1

Manohar Khushalani’s Team Building Exercises

This Exercise I use often in my theatre classes, but in smaller groups. Working with a large group provides a very exciting possibility, for me. The idea is to sensitize participants to their own vocal potential. To experiment with variations and nuances in sound. Participants learn to listen not only to each other but also to sounds in the environment within and without the space they are in. Results vary,  it can create a catharsis in some cases, but a very powerful bonding in all cases.  We start the interactive exercise by asking people to lie on the carpeted floor together in alternate circles with heads together or feet together. Those who cannot lie can sit on chairs in circles facing each other or with their backs to each other .

While representative images have been chosen to illustrate this complex interactive game., you can watch the video of the entire exercise shot by my dear friend Stuti Samanvay during one of my workshops with my students. The relevant links on TheStageBuzz Youtube channel are cited at the bottom. You can also watch the student feedback videos on the same channel
Please Subscribe to TheStagebuzzChannel to see many such training videos on Theatre and Cinema by clicking on the link below
https://youtube.com/user/TheStageBuzz?sub_confirmation=1

Circle with feet together
Circle with feet together

Everyone is asked softly by the conductor to relax.  In fact he gives them auto suggestion to relax each part of their body muscle by muscle and joint by joint, helping them to lose awareness of their bodies. When they are fully relaxed and kind of mesmerized,  they are asked to listen to sounds within the hall. Some special sounds are created by volunteers. Example:  tearing a piece of paper.  Flapping of cloth.  Shaking  a Keychain.  There will be many ambient sounds they will be expected to recall later

Participants sitting on chairs

In the next step they are asked to listen to sounds outside the room. Those can be ambient sounds or sounds created in the corridors outside. Participants will be able to listen exclusively to external sounds without listening to sounds inside the room.

A very subtle beat is created, very softly,  with recorded sound of some percussion instrument(s)

Now in any one circle one participant starts a vocal abstract sound. The participant next to him adds with his own sound. One by one everyone in the circle adds his own vocal bit. Until they all create their own vocal band. The same exercise is repeated in all circles.

Participants-creating collective sounds

There is a gradual build up in the hall as every circle resonates with each other’s sounds. They are asked to see to it that what they create should not be noise. They should listen to each other within the circle and without the circle. The percussion sound played on the speaker system provides a reference beat for all groups

Circle with heads together

In some circles, people who are feeling more active can all sit up in their respective positions maintaining their orchestral vocal compositions.

Sitting Posture
Sitting Posture

People who were sitting in chairs can get up move either in circle shoulder to shoulder or walk in circles.

Circle shoulder to shoulder
Circle shoulder to shoulder
Participants walking in circles
Participants walking in circles

Everything can end in an euphoric crescendo or in a soft sublime end. The climax will depend on the collective choice of mood. At the end if the participants feel upto it, they can share their experiences.  Which from my past experience can be very positive.

By now you must be very excited to see the actual workshop conducted by Prof. Manohar Khushalani. Please watch the film of the actual workshop and listen to participants feedback here:




19th NATSAMRAT NATYA UTSAV and 14th NATSAMRAT THEATRE AWARD opens 11th March

Over Ten Theatre Groups will participate in the theatre festival

NATSAMRAT Natya Utsav has now come of age. Oscar Wilde once said,

“I regard theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being”.

If you agree, head to a fun fest that is all set to salute the spirit of Indian Theatre, Organized by Natsamrat Theatre, the 19th Natsamrat Natya Utsav which is all set at comedy, romance and tragedy-emotions that are key to any well-lived life at Narenjayan Studio Auditorium, 53, Bharati Artist Colony, Vikas Marg, New Delhi-110001.

Audience at the Awards
Always a jam-packed Auditorium at the performances and the Awards

Natsamrat has been at the forefront of Capital’s amateur theatre movement for the last 24 years, presenting entertaining and socially conscious theatre, participating in the prestigious theatre festivals and organizing every year theatre festival featuring work of leading theatre directors. Under the inspiration guidance of its founding director Shyam Kumar, a seasoned director and actor, Natsamrat has instituted awards which are given away every year to theatre practitioners –
directot, actor (male and female), playwright, backstage performer, critic, lifetime achievement,
theatre promoter – of eminence.

