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Page No. 1, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

Photo: Anshuman Bhowmick

A TRIBUTE

TO THE

CITY’S

MARCHING

MUSICIANS

MORE ON PAGE 6

www.goodnewstab.com http://www.facebook.com/Good News Tab

PAGE 12-14

STAGE

DARING

RESCUE

OF A GIRL

FROM A

BROTHEL

MORE ON PAGE 23

VOL - 1 |ISSUE - 6 |SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012 | 10

of

DEFIANCE

MAHABHARATA LENDS ITSELF TO MULTIPLE

STAGE INTERPRATIONS DEPICTING THE

TRIBULATIONS OF OUR TIMES

TALE OF A LONELY STAR SHIVA KESHAVAN, COUNTRY’S FACE IN WINTER OLYMPICS | PAGE 4


Page No. 2, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

2

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012

I

n July 2012, a class 11 student was shamed outside a

pub in Guwahati by a mob of lecherous men. The shame

was captured in a video clip and went viral on YouTube.

In the Seventies, Mahasweta Devi’s Dopdi Mejhen, a

farmer-turned-rebel warrior of West Bengal, is

gangraped by officers of the state, the law-keepers.

Mahabharata’s Draupadi was humiliated in front of the entire

Kuru clan as Dushashan tried in vain to disrobe her. The settings

are different but the untenable themes of oppression and

humiliation remain unchangeable. The discourse of the dispossessed,

be it Mahabharata, Ramayana or the tale of Ahalaya, has

shown women almost always as pawns in the kurukshetra of

male-dominated sexual politics.

Our cover story explores the idea of subjugation seen from the

perspective of class, gender and other social constructs through a

modern reading of the mythical narrative of the epic

Mahabharata for the stage. However, it must be conceded that

the modern-day interpretations carry the story ahead, adding new

layers of understanding. So Dopdi unlike Draupadi refuses to be

robed by men again. She uses the raw power of her brutalised,

naked body to lash out. The rapists are terrified when confronted

with this menacing avatar. The same body that the men ravished

with hideous hate becomes a weapon of protest.

Avijit Kargupta, the playwright-director of Chokh, also

interpreted the epic along Marxian lines. The war between the

Kauravas and Pandavas has been likened to the clash between the

superpowers of the world. It is not for nothing that stage veteran

Manoj Mitra once said what is not there in Mahabharata does

not exist in India at all.

In our big story, we track the life of Shiva Keshavan, the lonely

star of luge, one of the most-precisely timed sliding sports of

winter Olympics. The only known face of the country in winter

sports, the young boy’s love for snow was born in the beautiful

valley of Manali. Inheriting his passion for adventure and danger

from his parents, Shiva decided to make a career out of luge even

when nobody had heard of the sports. At 16, he became the

youngest luger to qualify in 1997 Winter Olympics. Determined

to blaze the trails in one of the world’s most dangerous sports,

Shiva went on to qualify for five World Championships and made

it to the top 100. Last year, he won the gold medal at the Nagano

Asian Championship.

In our photo story, we capture the lives of band partywalas as

they lead the fanfare in regal costumes, the loud music drowning

out their quiet struggle for survival.

Have a good day and let us know how you feel about the

stories.

editor@goodnewstab.com

For subscriptions, mail us at subscribe@goodnewstab.com

SUMANDEEP DEBNATH

Editor-in-chief

FROM THE EDITOR

inside 4

COVER STORY

10

RETURN OF

Photo Story

12

DRAUPADI

Mahabharata, replete with politics of

suppression and the rise of the underdog,

holds a mirror to the 21st century India

19 Culture

Young actors carve out stage careers

independent of theatre groups

Education

16 Environment

Focus on German Football Federation’s

initiative to raise environmental awareness

21 Food

A nondescript stall in central Kolkata cooks

up a storm with its Oriental specialties

Graphic Reportage

23 The daring rescue of a trafficked

girl reaches its conclusion

Big Story

A walk into the lives of bandwallahs —

their trials and tribulations

Spotlight on Shiva Keshavan, India’s only

face in the dangerous winter sports of luge

6

The need for counsellors becomes pressing

as social structures cave in and stress spirals

c All rights reserved


Page No. 3, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

RECAP

good news

SURAJ SHARMA PLAYS LEAD ROLE IN

ANG LEE’S LIFE OF PI

Seventeen-year-old Suraj Sharma will be the lead actor in Ang Lee’s

upcoming flick Life of Pi. Suraj was chosen from 3,000 candidates to

play the role of a boy stranded on a lifeboat with wild animals after

the death of his parents in a shipwreck. The film also stars Irrfan

Khan and Tabu.

ZERO-WASTE HOMES

BECOME THE NEW NORM

In an eco-friendly world, zero-waste

homes are fast becoming a trend. Such

homes are built from composting

products made by converting organic

waste into manure. Bangalore-based

Daily Dump founded by Poonam Bir

Kasturi has been offering a wide range

of composting products since 2006.

Segregation is the first step towards

composting. Though a family can start

composting from the word go, getting

consensus in an apartment can take

time. Replacing plastic water storage

can with a copper pot, separating bin

in the kitchen for plastic and paper,

recycling water used to wash

vegetables or rice to water plants are

some basic steps of composting.

PRAKASH

AMRITRAJ

WINS ITF TITLE

PRAKASH AMRITRAJ,

SON OF VIJAY

AMRITRAJ,

DEFEATED SAKETH

MYNENI IN STRAIGHT

SETS TO WIN MEN’S

SINGLE TITLE AT THE

SOLARIS ITF TENNIS

CHAMPIONSHIP

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012

MYANMAR GETS AID

FROM WORLD BANK FOR

FIRST TIME IN 25 YEARS

3

For the first time in 25

years, World Bank will

provide aid worth $245

million to Myanmar to

support its reforms.

According to the bank’s

office in Yangon, $80

million will be allocated

for a grant and $165

million no-interest loan

will be provided for

poverty alleviation

schemes. The grant

comes after the US

lifted sanctions and

restrictions imposed on

financial institutions

lending Myanmar last

month.

131,000

DOLLARS COMPENSATION

FOR HUANG LIYI

Huang Liyi will get compensation worth $131,000

from the Chinese government for wrongfully

convicting him of check fraud, following which he

served 11 years in prison. Guangdong’s provincial

Supreme Court said Huang will be compensated for

loss of personal freedom as well as emotional and

psychological distress.

SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS

GO DIGITAL

William Shakespeare’s plays are now going digital with

tailor-made apps of the bard’s work being released for

tablets and smartphones. Cambridge University Press

has released iPad apps of plays such as Macbeth and

Romeo and Juliet that combine texts along with audio

performance and commentary. The apps are a part of a

series called Explore Shakespeare which aim to expand

Shakespeare’s reach to casual readers.


Page No. 4, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

4 SATURDAY

Photo Courtesy: Shiva Keshavan

10 NOVEMBER 2012

The

SNOW

MAN

Tropical heat or apathy has not

prevented Shiva Keshavan from

following his passion luge,

one of the world’s most

precisely-timed winter sports

SUDIPTA SUR

On a cold December

morning in Panchkula

in Haryana 35

children from all over

India had gathered to

participate in a talent scout camp

organised by the Indian Amateur Luge

Association. A 14-year-old boy from

Manali was representing his school at

this rather unusual event. Little did he

know that he would become India’s

most prominent face in one of the

most precisely-timed sports of the

world, luge. Shiva Keshavan had never

thought of luging as a career — not in

the tropical climes of India — but that

fateful December morning in 1995

changed the course of his life.

Shiva is perhaps India’s only known

face in winter sports. He was just 16

when he first represented India in luge

in 1997 Winter Olympics. Since then,

he has made it to every edition of the

event, including the 1998 Nagano

BIG STORY

Games in Japan, where he became the

youngest luger to qualify.

Luge is a popular Olympic sport,

albeit in the winter edition. This

dangerous sport involves lying on the

back face up with feet first on the

sledge. There are no brakes or engine,

so the runners are steered by flexing

the calves or shoulders. Racing sledges

weigh 21-25 kg (46-55 lbs) for singles

and 25-30 kg (55-66 lbs) for doubles.

