Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

I'll be grateful if you...

Feb 21, 2013

UP, CLOSE & PERSONAL: Hindu Lit For Life Day 1

I have been waiting for this Hindu Lit for life for a long time and it was worth the wait... though compared to last year, as a friend said, “the buzz this year was subdued, probably Hindu lost the interest on the way...”. Any how it was great to meet amazing writers, poets and creative geniuses and hope catch some of their qualities through interactions.
In various moods... Mehrotra, Benyamin, Ferreira and Devdutt Pattanaik

It was a real pleasure to interact with one of the stalwarts of Hindi heart land who as introduction notes, lives in two of my most favourite places – Allahabad and Dehradun; Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. A great poet, translator, editor and essayist who apart from publishing four books of poetry has also translated my favourite Sufi poet Kabir. As he told me in our discussions, that the beauty of words lies mostly in the way they are perceived by the reader. Sadly, the landmark – the book partner did not have any books by him at the festival as most of them were out of stock.

It was a pleasure to interact with a great poet - Arvind Krishna Mehrorta

The session, after the usual inauguration, introduction and settling down opened to an era that most of us have not known and to a style most of the GenNext don’t cater to... Reading of correspondence, through snail mail as it’s called now, between Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari (compiled by Gopal Krishna Gandhi ) and wonderfully played by Rahul Bose reading as Mahatma and Yog Japee (The founder of Chennai based theatre company – Theatre Y) reading as C R. Both of the powerful performers brought out, through reading their letters, the surreal and eclectic mix of banter between two great personalities and friends and sometimes as the role reversal as mentor to each other as Raja Ji writes to Gandhi in one of his letters “Come Back... (from Sarla?)”

Yog Japee and Rahul Bose reading Mahatma Gandhi's and
C Rajagopalachari's letters

The day later flowered into one of the most beautiful session on poetry... “The Power of Poetry” represented by the diverse styles of the excellent panellists – Meena Kandasami, Jeet Thayil and Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. Apart from the readings, it was a pleasure to hear their answers to the question from the audience... e.g. Jeet Thayil answered to a question on why no other Indian poet has won Nobel prize in poetry, after Tagore, “The question is so profound that it cannot be answered” Mehrotra answered to a query by audience, about the current standing of Indian poets internationally, “It’s an Indian disease to know that”. Well I leave you to hear their poetry as I have uploaded their videos at the YouTube....

The day moved on to some serious discussions about the place of women in India, which came into focus more powerfully as one of the panellist said, “after The Delhi Incident” with Kalpana Kannabiran and Rahul Bose. Hearing Rahul Bose sensible thoughts on the subject was an eye opener for me. At one point he said that we should build a community of carers and as individual, one should pick one single person in the public space and promise to oneself,  that I will not allow to let any one harm that person. If this as a public we will do, in general, most of the women will be safe.

Moving on to one very interesting topic of the day, which I was personally looking forward to “Graphically Speaking” with Amruta Patil, Samit Basu and Appupen. Enjoyed the session thoroughly and Samit Basu’s “Latex Latha” brought cheers from the crowd.

Amruta Patil and Samit Basu in conversation

The day ended with an interesting discussion on the sports writing with Michael Ferreira – 4 times Billiards world champion as he said, “I love cricket, but I detest what Cricket has done to other sports in the country”

Finally leaving you all with some images and interesting quotes from the Festival...

Looking for audience and while Rocky Singh  (Of Highway
on my Plate fame) and another questions...

“One writes to silence the voices in your head or else they will take you to different places”
“We should move beyond stereotypes, focus more on authenticity” - Farah Ghuznavi, Bangladeshi writer

Farah Ghuznavi and Ashok Ferrey

“Disaster is a great leveller” - Ashok Ferrey

“Idea of “rebirth” emerged in India 1000's of years before”
“Yale university was founded by the money made by East India company by exploiting farmers of Chennai" - Devdutt Patnaik

“All writings start in alchemy... Every word I put out, I kill 500” – Jerry Pinto

The Chennai Blogger's Gang got together too...