During the six-days we will have participation from ten different directors on one platform. The directors are:
Chandershekhar Sharma, Vishaw Deepak Trikha from Rohtak, Rajesh Tiwari, Ashraf Ali, Varun Sharma, Sunil Chauhan and Shyam Kumar and the plays are ‘Lajwanti’ on 11th March at 3:30 pm & ‘Gadhe Ki Barat’ at 6:30 pm, ‘Kambakht Ishq’ is on 12th March at 6:30 pm, ‘Jaanch Padtal’ is on 13th March, at 6:30 pm, ‘Charandas Chor’ will be performed on 14th March at 3:30 pm & ‘Aadhe Adhure’ at 6:30 pm, ‘Digdarshak’ on 15th March at 3:30 pm and ‘Shikasta Booton Ke Darmiyan’ at 6:30 pm and on 16th March ‘Chuhal’ at 3:30 pm & ‘Ek Ruka Hua Faisla’ at 6:30 pm.

The event will also witness the 14th Natsamrat Theatre Award in eight categories – Best Writer, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best in Back-stage, Best Critics, Lifetime Achievement Award and Best Theatre Promoter for those who have contributed significantly to the theatre. The award committee is consisted of award-winning playwright D.P.Sinha, Writer & Critic Jaidev Taneja, Writer & Critic Diwan Singh Bajeli, Award-winning light designer R.K.Dhingra and Writer & Director J.P.Singh.. at Muktadhara Auditorim, Banga Sanskritik Bhawan, 18-19, Bhai Vir Singh Marg, Gole Market, New Delhi-110001.




Treasure Art Gallery opens with Prabhakar Kolte’s ‘The Mind’s Eye’

Prabhakar Kolte, Acrylic on Canvas, 60-72″

Prabhakar Kolte with Ritu Beri

`Ritu Beri inaugurates the exhibition, Kapil Dev sends a video message to the artist, who is back in the city after 15 years

The Mind’s Eye: a seminal exhibition of Prabhakar Kolte
Curator:  Uma Nair
9th October –  10th December 2021
11.00am -7.00pm, Monday to Saturday
Treasure Art Gallery, D-24, Defence Colony, New Delhi- 110024

New Delhi, 9th October, 2021: Veteran Abstractionist Prabhakar Kolte’s seminal

exhibition The Mind’s Eye, curated by Uma Nair was inaugurated at Treasure Art Gallery in the city by renowned fashion designer Ritu Beri in the presence of CDirector General, ICCR; Adwaita Gadanayak, Director General, National Gallery of Modern Art; diplomats; eminent artists like Arpita Singh, Paramjeet Singh, Rameshwar Broota; prominent gallerist & art collectors.

Kapil Dev, former Indian Cricketer who could not be present at the event, said  in a video message, “Looking forward to seeing Prabhakar Kolte’s beautiful abstract painting at Treasure Art Gallery in Delhi. This will add colour through everybody. To me definitely. All the best and hope I can have one painting in my house too. I wish everybody whoever is involved, good luck.”

Treasure Art Gallery is a contemporary art gallery owned by Tina Chandroji with two partners. The avant garde gallery located in the heart of   Delhi’s upscale Defence Colony is made up of two exhibition spaces that makes it one of the biggest spaces for exhibitions in Delhi. TAG plans to work with emerging and established artists with the central aim of allowing their work to grow both in terms of production of new projects and the making of new exhibitions.

TAG launched officially on 9th Oct 2021 with debut solo exhibition of the abstract master Prabhakar Kolte one of the greatest mentors of the Sir J.J. School of Art Mumbai. For curator Uma Nair, “The most intrinsic quality of the gallery is the light filled window spaces and the fact that you can glimpse the masterpiece in the window as you pass by in your car.”

Kolte a famed Professor of J.J. School of Art and deeply loved by his students and collectors alike was present for the show. He ranks amongst India’s finest artists according to Nair who has followed his work for more than 3 decades. The seminal exhibition includes the portraits and still life works made during the early stages of his career, the paintings made during the formative years and the mature works made during and after realizing the hallmark art lingua that established his position in the modern art discourse.

One of the pioneers of Indian Abstract Expressionism, Kolte has been successfully carrying forward his unique abstract language for over five decades with timely innovations, experiments and changes within the same, in order to make the paintings fresh and alive. TAG houses the largest inventory of the artist’s works till now and has the ability to create a new collector base for the artist.

Uma Nair, Curator, The Mind’s Eye, said,  “The Kolte solo show has stellar works of art and they range over a period of time while most belong to the past 10 years. Amongst canvases and works on paper and drawings are three intriguing installations that add to Kolte’s repertoire of creativity. The show is expected to run for a few months so that many art lovers and students of art have the opportunity to discover this great master from Mumbai.”  

“I’m Delighted to inaugurate the Treasure Art Gallery, with an exhibit of Prabhakar Kolte, a personal favourite. I believe this show is going to be a visual delight for one and all. The Treasure art gallery is also going to add to the vibrant art scene of Delhi. We look forward to some unique collaborations between art and fashion to blur the lines between fashion and art.  Congratulations Treasure Art Gallery and I wish you all the very best. You guys are going to rock.” said  Ritu Beri, Fashion Designer and Founder Luxury League.

