in elections and come to power. They make laws and create schemes that benefit the rich. It happens in all parties. There is no exception,” he said. Maruti Rao Mule, former MLA said the lives of Shahu Maharaj, Mahatma Phule and Dr. Ambedkar had inspired millions.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> National> Karnataka / by Special Correspondent / Bidar – June 29th, 2015

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    Mangaluru :

    Jackfruit is all set to dispel the notion that kebabs can be made only from meat. The chunky jackfruit aril makes tasty kebabs and also tasty machurian.

    The many avatars of jackfruit, like idlis, kadubu, sheera (kesaribath), cake, appam, vada, wild jackfruit juice, were on display at the jackfruit mela that was held at Fisheries College in Mangalore on Saturday.

    Demonstrating the making of kebabs and manchurian, Shankar Prabhu, a progressive farmer, said: “Jackfruit has changed my life. Though it’s available only during the monsoon period, its shelf life can be extended to about six months with ready-to-cook and pre-packed ready-to-eat food processing techniques.

    A grocery store owner at Sanoor, said: “This fruit has made my life. The prosperity I could not achieve from my grocery shop business of two decades was made possible through jackfruit in seven years. I regularly participate in such melas once a week.”

    He added that at a recent two-day mela at Kumta, he made a transaction of Rs 1 lakh. “The products we brought disappeared within a day. There was a long queue for the food we prepared using jackfruit,” he said. For six months in a year, he embarks on this journey of popularizing jackfruit during the monsoon season in the city.

    Raghava and Vijayalaxmi, a couple from Dharmasthala, have been dabbling in jackfruit delicacies for a year. They make dry jamoon and other jackfruit-based condiments like garige, unduga, pickle, pappad, tender jackfruit in brine etc.

    Muralidhara Prabhu from Bantwal, who started the Halasu Preemi Okkoota (Jackfruit Lovers Federation) a year back, said: “Though there are 75 varieties of jackfruit, mostly in Kerala, in the district, however, we have not more than 10-12 varieties.”

    His sale at Pilikula a few days back earned him Rs 30,000 in a day. “Not every jackfruit can be used to make all dishes. For finger chips, pappad and garige, we use a particular variety. If you use the wrong kind, the chips will be hard or go soft within a day. Pappad prepared from a wrong variety of jackfruit can make it tasteless,” said Prabhu.

    On display were more than 20 varieties of jackfruit, including the red, fleshy jackfruit. So much was the attraction that red jackfruit bulbs were selling at Rs 30 to 40 a dozen.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Mangaluru / by Stanley Pinto, TNN / June 28th, 2015

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    June 28th, 2015adminLeaders, Records, All
    Front Page of The Hindu on June 25, 1975. Photo: The Hindu Archives

    Front Page of The Hindu on June 25, 1975. Photo: The Hindu Archives

    The Emergency was declared on June 25, 1975. The writer recalls the day her mother Snehalata Reddy was imprisoned, and underlines the need to keep memories of those dark years alive.

    Artist, actor and political activist Snehalatha Reddy was incarcerated in the Bangalore Central Jail during the state of Emergency declared in June 1975, first under the Defence of India Rules and then under Maintenance of Internal Security Act with no hearing. No charges were filed and she had no recourse to a court of law. She died on January 20, 1977, before the Emergency was lifted. / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    Artist, actor and political activist Snehalatha Reddy was incarcerated in the Bangalore Central Jail during the state of Emergency declared in June 1975, first under the Defence of India Rules and then under Maintenance of Internal Security Act with no hearing. No charges were filed and she had no recourse to a court of law. She died on January 20, 1977, before the Emergency was lifted. / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    The sudden ringing of the phone rips the silence. I rush down the stairs, hoping it won’t stop before I reach. I hear my mother’s disembodied voice. “They have brought me here again, can you come?” I race to the Victoria Hospital, praying I get there before they take her away.

    These images continue to haunt me after 40 years. I still wake up in a sweat to the ringing of that phone, trying to comprehend the madness of the Emergency. I can never compensate for losing her so soon, so young, so pointlessly, still wondering ‘why’ and to put things right by assuaging my anger with constructive actions. As if by doing so, I can bring her back or fulfil her aspirations. Each day, I realise how miserably I fail. Now, with a cultist Prime Minister, the old fears resurface.