Among the three Olympic sliding

sports, including bobsleigh and

skeleton, luge is the fastest and the

most dangerous. Lugers also need to

compete against a timer and are timed

to a thousandth of a second.

Shiva’s love for winter sports was

born in the beautiful valley of Manali.

Even before he started dabbling in

luge, he was heavily into skiing and

won a gold medal at junior level in

1995. “I used to represent my state in

skiing. We used to have a national

meet in winter sports every year. That

is when I first came into contact with

the sport [luge],” Shiva reveals.

The luge king inherited his love for

adventure and danger from his

parents. His Italian mother was the

captain of the Tuscany volleyball team

while his father was into Kalaripayattu

(an Indian martial art from

Kerala). “Being the son of two

sportspersons helped me nurture my

instincts in sport. I am thankful to my

parents for their constant support

because pursuing an expensive sport

like luge in India is not an easy task,”

says a grateful Shiva.

After deciding to take up luge

professionally, Shiva’s big breakthrough

came during the 1997 Luge

World Championship in Igls, Austria.

He was training in the same track

where the World Championship was

taking place. “As I was training well,

the organisers of the event asked me to

be the forerunner for the race, which

means to do the opener before the

actual race. Interestingly, I recorded

very good timing, one comparable to

that of the competitors. This earned

me praise from coaches and pundits of

the luge circuit,” the 31-year-old

recalls. And the rest is history. “The

Igls incident gave a huge boost to my

career. I knew I had to replicate the

Igls performance five times over, and

that would be my ticket to Winter

Olympics. I trained with this purpose

in mind and achieved my goal,”

Shiva says.

Shiva’s relentless hard work and

never-say-die attitude paid off


Page No. 5, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

BIG STORY

handsomely. He went on to qualify for five

World Championships and made it to the

top 100. But he holds the Nagano Winter

Olympics in 1998 close to his heart. “When

I qualified for Nagano in 1998, I was only

16. I became the youngest luger to compete

at the winter games,” admits the proud

record holder.

Last year, the Manali boy set the tracks

blazing when he won the gold medal at the

Nagano Asian Championship. “Making it

to my first Winter Olympics was certainly a

big achievement. But nothing can beat the

magic of a gold medal at the Nagano Asian

Championship in 2011. Incidentally, it was

India’s first gold medal in winter sports,”

reckons Shiva, whose personal best score of

149.9 kmph at the Vancouver Winter

Olympics 2010 remains unbeaten by any

other Asian athlete.

Shiva commands the respect of the

international luge circuit. And Ioan

Apostol, FIL development manager, is one

of his biggest fans. “After 16 years of intense

dedication and hard work, Shiva has

acquired vast experience in this sport. His

talent, intelligence and skill stand out,”

Ioan says almost reverentially. He adds, “In

the FIL development programme, we try to

offer Shiva the possibility to train and

prepare together with Italian athletes. So he

can benefit from the guidance of qualified

coaches. With more physical training to

THE MACHINE

� THE FIRST LUGE COMPETITION WAS

ORGANISED IN 1883 IN SWITZERLAND

� THE FIRST OFFICIAL COMPETITION,

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS, STARTED

FROM 1914 IN LIBEREC, CZECH REPUBLIC

� THE INTERNATIONAL LUGE FEDERATION

(FIL) WAS FORMED IN 1957 AND WITH

BERT ISATITCH AS ITS FIRST PRESIDENT

� THE FIRST OLYMPIC LUGE RACE WAS

HELD IN 1964 IN INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA

LUGE IS AN

EXPENSIVE SPORTS

AND SPONSORSHIPS

ARE RARE. ATHLETES

HAVE TO TRAIN

ABROAD BECAUSE

OF LACK OF PROPER

LUGE TRACKS

improve his mobility, he has the chance of

becoming one of the top luge players in the

world.”

In a country like India, where cricket and

football are the only sports that

matter, pursuing luge as a career came with

serious consequences. Luge is an expensive

sport and sponsorships are rare. The fact

that there are no proper luge tracks in the

country and athletes have to train abroad

adds to the difficulties. But Shiva’s

stubbornness to go ahead made all the

difference. “The Indian sports ministry is

paying more attention to it now. This

certainly was not the case when we started

playing. After winning gold at the Asian

Championship in Nagano last year, I was

awarded a cash prize by the then sports

minister Ajay Maken. This is definitely a

confidence booster not only for me but also

for other luge enthusiasts,” says an

optimistic Shiva.

Shiva also found support from

Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), the

Mumbai-basedfoundation set up to promote

sports and games in India. It signed

up Shiva earlier this year and its CEO

Viren Rasquinha believes Shiva is the

flagbearer of winter sports in the country.

“We believe Shiva has the potential

to win a medal at the Winter Olympics.

His intense hunger and desire is unimaginable.

I was present during one of his

LUGE TRACK

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012

5

medical tests and I clearly remember the

doctor saying that he has not seen a more

fit athlete than Shiva. OGQ is there to

help Shiva all the way,” the former

Indian hockey captain pledges.

Olympic success has lined up sponsors

for Shiva. “Big brands have come forward

for sponsorship since the last two years,” he

says.

Cashing in on the tide of interest

generated in luge among youngsters,

Shiva has teamed up with Rajeev Mehta,

president of the Indian Amateur Luge

Association (IALA), to develop the sport

in India. The development programme is

looking to identify and nurture talent not

only in the hilly states but across the

country. “We have been spotting talent in

luge for the last four years, and then we

nurture them. As there is no proper luge

track in India, plans are afoot to set up

artificial tracks in Auli and Munsayari in

Uttarakhand. We have already spoken to

the chief minister of Uttarakhand, and if

we receive proper support, we are hopeful

of establishing at least one artificial

track by 2014,” eplains Rajeev excitedly.

A busy schedule lies ahead of Shiva.

Scorching the tracks across Austria, Italy,

Germany and Japan, the super slider has

made his point. Nothing — not tropical

heat, not apathy — will take the love of

snow out of the gritty Manali lad.

WHEN I QUALIFIED

FOR NAGANO IN

1998, I WAS ONLY

16. I BECAME THE

YOUNGEST LUGER

TO COMPETE

AT THE

WINTER GAMES


Page No. 6, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

6 SATURDAY

10 NOVEMBER 2012

BAND OF

BROTHERS

AS THE WEDDING SEASON PICKS

PACE, MARRIAGE BANDS LEAD

MERRYMAKERS IN REGAL

COSTUMES, THEIR BOOMING

TUNES DROWNING THEIR SILENT

STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL

LIGHT FRAMES


Page No. 7, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

LIGHT FRAMES

The bride’s family

waits anxiously

for the wedding

party. Welcoming

guests, her

parents pace about ensuring

all is in place for the welcome

ritual at the door. A faint

strain of music hits the ears

and smiles break out. All is

well. Now begins the guessing

game of how far the groom is.

As the music gets louder, the

excitement heightens. The

dancing baraatis reach the

venue and the music hits a

crescendo.

Clad in vibrant, shiny jackets

and bright-coloured topis or

hats, holding huge bugles,

trumpets and drums, the

bandwallahs belt out

Bollywood numbers, matching

the music to the feverish pitch of

the dancers’ feet. This is their

moment of glory, the high-point

of a gruelling six hour schedule.

Maybe the pleased revellers will

tip them handsomely. The

wedding party is welcomed with

flower showers and crisp

currency notes as the

bandwallahs uncrumple the

few notes shoved their way.

The outlandish costumes and

monstrous brass instruments of

the bandwallahs have inspired

painters and photographers to

create colourful series but the

men under the flamboyance

carry on a life of struggle and

uncertainty.

Similar to the Old British

March Band, bandwallahs have

been around for over a 100

years. Though popular in the

northern part of the country,

Kolkata has its fare share of

these seasonal musicians.

College street and MG Road are

home to most Kolkata bands

like Mahboob Band, Calcutta

Band, Yousuf Band and

Punjab Band.