“We would like to add to the city’s character of art shows and hope to expand our reach with established artists as well as emerging contemporaries,” says Chandroji a second-generation art collector. “We hope to serve the arts in many ways and are looking forward to establishing new connections in Delhi which has a thriving art market.” Said  Tina Chandorji, Director Treasure Art Gallery

“I have been practicing my way of painting and it will continue till my last breath. For me painting is my passion, it’s my breath and life. I am really glad to showcase my diverse practice with the official launch of Treasure Art Gallery in Delhi. I have full faith that Treasure Art Gallery will be a great treasure to the existing art ecosystem and will definitely add value to it.  My best wishes and support are there with TAG in this new journey.” – Prabhakar Kolte, Artist

“Looking forward to viewing ‘Prabhakar Kolte’ – legendary abstract artist at the inauguration of Treasure art gallery” – Nupur Goenka, Director, GD Goenka Group

“We are delighted with the opening of Treasure Art Gallery which will be featuring the honourable Prabhakar Kolte. We fully embrace the beauty of Indian art and are looking forward to the opening.” said Mr. Ramesh Chauhan, Chairman Bisleri

Treasure Art Gallery TAG launches itself in Delhi with a grand show of recent works of the master abstractionist Prabhakar Kolte of Mumbai.  Impressive and gorgeous in range, size and depth, the show presents Kolte in his well-regarded essentials and yet discovering something new and unexpected.

 Done largely during the pandemic, the art underlines a colourful zest for life. An intense spontaneity, well-tuned to the multiple rhythms of colours, runs across fiving you enough freedom to discover your own personal intimations of meaning and memory. A very well-appointed gallery, elegantly designed, with a magnificent show,” said Ashok Vajpeyi, Indian Poet, Noted cultural & Arts Administrator

About Treasure Art Gallery:

Located in the heart of New Delhi at Defence Colony, Treasure Art Gallery (TAG) is born out of a vision to build an institution dedicated to modern and contemporary Indian art. Treasure Art Gallery (TAG) is formally launching itself into the contemporary Indian art sector with a select retrospective exhibition of the veteran modernist Prabhakar Kolte from Mumbai.

 TAG a gallery with a difference, is aimed primarily to offer a panoramic view of the arts they represent. We aim to encourage collaboration with institutions and artists by bringing in an active discourse around art and to create business partnerships. TAG also aims to support seminars, workshops, lectures, discussions, and talks that contextualise art within critical dialogue. We truly respect and value the modern masters and simultaneously encourage emerging, cutting-edge contemporary artists. Our objective is to provide a cohesive environment where younger artists are able to contextualise their work alongside the masters of Indian art and find avenues for their own journeys.

About Prabhakar Kolte:

Short Bio:

Prabhakar Kolte was born in 1946, in a village called Nerurpar of District Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. He received his Diploma from Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai in 1968. He also taught there between 1972 and 1974. The artist has a number of solo shows to his credit. He has participated in many important group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of ‘Druga Bhagwat Award’ for his Book ‘From Art to Art’ – a compilation of various articles on art, in 2010. He has been writing about international and national artists for the Mauj publication (Marathi magazine).

About His Work

One of the pioneers of Indian Abstract Expressionism, Kolte has been successfully carrying forward his unique abstract language for over five decades with timely innovations, experiments and changes within the same, in order to make the paintings fresh and alive. 

His early works show a strong influence of Paul Klee, the Swiss artist and teacher whose childlike figures belie the sophistication of his richly textured surfaces. Kolte’s abstract layering with paint echoes cityscapes where the signs and textures give a glimpse into his modernist consciousness. His early works are characterised by a single, dominant colour in the background, on which lighter and more complex geometric or organic forms are juxtaposed.

The operative system that Kolte found for his works was in a way colour field,  but fundamentally different from that of the colour field abstractionists of his time like Marc Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still and so on. What he made was not even remotely similar to the paintings by KCS Paniker in the south or GR Santhosh or Biren De in the north. He was even different from his immediate predecessors like Raza, Gaitonde, Ram Kumar and Swaminathan. But the most interesting thing about Kolte is that, throughout his career he has been having the spirit of this international abstract movement that later condensed into a life philosophy rather than being just a mere art style or lingua. Kolte is a conversion of life into terms of colour. It occupied everything pertaining to life; from music to harsh mundaneness. Using an aesthetic alchemy, he turned them into pictorial expressions that opened up wider and narrower slits allowing entry to the viewer and sealing it the next moment, a sort of visual trapping for aesthetical engagement.




