The 13 moving objects/speeds on the Indian roads

Traffic is not just a daily routine in India, it is rather a cultural affair. As an outsider, navigating through the traffic of the country seems like navigating through the roots of an old tree. It is not everyone’s cup of masala tea.

Regardless of your mode of transportation, you are a victim and contributor of the chaos. In some cities, the metro is a saviour, but the race for space is not for the weak of heart.

At any given point, there are a number of moving objects from all directions. There are trucks, buses, tempos, cars, auto-rickshaws, motorbikes, scooters, cycle-rickshaws, e-rickshaws, bicycles, fruit carts, cows, dogs and pedestrians all moving at their respective speeds. In some parts of the country you might even find horses and camels sharing the road with you – and if you’re lucky enough you might even see an Elephant just go through the red light.

One thing is for sure, whether driving or just crossing the road, you can’t take your attention away from the moment – not even for a second. Because if you do – well.

The beauty within the chaos is that every element has a character, every road a story and every person a destination – whatever that may be.

Here’s my rendition of traffic in India.

Exhibit A:  A rickshaw navigating through a busy street.

 

Exhibit B: The change for development and the pollution it contributes to.

 

Exhibit C: And lastly, when you’re ready to escape the city, this picture says it all.

Courtesy: hand-painted bags of aadishop.

Their world is my canvas – Interacting with Bireswar Sen

A piece of blank canvas is a welcoming invitation to fill its soul with colours, artworks, design and ultimately a piece of our mind. That’s what makes a canvas a “canvas.”

On being invited by the National Gallery of Modern Art, which was displaying the famous paintings of a renowned modern landscape artist – Bireswar Sen (1897-1974). The world he had created was so mesmerising and engaging that I took Sen’s world and made it my own canvas.

With the theme of ‘Man and Nature,’he creates expanses that become etched in memory. What is to also note is that they were painted on a piece of paper that are the size of a smaller than a playing card.

The art, where the all encompassing elements of nature engulf and dwarf the existence of man, painted a world so serene and pure that it invited me to be a part of it and perhaps leave a stroke of my own.

Here’s my journey with one of Sen’s characters:

 

 

Learn more about Bireswar Sen : http://www.bireswarsen.com/

It started when I was 19- an anorexic girl’s photo story

“It started when I was 19
It started when I was trying to help a person who was borderline anorexic
It started when I wanted to lose just one more, one more kg but still wasn’t content 

It started when one day suddenly I couldn’t talk myself out of knowing that every girl has a different body type and shape
It started with admiring someone’s jaw line but disliking my own chubby cheeks
It started by spending 15 mins extra everyday at the gym wanting to burn a few more calories despite being exhausted

It also started when I denied myself a piece of that chocolate cake on my birthday
It started when I wanted to look like someone I wasn’t
It started when all I wanted to be was stick and bones
It started when I started liking the sound of my stomach grumble

It started and till date I don’t know what exactly it was, how it started and why it happened to me”

 

 

In the past six years, “V” has gone from a state of self-rejection at  age of 17 to self-acceptance at 23. Here’s her story: 

It didn’t hit me for a very long time that I had a disease because I was too preoccupied thinking what to eat or regretting that last bite. There were these two points in my life when I felt that maybe something wasn’t right – the time when I dropped out of college and the time when I couldn’t dance anymore, even though dance is the first love of my life. But for most part of it, I didn’t feel anything, because slowly I had started losing my mind with all my other senses.

 

 

It was October 2013 and within 6 months my weight had dropped from 47 kgs to 27. Everyone around me was in shock and panic. I just felt numb to everything. That’s the time when three of my best friends convinced me to get myself admitted to a hospital and then go to a rehab.

 

 

I had damaged my mind and body so much that even though somehow I learnt to eat again, I found myself stuck in a bingeing and purging cycle. It took me a while to understand what all was happening inside my brain and I started finding my own ways to deal with my guilt and dislikes and instead focused on things that I really liked about myself.

 

 

Somedays were easier than the others and somedays I had to put in a little extra effort to not give in to the voices in my head. That’s the moment when things started to shift. Miracles started to happen within my mind and body. And slowly, I found the strength inside of me to walk on the path of recovery. I started to rediscover myself and created a better relationship with food. Eventually, the fear of food disappeared. The guilt started to fade. My mind felt free, my body started to move to music again. And I started to enjoy my new found energy and attitude.

 

 

I somehow survived it all. I don’t really know how or why, but I used to tell myself that I have to achieve my dreams. I have to be stronger than the girl I had known myself to be, I have to experience so many beautiful things this life has to offer and  I need to live for myself. This journey has not been easy but it has made me understand that you are the sole person responsible for your happiness and that if you are comfortable within your skin then no one can even point a finger at you.

 

 

 

 

What does a pixel and stained glass have in common?

Many claim that art has evolved immensely over the years, but what aspects of it has actually evolved is the question; because if one looks at it closely, the underlying philosophy remains untouched – perhaps.

Recently, I was invited by the Hungarian Embassy to interact with the works of the 20th century Hungarian artist Miksa Róth and his renowned glass paintings called ‘Colour Drenched Sunshine.” His artwork was so intricate and beautiful that it almost seemed like a modern day pixelated photograph, which led me into thinking how glass art is nothing but a collection of magnified pixels.

