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JANUARY (SECOND) 2009

Vol 36, Issue No. 843


CONTENTS
BUILDS HAPPY HOMES
Founder: Vishwa Nath

BRUSH STROKES SPECIAL


(1917-2002)
womansera.com

80

THE RADIANCE OF

6 10 POSITIVE ENERGY
Our Correspondent

TEENAGE ROMANCE
Sachin Srivastava
HOW TO DEAL WITH
PROCRASTINATION
Anju D. Aggarwal
87

ARTICLES
FASCINATION FOR
MONKS
S. Mazumdar

90
30 62
ZING IT UP THIS GLIMPSES
WINTER OF GLOBAL
26
TONE UP YOUR FACE
Kalpana M. Naghnoor
GLAMOUR
OF HUMAN
IN FIVE MINUTES MIGRATION
Vikas Kumar Jain Subhra

40 I AM PROUD TO BE AN
INDIAN
Smrithi Poornachandra Nee Rumdali Rai

93 DREAMS IN COLOUR
COOKERY
44 RECIPES FROM KERALA
Our Correspondent

96 FUSION ART
32 ● Adapradamanmousse 1 raw mangochilli
5 whole
5 Kashm
red
(medium

iri chilli
ic powde
size)

BE
BE A
A SEXY
SEXY HOUSEWIFE Alleppey prawn
1/ tsp turmer

HOUSEWIFE ●
2 ginger
5 gm sliced garlic
usse 5 gm sliced
Adaprad
amanmo fenugreek
1 pinch
fennel s
1 pinch shallot
sliced
100 gm

curry
rd seeds

Vidhyalakshmi Rao
5 gm musta leaves

Ameeta
Ameeta Sharma
curry
1 pinch

Sharma
nd juice
10ml tamari t oil
25 ml coconu
salt to taste
METHOD fine paste of grated

● Appam
red
Make a , whole
raw mango and fennel
coconut, iri chilli
chilli, Kashm
aside. add
and keep in a pan, curry
prawn curry Heat oil and
musta rd,

Baked gulab
Alleppey
fenugr eek,

FICTION
crackle. , garlic,
leaves to sliced ginger brown ;
Then add saute till
then t masala
shallo ts,
pasted coconu
then add
nd juice. five
and tamari gravy for about the

jamun cheese cake


Cook the prawns
into
and add Cook it
minutes salt to taste; it with
Add
gravy. a and finish
well in masal
the tempe
ring. and add
Heat oil ,
Tempering: musta rd seeds

● Banana flower
ts, chilli.
sliced shalloand whole red ,
curry leaves Appam
panim ent:Rice.
Accom
Steamed Cook ing
Kerala rice, and
Appam Prepa ration s.
minute

cutlet
Time: 30
milk is

Kerala
secon d t of
Once the the first extrac
n and add om
reduced, the cardam
APPAM
FROM
d gelati
Add melteand mix it well. milk. Add

14 MINE, YOUR AND OURS


taste.

RECIPES
coconu t to it for TS:
Adapradaman whipp ing powder and ginger cashew nuts INGREDIENflour/raw rice
mix with with fried rice
Again , Finish it 500 gm

Chakka kuru
na (rawa)


t strips.
cream. refrigerated and small coconu 25 gm semoli
mixture
Keep the 5 gm yeast
s. :
recipes from radaman: extracts) for 45 minute of adapradaman 1 tsp sugar milk

ALLEPPEYCURRY
t
Enjoy these Michal of
For Adap t milk (3 Preparation pasta in water. ½ coconu
DAMAN 200
ml coconu rice the water to
mix
Boil the well add
Chef Subin Resort
ADAPRA E
pasta
25 gm rice y sauce
PRAWN
cooked
salt to taste

ularthiyathu
After it is

Kasturi Rangachari Kumarako


m Lake
in Kerala.
known for
The resor
t is
MOUSS
its authentic INGREDIENg cream
and most of 50 ml cookin
egg yolk
TS:
50 gm jagger
cardamom
dry ginger
10 gm cashew
10 ml ghee
powder
powder
nut
to taste
to taste

add
jaggery

add the
milk.
sauce.

third
water is
all reduce
Once the extract of cocon

is reduce
Once that t of coconut milk.
d,
ut
400 gm
d, add the 1/ 2 grated
tiger
TS:
INGREDIEN prawns 20c
coconut

Era ● January
(Second)
2009
METHOD the raw rice, soak
If using
the

45

Kerala food have been 325nogm sugar

Karimeen
METHOD yolk, sugar and Woman’s


it into a second extrac
Mix egg
the recipes gm gelatin g cream. Make
the Executive 100 gm whippingdaman
15 cream hot cookin
consistency.
created by cially 100 gm adapra
custard

74 THE SUITABLE BOY


elf espe
Chef hims h (Payasam)
Roma Ghos
) 2009

pollichathu
January (Second
for you. By Woman’s
Era ●

44

Susheela Menon ● Konchu roast


● Kuttanadan duck roast ● Vegetable biryani
132 A CHANGE OF ROUTINE ● Meen vevichathu ● Curd rice
A. C. Tuli ● Vegetable puttu ● Chicken peralan
FASHION 24
NEWS IN PICTURES

84
EXTRAORDINARY
65 EX-BOYFRIENDS IN A OUT OF THE
NEW RELATIONSHIP? ORDINARY
(QUIZ) Subhra Mazumdar

78 MUSINGS MEMORIES
134 CROSSWORD
139 BABY CLUB
70
146 AS YOU SAY BOMBAY FILMDOM
140 CLASSIFIEDS

Cover Courtesy:
Model: Shaheera Khan
Make-up & Hair: Omkar
Photographer: Aadish Raikwar
54
AMAZING APPARELS
READERS’
CONTESTS
FEATURES FILL UP THE
CROSSWORD
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134

35 BEAUTY QUERIES 67 TEENACHE 68 AND WIN RS 15,000


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EDITORIAL
Knowledge Network across institutes through a 15
STRENGTHENING EDUCATION SECTOR Gigabit broadband connectivity.

T
he Union Cabinet’s approval of two major A key recommendation of the Sam Pitroda-led
schemes of the Human Resource Development National Knowledge Commission (NKC), this project
(HRD) Ministry in the first week of the year is first mooted in 2007 envisages networking across some
welcome and, of course, a New Year gift to the country. 15,000 colleges and universities, putting learning
Under these schemes, the Government has sanctioned material online and sharing the expertise of centres of
Rs 20,000 crore for Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha excellence with institutes spread across the country.
Abhiyan (RMSA) to universalise access and improve With the Cabinet nod for the project, this will be one of
quality of education at secondary stage and a the few NKC proposals which has found favour with
Rs 4,600-crore National Mission on Education through HRD Ministry under Arjun Singh.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Of course, with globalisation Indian education sector
expand the reach of higher education. has a challenging task ahead. Moreover, the economic
In fact, the RMSA scheme seeks to achieve a progress of a country is strongly linked with the quality
General Enrollment Ratio (GER) of 75% for classes IX- of education. It is therefore, necessary for our technical
X within five years by providing a secondary school education to undertake periodic review of the curriculum
within a reasonable distance of every and subject content of the technical
habitation, upgrade about 44,000 programmes to ensure that they are up to
existing secondary schools, open date, not outmoded or obsolete and
11,188 new secondary schools, appoint effectively fulfil the technological
1.79 lakh additional teachers and requirements of the country.
construct some 80,500 additional Highlighting the requirements to foster
classrooms. a research environment in the
Moreover, Universities and Indian Universities, Prime Minister Manmohan
Institute of Technology (IITs) across the Singh said, while inaugurating the 96th
country can design and develop new session of the Indian Science Congress
courses for their academic curricula in Shillong on 3rd January, “It is teachers
from this year without prior permission of and researchers who inspire new
the Government. This was disclosed by generations. The Government can, at
Human Resource Development (HRD) best, ease the supply-side constraints on
Minister Arjun Singh last December. teaching and research. The demand-side
The HRD Ministry's nod will allow the stimulus must come from institutions and
IITs to introduce courses on Nuclear industry. Our universities must do more to
Technologies from the 2009 academic session. This foster a research environment. We need strengthening
will enable India to meet the demand for skilled of institutional leadership in universities and research
technicians and hopefully, one day, there will be also a institutions. We need a new generation of role models
team of engineers, not only scientists, working on the and teachers.” Therefore, it is time to have a full
nuclear power. cooperation between government and institutions. Only
The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi has also then education sector would move at a fast pace.
started the Sun-IIT Delhi Centre of Excellence in Subsequently, many brilliant and intellectual scholars
E-governance, in collaboration with Sun Microsystems would come out with flying colours.
India Pvt Ltd, for the provision of e-governance As the entire outlook of the youths towards education
solutions. has undergone a sea change, it is therefore the need of
E-governance, which means the use of technology the hour to revamp the education sector of the country
to make governance better, involves the development in a big way beginning from elementary schools to
of technology and research in topics such as making higher education. While improving the higher education
the public-private partnership better and coming up with in hi-tech way, the Right to Education and Integrated
new business models. So, Indian government needs to Education schemes of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan need
support for making e-governance a reality in the future. to be running in a successful manner. By doing so, we
As another initiative, the Union Cabinet on 2nd can say that Indian education sector has a bright future
January had on its agenda the launching of the and would help in nation-building.
Rs 5,000-crore ‘National Mission in Education in ICT’
project, which envisages the creation of a National write to: letters@womansera.com We

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 5


ROMANCE
How to handle kids
when they are
losing their hearts at
an earlier age than
before.
By Sachin Srivastava
een romance is not a new ● Discuss the benefits of finding

T
phenomenon. In fact, many a balance in a relationship, especially
of our grandparents were if your child is getting too involved or
married quite young and obsessed with the relationship. You
began their own families in may have to set some limits on SOME TWEENS
their latter teenage years. telephone or Internet time, or suggest
But nowadays it seems like that activities and time are spent with REALLY DO FALL
even little kids are having a variety of friends. HEAD OVER HEELS
crushes on both peers and ● Caution your child to not spend
celebrities, and tweens and too much money on gifts for the other IN LOVE, AND
teens are more actively engaged in person – it’s expensive, and may not CAN CONTINUE
the “hunt” for a partner. Being “single” be received well.
at the ripe old age of 15 can be seen ● If the relationship is relatively A RELATIONSHIP
as abnormal by many kids, especially new, suggest to your child that he or THROUGHOUT
those who hang out with peers in the she shy away from buying a gift that
fast lane and aspire to be, act and is to be worn on the body (jewellery, MIDDLE SCHOOL
look like the celebs on MTV. clothing) – that’s very personal and AND EVEN INTO
Although tween and teen romance may be viewed by the recipient (or
is normal, it’s not without some pretty their folks!) as too intimate. Safer THE HIGH
heavy ups and downs. Let’s take a choices are CDs, books or cool cards SCHOOL YEARS.
gander at a few: or candy. And, feelings can be easily
● It’s certainly risky business and hurt if the gift is not received well or
a good way to get the first heart- reciprocated. Guys should keep it
break! simple – a card, flower or small box
● Some tweens really do fall of candy is usually a safe bet. Girls –
head over heels in love, and can too sentimental may come across as
continue a relationship throughout smothering – keep the gift simple,
middle school and even into the high cute or perhaps even humorous.
school years. ● For kids in more lengthy
● Generally, this type of relationships, more personal gifts can
relationship narrows the child’s be given and are often valued as
interests and involvement with others treasured possessions.
(sports, clubs and even academics).
Hours spent on the telephone or How should parents handle the
chatting on the Internet with a tween or teen relationship?
boyfriend or girlfriend may be better ● Whatever you do, don’t ridicule
spent with a more balanced approach your kid – no matter how unrealistic
to a relationship. What’s a parent to the crush or inappropriate the
do? Well, try to keep a cool head relationship. Your child’s feelings are
yourself, make sure that the lines of real and should be respected.
communication with your child remain ● Communication is the key. If
open, and that you are not you make fun of his or her feelings,
judgmental (at least your child may become secretive ● Try not to be judgmental.
until you see the about this one as well as future Discuss with your child what is
boy or girl friend’s relationships. important, in your family, about
rap sheet!). Also, dating, sex and the bottom line when
try the following it comes to who your kid can become
with your child: involved with. At the minimum, I
would suggest that the significant
other must still be attending school,
close to your child’s age, not have a
history of legal problems, not be
involved in substance use or abuse,
and be reasonably polite when in
your presence.
● If the kid at least meets these
requirements, let your child lead the
way. Unless the relationship
becomes obsessive or interferes with Five small words that speak parents and spouses who send each
other life activities, try to enjoy your volumes: Let the small stuff go! other service messages rather than
kid’s involvement and new interests, I’m sure that if you look back over truly communicating (pick up the
of course with a watchful eye the past 12 months you’ll remember cleaning, walk the dog Ö not “How
regarding curfew violations and lots of arguments and fusses that was your day?”). That’s normal, but
honesty in terms of the ol’ who, what, really amounted to nothing or very not nice. And, you can do a better job
when, where and why of where they little. A rule of thumb that I’ve tried to just by “assuming” that your
are going and what they are doing. use with my own family as well as my associates and friends will see your
Use the “relationship” as a clients is that “If it won’t have a home videos and get a real look at
jumping-off spot for communication. lasting effect beyond a few days, let it how the family treats each other.
Get to know your child’s interests, go.” Sound too simplistic? Perhaps Being “on tape” is a great motivator
friends and how he or she wishes to in some cases, but most of the time for watching your language (knocking
be perceived by others via the it’s a sanity saver. off the negative tone of voice,
boyfriend or girlfriend. Kids love to I’ve never heard of a kid being requesting rather than demanding,
talk about their loves and infatuations harmed by skipping the tooth cleaning up the four-letter words and
– have fun with it and respect your brushing for a few nights, or by not just being more polite with your
child’s feelings. If you really like the using soap in the shower, or by the spouse and kids).
boyfriend or girlfriend, let the kids bed actually being made only on If you don’t believe the power of
know it – take them out to dinner or sheet-changing days. Or, if your son assuming you’re on tape, actually set
to the movies with you, praise the is too tired to complete the homework up a camcorder for one evening
way that they treat each other and once in a while, you may let him get when everyone’s at home and you’re
are respectful of feelings, and also up early the next morning and finish trying to negotiate dinner, homework
show that you know when to back off the math problems. chores and who gets first access to
and give the couple some privacy What is important, though, is that the remote control. Then, take a look
and time to themselves. your focus is upon the important at your family’s production. Is it
things, which may be different from something that you’d like Margaret at
your neighbour’s list of priorities. In the office to see? How about your
PARENTS HATE – your house having dinner together at mother-in law – would she approve
YES, HATE – TO least three or four times a week may or go into “I told you so Ö” mode? At
be important as it helps keep the very least, it’s a fun activity, but
DISAPPOINT THEIR communication cooking and children hopefully you’ll see where some
CHILDREN, AND eating some nutritious foods. Your improvements in common courtesy,
family code of values (what’s major, politeness and body language need
WE’D PROBABLY BE not minor) may involve sticking with to occur.
ABLE TO UNCOVER rules about cell phone usage, not
AN EVOLUTIONARY sneaking around and actually being
where you say you will be,
Put guilt in its place – generally
in the trash can!
BASIS FOR THAT abstinence from substance use, etc. Guilt can be a handy and useful
FEELING IF WE It’s different for everyone, but try
to focus upon issues that involve
motivator when necessary – “If your
friend finds out that you’re gossiping
WERE TO TAKE education, safety, avoidance of illegal about her, she may not want to play
THE TIME TO activities and hanging around decent
kids. If your daughter wants to try
with you again” makes sense, and
helps to teach your child that there
ANALYSE IT. blue streaks in her hair, perhaps are consequences attached to her
that’s a possibility in the summer words or behaviours. Go for guilt,
when it won’t be so embarrassing if when it’s being used for a teachable
it’s a disaster. Roll with some of the moment. However, parents tend to
requests, compromise when fall too quickly, too deeply and too
possible, but stick to your guns on often into the guilt mode when kids
the big stuff. are involved. Parents hate – yes,
hate – to disappoint their children,
Assume your home is wired to a and we’d probably be able to uncover
nanny-cam an evolutionary basis for that feeling
Trust me; I know how easy it is to if we were to take the time to analyse
forget about gratitude, politeness and it. But, just as we no longer really
manners at home! On a daily basis need our gallbladder, tonsils or last
it’s often a drama including short year’s fruitcake, many guilt moments
tempers, difficult kids, demanding are no longer of value either. We

8 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


HOW
TO
DEAL
WITH

PROCRASTINATION
Making short work of delaying things.
By Anju D. Aggarwal

rocrastination can lead to ● Count up the time you spend

P
many problems – tests on activities while procrastinating.
failed, weight gained, You may be shocked by the amount
relationships weakened. But of time wasted simply watching
you can change your ways. TV.
Procrastination is the art of ● Set reasonable goals. Plan
keeping up with yesterday: your goals carefully, allowing enough
Don Marquis. time to complete them.
Here are some tips to get you ● Break the task down into
going! smaller parts. How can you approach
it step by step? If you can concen-
Steps
trate on achieving one goal at a time,
● Look at the effects of procras- the task may become less of a
tination versus not procrastinating. burden.
What rewards lie ahead if you get it ● Get started whether you "feel"
done? What are the effects if you like it or not. Going from doing
continue to put it off? Which situation nothing to doing something is often
has better effects? Chances are, you the hardest part of overcoming
will benefit more in the long term from procrastination. Once you start, it will
facing the task head-on. be easier to continue.
● Ask for help. You don't always
have to do it alone.
● Don't expect perfection. No one
is perfect. It's better to try your best
than to do nothing at all.
● Reward yourself. The reward
that lies at the end of a long road to a
goal may be great, but while you're
on the way, it may not always be
enough to motivate you. Remind
yourself – with a break, a movie,
some kind of treat you like – that you
are making successful progress.
● Don't let yourself be distracted -
by taking control and saying "no." By
picking up the guitar, playing a DVD
for entertaining your friends, you
build confidence in your ability.
● Other time traps to avoid:
saying yes when you don't have the
time, studying when you're tired or in
a distracting location, not thinking
ahead, not curbing your social time,
and finally, taking on too many tasks
and projects.
Tips
● You may want to take a course
in time management.
● Several books have been

written on procrastination. Here are reading. A very good audio


the titles: Procrastination: Why You CD/cassette is, Make Your Mind
Do It, What to Do About It by Jane B. Work for You: New Mind Power
Burka, Lenora M, Ph.D. Yuen, The Techniques to Improve Memory, Beat
Now Habit: A Strategic Programme Procrastination and More by Joan
for Overcoming Procrastination and Minninger.
Enjoying Guilt-Free Play by Neil Fiore ● If you hate to read and begin
and for students, to procrastinate, think of it this way. If
Beat Procrastination and Make the you have to read a 276-page book,
Grade: A Life-saving Guide for divide it into the amount of time you
Students by Linda Sapadin, Jack have. If you have about 2 weeks,
Maguire. These are highly reading about 21 pages a day is
recommended. much less overwhelming.
● Of course, not everyone enjoys ● Just start working. We

12 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


MINE, YOURS AND OURS
When a widow and a widower, each with a 10 year old son, marry, what prevents
the sparks from flying? By Kasturi Rangachari
Part-I

“T
hink about it,” said Akshay persuasively. Ramya with an affectionate laugh, “but I know that
“You’re still young, my little sister, and this I’m nothing special. Besides I’m 30. He could get a
could be a second chance for happiness much younger girl – and one without any
for you.” Ramya shifted uncomfortably. encumbrances.”
“But, anna,” she protested. “a…a second “Saketh isn’t an encumbrance! He…”
marriage?” “And why not?” countered “But you understand what I mean, don’t you?”
Akshay. “You were so young, when you Akshay hesitated and then nodded. “Yes, I
were widowed – just 21! And nine long years have understand,” he said heavily. “But perhaps Pranesh
passed since then. How long will you live a lonely is a mature man who wants the companionship of a
life?” mature woman.”
“I’m not lonely! I have Saketh! And I also have “Perhaps. But don’t get your hopes up too much,
amma and you and Shailu Manni and the kids.” anna. We may not take to each other, you know,
“I know…but a husband is different. Only a and the marriage may not come off well: Besides, I
husband can give you true companionship. And must speak to Saketh before I take a decision. If he
amma says that she will be able to die in peace only doesn’t like the idea, it’s all off.”
after she has seen you settled down again. That’s It was decided that Ramya and Pranesh would
why I advertised in the matrimonial columns without meet in a restaurant and talk things over. Ramya felt
telling you!” Akshay cleared his throat before nervous and self-conscious as she got ready to go
continuing more slowly. “You must have a life of for the meeting. Was she being stupid? Was she too
your own, Ramya. I know that you work, but you old for this marriage business? Could she adjust to
aren’t really the career sort – and how long will you having a man in her life after so long? She sighed.
just help Shailu run this home? No, you need a Before she thought about all that, she had first to
home of your own to run.” decide what to wear and how to do her hair! Should
Ramya didn’t reply and Akshay added hastily. her sari be a special-occasion silk or a business like
“It’s not that you’re a burden on us or that Shailu crisp cotton? Should she plait her hair, do it up in a
doesn’t appreciate your help, of course. It’s just jooda or leave it open? Should she use any make-
that…” up, jewellery?
“I understand, anna,” said Ramya.