Working at a band hardly

fetches enough money to run a

family. Band owners hire the

needy and poor who want to

earn something at the end of the

day. Field hands, rickshawpullers,

and anyone willing to

work the instruments are

trained before the wedding

season. ‘Temporary workers’

are the norm now. It has been

50 long years for people like

Mahendra Das and many like

him in this profession who came

from Chhapra, Bihar, to the

metropolitan city of Calcutta.

There is no other way out but to

accept a part time rickshawpuller

or labourer from the

nearby construction site as his

fellow musician in the band.

How much do they earn?

Shamsher Khan, a resident of

the industrial township of

Rourkela, works in a band on

contract for a mere Rs 400-500

per show. He sells balloons

when not playing in the band.

“Even after working for 12 hours

I can’t make Rs 100 at times,”

says Subhas Sardar a resident of

Domjur.

Photographs: Abhijit Chakraborty

Story: Mayurakshi Ghosh

� A band from MG Road in full gear; Often hired by the city’s north Indian community

during marriages, these people lend vibrancy and robustness to the occasion

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012


Sadiq (left) and Ravi. All the

trappings must be in place — the

elaborate pagri, the gaudy

embroidered overcoats and the loud

velvet belts. The only thing amiss,

a smile that comes from

the security of a full pocket

7


Page No. 8, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

8 SATURDAY

10 NOVEMBER 2012

LIGHT FRAMES


Band members rehearse before an actual

performance. As most of the hands

are temporary workers, they

are given a crash training just ahead

of the wedding season

� Central Avenue in Kolkata is often witness to these elaborate musical processions � Young Sadiq from Mehboob Band enjoys a carefree moment with old hand Karim


Page No. 9, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

LIGHT FRAMES


Band members relax, even

if for a few minutes,

before a gruelling

performance

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012


A member of Calcutta Band enjoys a smoke —

a single moment of luxury, of lapse — before

strapping himself with the monstrous

brass instrument

SIMILAR TO THE OLD BRITISH MARCH BAND, BANDWALLAHS HAVE BEEN

AROUND FOR OVER A 100 YEARS. THOUGH POPULAR IN THE NORTHERN

PART OF THE COUNTRY, KOLKATA HAS ITS FARE SHARE OF THESE

SEASONAL MUSICIANS

9


Page No. 10, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

10

Illustration: Nilmoni Raha

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012

Mind Mentors

EDUCATION & CAREERS

With rising levels of stress and crumbling support structures, counsellors

backed with their scientific training have become the need of the hour

CHANDANA CHANDRA

Madhumita Majumdar

still remembers the lifechanging

experience

she had witnessed

during her visit to a

mental asylum at Sankrail in Howrah

6 years back. Born and brought up in a

joint family in the by lanes of north

Kolkata, she had witnessed immense

mental trauma in the surroundings. “I

could sense the pressures in a crumbling

middle-class society and how it takes toll

on people, especially women who bear the

brunt of economic turmoil in the family,”

says Madhumita, who now works as a

psychiatric counsellor at Uttarpara State

General Hospital in Hooghly.

Madhumita can still recall her stint in

the asylum. “It was the ultimate practical

THOUGH A

COUNSELLING

CAREER LACKED

POPULARITY

EVEN SOME

YEARS BACK,

NOW IT HAS

BECOME A

LUCRATIVE

OPTION

lesson of my life as a rookie psychological

counsellor. I can’t forget that 24-year-old

girl suffering from amnesia because of

acute mental shock. The medicines and

my regular counselling cured her

completely within a few months. But even

after recovery she was apprehensive about

going back home fearing bitter

experiences there. Then, I had to resume

intense family counselling to send her

back home.”

After pursuing a master’s in psychology

from Calcutta University, Madhumita

joined a few non-governmental

organisations. She spent two years at

Sankrail and then practised marital

counselling at the Legal Aid Services West

Bengal at Dalhousie. Later, her jobs

included psychological counselling to

HIV-AIDs patients and their family

members.

“It was not easy for me to pursue such

an offbeat career. There is better social

support for such courses today,”


Page No. 11, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

EDUCATION & CAREERS SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012 11

Madhumita says. Since she was the eldest

child in the family her parents wanted her

to get a job as soon as possible. So she

took up jobs in NGOs to gain experience

and earn some extra bucks. “Apart from

my salary, I got an immense satisfaction

from helping people,” she recalls. Now,

she’s pursuing a PhD from Calcutta

University.

The demand for psychotherapy and,

therefore, counsellors has grown in leaps

and bounds in recent years, with

tremendous stress at workplace, marital

disharmony in nuclear families,

extramarital affairs and economic

insecurity. The situation is so grave that

according to the World Health

Organisation, depression will be the most

common disorder of the world surpassing

heart diseases and diabetes in 2020.

“The society needs more trained

psychologists today because our

day-to-day lives have become fraught with

problems,” says Kolkata-based clinical

psychologist Jayati Basu, who is also a

professor of applied psychology at

Calcutta University. As a result, more and

more educational institutions are starting

to offer counselling courses.

Even the Calcutta University is

planning to upgrade its archaic one-year

evening postgraduate diploma course in

counselling psychology from next year.

According to professor Basu, the details

are being worked out. While universities

have ramped up the counselling

component in applied psychology degree

programmes, some institutes like Tata

Institute of Social Science (TISS) have

introduced a MA exclusively in

counselling courses. The objective

Counsellor Madhumita Majumdar has worked with several NGOs to gain experience

according to TISS is “to impart

professional education in the

developmental and contextual approach

to counselling. In addition, it will impart

skills to work with individuals

encountering difficulties in coping with

different situations and experiences. The

core courses include psychology and

human development, knowledge to assess

counselling situations, the problems and

skills.” In other words, the scope of the

field has expanded — ranging from

raising kids, to handling emergencies, to

tackling depression. Nowadays,

counsellors also manage suicide

prevention helplines, lend sympathetic

ears to lonely senior citizens as well as

those suffering from gender confusion.

Prashanta Roy works as an assistant

professor in the department of clinical

psychology in Institute of Psychiatry,

Kolkata. After doing a graduate course in

clinical psychology from Baroda

University, he pursued a master's degree

on it from the university. Then, he did his

MPhil from Central Institute of

Psychiatry, Ranchi. Currently, he’s

pursuing a PhD and is also a private

practitioner. He says, “There’s immense

opportunity in the field. Academic sectors,

government and non-profit organisations

are looking for good counsellors. The

salary is also quite good. Many of my

colleagues have a booming private

practice.”

Teaching can also be a good option for

those pursuing psychology. Suchandra

Mallick (Chaudhury) did her masters in

psychology from Calcutta University and

is currently a teacher in a higher

secondary (10+2) school. She preferred a

Sumit Chakraborty

teaching job to counselling. “After I

finished my master degree, I started

preparing for the School Service

Commission examination. Being a

psychology teacher, my school has placed

me in its disciplinary committee.”

For urban practitioners, superspecialisations

in marital therapy and

adolescent behaviour have a rising

demand. According to the National Crime

Records Bureau, suicide is the sixth main

cause of death in India and adolescent

suicide is growing exponentially.

Hiranmay Saha, a child and adolescent

psychiatrist attached to the state social

welfare department, says, “Stubbornness,

irritability and hyperactivity are some of

the symptoms in children which are

increasing at an alarming rate. More and

more children, especially teenagers, are

now showing aggression, anger and low

tolerance levels. They are more egoistic

than we were in our childhood. They

cannot cope up with the rapid social

change of today. Thus they revolt against

the social system by their activities."

Prashanta says, “Since children these days

are brought up in nuclear families in the

absence of adequate supervision by

adults, and are in constant pressure to

meet the high expectation of their

parents, they tend to become more

demanding and aggressive.”

Moreover, many parents fight

constantly breeding insecurity in the kids.

Children have no place to ventilate their

anger, as there are no elders

(grandmother, aunts, etc.) to share their

pain or to save them from angry parents.

Thus, when teachers scold them at school,

they take it quite seriously and react

unexpectedly.

