In Conversation with Professor Uma Das Gupta, Tagore scholar, author of A History of Sriniketan: Rabindranath Tagore’s Pioneering work in Rural …Sriniketan: Tagore’s “Life Work”
Art by Sohana Manzoor ‘Why does education in love not feature in today’s curriculum?’ — Mahasweta Devi, Our Santiniketan (Translated by Radha …‘What’s Love Got to Do with It’
Written in 1910 (15 Ashwin 1317) in Santiniketan, Raatri Eshe Jethay Meshe or where the night comes to mingle was a part of his collection called …At the Confluence of Night & Day
We share the planet with creatures great and small. To commemorate the World Wild Life Day, we present to you a selection of non-fiction, stories and…Born to be Wild…
This is not a matter of ideology but real issues like our very lives and the future of humans and our home, the Earth. With an openly-declared call for nuclear alert blaring in the headlines of the newspapers, we bring to you reminders from the past of what hatred, war, nuclear holocausts can do to humanity & nature.Cry, Our Beloved…
“It is not enough to try to remove wants; you can never remove them completely from outside; the far greater thing is to rouse the will of the people…What do We Need?
‘On This Auspicious Day’ is a trans-creation of a Brahmo hymn, Aaji Shubhodine Pitaar Bhabone, by Rabindranath Tagore. Written in 1883, this song was…A Hymn By Rabindranth
Some countries are in shambles.
Some countries are in a wreck — war torn, poverty-ridden, divided deeply from the world where such expressions are only hyperboles and not a reality. The major war in these fortunate parts of the world currently is mainly with the pandemic. These nations still have the bandwidth to explore how to make more money and flourish. When can flying be resumed? Tours? Holidays? Historically as we evolved, humans set limits. We mapped borders that cannot be transcended, having drawn them ourselves – boundaries of ‘isms’ – which disallow us from reaching out a helping hand to our neighbours in distress. As humans, how long will we keep absolving ourselves of responsibility for ignoring the pain faced by members of our own species?
In a humorous film called Baby’s Day Out (1994), a gorilla took charge of a human child and saved him from villainous men. Today, as some countries cry out in pain, we see the suffering of our own species and yet sit quietly waiting for the others to act. One month ago, a young Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist, Danish Siddiqui, died shooting a clash between Pakistan, Afghan security forces and the Taliban. One month after his death — that seems a lifetime away– we watch the Taliban take over. What did the death do? What could Reuters do? Was Siddiqui a victim of his own choices or of circumstances? He said: “I shoot for the common man…” But do all common men want to know, know of the pain and the suffering? How does it help? What does it do for them? Does it mobilize help for the victims? Does it create an awareness of suffering and make us kinder, more considerate as a species?
Thirty years ago, I left journalism because we were taught “good news is no news”. I have always wondered if this is the favourite dictum of much of the media?…
(Click here to read the full essay.)
Let us go there, you and I, hoping chocolates fall from the sky. Let us go into a hilly terrain, where flows the ancient Amu Darya, where Marco Polo watched sheep graze on the grass of Pamirs. Do they still browse or is it tamam shud with a rat-a-tat-tat? Has the river turned red? Incarnadined, gaze ghosts (Click here to read the full poem)
I was watching a movie — a Bollywood take on the grand Mughal emperor, Akbar1. A romantic one I guess as it was a movie about how he found acceptance in the heart of his Rajput bride, Jodha. I am not going to go into the historicity or the non-historicity of the movie or the quality of acting or music or recommend or unrecommend it to my readers, but I am going to raise another issue. An issue that is unique and practical and would hold perhaps for all stars of Bollywood, Hollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood and basically, all-wood named filmdom.
As the actor playing Akbar bent over the actress enacting Jodha to express an intense moment of meeting of hearts, as his face lowered on hers, inch by millimetre, a thought came to my mind, and I could not help but laugh out loud. If he had bad breath or body odour, what would the actress do? Would she continue for the sake of earning her daily bread or walk off the scene? Or it could be vice versa… what would the actor do if the actress had BO etc…?
You see I have this problem. When movies or serials become too long or emotional, I find my mind wander into other dimensions. As others discuss technical skills, acting and cinematography, I wander into the area of either somnolence or the ludicrous. My family gets upset for my conscious self leaves them watching the TV show or film. They grumble when after a refreshing nap on the sofa in front of the screen, while expressing my opinions in loud snores (a legacy inherited from my father), I wake up to ask them to fill me in. Or I am filled with a craving to re-watch the show. Sometimes, I have huge memory lapses and forget I have watched a film.
I am told — that is because I slept through most of it! What people do not understand is —my eyes close of their own volition! In any case…