On 8th March 2014, a play named Kanchan was enacted in Rabindra Bhawan, Guwahati on the occasion of Women’s Day. The play was based on highly acclaimed Assamese Novel of the same name by Anuradha Sharma Pujari. The play depicted the double standards of the society about women. Where as on one side they look down upon the women who sleep with men for personal benefits, on the other hand they take a different approach for the men who either push them to do that or who sleep with those women. The protagonist of the play, Kanchan which was played by Bornali Puzari, is a woman who is a simple LDC in a government office but has a strong hold among the officers due to her beauty. She had used her sexual abilities to get benefits in her career and support her family. In the meantime, Bidyut Phukan played by Kapil Bora, joins the office of Kanchan. Kanchan falls in love with him as he talks to her with respect unlike others. However, in the end it is revealed that he is worse than any other officer. Kapil Bora plays the role of a man who uses his pseudo intellectualism to cover his cowardliness and slyness. He tries to give Kanchan a ray of hope in good times but abuses her to save himself.
The cast includes Pranjal Saikia, Jolly Laskar, Amitabh Rajkhowa, Mala Goswami and Dr. Jayanta Das apart from Bornali Puzari and Kapil Bora. Kapil Bora came as a surprise package as his acting was a very controlled performance. It was a difficult role to play but he delivered well. There were some wow moments delivered by him. Bornali Buzari also acted well but in some portions, I felt there was some over-acting although, it was the fault of the director as those scenes could have either been completely chopped off or told in a better way. Pranjal Saikia played the role of an office clerk who was well aware about all the unsocial activities in the office and had sympathy towards Kanchan even when people hated her. However, he was a weak person to do anything to stop it. The role was played very well by him.
The music score was composed and sung by Zubeen Garg and it was one of the highlights of the play. You leave the theatre humming the songs.
Overall, I would rate the play 3 out of 5.
When I was young, we hardly got a chance to watch movies in cinema halls. We had to wait till Sunday for watching a movie on Doordarshan. However, we had one luxury, an indulgence that no one could stop us from. The movie posters! Larger than life hand painted posters that would give us a fair idea about the latest movie. If it was romantic movie, there would be a certain amount of tenderness in the brush strokes. If it was an action movie, you could feel the action. It gave an unforgettable visual treat to the onlookers, taking the definition of film poster art beyond advertising, and transforming it into a cultural icon instead. These hand painted pictures usually possessed vibrant and loud colours along with the artists’ personal touch; the posters though an integral part in the success of a movie, their makers largely remained unknown. (the exception being You know who)
Who can forget the poster of Sholay or the almost synonymous symbol of Indian cinema Mother India’s poster? The soft stroke of Mughal-E-Azam or the mellow poster of Pyaasa – each poster spoke the intensity of the drama.
Putting their heart and soul into the paintings, master artists created lifelike impressions of some of the biggest icons and films which left an indelible impression on the minds of the onlookers. Since, Hindi film industry has been taken over by technology, the hand painted posters have been replaced by digital posters. It may be feasible as it is cheaper and can be mass produced, but we lost an art form that brought Indian cinema to this point.
On a positive note however, there are some who greatly value this art. Poster collectors buy posters at good prices. Few artists have displayed their work in exhibitions. Industry experts say that it will be a million dollar industry in a couple of years.
Apparel Design and Accessories industry is also embracing this art in form of cool T-shirts, sling bags, etc.
Having said that, we will never forget the joy of watching a movie poster for minutes if not hours in awe and discussing what the movie will be like. So what if we had to wait for Doordarshan to affirm or negate our views but those moments spent in the sun squinting at the splash of colours and the superheroes- well, they were priceless.
Spring is a time of colours and flowers: of life and hope ; of beauty and freshness everywhere. No wonder we associate vibrant colours to it or the fresh green of life. But beauty can be even created out of the stark monochromes of black and white.
Presenting before you a sketch by Geetashree Hazarika -a beautiful contrast to the vibrant colours of spring
I had been always fascinated by this wonderful instrument called Gogona which often awed me and which I had tried only a few times out of awe.
Gogona is a type of Jew’s or Jaw harp, a vibrating reed instrument that is used primarily in the traditional Bihu music in Assam and that which is an integral part of Bihu as it gives an extra flavour to both Bihu song and dance. Gogona or Jew’s Harp or Jaw Harp is a simple musical instrument but I am sure it must have been a genius who designed it . It is found in different parts of the world, so it’s origin is a bit disputed or maybe it will be safer to say that it perhaps developed simultaneously in different parts of the world.
