Friday, 13 September 2013

Visual Concepts and Interpretations of The Lessons

The 'brooding dog', on his day off! This breed of dog, the Alsatian, is most commonly associated to the whole concept of 'A brooding watch dog'. I loved how carefree this one was. Shows a contrast to the Imagery used by Kamala Das, in 'My Grandmother's House'.

Inspired by P. Sainath's film 'Nero's Guest'.

Took this one in the rain, hence the haziness. Just a simple play on darkness, light and reflections.

Slow shutterspeed photography. The line of light is traced from a car headlight. You can see a hazy figure passing through the circle (Which was, incidentally, a stack of cycle tires). Just more play on light and darkness, and darkness concepts.

The Blind Windows. This expression has been used in several poems. Kamala Das uses it to describe the blindness of the now empty house, indicating that there was no longer any life behind those windows.

This was an ancient, worn down, dilapidated house's balcony. Thought the imagery suited Kamala Das's poem beautifully.

There is no true darkness to be felt without the light.

I found that the chapter 'South Indian Filter Coffee with Amma' by Julie Sahni, was mostly about time, and memories. I went out looking for a picture to conceptualize that, and found three grandfather clocks in a row, each reading different times; like a timeline of sorts?

Narain Bawa's religious scripts, perhaps?
('Lajwanti' by Rajinder Singh Bedi'

Organic compost, displayed at the Christ University waste management centre. A remedy that is being pushed to farmers by environmentalists all over the world. This one, again, was inspired by Sainath's 'Nero's Guest'

All dressed up, and on the way to the Atghara-Bakdheegi cricket match. Shot this close to Kanteerva stadium. Hard to resist the implication of a reluctant mother-in-law watching her daughter's husband in some cricket match. This one was inspired by Moti Nandy's 'uMPiring'

Another picture inspired by 'My Grandmother's House'. The black and white effect shows the coldness of the house, devoid of any love.

Milind Yohann Mathew

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Life Scripts by Aman Saini(1314023)

Life Scripts
Nero’s guests have lost their soul,
Longing for aid they now play a mere role.
Every day, we are made aware of another Lajwanti,
Bearing sorrows that the society gave her in plenty.
And yet we are convinced of love at first sight,
We are found taking chances of plight.
Scientific religion is the new talk,
Depleting brotherhood is this very walk.
In every match of life we are deceived by umpiring,
Each time one tries to change, there’s more conspiring.
I would go on to portray the entire drama,
Over a cup of south Indian filter coffee with Amma.
Even then we’ll never be able to follow our vows,

Sigh! Will we ever revive my Grandmother’s house?

1st TCE

Monday, 9 September 2013

My Grandmother's House (SAURABH SURESAN V P 1313146)

Description :
Memories are always abstract.
They come and go in different forms.
The painting is an abstract art work, depicting the memories and the
feelings of the poetess. She is lonely and upset. Visiting her
grandmothers house reminds her of the love and affection she had for
her grandmother. She is lost in her own nostalgic world of memories.
The painting depicts the memories of the poetess. She thinks about the
dark windows, the cracked walls n doors, and the books on the racks.
The house is now empty and cold and she is scared. Today she is a
grown up who can understand things which she couldn't understand as a
child. The books on the racks remind her of her grandmother who used
to narrate her stories. The same books which now are covered by

- Saurabh Suresan 
1st CEP

Documentary Review - PROSTITUTES OF GOD (GROUP 8)