Earlier, the society refused to

recognise psychological problems, and

there was absolute lack of awareness

regarding them. However, the situation

has changed now due to media

campaigns, and people are more aware

and sympathetic.

The number of people trained in

psychiatry, psychology or social work is

minuscule in comparison to the huge

demand for it. To cope with the situation,

many schools in urban areas are

recruiting psychiatric counsellors. Even

the Sarva Shiksha Mission has recruited

special educators in schools at the

primary and secondary levels. Says

Hiranmay, “When a patient undergoes

psychiatric treatment, he also needs

counselling from a clinical psychologist or

good counsellor at the same time to make

the treatment more effective and build

confidence in life.”

The difference between a psychiatrist

and a clinical psychologist is that a psychiatrist

is a MBBS doctor with an MD or

post-graduate diploma in psychiatry,

whereas a psychologist is not a doctor.

One can be a psychologist after completing

master’s degree in psychology. To

become a clinical psychologist, an M.Phil

degree is necessary. The society needs

more psychological counsellors. Recently,

Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad

said there is nationwide shortfall of

around 8,000 psychiatrists and 17,000

clinical psychologists. Youths should

come forward to take up this career which

will allow them to help society as well as

earn well.

The country needs you, so go ahead and

turn into a change maker.

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1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

COUNSELLING COURSES

AVAILABLE AT:

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

(TISS), Mumbai

(www.tiss.edu)

Two-year MA in counselling

SNDT University, Mumbai

(www.sndt.ac.in)

Two-year MA in career and

development counselling;

15-month post graduate

diploma in school counselling

and three certificate courses on

child guidance, parental

counselling and school

guidance

Jadavpur University, Centre For

Counselling Services, Calcutta

(www.jaduniv.edu.in)

One-year evening certificate

course in basic skills in

counselling for inter-personal

conflict management

University of Calcutta,

Department Of Applied

Psychology (www.caluniv.ac.in)

The MSc degree programme

course offers papers in stress

management and community

psychology, organisational and

environmental psychology,

human resource management,

besides clinical forensic

psychology.

Institute of Psychiatry, Kolkata.

(iopkolkata.in)

M.Phil in clinical psychology

Christ Church, Bangalore

(www.christuniversity.in)

Two-year MSc in counselling

psychology

Madras School of Social Work,

Chennai (www.mssw.in)

Two-year MSc in counselling

psychology

Central Institute of Psychiatry,

Ranchi

(cipranchi.nic.in)

Ph.D in clinical psychology

M.Phil in medical and social

psychology

M. Phil in psychiatric

social work

Diploma in psychiatric nursing


Page No. 12, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00 Page No. 13, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

12 SATURDAY

10 NOVEMBER 2012

Return

of Draupadi

ANSHUMAN BHOWMICK

It was the last ten minutes

of action of

Draupadi. The thousand-strong

Academy

of Fine Arts audience on

5 October wore a crestfallen look.

Most of them, young and old,

seasoned and newcomers, were at

the edge of their seats. All the eyes

were fixed on the centre stage.

Nobody, including the ones who

had experienced the sheer dramatic

appeal of this Kalakshetra

Imphal production directed by

Heisnam Kanhailal before, could

afford to bat their eyelids. The

camera shutters that irritated till

a few minutes back remained

half-pressed, as if for ages.

A tribal woman was seen

protesting against the authority

of the men who hacked her

partner to death and dishonoured

her repeatedly. And she

was using her body to do all the

talking. She was disrobing herself

on stage. She was confronting

the officer who

masterminded the attack on the

tribals whom he considers a

threat to the Indian state. And

the officer and his subservient

were running for cover, trying

in vain to pacify the fury of the

woman who has just discovered

the power of the body.

There was pin-drop silence in

the auditorium when the play

ended.

Then the lights came on. The

actors arrived for the curtain call.

And the audience, overwhelmed,

stood up and broke

into a rapturous applause. It

went on and on. The senior actors

of Bangla stage, Chitra Sen

and Sima Mukhopadhyay, went

up to the stage to embrace the

actress who played the female

lead for the last 15 minutes of

so. They were crying, holding

Heisnam Savitri to their bosom.

The standing ovation continued

for 10 minutes that evening.

Returning home speechless,

some among the audience

opened up on Facebook posts.

“Draupadi left me shell-shocked

for hours. Six hours on, still not

out of the bewilderment!”

posted one. What makes Draupadi

such an unforgettable

experience? Sima, herself a

playwright-director, says, “Savitri’s

retaliation represents toiling

masses of all ages. Not only

her body but soul reverberates

in unison with the audience.”

“Whenever Draupadi was

performed in Kolkata or in any

other place that values good

theatre, the response has been

the same,” Kanhailal confirms.

For this protégé of Badal Sircar,

this is feminism out in the open.

Since its premiere at Manipur in

2000, this production has

achieved a legendary status. No

discussion on modern Indian

theatre could aspire to be complete

without its mention. The

moment it is mentioned, the

whole question of interpreting

the Draupadi myth and the

Mahabharata in general

becomes the moot point.

When Mahasweta Devi wrote

the story of Dopdi Mejhen, an

agricultural labourer who worked

in the western districts of West

Bengal in the early 1970s and

stood up in rebellion against army

excesses, she had this connection

in mind. When Gayatri Chakravorty

Spivak wrote the introduction

to her translation of the story,

she too mentioned the mythical

association. There are close parallels

between Draupadi’s disrobing

in the court of Hastinapur with

the rape of Dopdi Mejhen. That

she refuses to take the blows lying

down and strips herself to revolt

against the representatives of

state is what extends the Maha

bharata forward.

Kanhailal, a National School

of Drama (NSD) reject who

found his métier in indigenous

tradition and set up a repertory

amidthe greens, says, “All we

intended is to hit the consciousness

of the audience, hit it

hard.” What remains unsaid is

that his Draupadi becomes an

artistic statement against all

state oppression that Northeast

states are subjected to since

Armed Forces Special Power

Act (AFSPA) was imposed. The

Assam Rifles jawans bared their

torsos and Manipuri women

shed their clothes to protest Kanhailal’s Draupadi reinterpretes Mahasweta Devi’s Dropdi Mejhen, an adivasi agricultural labourer in Bengal, against the backdrop of attrocities perpreted on women in Manipur

The mythical narrative of Mahabharata,

replete with politics of suppression and

the rise of the underdog, holds a mirror

to 21st century India

Anshuman Bhowmick

COVER STORY

KANHAILAL’S

DRAUPADI IS

AN ARTISTIC

STATEMENT

AGAINST

ALL STATE

OPPRESSION

THAT NORTHEAST

STATES ARE

SUBJECTED TO

SINCE AFSPA WAS

IMPOSED. THE

ASSAM RIFLES

JAWANS BARED

THEIR TORSOS

AND MANIPURI

WOMEN SHED

THEIR CLOTHES

TO PROTEST

against the rape of Thanjan

Manorama. “Initially, it was

difficult to stage Draupadi in

Imphal. We required police protection,”

Kanhailal recollects.

Kolkata has seen it four times in

a decade. “The audience

response has always been

tremendous,” he recalls.

Not only Draupadi, Kolkata

has seen quite a few adaptations

of Mahabharata tales in the

recent years. Pancham Vaidic’s

Nathabati Anathbat, a landmark

production that explores

the indigenous narrative form

of kathakata to present a feminist

reading of the Draupadi

myth, has seen three decades of

uninterrupted staging. This

mono-act by Saoli Mitra still

draws full house. Saoli wrote

this epic play influenced by feminist

writer Iravati Karve’s classic

Yuganta. Nathabati

13

Anathabat (Five Lords, Yet

None a Protector), first staged

in 1983, depicts how Mahabharata’s

original ‘dharma yuddha’

does not change things for

the better. Draupadi’s dream of

a less gendered and equitable

society after the Kurukshetra

war lies shattered. In essence,

the situation remains the same

in India where women still fight

relentlessly against patriarchy

in their pesronal ‘Kurukshetras’.

