Monday, December 26, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Letters on Yoga Volume 1 Section Nine
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
Sharon: It is interesting how there are so many parallels in both our lives in our experiences in alien lands. You went to Mexico with no language - neither English nor Spanish, no hearing, no money! And I came to India on a tiny scholarship, at an young age to pursue dance, not knowing the language, not knowing where I was going to stay, not knowing how safe it was... And to top it all, both of us didn't look alien in the countries we opted for!
Satish: But that was more of an advantage! We merged into the people seamlessly and didn't stick out!
Sharon: What was you motivation? How did you have the nerve?
Satish: I was always drawn to murals. Easel painting was for drawing rooms. Whether one painted the bourgeoisie or the revolution, it was going to land up in someone's drawing room! And I wanted to share my arts with everyone! And when I heard that Mexico was the place where murals were being taught, I knew there was where I had to go! Except I didn't even know where it was on the map! It didn't have an embassy here! I was the first Indian to go there. My mother said it was where the Pandavas had gone when they had to go to Paatal lok! My brother (I.K. Gujral) saw an advertisement offering scholarships to study there, he insisted that I apply. He said, what do you have to lose? And Octavio Paz, the poet and then the Mexican envoy to India, said: All that could be negative is already there, anything else can only be positive!
Sharon: That's the poet for you! When I landed, it was a horrible living experience. I decided to live as a paying guest with a family who went away to Shimla for a month, leaving me at the mercy of a small servant, who didn't understand the language, could barely cook and I didn't know if it was safe to go out to eat, what to buy, etc! Mind you, it was nearly three decades ago!
Satish: When I landed there after much high drama, it was rather tough as well. On the day I arrived, there was a change of government and all the civil servants and political honchos changed! And language was a huge problem. I met an American architect who offered to teach me English if I taught him Hindi. While I picked up English, he didn't go very much further with his Hindi! You are a dancer, how come I see you always with artists and not so much artistes?
Sharon: Ever since I came to India, I've had better relations with visual artists rather than dancers! There was more readiness by individuals to share rather than stonewall!
Satish: I've always wondered how you adjusted? A white woman, beautiful, alone... It was very inviting - not that men anywhere need too much invitation!
Sharon: My safety was in numbers. And I made sure that I didn't meet people in private. I was very social and hung out a lot with Shankho Choudhry, Biren De, G.R. Santosh, Shanti Dave, Himmat Shah - who were like protective uncles. I went out with so many different people to various places like art shows, dance and music concerts that some people must have thought that I was having an affair with several people! I knew if I had an Indian boyfriend, and if that relationship were to not work out for some reason, all my connections would collapse. Besides, I didn't think I was beautiful!
Satish: Were you so modest or so naïve! How did you make sure these artists didn't misunderstand?
Sharon: They came. They tried. But when they realised that it was not going to go any further, they went away to try elsewhere, but there were others who found me interesting and stayed anyway! Then I started taking my daughter. Since I didn't look western, I felt I had to uphold Indian values! You are the only male that I kiss! And that's because you are safe and I love you!
Satish: I think I should be offended at that safe epithet! But I learnt in life to play safe!
Sharon: No that's because you've got a more wonderful woman in your life at home, whom you love at least 100 per cent more than anyone else! You are one man who really appreciates women in the classical sense of the term and there are not that many men who appreciate women and one wants to be appreciated by someone one respects. Touche!
Thursday, December 15, 2005
- The family is held together by hierarchy.
- There’s no room for equality in a traditional family set-up.
- The “higher” and “lower” is determined by seniority, or by the proximity of relationship.
- The entire cosmos is kept functional by the way each member knows his/her position in relation to the others.
- There can be no serious challenge to authority because traditionally authority is determined by extraneous factors, such as age, gender, and kinship, or sometimes by ritual authority, but not by such vague concepts as knowledge, experience, or wisdom.
- The assumption is that with age, knowledge, skill and wisdom increase as well.
- The hierarchy and non-equality of the Indian family is, I wish to emphasise, mostly a comfortable one.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Pratibha Prahlad to revive Lok Shakti The battle for Hegde legacy is on. After most of his family members joined the BJP, his long-time companion has now decided to revive the party he founded in 1996. From B S ARUN : Deccan Herald Saturday, March 13, 2004
Well-known dancer and late Ramakrishna Hegde’s long-time companion Pratibha Prahlad is all set to revive the Lok Shakti, the party he founded in 1996. Pratibha, who was associated with Hegde for 15 years till his death, is likely to take over as president of the party at its national executive on March 15.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
The convenient demarcation between secular and the sacred suits the academic approach. But for Sri Aurobindo this is a faulty notion because the causal aspect is eclipsed. The linkage between the two is less of the manner of an umbilical chord and more in the nature of interpenetrating imbrications. If our sensory and scientific construct of the world fails to accommodate such a picture, it must be understood as a lack.
Astronomy as an ancient passion has helped us to know about the outer universe. Astrology, too, by talking of stars and planets attunes us to their subtle influences. The different abodes of gods as described by various mythologies, also, permit us certain familiarity of the other worlds. But we rarely take their effect on our lives any seriously. And the task of Sri Aurobindo is to hammer the modern mind so as to rid it from secular superstitions.
The inner and the other worlds are a consistent theme in his poem, Savitri. Composed through the years from Quantum mechanics to nuclear holocaust, this modern epic puts a stamp of authority on the unseen fecund worlds and their inhabitants who are inextricably linked to our motions and emotions. To recognize this reality seriously, is what Savitri demands from its readers.
The different parts of our being and consciousness, as delineated by Sri Aurobindo in his Integral Yoga system, are nothing but the other worlds. We can well imagine our plights as puppets when disparate worlds are very much in the play to pull the strings. Somewhat similar to the insight offered by Baudrillard that it is the object which uses and employs us and not the other way round that we ordinarily perceive. But then, how do we benefit by this concept in our practical life?
That there runs a perpetual consonance between the seen and the unseen, might seem, at times, hard to digest, but a poetic impression can be allowed to swim aloft. The process should further deepen in the realm of creative imagination leading to a faint intellectual recognition. Since the notion runs counter to our egoistic autonomy, it is bound to take a long time to percolate down to the distant and defiant impulses. And regular recitation of Savitri helps here; its mantric effect casting its reach down to our body cells.