A
“Then you’ll meet this man? This Pranesh?” fter a lot of thought she decided to wear a
“All right.” tussar sari with a string of pearls. She’d be
Akshay’s face brightened. “Good!” he said neither dressing up nor down with that. She
heartily. “And, Ramya, I went and met Pranesh then used just a touch of make-up and twisted her
when he responded to our ad and I have a feeling hair into a neat bun at the nape of her neck.
that you will like him. He’s 35 and he’s got a terrific Pranesh was already at the restaurant when she
job. He’s also good-looking, smart and very got there. Both of them recognised the other from the
charming. He lost his wife eight years ago and his photographs they had exchanged. They ordered
son, Kiran, is the same age as Saketh.” coffee and then began to talk. At the
“The man sounds almost too good to be true!” beginning the conversation was stilted,
said Ramya a trifle dryly. “Why would such a man but later, it moved along smoothly as
want to marry someone like me?” the two found several topics of
Akshay bristled. “I’d say that he’s the lucky one – common interest to chat about and
to get a sweet, hard-working, soft-spoken, pleasant they both relaxed. Some time later,
person like you!” he exclaimed. they moved on to more personal
“Thank you for all those compliments, anna, said matters.
“My mother was with me when Kiran was a child
and so the boy was well looked after. But since her
death three years ago, things have been difficult. But
“I’d like to discuss a
few things with you
first,” she said firmly.
LONG

STORY
we’ve somehow managed, mainly because I have a “Fine!”
couple of trusted servants who have been with me “Well, first of all, why do you want to
for years and Kiran is an independent, self-sufficient remarry? I mean why have you decided to
boy.” remarry now?”
“My Saketh isn’t, I’m afraid. He’s a rather dreamy Pranesh didn’t hesitate. “It’s mainly for
bookworm. But I’ve had no problem because I’ve Kiran’s sake,” he said. “The boy is growing
been living with my mother and my brother and his a little wild and he’s neglecting his studies.
family.” He needs more care than I can give him.”
“I see. Will Saketh miss all of them?” “I see. And why do you want to marry a
Ramya looked at Pranesh in slight confusion. Did woman like me? An older woman with a
this mean that Pranesh wanted to go ahead with the child of her own – and not a young thing?”
marriage? She suddenly felt weak at the knees.

P
“I…don’t know,” she confessed in confusion. ranesh smiled briefly. “I want a woman
“Does that mean that you will marry me?” asked who’ll be nearer my age than Kiran’s,” he said.
Pranesh abruptly. “And as for your being widowed and having a
Ramya became even more flustered. For a child – you have obviously been through a hard time
moment she avoided Pranesh’s eyes and then she and have been lonely. Me too. So, I thought that
straightened. She was really too old to behave like a we’d understand each other and get along well.”
simpering, coy 20-year- Ramya nodded. “That makes sense,” she said,
old who was meeting but she stared uncertainly at Pranesh. His words had
a man alone for the brought back memories of her past and
first time! all the old doubts resurfaced. Was she
doing the right thing by deciding to
remarry?
“But,” Pranesh stared at her
and hesitated and then went on.
“I think that both of us should
enter into this marriage
without any
expectations.

Pranesh may
have good
looks and
charismatic
personality but
Ramya wants
more from
marriage than a
business
relationship.
Personal expectations, I mean. I think that it’s better to me. Tell me how you feel about this matter.”
that we don’t behave like romantic youngsters. So let “Mummy, mama has already spoken to me
us keep our relationship at a practical, businesslike about….about…this.”
level. Kiran needs a mother and probably Saketh “Did he? When?”
needs a father figure in his life. We’ll see that both “Remember he took me with him when he went to
boys get what they need and we’ll be partners in buy vegetables last Sunday? He first took me to the
this endeavour. That’s all. What do you say?” beach and we talked there.”
“But you never said anything about it to me!”

R
amya eyed him warily. It was a good thing that “Mama told me to wait till you spoke to me.”
this cold, self-contained man who could speak “I see. What did he say?”
of marriage as a practical business “He said that this…person…this gentleman…is
relationship, couldn’t see into her heart! If he could, very nice and that we’ll be very happy with him.”
he would see what havoc his devastating good looks “I think that too.”
and charismatic personality had already caused! “But we’ll have to leave this home! I like it here.
Should she tell him that she wanted and expected I’ll miss patti (grandmother) and everyone.”
more from marriage than a business relationship? “I know, darling. But we’ll come to see them
But something told her that if she did so, he’d just often. And whatever happens, whatever changes,
get up and walk out of her life – and somehow she they’ll always be your grandmother, uncle, aunt and
didn’t think that she wanted that! She took a deep cousins. So there is nothing to be afraid of.”
breath. “All right then.”
“All right,” she said. “It’s a joint venture. But Saketh’s eyes were wide with
No personal demands! But I have to talk apprehension even as he said the words and
to Saketh before I take a final decision. Ramya gave him another squeeze.
Have you talked to Kiran?” “Do you know that you’ll have a new
Pranesh threw back his head and friend in your new home? A brother? His
laughed. “Spoken to Kiran?” he asked. name is Kiran. And he’s exactly your age.”
“Marrying again was Kiran’s idea!” “Will…will he …like me?”
Ramya laughed with him. Her heart beat “Why won’t he? We’ll be a family. You,
fast. Her life was changing so quickly that it me, Kiran and your new father.”
seemed a dream. Would things work “But…I already have a father…in heaven.”
out all right for her and Saketh? But “Yes, your father is in heaven looking
first of all, she hoped that Saketh after you from there...but this father will
would approve of the idea of also look after you.”
her remarrying! “Will I have to call him Daddy?”
Ramya spoke to 10-year- “Only if you want to.”
old Saketh the next Sunday. “All right.”
Everyone else was having And mother and son sat close
a post-lunch siesta and together, each brooding in silence over
she took Saketh out into the future.
the back garden where “Hm! So, he wants an impersonal
she could be sure of business relationship, does he?”
not being disturbed

T
and spoke to him about he voice that asked the question
marrying Pranesh. in a light, slightly mocking tone,
“But only if you agree,” she told belonged to a plump and pretty
him taking his hand and holding it woman with dancing eyes. She was
tight. “I mean that. If you don’t like Daisy, Ramya’s friend and colleague
the idea, just tell me.” and the two of them were in the
Saketh stared at his mother company canteen having lunch.
through his specs but didn’t say “In that case forget him, Ramya,”
anything. Ramya put her arm Daisy continued. “Who wants an
around him. He was so thin that impersonal, emotionless marriage? Or
she could feel every bone in his is it that you are afraid of involvement in
body. She felt her heart melt a relationship because it’s painful
with love.
“Saketh,” she began. “Talk Extrovert Kiran flexing his muscles.
when you lose it? I understand that, but…” just a week after that, the baby had died suddenly
“No, it isn’t that. The last 9 years have healed as he lay asleep.
those wounds. That’s not to say that I’ve forgotten “It’s called a crib death,” the doctor had said.
either Mahesh or that poor little baby, but I’m ready “Babies just die sometimes and it’s difficult to give
to go on with my life now.” an exact cause.”
“Then what is it?” demanded Daisy. Ramya had begun to sob. “My baby!” she wept.
“Oh, Daisy, don’t laugh. I know that I’m 30 and “My poor baby! And I’ve had a tubectomy!”
that I should know better, but I’ve fallen in love, at “That can be reversed.”
first sight! Pranesh is…is…is so But it had never been reversed. There
incredibly wonderful! And when he had initially been no hurry to have it
smiled at me, I felt as if my heart had done and later, after Mahesh’s sudden
stopped beating!” Daisy’s mouth and tragic death days later, there had
fell open and been no point in having the procedure

D
aisy’s mouth fell open and she performed.
stared dumbfounded at her she stared Daisy now put her hand on her
normally reserved and self- friend’s arm and pressed it. “You can
dumbfounded
contained friend. “Oh my goodness!” have it reversed,” she said echoing the
she exclaimed blankly. “You’ve got it at her normally doctor’s words. “Do it. Let me put it this
that bad!” way. You have a child. He’s yours.
“I have! So, I’ll marry Pranesh on his reserved and Pranesh has a son who is his. But you
terms! In fact, I’m ready to marry him self-contained need a child that belongs to both of you.
on any terms!” Think of it as the Mine, Yours and Ours
“That’s all right now, but do you friend. Project. ”
think that the kind of relationship he Ramya stared at her in silence. “All
wants will satisfy you later? Love is right,” she said finally. “But I can’t do it
demanding, you know, and you’ll want emotion and now, because I could never explain it to anna. It’ll
passion in return for your own love. So, if Pranesh have to be after I’m married. And, by the way, I’ll be
sticks to his ‘business deal’ stand, you’ll end up resigning.”
feeling frustrated.” “What? Gosh! Don’t tell me that Pranesh is one of
Ramya’s face fell. “Well, I suppose you know those men who believes that a
more about these things than I do…” she said in a woman’s place is in the home!”
miserable tone. Ramya smiled. “He isn’t. But
“I certainly do!” we both feel that there are
“And you think that I shouldn’t marry him…” going to be a lot of
“Did I say that? Of course you should marry adjustment problems for all of
Pranesh, but you should break down the barriers he us and that it would be
intends to put up against you.” better if I was dealing with
“How can I do that? I really don’t see myself as a them full time.”
sultry seducer who will set Pranesh aflame and tempt “That’s okay, but a job
him into making passionate love!” would be a safety net if
“Then you’ll have to do something else…” things don’t work
“What?” out.?”
“Bear his child.” “ Daisy, I
“Daisy! You know that I can’t!” don’t intend to
“Because you have had a tubectomy?” start off by
Ramya nodded, her face twisted with pain as she planning for
went back to that nightmarish time. Saketh had been things not
just months old when she had found herself pregnant working out.
again, but Mahesh and she had decided to go Things will work
through with the pregnancy.
“But you’ll have a tubectomy as soon as the baby Saketh for
a change in
is born,” said Mahesh. “No more accidents like this
jovial mood
one, please!” – seen
A little baby boy had been born and two days there
later, Ramya had had a tubectomy performed. She without
had gone home with the baby a few days later, but specs.
out. I’ll make them work out! My commitment to this told you we would – you couldn’t attend because the
marriage is hundred per cent. I’m not even going to company had its AGM that day, remember? – and,
think of things going wrong!” of course, we didn’t go for a honeymoon!” Ramya
Daisy’s eyes moistened. “That’s the way to go, exclaimed with some irritation when Daisy pounced
girl!” she exclaimed. on her demanding details of the wedding. Ramya
Pranesh brought Kiran over one day a week had gone to office a couple of weeks after she had
before the wedding. The boy was tall and well built got married, in connection with getting her PF dues.
for his age and had an air of self-confidence about “We have two 10-year-old sons! Where would we
him. He gazed at Ramya with open curiosity. leave them when we went? And besides…” Ramya’s
“This is Kiran,” said Pranesh. voice trailed away.
“And this is Saketh,” said Ramya pulling her son “Besides? Oh, you mean your no-personal-
forward gently. She knew that Saketh, shy at the involvement pact. So, Pranesh is still set on that –
best of times, would be feeling almost terrified now even though you’re his wife and you are living in the
and so she kept her arm around him. same house as he is? And does that mean no sex?”
Pranesh looked at Saketh in surprise. “I thought Ramya looked around in embarrassment at the
that Saketh was 10 – like Kiran,” he blunt question, but there was no one
said. within earshot. “Yes,” she said. “No
“He is,” said Ramya stiffly. Saketh’s “Saketh, we’ll sex. But things are fine otherwise – in a
slim build and low weight were a sore talk about that business like, unemotional way!” And
point with her. Daisy groaned as she heard the words!
“I see. Hey, you boys should be able
later,” said Pranesh had begun to treat Saketh
to get along fine. You’ll be in the same Ramya hastily. just as he treated Kiran, right from the
class, for one thing. By the way,” he “Why don’t you first day. In a brisk, no-nonsensical way,
turned to Ramya, “we’ll have to change he included Saketh in all his talks and
Saketh’s school. His present one is just take Kiran to games with his son. But unfortunately
too far away from my house. But, no your this treatment did not suit the bookish,
problem. I’m sure that Kiran’s principal room and show sensitive Saketh who was already
will give him admission, even though it drooping more than he usually did
is the middle of the year.” him your because he was missing his old home
“Ma!” wailed Saketh, “I don’t want books?” and family.
to change schools!” “Do I have to go?” he protested in a
“I’m afraid it will be difficult to send you so far…” whisper to Ramya one day when Pranesh called him
began Pranesh, but Saketh interrupted him. for a game of football in the garden as soon as he
“Ma, please!” he pleaded. “Don’t make me came home from office. “I hate football!”
change schools!” “But, darling, playing and running about are
“Saketh, we’ll talk about that later,” said Ramya good for you. And you now have Kiran to play
hastily. “Why don’t you take Kiran to your room and with.” “I thought that you’d understand,” whined
show him your books?” Saketh and he scowled at her as he ran away.
“I’d rather go into the garden and climb that

R
tree,” observed Kiran pointing to a chiku tree with amya swallowed hard as tears threatened to
invitingly low, spreading branches that stood to one fill her eyes. This was the first time Saketh had
side of the garden. scowled at her and accused her of not
“I don’t like to climb trees,” announced Saketh. understanding! She went over to the window and
“Let’s go to my room.” watched the trio. Pranesh was acting as the
“I’m your guest here. So you should do as I want goalkeeper and the two boys were shooting goals
to,” said Kiran firmly. as Pranesh shouted instructions.
Shailu, Ramya’s sister-in-law, had been setting the Kiran’s kicks winged their way goal-wards and he
table that stood in front of the French windows. often managed to angle them past his father, but
“You certainly can do whatever you want to,” Saketh fumbled repeatedly and missed the goal
she now said soothingly. “But first have something to completely time and again. Kiran howled with
eat.” Ramya gave an inward sigh as she led their laughter whenever this happened and, though
guests to the table, which was groaning under a Pranesh did not, he began to concentrate more and
load of goodies. It didn’t look as if things were more on Saketh. Unfortunately, the additional
going to be easy – but then Pranesh was certainly attention only made the boy more nervous.
worth a little trouble! Ramya moved away from the window, telling
“We had an ordinary registered wedding as I herself firmly that she should be glad that Saketh

20 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


was being forced to play games. The boy had really in a moment they were rolling on the floor, wrestling
become too much of a bookworm! But her heart was with each other.
heavy at the thought of her little boy’s nervous “Ma..aa..aa!” wailed Saketh who was getting the
fumbles and Kiran’s howls of laughter. worst of it. Ramya flew to the rescue of her son.
Saketh luckily had less trouble settling down in his “Get…off…him, Kiran!” she begged pulling at him.
new school. He had been a topper at his old school “You’ll kill him!”
and seemed all set to do well here too. Two strong arms reached out from behind Ramya
“But the boys aren’t friendly,” he complained to and lifted Kiran off Saketh. Ramya glanced around
Ramya. and saw that it was Pranesh who had come home
“But surely Kiran has introduced you to his unnoticed. She gathered Saketh into her arms. “Oh,
friends?” she asked. my poor darling!” she exclaimed. “Are you hurt?”
“No, he hasn’t.” Saketh clutched at his head and glared at Kiran.
“That’s odd,” said Pranesh who had come into “I want to go home!” he shouted.
the room just then. “I’ll tell him to.” “You are at home,” said Pranesh firmly. “Now,
“No, please, don’t!” said Saketh looking boys, tell me what happened.”
embarrassed. “He started it!” Saketh was angrier than Ramya
“But, why not?” asked Pranesh.” had ever seen him.
“No, he did! He laughed at me!”

S
aketh just shook his head but Kiran was blunter “But he always laughs at me! So what if I laughed
later on. “How do I introduce him?” he asked once?” Once Pranesh understood what had
his father. “How do I explain a new brother? happened, he sipped the tea Ramya had brought
The boys will…will…ask questions.” him and eyed the boys thoughtfully.
Neither Pranesh or Ramya had any answer to that “Kiran, one extra hour of studies the whole of
and they kept quiet. “Saketh will find his feet by next week is your punishment and Saketh, you’ll start
himself and make friends,” Pranesh said to Ramya karate classes tomorrow,” he announced.
later. “He’s good at studies and that will help.” After the two sulky boys left the room – Saketh to
Ramya nodded, but her heart went out to her little go upstairs to his room and Kiran to go out into the
boy. All the problems he was facing were because garden to practise shooting balls into the basketball
of her decision to remarry. Had she been selfish, she hoop put up there – Ramya sat down in front of
wondered. Pranesh.
Kiran could laugh at Saketh’s football, but the “Why karate classes for Saketh?” she asked.
tables were turned every night when the boys sat “Kiran already learns. Do you want the boys to fight
down with their books. Kiran was not a good out all matters?” “No, I don’t. But Saketh has to
student mainly because he was restless and become physically stronger and more agile. He has
distracted. Pranesh did not seem to take it very to learn to stand up for himself and not just shout for
seriously, though Ramya remembered him telling her you whenever he is in any trouble.”
that one of the reasons he had decided to get

R
married was because Kiran needed more amya could not fault that, though her heart
supervision in his studies. She herself was totally went out to Saketh and the trouble he would
taken aback by Kiran’s poor performance. She had have with karate. But she checked herself. After
the typically middle-class attitude of considering all, she should feel as much for Kiran, for whom an
education the main road to success in life and extra hour of studies would be as much torture!
thought that bad marks in the lower classes meant a She sighed. Married life was certainly turning out
poor grasp of basic concepts and skills and that this to be complicated! But she also felt a warmth in her
in turn meant problems in the higher classes. heart when she thought of the casual but firm way
“Kiran,” she said for the time that evening, Pranesh had told Saketh that he was at home and
“please concentrate. All these sums are wrong.” the equally casual and accepting way in which
Kiran cast a sidelong glance at Saketh and Saketh had not repeated his angry words.
scowled when he saw him grinning. “Tell him not to No, things certainly didn’t look totally bleak – but
grin!” he complained to Ramya. perhaps it was time she did something. Something
“Why shouldn’t I grin?” retorted Saketh. “You that Daisy had suggested. And that was to start
laugh when I play football badly!” working on the Mine, Yours and Ours Project! Yes,
“You look foolish then…” the time had come for her to try and reverse her
“And you look foolish now!” tubectomy! She put the problem of getting Pranesh
Kiran gave a growl of rage and launched himself into her bed out of her mind for now. That would
at Saketh. The chairs of both the boys fell over and come later! – (To be continued)

22 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


A man walks past an image of a cup of coffee in a lifestyle
billboard fronting a new building’s construction site in Beijing.
China’s President Hu Jintao warned the preceding month that
the country faced a grim job situation in the new year as Asia’s
second biggest economy continues to slow down.
Enchanting beauty

Cup doesn’t cheer always


Miss World 2008 Kseniya Sukhinova of Russia poses for
fans on her arrival in Moscow on 17 December, 2008. She
was crowned Miss World 2008 in Johannesburg in the
middle of December after beating 108 other international
beauties in a glittering African extravaganza.

Space-look train

Mermaid myth

A railroad man cleans a window


of Siemens AG-made Velaro
series high-speed train named
Sapsan before an inaugural
ceremony in St. Petersburg on
26 December, 2008. Russian
Railways will get eight trains by Hannah, the Mermaid dives beside dugongs
the end of 2010. (unseen) in the Mermaid Lagoon Exhibit at Sydney
Aquarium. The 1.7 million litre tropical water
habitat features two of the herbivorous marine
The baby swims mammals which normally live in Australia’s
northern coastal waters. Sea pirates and sailors
The baby hippopotamus swims
started the mermaid myth after sighting dugongs.
beside its mother “Kati” at the zoo
in Berlin on 16 December, 2008.
The hippo was born in November.
Ice Bear
People visit an ice sculpture gallery in Rovaniemi.

Writing sea lion


Underground wonder

Visitors on a boat take a ride past huge drapery


rock formation on the underground river at Jeita
Five-year-old Grotto cave complex, north of the Lebanese
sea lion “Jackie” capital Beirut. Lebanese are lobbying for the
writes the word grotto to be named one of the new Seven
“Ox” in Chinese Wonders of the world in an online competition
character as part that has drawn natural attractions from the
of a preparation globe. The grotto comprises a lower cave
to welcome New through which an underground river runs, and
Year of the Ox at sports spectacular rock formations.
the Hakkeijima
Sea Paradise
Aquarium in
Yokohama in
Kanagawa
prefecture,
suburban Tokyo.