In the 1990s, Saoli ventured

even further portraying all the

major female characters of the

epic: Satyavati, Kunti, Gandhari

and Draupadi in Katha Amrita

Saman. Once again a re-reading

of the Mahabharata in the light

of contemporary geo-politics, it

was last staged this week at the

Academy auditorium. Saoli,

who has restricted her stage

movements these days, feels,

“The Mahabharata has this

unique ability to comment on

our present times.” True, the

play proves once again that

women mould the destiny of

men even today.

Avijit Kargupta, the playwright-director

of Chokh, did

something similar in Atahkim

Mahayuddha a few years back.

A keen reader of history along

Marxian lines, Avijit explores

striking parallels between the

issues plaguing the Kauravas

and Pandavas and the superpowers

of modern world.

Stage veteran Manoj Mitra is

working on the Indian epics for

the last few years. His group

Sundaram has recently produced

Ja Nei Bharate (roughly

translated as ‘whatever not in

Mahabharata does not exist in

India at all’) which may be read

as a subaltern interpretation of

Mahabharata, where the Kauravas

are represented as offsprings

of backward class

challenging the existing political

hierarchy. Ja Nei Bharate is in

the Sundaram repertoire for a

few years now and has travelled

to Bangladesh.

Bohurupee, the fountainhead

of modern Indian theatre, has

reinterpreted the Amba myth in

Birjashulka. Tulika Das, the

first woman to steer a Bohurupee

production since Tripti


Page No. 14, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

14

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012

MAHABHARATA

PERFORMANCE ON

KOLKATA STAGE

PANCHAM VAIDIC

Production: Nathabati Anathbat

Katha Amrita Samaan

Director: Saoli Mitra

BOHURUPEE

Production: Birjashulka

Nana Phuler Mala

Director: Tulika Das

Debesh Roy Chowdhury

CHOKH

Production: Atahkim Mahayuddha

Director: Abhijit Kargupta

KUSHILAB

Production: Pandu

Director: Runu Chowdhury

Nathabati Anathbat played by Saoli Mitra still draws a full house; Sohini Sengupta’s Madhabi too is a much acclaimed play

Mitra decades back, chose this text as it

offered her a chance to probe the sexual

politics of the time and comment on the

present era. It remains in the Bohurupee

repertoire for the last four years. This

year, Bohurupee came up with Nana

Phuler Mala that traces the lonely journey

of Duryodhana as a monarch who

had a pan-Indian vision only to be

defeated by circumstantial pressure.

Nandikar’s Madhabi is inspired by a

Bhisham Sahani story. This daughter of

Yayati was married to Galab, a disciple of

Biswamitra. But ultimately she is used as a

pawn to fulfil the absurd promises made by

her husband, losing her identity. Having

played Madhabi for the past 30 months,

Sohini Sengupta, the lead actress, feels, “Although

marginalised in the epic, women

like Madhabi are still among us. The same

emotion, loneliness, devastation prevail.

Only the time has changed.” Sohini, a great

admirer of Savitri Heisnam, would love to

play the mythical heroine on stage.

Last year, Kushilab produced Pandu, a

rather tepid portrayal of Pandu. Directed

by Runu Chowdhury, it attempts a sympathetic

understanding of a prince who

disowns throne in order to please his elder

brother but falls victim to a curse that eventually

takes his life. This October, Kushilab

presented a festival of drama inspired by

Mahabharata. Five Kolkata productions

were staged at Madhusudan Mancha.

Madhabi, starring Debsankar Halder, Sohini

Sengupta and Rudraprasad Sengupta

among others, drew the maximum number

of audience. “Manojbabu was keen on a

seminar to address the issues that a close

reading of Mahabharata reveals. Wish we

had more fund to organise it,” Runu says.

Smaller Kolkata groups like Anya Swar

have held a few shows of Hastinapur, a

contemporary reading of Mahabharata in

the light of women’s studies. In the dis-

NATHABATI

ANATHBAT, DEPICTS

HOW DRAUPADI’S

DREAM OF A LESS

GENDERED SOCIETY

AFTER THE

KURUKSHETRA WAR

LIES SHATTERED ...

ALTHOUGH

MARGINALISED IN

THE EPIC, WOMEN

LIKE MADHABI ARE

STILL AMONG US

COVER STORY

tricts, Kallol Bhattacharya’s troupe Ebong

Aamra, comprising rural actors who make

their living by farming in the back regions

of Birbhum district, has been performing

Mahakavyer Pare, another reading of

Mahabharata from the bottom. They have

been invited to perform in Kolkata several

times, including one in the first week of

November.

Looking beyond the state, Mahabharata

has seen various notable readings since

1947. This year marks the 50th year of

Girish Karnad’s Yayati, a reinterpretation

of a Mahabharata myth. Yayati, the unheroic

hero stands for modern man grappling

with worldly desires, sensual pleasure

and irresponsible exercise of power and

utter forgetfulness of values of life.

Dharamvir Bharati’s Andha Yug, considered

by many as the first modern Indian

play, was directed by almost every leading

Indian director since Ebrahim Alkazi’s historic

1963 production set in the ruins of

Feroz Shah Kotla. Andha Yug, roughly

translated as the age of darkness, is sure to

see more incarnations in the future. The

play depicts a terrifying madness and a

deadening darkness brought about by an

excruciating violence as the fallout of the

final encounter between Ashvatthama and

the Pandavas. Doesn’t it sound familiar

with the state’s war on terror and counter

terror by extremists?

So whenever a modern Indian theatre

person finds it difficult to grapple with the

present era and tries in vain to make a

meaning out it, a reading between-thelines

of this timeless epic poem promises a

fresh insight into the reality unfolding at a

maddening pace.

Manoj is right. Whatever is not in

Mahabharata does not exist in India at all.

Be it the troubled terrains of Manipur or

the seat of central power, allusions to the

epic become inevitable.


Page No. 15, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00


Page No. 16, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

16

Photo Courtesy: www.umwelt.dfb.de/facebook

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012

Football

GOES

GREEN

ermany has shown that

the game is as much

about green spirit as

it is about team

spirit. In a first-of-

From (L to R): German football stars Mario Götze, Manuel Neuer and Marco Reus spread the green message

G ‘‘

its-kind initiative, the

German Football Fed- THE TWO WORLD

eration or Deutscher

Fussball-Bund (DFB) has organised the

Environment Cup 2012, where the

importance of goal-scoring comes

second to environmentally conscious

club management.

From cisterns for collecting rainwater,

low-energy light bulbs, to using

recycled paper — the clubs have revolutionised

the concept of environment

protection in order to stand out in this

contest. As many as 26,000 football

clubs from across the country are competing

in this tournament. Known to

take a stand on many social issues rang- KARL ROTHMUND

Science Environment Technology

CUP TOURNAMENTS

SHOWED THE

FOOTBALL

COMMUNITY

IS HIGHLY

RESPONSIVE TO

CLIMATE CHANGE

An out-of-the-box initiative of the German Football Federation,

Environment Cup aims to spread environmental awareness

through the game, finds out Sudipta Sur

ing from integration and anti-extremism

to education, DFB has launched a

major drive this time to integrate

football into environment conservation.

“The main idea behind this concept

was to make people realise the importance

of environment in their daily lives.

Through this initiative, we have not only

identified the relevant issues plaguing

the environment scene but also helped

clubs in reducing costs considerably,”

explains DFB vice-president Karl Rothmund.

This initiative is not a first in

Germany, known to be an environment

friendly country. Both the 2006 (men’s)

and 2011 (women’s) FIFA World Cups

had featured ‘Green Goal’ programmes,

which had cleared the turf for more

such initiatives. Naturally, a follow-up

campaign was the next logical step

ahead.

“It was evident that the two World

Cup tournaments had left ‘green traces’.

It showed that the football community

is highly responsive to caring for the environment

and fighting climate change.

That is why the DFB Sustainability

Committee has placed environmental

protection at the centre of the DFB’s

2012 social agenda,” Karl adds .