We, Maria Joseph and Malavika Nair  have chosen to review the documentary titled Prostitutes of God produced and hosted by Sarris as it throws light on  one of the scariest practices performed in Hinduism in the name of  god- THE DEVADASI SYSTEM. Devadasi- Servant of God is a young girl child dedicated to worship and service a deity or temple for the rest of her life. It’s a prominent ritual performed mostly in the southern parts of Karnataka. In Saundatti, a small temple town of  Karnataka , young girls are secretly presented to Yellamma- The Goddess of fertility. This ritual has taken a different turn in the present scenario where the pre pubertal girls are being sexually exploited in the pretext of this ritual.
                                                    In the documentary Prostitutes of God, Sarah Harris elucidates the significance of being a Devadasi in the twenty first century. She focuses on the remote villages of Karnataka  to reveal the  dreadful truths of the system, which people derogated in time as a mode of religious prostitution. Although the practice was outlawed  about  20 years ago, it still prevails in various regions of  India and there are more than 20000  women forced to do prostitution .Their intimate exploration into the life of the Devadasi reveals a pseudo-religious system that exploits poverty-stricken families to fuel modern India’s booming sex trade. They meet a group of sex workers while travelling deep into the outskirts of Karnataka named  Saundatti who vend their bodies for  earning a live hood. They  exploits the religious icon Yellamma as a justification for conducting prostitution. During the journey she meets Anitha a sex worker who has transformed her house into a brothel and finds no mistake in the practice because she found it as a means to earn money and fulfill her small dreams of building a house, purchasing utensils and T.V.As they cross the border onto Karnataka into the heartlands of the ancient devadasi tradition they come across two teenage devadasi’s  Mala and Belawa who was denied education. They are restricted to go for any other work and although they wish to go they nauseated by the disgusting looks they have to encounter. The poorest families find the system as coping strategy to transform a female child from liability  to asset as she would be taken over by Landlords who assures a certain amount of  regular income .Most of the women consider it as their responsibility to take care of the family and she does not mind starving as her only concern is to feed the family. Becoming a devadasi is the only means to earn money although they feel unhappy their find happiness in taking care of the family.
Finally they attend the annual full moon festival, the most prestigious event in devadasi calendar. The colourful celebrations conceals the underlying secret of sex trafficking. Sitavva an ex-sex worker agreed for a mock demonstration of the dedication ceremony. The documentary ends by the reflection of two older devadasi women who ask the question: what kind of religion turns parents into pimps and their children into prostitutes.

                                                                         Both of us decided to chose this documentary as it discusses about one of the most relevant issues faced in India .It unveils the mysteries of rural India, the impediments and predicaments if  the downtrodden women. Thus we aim to popularize this documentary thus providing an insight to the society about the dreadful ritual which pertains in the society even now.

- Maria 1313120 (1st CEP)
Malavika 1313119 (1st CEP)

MY SEPARATION (Deena Dixon 1313135)

                                                  God- My supporting power gifted her when I was fifteen, and so that beyond a sister I was a mother to her. I was really excited to welcome her into my life. She was an angel who paved way for health and wealth. A sister at the age of fifteen, something  which was unimaginable for me. I was in a dream land where everything seems to b unusual to me. Actually I was terribly in a confused state weather I can love my sister as I love myself or not. Where will she be loved more than me or will she be cared more than me, such question rolled over my mind because I was the princes in my sweet home...but I don’t know, I was little bit sad imagining  that I will be less considered in my family moreover I was happy that I am going to be an elder sister for the first time.
                                               I prayed for the baby in mother’s womb, I found out beautiful names for, i really cared my mom as my granny. On October eighth, as usual I called my dad enquired about my mother’s condition. Then he said surprisingly said “your angel is here” when I heard this four beautiful words from him, I jumped, danced, screamed from my school and everybody was shocked to see me this excited  state. After my class with all my friends i went to the hospital .when I saw her for the first time, she was sleeping on my granny’s lap covered in an orange plannel. My grandma refused to give her to me because I was tiered and dirty all the way from school. But my dad asked me to sit and gave her to me, when I eagerly looked at her she opened her eyes and no one will believe that she was in a mood to smile. When I viewed her black eyes, I felt like all smaller sins have been washed away.