Pixel, the Picture Element (pix-el), is the smallest unit of a digital image that can be displayed and represented on a digital display device. Many pixels together combine to form an image. If you keep zooming in on an image, you will see it appears to be connected by small squares.

Glass painting became a famous form of art from the days of Renaissance, while also becoming a key element in the architecture. Today, we see them in abundance in churches, museums and historical places. Artists of that era used big square glasses and combined them together to create a mesmerising painting.

I wonder if Miksa knew he was somehow part of the foundations of digital imagery and what else that may come hereafter.

Even though the technology and medium differs, what remains central between hand or computer generated art is the philosophy on how to put together an image, in this case, as a collection of squares.

Thus, the question arises – to what extent has art transformed or has it at all? Below I pixilate the glass:

 

And finally, the man himself – Miksa Roth:

 

 

Why should you attend a Film Market vs a Film Festival

If you’re just a fan of films, then sure, enjoy a film festival near you. But if you are a filmmaker or on your way to becoming one, then you should invest in attending a film market and understand its benefits over a film festival.

Unlike a film festival, a film market is where buying and selling of content takes place and as a media professional, it is very important for you to learn what is actually being bought and sold and how the space operates, before you invest money in making a piece of content. And if you’ve already made something, then it’s a place for you to get your work in front of serious buyers and potentially walk out of the market with a deal.

The most prominent film markets, where most of the action takes place are Cannes de Marche, European Film Market, American Film Market and recent festivals-turned-markets, Sundance, Toronto, Busan & Hong Kong.

In India, there is a small, but thriving market called Film Bazaar. It  takes place around the same time as the International Film Festival of India in Goa. The Film Bazaar is a government entity and can be credited for being a hub where Indian content is being showcased and discovered by national and international buyers – not to mention films getting funded and even casted.

Last year, I attended both the Bazaar and here are some interesting discoveries:

Just to name a few, here are 10 films born in Film Bazaar that became cult classics 

An attempt to keep languages alive, here are Rare-language films presented at Film Bazaar

And last but not least, before heading to Film Bazaar 2017 & IFFI 2017, take a look at the Twitter moments from last year

The real X-Men’s School for Gifted Youngsters

In a corner of the city of Nashik (located in the Northwest of India) there is a small school. But it is no ordinary building.

Established in 1988 to help five blind girls not miss out on their childhood and education, it has now evolved into a functioning institution that houses some 70 blind girls.

The girls come to the school from all walks of life and with various sight challenges. But the moment they enter the campus, their ‘disability’ becomes their opportunity to experience life in an alternative manner. The life of these blind girls are far from being struggle-free, but it is also nothing short of extra-ordinary.

The place is built to accommodate them, from brail-based material to sports and music activities that takes the attention away from the ‘sight’ and engages all their other senses.

Walking around the campus and interacting with the students, I re-called the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters from the fictitious X-Men film series, because this little school felt like a real-life incarnation of being among the gifted.

As these kids heard of my interest to take their photos, they jumped with joy; but to them, photography meant just a clicking sound from an unknown object. That’s all, just a click – and they were still happy with that.

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

Visionaries

You can learn more about the National Association for the Blind and even help out here.

Single at 30, and unwilling to settle for the ordinary

Midst of Nature

She is 30. She’s a teacher, so she works very hard, extremely long hours. Not great pay, but she doesn’t complain. She has a sweet smile and a slow pace. She grows on you as a flower that takes time to blossom. She doesn’t need no prince charming, but someone who can love her for who she thinks she is. She won’t settle for less, that she has decided.

Uninterested to pose for the camera, this unidentifiable photo of her has enough body language for you to take a peek into her mind.

Look at her fist, look at her shoes, look at her back not resting on the bench. Look deeper and see if you can see her face, and even more – her 30-year-young thoughts.

Joy of 80

And then he was 80. He had stories to tell and songs to sing, so he did. Because no life is ever complete without joy, and it is joy that gives him wings,  and with those wings he soars into the apex of prosperity. 

From the vision that gave the world the ‘Lotus Temple,’ comes the ‘Temple of Light’

If you’ve heard or been to the Lotus Temple in India, an architectural wonder and one of the most visited buildings of the world, then there is Temple of Light for you to look forward to in Chile.

Siamak Hariri just completed a building that will be the topic of much design and social impact discussions for the years to come. But for now, here is his TED talk on what inspired his design and how he went about completing his vision:

Is India still a British colony? Maybe Facebook thinks so

India gained its independence from Britain in 1947, but on Facebook’s page for India, the country still carries the British flag.

It’s curious because just a year ago, the same page showcased the correct flag, so I’ll let the Internet theorize on when, how and why it was changed to a British flag. Here’s something to note:

The page in question is an ‘interest-based’ page and is generated automatically, however there is an option for people to add information such as a website or a photo. So it seems like some mischievous person may have replaced the flag and the Facebook team approved the changes without careful review.

Here are some screenshots & the link to the page

Facebook Page for India (it does include link to an official website)

 

The page is the third result for Pages when searching for India

 

Facebook notes that the Page information comes from Wikipedia, but Wiki has the correct flag

 

Anyone can “suggest a photo” and then it goes to Facebook for approval

 

You can “Report” the page, but there isn’t an option for “corrections” of this nature

 

Aren’t people noticing the wrong flag when “checking in”?

 

*Please note that this post is meant to get the glitch fixed and not start a war between Modi & Zuckerberg 😉