The Environment Cup is a great vehicle

to engage clubs in a competitive

manner for the greener good. The

process of getting involved is very simple,

even for the smallest clubs. Martin

Kröhnert, coordinator of the project,

explains the process. “Every club,

regardless of size or membership

figures, is invited to take part and do

their bit — like installing water-saving

shower heads, organising environment

action days, practising eco-friendly turf

care and so on,” he says, adding, “Points

are awarded in accordance with a project’s

scope, efficiency and the time and

effort invested.”

Top prizes to be won include a day’s

training under the guidance of a highprofile

DFB coach and VIP packages to

the German national team’s home

games. FC Heidenheim 1846, a third-division

football club from the Baden-

Württemberg region in Germany, is a

strong contender for the award. But not

just prizes, football clubs will soon be

able to reap financial rewards, too.

Paying lower water and electricity bills,

saving on heating costs, preserving natural

resources are some of the notable

plus points of enrolling in this project.

Elfriede Klein, the project’s support

committee head, believes that the Environment

Cup is also helping to garner

publicity for the clubs, particularly

those from the second and third divisions.

“Clubs like FC Heidenheim 1846,

SV Knudde 88 Giekau and FC Hundheim-Steinbach

are hardly household

names. But, thanks to this project, these

clubs are now enjoying their fair share

of limelight and stardom,” Elfriede

adds.

By saving precious water and electricity,

the clubs can save a lot on the

monthly bills. But how do these clubs go

about their business, particularly when

they are not trained in aspects of environment

friendliness? Karl says, “Any

club that enrols in the DFB Environment

Cup benefits from expert advice,

whether it is about renovating their

clubhouses or applying for funding.

This enables clubs to spend their money

on other key objectives as well.”

As the clubs collect eco points (points

awarded for environment-friendly


Page No. 17, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012

Science Environment Technology 17

LOW-ENERGY BULBS

RAINWATER COLLECTION

RECYCLED PAPER

CLUBS ARE USING

CISTERNS FOR

COLLECTING

RAINWATER,

LOW-ENERGY

LIGHT BULBS AND

RECYCLED PAPER

TO SPREAD THE

GREEN MESSAGE

Lukasz Podolski and other members of the German National Team use bicycle, an eco-friendly mode of transport, to spread awareness

measures) and climb up the table, they

can go on the internet any time to check

and keep track of where they stand, and

who the German Environment Champion

is at any given point of time. The

DFB Environment Cup 2012 continues

from 27 February to 31 December 2012.

An award ceremony announcing the

winners at the district, regional and national

level will be held in early 2013.

So how is this project beneficial to the

clubs? “A lot of clubs are unaware of the

fact that even a small contribution on

their part will go a long way in making

the sport environment-friendly. A huge

difference can be brought about by

making use of natural resources like

wind and water,” Martin elucidates. As

many as 90 possible ideas, projects and

objectives are available on the official

website (umwelt.dfb.de). The clubs

need to check out these ideas and put as

many of them as possible into practice.

The more time and effort a club invests

and the higher a project’s efficiency, the

more points a club gets.

Andreas Meinhoff, a member of

Tupso Nassau 1920 Beilstein (a club

taking part in this tournament), is convinced

that the Environment Cup is the

best way to ensure the team’s progress

and prosperity, both on and off the field.

“We are now collecting rainwater to

clean our football boots. We are also

using umbrellas made of special envi-

ronment-friendly cloth. These novel

ideas were unthinkable even five years

ago. Moreover, by paying lower water

and electricity bills, a lot of funds are

saved. And ultimately, these savings

may be spent on achieving the club’s

sporting ambitions,” Andreas explains.

Clubs like TSV Rosenberg 1921 have

already taken small steps to spread

awareness about the environment. They

have already planted around 300 trees

in an area near their training ground.

They are also conducting regular classes

in order to inculcate the virtues of environment

conservation among players.

To make this initiative even more appealing

to the masses, DFB has roped in

big names from the German national

football team. The likes of Philipp

Lahm, Manuel Neuer, Mario Götze,

Marco Reus and others are voluntarily

devoting time to do campaigns for this

project. Practice sessions of the national

team are accompanied by advertisements

and hoardings displaying the

DFB Environment Cup 2012.

The active involvement of national

team players has given the project much

needed exposure and credibility.

“Thanks to the stars from the German

national team, who are household

names, lots of kids are getting attracted

to this noble concept. It helps a great

deal as the primary focus is to inculcate

environment awareness among the

people from an early age,” states

Elfriede.

However, the initiative needs more

hands-on participation from the first division

clubs in Germany. Though top

clubs like FC Bayern München, Borussia

Dortmund have shown full support

and solidarity from the outside, they

haven’t involved themselves in the core

activities and ideas, at least in the first

year. But organisers are hopeful and say

that the project will eventually capture

the attention of the top clubs in Germany.

“The project has just begun. After

completing the first year, we will know

where we stand. But the results, so far,

have been positive. It will not be long

before the DFB Environment Cup

spreads its wings across the entire football

scene in Germany,” an optimistic

Martin says.

The initial success of this project has

convinced authorities at the DFB that

the future of football in the country is

greener than ever. Ready consulting

services and discounts on products are

encouraging the clubs to save water, energy,

money and natural resources. The

organisers are making the sport fit for

the future, enabling future generations

to play and experience the game in a

healthy environment. German football

is determined to reduce its carbon footprint.

It’s time the rest of the world

takes the cue.


Page No. 18, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

Meghna Chatterjee

18

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012

A proud Sivaraj Muthuramam demonstrates his solar-powered tri-cycle in Chennai. The green vehicle can run for 150 km at a speed of 45 km per hr

Drive the

ECO WAY

A Chennai-based innovator has the answer to urban dweller’s

biggest worries — rising fuel bills, pollution and congestion —

through his tricycle, reports Meghna Chatterjee

In recent times, surging fuel prices

and stringent emission norms

have pushed the automobile

industry to hunt for alternate fuels

and technology. As the industry is

investing heavily to develop eco-friendly

cars, a management graduate based in

Tirupur, about 462 km from Chennai, has

indigenously developed a hybrid rickshaw.

The innovation will give a fresh lease of

life to tricycles, and will make them more

relevant in metros where driving through

congested city lanes has become one of the

biggest concerns for every city commuter,

Sivaraj Muthuramam feels. Apart from

conventional pedal operation, the hybrid

rickshaw primarily runs on solar-charged

battery.

Coming from a city famous for its textile

industry, Sivaraj developed a passion for

automobiles at an early age. “Automobiles

have been my passion right from childhood.

During my school and college days, I

spent hours just on car and bike modifications

whenever I got an opportunity,”

INDIA BOOK OF

RECORDS HAS

REGISTERED THE

INNOVATION

UNDER THE

SCIENCE AND

TECHNOLOGY

CATEGORY

Science Environment Technology

recalls the young innovator. India Book of

Records has applauded the 27-year-old’s

green efforts, and has officially registered

the innovation under the Science and Technology

category.

An MBA degree holder from the Edinburgh

Business School, Sivaraj started his

career in the field of marketing in Singapore.

But that did not stop him from following

his passion for automobile and

innovation. “I continued extensive research

in order to have in-depth knowledge on the

subject,” recalls the young innovator.

Sivaraj spends most of his time reading and

experimenting with latest automobile technology,

recalls one of his co-workers,

Rajaram.

In 2009, Sivaraj came back to India and

started working towards his mission

through the next two years in Chennai. All

he needed was a cycle rickshaw. But there

are no cycle rickshaw dealers in Chennai.

So he travelled north of Tamil Nadu to get

himself a rickshaw with Rs 9000 to begin

with. “Slowly my dream vehicle started to

take shape. The recognition by India Book

of Records boosted my confidence at the

same time and I was all geared to work on

the concept,” says the young entrepreneur.

In mid-2012, for the first time, Sivaraj unveiled

the cab at a media gathering in

Chennai. The 3-seater green vehicle can run

for 150 km on solar-charged battery at a

speed of 45 km per hr, Sivaraj claims. “Are

you thinking what would happen during

monsoons or what if the battery gets discharged,”

says the excited young innovator.