Rise of Chandrayaan

Minister of Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi (2R, sitting) and Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G. Madhavan Nair (2L, sitting) pose with members
(standing) of Chandrayaan – 1 team during felicitation in New Delhi. Confederation
of Indian Industry (CII) felicitated officials of Chandrayan - 1 team.
TONE UP YOUR
FACE
IN
FIVE MINUTES ace reveals everything. It is How does it work?
A great way to

F
said that face is a mirror As we think, particularly when we
which reflects a person's worry, we tense our muscles,
literally look personality, feelings, and particularly those of the face, neck
emotions. Experts in face and shoulders, which often result in
better – at no cost. reading can even say what chronic aches and pains, especially
you are and what sort of around the eyes, jaw and neck.
By Vikas KumarJain personality you possess. Tense muscles can reduce the
Face tells if you are happy, vital supply of oxygen as well as
sad, worried or stressed. For constrict the blood vessels. This
many people, their face reflects years hampers the free flow of blood and
of stress, pent-up emotions, habitual other fluids to the tissues, thus
expressions and an unhealthy reducing the flow of nutrients and
lifestyle, which have all left their preventing the removal of waste
collective marks. It’s as if each products, resulting in pain or
muscle has its own storage bank and discomfort.
holds the emotion, which outwardly That’s why facial muscles need to
reflects on the face. be toned up. Which can be done by
The aches and pains point sweeping, pressing, ironing,
towards tension in our muscles and stretching and concentrated
emotional stress. Through facial acupressure movements in a series
rejuvenation, you can release the of repetitive, tightening and relaxing
emotions and stress from the facial massages. These stimulate energy
muscles and tissues. As a result, centres around the face and tone the
face feels fresh and light. area while reducing muscular tension

26 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


and increasing blood and lymph flow. procedures emotional and physical simply pull apart towards your
It is an effective treatment for releases can be brought about, which eyebrows.
puffy, dull, lacklustre complexions, is good for our overall well-being.
often resulting from a build-up of As workouts work wonders for our For the eyes
toxins in the area. Our lymph system body, so do daily exercises for the ● Trying not to move your head
is like a waste disposal system, facial muscles. Spare five minutes a from the vertical, look up, then look
draining and transporting waste day to do the exercises. You could down. Look out of the corner of your
products out of our tissues. Some of do them while travelling or when eyes, first to the left, then to the right.
these movements are designed to sitting at your desk in the office. ● Place the index finger of one
encourage lymphatic drainage, hand and the middle finger of the
helping to counteract the effects of other on either side of a crowsfeet
lack of exercise and poor breathing wrinkle (corner of the eye) and press
habits. carefully and gently. Repeat up to 10
times, holding for five seconds
Ageing: For those who worry each.
about the changes brought about by
the ageing process, these are a For the mouth
valuable tool. Our skin contains a ● With your mouth slightly open,
component called connective tissue. bring the corner of the left side of
Connective tissue is partly formed your mouth out as far as possible.
from collagen and fibres. Fibres Now do this with the right side of your
weave together to form a flexible mouth. Repeat five times.
weblike structure. In younger skins, ● Puff up both cheeks and hold
these fibres resemble a springy for a few seconds. Repeat this 10
elastic band, giving suppleness and times. This helps to reduce laughter
flexibility. Over time, the fibres lock lines.
together and the skin loses much of For the forehead
its mobility, much like a thick, ● Place your thumbs on your Chin and jaw area
inflexible elastic band. temples and your index fingers at the ● Use the back of your hand to
During facial rejuvenation, the top of your hairline. Push your index tap or gently slap under your chin.
therapist identifies by touch any fingers up and your thumbs outwards Repeat with the other hand and
restricted muscle or connective tissue to give yourself a stretched look. If increase the speed.
and focusses on these areas. Facial you gather any skin you are doing it ● Place both thumbs under your
rejuvenation helps to restore the incorrectly. Hold to the count of 10 chin to provide gentle resistance and
skin’s suppleness by toning the and repeat five times. push your chin down. Continue this
collagen and fibres. Thus, it allows ● Using the index fingers of both symmetrically around your jawline.
the connective tissue to regain its hands placed on the inside edge of This will tone up your chin muscles
freedom and elasticity. your eyebrows, gently pull apart the and help reduce a double chin.
In addition, facial rejuvenation frown lines. Be careful not to pull up
works on releasing blockages in the or down in an unnatural direction, For the nose
body's subtle energy field, bringing ● Gently hold your nostrils
about emotional and physical between your thumb and index finger
releases, thereby having an effect on to offer gentle resistance and flare
our complete well-being. In the Indian your nostrils as you slowly breathe
philosophy of healing, there is a in. Now slowly breathe out. Repeat
belief that each of us has a life force, this five times.
an energy that is both within and ● Using your index finger, push
around us. This universal energy is the tip of your nose up and hold it
called prana. It's believed there are firmly in place. Now pull your upper
centres throughout our body, called lip down over your teeth and hold for
chakras, which act as transformers, a second before releasing.
enabling us to benefit from this Do it and see for yourself the
energy. Stimulation of specific energy changes brought about by these
centres on the face through facial exercises. These exercises
accessing and manipulating cost you nothing but bring immense
acupressure points help to release benefits to your facial health. It
blockages in the energy field. By makes you look younger, more
following the energy-balancing cheerful, happy and stress-free. We

28 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


ZINGIT UP THIS
WINTER Hot ideas for
your winter wardrobe.
By Kalpana M Naghnoor
inter is here and it is

W
time to switch your
wardrobe. Purple would
be the key colour this
season – and most
leading fashion houses
are throwing the colour
into almost anything.
Winter isn’t about only
shawls and sweaters;
we need to co-ordinate the colours
to cheer us up.

STYLES
During winter, volume is
becoming. The army style, double-
breasted coats as well as navy wide-
collared dresses are in. The volume
needs to be controlled, so keep it
less at the hips for those who are
broad in that area. Volume can be
created with pleated skirts. Even
worn short, have the skirt layered.
Long woollies too will make magic
this winter. But keep the stripes
vertical if you are a plus size.
COLOURS watch out! No excesses please – if
so, you will end up looking like a
LONG-SLEEVED
The thought of winter is a warm Christmas tree. Especially while SWEATER WORN ON
snuggle, and steaming beverages – adding volume to the attire, and too
yes, the picture comes on easy! The many frills in the ears may seem odd,
PINK KAMEEZ AND A
snuggle can be cosy when it is thick. go bold, yet geometrical styles to be BLACK SALWAR
Therefore, clothes this winter ought more certain of the choice. Please
to be layered. A pair of black keep florets and ornate designs out ACCESSORISED WITH
stockings will go a long way and, for of the ear this season. PURPLE EARRINGS,
the more adventurous, an array of Bangles – as goes for the earrings
colours will make it hot! The – keep them bold and junky but not BAG AND SHOES,
stockings can be worn with a short, ornate. Keep the colours metallic and A HEAVY STOLE OF
layered skirt, and knee-length boots match them with the earrings if you
with a short, hooded pullover. are going for single hues. Geometric MIXED HUES OF BLACK
You could colour scheme that with again and blend with the dress. AND PURPLE WORN
brown boots, black leggings, bright Bags and shoes too should speak
pink skirt, yellow top and a purple of the winter. Fluffy totes and fake fur MORE LIKE A SHAWL,
hooded short pullover. You could
accessorise with yellow earrings and
may stir up the style. Match the
shoes and the bag, coordinate with
WILL GIVE A PERFECTLY
a heavy thick bangle and brown fluffy the earrings and bangles. Here is the LAYERED LOOK.
tote bag. The layers will give you the
warm look apart from feeling it.
These colours can be used in any stones, wear them large as studs, in
scheme and clothes, even Indian western patterns over pants and
wear. Even the salwar-kameez can evening dresses. Totes rarely
be layered stylishly. A deep-neck complement a salwar ! Go for the
pink kameez with a purple camisole clutch when wearing a salwar, or a
worn in such a way it shows well, handbag made from brocade.
with of course a pink salwar would The stripes, if you are a plus size,
be a good combination. keep them vertical. That adds height
A light, dark- pink sweater with a to your stature since horizontal
floral purple yellow and pink dupatta stripes make you look broader.
will give it the layered look. But, if you are an XS, go for the
Alternatively, a black, long-sleeved horizontal stripes which are
sweater worn on the inside and a extremely smart and remember you
deep neck bright- pink kameez and a are the few lucky ones! You could
black salwar accessorised with choose a broad horizontal striped
purple earrings, bag and shoes, a sweater, purple and pink over a full-
heavy stole of mixed hues of black sleeved white T on white pants.
and purple worn more like a shawl, Match it with a pink tote bag and
will give a perfectly layered look. shoes. Wear bold metallic grey
For a more chic evening wear, earrings and bangles.
gold, black and purple can The tartan checks are a classic
dominate. A woollen mid- challenge. Check the pattern during the Christmas season;
length purple dress with styles. If the shoes and they traditionally come in red and
black stockings and the bag are western, then green. They look beautiful. These
black shoes will be go for western earrings look great worn as skirts and jackets.
fetching. Accessorise and bangles as well as But the checks are available in other
with chunky gold, a the dress. colours too.
layered necklace, A lot of women do Plain-coloured whites go very well
thick gold bangle and wear large, dangling with these checks. Do not crowd the
earrings. Hold a black earrings made from tartan checks with other designs.
and gold clutch. stones, which will suit They are worn best highlighting the
Earrings will Indian clothes over original pattern. Dress shirts over
complement the look, so western cocktail tartan checked skirts look great.
wear them big. Bold dresses, or even pants. Brown boots and a matching bag will
coloured rings in dangles This is a style disaster! If be perfect. Winter is here – let’s
and clusters will be in. But at all you want to wear dress it up! We
The housewife is
sexy not only in
facial complexions,
but mainly in mutual
understandings and
responsibilities
successful couple is not
towards each other.

A
the one that never fights By Ameeta Sharma
but the one that has been
married for a few years and
husband still thinks his wife
– especially if she is the
typical homemaker – is still
beautiful and they love
each other to distraction. A
sexy housewife is not the
one who gets ready and looks like a
Diva for a party, but the one who
seems HOT to her husband even on
an ordinary weekday. How does a
woman become the best homemaker
who keeps the house clean, every-
body well fed and cared for and still
looks like a million bucks without
spending a fortune on herself?

SEXY
BE A
HOUSEWIFE
Is it even possible for a housewife bilities. Just acknowledge the power Ankit what he was doing wrong until
to feel and look sexy? Or is that label of responsibility that you have as a one day he said that whatever he did
of ‘sexy’, ‘fashionable’, ‘desirable’ housewife. You are making a home I never seemed happy, so he did not
and hot meant only for women who for which your husband is earning want to bother doing anything I told
work in high-profile jobs with menfolk and slogging. If you were not to make him to do. I responded positively and
in the offices? a good home, his earning would be made a long list of what he was to
Ask any psychiatrist, gym trainer, useless. Recognise your power and do when I stopped nagging him. For
make-up technician, photographer, your responsibility towards realisation a party he was to get the cold drinks
fashion designer and you will get a of that dream for which you are and ice which he forgot because I did
similar response – a woman does not working as a team. not nag, and we had warm beer and
automatically lose any attribute that Useful Tip: Do not allow anybody no cold soda for the party. I just
makes her ‘sexy’ after she is married, to belittle the fact that you are not shrugged my shoulders and asked
unless she decides to be unsexy. earning monthly cash. Your him to think of an alternative. He
Well, there – the result has been contribution is more important than called up the friends we had invited
declared, now it is up to every just earning money. As a homemaker and they brought the ice and cold
housewife out there to become as you are shaping the entity of your soda. I did not nag and he has never
sexy and desirable as she wants. home and nurturing your family, and forgotten to do his share for any
Here are some shared nuggets that is the biggest role a woman gets entertaining evening, or other odd
from different professionals and to play. And saving money is as good jobs after that!
successful women who are as sexy as earning money! Useful Tip : Instead of accusing
as any office-going woman or an and confronting your husband as a
entrepreneur of the world. These are Nagging is not desirable: Most nagging housewife, be the cool
marked as useful tips but remember, husbands find their wives to be nags; woman in his life who just tells him
every woman is different and every and in response most wives say that once and then lets him do it in his
home is unique in itself, so the they nag because their husbands do own time. If there are repercussions,
principle behind the suggestion can not pay attention to what they say. A then he has to take the brunt of the
be adapted to suit your situation best. solution might be hidden in the detail resulting failure. Don’t just keep
You are a homemaker, a housewife, of how a thing is being said and not adding to the list, if something
you have all the tools you need to what is being said. When men are additional has to be done by him,
feel as you desire. Go ahead... told to do things in the office they do discuss well in advance and ensure
it without question because it is part that he has understood his responsi-
Respect your responsibility: of their job profile. So, the earlier you bility. Remember the new Airtel
Often, it is the sense of her power can define their responsibility for their advertisement? A good sexy wife is
that keeps an office woman feeling profile as a husband and a father the always prodding, never nagging.
important, this powerful feeling better is the chance that they will do
translates as her confidence and she their portion of desired work without Feel sexy about yourself: If you
exudes this successful aura that your wifely nagging. do not feel ‘sexy’ and ‘glamorous’,
emanates from her due to the aware- Sanjana says, ‘I was becoming a how do you expect others to perceive
ness of her power and responsi - book-style nag and always telling you as one! Analysis of what is
deemed sexy by you would be the
right step in that direction. Once you
understand how you want to impose
your personality on those who meet
you, it would be simpler to achieve it.
Whatever you do, and however
difficult it might seem at times, avoid
greeting your man in the evening with
greasy hair, unmade face and the
same clothes that you have been
wearing since the morning. It would
be smelling of all the cooking you
might have done and other
Besides looking physically seductive, it
is basically the positive approval
towards feeling oneness, mutual trust,
understanding each other’s
responsibilities, which make the marital
bondage strong.

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 33


Keep the mystery alive: Sugar more mature woman who is
and spice and all things nice – that is responsible for her whole home and
how men are expected to view family. ‘My husband’s attitude
women. It is this mystery about how towards me changed when I got
women are so soft and always smell really serious about being a
so nice that first attracts them to the seductive girlfriend again rather than
opposite sex. Why should we spoil a comely housewife,’ says Megha
the dream by letting them know the who is today back to her college
painful and ugly details of waxing and figure. She finds it amusing that
household chores. If you like your threading? Mukesh, her husband, has started
husband to freshen up when he Monica says, ‘I never brush my behaving like a boyfriend again,
comes back from work, he too would teeth, colour or streak my hair, wax surprising her with little gifts and
like to greet a fresh and pretty my legs or put my face pack when singing romantic songs for her.
woman when he returns home. my husband is around. We have Be it Malaika Arora Khan or
Your husband is the most been married for almost 6 years now Madhuri Dixit Nene – these girls are
important man in your life – show him but he has never known how I maintaining their figures with a lot of
that and he will love you that much manage to remain so “smooth and hard work and effort. Getting a loving
more for your effort. And remember, sexy” as my husband calls me. At and rich husband is a lot easier than
no piling of the boring housewife times, it is difficult because you share keeping him interested in you after
duties details on him the moment he the same space and he has seen all marriage. A good sexy silhouette
asks. When somebody asks you the ugly patches of my life but he definitely is the right step in the
‘How are You’, it is polite to say – does not need to know how I slogged correct direction.
Fine Thank you. When your husband in the gym to get my figure back after There are expensive classes
says How was Your Day, what he our son was born and I was 11 kilos being run in countries like Russia for
really means is that he hopes you heavier. women to practise being a sexy
had a good day but it would be Useful Tip : Be the mysterious housewife. Everywhere in the world it
routine so ask him how his day was woman who is worthy of constant is important for a woman to be able
instead. Of course, it does not mean pursuit, not quiet acceptance. Think to keep a body that makes her feel
you never share the burden of your of your husband as a man first and good and allows her to wrap her man
problems, just find the right time and husband later and he will reciprocate around her shapely little finger.
place for it. by thinking of you as a sexy woman Useful Tip: It is not an easy job if
In the recent movie Sex and the first and a housewife later. you have let your body take a natural
City a very telling moment was when course and piled on weight but make
the husband and wife are making Worship your body: Before that first step and the rest will follow.
love and the husband wants variety marriage when you see a perfect Dieting does not ever work on its own
of posture while the wife tells him to dress, and find that it is just a bit as it might lead to binging later on.
‘get it over with’. Little wonder that tight, you do some serious dieting Follow a sensible diet and make your
such a husband finds a sexier and exercises to fit into that body work to a regime that is suitable
woman outside the marriage. dress. After marriage, such to your lifestyle and budget. Even if
Useful Tip : Just because you dresses and outfits, even if you feel you are not ‘fat’ or ‘obese’ it
are a housewife does not mean purchased or gifted, are kept is good to start early rather than wait
you forget to dress sexy. Get at the farthest corner of the for problems to show up. Physical
that new lingerie, acquire that wardrobe and there is hardly fitness if also about energy and
heady sexy perfume, keep ever a regime that women toning your body – select from a bevy
your hands and feet feeling follow. Food is often piled of possibilities including but not
un-calloused. Learn how on the plate with the limited to Gym, Yoga, Dance,
to enjoy the thrill of sex concept of ‘better eaten Walking, any other sport of choice.
with your man. Initiate than thrown’ and this Remember, it is your right to feel
the odd sexual contact, ends up as inches on and look sexy as a woman. Nobody
don’t just want for our waist and thighs – but you can take that right away from
him to make the first basically all the wrong yourself. Your being a housewife will
move. A satis - places. work in your favour for feeling ‘sexy’
factory and varied While yo-yo as you can manage your sleep and
sex life is very dieting is not food much better than a working
important to you recommended at woman. The Sexy Housewife is not a
feeling sexy and any age, it is dream – it just needs some effort, but
desirable. particularly the results will be yours forever to
Take charge. destructive as a enjoy. We

34 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


QA &
I wonder how to use neem in my
home remedies, I would hate to pay
My husband wants to use a face
scrub but finds that after a shave his
exorbitant amounts for something skin is too soft and before a shave it
that grows in my backyard. I have scratches his own beard. How should
normal skin and reasonable hair. men exfoliate?
How can I use neem? Why not pamper him with a spa
Yes, neem’s curative and beauty facial at least once so he gets used
qualities have been recognised and to the movement of fingers on his
are being celebrated the world over. face. Men need to focus more on the
The easiest way is to collect the forehead, nose and cheeks where
leaves and boil them, strain the water there is no facial hair.
and use that as the last rinse after a After a shave the skin is a bit
bath. Alternatively, you can soak the sensitive and it is wrong to exfoliate

Q&
leaves and then grind them. Mix with at that time. He can soften his beard
oatmeal powder, add a few drops of in the morning by placing a towel
honey and use as exfoliation or dipped in hot water to soften the
mixed with papaya in a face pack. beard. Even then, the movement
Is there a way to hurry up the need not be against the hair growth.
bursting of a bad pimple after it gets Also, he can do his facial regimen in
a head? The yellow head looks very I work in a centrally-heated office and the evening when the skin is not so
ugly. wear make-up. However, when I feel soft and there is a beard but not hard.
You can take a bit of cotton, soak dryness on my face I want to use a
it in warm salt water and hold it on moisturiser but cannot because it
the blemish for five minutes. The harms the make-up. What do I do? My younger sister who studies at
white head should dissolve. However, Change your make-up to suit the night is beginning to get dark circles.
it is best to do this in the evening season. Instead of a matt finish She also spends a lot of time in front
rather than morning as the raw area foundation use a moisturiser that is of the computer. Can there be
would then need to be covered in tinted. Use a cream blush and cream something remedial at her age so her
some anti-inflammatory and antiseptic eyeshadow. The areas that feel the dark circles do not get worse? She

A
ointment to avoid infection. stretch of dryness the maximum are is 17 years old.
around the mouth. Use a lip balm Unless dark circles are a family
before applying lipstick and when you trait, if she is getting them due to
I have a very uneven skin tone and wish to apply a moisturiser, go to the reduced sleep they should disappear
want to learn how to use the bathroom where you may remove the when she gets full rest. However, she
concealing stick for maximum benefit. lipstick. Apply balm on mouth and can use a home pack of potato juice
For an even look the concealer moisturiser around it before and cucumber juice in equal amount,
should be used only on imperf - reapplying the lipstick. Also, around applied around the eyes and left for
ections. Never use it around the your hairline on the forehead use a 15 minutes before washing off with
eyelids as that gives a flat, heavy light lotion formulation to avoid any plain water.
look. Always blend it well before shine. Drink a lot of water to keep the If she does not have oily skin she
applying your foundation which skin glowing in winter. We often can also apply some olive oil or
should be the correct shade and reduce the water intake when we almond oil at night before going to bed.
again blended well with either a wet actually need as much, if not more Just a drop that is dabbed with a finger
sponge or with a good brush. than what we drink in summer. rather than rubbed in like cream.

