Tag Archives: India

Creative Infusions – Malhar Jam by Agam, Coke Studio MTV Season 2

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Sometimes taking something old and current, and infusing creativity and freshness into it, is all it takes to make it exciting all over again. Relationships, work, travel, clothing…finding a new way to approach the same thing can make the world more exciting and inspire the playful child that is always there deep inside each and every one of us.

In today’s post we’re featuring the music of a band called Agam all the way from soulful India. Agam’s style is classified by the original and inspiring blend of Indian classical music and rock. In Malhar Jam , Agam breathes new life into an old Indian raga called Malhar which, according to the stories of the ancients , was so powerful as to bring down rains from the heavens when sung .This one together with my freshly brewed coffee made my day…..hope it makes yours too :-)…and yeah it did rain for a while for me..joyously and thunderously!

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In Conversation with the Mystic Sadhguru

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Sadhguru J. Vasudev has been recently named as one of the 50 most influential people in India. He is a contemporary mystic equally at ease skydiving off of airplanes as he is addressing countless spiritual podiums. His approach is thoroughly refreshing, vastly entertaining, and most importantly profoundly moving. Let’s hear what Sadhguru has to say in this delightful discourse. In conversation with the motorcycle guru himself.

Irresponsible Journalism from the India Today!

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Is it just me, or does anyone else find this article from today’s India Today highly objectionable. On one hand the writer promotes getting rid of the” old” to make way for “the new” and on the other hand she actually appreciates the fact that “France, Italy, America and the world over” are hiring models as young as 15 or 16 and asks why India can’t. Exactly how long are you planning on staying “young” Ms Tanya Banon? Spread the word guys …we need more responsible journalism and reporting standards around the world, and better role models for young impressionable girls! I shudder to think that the India Today reportedly has a readership of 15 million and on it’s website claims to be “what Indian journalism is judged by, for integrity and ability to bring unbiased and incisive perspective to arguably the most dynamic, yet perplexing, region in the world.” DUH!!
Time to usher in the new talent, Tanya Banon, India Today, New Delhi, Aug 31st 2013.

Change comes with resistance. Be it switching your favourite brand of toothpaste, going from size 4 to 2 or even taking a different route to work, change means we have to move out of comfort zone, shake up routines and alter our life style. In short it makes one uncomfortable. I pen this piece after a lot of hesitation, but at least someone should. The world of fashion is a constant change of colours, fabrics, styles, trends and designs. It is creative and imaginative. That is what is so inspiring about it.However, even as we embrace new trends and styles, we find it hard to let go of the so called top five veteran models of the Indian runway. This despite the fact that these models have had their share of limelight in the top spot and a legion of fans that adore them including this writer.
We celebrate fashionistas like Sonam Kapoor, Kalyani Chawla, Kalki Koechlin and Pernia Qureshi for upgrading the style quotient of this country, but can’t just let go of the veteran models who have ruled the runway for decades. It is time we put to practice the basic principle of life ‘out with the old and in with the new.’ Even a great sportsman like Sachin Tendulkar or David Beckham know when to draw the line, but why can’t our veteran runway models take the hint? Standard industry practice requires the old order to retire so that the young can get a shot at the limelight.

Today, in the world of modelling, countless number of girls is struggling for a break, but very few get the chance. Ousting veteran models most of whom are in their mid and late thirties is a near impossible task for these fledglings. India’s top designers, event organisers, fashion week bigwigs, leading fashion journalists and industry experts, however refuse to retire “well-established” or “renowned models.” We have a blind allegiance, a great sense of loyalty and respect for these talented and gorgeous models so much so that we seem unable to live without them.
In France, America, Italy and world over models as young as 15 and 16 are hired to walk the runway. If supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum, Brook Sheilds, and Claudia Schiffer can put their heels up to make way for younger names like Lara Stone, Candice Swanepoel, Adriana Lima, Miranda Kerr and Gisele Bundchen, why can’t we? 10-year-old Thylane Blondeau was the chosen model for Vogue’s fashion feature. We may not agree with their pick, but the fact is, that’s how young young is getting.
Girls like Erika Packard, Surelee Joseph, Diva Dhawan, Arshia Ahuja and Tamara Moss are currently the younger faces on the runway that make an impact. Every season ushers in a new collection of ensembles and the first step for it to look youthful, contemporary and refreshing is to showcase it on a younger pool of models.