Well, innovation cures it all. Leaving no

loose ends, the vehicle has all possible

arrangements to run on pedal power during

emergency which are connected to the

motors. Owing to its light weight of less

than 120 kg, pedalling is much less

tiresome.

The tricycle gets power from two

common car batteries which are connected

to the solar panels. These batteries can also

be recharged wherever electric power

connection is available.

An avid traveller, the ‘go green boy’ feels

there are some innovations which are sudden

and can be termed a discovery. But any

innovation must have a clear-cut objective,

without which it becomes meaningless.

Commutation in Chennai is expensive for

the common people. Auto drivers charge

erratically. His main aim has been to bring

this cab as a relief to the people who otherwise

find it difficult to get transport along

with the time loss in waiting for the public

transport. Sivaraj has plans to operate the

vehicle as a share car covering short

distances.

Apart from cost-effectiveness, the vehicle’s

tri-cycle-based design helps easy manoeuvrability

through congested areas

which makes it an ideal people mover in

urban areas. Sivraj looks to avail the cab

service free of cost or at minimal cost with

the support of public or private sponsorship.

To contribute in his small and humble

way to the growing problem of

unemployment, he plans to recruit people

below the poverty line as drivers of the cab.

Sivaraj has priced the vehicle at

Rs 80,000 for investors. Three years of

effort along with the support of trained people

working at Salem in Tamil Nadu finally

got the finished product ready for a test

drive in a month’s time.

“I do agree finance is important for implementation

of any project. But it is the

passion and marketing strategies, communication

skills, planning and management

that play a very crucial role and make you

walk through when you are dependent on

investors,” quips Sivaraj. “All human beings

have an inner desire and dream. If someone

is determined nothing can stop them

from achieving their dreams,” Sivaraj says.

Setting an example for all budding entrepreneurs

who stop working towards their

goals because of dearth of finances, Sivaraj

inspires them through his perseverance.

The success of any project depends on

the response of the people. “I chose Chennai

as the launching city because of my

prior contacts that would help me get investors

for the project. After evaluating

public response, the vehicle would be introduced

in other metros in the country in the

next two years,” says Sivaraj.

But why make a cab? “Stories and

poems on nature are in abundance. Now

it is time to act. My love for nature right

from my childhood has been the driving

force behind my project,” asserts Sivaraj

who is waiting for the ‘rickshaw with a difference’

to be on the roads by the end of

the year.


Page No. 19, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

Culture & Food SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012 19

They Move to

CONQUER

A trio of bold young women assay meaty roles in a

variety of productions by leading theatre groups to

establish thriving and independent careers as

professional actors, Anshuman Bhowmick reveals

Anshuman Bhowmick

Miska Halim in Bisarjan; Hailing from a conservative Muslim family, her journey as a stage actor was fraught with difficulties

A

shtami marks

the climax of

Durga Puja

celebrations

in downt

o w n

Kolkata. Like

previous years,

the suburban trains

carried a few million and

discharged them on the platforms

of Sealdah station. A face among

the swarming crowd chose to take

the road least taken. A native of a

village about 5 km from the

Kalyani station, this gutsy lady in

her late 20s took a bus ride to the

Academy of Fine Arts. Within

minutes, sitting quietly before the

greenroom mirror she let the

make-up artist apply paints and

pancakes on her cheeks,

eyeliners, highlighters and all. As

the curtains went up at the

thousand-seater theatre at 3 pm,

she was seen playing the female

lead in Hrid majhare, Nandikar’s

Bangla adaptation of

Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

Tarry a little! Lest you start

thinking that the lady in question

is a key member of Nandikar,

among the leading theatre groups

in the country. Let this be clear

that she is roped in by Nandikar

to play the female lead as the

group does not have anyone

suitable for the part in this

youthful take.

This is Bindia Ghosh (29) for

you. In 2012 alone, Bindia has

played the female lead in four

different productions by four

different groups. At this point, her

repertoire consists of seven meaty

roles. In a career spanning a

decade she has worked with 10

productions, only the first two

were presented by the same group.

Bindia is not alone. She

represents a generation of

professional young actors who

take to acting with no strings

attached. Along with Miska

Halim (27) and Turna Das (26),

Bindia forms a trio who are

getting a new role every second

month, decides on the ones they

find suitable, gets beneath the

skin of the characters and delivers

what the directors want. All

alumni of the drama department

of Rabindra Bharati University,

their histrionic talents are

available to any worthy director

ready with a script that arrests

their imagination and a producer

willing to pay their price.

This is a major departure from

the ‘group theatre’ tradition in

this state where theatre offers

little or no financial reward for its

devoted followers. With the death

of professional theatre in the

Hatibagan precincts of North

Kolkata, actors of either gender

were left with little choice but to

fend for themselves in other

modes of creative expression.

Suddenly, with central grants

flowing in and dynamics within

theatre groups reshuffling,

Bindia-Miska-Turna have found a

ground to take up theatre as a

full-time career. Not just acting,

they are engaged with theatre in

various other ways. Bindia, a

recipient of national scholarship,

has worked in Nadia, exploring

traditional performance methods.

Miska initiated schoolchildren

into theatre as part of a state

government project. At this point,

she is rounding off her M.Phil

commitments and nurturing a

Ph.D dream simultaneously.

Turna is enjoying a central

government research fellowship

under the aegis of the Asiatic

Society where she is busy

unravelling the mystery

surrounding the performance of

an ancient Indian theatre

production. For about a decade or

so, all of them are living theatre

WITH CENTRAL

GRANTS FLOWING

IN AND DYNAMICS

WITHIN THEATRE

GROUPS SHIFTING,

YOUNG WOMEN

HAVE FOUND A

GROUND TO TAKE

UP THEATRE AS A

FULL-TIME CAREER

24x7. This is remarkable in a

set-up where theatre is generally

considered a passionate involvement

to be pursued after daily

chores are settled.

As Turna puts it, “When I started

I never imagined I could pay my

travelling expenses through acting.”

Today, a decade and a score of

productions under her belt, she

commands a respectable Rs 1500

per show. Bindia has stopped

asking for money from her parents

since she started getting payments

from her acting assignments. Miska

is regular with three groups and not

complaining. This is not sufficient

to live life normal size. All three

enjoy family support to varying

extent. And all three hope of a

brighter future, artistically and

economically.

Among the trio, Turna made up

her mind early in life. Her mentor

Niranjan Goswami was a guiding

force and her parents were

encouraging. When she joined

RBU, she was simultaneously

exploring finer and deeper

nuances of portraying a character

on stage under a master-trainer

like Sohag Sen. Soon after Bindia

joined RBU, she was invited by

Ashis Das to play a role in

Kalyani Kalamandalam’s

Dhonrai Charit Manas. She


Page No. 20, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

20

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012

eventually arrived in 2008 when Meyeti

premiered.

If a career in theatre was a conscious

choice for Turna and an instinctive choice

for Bindia, it was sheer accident for Miska.

Although she has an uncle who has been an

RBU alumnus and who instilled an

admiration for theatre in the small town

girl, Miska was admitted to a South Kolkata

college to study geography. Her parents

and family members had the shock of their

lives when she declared she would prefer

studying theatre at RBU rather than

attending a regular academic course. Her

insistence won the day for Miska. Within

months, the 18-year-old staying at Muslim

Girls’ Hostel on Dilkhusha Street, found a

family in Rangroop and a mentor in Sima

Mukhopadhyay who nurtured the actor in

her. After watching the second show of

Shesh Raksha, her first major role in a

major production, Bibhash Chakraborty

came up to her and patted her for an

impressive debut. “That moment I realised

I might have a longer journey in theatre,”

Miska reminisces.

Hailing from a family of religious

Muslims and a society that berates an

actor, Miska’s journey has been a

remarkable one. Today her relatives,

living in far-off Nadia villages take a keen

‘‘ THEY (MISKA,

TURNA AND BINDIA)

ARE ATTENTIVE,

QUICK IN

PERCEPTION AND

READY TO MINGLE

WITH THE REST

OF THE GROUP

CHANDAN SEN

interest in the way her career shapes up.

