The filmmaker who’s driven by an ‘unbearable rage’ against injustice
n 2015-16, while researching for her docu-feature Rape Nation, Chennai-based filmmaker Leena Manimekalai came across a newspaper article about the Puthirai Vannar community. Struck by the injustice suffered by them, she read up more. A volume of BR Ambedkar’s writings and speeches had noted: “In the Tinnevalley District of the Madras Presidency, there is a class of unseeables called Purada Vannans” who “are not allowed to come out during daytime because their sight is enough to cause pollution,” Ambedkar wrote. “They (leave) their dens after dark and (scuttle) home at the false dawn like the badger…. No civilisation can be guilty of greater cruelty.”
The importance of garba in National Award-winning Gujarati film Hellaro
Sisterhood and humour keep the women in the Gujarati film Hellaro going until they discover that they can dance too. Life in this arid land is tough and societal norms are tougher. They can’t ask questions or dare to dream. As they trek long and hard every day just to fetch water, one of them says that “when suppressed for long, desires can turn poisonous”. To this, another retorts, “poisonous beings often sting”.
In Munich, once the heart of the Nazi Party, follow a trail of remembrance which says: never again
The past is always contested. The question is who defines the narrative? Whose memory is it and how is it displayed? On a bright summer day in Munich, Mirjam Zadoff, historian and director of NS-Dokumentation Centre, a multi-storeyed museum and learning centre that houses the history of National Socialism (NS), poses the questions. The answers can be found on the streets of Munich. The wide streets converging at Königsplatz was once called the “Forum of the (NS) Movement”. This was the organisational heart of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP), or Nazi Party, with all their important offices and buildings.
Smoke and water
Bachchon… everywhere in India… for sattar saal all middle class ppl r saying only one thing to me…. Joshiji… Rajneeti is one big daldal… only bad ppl in rajneeti BUT U WILL NOT BELIEVE … I NEVER SAID…..U see my family… let me tell u very frankly… nehru ji and gandhi ji got independence from gora shoshan…. Sardar Patel united Mother India… but then…. all leaders were not clean and good…
The ‘children of bamboo’ who help capture man-eating tigers
The dreaded feline of Bandipur eluded its trackers for five days before it was finally captured last month. The four-year-old male tiger had killed a dozen cows and two men on the periphery of the tiger reserve and the Karnataka forest department had deployed seven trained elephants, 60 foresters and five veterinarians, apart from camera traps, to track it. Three days into the hunt, when nothing seemed to work, the department called on its secret weapon, the Soligas, a tribe indigenous to the Niligiri Biosphere Reserve in southern India. Within two days, Halalegowda, Halamale Gowda, Badegowda and Shivanna Gowda of Chamarajanagar district had spotted and helped nab the tiger.
Travelling Suitcase: Gold Wine
Rows and rows of vines flanked by rose bushes, draped across precipitous terraces like a patchwork quilt, plunge down to the crystal-clear waters of Lake Geneva. The sun shines bright, gleaming on distant mountaintops. The world’s steepest vineyards, located in Lavaux, in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland, just east of Lausanne, is postcard perfect.
The register that documented the dreams of Tipu Sultan
Tipu Sultan is in the news again. For some years now, the BJP in Karnataka has made it an annual ritual to generate a heatwave against him in the rather pleasant winter month of November. This time, there is an extra force to it because the BJP is in power, and the crown sits uneasily on chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s head. The wave is calibrating itself to the fever pitch of elections that may unsuspectingly visit the shores of the state. Therefore, the BJP government is threatening to remove the 18th century Mysore king from textbooks.
In New Zealand’s Rotorua town, vents in the ground puffing out clouds of steam are a common sight
As the smoke from Pohutu, the southern hemisphere’s largest active geyser, settled down after a few minutes of spectacular eruptions behind me, I was left awestruck. This was an unexpected encounter with a rare natural phenomena — geysers — in New Zealand’s Rotorua town in the heart of the North Island. One of the oddest things I saw while driving into Rotorua earlier that morning were random vents in the ground, between houses or by the roadside, puffing out white clouds of steam.
An exhibition revisits six decades of artist Jogen Chowdhury’s body of work
The ongoing exhibition ‘Reverie & Reality’ at Emami Art, Kolkata Centre for Creativity, brings together your work of over six decades. How do you look at the evolution? You had earlier mentioned how you would look at the larger picture but it seems that now details interest you more.
It is interesting for me to look at so many years of my work. Every exhibition is of interest to the artist. In my career, I would have made over 2,000 works and this show brings together 125 from my personal collection, and 75 more. It is around 1/10th of what I might have done. The display includes life studies and portraits I made as a college student, that tell curious visitors how I started my work. The later works include oils, watercolours and, also, more intricate lines in my cross-hatchings that depicted intense expressions. I also started using more colour.
Mary Kom on punches, prayers and what still drives her
Mary Kom’s weekdays are exactly as hectic as you’d imagine: two lengthy sessions of Olympic-level training, duties of a Rajya Sabha member sandwiched in-between, and numerous media/promotional activities peppered throughout. Sundays are just as sapping (and inopportune), if not more.
On the trail of Guru Nanak Dev’s travels from Tibet to Iran
In Afghanistan, holding an AK47, the “iron lady” Khalida shows the remains of the gurdwara shelled by the Taliban during the civil war (1996-2001). Later, she opens her home for a vegetarian lunch and shares memories of growing up with the Nanakpanthis of Khost, all of whom have now left the country. In Kandahar, against all odds, Dr Raghunath, a Nanakpanthi Hindu, hasn’t left the war-torn country, as it had provided him the education to become a doctor.
Hop, Skip and Jump
Anyone who has driven down a forested track late in the evening, or, at night, might have picked one up in their headlamps: a bunny crouched by the side of the road eyeing the vehicle nervously before lollopping off into the undergrowth. The black-naped hare, our only common wild rabbit, can be found pretty much all over the country, preferring large tracts of bush and jungle, “thatch” or elephant grass, and hilly areas with depressions (where, presumably, it can crouch down and hide from predators.) I was, therefore, particularly delighted when, several years ago, I winkled them out on a few occasions on the wild, dry, scrubby flank of the Northern Ridge in Delhi — not five minutes from where I live.