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 35


I AM PROUD
week ago I was visiting one

A
of the wonders of the
world, the Taj Mahal. I
bought a ticket and stood
in line to enter, only to be

TO BE AN told very rudely by the


person at the gate that I

INDIAN
had taken an Indian ticket
and was to have taken a
foreigner ticket. I told him I
am an Indian. He looked at me in
utter disbelief, and said, “NRI... You
How an Indian in India has to NRI,” in whatever context he meant.
My husband, an officer of the Indian
prove she is an Indian to Indians – Army, lost his temper and asked the
person what an “Indian” would look
and to foreigners as well! like, and whether he can prove his
Indianness. The man stared at us.
By Smrithi Poornachandra nee Rumdali Rai Yes, we make a strange pair. My
husband is a short, dark Telugu from
Hyderabad and I am a stocky,
“chinky” Gorkha from
Darjeeling, which is
in West Bengal.
(And no! I am
not a Bong.)
This is a
common thing
that keeps happening to us whenever of some scantily clad females “No, I am not! I am an Indian
we go visiting any place of interest cavorting in a pool with a male is Gorkha,” one protests.
like a museum or heritage site. The thrust under my nose. The weary day Then follows a long discussion
funny thing is that people with what goes on. over Darjeeling, whether it originally
one calls “Aryan” or “Dravidian” No! I don’t want anything. I am just belonged to Nepal or to Sikkim. Or
features are never questioned even if here to see the sights of my country – was it No Man’s Land?
they take an “Indian ticket.” One okay? And no again! I am not a weird “Look, I don’t know and I don’t
could be from Bangladesh, Pakistan, firangi who would want to lug home care. As far as I am concerned, I am
Sri Lanka or the Persian Gulf, and some cow or yak bells, ghungroos, an Indian – okay? Generations of my
never be asked annoying questions. conch shells or a peacock-feather family have lived and died serving the
Seeking entry into a museum in fan. I support wildlife country as armymen since
Chennai, I had to produce an identity conser vation, and am the British times. And I
card before the lady gave me a ticket. against any wildlife A brief silence, can boast of an MC and
She had asked me if I was from product being bought or and then Bar (Military Cross won
Russia! sold. Of course, I don’t begins the twice), an IDSM (Indian
Hanging around any tourist spot want any other “Indian” hostility, “Oh Distinguished Service
is dangerous for me. stuff that no decent Indian yes, all Indians Medal) and an MM
“Madam, this Indian Art would be seen dead in a are crafty. They (Military Medal) in my
Madhubani painting you want?” ditch with. And I definitely family. My great-grandma
“Interesting book, Kamasutra, you don’t know what I would
claim our
was also given a medal by
look?” do with those leather people as their the British for having sent
“Want to buy? Indian god whips... I am a practicing own. Why, they all three of her sons into
Ganesha, brings good-luck?” Buddhist! even claim that war for British India.
(Ganesha, by the way, doesn’t look It is easy to laugh it off the Buddha is Neither my parents nor my
too happy with the guitar he is after the incident, but it’s an Indian! He grandparents were from
carrying. Talk about Indian designer not funny when it is was a Shakya Nepal. So there, I am an
gods!) happening, and one’s Indian.”
“This, Mughal Art...” and a picture temper is already frayed
Prince, A brief silence, and
by the heat and the noise meaning a then begins the hostility,
and dust. This is because Nepali.” “Oh yes, all Indians are
I come from Darjeeling, a crafty. They claim our
cool hill- station, and like all hill people as their own. Why, they even
people I find it difficult to bear the claim that the Buddha is an Indian!
heat of the plains. It is not because I He was a Shakya Prince, meaning a
live in a phoren land with air- Nepali.”
conditioning everywhere. Tradesmen “They even claim Mount
apart, it is a crying shame that places Kanchendzonga as theirs!”
visited by scores of Indians and Umm... well let’s not get into
foreign tourists are manned by such arguments here. Not with friendly
ignorant people: people who have no neighbours with whom we share
idea of the various dimensions of more than just borders. One changes
“Indian.” All in the name of serving the subject, and steers the
the tourist trade. Atithi Devo Bhava! conversation to an uncontroversial
Hey, hang on a minute. The topic.
identity crisis transcends borders. Let
us move to another place. Hmm...
Let’s not go very far. We’ll stop by at CHANGE OF SCENE
our friendly neighbourhood Nepal. A change of scene again, this time
The first lines they say when we to the Tribhuvan International Airport,
meet, “Oh, you are a Nepali.” Kathmandu. The immigration officer
“No, I am an Indian.” is glaring at this impudent “Nepali”
“What?! How can you be an who insists she is an Indian, and has
Indian?” even committed the sin of holding an
“I come from Darjeeling, you Indian passport, that too issued by
know! And it is in India.” the Indian embassy in Bhutan.
“Ah, Darjeeling! Darjeeling was a “Your passport is Indian.”
part of Nepal once upon a time, you “Yes. That’s because I happen to
know. So you are a Nepali.” be an Indian.”

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 41


“Your husband is an Indian, you “Did you say you were an Indian?” January killed her, and a kind Indian
mean.” “Yes, I did.” man adopted me. He took me to live
“I mean I am an Indian and so is He looks incredulous, “India! in Darjeeling where I have lived ever
he, but I was an Indian before I even Which part?” since. That’s the only home I have
met him.” I decide to get smart... known.”
He scowls furiously, scribbles “Hyderabad.” “Oooooooohhhh...Darjeeling!
something on a piece of paper and “Hyderabad?” Isn’t it where the tea comes from,
tells me that I have to get a letter “Yes, Hyderabad. What about Janet?”
from the Indian embassy. A letter you?” “Yes, it is indeed. Did you know it
telling him that the embassy does not “Chennai. Adayar. But you are was the British who set up the tea
have a problem with me visiting my from Hyderabad?! Where in plantations in Darjeeling, when they
sister in Brunei. All my papers are in Hyderabad?” ruled India?”
order. I have never heard of such a “A place called Malkajgiri.” There “No, ma’am, I do not. I don’t know
rule. Just too bad, I guess. are no words to describe the look on much about Indian history. I am a
The plane takes off for Bangkok his face. I decide I have had enough Baarvaarian you know.”
without me that day. My sister is mad fun. So I tell him, “My husband is a “But you were born and have lived
at me for having missed the flight, as Telugu from Hyderabad.” in India all your life. And that means
it meant I missed the connecting “Ah!” he looks relieved. “So, where you are an Indian!”
flight to Brunei too. are you from? Thailand? Yippppeeeeeeee! Someone said
Philippines?” it at last! I am an Indian!
“No. From Darjeeling in West I can die a happy woman now!
AT THE INDIAN EMBASSY Bengal, and no, I am not a Bengali.” I am an Indian, a Gorkha from
I land up at the Indian embassy, He looks at me suspiciously, “Can Darjeeling. Darjeeling is a hill-station
where thankfully the staff is intelligent you speak Hindi?” in West Bengal and the local
enough not to ask stupid questions. “No, I don’t speak Hindi, because population essentially consists of
They have no problem with me going where I come from we all speak in Gorkhas with a sprinkling of Tibetans.
to Brunei – why would they? They the local language, which is Nepali.” The local language is Nepali, but a
ask rather indignantly. The helpful His eyes light up, “Oh! So you are brand which is a little different from
embassy official says I can sue the from Nepal then!” Here we go again, that spoken in Nepal. The second
immigration officer when I return. with the existential question: Who am most popular language is English.
Very sweet of him, but I have to re- I? This is due to the strong British
schedule my flight and hope like hell This time around I am at a jungle influence from the days of the Raj
my sister has cooled off. resort in the Royal Chitwan National and not because we want to “ape the
Let me go a little further, this time Park in Nepal, working as a guest West.” A few people do understand
to Brunei. Here, I am in a swimming relation officer. There are many and speak Bengali, because
pool in a hotel. It is a beautiful guests from all over the world, but a Darjeeling is politically a part of West
country with a great ambience and large number of them are from Bengal.
very nice people. England. I brief them about The local language, however, is
The Bruneian the dos and don'ts in the still Nepali as every Gorkhali tribe
lifeguard talks to me in jungle and on the safari. has its own language. There are the
Malay. I shake my head Let me go a After the briefing is over one Khumbus, Limboos, Magars,
and say, “I don’t little further, nice young lady asks me, Gurungs and Newars, to name but a
understand. Me Indian.” this time to “Are you from England?” few.
He smiles angelically Brunei. Here, “No, I am from India?” What is called the Nepali
and winks, “Me British.” “India! You mean to say language (recognised by the Indian
He laughs and then
I am in a you are an Indian?!” There’s constitution in 1986) is actually called
asks seriously, “You swimming that look again! Parbatae Bhasha (meaning language
from Thailand?” pool in a I let go this time. “No, of the hills) by the locals. It serves as
“No, I am an Indian hotel. It is a ma’am. I only live in India. I a link language to a race that has
from India.” am a brown Baarvaarian more than 16 tribal languages.
beautiful
He looks back with from the high altitude We are of Tibet-Mongoloid stock
the same disbelieving country with Tibetan plateau of Mustang. and hence we are short, stocky and
look that follows this a great When the Shangs attacked flat-featured, and “chinky.” People
statement of mine. He is ambience my tribe, my mother ran all may want to dispute the finer points
not alone. A nice looking and very nice the way to India. There I of language and race and origin but
South Indian man was born in a yak-herder’s one thing stands firm. We are all
splutters in the pool people. shelter in the mountains. Indians and proud of it. So give us a
beside me. The cold snows of Maagh in break here. We

42 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


at hyderabad march 2009.

102 Nations, 76 National newspaper associations,. 1500 Plus esteemed Owners / Editors
…More than18000 publications.

62nd World Newspaper Congress


16th World Editors Forum
Info Services Expo 2009
Adapradamanmousse

RECIPES FROM
Enjoy these recipes from
Chef Subin Michal of
Kerala
Kumarakom Lake Resort For Adapradaman:
in Kerala. The resort is
ADAPRADAMAN 200 ml coconut milk (3 extracts)

known for its authentic MOUSSE 25 gm rice pasta


50 gm jaggery sauce
INGREDIENTS: cardamom powder to taste
Kerala food and most of 50 ml cooking cream dry ginger powder to taste
the recipes have been 3 no egg yolk 10 gm cashew nut
25 gm sugar 10 ml ghee
created by the Executive 15 gm gelatin METHOD
Chef himself especially 100 gm whipping cream Mix egg yolk, sugar and add
100 gm adapradaman hot cooking cream. Make it into a
for you. By Roma Ghosh (Payasam) custard consistency.

44 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


1 raw mango (medium size)
5 whole red chilli
5 Kashmiri chilli
1/ tsp turmeric powder
2
5 gm sliced ginger
5 gm sliced garlic
1 pinch fenugreek
1 pinch fennel
100 gm sliced shallots
5 gm mustard seeds
1 pinch curry leaves
10ml tamarind juice
25 ml coconut oil
salt to taste
METHOD
Make a fine paste of grated
Alleppey prawn curry
coconut, raw mango, whole red
chilli, Kashmiri chilli and fennel
and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add
fenugreek, mustard, and curry
leaves to crackle.
Then add sliced ginger, garlic,
shallots, then saute till brown;
then add pasted coconut masala
and tamarind juice.
Cook the gravy for about five
minutes and add prawns into the
gravy. Add salt to taste; Cook it
well in masala and finish it with
the tempering.
Tempering: Heat oil and add
sliced shallots, mustard seeds,
curry leaves and whole red chilli.
Accompaniment: Appam,
Appam Kerala rice, Steamed Rice.
Preparation and Cooking
Add melted gelatin and Once the second milk is Time: 30 minutes.
Adapradaman and mix it well. reduced, add the first extract of
Again, mix with whipping coconut milk. Add the cardamom
cream.
Keep the mixture refrigerated
powder and ginger to it for taste.
Finish it with fried cashew nuts
APPAM
INGREDIENTS:
for 45 minutes. and small coconut strips.
500 gm rice flour/raw rice
Preparation of adapradaman:
25 gm semolina (rawa)
Boil the rice pasta in water.
5 gm yeast
After it is cooked well add the
jaggery sauce. ALLEPPEY 1 tsp sugar
Once the water is all reduced,
add the third extract of coconut
PRAWN CURRY ½ coconut milk
water to mix
INGREDIENTS: salt to taste
milk.
Once that is reduced, add the 400 gm tiger prawns 20c METHOD
1/ grated coconut
second extract of coconut milk. 2 If using the raw rice, soak the

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 45


rice for 2 hours and make a fine stick Appam Kadai or in a For short cut pastry:
paste of it without adding too traditional Appam Kadai. 100 gm refined flour
much of water. 50 gm butter
If using the rice flour, mix with 25 gm sugar
water (make sure that you don’t
make a very thin batter, you have
BAKED GULAB 1 egg white

to maintain the consistency of the JAMUN CHEESE METHOD:


Sheet the short cut pastry and
batter. Heat little water and cook
the semolina, without forming CAKE put it in a tart base. Mix the cream
cheese and sugar and cream it
lumps. Allow to cool a little and INGREDIENTS:
well. Add egg, refined flour,
mix with the rice flour batter, add 250 gm cream cheese
butter, vanilla essence and mix
salt, sugar and yeast Keep for a 75 gm sugar
well.
minimum of 6-8 hours to 2 eggs
Add the crushed Gulab Jamun.
ferment. Once it is properly 6 gulab jamun
Put the mixture in a tart base
fermented, add coconut milk and 25 gm maida O
and bake it in 180 C for 20 minutes.
keep for another half an hour. vanilla essence few drops
Start making Appam in a non- 50 gm Butter
BANANA
FLOWER CUTLET
INGREDIENTS:
1 banana flower
15 gm chopped ginger
2 medium-sized onions, chopped
2 green chillies chopped
5 gm cumin seeds
coriander leaves chopped
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp powdered cumin
oil for frying
2 boiled potatoes
200 gm bread crumbs
a small bunch of curry leaves
salt to taste
METHOD
Baked gulab jamun cheese cake Heat oil. Temper the cumin
seeds and add chopped ginger,
Banana flower cutlet green chillies, onions, curry
leaves and coriander leaves.
Saute. Add the chopped banana
flower, powdered turmeric, garam
masala and powdered cumin and
mix well. Remove from heat and
check seasoning. Mash potatoes
and add to the mix, and blend
well. Make round and flat patties
from the mix and dip the patties in
bread crumbs. Deep fry till golden
brown. Garnish with fried curry
leaves.
Accompaniment: Tomato sauce
Preparation time: 1 hour
2 green chilli sliced
1 pinch garam masala
salt to taste
METHOD
Remove the outer skin of the
jackfruit seeds and clean it
properly. Cut them into strips.
Heat the coconut oil in a pan.
Crackle the mustard seeds and
put sliced coconut and make it
into golden brown colour. Then
add ginger, garlic, green chilli,
Chakka kuru ularthiyathu onion and saute well.
Add masala powders and curry
1 pinch curry leaves leaves. Then add the jackfruit
CHAKKA KURU 200 gm jackfruit seed seed. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes
ULARTHIYATHU 10 gm sliced coconut
10 ml coconut oil
in a closed pan with salt.
Correct the seasoning, add a
INGREDIENTS: 5 gm mustard seed pinch of garam masala.
2 sliced onion 1 tsp coriander powder Serve it hot.
5 gm julienne ginger 1 tsp red chilli powder Cooking Time: 25 Minutes
5 gm julienne garlic 1 pinch turmeric powder Accompaniments: Kerala rice
Karimeen pollichathu

KARIMEEN
POLLICHATHU
INGREDIENTS:
1 whole karimeen (pearl spot
fish) of 250-300 gm
150 ml fresh coconut milk
1 pinch curry leaves
1 banana leaf
salt to taste
For the marinade:
10 gm ginger-garlic paste
juice of one lemon
½ tsp crushed peppercorns
1 tsp vinegar Konchu roast
3 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder heat it. Place the banana leaf on required consistency. Check the
½ tsp turmeric powder it. Gently lower the marinated fish fish with a pointed pick and if it
½ garam masala on to the leaf and top it with a few comes out clean, remove the fish
salt to taste curry leaves. from the fire and serve it on a
Mix the ingredients of the Add a portion of the coconut plate still wrapped in the banana
marinade together to form a milk and salt and cover the fish leaf.
paste. completely with the ends of the Garnish: Onion rings and
METHOD banana leaf. lemon wedges.
Clean fish. Make lengthwise Allow the fish to cook on one Accompaniments: Steamed
cuts on either side and apply the side for about 5 minutes, then turn rice, Kerala rice or Appam.
marinade all over the fish. Keep it around and repeat the same Preparation time: 30 minutes
aside for 30 minutes. Pour a few procedures, cooking for 5 minutes marination time and 20 minutes
drops of oil in a wok or kadai and more. Allow the milk to reduce to to cook.

48 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


KONCHU ROAST
INGREDIENTS:
400 gm jumbo prawns (Scampi)
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
5 gm julienne ginger
5 gm chopped garlic
1 sliced onion
2 tomato chopped
1 kokum (julienne)
1 pinch fenugreek
a pinch methi powder
½ coconut milk
100 gm sliced shallots
5 gm mustard seeds
1 pinch curry leaves
25 ml coconut oil
salt to taste
METHOD
Clean the scampi and keep
aside. Heat oil in a pan, add
fenugreek, mustard, and curry
leaves to crackle
Then add julienne ginger,
garlic, onions and then sauté till Kuttanadan duck roast
brown; then add the masalas and
tomato and cook for 3 minutes
1 tsp julienne garlic Finish it with the tempering
more. Add the kokum and cook
½ cup sliced shallots Tempering: Heat oil and add
the gravy for about five minutes
few curry leaves sliced shallots, mustard seeds,
and add prawns into the gravy.
2 tsp coriander powder curry leaves.
Add salt to taste; Cook it well in
½ tsp turmeric powder Accompaniment: Appam,
masala and add the coconut milk
1 tsp crushed pepper Kerala rice, Steamed Rice.
and methi powder. Finish the
5 gm mustard seeds
gravy with the tempering.
25 ml coconut oil
Tempering: Heat oil and add
sliced shallots, mustard seeds,
1 coconut milk
a pinch garam masala
MEEN
curry leaves and whole red chilli.
Accompaniment: Appam,
salt to taste VEVICHATHU
Kerala rice, Steamed Rice. METHOD INGREDIENTS:
Preparation and Cooking Heat oil and crackle the 300 gm seer fish/seabral fillet
Time: 30 minutes mustard seeds, put ginger, garlic, (cubes)
shallots and curry leaves and 5 gm julienne ginger
sauté till golden brown. 5 gm julienne garlic
Add the masala powders and 1 sliced onion
KUTTANADAN put the duck pieces and water 1 pinch curry leaves
DUCK ROAST and cook well.
Then add coconut milk and
¼ tsp fenugreek
10 ml coconut oil
INGREDIENTS: make the gravy to a thick 5 gm mustard seed
250 gm boneless duck pieces consistency. Put garam masala 1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp julienne ginger and correct the seasoning. 3 tsp red chilli powder

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 49


1 pinch turmeric powder METHOD Keep aside.
2 pieces kokum On a slow fire, fry the rice flour Make a very thick roast masala
1 cup water for 5-8 minutes. of vegetables with the above
salt to taste Allow to cool a little and add ingredients.
METHOD salt. Take the puttu vessel and
Crackle the mustard seeds and Mix with lukewarm water and place the strainer at the bottom
fenugreek in hot oil and add make sure that it is added little by and start filling the rice flour
ginger, garlic, curry leaves and little. mixture, grated coconut and the
sliced onion. Without forming the lumps mix vegetable mixture layer by layer
Saute till it gets a golden brown nicely and check by holding it in till the top.
colour and then add the masala hand, whether the rice flour is Once it is done properly, cover
powders, again sauté for 2 binding together. the vessel and place it on top of
minutes more.
Add water and kokum and Meen vevichathu
cook for 6 minutes more.
Add fish cubes and salt and
cook for 10 minutes more.
Once the fish is cooked, check
the salt and check for the
consistency of gravy.
Serve it hot with Appam or
Kappa
Cooking Time: 25 Minutes

VEGETABLE
PUTTU
INGREDIENTS:
For Puttu:
500 gm rice flour
1 grated coconut Vegetable puttu
salt to taste
For Vegetable:
15 gm chopped ginger
2 onion chopped
2 green chilli chopped
1 small bunch curry leaves
5 gm mustard seeds
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
salt to taste
15 ml oil
1 potato
1 carrot
2 beans
50 gm cauliflower
a pinch garam masala
a pinch cumin powder

50 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


Vegetable biryani

the puttu vessel and let the steam 2 tsp of ginger paste the mustard, curry leaves, chillies,
to through the filling. 2 tsp of garlic paste garlic and ginger paste and fry for
Steam for a maximum of 10 2 onion sliced into thin strips 1-2 minutes, stirring all the time.
minutes and have it hot. 2 tsp of raisins Lower the heat and mix in the
Since there is vegetable mixed 2 tsp of cashew nuts vegetables and fry for 1-2 minutes
with the rice flour another curry is salt to taste more.
not required to eat the puttu. METHOD Add the rice and mix gently
Garnish: Fried Curry Leaves Wash the rice and soak it in and cover with a lid or secure with
Preparation time: 20 minutes water for 15-20 minutes. In a aluminum foil. Place the pan on
Cooking time: 10 minutes thick-bottomed pan boil two cups very low heat or on live coal. Just
N.B of rice and add salt to taste. Add before serving garnish with the
Also instead of vegetable mix, the soaked rice (without the cashew nuts and raisins and
this can be made with a prawn water) and cook on low fire till all serve piping hot.
mix or even a meat mix the water is absorbed and the rice
is cooked.
To prepare the vegetables: CURD RICE
VEGETABLE string the beans and cut into one-
inch pieces. Scrape the carrots
INGREDIENTS:
BIRYANI and cut into pieces. Finely grate
2 cups of cooked rice
1/ cup curd
INGREDIENTS: the cabbage. 2
1 cup of Basmati rice Parboil the vegetables till 1 cup of milk
2 cups of water tender but not overcooked, in a 1 tsp of butter
2 cups of vegetables which will microwave or in a cup of salted 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
include beans, carrots and water. Drain out all the water and fried in oil and powdered
shredded cabbage, peas or any keep aside. salt to taste
of these Heat the ghee and fry the For seasoning:
3 tbsp of ghee onions. Lift out from the pan and 2 tsp of gingelly oil
1/ tsp of mustard seeds keep aside. In the same pan fry 1/ tsp of mustard seeds
2 2
2 green chillies split into two the cashews and raisins. Lift and 2 green chillies sliced into
halves keep aside. In the same pan add halves

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 51


3 tsp of ginger-garlic
paste
2 pinches of fenugreek
powder
1 cup oil
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1/ tsp of haldi powder
4
2 tomatoes cut into
quarters or pieces
1 tsp of vinegar and half
tsp of sugar mixed
together
salt to taste
METHOD
Boil the chicken in two
cups of water, vinegar
and salt to taste. Cook till
the chicken is half tender
Curd rice and one cup of the gravy
remain.
Chicken peralan Mix together the chilli
powder, coriander
powder and the ginger
garlic and the fenugreek
powder . Keep this paste
aside.
Heat oil and add the
mustard seeds and allow
to splutter.
Add the onions and
fry till light golden
brown.
Remove the onions
and keep aside. In the
same oil add the
tomatoes and green
chillies and saute for 2
minutes and keep aside.
In the same oil sauté
the half-cooked chicken
CHICKEN
1/
2 tsp of ginger cut into small pieces till it turns golden
pieces or in strands brown.
1 dried red chilli
curry leaves
PERALAN Now mix in the gravy obtained
INGREDIENTS: while boiling the chicken, haldi
METHOD 1 kg chicken cut into 12 pieces powder, browned onions, vinegar
Mix together the rice, milk, or 700 gm of boneless chicken and sugar mixture, tomatoes and
butter, hing and salt cut into medium pieces green chillies and cook over
Heat the oil and add all the 2 tsp of ginger strands medium heat for 2-3 minutes
ingredients for the tempering. 2 tsp vinegar more and remove when the
Allow to splutter and pour over the 3 tsp of chilli powder or less as chicken preparation is neither too
rice mixture. per taste dry or wet.
Serve with chicken curry. 2 tsp of coriander powder Serve with curd rice. We

52 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


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Q
I am 16 years old. My problem is that premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It is
I get unbearable pain during my due to a hormonal imbalance in
periods. Previously, I used to take which too little progesterone is
two tablets of aspirins but now these available to counteract the increased
also do not have any effect. Please amounts of oestragon in the body. In
advise. addition there is water retention as
Pain during menstruation (before well as changes in chemicals in the
and during) is quite usual in young brain. It would be better if you see
unmarried girls. This is a result of your doctor in this regard who will be
hormonal changes which are able to advise your accordingly.