Since she completed her master’s and left

Rangroop to explore more avenues of

artistic expression, Miska has worked

under Arun Mukhopadhyay, Bibhash,

Suman Mukhopadhyay, Chandan Sen

among others. Each has added layers to

her understanding a character portrayal.

Bibhash sounds upbeat about the charge

of the eve brigade. Watching Turna from

close quarters developing into

Helena for Anya Theatre’s Bangla

adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s

Dream, has convinced the master director

about the immense potential of Turna as a

thinking man’s actor. As for Bindia, he feels

adequate exposure and proper guidance

would help her make a mark. “Miska is

endowed with an innocent expressive face,

all she needs is a good director to work

upon her,” Bibhash assesses .

What else distinguishes them from the

rest of the current crop? Chandan, who has

recently directed Miska and Bindia in

Caesar, a Natya Anan production, extols

their professional aptitude and attitude.

“They are attentive, quick in perception and

ready to mingle with the rest of the group,”

he adds. Given the economics of Bangla

theatre, it is a tall order for a group to accommodate

such freelancers unless the

Culture & Food

Bindiya Ghosh with co-aactor

in Hridmaghare

number of invitational shows goes up. Do

her leading ladies deserve the money they

command for rehearsals and shows? “To

some extent,” Chandan feels . He is not yet

ready to jump the gun.

As most of the groups suffer

perennially from lack of competent

actors in female parts, they have

welcomed the trio of Turna-Miska-

Bindia wholeheartedly. Kishore

Sengupta of Kalyani Natyacharcha

Kendra spotted an uninhibited actor in

Bindia as she essayed the protagonist’s

part in Romeo Jenet that was produced

by another Kalyani group. “A smart

presence and a graceful stance remained

etched in my memory,” he recalls. A few

years later, as Kishore was looking for

the female lead of Meyeti, a rework of

Ariel Dorkman’s Death and the Maiden,

he found Bindia. This year, Turna was

made to travel more than a hundred

kilometers twice a week for playing the

protagonist in both Tritiyo Arekjan and

Alibaba. Kishore exploited her singing

and dancing ability to the hilt in both the

productions. “I, myself, am bowled over

by Turna’s song and dance routines,” the

director says about his leading lady in

Alibaba that premieres at Madhusudan

Mancha this weekend.


Page No. 21, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

Culture & Food SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012 21

Sumit Chakraborty

Foreigners and young students flock to Raja Mallick’s (centre) stall for a budget meal of Oriental specialities

One of the top health

foods of the world and

Korea’s national dish,

kimchee, has found a

most unlikely home.

Located on Sudder Street in central

Kolkata, Tirupati has been serving

asli Korean for the last 20 years. This

unassuming, makeshift snack stall

has been winning the hearts of

foreign crowds looking for authentic

bites that don’t weigh too heavily on

the pocket.

Tirupati also serves Japanese, Spanish

and Indian. The menu card is written

in Korean and Japanese, as most of

the regular customers are not fluent in

English. Two big hoardings are spread

out on the wall of this makeshift stall. It

mentions five items: kimchee rice,

Omurice, lamion, kimchee noodles

soup and rice soup. While lamion is

thin noodles specially used for Kimchee

soup, Omurice is spiced rice topped

with fried eggs.Owner Raja Mallick says

the food is not for those unwilling to experiment.

Stirring the pickled cabbage

&

sour success

SWEET

A stall in Central Kolkata scores high with foreign tourists serving the

centuries-old goodness of pickled Kimchee, reports Mayurakshi Ghosh

Recipe courtesy: Raja Mallick

KIMCHEE FRIED RICE

Ingredients:

1 fresh cabbage,

chopped

2 tbs kosher salt

1 big onion, chopped

2 tbs chopped garlic

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs butter

3 cups cooked white or

brown rice

½ cup thinly sliced

chicken or beef

Black pepper

½ tsp sugar

Just a pinch of chilly

powder for colour

and taste

1 egg

1 cup lemon grass,

finely chopped

METHOD

For the kimchee, boil the

cabbage with a pinch of salt.

Keep it for an hour before

straining. Wash in cold water

and keep aside. In a bowl, add

salted meat, chilli flakes and

sugar. Mix well before adding

the cabbage. Now, add lemon

grass and stir. Keep it overnight

for the sour flavour. For the

fried rice, add 1 tbs of oil in a

frying pan. Add chopped

onions and kimchee. Sauté

for a few minutes; then add

butter, garlic and soya sauce.

Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add

the meat, and sprinkle pepper

and sugar. Finally, add the

rice and left butter. Top it with

a poached egg and serve with

chopped lemon grass.

in a large steel container, he continues,

“The business is high when foreign

crowds come to Kolkata and live here

for two to three months from November

to March.”

Raja takes the help of his children,

Hrithik and Mala, to help him cook.

While the two young hands deftly chop

heaps of cabbage and carrots, the open

warmth of Raja keeps customers comfortable.

As far as the history of the shop goes,

the stall was started by one ‘Mr Kishore’

who left for the city of Daegu in Korea

to learn the basics of the country’s

cuisine. He came back and hired a guy

named Pinto, who quickly mastered the

intricacies of this rather unknown

cuisine. Later, Pintu took over the business

after Kishore left.

Pintu’s hospitality and warmth

immediately made Tirupati one of the

most sought-after food stalls on Sudder

Street. He managed the shop for 16

long years before handing it over to

Raja, the present owner.

Cut to the present, foreigners

continue to be the mainstay of the shop

but young students are slowly opening

up to the fermented kick of kimchee.

“Even though Korean food is unlike Indian,

the spices and hotness of some

dishes attracts younger generation of

Kolkata,” Raja believes.

Kimchee is very low on calories and

high in Vitamins, so those reluctant to

bargain with health are slowly being

drawn towards this rather piquant delicacy.

“I have heard from many visitors

how obesity is rare in Korea. They use a

lot of vegetables in their diet. No wonder

Korean food has become famous,”

Raja explains.

The piquant delicacy has become so

popular that US has its own brand of

sesame kimchee twists and Camembert-and-sesame

kimchee fritters.

A rather reluctant convert to Kimchee,

Pujareene Sen, a research scholar

from Calcutta University, recalls, “I

never really liked Southeast Asian cuisine.

But one day my friend Avipsha

brought me here and I have become a

regular visitor since then. I like Korean

food as it is low on calories and the

spices are simple and tasty. The heat,

crunch and the freshness and the

strong-fermented flavour has got me

hooked to it.”

Chadrima Choudhury, a PhD

student of Southeast Asian Studies at

JNU, agrees. “Korean girls have

figures like super-models because the

food is less oily and full of nutrients. I

have tried kimchee, Dak-Gui (grilled

chicken) and Dakbaeksuk (steamed

chicken and rice noodles) in a food festival.

And all the items are so wholesome,”

she continues.

Josephine Wong, a first-time

visitor to Kolkata, is waxing eloquent

about Tirupati. “Initially, I was

apprehensive about the food in the city.

I was told the low-budget eateries

served spicy and oily food. But later my

friends told me about Tirupati. I liked

the food so much that I decided to take

a room in this neighbourhood.”

Though the pungent, fermented taste

is not the usual fare for Bengalis but the

pickled meal is slowly making its way

on the plates of those who panic over

piling calories.


Page No. 22, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00


Page No. 23, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012

GRAPHIC REPORTAGE 23

REPORTE: SUMANDEEP KAUR, IMPRESSIONS: SAMBARAN DAS


Page No. 24, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00

24

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012

GRAPHIC REPORTAGE

Printer & Publisher Ujjal Sikder on behalf of owner Ujjal Sikder Printed at Fotoscan Grafic Pvt. Ltd. 76E, A J C Bose Road Kolkata 700013 Published at 99/5/8D, Ballygunge Place, Kolkata- 700019, Near Ballygunge Phari,

P.S: Gariahat, Kolkata, West Bengal, Editor: Sumandeep Debnath, Sole Distributor: Vishal Book Centre, Phone: 033 2252 7816, 033 2252 3709

THE END

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