So fascinated was I with it that I had written a post on it in Bamboo Lounge and maybe the fascination rubbed on Kavita Saharia who again shared it in her famous blog My Room. Maybe the fascination is contagious , hence I am here,reinventing the post again at the insistence of the issue editor for Fried Eye . Though the post was a very short one- more like a spurt of my random thoughts on it, but it brought forth a thread of interesting discussions on it in My Room. The discussions on the other hand brought before us interesting yet unrecorded information on the gogona, which came like a blessing for us as there was very little on the internet about it. I am compiling all the information that were exchanged on the discussion thread of that post for you, as I had this passing thought that some of you out there might be interested in it.
Lin from Brazil had added that such an instrument but different in the appearance which acted on the same principle was used in a fight dance form of Brazil called Capoiera . The instrument consisted of a bow and a basket, which they used to vibrate while playing it.
Kay , another visitor affirmed of hearing similar sounding instrument in Australia , though she could not provide further details on it.
Amatamari from Italy had an interesting bit of tidbit to add. He mentioned about scacciapensieri , a similar instrument found in Italy, slightly different in appearance , but which sounded exactly similar and enclosed a link too for reference. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aiSQvhK6rY
Patty also shared her bit by letting us know that her grandfather used to play a similar metal instrument called the juice harp and the similarity did not end there. It too was played by mouth like the gogona.
Kishore Choudhury shed more light on it by a comparatively detailed background report. He traced the origins to as early as the third century in South Asia which was later embraced all over the world. He also provided the names for it in different regions like- Morsing in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Mugursing in Tamil Nadu and Morchung in Rajasthan. Though it has a very basic and simple appearance, it holds a high place in carnatic music, he had added.
Gigi Hawaii , a visitor from Hawaii had brought up the topic of its nomenclature on why it was called Jews Harp when there has been no mention of it any where in Jewish history. Another visitor had mentioned it’s other name being Juice Harp while I had mentioned it being a sort of Jaw harp. But on checking wikipedia I was amused to find that all three of the names pointed towards the same instrument and the different names must have been variation of pronunciation.
I had also tried to demonstrate with this amateur video of mine the sound and the system of playing the instrument though I am not sure how far I have been successful with it.
You see, the easiest way to learn is to silently pronounce A-E-I-O-U while we give slight pushes to the right end. Now, you can play the instrument according to the beats of the music. Improvisations are your contribution and will be welcomed.
You know you have a hidden talent. You know you have a passion. You also know that you have a creative streak in you, but you shake off the feeling with a sigh and lose yourself to day to day life and its struggle. After all everything needs to be planned well, everything needs an early start and everything needs a solid foundation to base a monument of talent. But you are wrong. All you need for your creative streak and talent to take wings are undying passion and a little bit of innovation. We bring before you three examples of how passion and innovation can give your hidden creativity the much needed leg up and open doors to bigger opportunities or simply present you with creative satisfaction and the feeling that- you did not let your talent and passion go to waste. You tried.
In the first of the group , we are sharing with you this short psycho thriller movie – Can’t Escape by Stephen Styris and Jikirani Mahanta, the young and dynamic duo from Assam. What is interesting about this movie is that that both Stephen and Jiki have no formal training in film making , other than them being students of mass communications of Tezpur University which of course consists of the subject of Television and Multi camera . Stephen is an avid photographer and has had experience in Wild life photography with WWF and WTI (wildlife trust of India) and had the distinction of working with Mike Pandey. And this passion led him to try out some short films with Jiki’s able help . Their movies always have some underlying social message and which presently is aired in Stephen’s youtube channel.with each film he is gaining higher ground and we have a gut feeling that he will go quite far in his chosen field.
The movie Can’t Escape is about drug addiction and has been shot within two nights and edited in three days. Though it has some rough edges in the dubbing department, the rest of the movie doesn’t fail to impress you seeing that it has been shot with zero budget and had cast amateurs as actors. Now that is a sure shot case of Passion , talent and innovation.
You can visit Stephen’s youtube channel in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGYYSe93qxc&list=UUeyBWVXgIh7jGqFbnkBe_7g&index=1&feature=plcp
[When we are talking about graphics and animations and comics and cartoons, it would be inapt to forget the world-renowned cartoonists of India. If not all, Mario Miranda, who breathed his last in his ancestral home at Loutolim, Goa, in the early hours of Sunday, 11th December, definitely needs to be mentioned. Here’s a tribute to the maestro,by Hrishikesh Bharali ]
Among the myriad faces in the Indian cartoonists scene, there features a Goan named Mario Miranda whose vignettes of Goan life on canvas in his trademark style captured the imaginations of the people for over two decades and put India on the world map. His lack of formal training in the nuances of cartoon never proved to be a constraint in his way up the ladder. Although, comparisons with his more illustrious contemporary R.K. Laxman were rife, Mario Miranda was successful in carving his own niche in the world of cartoon. As his long-time friend Khushwant Singh puts it in his inimitable style, “Comparisons with RK Laxman were inevitable. Everyone agreed that there was no cartoonist in the world to match Laxman. He agreed with the assessment and exuded an aura of self-esteem. Mario, on the other hand, had very little self-esteem and exuded an aura of modesty.”