Q
released during this period. It would
be better if you increase the dose of
analgesics and take it twice or thrice a I am 30 years old and pregnant.
day. If the problem is still not solved, There is a case of measles in the

Q&
you better see your doctor. Many neighbourhood. I am very worried.
times oral contraceptive pills help. Should I go for a vaccination? Please

Q
advise.
Getting measles in a pregnant
I am 30 years old and on oral pills. woman is fraught with great risks of
But now I want to conceive. What is miscarriage or premature birth. At the
required as far as drugs are same time, it is not advisable to go
concerned? for live virus vaccine because of
If you are wanting to conceive, various complications associated with
then you will obviously have to stop it. At this stage, I would not advise
I am 40 years old and suffer from taking the pill. It is wiser to use you to go for a vaccination.

Q
aches and pains in my body. My another method of contraception after
doctor has diagnosed it to be stopping the pill for three months.
osteoporosis. What should I do? Then only should you plan to I am 20 years old and unmarried. I
Osteoporosis means less calcium conceive. This is important since it have the habit of sleep-walking and I
in your bones. Unfortunately, many will give you body time to react to its have injured myself many times. I am
women do not take enough of this natural rhythm. Some women who do going to get married soon. Please
mineral in their diet when they are not follow this precaution are likely to help.
young. Women who have drunk milk suffer from an increased risk of You should see a doctor in this
in sufficient quantity leading an active multiple pregnancies and its regard because sleep-walking may
physical life do not suffer from this associated complications. be a sign of epilepsy or of a condition

Q
malady. called sleep apnea. Only after

A
When osteoporosis has already relevant tests can you be treated. In
developed then taking enough of I am 20 years old and have the meanwhile do not sleep at night
calcium (800 mg per day) along with developed genital warts. I have taken without a companion who should be
vitamin D (both from diet and treatment many times but they recur able to keep an eye on you so that
sunlight) as well as leading an active again. Please advise. you do not hurt yourself. Marriage
physical life is important. Genital warts are caused by the can be planned once your problem is
human papilloma virus (HPV) and are under control.
most commonly a result of sexual — Dr S. N. Khosla, MD.
I am 28 years old and married. contact. In some cases spontaneous
Recently, I noticed excessive growth resolution takes place but since you
of hair on my breast round about the
areola and nipples. I am worried.
are getting it repeatedly, this requires
looking into. There is always the
YOUR BODY
Readers are invited to send in any health
Please advise. danger of these warts resulting in and medical queries they would like to
Growth of hair round about the a cancerous condition of the be answered. Woman’s Era will provide
nipples and areola is normal and is genitalia. answers to your questions and offer
present in many women. This has to solutions to your problems. Individual

Q
be seen in relation to hair growth in replies cannot be sent. Address your
letters (neatly written on white paper) to:
other parts of the body. If this is I am 28 years old. Before the onset of
excessive then it only means a menstruation, I get very irritable and WOMAN'S ERA,
hormonal imbalance for which certain depressed. I want to get out of my E-3, Jhandewala Estate,
tests have to be carried out. This will problem. Please help. New Delhi-110055.
Womansera.com
be done by your doctor. What you suffer from is called
Q U I Z
70
1Q
To deal with the pain that your
ex-boyfriend left behind, you did
this to ease the pain...
a. Just kept to myself.
b. Jumped into a new relationship.
c. Hung out with friends.

2Q
While in a new relationship you
would talk to your ex-boyfriend
behind your boyfriend’s back and
talked about a future together or a
whole lot of “what if’s”...
a. We talked only for closure, to set each
other straight.
b. Yes.

?
c. We talked but not necessarily about us.

EX-BOYFRIENDS Q When you are in your ex-boyfriend’s

IN A NEW RELATIONSHIP
3 surroundings you think of him...
a. I think of our good times together.
b. I think of him only because his
surrounding is a sore spot for me.
When it comes to ex-boyfriends we c. Sometimes, not really.
can’t completely shake them off as
well as we’d like, even when we
are in a new relationship. How
normal is it to think of an ex when
you’re with someone else?
d in the
entries will be publisheera
Sforelethccteomd ing issue of Woman’s . Look ou
for the 28 February 2009 issue
t &
Answer the questions win a grand prize...

Last date for sending entries: 15 February 2009


ur friendfor a better
Achattance
ch a photograph of yoma
of fea tur ing in Wo n’s era

W in a
Grand

Prize
Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 65
4Q 8Q
I talk to – even after me and him Do you use your ex-boyfriend
broke up... to make your present
a. Classmate boyfriend jealous?
b. An old friend of his that became a mutual a. I do to get back at him, but I use an
friend. ex who didn’t mean a thing.
c. His best friend. b. Moderately, only if he brings up his
ex-girlfriend however.
c. Yes, and half the truth comes out

5Q
What parts of your relationship with with it.
your ex do you think most about?
a. Our sexual experiences.

9Q
b. Just the summary of the relationship What part of the relationship with
without going in depth. your ex hurt the most, and you still
c. Good times. recall with that little pang of pain?
a. Feeling that I got nothing out of it
and I’m missing something.

6Q
How do you react when someone b. Not getting the proper closure
speaks of considering dating your I needed.
ex again. c. Not being with him any more,
seeing him any more.
a. I look at the pros and cons.
b. I think about trying again after I’m
done with this boyfriend.
c. I think I’m better off not knowing.
Scoring Terms and Conditions:
Don’t you hate those artificial quizzes that

7Q
To this day can you still find the love only have one obvious right answer? Since we don’t
you had for him, how do you feel know about your personal life, these questions could
now that you aren’t together any work out, depending on one’s personality and
interactions. And you could probably come up with
more. Can you still remember the better answers!
love that is lost?
a. I remember it and it still sends Prove that you are aware of this trivia.
butterflies through my tummy. Send us the coupon with your photo along
b. I acknowledge it as love, but have no with the correct answers.
feelings any more.
c. I feel good knowing that I have Name
experienced love and can check that Age
off my list. Address

PIN
Phone: E-mail

Winner Occupation

of Don’t forget to attach a photograph


Friendship 1. Mark the answers and send us the cutting of

Quiz this quiz along with this coupon. The last date is
15 February 2009. So hurry up and post it now.
Contest - 67 2. The decision of the editor will be final. 3. Depict
your true self only. 4. Send a photograph of your
Dr Atma Ram Bansal own. It may be printed in Woman’s Era, along with
C/o Hari Dutt Bhatt the results. Send to: Woman’s Era, Delhi Press,
(infront of Rajdhani Wedding Hall), E-3, Jhandewala, New Delhi-110 055.
Danda, Dharampur,
Haridwar Road, Dehradun-248001
QA &

TEEN ACHE
TEEN CHE
good-looking. I have no boyfriends.
For some years now, I have been
A
I am a 17-year-old girl, intelligent and

masturbating. I was horrified when a


harmless method of sexual release,
and it has no ill-effects on the body or
mind. If it becomes an obsession,
and precludes you from other healthy
friend mentioned that self-abuse, as social activities, it is not desirable.

Q&
she called it, could lead to insanity. I So, stop worrying. You are not going
am terrified about what I have been crazy! In the olden days, there were,
doing. Please let me know how I can indeed, myths about masturbation
Four years ago, when I was a 16- save myself from the consequences leading to insanity, impotency and
year-old schoolgirl, a boy in our of my foolish behaviour. even blindness! This has all been
neighbourhood became very friendly Your friend has misinformed you. discredited by doctors.
with me. He even seduced me one Masturbation is a safe and perfectly If you want to lessen the habit, get
evening after lacing my soft drink with involved in other activities, play
alcohol. I stopped going out with him games, join clubs, and keep busy.
after that. Now, my cousin confided in My boyfriend is a
me that she is going out with this congenital liar but he
same rogue. When I tried to tell her in is a very charming I am an attractive, 17-year-old girl.
a roundabout way that he was not a fellow. I can forgive The only thing is that I am plump, but
good sort, she refused to listen to him anything. People, everyone assures me that I am
me. Then I contacted him and however, warn me pleasantly rounded and do not look
entreated him to leave her alone. that I could end up ugly. The only one who is nagging
Instead of listening to me, he disillusioned and weeping after he me to lose at least 10 kg is my
threatened to tell everyone of the cheats me. I love him to bits and boyfriend. He is very trim and spends
past sordid episode if I interfered. can never even dream of giving at least two hours in the gym. He
What can I do? Should I leave my him up. What do you advise? threatens to ditch me if I do not slim
cousin to her fate? Since you are continuing with down. I am laid back and do not want
He may not really carry out his the relationship with your eyes to diet and exercise a lot. What

A
blackmailing threat of revealing your wide open, you are evidently should I do?
involvement with him, for it will show prepared for what could happen. If your boyfriend wants to ditch
him up as a rapist. But then again, So, the let-down, if it comes, will you because you are 10 kg
he may make you look like a girl of not be entirely unexpected and you overweight, he is not worth having!
loose morals who willingly had will not feel so very unhappy. On His values are very shallow. You will
intercourse with him. the positive side, your staunch be very stressed all the time with his
If you are really keen on saving loyalty and love could make him expectations of you. Even if you lose
your cousin from this unsavoury become truthful in all his dealings 10 kg now, what if you gain a bit later
character, you will have to take her with you at least. Who knows? on?
into confidence and tell her about Your influence could make him You must be comfortable and
how badly he has treated you. change. Don’t count on it, though! secure in a relationship, not on
Hopefully, she will thank you for Liars can mess up family lives, tenterhooks all the time. If he wanted
warning her. In case she thinks you run up debts, be unfaithful and do you to lose weight because of health
are simply being jealous and refuses many things which a woman will reasons, he could be commended,
to break off from him, there is nothing find hard to live with. All things but this is not the case.
more you can do about it. You must considered, it is difficult to If you do not want to give him up
first decide if she can be trusted with understand why you want to invite even with this attitude, join a
your disclosure, and she will not talk trouble like this. It is clear that no slimming clinic, which will help you
about it to others. If she is an one trusts this boy. You seem to slim down with professional methods.
irresponsible person, just lay off. You be simply taken in by his charming With your laid-back attitude, you
have anyway warned her adequately. ways. Think again before deciding may not be able to do this on your
The rest is up to her. on this issue. own.

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 67


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All set to enjoy with dark
the showers of brown stylish
the season in trousers and
beige-coloured the jacket, is
jacket worn certainly
over a striped going to be a
shirt and trendsetter!
coupled with
camel-coloured
trousers!

Picture perfect: Strike a pose in a


stylish chocolate brown top with
double- coloured sleeves paired
with blue denim jeans.
B O M B AY F I L M D O M

hose who think that filmfolks live fretting and fuming about it. Instead,
T in their own ivory towers and don’t
worry about what happens in society
he has given a new dimension to his
career by getting into the hotel
at large would better think again. The business with Crepe Station and at
film fraternity extended full support the same time turning a film producer.
to the peace march taken out from Good luck, Dino.
the Gateway of India to protest
the terrorists’ attack in ollywood is not only earning a lot
Mumbai. B more in foreign exchange for the
country. It seems to have come of
yesha Takia and age as far as subjects are concerned.
A Farhan Azmi who
were scheduled to get
Earlier, a film revolving around a gay
relationship between two grown-up
married on 25 December males (as shown in Dostana) would
08 postponed the marriage have drawn protests, but the film has
to the middle of next year done well, particularly in multiplexes.
because of the loss of almost And people have responded
200 lives and damage to the favourably to the chemistry between
hotel. Abhishek Bachan and John Abraham.

f Dino Morea has not yet made mitabh Bachchan cancelled his
I it big as an actor, he is not A visit to Hong Kong to participate

Dino Morea:
giving a new
dimension to
his career!

Ayesha
Takia:
marriage to
Farhan Azmi
postponed.
Priyanka Chopra: on cloud ring
these days.

bviously being one of those who


in a programme supported by former
U.S. president, Bill Clinton. Big B
said, “I don’t think it would be right
O see the better side of any
situation, Siddarth Roy Kapoor, CEO,
for me to go and sing or dance in a UTV, hopes something positive will
show-biz when my city and country emerge from this recession too, and
are bleeding.” the bubble of unrealistic prices will
burst.
hah Rukh Khan said, “It is not
S mentioned anywhere in the
Quran Sharif that those engaged in In addition to reducing prices, film-
making will have to be streamlined
jihad will go to jannat (heaven).” and made more disciplined because
Religion, he said, teaches us to be raising funds for unrealistic projects
tolerant rather than kill innocent will be more difficult as banks are
people. facing a liquidity crunch.

ith her six starrers having been


W ith global economic recession
staring us in the face, filmdom
cannot remain unaffected. Keeping Amitabh Bachchan:
W released in the last six months,
and her performances in Fashion and
cancelled his visit to Hong Kong.
the harsh economic realities in view, Dostana acclaimed, in addition to the
producers are bound to tighten their emulated by a galaxy of Bollywood films doing well at the box office,
purse strings. And many stars will stars, as well directors and Priyanka Chopra is right in describing
have to willy-nilly agree to reduce technicians. the current phase of her career very
their fees or prices. ‘exciting’.
t’s not that this is the first time that

I n this context, Sanjay Dutt’s


statement (“when the going was
Ithe question of stars reducing their
prices has been raised. It has been D ostana may well do for Abhishek
Bachan what Drona failed to do –
good, I took a handsome price, but raised many a times. But now the i.e. give his career a big push forward
now I am prepared to face a pay cut”) situation is far more grim to get into – more so since Abhishek’s perfor-
is laudable and deserves to be the groove of situational reality. mance takes the lion’s share of the

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 71


Deepika Padukone
pairs up with
Akshay Kumar in most memorable role, is a little too
From Chandni
much and too early to say. Let’s see
Chowk to China.
the film. ‘The proof of the pudding is
in eating,’ an adage says.

hen one’s film career is not


W going great guns, it’s prudent to
do something else on the side. So,
Fardeen Khan has ventured into a
real estate project in the UAE.
Wishing you good luck, Fardeen. We
are happy that you’re delighted to be
involved in an ‘exciting project’.

here are ways galore for grabbing


T roles. Katrina Kaif went to
Subhash Ghai’s house to explore the
possibility of getting a role in a Ghai
film. Told by Ghai that there was no
credit. And it hardly needs any scope for a heroine in the film,
reiteration that Abhishek needs a hit Katrina said she didn’t care about the
badly. scope. All she wants is to work with
him. Ghai was pleased with her
he dawn of the New Year, will earnestness. And so a role was
T understandably see many new
star pairs. While the Akshay Kumar
created for her in Yuvraj – and a
romantic role to boot opposite
and Deepika Padukone starrer Salman. See, where there’s a will
From Chandi Chowk to China is there’s a way.
already being canned, Vipul Amritlal
Shah has decided to pair Akshay t’s good, nay, damn good news that
with Aishwarya Rai in a film titled
Action Replay . Hopefully, the
I Prasad Productions, headed by the
redoubtable L. V. Prasad which has
chemistry between Akshay and the in the past made many social-
former Miss World will be worth oriented films, is going to start
watching. making films again after a long gap of
many years. Some of the films made
hile Indian cinegoers may have by the banner include Sharda, Chhoti
W to wait for seeing Ketan Mehta’s
biliuqual film Rang Rasiya, the film is
Bahan, Sasural, Milan and many
other neat and tidy entertainers. It’s a
doing the rounds of the world’s film Hrithik Roshan working for the cause!
measure of the quality of films made
festivals. Recently the film revolving by the company that when L. V.
around Raja Ravi Varma and his visit to the shrine involves a Prasad died in 1994, the Government
paintings was ‘superbly’ received at marathon ascent. of India released a commemorative
the London festival. postage stamp honouring the life and
elina Jaitley may not have yet achievements of this ‘Man of

H rithik Roshan has donated Rs 25


lakh to Mumbai’s Nanavati
C made it in Mumbai’s filmworld
but, surprisingly, she has gone
Cinema’. Great!

Hospital for a state-of-the art electro- international with her starrer Love nil Kapoor (who has over 100
physiology and electro-acoustic
centre where underprivileged parents
has no language in which her co-
stars include an Australian, Ben
A Hindi films to his credit) and the
mast mast girl of Hindi cinema – i.e.
will be treated at subsidised costs. Mitchel, and New Zealand’s rugby Raveena Tandon – are all set to
Laudable indeed. star Monty Beetham. Wow! make their debut in Bhojpuri films.
Raveena has already worked in
artiality for a brother is Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films.
F ilm director Madhur Bhandarkar
performed an ‘uphill task’ (literally)
when he went to Vaishno Devi to
P understandable, but when Arbaaz
says Salman’s role in Dabang to be
Obviously, Anil’s and Raveena’s
entry will give Bhojpuri films another
thank the deity for the success of his produced under the Arbaaz Khan boost.
film Fashion . Everyone knows that Productions which will be Salman’s – Deepak Puri

72 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


Katrina Kaif: The
role in Yuvraj
especially created
for her by
Subhash Ghai.
The Suitable Boy
Renu’s parents looked high and low for a match that fit their criteria —
till Arjun came up with an answer. By Susheela Menon

W
hy don’t you use your contacts in finding a The parents then turned to Renu for her opinion. “I
suitable match for Renu?” Shanta chided leave the decision to you,” she replied and left the
her brother when he visited her on a room.
holiday. “I’ll do that,” smiled Ashok, a Ashok, standing nearby, then advised, “Didi,
public relations officer in a bank. A don’t let a good proposal for such a trivial reason
fortnight later, Ashok rang up his sister and go. Instead, count the boy’s plus points. He is tall,
said, “Didi, I have a wonderful proposal handsome, well educated and well placed.”
for Renu. But the boy and his parents wish to see the But Shanta and Anand stuck to their views. And
girl tomorrow itself since they are leaving for Kolkata when the boy’s father approached Ashok after a
the day after.” week, he had to cook up some stories to wriggle out
“Let me have a word with Anand and then I’ll call of the situation.
you back.”