    I find her, as always, sitting in the RMO’s room having an animated discussion about public health and the care of female prison inmates. She turns to me, almost regal in her bearing, but there is pain and sadness in her beautiful eyes. We hug and kiss wordlessly. I cling to her for a moment; almost believing that if I hold her tight enough they can never separate us.

    Time is up. We hug hurriedly whispering “I love you”. The police have come to escort her back. I feel limp and helpless as I watch her being led away to the police van. The doors shut and I can barely see her through the grill. Our eyes lock. I follow the van through the streets of Bangalore to Central Jail. The large almost fortress like doors open with a loud grating metallic echo followed by a deafening thud as they hit the inner walls. The van drives in; I lift my hand to wave, she does the same. Our hands freeze in mid-wave till the doors shut with a final bang. I stare at nothing for a long while following her with my mind. The body search. The long walk to the cell. The clang of the cell door, rattle of the key, warden’s shrill laugh. Her sitting defeated on her cot. Tears begin to roll uncontrollably. She is so near; yet so far away!

    Snehalatha Reddy — or Sneha as she was affectionately called — was born to Indian Christian parents, second-generation converts. My mother resented the British and the colonial rule, so she reverted to her Indian name and wore only Indian clothes. She could spin magic, turning gloom into sunshine and fear into the excitement of adventure. She had a tormented childhood and understood my anxieties. She loved people and abhorred cruelty and injustice. She always paid scant respect to caste and class, with no national boundaries, harboured no discrimination. She taught us to value people and to treasure knowledge and experience. As a feminist she believed in equal rights and abhorred men who used tradition as a cover up for exploiting women.

    My parents were Socialists, greatly influenced by Dr. Lohia. Though they expressed themselves through arts, their activism and ideology permeated their lives. Theirs was a partnership based on love and respect. She was passionate and warm; while he was calm, a voice of reason, the tranquil revolutionary. He was the shade that protected her flame.

    We find a notebook among her meagre possessions. In it she has written, about the Bangalore Central Jail. “As soon as a woman comes in, she is stripped naked in front of everyone else. When a human being is sentenced, he or she is punished enough. Must the human body be degraded and humiliated as well? Who is responsible for these perverse methods? Shouldn’t intelligent Superintendents, IG of Prisons, etc. go on improving conditions? What is the purpose of every human being born in this world? Is it not to lift mankind a little higher towards perfection? No matter which walk of life a human being is born, his mission is to raise standards in human feelings and thoughts in every possible way.”

    On June 9, 1976, she wrote; “At least I have achieved something here. I have stopped the horrible beatings the women prisoners used to get. The food has slightly improved for them. And though the water supply is appalling, yet there are promises for pipes to be connected and that is not bad at all. And most of all, I have made them unafraid a little. I went on a hunger strike till the food improved slightly.”

    Though, in 1971, Indira Gandhi was on the crest of popularity after victory against Pakistan, by 1973, North India was rocked by movements against high inflation, economic instability, corruption and deterioration of living standards. In June 1975, the High Court of Allahabad found Mrs. Gandhi guilty of using illegal practices during the previous election and ordered her to step down. Amid nation-wide demands for her resignation, Mrs. Gandhi declared Internal Emergency on June 26, 1975.

    George Fernandes proposes to start an underground movement. My mother vehemently argues for it to be non-violent while he defends selective violence. I have volunteered to join in. My mother, though afraid for my safety, grudgingly agrees. She understands I have to discharge my political obligations in keeping with my beliefs. She has taught us well. We cannot be mere bystanders when our constitutional freedoms are being denied.

    These are the principles she set for herself and for us all.

    She was a most caring mother, giving me courage to explore the unknown, feel grounded even when out of my depth, have the guts to do things not attempted before and to discover through experimentation and experience, secure in the knowledge that I was loved. This was her gift.

    On May 1 1976, my mother wrote: “In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning day after day.” I wake up in a cold sweat. It is three o’clock in the morning. I keep my eyes closed to stay with my dream. The sound of the closing jail doors, the disappearing police van, her hand frozen in a wave. But I do not let it end there. I take her with me. Now we are sitting by the beach watching a glorious sunset, arms around each other. She is relaxed and at peace. I am safe. I have repaid my debt.

    But now we are faced with a repeat performance — a dark shadow that is lengthening and threatening to engulf us, our Constitutional freedoms and fundamental rights. This time it is more subtle and savvy, but blatantly authoritarian all the same. My pact with my parents will not allow me to stand by and watch. I will fight it with all I have.