Khushwant Singh further delineates the structural shift in their bailiwick that reflected in their doodles.”Laxman’s cartoons made political social statements. Mario simply depicted Bombay’s upper class or the common folk of his native Goa. His cartoons depicted farmers clad in nothing more than langotis (loin cloth) and their women folk in bars sipping local Feni. He also made cartoons of fisher folk, fish markets, cathedrals and the Goan country-side. Both contributed handsomely to the spectacular increase in the circulation of The Illustrated Weekly of India.”
Ironically, he went on to work with R.K. Laxman during his stint with Times of India.
Miranda was born on May 2, 1926 in Daman and did his schooling at St Joseph’s high school, Bangalore and did his BA in history at St Xavier’s college, Mumbai. Mario displayed a keen interest in sketching and caricaturing from an early age. He used the walls of his own house in Loutolim as a canvas for his creations, to the utter dismay of his mother, who finally brought him a blank book. He even started getting into trouble at school, for sketching Catholic priests!
He started his career as a cartoonist for the Times of India Group in 1953 and later moved into illustration and fine art. He rose to fame for his creations such as Miss Nimbupani and Miss Fonseca which appeared on a regular basis in Femina, Economic Times, and The Illustrated Weekly of India..
Miranda was offered the Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian Scholarship, which enabled him to travel to and stay a year in Portugal and this time in Portugal, according to Miranda, helped him to broaden his horizons. After a year in Portugal, Miranda travelled to London, England and was to spend five years there, learning as well as doing jobs for newspapers and even worked in television animation, at Independent Television.
Miranda’s cartoons were featured in the magazines Lilliput, Mad (once), and Punch (twice). This supplemented his finances, and enabled him to travel around Europe, interacting with other cartoonists, gaining considerable knowledge and exposure. This led to his meeting of Sir Ronald Searle, whom Miranda considered his mentor.
Besides cartooning, Mario’s murals continue to adorn the walls of south Mumbai’s famous Mondegar Café. His calendars, year-planners for various publications, private and governmentorganisations, illustrated diaries and books continue to be treasured possessions.
He has illustrated numerous books including Inside Goa by Manohar Malgonkar, A family in Goa and The Open Eyes by Dom Moraes, children’s books authored by Uma Anand like Dul-Dul, The Magic Clay Horse,The Long-tailed Langoor and The Adventures of Pilla the Pup, in Mumbai.
He has also penned several books, including Goa with Love, A little World of Humor, Sketch book, Germany in Wintertime, Impression of Paris and Mario de Miranda.
In his long career span of six decades, Mario has held solo exhibitions in over 22 countries, including the United States, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, France, Yugoslavia, and Portugal. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1988 and the Padma Bhushan in 2002. The All India Cartoonists’ Association, Bangalore, honoured him with a lifetime achievement award. The King of Spain, Juan Carlos, conferred on Mario the highest civilian honour of ‘la Cruz de Isabel la Catolica’ which was presented to him on 11 Nov,2009 at his family home in Loutulim by Don Miguel Nieto Sandoval and on 29th Dec,2009 Portugal. He was also decorated with the title of “Comendador da Ordem de InfanteD.Henrique”, a Portuguese National Order of Knighthood.
He will be best remembered for the ubiquitous man-in-the-bulb logo of Khushwant Singh in which he is shown scribbling on a sheet of paper with a pile of books on one side and a bottle of whisky on the other.” Ever since, whenever my articles appear, editors use the bulb logo designed by Mario Miranda over forty years ago. Believe it or not, on many occasions I have received letters simply addressed to: Man-in-the-bulb, New Delhi!”, adds Khushwant Singh.
An avid traveller and music, Mario married Habiba Hydari, an artist. The couple has two sons – Rahul, a hair stylist in New York, and Rishad, a cartoonist based in Goa.
In the wee hours of Sunday, 11th of December, Mario Miranda left for his heavenly abode at the age of 85 leaving behind a rich contribution to the Indian Cartoon depository.