Abstractionist Prabhakar Kolte’s Exhibition,’The Mind’s Eye’ opens 9th Oct

Prabhakar Kolte

Prabhakar Kolte was born in 1946 and received his Diploma from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai in 1968. He also taught there between 1972 and 1974. His early works show a strong influence of Paul Klee, the Swiss artist and teacher whose child like figures belie the sophistication of his richly textured surfaces.

Treasure Art Gallery
cordially invites you to the Preview of this

Veteran Abstractionist, Prabhakar Kolte’s
the seminal exhibition The Mind’s Eye

Curated by Uma Nair
Inauguration by Ritu Beri

The other dignitaries who will be a part of the exhibition opening and inauguration are Shri. Adwaita Gadanayak, Director General, NGMA; Shri. Dinesh K Patnaik, Director General, ICCR; Diplomats; Eminent Artists; Prominent Gallerists & Art Collectors.

The Mind’s Eye by Prabhakar Kolte
Treasure Art Gallery
9th October, 2021, 6pm onwards
D/24, Defence Colony, New Delhi – 110024

The Preview will be followed by wine and cheese
The exhibition will be on view until 10th December, 2021. Monday-Saturday, 11am-7pm

R.S.V.P.
Anuj Kumar Boruah/ Shakti Raj Vidyarthi
Conversations Unbound
+91 9958372662 / 9711118189
[email protected]




As tributes pour in on Surekha Sikri’s demise listen to her Swan Songs

Veteran actor Surekha Sikri passed away this morning, Friday the 16th July 2021, following a cardiac arrest, her agent, Vivek Sidhwani informed. In a statement shared with the media, the agent said the actor had been suffering from complications arising from a second brain stroke. She was with her family and her caregivers who requested privacy at this time.

Surekha Sikri (19 April 1945 – 16 July 2021) was an Indian theatre, film and television actress. A veteran of Hindi theatre, she made her debut in the 1978 political drama film Kissa Kursi Ka and went on to play supporting roles in numerous Hindi and Malayalam films, as well as in Indian soap operas. Sikri has received several awards, including three National Film Awards and a Filmfare Award.

Sikri won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress thrice, for her roles in Tamas (1988), Mammo (1995) and Badhaai Ho (2018). She was awarded the Indian Telly Award for Best Actress in a Negative Role in 2008 for her work in the primetime soap opera Balika Vadhu and won the Indian Telly Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the same show in 2011. In addition, she won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989 for her contributions towards Hindi theater. Her last release Badhaai Ho (2018) got her immense recognition and appreciation from viewers and critics. She won three awards: the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Screen Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film.

As a fitting tribute to the great performer she was we will listen to her mellifluous recitations of Hindi and Urdu Poetry. But before that, here are some of the tributes which poured in on social media and otherwise from her millions of admirers, and eminent people whom she knew, including actors and directors from film, television and theatre.

Ashish Abrol, Income Tax Commisioner, laments: “Surekha Sikri or Surekha di as we called her passed away today morning. I cannot get myself to accept that she is no more. I came to know her in 1985 when she was a faculty member in NSD and came completely under her thrall as she became a mentor, teacher, older sister and a maternal figure for me. Her panache, idiosyncrasies, brilliance as an actor and her erudition… often when her silences taught you more than lectures of so many others. Her love for chaat and the occasional joint… later of course she could not eat much courtesy the intestine problems. She was perhaps the greatest theatre actor ever in modern India; some one who could emote and yet be aware of her own performance as if standing out of her body observing herself perform. More than that she was always overflowing with warmth that traveled to you through her twinkling often mischievous eyes. She was so thrilled when her son Rahul had an exhibition in The Habitat Centre …I was not in touch with her for some time more since her paralysis and with her inability to speak. A triple national award winner; Surekha ji was known to the country at large courtesy her TV and film roles…in Tamas, as Dadisa, in Mammoo but it is her oeuvre in theatre that is stunning; she owned the stage, set it on fire and then doused the flames with her voice and gentleness. RIP Surekha di my mother in another life you live on in your performances and our memories”

“She was one of my personal favourites .. a lovely actress .. will never forget her Nsd work when I was in college in delhi .. god bless her” – Lillet Dubey

“There is a total immersion in life…have deeply admired her work, her persona from the Nsd days, so fully engaged in enjoying everything that came her way intensely” – Amba Sanyal

“Surekha my dear dear friend! We were in the same batch! A consummate actress,very strong woman , determined and brave! ! Never let go of her beliefs and strong options! I shall miss her dearly” – Amal Allana

“Very very sad news. We have lost another great actress. Surekha Sikri left for her heavenly abode. Heartfelt condolences to her family. May God rest her soul in peace” – Satish Anand

“Another great loss to theatre and films. She was a great actor and inspiration to all her juniors at NSD. Will never forget her superb performances. Rest in peace Surekhaji” – Anila Singh Khosla