A
A few minutes later, Shanta gave him the green few days later, Shanta again requested her
light. brother to find another match for Renu. Ashok
Renu worked in a software company in Gurgaon. reluctantly agreed to help her. A couple of
She usually returned home around 8 p.m. That day months later, he brought another proposal. The boy,
when Renu said, ‘bye, and was about to step out, tall and fair, worked in an MNC and drew a
her mother said, “Remember to come home early. fabulous salary but he hailed from a poor family.
The guests will be here by 7 p.m.” When Ashok asked Shanta and Anand’s opinion,
Renu, escorted by her mother and carrying a tray Shanta replied without lifting her head, “We want to
of sweets, slowly entered the drawing room where send our only girl to a reputed, well-settled family.”
the guests were seated. After offering sweets to “What’s wrong with this boy’s family?” asked
everyone in the room, as she turned to go, the boy’s Ashok in an irritated tone.
mother gestured to her to come and sit by “His family’s status and standing in
her. A few minutes later, Shanta said to You pester me society are not very impressive. How can
the boy’s mother, “Let me get some tea for day and night to we send our girl to such a household?”
you,” and walked to the kitchen. replied Anand.
find a match for
As the men became busy discussing the Ashok suddenly lost his cool. He turned
your daughter
boy’s and the girl’s family backgrounds to his sister and spoke angrily, “You pester
and when I
and allied matters, the boy’s mother me day and night to find a match for your
bring you
utilised the opportunity to find out about daughter and when I bring you proposals,
the girl’s culinary skills and her interest in proposals, you you simply turn them down on flimsy
household work. The boy sat quietly simply turn grounds and put me in an embarrassing
listening to the elders’ discussion and in them down situation.” He then sighed, “Enough is
between stealing a glance at the girl. on flimsy enough,” and stormed out.
As soon as the guests left, Shanta turned grounds and After that, Renu’s parents gave ads in
to her husband and whispered, “The boy put me in an prominent Hindi and English dailies
is a bit dark, isn’t he?” Anand nodded in embarrassing seeking a suitable match for their
affirmation. situation. daughter. Out of the six proposals

74 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


received, they zeroed in on a single proposal that
appealed to them the most. The boy was tall, fair,
well placed and earned a good salary. He also
may have to mortgage
the house.”
“Mortgage the
SHORT

STORY
hailed from a good family. After glancing at the house?” repeated Shanta in a shocked
boy’s photograph Shanta commented, “This boy is voice.
the ideal match for our Renu.” Anand worked as a superintendent in a
“At last, you have found a suitable boy for your government office and had already taken
beautiful daughter,” joked Anand. loans and advances from different sources
Renu’s two-bedroom apartment bustled with to meet his daughter’s marriage expenses.
relatives and friends as the day of her wedding Hence, when the boy’s side demanded ten
drew near. In addition, an adjacent building was lakh rupees just a couple of days before the
also taken on rent to accommodate some more marriage, he became extremely tense and
guests. Anand had also engaged a couple of cooks worried.
and servants to prepare food and take care of other After listening to her parents’
requirements of the guests and family members. conversation, all happiness vanished from
Renu’s face. “I’ll not allow them to mortgage

A
fter spending some time with her friends, Renu the house,” said Renu to herself and barged into the
was returning to her room that day. As she drawing room. “Papa! I heard you talking to
reached near the drawing room, the words, mummy while passing this way. Please don’t
“The boy’s parents are demanding ten lakh rupees mortgage the house, the only asset we have,”
in cash,” fell on her ears. There was a trace of pleaded Renu.
anxiety in her father’s voice. Renu suddenly became “We have to, beti, otherwise the boy’s side might
alert and attentive. “Ten lakhs is a big sum! And that call off the marriage.”
too they’re demanding it at the last moment,” replied “That’s far better than mortgaging the house.”
her mother in a concerned voice. “You’re too young to understand the
“We have to somehow meet their demand. repercussions of calling off a wedding,” replied
Otherwise, they might create a scene and walk out Anand glancing at his wife.
of the marriage pandal,” replied Anand. Shanta then explained, “It’s easier to break an
“We shouldn’t allow that to happen. It would ruin engagement or call off a wedding but to find a
our daughter’s life,” replied Shanta. Then she asked, match after that will be a Herculean task because
“But how are you going to arrange such a large whenever something goes wrong in an engagement
amount at such a short time?” or wedding, the blame usually falls on the girl.”
Anand let out a deep sigh before he replied, “We “But I don’t want to go to the family of such
greedy people,” announced Renu and left the room.
Her parents sat wondering what to do.
Renu sat on her bed and pondered for a while.
She then got up and dialled the boy’s cellphone
number. She told the boy point-blank that it would one phone call, you spoiled everything.”
not be possible for her parents to give the ten lakh “I didn’t say anything to irk the boy’s side,
rupees demanded by them. mummy. Rather, we should be the ones to feel
“Only father will be able to take a decision in this offended for their last-minute demand,” replied
matter. I’ll speak to him,” replied the boy tersely and Renu. She then paused for a second and added,
switched off the phone. “I know they are doing it just to harass us. Such
A few minutes later, Anand received a call from heartless, indecent people should be taught a
the boy’s father. lesson.”
“I heard that you have some difficulties in meeting “What is there to teach when they have already
our demand.” called off the marriage? Except shame, disgrace and
‘How did the boy’s father came to know of our unnecessary expenses, we have not gained
problem? Except Shanta, Renu and myself, no one anything,” sighed Anand.
else knew about it,’ wondered Anand but he soon “This is what happens when you give a girl
collected himself and replied politely, “Yes, sir. If enough rope,” commented Renu’s aunt who stood
you could just...” but before Anand could complete nearby.
the sentence the voice on the other end said rudely, “What can we do when the boy’s parents
“I don’t want to hear any excuses, Mr Anand. I just demand a hefty sum at the last moment?” Shanta
phoned you to say that we’re calling off the wondered aloud.
marriage for the reasons best known to you,” and “Such incidents do happen at weddings. You
put the receiver down. should have somehow overcome the obstacles and
moved forward instead of giving them a chance to

N
ext moment, Anand slumped into a nearby call off the marriage,” replied Renu’s aunt in a stern
sofa. “What happened?” asked Shanta voice.
moving to him. Hearing her mother’s worried Anand, Shanta and Renu heard several such
tone, Renu came running from her room. Anand sat comments and criticisms from relatives and friends
still for a while and then slowly turned to Renu and who called on them to enjoy the tamasha. However,
said, “Beti! Why did you talk to the boy about our the trio just remained calm and composed.
problem? Do you think they’ll have some sympathy “Don’t take it to heart, dear,” consoled Deepa,
or consideration for us?” Renu’s friend, when they met at the office cafeteria
“I was feeling bad for you, papa. So I thought of during the lunch break.
explaining our position to the boy.” “Not at all. Rather, I’m thankful to be saved from
Shanta then said, “You should have consulted such a marriage.”
either your papa or me before speaking to him. We “That’s true. Otherwise, your parents would have
would have advised you properly.” Then she drew a spent their lives meeting the demands of the boy’s
deep breath and family. And if they had failed even once in fulfilling
continued, “You know their demands, you would have faced the music. The
how difficult it was innumerable dowry deaths and self-immolation cases
for us to find a boy that we hear and read about in the newspapers are
who met all our the results of such ill-treatments.”
requirements. “You know, Deepa, my parents have already
And with just spent a buying lot of money in ornaments, clothes,
utensils, furniture and electronic goods. In
addition, they had also planned to gift a
Santro car to the groom. Since my parents
are giving these items on their own to their
daughter and to their prospective son-in-
law, I just kept mum. But when the boy’s
side asked for ten lakh rupees in
cash, I lost my cool.”
“I’m happy you talked to
the boy and made your
position clear,” said
Deepa. Then she added,
“It is time we girls
resisted such
unreasonable demands
so that we could curb, at least to some extent, this “I’m prepared to help you in whatever way I can.”
dowry menace. And I think today’s girls with their “How?” asked Renu inquisitively.
education, well-paid jobs, economic independence “Leave the modus operandi to me,” smiled Arjun.
and self-confidence are well equipped to do so.” As fixed up by Renu’s parents, the boy and his
As days passed, Renu became quite busy with a parents arrived at Renu’s home around 5 p.m. After
new project her company had undertaken recently. seeing the girl, they discussed matters pertaining to
Since it was a big project her company appointed the marriage and then they got up to leave. Just
an additional project manager to share the work. then, a motorbike came to a halt in front of the gate
With Arjun’s technical expertise and job experience, and a young, handsome man got down from it. As
the work progressed as scheduled. The prospect of soon as the young man saw Anand he said, “Good
completing the work on time brought great relief to evening, uncle. I’m Arjun, Renu’s friend.” Then he
both the project managers. And, as days passed, glanced around and added, “Renu told me that she
Renu started enjoying working with Arjun, a very would accompany me to the town library.”
co-operative, helpful individual with a pleasing

A
personality. nand’s face suddenly turned red with
One day, while having coffee, Arjun said to embarrassment. Shanta, standing nearby,
Renu, “I heard about your daredevil story. You did gazed at him with a worried look. The boy’s
the right thing.” mother who stood watching the scene, threw a
“But my parents are unhappy.” scornful glance at Renu’s parents and left the place
“Why?” in a huff. Her husband and son followed.
“They say that my outspoken nature has As soon as the guests left, Anand
led to the cancellation of the wedding “I appreciate thundered, “Renu, come here.” A shiver
because boys’ parents usually prefer soft- your concern ran through Renu as she heard her father’s
spoken, docile girls as their daughters-in- and regard for outburst. Leaving the cups she was
law. And they also feel that it will be very your parents. washing in the sink, Renu hurried to the
difficult to find a suitable match for a girl Yet, there is drawing room.
whose engagement or wedding is once nothing “You know this boy?” Anand demanded
called off,” explained Renu. wrong in pointing to Arjun.
“But the search is on, isn’t it?” expressing Renu’s eyes widened with surprise and
“Yes. In fact, someone is coming to our your views and happiness when she saw Arjun standing in
home this Sunday itself.” opinion in an the doorway.
“How’s the boy?” important “Yes, papa. We’re colleagues,” Renu
“Just plain, as per the photograph.” matter that replied in a trembling voice.
“Must be well placed?” concerns Anand then asked in a harsh tone, “You
Renu’s face turned gloomy as she your life. pretty well know the way to the town
replied, “Works as an accounts assistant library. Then why did you ask this boy’s
in a private firm.” help to go there?”
“You sound quite indifferent. Are you not happy “Since he was to pass this way, I requested him
with the proposal?” Arjun asked in a concerned to...” replied Renu nervously.
voice. “And this guy landed up exactly when that boy
and his parents were present,” said Anand throwing

R
enu turned her face to hide the tears from him. an angry glance at Arjun.
Arjun watched her for a while and then said, Shanta then spoke in a concerned voice, “After
“Why don’t you talk to your parents before the turning down many proposals, we finally okayed
boy comes to see you?” this proposal. And this boy spoiled everything within
“That might upset my parents. Already they have a second!”
had plenty of problems because of me. I don’t wish Arjun who stood quietly listening to their
to add more,” Renu said wiping her tears. accusations then spoke in a clear, respecting tone,
“I appreciate your concern and regard for your “Uncle, aunty, please excuse me for coming at the
parents. Yet, there is nothing wrong in expressing most inappropriate time and spoiling the whole
your views and opinion in an important matter that show. But it was done for a cause to... to stall this
concerns your life. After all, marriage is a lifelong alliance.”
bond and it is your prerogative to choose your life “To stall this alliance? Why? For what reason?”
partner,” Arjun advised. Anand demanded indignantly.”
“I wish someone could speak on my behalf to my “Because your daughter is not happy with this
parents,” sighed Renu. alliance.”

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 77


Anand immediately turned to Renu and “No. He works in a software company,”
asked, “Why did you then agree to meet Don’t worry replied the boy’s father.
the boy?” about status “But... we are middle-class people...”
Renu remained mum. said Shanta a bit hesitantly.
and position.
Arjun then explained, “She agreed out The lady then moved towards Shanta
We’re not
of respect and concern for you people. and said with a smile, “Don’t worry about
She did not want to upset you further.” after that. status and position. We’re not after that.
Then Arjun added, “When Renu Nor are we Nor are we going to demand anything.
mentioned her dilemma to me the other going to We want only your beautiful girl.”
day, it was I who hatched this plan to save demand Overwhelmed by happiness, Renu’s
her from this alliance. Renu is absolutely anything. parents did not know what to say. Then the
innocent in this matter.” We want boy’s father said to Anand, “Since our boy
“What have you gained by scuttling this only your likes your girl and had already visited your
proposal? Would you be able to arrange beautiful girl. place, we can, if you agree, fix the date of
such an alliance where the boy is ready to marriage.”
marry without any demands?” asked “Boy had visited our place...?” said
Anand furiously. Anand in a surprised tone and then pondered for a
“I shall try, uncle. Just give me a fortnight’s time,” while. Then he asked, “Are you talking about Arjun?”
replied Arjun in a sincere tone and left the place. Arjun’s parents just smiled. Shades of guilt and
Two days later, a swanky car stopped in front of embarrassment appeared on Anand and Shanta’s
Renu’s house. A middle-aged couple got down from faces as they recalled their conversation with Arjun.
it and strode towards the gate. As soon as they were But they soon collected themselves and okayed
seated, the lady said in a soft voice, “My husband is Arjun’s father’s suggestion.
a businessman, running a garment factory in Okhla, The following week, Arjun and Renu became man
Delhi. We have come to seek your daughter’s hand and wife.
for our only son.” “You have kept your word, son. I’m extremely
“Your son is also in the business line?” asked proud of you,” said Anand as he hugged his
Anand inquisitively. son-in-law. We

Poonam embroidered saris of green, madam. I’m an illiterate and I know


red, blue, pink, violet and orange nothing about education.”
colours.” My wife started to explain, As it was for educational purposes
“Akkamma, choose one colour only. we gave Rs 3000 as a loan. Soon, on
Uniform means a particular colour...” receiving it, Akkamma categorically
Strange ‘Uniform’ But Akkamma categorically said, said, “Sir, madam, though this is a
In the eighties there was a heavy “No... who will wear the same-colour loan, you should not recover this
deficiency for maids at Mettur Dam sari daily, madam? My six sets of from my salary in instalments. This
and therefore all gave much leniency uniforms must be in six separate will be repaid by my son in full when
to their maids. Similarly, we too gave colours.” he gets a decent job after completing
Akkamma a wide berth. We had no option but to concede his college studies.”
One day, Akkamma asked my her peculiar request. Now when we see We were stunned — what else
wife, “Madam, nurses are wearing uniformed women their so-called could we do?
uniforms, school teachers are ‘uniform’ reminds us of Akkamma. A few days later a boy came to
wearing uniforms, police personnel – S. Palanisamy, Madurai. our house on a half-size bicycle and
are wearing uniforms — then why said, “Sir, I’m the son of Akkamma
not me? I’m also an employee. So College-going child working in your house. I’ve come
provide me a uniform.” We were In the eighties there was shortage here to give my Amma a death
shocked. Akkamma added, “I need of maids at Mettur Dam and therefore message.”
six sets of uniforms to wear in a we were very careful in handling our We immediately asked whether he
week, one every day.” maid Akkamma. had any elder brother studying in
If we had flatly refused this One day she pleaded for a loan of college. He replied, “No, sir, I’m her
strange request she could have Rs 3000 to pay college fees and buy only son studying in 4th standard.”
stopped coming for work. So we books for her only son. We were My wife at once shouted,
agreed to provide the uniforms. My surprised to hear it as we did not “Akkamma, your college-going son
wife asked her to choose the colour expect Akkamma to have such a has come.” Even today we refer to
of the uniform sari. We thought that grown-up son. When my wife asked school children as ‘college-going
she would choose sky blue. But to her the name of the college, she students’ and laugh.
our astonishment she said, “I need immediately replied, “I do not know, – S. Palanisamy, Madurai.
“My paintings
establish a direct
dialogue with the
viewers and say that
life is too precious to
be lost in melancholy,”
says the artist.
By Our Correspondent

THE RADIANCE OF
POSITIVE ENERGY
he young and charming artist works as a psychologist and a artist,

T
Prenita Dutt has a firm belief but eventually, she decided to drop
in positive thinking. A the psychotherapist career in favour
glimpse of positive energy of art.
can be seen at her studio in Since her debut with ‘Shri Ganesh
Shahpur Jat near Khel Gaon, – her first solo show, some six years
Delhi, where she has ago – Prenita has never looked back.
mapped out her personal She aims to fill the abodes of all art
haven, surrounding herself lovers with the radiance of her
with music, art positive energy.
materials, paints and Excerpt from an
positive thoughts. interview:
Prenita was initially
working as a When did you realise
psychotherapist. While that you should be an
experimenting with colour artist?
therapy on her patients, I have a formal
Prenita discovered her education in psycho -
passion for art. For some therapy. I had been
time, she tried to strike a working as a counsellor
balance between her and was experimenting

80 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


The artist’s inner feeling of serenity has a soothing effect on the viewers.

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 81


Who were your mentors? beyond any limits. In short, there is a
I would name Dinesh Baduni and lot of gloom, a lot of sorrow and if we
Neeraj Bakshi. They are well-known use dull and heavy colours in our
landscape artists. All along my paintings, they will make the
journey towards perfecting art, they onlookers sadder. I don’t want to
have provided me with much-needed aggravate their sorrow through dull
guidance and all that is required to colours. So I use bright and vibrant
become an artist. I frequently visit colours. Even if I begin with some
their studios and learn a lot of things. dull shade, eventually I gravitate
more towards the vibrant shades in
What subjects do you choose order to make my paintings livelier.
for your artworks?
It is women and nature. Being a What do your paintings
woman myself, I strongly feel that a communicate with the viewers?
woman is the epicentre of the entire My paintings are the outward
earth. Woman and nature are manifestation of my deep inner self.
intertwined and inseparable. They An artist draws what is there deep
have a close connection, depicting within him. All this nature, flowers,
two sides of a similar coin. That is butterflies and all those innumerable
why I depict nature in the backdrop colours are part of our inner
with colour therapy on my patients intermingled with woman power. In personality. What we depict on
when I realised that I like to play with most of my paintings, the viewers will canvas is an expression of that inner
colours. I think it was during that observe various facets of women. feeling. I am an optimistic person,
period that I discovered my passion always nurturing positive thinking. As
for art. Slowly, I began to lean more Is there any particular choice such, I feel that my paintings
towards art. In the beginning, I regarding colours? establish direct dialogue with the
thought I would perhaps manage I prefer to work with vibrant viewers and say that life is too
both the fields. But colours. A lot of things are precious to be lost in melancholy.
eventually, I discovered happening around us. Always harbour a positive attitude.
that it was well nigh Unfortunately, most of Once you do so, the entire world will
impossible, for as a them have a negative begin to appear positive.
woman, I had to look impact. Recently, we were
after my family and my all shaken by the Mumbai Your opinion about the
kids too, besides doing attacks. Of course, we increasing commercialisation of
artwork. So I took up had no direct relation with art.
art. those who succumbed in I think with increasing
the attacks, but we at commercialisation, the boundary line
Did you then gain least can feel their agony. between true art and commodity,
some formal training That incident shook me gets blurred. I personally feel that an
in art? artwork should also go to the homes
No, I learned art of true art lovers, who wish to enjoy
through constant devo- fine art. But most of them are unable
tion and practice. And I feel art is the to afford artworks due their high
best medium to discover your inner prices. Indeed, an artist deserves a
self. I was very much excited with the decent life. And there are so many
success of my first solo show titled great artists; their art is great and
‘Shri Ganesh’. they are free to quote high prices for
their paintings. But this tendency
Was the show devoted to limits the spread of art and confines it
religious paintings? to a few rich ones, who can afford it.
Not exactly. I basically belong to a Also, when you create art as
Sikh family and I have heard when merchandise you begin to
you start something new, it is compromise with the quality and
proverbially named, Shri Ganesh. create art like a factory. For me, art is
Success of that show gave me much passion. I do art for my pleasure, and
needed encouragement. Since then, I I want my artwork to give the same
feel, my artistic talent has evolved to pleasure to those who really want to
a great extent. enjoy it. We

82 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


EXTRAORDINARY
OUT OF THE ORDINARY
“The upward look is
an indication of
positiveness and
striving towards
perfection,” says
the artist.
By Subhra Mazumdar

and interested group of pupils, finding


that their creative energies have
given rise to a new learning
experience for her. Excerpt from an
interview:

What do you find inspirational


in the everyday life around you?
I find that existence all around me
is a tremendous source of inspiration
he everyday world that we because when I see people, I begin

T
live and work in, is shrouded to look inwards. I try to imagine what
in a cover of mundanity their desires, their motives and their
according to most of us. struggles in day-to-day living must
Artist Priyanka Dua, on the bring on. This feeling for others gives
other hand, has found her me a new way of understanding life
greatest source of inspiration and that in turn gets reflected on my
from keeping a close tab on canvases.
her own surroundings. Thus
what others dismiss as How has this stimulation from
ordinary, Priyanka perceives as your surroundings affected you as
extraordinary and inspirational. A an artist?
graduate of the Delhi Women’s It has made me a better person in
Polytechnic, Priyanka was, till general. I have learnt to keep a tab
recently, a member of its faculty. on my emotions, not by checking
Currently, she is teaching art at Daly them to the point of suppression, but
College, Indore, where she is by shaping their course to help me
imbibing the techniques into a young become understanding and insightful.
The painting reflects the confluence of human forms in a pure state of existence with contentment.

