Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Vanprastha in Blogosphere

Friday, January 16, 2009 Getting Started in Blogosphere
I am a homemaker and a mother of two who are on the verge of flying the nest. Just had my 50th birthday.

In the Vedic period, I guess, it was around this age, that people opted for the 'vanprastha ashram'. This was the third ashram or phase of life, succeeding 'Brahmacharya ashram' (student phase), and 'Grihastha ashram' (householder phase). 'Vanprastha' literally means 'going to the forest'. The householder gradually relinquishes his responsibilities and rights in the household and allows the younger generation to take over, while he and his spouse move into a more contemplative mode of life. This phase precedes the last one- the 'Sanyas ashram' or the 'phase of renunciation' and is the mental and physical preparation for it. The fruit ripens and gradually disconnects from the branch of worldly life.

I can't say, the idea doesn't appeal to me right now. It made a lot of sense dividing the human life in these four distinct phases. Would have eliminated many conflicts and power struggles within the household, all those 'saas-bahu' scenarios. People would retire to the solitude and peace of the forests, assimilate their life experiences, contemplate and meditate. They would have the opportunity to associate and learn from sages who lived in those verdant environs. They depended on Ayurveda for curing their ailments so even that aspect would be well taken care of in the forests.

All this does appear rather tempting to me at this point in my life! An escape, a sanctuary from the humdrum daily existence, the same old routine of life which goes on and on, the never-ending cycle of chores and duties. So here I am, taking my first steps into Blogosphere, the modern version of the unknown forest, a world beyond my own small one. For a few hours everyday, I am planning to escape into this world and there is no knowing what I might find. So here goes! Posted by Rwitoja at 1:16 PM 3 comments Labels: , , , , , ,

Crossroads and Signposts, All That Has Mattered On The Way: Sri ... By Rwitoja In 2003, I happened to borrow a book from a friend and discovered Sri Aurobindo. The book was Satprem's 'The Adventure Of Consciousness.' Since then, Sri Aurobindo has become my teacher, a refuge, someone to whom I turn, ... Crossroads and Signposts, All...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A prize will be given to the best documentary covering Auroville

Written by Sean Thursday, 19 February 2009
Here goes the recording of the live reggae concert which took place on 31st of January in the Visitor Center. The very well visited concert drew together listeners of all ages. The band; Zamsanga entertained the crowd for more than 2 hours, having many dancers exhausted, and many others craving for more. This was just one of their recent performances, after having also played in Pondicherry, just a week before, and just this weekend having rocked the tent at the love circus. To listen click on the logo PLAY or check the radio schedule here.

Auroville Film Festival 2009
Written by Radio Team Friday, 13 February 2009

“Image is a poetry in itself.” Films are a way of expressing ourselves as well as learning about far off, exciting places. Auroville will host its first official film festival this year. The following interview is with Marco, a coordinator of the event, and he invites all Aurovillians and guests to come and support this effort. A prize will be given to the best documentary covering Auroville produced within the past two years, the best news piece, and the best poem written by Aurovillians. Listen to this interview to find out more and how you can participate! To download the interview click here.

German/Indian Jazz Exchange
Written by Sean Monday, 02 February 2009
Holger Jetter on violin with guitarist Barbara Jungfer filled the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium with their inspired compositions last Thursday. They teamed up with Keith Peters on bass and Jayraj George on drums, rocking hot with their brilliant solos and frequent unexpected changes. This quartet will continue to tour India, spreading their German/Indian-Jazz/Rock across the country. As promised, the music caught the experienced as well as the virgin jazz fans. Here is an excerpt; check the schedule for more, or just pass by AVRadio for a copy of their CD. To download the recording click here .

bit of music?
Written by Radio Team Friday, 30 January 2009

After the Jazz-Rock concert offered by guitarist Barbara Jungfer and violinist Holger Jetter last Thursday night, AurovilleRadio presented a bit of their music during its 5-minute news. The two artists conceptualized their India tour in June 2008 in Munich, beginning to work on compositions right away. They invited two Indian jazz musicians: Jayraj George on drums and Keith Peters on bass, to exchange knowledge and to explore the Indian jazz scene together. After a few announcements, listen to Prithi and Falguni speak about the program they prepared with the children of Deepanam School. To download the news click here.