                                             After her birth, she was only my love and life .I may die for her. Without her my life is dark. Then I realised, my past life was empty without her... I played with her, danced with her, fought with her, but whenever she cries my heart breaks . my mom used to advice us not to be so close, because even if I are go for higher education then we may have difficulty at that period without seeing each other... but we both never cared her  words. But right now, in similar way, I am suffering, both of us...  This separation between us really kills me in one way or in other way.  Sleepless night thinking over my angel is painful. Pillows that absorb my tears are my relief. Sweet voice through the phone is my inspiration and if I couldn’t  here it, my whole day is a waste. The repeated words from her whenever she calls me, the same “I MISS YOU”.  But She never knew how I feel for her and  miss her , its more than a million times ... I really cannot express my feelings towards her separation .. its  really words failing.... and it kills
1st CEP

Change Begins With Me (RUPALI IYENGAR 1313157)

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, no one things of changing himself.”
-Leo Tolstoy
The only thing that is constant in life is change .Que sera sera – whatever will be will be. Change is the law of life, irrespective of its kind-be it for better or for worse. Mankind is losing its human touch day by day. Insensitivity is on the rise. All of us are choosing to be Nero’s guests. We talk about creating a change but in the process forget about having to change ourselves which is the most essential step to bring about transcendence. Nero’s guest, the short documentary by P.Sainath was an eye opener for most of us. It set me thinking about two things namely
A) What am I doing that doesn’t make me a member of the club of people who live in oblivion, insensitive to the suffering of others?
B) Erin Gruwell, a truly amazing woman.
Back In high school I read this book thrice and every single time I read it, I cried my heart out. I watched a film made on an adaptation from the book and I realised the beauty of the reality on a better footing. Reality is harsh but you can make a difference if you choose to. The idea of the documentary Nero’s guests runs parallel to this book which I can read time and again,
The first thing that one would say after reading the book or watching the movie would be “WOW!”. Stereotyping does exist in the United States as well. in long beach California there is a school called Woodrow Wilson High, as a fresh teacher, a student not so long ago herself ,Erin Gruwell found herself facing a class of “at risk, unteachable” students. All these kids come from a very traumatic and treacherous background. They were all victims of gang banging, racism and communal wars. For all of them, reality had been anything but pleasant.
One day she intercepts a note that was being passed around class behind her back; it was an ugly racist caricature of one of her students. A patient teacher until that moment, she finally snaps.
She angrily declares that it was such gestures that led to the holocaust. On receiving uncomprehending looks from the students, she decides to teach them everything about the holocaust and the kids eventually realise that their status of affairs ran parallel to the time during the holocaust. This is when they undertook a life-changing, eye-opening, spirit-raising odyssey against intolerance and misunderstanding. She leads them to start trying a journal about everything that has happened to them in the past and how they would like to resurrect their present and what they would like to look forward to in their future. The kids start liking her and take this seriously.
She tells them that she’d read it only if they permit her to. To her surprise all of them let them read their journals. She decides to compile them and publish a book. She calls them “the freedom writers” in homage to the freedom fighters, the civil rights activists. With funds raised by a “Read-a-thon for Tolerance,” they arranged for Miep Gies, the Dutch woman who sheltered the Frank family, to visit them in California, where she declared that Erin Gruwell’s students were “the real heroes.”
The class became the first batch to graduate from the school. Most of them went ahead to attend college and study further. 
The freedom writers is an incredible inspirational story that makes people want to believe in a bright sun that will rise after the darkest night. Nothing is impossible; life’s jigsaw puzzle will fall in place only if you assemble the pieces right.
Erin Gruwell firmly quips,
Don't let the actions of a few determine the way you feel about an entire group. Remember, not all German's were Nazis.
Evil prevails when good people do nothing.
It sounds strange, somewhat on the line between irony and absurdity, to think that people would rather label and judge something as significant as each other but completely bypass a peanut. ... World peace is only a dream because people won't allow themselves and others around them to simply be peanuts. We won't allow the color of a man's heart to be the color of his skin, the premise of his beliefs, and his self-worth. We won't allow him to be a peanut; therefore we won't allow ourselves to come to live in harmony”

Below are a few scenes from the movie, the freedom writers diary. All of them are self-explanatory and carry a lot of irony.
This is when she tells them about the holocaust.
Erin tells this to a student who tries to back out from studying and asks her to fail him.
She adds, “It would be easy to become a victim of our circumstances and continue feeling sad, scared or angry; or instead, we could choose to deal with injustice humanely and break the chains of negative thoughts and energies, and not let ourselves sink into it.” 