“All of us secretly want our books to get banned. Because then people will know you exist” – Samit Basu


नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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Hindu Lit Festival 2011

Feb 17, 2013

STILL LIFE : Hindu Lit for Life Festival and the Winner is .... Jerry Pinto

Well looks like that... last years Hindu Festival had Rahul Bhattacharya was the life of the festival and this year it's Jerry Pinto....

Had an amazing session with stalwarts poets like Mehrotra from Alllahabad, with his impressive collection of poems including Kabir's, new age poetess Meena Kandaswamy and the life of this year's Hindu Festival, Jerry Pinto. Festival started with a period stage act of reading Gandhi's Letters and moved on to the main stream poems, Graphic novels and current hot topic of 'No Country for Women' bringing to the focus the gruesome Delhi Rape of Nirbhaya, where thoughts of Rahul Bose, rose to the occasion and brought sensibility to the discussion...

The festival had its interesting moments, which I have tried to capture in the following images... starting with a video of Performance Poetry, by Meena Kandasamy...

Hope you will enjoy the journey...

Jerry Pinto - In his elements
Start of the festival

Rahul Bose in contemplation mood in the discussion about Rape

Mridula Koshy - Enjoying a moment of fun

Jeet Thayil deep in thought

Jerry Pinto - Reading from his book

Amruta Patil sharing her thoughts on graphic novels...

Yog Japee - Reading C Rajagopalachari's letter to Mahatma Gandhi

Rocky Singh of 'Highway on my plate' fame... questions...

Nilanjana Roy in happy mood...

Meena Kandasami - deeply engrossed

My friend from last year Hindu Festival

Some of the Chennai Bloggers Club...
And had some great time with the winner Jerry Pinto ....

Would be back with more thoughts and images... hope you have enjoyed this..



नमः शिवाय

Om Namah Shivaya

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Hindu Lit Festival 2011                                                         Hindu Lit Festival Day 1

Feb 14, 2013

26th Edition of Shadow Dancing With Mind - Celebrating Two Hundred Thousand hits...

Welcome to 26th Edition of “Shadow Dancing With Mind” and celebrating 200K Plus hits at my blog...
Its been a pleasurable journey of blogging, from the days of 2004, when I used to write only for myself to this day, when friends and bloggers visiting my blog, give me immense satisfaction. This is a journey of my thoughts, poetry, spiritual and creative pursuits, which not only made me more aware about me and the universal nature but also connected me to 1000+ Google Plussers and more the 350 followers... All amazing personalities and from each one of them I learned a lot. Thank you all for making this journey a hugely successful one and greatly satisfying.

In this edition, you will find some of the amazing books by Rilke and Tolstoy; A unique design installation, A very interesting contest on writing poetry (Haiku) to WIN ALL EXPENSE PAID WEEK LONG RETREAT in India as well as some of my Haiku and Poetry, as listed below...

THE READER – The books that I have read...

An amazing "Confession" by Leo Tolstoy
“Faith is the strength of life. If a man lives he believes in something.”
Reading a beautiful book “Confession” first published in Russia (1882), which was removed by Orthodox Church censorship and later published in Geneva (1884). In his “Confession”, Leo Tolstoy confronted his own reflections about the will to live, when in the end, it’s all about nothing.  Every moment is a step closer to dying, then why this whole life’s attempt to gain fame, family, friends and power.

Letters To A Young Poet - Amazing Voice Of Solitude, RILKE
“When a truly great and unique spirit speaks, the lesser ones must be silent”
The “Letters To A Young Poet” is a deceptively simple book. The letters were originally written to Franz Kappus, a 19-year-old officer cadet at the Vienna Military Academy, of which Rainer Maria Rilke was an alumnus. Discouraged by the prospect of life in the Austro-Hungarian Army, Kappus began to send his poetry to the 27-year-old Rilke, seeking both literary criticism and career advice. Their correspondence lasted from 1902 to 1908. In 1929, three years after Rilke's death, Kappus assembled and published the ten letters.