When I’m reading Laruelle or those who have taken on his style of prose, my eyes glaze over and nothing sticks

February 17, 2009 In Praise of Materialism Posted by larvalsubjects under Materialism

Dominic Says: February 17, 2009 at 9:41 pm
There’s something about Laruelle’s language (in translation) that I find philosophically repulsive, undigestible, in poor taste. I have no desire whatsoever to master that jargon (and that’s unusual, for me). But I think this is deliberate, that having a tin ear for philosophical euphony is a large part of what Laruelle’s about, performatively speaking. Not to say that serious discussion is pointless, that it’s all a sort of clown act, but that Laruelle is involved in a quite serious effort to “tympanize” philosophy, and one shouldn’t be at all surprised that the language grates, confuses and repulses.

Dominic Says: February 17, 2009 at 9:45 pm
Btw, I totally claim dibs on that connection of Laruelle’s “non-philosophy” to Derrida’s “Tympan”. There should be some sort of prize, and I should totally be awarded it.

larvalsubjects Says: February 18, 2009 at 1:53 am
Absolutely, I have a similar reaction. I find this unusual because I don’t have a similar reaction– and I realize it’s a reaction –to the language of thinkers like Deleuze, Heidegger, Lacan, Hegel, etc. However, for some reason when I’m reading Laruelle or those who have taken on his style of prose, my eyes glaze over and nothing sticks.

kvond Says: February 18, 2009 at 6:55 pm
“Behold, The Non-Rabbit: Kant, Quine, Laruelle,” by Ray Brassier

Pseudonym Says: February 18, 2009 at 7:05 pm
It reads to me like he’s absorbed the worst stylistic elements of both the continental and analytic traditions. I’m slightly curious about what he’s up to but when it’s put in that form I feel comfortable simply maintaining my vague assumptions about his project. If I find any value in it, it’s as you say LS, that I can begin to empathize with people who react to most continental stuff in this fashion.

Re: The Strange Case of Dr. M and Mr. S koantum Wed 18 Feb 2009 06:31 PM PST Here is a useful crash-course: HOW TO SPEAK AND WRITE POSTMODERN by Stephen Katz, Associate Professor, Sociology, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Excerpts:
Postmodern language requires that one uses play, parody and indeterminacy as critical techniques to point this out. Often this is quite a difficult requirement, so obscurity is a well-acknowledged substitute. [...] Here is another highly commendable pomo text. Do read it to the very end or, if you get tired, jump to the bottom of the page and read the last screenful. Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kalki's parents had come to India as hippies and are devotees of Sri Aurobindo

‘I feel like a kid in grown-up clothes’
Express Features First Published : 16 Feb 2009 11:18:00 AM IST

Born in Pondicherry, Tamil is 25-year-old Kalki Koechlin’s first language (besides French, of course). Her parents were inspired by Sri Aurobindo’s teachings (Kalki, however, as mentioned in an interview, is still searching for the right religion). She attended school in Ooty, moved to London to study theatre, and returned to set up base in Mumbai. Two years and several stints in theatre later, she landed her first Bollywood film, Dev. D, directed by Anurag Kashyap.

A contemporary take on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel, Devdas, it is an audaciously crafted drama, with Kalki playing Chanda (Chandramukhi), a prostitute who talks dirty in Tamil and French.

Kalki Koechlin is an Indian actress of French descent who debuted in Anurag Kashyap's critically acclaimed Hindi film Dev.D. She played the character of Chandramukhi in Dev.D, which is a modern take on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's Bengali novella Devdas.
Kalki was born to
French parents in a small village in Pondicherry. Her parents had come to India as hippies 38 years ago and settled there after they fell in love with the country. Her parents are devotees of Sri Aurobindo.
Kalki was studying in
Ooty when her parents insisted her to attend university. Kalki studied drama and theatre in Goldsmiths, University of London, where she also worked with a theatre company called Theatre of Relativity for two years. She performed in various plays like David Hare’s The Blue Room, Marivaux’s The Dispute and a devised play The Rise of the Wild Hunt in her two year stint with the theatre group.
Kalki later decided to move to
Mumbai to try her luck in Indian Cinema. She was doing modeling assignments for Television commercials before being shortlisted for the role of Chandramukhi (Chanda) in Dev.D. Kalki can speak Tamil, English and French while she had to learn Hindi to prepare for her role in Dev.D.
She won The Hindu metro playwright award 2009 along with Prashant Prakash
[1] for their for their co-authored entry ‘Skeleton Woman.’ She had also acted in the play "Hair" directed by Ajaykrishnan.[2]

Monday, February 09, 2009

Those whose power is threatened bray at the pace of change. They claim to defend the culture by preserving it in aspic

Nobody owns a nation's culture
8 Feb 2009, 0122 hrs IST, Jon Sen
There is only one real question that any immigrant must answer: what do i hold onto of the culture into which i was born? Or in other words, what do i jettison?