    The writer is a human rights, social and political activist.


    source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> Magazine / by Nandana Reddy / June 27th, 2015

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    The sesquicentennial celebration of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School hosts a special play entirely done by the Old Cottonians. Allan Moses Rodricks draws open the curtains on the project ahead of the grand reunion.

    For Cottonians, by Cottonians, of Cottonians: Chris, Kartik and Abhijit

    For Cottonians, by Cottonians, of Cottonians: Chris, Kartik and Abhijit

    ‘Nec Dextrorsum! Nec Sinistrorsum! For those of us who don’t know Latin or are someone who has not passed out of Bishop Cottons, these words may seem meaningless. But for those who have studied in this prestigious institution nestled in the heart of Bengaluru city, the quote brings a tonne of nostalgia. Meaning ‘Neither to the right nor to the Left’ from the Bible, the school motto rings louder than before this year as the educational establishment comes to the end of its sesquicentennial celebration (read 150th year). And the Old Cottonians’ Association of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School find no better fitting tribute to give to the school than to present a play directed and performed entirely by Old Cottonians to herald in the festivities ahead of the grand reunion at Old Cottonians’ Day on June 30.

    So, for the first time ever, the talented Preetam Koilpillai (Class of 1990) will spearhead the performance of Yasmina Reza’s Art, translated by Christopher Hampton, featuring Kartik Ganapathy (Class of 1991) as Marc, Abhijit Madhwaraj (Class of 2001) as Serge and Chris Avinash (Class of 1992) as Yvan on June 27 and 28 at Jagriti Theatre.

    For Cottonians, by Cottonians, of Cottonians: Preetam Koilpillai

    For Cottonians, by Cottonians, of Cottonians: Preetam Koilpillai

    Art is a classic Yasmina Reza powerhouse that brings into sharp focus the chinks in the friendship of three friends – Marc, Serge and Yvan over a piece of art. Set in Paris, it mixes levity with drama over an obscenely expensive painting bought by Serge, which he sees as exquisite and tries to get his friends to see that way too, with bewildering results for all.

    Chris says he’s incredibly, madly excited about the whole event. “For someone like me who has been typecast in a musical role usually, this is out of the blue. I’m famous for having people throw things at me,” he laughs and adds: “It’s great to do something where I’m not holding a guitar on stage. PerformingArt is a dream come true. Over the last couple of years, nothing has demanded so much from me as this play. The impact is a learning curve for me.”

    Karthik points that they updated the play a bit. “We’ve added some modern elements in it which were not there in previous versions. It’s also our school’s moment of pride and it’s a lot of excitement. I also share a deep-rooted connection with the school since my grandfather, my uncle and I studied there and perhaps, someday my kids will go there as well. Cottons is like an adopted family with a legacy of its own. We all respect what we got in school and who it made us. At the end of the day – the school anthem, the motto and the battle cry – it all gave us so much. This is our way of giving back.”

    Preetam adds his two bits. “Art is a great script. But for me the experience goes beyond the technicalities of putting a play together. I’ve made friends. The great thing is that over the last few months, we’ve become close and supportive of each other. To me the process of going through the play with these guys is really cool and I’ve enjoyed it immensely.”

    The connection with Cottons is absolutely phenomenal, he shares. “The reason why I’m into music and theatre is because of Cottons. It seemed right to do a play as part of the sesquicentennial year. And something like this has never been done before. It’s an interesting thing to be part of.”

    What’s the take away from the play? Chris says people are going to find it funny. “Everyone will find a different kind of play. The set doesn’t change even though its three different houses – only one painting changes. It will remind them of themselves with a familiarity of the situations and humour on how silly life can be.”

    Karthik says: “Art is also about how friendship transcends everything – characters, words, deeds and who we are. I hope people appreciate the beauty of friendship from the play that also reflects on the friendship we share despite leaving school long ago.”

    From the perspective of the 150th year celebrations, what better time to act, one-lines Chris. Preetham echoes the same thought. “I hope this paves the way for other initiatives hopefully. People who have not really known each other before have gotten to know each other now. So it’s brought us together in a much more comprehensive way than online portals. Opportunities like this don’t come around every day.”

    The play will be held at Jagriti Theatre, Whitefield, on Saturday, June 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 28 at 3 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. Entry is for 18 years and above. Tickets at Jagriti box office and

    (The author is also a Cottonian)

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus / by Allan Moses Rodricks /June 26th, 2015

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