Lastly, the major lesson that I learnt from the freedom writers and what I imbibe in my own life,

You just learn from the freedom writers that every person has a story to say, every individual has somewhere he/she is coming from, so the next time you meet someone unconventional, give them time and space to warm up. Accept that they have a story to say. In due course of time, they’ll become resilient.
Until then, you can ask them subtly,

As for change beginning with me, I volunteer at Centre for Social Activities, I teach underprivileged children. I believe that’s where I’ve started to make a sound difference. J

-Rupali H Iyengar
1st CEP

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT (Diti Golder 1313149)

The little boy walks, dragging his empty satchel after him. His pockets jingle with coins he has earned, a pitiable amount for a hard day’s work.
Clad in a threadbare t-shirt and frayed shorts, he strolls among people who don’t notice him. He walks noiselessly among the swarms that have somewhere to be.
He loves looking up at them, imagining how thrilling their lives must be. Something out of his reach. A man in a suit bumps against him, shoving him forward, not looking back to apologize but to glance at him with contempt.
Oddly, as a boy of seven, an age when fancies are plenty, he has never asked his parents for anything that isn’t necessary or even dared to dream of a greater life.
However on this rainy day, as he saunters along, he is taken in by a pair of shoes peeping at him from a store window, a shop with neon signs drawing him in. He suddenly jerks to a halt, awed by the pair of sneakers. He always window shops on his aimless walks, but these pair of shoes have struck a chord in him. It is love at first sight.
He stands pressed against the glass, in complete and total admiration of them. His hands slide down noisily against the window pane, leaving marks of his wet fingerprints on it. He’s never wanted anything more. He looks down sadly at his bare feet and watches the muddy rain water pass through them as he curls his toes.
Without thinking, he pushes open the door of the shop and walks in, his damp feet leaving marks all over the polished floor. The shopkeeper looks at him horrified and screams “What do you think you’re doing here? Get out!”
He grabs the boy by his collar while the boy mutters in a desperate voice “Bhaiya please! Those ones!” He points at the shoes, reaching to touch them. He’s pulled away and thrown out, unable to touch his object of desire.
They say when you experience love at first sight, it is as though you have a found a piece of yourself that is missing. This boy, who has nothing, knows if he gets these shoes, he will be complete.
He is in front of the shop everyday thereafter, looking at them longingly. He sits in a corner with hand outstretched, palm facing upward, asking for money, any money to buy the only thing he craves. Every rupee dropped in his hand is reciprocated with a heartfelt smile because it brings him closer to his beloved.  
A smartly dressed school boy who passes him everyday drops a rupee into his palm. One day he stops, walks towards the boy and crouches beside him.
“What’s your name?”
“Do you go to school?”
“Why do you always carry an empty satchel?”
“Because I hope one day it’ll be full”
“What do you do with the money?” the school boy questions, his thoughts jumping randomly.
 The boy looks startled and quickly composing himself answers, “I want to buy those.” He taps the glass pointing at the shoes, dirty fingerprint marks reappearing on the window pane.
“How much do you have?”
He pulls out his savings and drops them on the ground. The money clatters revealing a measly seventy rupees. The school boy frowns, calculating how much more he needs. With that the school boy leaves and is not seen for weeks after by the beggar.
Days later, Satish, faithful to his post, sits by the shop, his face and hands pressed up against the window pane watching his sneakers hungrily. He’s suddenly distracted by a presence next to him and he turns around to see the school boy standing there.
“Here” he marches up to him silently and drops a brand new satchel, “it’s full.”
With that he disappears into the crowd. Satish picks up the satchel in wonder and out fall the pair of sneakers he wanted. He runs after the school boy, searching for him in the crowd, but the boy is gone. He goes back and looks at his shoes, having never felt happier. He clutches this thing of beauty with love. He looks up at the sky and murmurs a silent prayer. As he puts them on, tears roll down his beaming face. The shoes look odd, not matching his clothes. But he stands without a care in the world as he is united with his love.

The rain starts falling over him, wiping away the longing fingerprints on the shop window. 

Name: Diti Golder
Roll. Number: 1313149 (1st CEP)