Rape is Everyone’s Issue

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rape-protest_350_122612105532A 23 year old medical student who was brutally gang-raped by 5 persons, 2 weeks ago in a moving bus for almost an hour despite passing through several police check posts in the capital city of New Delhi, India, passed away early hours of this morning in Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore.The woman and a male friend, who were returning home after watching a movie on the night of December 16th, had engaged the services of a chartered bus to return home, but once inside the two students were picked on and taunted by six men, and the male student was eventually knocked unconscious. The woman was then savagely beaten with a rod and raped by the men in turns continuously for close to an hour. They were both then stripped of their clothing, and their bodies thrown out of the bus onto the roadside on the outskirts of Delhi. The woman, so far unidentified, has been battling for life ever since and was moved to the super speciality Hospital in Singapore a few days ago in a bid to save her life. Her male friend who survived the injuries, was able to identify the perpetrators who have been taken into custody and are now awaiting their due punishment.

What makes this young woman’s story unique, in a country where a woman is raped every 20 minutes, is that it triggered nationwide protests, particularly in Delhi, bringing to the forefront years of buried rage, frustration and angst against poor and ineffective governance in the face of rising and hetherto unaddressed, social, communal and economic issues. Over the weekend of this young woman’s story going public, students, activists and politicians from all sections and walks of life, took to the streets of New Delhi demanding action from the government against rising violence towards women, and the setting up of proper structures to ensure swift action and justice for victims.

Official statistics on the status of women in India are gruesome. To quote from a new report issued by Al Jazeera TV, “More than 24,000 rape cases in the country were reported last year alone, of which 570 were reported in the Indian capital, where already this year 635 rape cases have been registered.The legal news service Trust Law says India is the worst country in the G20 to be a woman. It says women and girls continue to be sold, married off at a young age, exploited and abused as domestic slaves.The number of crimes recorded against women, including kidnapping, abduction, and human trafficking exceeds 2.5 million. Many activists say Indians are protesting against what they say is a culture of impunity. There are 40,000 pending rape cases in the country and survivors have to wait years for their cases to be heard – even then the conviction rate is just 34.6 percent – according to the National Crimes Record Bureau.” Compounding the issue, is the shameful narrow-mindedness and biases of the Police, and vast sections of society, many of whom believe that women who are raped have invited the rape onto themselves for reasons ranging from the way they dress, their supposed “immorality”, or because they are in it ” for the money”.

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has released a statement today following the death, even as the rest of the nation was plunged into deep mourning. ” I am deeply saddened to learn that the unfortunate victim of the brutal assault that took place on December 16 in New Delhi has succumbed to the grievous injuries she suffered following that attack.” “It would be a true homage to her memory if we are able to channelize these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action. The need of the hour is a dispassionate debate and inquiry into the critical changes that are required in societal attitudes. Government is examining, on priority basis, the penal provisions that exist for such crimes and measures to enhance the safety and security of women.”

ind_2434592bThe young woman’s death has created an unprecedented collective consciousness for change, not just in India, but around the world. We continue to hope, and apply pressure, through the sources available to us, to ensure that her death was not in vain. Rape is everyone’s issue, not just the issue of a small time student in a small time corner of the world. The six highest number of reported rape cases in 2010 were in South Africa, The United States, India, The United Kingdom, Germany and Russia respectively. Giving women everywhere a voice in their struggles to achieve safety, security and justice is truly the great and pressing need of the hour.

© Irene Lopez and An Urban Mystic’s Blog, 2012