“Deeply saddened – was always uplifted by her rendering of Faiz’s poem- may she rest in eternal peace” –Salima Hashmi

“Shocking news. She was one of the few who defined theatre for us in our youth. What a great loss for all of us” – Rajiv Bhargav

“Last of the greatest products of NSD..and loved and respected hugely for her talent and principles. Will be sorely missed” – Dolly Thakore

Tail Piece: Surekha Sikri was very fond of poetry. Listen to her reciting poetry by Faiz, Raghuvir Sahay & Sarveshvar




Bookmark: New Age Theories for Architectural Practice by Prof. Sagar Desai

Architectural Practice

About the Book
This book is based on the practical aspects of Architectural Profession in India, which the students in their final year of Bachelor of Architecture must understand before being exposed to the professional world. This book throws light on various topics in a concise form with simplified understanding. Some of the topics like banking and introduction to financial markets etc. are also included to help the students understand the system of monetary circulation.

The Book has received appreciation from teachers and students alike:
Good to read! Students are finding it engrossing and readable. It highlights important aspects and contemporary developments in the subject. Some readers of the subject have described it as a ready-reckon-er for the students and budding professionals.
Author had made sure that book covers all essential topics. Its a comprehensive compilation of the entire syllabus and very easy to understand. Topics covered are like a to-do list for a young professional:
Chapter 1 Role of an Architect.
Chapter 2 Duties, Powers and Functions of Architects.
Chapter 3 Professional Works & Scale of Charges.
Chapter 4 Valuation & Introduction of banking & Financial Markets.
Chapter 5 Contracts, Tenders & introduction to Easements.
Chapter 6 Opening an Architect`s Office, from Small to Mid-Size.

About the Author
Prof. Sagar Desai is currently working as an Associate Professor, at P P Savani University, Surat. He graduated from SCET (Sarvajanik College of Engineering & Technology), Surat and pursued his Post Graduation from CEPT University, Ahmedabad. He is also an IGBC-AP (Indian Green Building Council-Accredited Professional). With an extensive experience in academia & as a professional he has also contributed at Calcutta Riverside Project. As a researcher his area of interest is smart cities and published many papers on the same. He is actively involved in Institutional Consultancy Projects at various places and also in the board of certain international institutes for research paper reviews. Not only this he has also pursued PG Diploma in Urban Planning and Environmental Development & Sustainability. He is in continues process of knowledge gaining and sharing through workshops and lecture series like GICEA (The Gujarat Institute of Civil Engineers & Architects).

Preface by the Author
It gives me great pleasure to introduce this book for Architecture students studying Professional Practice. Often, I have observed that the professor in the class keeps talking about contracts although he may be explaining it very well but the students does not seem to understand. After thorough introspection I realized that its now time to add few more topics to the entire subject like, to understand contract and its formation better. One needs to understand what a company is? What banking and financial markets are? This is an effort where utmost care is taken to be precise, to the point and include only what an architect is required to understand. The main audiences of this book are students studying Professional Practice in their final year. Many difficult topics are simplified. This is an effort by an architect for the upcoming architects to understand the scenario better.

Mail: [email protected]

Its available on amazon




Aneeta Chitale: Sojourn to Maldives – Book Review / Interview

Book Cover: Sojourn to Maldives

Manohar Khushalani: You are a poetess at heart Aneeta Chitale, and, with an anthology to be released soon, how did you think of writing a novel?

Ans.  I have been penning poems since the age of eleven. I used to write and keep them as treasures! I was a bit shy I think when it came to presenting it. But I had strong streaks of an artist; I was very active in theatre and writing, even during my Pune University days. 

Q2. Can you tell more about your journey as an: “ Appreciated Poet-from India”. You have just received “Gujarat Sahitya Academy Certificate from Government of India Year 2020- and Motivational Strips” the largest Forum for writers all over the world.

Ans. I have been very fortunate to write poems on varied topics, especially on the environment, unprecedented times of the Covid 19 – where life has become a challenge to lead a normal lifestyle. I wrote on a wonderful theme: ‘Striving For Survival’ collection of my poems OPA Forum, out of which three of my poems have featured in OPA International Magazine this year. I am happy to say that my poems were selected from more than 600 + poems from Global Poets-

Most of my poems are on Europe’s most acclaimed ‘atunis.portal’. I am most humbled by The Chief Editor Sir Agron Shele’

My poems ‘ The Three Witches’,’ Gypsy’ and ‘Rhapsody’ made waves. The Best Poets almost 162- contributed to a Quarterly [email protected] E- magazine/Print Year-2020 & For the month –July 2020. And the best part was I have got accolades & given an ‘International Spot Light- from The Government of Seychelles – Island and by World’s Largest Forum Motivational Strips.’ My three poems were widely read: Devi, Grasshopper and Himalayas.