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 85


I have learnt to accept challenges as of the human living below, at ground
a part of living and realise that level. The upturned posture is the
acceptance of limitations is the best manner in which humans struggle to
way forward in life. overcome their circumstances. The
free forms of red dots floating
These are ennobling thoughts, uncontrollably and descending
no doubt. How can these ideas be groundwards, is a coming down into
reflected in a painting? the realm of reality.
I would like to tell you about a
painting that I have titled ‘Full Stop’. Your colour palette is both
In this painting the red dot against a muted and daring. How do you
white backdrop takes on a character combine these opposites with
of its own, but is based on my your unique thought process
experiences of interacting with my communication along artistic lines behind each painting?
surroundings. The red circle, being with them. I was keen to note the For me, a colour does not stand
looked at from above, creates the onlookers’ perceptions on seeing my for its visual connotation alone. Just
vision of a silent observer. The black works, as none of them are realistic as a face is a treasure trove of
line below the circle is like the depictions. several human emotions, a colour
dividing line of separateness between too, is a source of many ideations.
the inner and outer worlds of an Which painting in this Their application, placement and
individual’s life. I want to highlight the exhibition got the most public demarcation, is what makes them
situation faced by a common man. response? appropriate for that particular use.
His life is spent within his It was a work entitled
circumstances helping others, ‘Confluence’. In it the face is not fully What is the significance of the
understanding them, living a better visible. It is a half face and its mirror upturned look in a human form in
life and also tackling negative image, with two arms and in a sitting your painting?
emotions. pose. When people viewed the faces The upward look is an indication
in this fashion, some commented that of positiveness and striving towards
Since your works have a public it took them on a higher spiritual perfection. The figures are only
face to them, what do viewers level. Others understood that a face visible till the torso and it is not
have to say about the feelings reflected the human capacity to gender equated. So anyone, male or
expressed through paintings? understand a psychological and female, can be linked to this form and
It’s a great feeling to interact with emotional presence. Others said that also takes away from my earlier
people and share my experiences it suggested that humans are open paintings where the human form in it
with them. This is best done at the to all sorts of ideas. All these was a nude figure, suggestive of the
time of an exhibition of my works. I comments find a space within my most pure state of human existence.
was privy to such a sharing with the subconscious mind and at some
public at my last exhibition, held in point of time in the future, there will What is your unique learning
Indore. The manner in which they be a splash-up, born of this event, experience teaching youngsters?
viewed my works became a sort of and will translate itself into a painting I find younger children very
that comments on these reactions. creative and unrestrained in their
capacity to express their thoughts.
In this respect what can the They are brilliant at creating their own
colours, such as red or black, forms and are quick to interpret them
define in your artwork? for you. Their originality makes me
In the context of a painting, I realise how deep down is our
would like to draw your attention to conditioning. I therefore prefer to tell
the red used in the ‘Salvation’ them techniques of painting, but
painting. It is like a full stop and in never interfere with their creative
that way a symbol of salvation. So if process. I suggest to them the
the red is salvation personified, then intricacies of shading, to bring out
the black base or space, would translucence or transparency and try
define the fact that we are mortal and to ‘train’ their eyes to see beyond the
temporary and one day, will be clearly visual. That is my way of
dissolved into nothingness or shunya. ensuring that the next generation of
The face in the work is upturned and artists have the ability to fine-tune
with enlarged nostrils , as if the their originality and make it visible
viewer were taking a bird’s eye view through their art. We
Praveen D. Upadhye
Born in Shedbal, (Belgaum Distt)
Karnataka on 31December1965.
Qualification: Art Master Diploma
in Paintings, Govt. Fine Arts
School, Dharwad.
Participation:
Banan Smith School of Fine Art
Belguam Lalit Kala Mela "state"
Bangalore, Govt. Fine Art School
"Camp" "College Annual Exhibition
*A.I.S.F of Karnataka Mysore
Dushera A.I.F.A.C.S. Annual
Exhibition Mussoorie Camp.
Gallery Freedom Camp, Varanasi.
Group Shows:
Benan Smith School of Fine Art
Belgaum. Govt. Fine Art School
Dharwad Aurobindo M.C, *Art
Konsult, New Delhi *Shridhararani

FASCINATION
Mardhav Art Consult * Gallery
Freedom, *Llalit Kala Akadami. Art
Today Their Story 2000, I am
Gallery, * Krishna Collection,
*Classic Resorts 1999, *Birla
Academy (Bombay) 1999. *Nehru
Center (Bombay). India with Art
(Washington DC).
FOR MONKS
Solo Show:
Gallery Aurobindo. Art Consult.
“While painting monks
Lalit Kala Akadami. I make sure that they are filled with emotional
Awards:
Govt. Fine Art School Dharwar 1st content and don’t wear deadpan expressions,”
Prize 1987 *Shanti Sagar Janam
Jayanti 1st Prize, 1987 *A.I.S.F of
says Praveen Upadhye.
Karnataka 2nd Prize, 1987. By S. Mazumdar
t is not always that a childhood and solo shows, wherein his

I
association lingers on as an art steadfast approach to his subject
statement throughout one’s matter, through many mood
creative journey. But that is what depictions and numerous techniques,
has given Praveen D Upadhye’s have won acclaim among critics and
paintings their unique, one-of-a- art lovers alike.
kind style prerogative in the art
world. Known for his enormous How did you first get interested
capacity to depict the life of in painting sanyasis, monks and
ascetics on his canvases, his the like?
works are sought after through out As a child, my home was located
the world. next to a Jain ashram premises and
Today, this highly successful artist all day, I would watch the child monks,
has an inexhaustible affiliation to this the elderly ones and the others in the
theme, and has held numerous group ashram, going about their daily tasks,
silent and stoic features. Although
we feel that they are beings who
live on a different plane from most
of us, as we are caught up in a rat
race of trying to exist, the serene
monks are like an oasis of calm in
this turmoil.
They provide a rare inspiration
and become the anchor to which I
can attach my moments of peace
and find that by the end of the
painting, the subject matter begins
to draw a strange calmness even
into the minds of the viewer. I
make sure that my monks are
filled with emotional content and
don’t wear deadpan expressions.

from the windows of our home. Their Such a memory was a reminder Besides doing your own art,
lives, their expressions and their of home, no doubt. How did you how do you work with fellow
gestures, particularly those of the child transfer it into art? artists?
monks living in the hostels, seemed In college, as students, we were It is good that you asked me this.
to have a special meaning. asked to paint a subject of our own Besides being an artist, I also run an
choosing and I found the subject of art gallery. It is called Gallery
All of us have special childhood the monks come flashing into my Pioneer, located at Hauz Khas
memories but with the advancing mind there and then. It felt as if I had Village, New Delhi. It is a popular
years, those images and a readymade subject before me. I at gallery as several visitors to the
associations become distanced. once began to paint a composition of Village, drop in to see the paintings
Why has this image lived on? five brahmacharis and submitted it as on display and on sale. More than its
Curious that you should ask me…I my assignment. commercial merit, running an art
suppose that the monks’ image It was liked a lot and that work and gallery keeps me in constant touch
would have passed under normal the appreciation it had got me, with fellow artists and they often drop
circumstances. But when I went to lingered on and even today, even if I by, at the gallery, to share their
study art at the college at Dharwar, I will myself to paint on other subjects, thoughts on art matters.
took up lodgings in the city. the draw of the monks becomes
Strangely enough, my rooms impossible to change. What was its USP?
faced an ashram in the town and the There are paintings on very
first sounds I would wake up to each What do you try to depict different styles. There were
morning, was that of the temple bells through the image of the monks? sculptures and even works in
ringing on their premises. The I am fascinated with the abstract. The variety and originality
memories of childhood flashed back smoothness of their expressions and of the works make a huge art
at once. the honesty that I find behind their statement. We

88 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009
89
No mocking of monks. Factually, they bear the expression of serenity, honesty laced with the sense of fulfillment and salvation, behind their stoic
features, are class apart from this tumultuously maddening world.
OF HUMAN
MIGRATION
An artist with single-minded
devotion to art. By Subhra
he learning advantages of interested diplomats posted in India.

T
being a self-employed artist Since then, Anita has continued to
has been fully realised by the make her mark at a number of group
young artist Anita Singh. shows.
That is why there was no Excerpts from an interview:
indecision in her case after
finishing her school studies. What is the advantage of
Her brother was a reputed exhibiting in a group, for an artist
sculptor and lecturer at the who works independently?
Benaras Hindu University I get a chance to see different
Arts Faculty and Anita was bent upon kinds of work from a number of
following a course in Fine Arts. So artists. Sometimes, the same theme
when she was admitted as a student is on display, but the artists treat the
for the BFA at Patna University, there theme in their individual way and that
was no looking back ever since. makes for an interesting angle for
When she came to live in the capital, me.
Anita took up further studies, and
opted for a postgraduate degree What exactly do you look for,
(MFA) at the Jamia Milia Islamia, when viewing the works of other
New Delhi. To augment her artists?
understanding of Fine Art even I try and understand the thought
further, Anita joined the Art and the mindset of the artist when he
Appreciation Course of the National has executed a certain kind of work.
Museum and came in contact with a The fact that the same subject has
host of fellow art lovers, from all been represented in a way that is
walks of life, including a group of different from my own, really

90 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


Woman’s Era

January (Second) 2009
91
The plight of a destitute woman, after her loved ones migrated to new greener pastures for livelihood, leaving her behind to fend for survival.
fascinates me and draws my As you paint migrations with
attention. such originality, do you also paint
on cities where the migratory
Why have you chosen to be a population usually arrive?
full-time artist and that too, I do paint cities, in particular
without any links with an art body? Benaras, because I feel this is one
Yes, it’s true that it is rather city in India where people from all
unusual for a young artist like me to parts of India arrive. I have been
decide to work independently and not fascinated since childhood by the
even join fellow artists in any magnetic draw of this city, not just for
association of artists. This is because its religious angle, but also for its
I want to know my subject thoroughly. visual opportunities. In this place
Working alone, without the distraction there appears to be perfect harmony
of holding a job at the same time, and coexistence and I have used the
gives me the privilege of acquiring a commonly seen sights of this city in
thorough command over my subject, an original form.
and space, to create a painting that is
born of this commanding advantage. What are the original touches
you have provided to this
Who in your family, including How do you prefer to depict cityscape?
the joint family, is your strongest this theme? Instead of painting the riverfront
supporter? Well, it is not through columns of and boats, I have shifted this to the
My husband, of course. He humans walking across rugged backdrop and stencilled fine lines of
supports my efforts morally, and even terrain. It is through the nebulous innumerable boats so that my entire
financially. It is he who has shown form of a single crouching figure, or a canvas begins to represent the river
full trust in my abilities, whereas the ghost-like form, and a letter in the Ganga. Then I have moved away
other family members, at times, have foreground. The hazy backdrop and from depicting the many narrow lanes
urged me to make a hobby interest in the figure in it are that of the family in and side streets of this ancient city
art, and take up a salaried job for the village who are longing for a letter and looked at the perspective of the
earning a living. from the son who has left for the city, ghat, and not the city as such.
and the writing of that letter runs like The painting has no strong
What is the theme that you like a stream meandering across the architectural lines, but contains more
to paint? surface of the canvas. of the emotional attachment in
It is the theme of immigration and individual minds, with the city of
its impact in human terms. I am not Is there any other theme, apart Benaras.
speaking of international immigra - from migration, that you like to
tions, but that of migrations from the depict in your paintings? As a woman artist, are you
villages to the big cities. My canvas I have often shown the manner in drawn to depicting the lives of
also depicts the plight of those who which these people have to scrounge women in India?
have been left behind and their and save their money in order to Yes, interestingly, my theme of
feelings of emptiness and longing for support families dependent on them migration and recall of the life left
their children, who have left them, to in the village. For this purpose I have behind, takes on a new turn in the
work in the cities. stencilled on the canvas painting entitled ‘ A Leaf from My
backdrop innumerable tiny Mother’s Existence’. In this painting, I
‘gulaks’, those childhood piggy have again used the stencil
banks in which we as children technique to create a jaali of chulhas,
stowed away all the change we those earth – baked cooking fires of
were given by our elders. In the her time.
foreground of this painting is a There are other household objects
giant gulak, formed like a and those used by the men of the
transparent, glass-domed house to make a living outside the
gulak, in which are seated a domestic threshold. I refer in
child and his toys. The over- particular to the black umbrella in a
sized money container and the corner. It is symbolic as a shading
toys are symbols of the desires device from the weather as well as a
that consume the minds of the comforting recall, for it is used when
individual, who is struggling in leaving the secure environs of the
the city, to fulfil his dreams. home to step into the bigger world. We

92 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


DREAMS IN COLOUR
“My work eema Jindal, a former been using art to express myself

S
lecturer and a woman, who since childhood. But yes, I started
celebrates life. eats, sleeps and breathes
art has carved a niche for
exhibiting my works a few years ago.

I usually work on herself on the mental


canvas of art lovers. Seema,
Could you tell us some more
about your work?
positive subjects,” an eternal optimist, reflects My work celebrates human life. I
her own personality and usually work on positive subjects. My
says the artist! psyche through her work. endeavour is to tap the positive
This close relationship, energy of the viewer. It urges me to
By Our Correspondent
between art lover and its creator create and explore different sources
necessarily builds an umbilical cord of happiness. I have embarked on a
among the human beings. She chats path which has not only given me
about her work and passion with our positive energy and happiness, but
correspondent. Excerpts: others feel it too. My colours are
Why are you an artist? usually bold and basic. My paintings
Art is one of my prime reasons make one question. They are not just
and purpose of existence. It helps me decorative pieces. One forms a sort
to express myself. It is a proof of the of relationship with them.
fact that I am alive and doing what
gives me true happiness. You use a lot of ultramarine
blue, and sunflowers have become
When did you first realise you your trade mark…
are an artist? Sunflowers to me symbolise
I don’t remember that because I have happiness and brightness of life. The

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 93


What lies behind or before us are nonetities, as compared to what lies within us – determination
to survive to bring happiness all around.

‘Sunflower’ series explores the is the result of this finding. My that I cannot keep it inside me any
sources of happiness . The blue painting ‘Together but Lonely’ evokes more, that a painting comes into
colour shows that the figures are an important emotion – compassion – existence. To me painting is like
above normal humans having which if felt, can lift one from normal poetry. It is a subconscious
realised their source of happiness. life conditions to a higher one. expression of the self…
They no longer need to bother about I see my dreams in colour and can
colour, caste, creed or clothes. The What is it that inspires you to visualise the painting on the canvas. I
closed eyes depict that one has to paint a particular subject? can arrange and rearrage colours on
just look within to find this absolute It is only when the subject touches the canvas in my mind. It is Nature’s
happiness. The serenity on the faces my soul and stirs me to the extent gift and indication that I have to keep

94 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


painting to keep in touch with my What do you think of the
inner self. contemporary art scene in
India?
What are the mediums you Finally, the concept is selling
use? in India. The Art Summit in Delhi
I usually work in oils, but love in 2008 was proof enough of that.
to play around with different It’s great to see India doing well
mediums. I have experimented globally, in all art forms.
with oils in a few of my works, Postmodern Art is yet to find
giving highlights using the white acceptance here. I am lucky to be
of the canvas instead of using tints in the era when so much action
of white. In ‘Seeking the Sun’ is taking place.
radium paint has been used,
making it glow in the dark. Inner How have you handled the
Energy’, ‘Cord of Life’, ‘Oneness’ business side of being an artist?
and ‘I exist’ which were conceived Frankly, I still find it difficult
in a state of semi – conscious since I tend to think from the
sleep, are all my experimental heart rather than the head.
works in mixed media. What artists have influenced
you, and how? Where do you see yourself in 10
You seem to be a very prolific Since I am a self-taught artist, I years?
painter, and your works seem to was never in the danger of following Still painting and writing…
be filled with intense emotion. Is or copying the style of any artist. I
painting like a release for you, or have my own distinctive style. From What are you working on at the
is it emotionally draining? Van Gogh to Husain Saab and Gujral moment?
When there is a turmoil, the Saab, all are my favourites. But more I have recently had an exhibition
subconscious looks for solutions to than the names, what draws me to a at Epicentre in Gurgaon and the
balance things out. In my paintings work is the passion, emotion and the response was heart warming. I am
the subconscious becomes one with idea behind it. giving myself space before I plunge
the conscious. It is a kind of release into painting my next series.
for me. It is my meditation …my Despite not having painting as a
peace. subject, how did you educate What's the best and worst parts
yourself in it? of being a full-time, artist?
What inspires you to paint and I am a voracious reader. Books The best part is while painting, I
how do you keep motivated when have been my teachers. I have never live every moment of my life, I can
things get tough in the studio? been afraid to experiment. I sketch be myself. It is my world and I can
The urge to live this life inspires on a regular basis. There are a few do what I please. The worst part is
me to paint. I just need to look within, very close artist friends with whom I handling the business side.
when the going is tough, and most can share and exchange ideas.
often, I find the answers there. I have done Masters in English How do you manage kids, home
Similarly, when I get stuck in Literature. Now I am pursuing PhD in and a career?
somewhere while painting, I just let it an interdisciplinary subject, in Art and My kids, Dhruv and Tara, are 9
be for some time, till it reflects upon Literature. Soon I will be called and 5 years old. They too, love to
my inner eye….. formally educated in Art! paint and recently had their solo
exhibition in Jawahar Kala Kendra,
What do you do for Jaipur. They understand the
fun (besides painting)? importance of my work to me. I have
I write. Currently, I am my husband’s unstinting support. I
working on a children’s make sure I am around the family
novel. Besides this, I love when they are back home. Clever time
to cook and try out new management and hard work is the key
recipes. Watching to keep all the fronts balanced.
movies with the family is
also one of the favourite What advice would you give to
times. My husband an artist just starting out?
Aditya and I, love to Listen to your heart. Don’t get
travel and explore new bogged down by the demands of the
places… market. Just be yourself. We

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 95


FUSION ART
An artist who
pursue it. It was after college that she
has no particular took up painting. But she has been
practically self-taught. She has not
themes, just been formally trained.
She had an excellent childhood,
paints horses, with loving parents. Since she was
an only child, she was pampered a
landscapes, lot, but not spoilt. Her speciality is
horses! Horses, like M.F. Husain.
seascapes and But, she begs to differ, her horses
are in her own style. Over to a very
abstracts. humble artist, who has had almost
complete sell-outs during her
By Vidhyalakshmi Rao previous exhibitions.
You took up art much later in
life. How is life now that art has
happened to you?
he is into the chemicals I took up art, probably, around 20

S
business and she is an years ago. I started painting, I think,
artist. Surprised? Yes, there in 1990 or 1991. My first exhibition
is a woman, who is a was four years after that and it was a
businesswoman as well as complete sell-out. Then, I had a gap
a painter. That’s Reena for 12 to 15 years, as I am the only
Patel for you. Born and child and I have to look after my
brought up in Bombay, family business.
Reena is a commerce
graduate. Her father is a Why did you choose painting as
Gujarati and her mother was a Bohri a career?
Muslim. The chemicals business is From childhood I was interested
her father’s. in painting and drawing. It is my
Her parents were very supportive. natural talent. I haven’t had any
She had her first exhibition in 1995. formal training. I chose to pursue
She started drawing when she was painting as I enjoyed it and it is a
in school. They encouraged her to form of relaxation for me.

96 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


The symbol reflects the great zest for life.

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 97


How did art happen to you? on the horses as I feel browns are a
I was doing drawing and painting neutral colour and can blend well
in school. I kind of enjoyed doing it. It anywhere. Some of my horses are
actually, started as a hobby and I multi-coloured and some are black
started gifting away paintings to and white. I use a lot of bright colours
everybody. Everybody said I must get as well as they are very vibrant and
into it professionally. add a lot of life to certain paintings.