DESIGN STREET – A collection on design

First Chennai Urban Art Installation – commemorating the Child in You
During my travels, whenever I saw the creative of use of public space, like 'The Morning Line' below in Vienna, I used to wonder, why such activity does not happen in our own city. Yes there are installations… permanent political and religious Statues or in some small corner an Art Installation like the one at the corner of Harrington road, which sadly no one notices anymore.

ITC Grand Chola Hotel – A Sustainable Design and Hospitality with Smile
Last Saturday, I was invited by the Indiblogger team to preview The ITC Grand Chola Hotel. This is one of the latest Grand additions to the hospitality sector of fast developing Chennai, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu few months ago. Being in the profession of Interior Designs and Projects, It was a pleasure to spend a day in this beautifully crafted hotel, with exquisite artefacts and accessories highlighting the vast expanse of its interiors.

UP, CLOSE & PERSONAL – Some personal insights and experiences

Felix Dennis – A live tapestry of Pills, Publishing & Poetry
A very interesting and, in my opinion, quite truthful verse about poets by Felix Dennis which caught my attention, few days back. I started to do a little research about the poet and it turned out to be quite an epic story in itself. As I got to know more about the Poet Felix Dennis, who is in fact a publishing Giant with flagship brand like THE WEEK, got me thinking more and more about how writing poetry affects people from different fields and class... but before that, here is the verse...

Winter Spiritual Retreat by an unique Community Paras Dharma Ashram
The bi-annual Winter and Summer Spiritual Retreats is organized, for a limited group of only 25 ‘preselected’ participants, by a unique community and Non-Profit Organization and Trust “Paras Dharma Ashram” which is based out of Kushinagar.

WHISPERS – The poetry Section

Write a Haiku and WIN
Write a Haiku on "Spirituality" on or before 31st March 2013, and win a chance to be one of the 7 WRITERS who will be offered an all expense paid week long stay in spiritual retreats in Rishikesh, Himalaya and in Kushinagar (A place where Buddha attained nirvana)

Love, Destiny and Death
A lot of pent-up emotions are here to explode and now all those thoughts and feelings are rushing back to surface... hope you could relate to it all.

An Apology To The Delhi Gang Rape Victim
Today, a sad day indeed for the common people, who are feeling helpless and were looking forward to a bigger fight along with the brave heart girl, who fought and fought... Shame on all of us, if we let her fighting spirit die. Let’s all fight to bring back the dignity that India has within, which it lost in a senseless act of lust and drunken criminality of psychopaths...

STILL LIFE – A journey through images

A South Indian Marriage in North Indian Style
It was one of the most beautiful five days of ceremony and fun. I enjoyed it thoroughly as guests from across the world gathered and graced the occasion. So here is a small journey of still life for your pleasure....

Falling In Love with 'Namma' Chennai.... A North Indian affair
Living in a place, lovingly called 'Namma Chennai'...
It was a different world from Delhi, when I came to Chennai in 1994 - different culture, outlook and life style. But over the year Chennai’s beautiful sensibility and style seeped into me and now it’s ‘Namma Chennai”. Here is ‘what makes me, love Chennai’ through the lens of my camera...

Hope you will enjoy this edition... look forward to your comments and visit to the next Edition... please click on the “Join this Site” button on the right hand side top corner to follow my posts on this blog... I will be grateful.
नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
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25th Edition

Feb 5, 2013

STILL LIFE : A South Indian Marriage in North Indian Style

Sorry friends, I was off the online grid for almost two weeks as one of my niece got married from Chennai on 23rd Jan and I played the host. It was one of the most beautiful five days of ceremony and fun. I enjoyed it thoroughly as guests from across the world gathered and graced the occasion. So here is a small journey of still life for your pleasure....

The venue near the sea front on ECR 
And the Gangnam Style party ....
Where bride's brothers rocked ....

And Jagganth Temple on ECR played the host....
 May Lord Shiva bless the happy couple....

नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
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Understanding Haiku - A beginner's Guide                          One Week Winter Spiritual Retreat

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