I give my sincere ‘Thanks’ to Ms. Maggie Vijay Kumar & Sir Shiju H. Pallithzeth Founder President of (MS) Motivational Strips.

Recently on 17th August 2020, I received the news that my writings; my novel “Sojourn To Maldives” and poems have been ‘Globally’ appreciated and in India as well overseas. I also write in ‘Bi-Lingual’ journals. Have contributed to few journals especially in Egypt and Greece.

Aneeta Chitale : Author

Q3. You have been associated with the teaching profession for the last twenty years in different countries. How did writing happen to you amid such a demanding lifestyle?

Ans. I have been lucky enough to have travelled to different foreign countries like Sultanate of Oman, UK, and The Republic of Maldives during my long service, in teaching filed. When you are working abroad, you have to work hard and cope up with the international standards, and which is highly qualitative work according to the quality frameworks. I have taught to the ‘Sophomores’ which again is very challenging, but at the same time very eclectic I should say. I was always on new locations and amidst the ‘multi-cultural’ society, which provoked me to write. I had been writing in my diary all along. It was only recently, I could write the full novel. I had to write brick by brick, I must admit.

Q4. Having travelled to various countries across the globe; why did you choose Maldives as the setting of your debut novel, ‘Sojourn to Maldives’?

Ans.  The Republic of Maldives  is an archipelagos, it is formed by a chain of tiny islands; one thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine islands. It’s situated to the south west of India, in the Indian Ocean. It has bioluminous beaches and most exotic water villas, in the whole world. I was mesmerized by the turquoise   green waters and the   serenity, and its unique topography. Some islands are absolutely remote and miniscule and situated in the deep ocean. When I saw all this, I was fascinated and I knew this was the going to haunt me.  Much later, it emerged as a backdrop for my debut novel.  Maldives is famous for adventure- water sports

Q5. How is the story of Aari, and Brad in ‘Sojourn to Maldives’ different from the run of the mill romance?

Ans. The protagonist in the novel, Aari is a strong willed woman of today, who has embarked her professional journey on the islands of Maldives. She is an ‘expatriate’ who   faces many challenges in her personal and professional life. She explores the new found land. She meets Bard Marquez, a Spaniard, who is an ‘International Champion’ a wind surfer, on these exotic islands; quite by chance the romance blossoms.  But the islands of Maldives have a political unrest and fate plays its part. Brad is an adventure freak, an   novum and Aari an aficionado of altruism! The relationship has a roller coaster ride! It is for the readers to find out. I would say.

Q6. What kind of research you had to conduct before writing this book which touches on the “political dimensions” between the two counties- India and The Republic of Maldives?

Ans. I had to do extensive research, as my novel is set in the backdrop of the Indian Ocean. The life on the ocean and especially on the remote island; is in total contrast compared to the urban lifestyle I have lived in India. The ocean routes, the seafarer’s and the boat journeys, was minutely, studied by me. The Muslim culture is the fabric woven in this novel. The social, cultural and religious beliefs and sentiments are much valued, respected and penned by me. The ‘Political Crisis’ is the discerning perspective here and it is a glaring reality, portrayed by me.

Q7. As an Indian author, writing a novel of this magnitude depicting an era of ‘Political Turbulence’ how difficult was it for you to incorporate the real – socio cultural milieu in your novel?

Ans.  This writing is not just a piece of fiction but it has charted the ‘International Boundaries and routes’ inked with skirmish between India and Maldives. Being a neighbor, have its pros and cons.

The turbulent times between the years spanning from 2008 to 2014 is presented on the canvas. The relations between the two countries were totally raptured in this era. The entire plethora of Indian nationals and foreigners   had gone berserk. I had to study it in detail and follow it consistently.

Q8. Your bio describes you as a ‘Solo Traveller’ round the globe. How has this helped you groom as a Poet/author?

  I got my highs and lows both in this journey as a teacher.  But ‘Highs’ has a price tag too! One learns to be more independent minded, be more brave and learn to face challenges with a smile! As an ‘Expatriate Teacher’ you have to walk on the unchartered routes be it on an ocean or a desert. You have to walk that extra-mile.  I had to face many obstacles too and the moment you leave your native country, and after the initial euphoria has died, one is left in a vacuum. That time is most difficult and one has to mature as a person. Being solo – as my son was very young that time. And I had to leave him in India with my parents and my husband. One learns from the book of life! There is no gain without pain.

Q9.  With an anthology to be soon published how did you think of writing a novel?