My father arrived from Kolkata in 1961 clutching a medical degree and desperate to make it in a country that hid a well of hostility beneath its welcoming fa├žade. He jettisoned more than most in an attempt to integrate. Casting aside his Indian clothes, he chose instead tailored suits. His faith dwindled and he abandoned his native tongue, save for those rare occasions his path crossed with a fellow Bengali. He went as far as he could to turn himself into an English gentleman and almost succeeded. For many back home it was the ultimate betrayal: a betrayal of his roots and, by consequence, a betrayal of them. But then they hadn't suffered the violence of the colonial spirit in the way that he, as an immigrant, had. Yet, after almost half a century of immersion in British culture, he is still undeniably an Indian. His world-view, work ethic and his way with others are distinctly un-English. Despite his best attempts to become British, there exists, an invisible line that he cannot cross and one that i was always aware of growing up. Stretched to breaking point, it appears his culture and identity remain intact.

The idea that anyone can claim to defend a definitive 'Indian culture' has always seemed a truly remarkable fact in a modern world. After all, the one thing - perhaps the only thing - that can be said about Indian culture is that it has managed to evolve for centuries without ever losing itself.

As a filmmaker in England, i have made a living out of telling stories about the clash of East and West in contemporary Britain. The ways in which a first generation of Indian settlers navigated the cultural landscape, bringing their own values to a foreign land, moulding old traditions to new ways, has been the bedrock of British Asian narrative for decades. Hanif Kureishi's masterful storytelling in The Buddha of Suburbia showed just how complex this process can sometimes be with the father-figure, Haroon, exploiting his 'otherness' to impress suburban British ladies with a phoney mysticism.

Now, the focus has switched to the second and third generation who have their own tales of living with a foot in both cultures. Some of these young men and women thrive as they walk the tightrope of conflicting expectations of parents, community and country. When i directed Second Generation, we were clear that the story was a celebration of a new dawn for British Asians. The debate was no longer how to find a place in a foreign land, but how to celebrate the place we had now found. India and Indian culture had become fashionable in Britain. Everybody wanted a piece of it. The lead character, Sam, was a DJ who revelled in a musical and cultural fusion of his eastern roots and western experience.

At the other end of the scale, others find the pressure to live in two cultural camps too much. Like Omar in Stephen Frears' film My Beautiful Launderette (also scripted by Kureishi) or Om Puri's children in East is East, they resort to living double lives to avoid disappointing an older generation who place cultural subservience over personal happiness. As each generation is born and fresh conflicts are resolved, new definitions of British Asian identity are borne.

As i sit in London, i hear of the resurgent India, second-hand, as if by echo. I watch the changes that the country is undergoing and observe the challenges to old ways provoked by an unquenchable thirst for, dare i say it, western freedoms. As in England, those whose power is threatened bray at the pace of change. They claim to defend the culture of nation by preserving it in aspic. But they only claim this because they think they can own it. But nobody can. No one person. Not a hundred or a hundred million.

The culture of a nation is more spirited than the lot of us. The best we can do is observe the beauty of its transformation. The writer is a London-based director. His 2003 drama 'Second Generation' was the first time that prime-time British TV featured 'reverse immigration' of the diaspora from West to East. Homeward Bound-Opinion-The Times of India Kolkata's hot for Florian's shots -Calcutta Times-Cities-The Times ... Recently it was director John Sen from UK shooting Second Generation, an adaptation from King Lear, here. But German film-maker Florian Gallenberger Westside Story-Opinion-The Times of India The film is going to be directed by John Sen, a Bengali settled in Britain. It's written by Neil Biswas. Neither the director nor the writer has ever come.