Ans.  I have been penning poems since the age of eleven. I used to write and keep them as treasures! I was a bit shy I think, when it came to presenting it. But I had strong streaks of an artist; I was very active in theatre and writing, even during my Pune University days.  But this novel is a surprise for me. I had my stories talking to me.  Writing a book is a huge task. I had the passion for writing for sure. Being an artist has always paved my way to success. I have done a small role in a Marathi movie when I was 21 years old.

Q10. You have written a story on ‘India’s Bi-Lateral Relations with Maldives’. Can you shed some light on this international relationship between the two countries?

Ans. Maldives is our neighboring country and has got a great strategic importance in ‘The Indian Ocean’. The recent political crisis had turned the friendly ties, into a feud with this nation.  There was a dark patch that altered the relations between the two neighboring counties for more than a decade. But India has always been very helpful and friendly. The other great powers, like China had a major role to play a gambit. But the bilateral relations were handled very sensitively by the Indian High Commissioner and Ambassador India, His Highness Dnyaneshwar Mulay -To the Republic of Maldives. Indian High Commission did a commendable job then. Indian Defence Services did a brilliant job, with the precision of eagle’s eye.

  One has to read the story, to know about it.

Q11. In this book you have touched on ‘global the water’ crisis?  Do you think this is a burning question even in Maldives?

Ans.  The one thousand and one hundred and ninety one islands of Maldives   have its own fate to face. With the sea levels rising everyday a great climatic shift is going to happen any time in future. The land which is habitable is only 300 kms and the mineral   water is most scare here. One has to depend on the two monsoons- this country gets annually. The rain water is the most treasured resource and some islands are totally isolated and if the water perishes there is no future for these islands. Rain water harvesting is a great practice Water is a Global Crisis. Indeed.

Q12. Which authors have influenced you the most in your journey as a writer?

Ans. I have be most impressed with the writings of Khushwant Singh, Girish Karnad, JK Rowling. Poets like Pablo Naruda , S. Coleridge, Maya Angelou and Rabindranath Tagore.

Margaret Mitchell, William Shakespeare. I have always loved reading Henrik Ibsen’s plays.

Q13. With a large number of paperbacks, as well as ebooks being published, how difficult is it for the emerging authors/ poets to sustain the competition?

Ans. I think writing world has got its highest spurt now and the eBooks and paperbacks are both equally, relevant in todays’ fast paced, high tech world.  It is a healthy world, where one has both the choices available. But it’s always a great pleasure, to hold the fresh mint paperback copy in your hands. New authors have to learn to ride over this wave.

Q14.  In today’s publishing world, a constant debate is going on about ‘Traditional vs Self-Publication’, what is your take on this?

Ans. I am sure the new authors/poets have a great choice to make and enjoy the benefits of Self-Publishing too. One can be happy to self-publish his/ her work, than be frustrated about not being approved by the traditional publishing houses.  Both has it’s plus and minus points, I feel.

Q15.  What is the message you would like to convey to the budding authors/ poets?

Ans.  If you have the skill and desire to write you must write and not be in a dilemma, should I or shouldn’t I write?  You must follow your heart’s passion. Writing should be a long term affair. There is no short cut to success.




Resonances of the Past – a review by Manohar Khushalani

Resonances of the Past (The Ruth Wieder Magan Show)
first Published in IIC Diary Feb-March 2021

Ruth Wieder Magan

To commemorate International Womens Day, Organised with the support of “The Foundation for Independent Artists”, Ministry of Culture and Sport, Israel) the India International Center Screened three films by Ruth Wieder Magan; Mirror Sky (50 min), Come Away Human Child (6.42 min) and Kadayil Shabbaso (10 min)

A Webinar was also conducted at IIC, The Ecstatic Voice. What is the Female Voice? Participants were: Ruth Wieder Magan, well-known contemporary voice/body theatre artist from Israel; Prof. Michal Govrin, Prominent Israeli writer, poet and theatre director; Gabriella Lev, theatre director, writer, performer, Artistic Director and Co-Founder, Theatre Company Jerusalem; Michael Shachrur, prominent body worker, dancer; Sara Siegel and Yuval Steinberg, filmmakers. The sentiments echoed what the films resonate with.

Ruth is best known for her pioneering work integrating sacred texts into contemporary voice/body theatre. Her pioneering approach to the transcendental aspect of voice is founded solidly in sacred cantorial Jewish traditions. In Mirror Sky in a backdrop of dimly lit scenes Ruth, swirling, moaning, producing gutrral sound explains the origin of her techniques:

“The process of my voicing goes something like this; a voice arises from the particular presence of present time. I will begin to track the life of the vibration. Where is it sounding in my body?

[As Music Swirls] Is it liver or kidneys or blood or eyelids?

And where in my perception of the cosmos?

is that reverberation, am i feeling angels

or am i sensing the moon or feeling stars shifting?

….and how is that kernel of sound moving out into space?

Does it want to travel forward or travel back into the sides?

and what cultural meaning arises in me

As i hear the sound emitting from my very own voice

…is it ancient America or China or is it atlantis?… or am i hearing an animal? Her investigation continues

Ruth’s source of inspiration, were her own parents, both were Holocaust survivors. Their memories and experiences triggered the melodies and intonations rooted in the barren world of the yore.

The movies are psychedelic Ruth’s voice and body performance is mesmerizing. Audience connected to so many insights and the things she said ”..a wound is a gateway, a gateway to the universe.

A wind blown image of her own hair swirling over her face like diaphonous clouds punctuated with screams of agony seems to haunt you

IIC Diary Masthead Feb-Mar 2021



Spic Macay – Pt. Rajan Mishra – IIT Delhi Program

IIT Delhi, Diamond Jubilee Program 2021 April – May

The pandemic is growing rapidly all over the world. With aim of spreading hope and remembering Pandit Rajan Mishra ji (who passed away on the 25th of April), SPIC MACAY dedicates its online 3-day IIT Delhi Diamond Jubilee year program to him, the details of which are given in the link:
https://spicmacay.org/rendezvousiitdelhidj

🎥🎬 April 30th, 6:00 pm, Friday:
Cinema Classic “Hirak Rajar Deshe” by Shri Satyajit Ray,
followed by an interaction with the expert, Tuhinabha Majumdar ji
Link: bit.ly/smcinemaclassic

🙇‍♂️1st May, 3:00 pm, Saturday Afternoon :
Great Masters Series- Vidwan Lalgudi G Jayaraman,
followed by an interaction with G J R Krishnan ji
Link: bit.ly/smlivezoom

🎤🎻🎼May 1st, 6:00 pm, Saturday Evening:
Classical Evening Series with Vidushi Nandini Bedekar
(Hindustani vocalist)
Link: bit.ly/smlivezoom

🎨May 2nd, 12 noon, Sunday:
Craft and Folk Series with Shri Rajaram Sharma
(Pichwai Painting)
Link: bit.ly/smvolunteermeet




Theatre Union’s plays on Feminist Issues and those of Social Relevance

Firstly since Women’s Day just happened this month, it is important to recall the innumerable street plays we did on women’s issues mostly under the banner of Theatre Union and Workshop Theatre

But here we are discussing only Theatre Union

‘Om Swaha‘ was about dowry and bride burning. It contributed towards sensitizing the media and the nation on this issue.’

‘The Rape Bill” was about custodial rape and insensitive cross examination of victims in courts. It was performed when a select committee was examining the new rape bill before it became an act in the parliament. It also informed women about their rights.

‘Pardon ka Parcham’ was prepared by us after Roop Kanwar an 18-year old Rajput woman committed Sati on 4th September 1987 at Deorala village of Sikar district in Rajasthan. These plays were collectively evolved by our group Theatre Union.

Marz ka Munafa was about Drugs (medicines) banned abroad because of their side effects, but dumped in the third world by Multinational Companies. We were assisted in research by Mira Shiva of barefoot doctors

Toba Tek Singh the legendary story by Sadat Hasan Manto was developed into a super successful street play about partition. It took us six months to evolve the play, finally one of our members, Umesh Bist, finalised the script.

All our plays were not street plays. Theatre Union did two proscenium plays both written by the radical nobel prize laureate Dario Fo

Can’t Pay Won’t Pay directed by Manohar Khushalani was a feminist play in which women shoppers protest against high prices in a Super Market in a very unusual way

Accidental Death of an Anarchist directed by Manohar Khushalani was about custodial death in a prison

Dario Fo had scripted both plays in his black comedy comic farce style

I would also like to recall our brothers and sisters in arms, an endless procession of street theatre co-warriors who came, sometimes stayed for a while and sometimes stopped briefly for a production or two and moved on. In no particular order they were: Anuradha Kapoor, Ravi Shankar, Umesh Bisht, Maya Rao, Vandana Bisht, Sushil Prashar, Sujasha Dasgupta, Chandrashekhar Iyer, Urvashi Butalia, Ragini Prakash, Vibhuti Nath Jha, Dr. Harivansh Chopra, Krishan Tyagi, Kumkum Sangaria, Rati Bartholomew, Dr.Ravi Mahajan, Satyajit Sharma, Tapush Chanda and me, Manohar Khushalani. If I have forgotten anybody then please remind me.

https://stagebuzz.in/1990/01/01/a-review-by-alka-raghuvanshi-of-dario-fos-cant-pay-wont-pay-directed-by-manohar-khushalani/