In school, there would have How many exhibitions did you


been some training? have till now?
There was, but, I never took it up. This is my third exhibition. I had
my first show in 1995 at Baba Art
What inspired you to become Gallery, Warden Road. My second
an artist? exhibition was in Marine Plaza Hotel
Well, as I said, it started as a hobby. in 2007 and my third exhibition at Art
As I started doing it, I thoroughly Desh, Filmcenter, Tardeo. Both my
enjoyed doing it. It gave me a lot of earlier exhibitions were 70-80 per
peace and it relaxed me, and I felt cent sell-outs. I’ve had all my
very happy when I was painting. That exhibitions in Mumbai. There was a
is why I decided to pursue it seriously long gap between the first and
and professionally now. second exhibition because I was
involved in my business and didn’t
One of your major subjects is have the time to pursue my passion
horses. Even M.F. Husain paints for paintings seriously.
horses. Once people find similarity
to a senior, they start comparing. Does mood have anything to do
How do you take it? with the paintings an artist
Well, my paintings are different. I creates?
use varied mediums in my paintings. Oh yes, it absolutely does. If I do a
I use sequins. painting when I’m not in the frame of
mind to do it, it may not turn out the
How are your paintings as well. I do oil on canvas and I use way it is expected. But, sometimes,
different? different mediums to add variety to when I get into the mood to paint I
I do my horses with texture. I the paintings. To place the beads can like finish, probably, four to five
accessorise it. I use beads, sequins. I etc., I use my hands a lot. paintings in a week. So the mood
use a lot of knife work. Well, his plays an important role while painting.
paintings are fabulous. I would be To which genre of artists do
nowhere near him. My style is you belong? What do you think about the
different from his. I think my paintings are more current art scene in India? Is it good?
of fusion art. I experiment a lot in my It’s booming.
What are the mediums you work paintings, to create different effects.
with? Why is art in India booming?
I basically do oil on canvas. I use How would you describe your There must be some reason.
oil paints, texture, beads, tinsel, paintings? What are the themes of Well, there are a lot of artists in
glitter and shells to create different your paintings? India.
effects on the paintings. I paint horses, landscapes,
seascapes and abstracts. I have no Weren’t they there before?
Would you explain ‘what is particular themes. I just do what I feel They must have been there before
texture’? like doing. I have absolutely no as well, but now since the industry
Texture, actually, is a white thick theme. I don’t set out and say ‘okay, has picked up so much, I guess, it’s
liquid and it gives a raised effect as this is my theme for my exhibition’. I been pretty easy recognising these
opposed to a flat look. I basically use have varied themes. I don’t stick to artists.
it for the horses. one particular theme.
Any future projects?
What are the techniques used How important is colour After this exhibition, let’s see.
in your paintings? scheme in paintings? Do you have Probably I might go on to the
I have no fixed techniques. I use any set rules? Rajasthani Art, since I’ve hardly
brush, oils and do some knife-work I use a lot of browns, especially explored it much before. We

98 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


that, continues to keep company in

R. S. Prakash
this too. Anuya is the other leading
lady.

ACTOR Arunkumar, who is the son


of character actor Vijayakumar is a
talented youth but somehow or the
other, success has always evaded
him, though he had been a part of
some good movies. He even
changed his name to Arun Vijay,
around the time of his marriage but
even then, no big break came his
way! Likewise, Vedika is one such
similar star who couldn’t get a good
break, though she is good looking
and sports a slim figure. She has
played lead roles in films as Muni
Kalai and Chakkarakatti but she just
couldn’t join the big league. Malai
Malai featuring these two in the lead
has just been launched and the
schedules are on. Arun Vijay has
reportedly subjected himself to
rigorous workouts and has also
trained himself in marital arts as the Initially, Pooja was to play the female
project is an action-packed thriller lead but for reasons undisclosed,
laced with romance, made on a big Vedika has replaced her. A.
budget. Prakashraj has also been Venkatesh is the director.
roped in to play a vital role in the film.
MGR, the ever-green matinee
OF late, many movies are being idol of Tamil cinema, passed
made in and around the temple away in 1987 and yet he
town of Madurai in Tamil Nadu continues to stir emotions
and most of such films have among cinema audiences. For
showcased themes that are set his fans, there’s reason for
around gang wars and group – cheer. Mayabimbham Media, the
clashes. Madurai Sambavam is makers of Inimey Naangathaan-
the latest flick that is actually V4, are readying for their next
based on a true life story. The project, Puratchithalaivan
scene of action is the town of (leader of revolution). It will
Madurai and hence the title. feature MGR and Soroja Devi
Eureka, a former deputy of ace- (MGR’s co-star in a number of
director Vikraman is making his films). The 3D animation film will
debut through this. Suresh be handled by Venky Baboo and
Balaji, son of veteran producer a trailer is expected to be ready
and actor, K. Balaji is producing by 17 January, MGR’s birthday.
this flick under the banner A big-budget project, it is
White Uncle Creations. expected to be packed with all
According to the sources from elements of a typical MGR
the film crew, the film deals with entertainer.
gang-wars in a semiurban area
in the proximity of Madurai. FANS of Rajinikanth, who are
Harikumar, the choreographer desperate for some heartening
– turned actor who won news from their hero, especially
acclaims for his performance in after the debacle of Kuselan and
the film Thothukudi is the hero. his ambiguous political
Karthika who played his pair in amibitions, have something to

100 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


It is his first directorial venture. the story and screenplay Sabapathi is
Besides Nadiya and a few the director.
others, the film has a lot of
children playing vital roles R. KAY, who has already made a
Jessie Gift is the scorer. couple of appearances on the big
Sheeba Rohan is the writer. screen in character roles, including
the latest film Thoondil takes on a
CAPITAL Film Works India (p) swash buckling role in Ellam Avan
Ltd is currently busy Seiyal the actor has enacted the role
producing Aaranya Kaandam of a criminal lawyer who takes pains
in which popular Hindi actor to defend the criminal at the court
Jackie Shroff is playing an and after ensuring their release
important role. Ravaikumar, renders justice on his own verdict
Sampath, Somasundaram and again ensures that proper
Ajayraj and many others are punishment is meted out to them! R.
in the cast. Mumbai model Key is certain to go places as a
Yashman is the debutante character actor.
heroine. Ad film-maker
Thiyagarjan Kumararaja is KAVAREE Maanyal is the latest and
making his debut as the newest offering from Jaya TV and the
writer-director. Vinod is the serial is being telecast from Monday
cameraman. Yuvan Shankar to Friday at 8.30 p.m. Prabhu Nepal
Raja is the scorer. This is the has produced and directed the serial
fifth offering from the banner. and the screenplay has been penned
by Devipriya. The cast includes Sithara,
AVM Production Aa Aaa e Ee Uma, Nirmal, Birla, Raja, Suhasini.
look forward to soon. Sultan – The is a remake of the Telugu hit
Warrior, the animated film, is almost Chandamama made on a very big THE music of Abirami Mega mall’s
complete. Portions involving the budget. The film has Navdeep and Panchamirtham was released
superstar have been wrapped up and Monika in the lead roles. Prabhu is recently on a lavish scale during a
the film is set for release on 14 April, playing an important character in the function held at the Abirami theatre
next year. Produced jointly by ocher film. Manorama, Arvind Akash, complex. Ms Kanimozhi, M.P.
Studio and Adlabs, the film has Saranya Mohan, VMC Haneefa, released the first CD which was
brought together some of the best Livingston, R. S. Sivaji and Kanja received by Ramesh Prasad. Film
technicians in the country. With A. R. Karuppu are also in the cast. Vijay personalities like Rama Narayanan,
Rahman as the music scorer and Anthony’s songs have already turned K. R. G. Kalaipuli Thanu, Sekaran,
Thottatharani as the art director, it chart-busters. Aruldas has canned Vaalee, M.S. Viswanathan, S. A.
has taken nearly two years to get the shots. Krishanavamsi has penned Chandrasekaran, Shobha Chanda -
things for the film to open globally in sekaran and many others were
12 languages including Tamil, present on the occasion. The album
Telugu, Hindi and English. Sultan... composed by Sunder. C Babu for the
is supposedly laced with lyrics of Vaalee had five songs. The
characteristic punch lines and film Panchamirtham is based on the
mannerisms of Rajni. According to popular serial Mayarvi Marisan which
daughter Soundarya, who is the was produced by Abirami Eswaran.
director of the film, the production The version has also been directed
values will be on par with those of by Raju Eswaran. The film is about
Pixar or Dream works. how the mythological characters –
Irumban and Maarisan experience
DIRECTOR N. Lingusamy, who the Chennai of the contemporary
produced hit film Deepavali made times amidst non-stop laughter.
under his banner Thriupathi Brothers, Nasser, Jayaram, arvind, Saranya
has now come up with his next Mohan, Karunas and many others
project Pattalam in which Nadiya is are in the cast besides the director
playing the lead. Rohan Krishna, s himself who play a baddie. It is a film
student of the film institute, is the full of fun ad frolic which provides
director who has worked under wholesome entertainment to the
Priyadarshan and Santhosh Sivam. whole family. We

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 101


TAMIL STARS S P E A K !

SRIKANTH STAGES A COMEBACK!


R. Prakash
of assignments on hand and I am
fully focused on giving my best to all
the projects. Apart from acting,
tarting his screen career nothing else is on my agenda, as at

S about six years ago,


Srikanth has acted in over
a dozen films, most of which have
the moment.
After a disastrous release of
Kizhakku Kadarkarai Salai almost
been successful at the box-office. two years ago, Srikanth hasn’t had a
Then there was a small lull in his release at all.
career, his marriage which Whatever the reasons be,
actually brought in some Srikanth claims that he was actually
problems along... but the that’s all waiting for good projects to come by.
about the past: out to the He adds, Sasi and I were to do a
present...the sensitive yet project together but I had to back out
sensible star is all set for a solid owing to personal reasons.
innings now with his latest release Moreover, that project never took off.
Poo directed by his mentor, Sasi Srikanth is visibly very happy to
(who gave him the first break with associate with Sasi again as he
Roja Koottam which was jubilantly recollects the memories of
Srikanth’s successful launch pad). his memorable debut film, Roja
Though Poo is a heroine- Kootaam Srikanth speaks
oriented subject basically Srikanth specifically about another significant
had no reservations about playing factor “While doing Roja Kootaam
a part in the movie that has been romance with a rural setting, says with Sasi, everyone excepting me
made by his mentor. Moreover, his Srikanth who accepted the offer at were known faces. In Poo I am the
character was very vital in the movie, the instance of Sasi who suggested only familiar face, while all the others
around which the whole screenplay that Srikanth should take up and try were new!”
was woven. He only makes a belated out different subjects. Srikanth is Srikanth speaks about his ground
entry in the film but Srikanth asserts quite confident that Poo will pave the work for Poo.
that only after his arrival does the way for a new phase in his career. For the first time, my image moves
screenplay takes a twist, facilitating a Srikanth has high regards for Sasi, away from that of a metroman. I have
flashback. who, according to him, is a tough put in extra effort to portray the role
Srikanth remarks that his marriage taskmaster when it come to getting of a rural youth going to town to
has brought in better sense of the right expressions that he exactly study. I did a bit of research too while
balance in him. ‘I pay more attention wants from his artistes. preparing for the role.
to the quality of roles that come my Actors turning directors and Indira Vizha, Rasikkum Seemane,
way’, he explains. directors turning actors seems to be Maa, Police Police, Manavan Dinam,
So far, Srikanth has appeared in the order of the day... how about Drohi, Srikanth has good number of
roles that were urban by way of Srikanth. films on hand. Looks like he is certain
backdrop. Poo is my first-time As of now I am holding a bagful to have a good time this time!

first time, in its history, the state


A WIDE VARIETY OF WORLD-CLASS FILMS! government has extended financial
support for the festival by offering
he sixth edition of the Chennai Organised by the Indo-Cine a sum of Rs 25 lakh.

T International Film Festival


(CIFF) was held at Chennai
recently for a period of 10 days.
Appreciation Forum, which has been
holding this event annually since
2003 has come a long way. For the
The best aspect of the Chennai
Festival is the fact that it offers quality
films and this year, it showcased 110

102 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


films from 35 countries. More so, 25 Sridhar (Tamil) and Youseff Chahine Krasilovsky tracked the lens towards
films screened at the International from Egypt. women of different nationalities on land
Film Festival of India (IFFI) at Goa Flowers of the Sky from Sri Lanka and under water, war zones and film
recently were also screened here by Prasanna Vithanage looked sets in Women Behind the Camera.
And for the first time, 10 films by deeply at a once-celebrity star, now The list of films under World Cinema
students of the L.V. Prasad Film and living in seedy obscurity Vithanage included Behind the Glass, The Tour,
Television, Academy are also a part and actress Malini Fonseka (who Palestine, etc. while the Italian
of this year’s package. won the special Jury Silver Peacock package had classics as Letter from
The Tamil films that were screened for subtle acting at IFFI’08 were also Sahara, Katyn, Double Portrait, etc.
included, Subramanyapuram, present during the screening. While the Russian focus was on
Anjadhe and Poo. The package also I served the King of England by contemporary cinema, Thailand
includes films that have won awards Czech wizard Jiri Menzel, was a brought in legend and adventure. The
in other international film festivals. prized entry which spoke of parallel retros were no less exciting. Aki
Tulpan was the opening films, the stories taking off from a Prague hotel. Kaurismaki’s Those Were the Days
first feature by the Kazakhstan The entry from the Philippines Bet was certainly a case in point.
director Sergei Dvartsevoy which Collector narrated the story of Hard In all, this year’s festival was far
bagged the Best film and Best Luck with a stylish elan. better in the selection of films as well
Director awards of IFFI’ 08. Old favourites like Guernica Muriel as the projection facilities. Moreover,
Films under the ‘Tributes’ section Mon Amour, etc. were also a part of it was organised better this time,
had packages from the Japanese this year’s package. much to the pleasure and privilege of
film-maker Keisuke Kinoshita, C. V. The American film-maker Alexis all film lovers.

was tutored by a person who


PICTURE-PERFECT PARVATHI taught her Tamil, especially the
local slang, in order to get the
ailed and acclaimed as one lip sync in perfect order.

H of the most realistic films of


the times, the recently
released Poo is being talked about
This teenager was absolutely
thrilled when her own voice was
dubbed by a dubbing artiste
for one more reason – the about which Parvathi has no
presence and performance of complaints. After all, the director
Parvathi, a newcomer to Tamil knows what is best for the film,
films, who has simply walked away she reasons out.
with all the honours. For this young beauty, the
Parvathi is the latest addition to script and the director matter
the list of leading ladies from the most but she doesn’t mind
God’s own country, (Kerala) all of commercial roles if it were like
whom have created a big impact the Kannada film, Milana
on Tamil cinema. For a beginning opposite Puneet Rajkumar.
in Kollywood, Parvathi has really But will it not prevent her
been bold. Not many would have character Mari in the film, who is the from reaching the heights scaled by
dared to don such a deglamourised main protagonist’, she elaborates. the likes of Asin and Nayanthara in
role in a debut film, in total contrast to When I reached the actual village glamorous roles?
how she looks when you see her in locale, I took some time to do a bit of Parvathi opines: “My priorities are
person. Not in bits and parts, but research on the environs as well as different. I don’t want the audience
through the entire length of the such girls form real-life, that I could to go gaga over me. Acting is my
movie, has this Kerala queen, get into the skin of the character in passion and I prefer to keep a low
appeared without make-up, the reel-life,” she goes on. profile. That’s it.” Presently, Parvathi
appearing darker addedly, to lend Parvathi has been one person Menon is planning to take a break
credibility to the character. who has been very passionate from Tamil films as she has to
‘I don’t believe in skin-show and I towards acting right from her early complete her studies. She should
care only for meaningful roles’, says days. Shabana Azmi, Tabu, etc. were then be in a position to take up films
she while disclosing the reason as to her favourite heroines and like the in Tamil.
why she decided to do the film “I am way they do, Parvathi looked out for With an humble attitude and
basically a city-bred girl and I have roles with substance. disarming smile, Parvathi is certain
never come across anyone like my To get her expression right, he to go places. We

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 103


PHULKARI
n the field of ornamentation,

I
perhaps embroidery alone can
match jewellery in splendour.
People seem to have a craving
for embellishing a given material

EMBROIDERY
or object to make it more
decorative. In India embroidery
has a hoary past, for there is
mention of needles in very
ancient books.

OF HARYANA Excavations have revealed bronze


embroidery needles dating back to
2300-1500 BC as also figurines
A peep into the fascinating wearing embroidered drapery. Similar
embroidered textiles can also be
world of decorative needlework. seen in the ancient Buddhist stupa
sculptures.
By Kusum Mehta Indians use all the embroidery
stitches known to the rest of the
world but with local variations and
innovations. In India embroidered
fabrics still retain the old social
values, for they are amongst the
treasures given to the bride at the
marriage.
Though certain basic embroidery
stitches are common, each area has
its own special styles largely
determined by the environmental
designs.
The Haryana phulkari is of a
spectacular nature. The word means
“flowering” and it creates a flowery
surface. Strangely enough the stitch
itself is simple darning like the
damask, done from the back, either

116 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


by counting the threads or with the
help of a thread line. This has to be
done with unusual care for a single
miss can throw out the whole pattern.
In the traditional phulkari , the
patterns are dispersed at intervals
over the cloth. The bagh (garden)
style has the entire surface
ornamented by a connected pattern,
with skilful manipulation of the
darning stitch, numerous varieties of
intricate designs are contrived
through horizontal, vertical and
diagonal stitches, each with its own
character based on the motifs it
represents, as also tonal variations
in colours.
There are several kinds of baghs
like shalimar bagh, chand bagh, thread, though occasionally
mircha bagh, duniya bagh as also cotton threads in white and green
satranga (seven coloured), are introduced, and sometimes
panchranga (five coloured) and so even woollen. A peculiarity of
on, each splendid in its own way. The phulkari is that the fabric itself is
third kind is chope where the edges used geometrically as an inner
are embroidered with stylised motifs decoration so that the
of flowers, fruits and birds, along with medallations, diamonds, etc., are
geometrical patterns. not just patterns sewn on but
become an integrated
combination of colours yellow
LOTUS FOR THE CENTRE and madder brown. Such a demanding craft can only
Originally, the designs seem to This is only possible where be a leisure occupation, done with
have been predominantly geometrical absolute accuracy in thread counting devotion and earnestness. As
but the phulkari now being produced is observed. In bagh work the stitch is phulkari was part of a girl’s trousseau
for sale has often a lotus for the so refined that the embroidery as also worn at a particular wedding
centre and stylised animals and birds becomes the fabric itself. The quality ceremony, she had to work on it from
worked harmoniously with flowers. of the workmanship is measured by a very early age. In fact, her
Like other embroideries, some the smoothness at the back that can proficiency in this seems to have
jewellery patterns are also included. only result from the evenness of the added to her eligibility as a bride.
The stitching is done with silk stitches. Madder brown, rust red or indigo
are the usual background colours.
The stitches are mainly in golden
yellow or white or green. A few bright
colours are introduced in the borders.
The best work in phulkari is found
in Gurgaon, Karnal, Hissar, Rohtak
and around Delhi.
Embroidery done in metal wires
by kalabattu – or zari as it is
popularly called – is in class by itself.
The manufacture of real zari threads
was once a big and important
industry, which has declined with the
advent of synthetic material.
Haryana also produces crochet
items, but they are more
pronouncedly local in designs like
elephants, horses, flowers, trees,
swastiks, etc. We

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 117


Count sheep?
Play mind games?
Wash your feet?
There are many
things you can do to
try and fall asleep,
but first, find out
why you can’t sleep!
By Dueep J. Singh

CURE
HOW TO
YOURSELF OF
INSOMNIA t's true that even the healthiest of

I
people occasionally have "white
nights" when it is quite impossible
to get to sleep. I recently had a
night like this because my
peaceful slumber was interrupted
by a wrong number at midnight
when a lady called Raj wanted to
speak to her daughter, Pushpa.
What Raj had been doing all the
hours of reasonable ringing-up-your-
daughter time, I do not wish to
conjecture upon.
Anyway, it had hit me for six. Ten
minutes had been spent trying to
explain to her how to dial a number
properly. The next night I was
interrupted by someone who wanted
to know at 11 o'clock, why I had
given her a missed call at seven
o'clock! I had to waste 15 minutes How many types of insomnia Here, you do not sleep for weeks and
persuading her that she had dialled are there? weeks. I want to tell you that there is
the wrong city code. As trying to get There are different types of often an underlying cause for chronic
back to sleep after such a discussion insomnia, insomnia. For that you have to check
was futile, there followed another  Transient or temporary up with your doctor to see if you
white night. insomnia: Transient insomnia is a suffer from depression or anxiety.
Sleep is the cheapest beauty disturbance in sleeping patterns  The long-term use of sleeping
treatment one can give oneself but which continues for a few nights only. pills and alcohol, or a very heavy
go 48 hours without sleep and, The cause can be jet lag, excitement, meal loaded with proteins before
instead of looking bright, fresh and stress, illness or a change in sleep going to sleep, can also lead to
relaxed, you look like a wet sponge schedule. Those with transient insomnia. Sometimes, shift work also
— haggard and irritated. You do not insomnia soon return to normal. If disturbs one’s sleep pattern and one
look your age, for you immediately you have a crying baby around or becomes a chronic insomniac.
gain 10 years of distinguished some construction work going on Medical problems such as chronic
maturity without make-up. when you are trying to sleep, you will pain or an overactive bladder and the
Your skin, looks like a used tissue suffer from temporary insomnia. ageing process can also disturb
paper, wrinkled and dry. Above all,  The second type is short-term one’s sleep pattern.
because your resistance level is so insomnia. This can be a bit more
low, you find yourself falling prey to serious because it continues Can insomnia be
small infections like a cold or slight for two to three weeks. Here, Since falling caused by diseases?
fever. the main causes are mental Insomnia is often a
Forty-eight hours without sleep and psychological, like worry asleep is a symptom of another
and I had to get a medical check-up about finances, change of passive condition rather than a
done to get my driving licence location or job, and, in India, condition on its own. If
renewed. So I took the opportunity to worry about children! Sadness process that insomnia is caused by
ask the doctor about insomnia, and about an emotional loss can medical or psycholo -
how to get a good night's rest. cause you to lie awake at requires the gical conditions, its
Excerpts from interview with night and grieve. This will lead body and treatment will have to
Dr Anjana Mehta, MD. to short-term insomnia. focus on those under-
Doctor, what is a sleep  The most worrying type mind to be lying conditions. Only a
disorder? As far as I know, of them all is chronic doctor can tell you if
insomnia means difficulty in insomnia. But this is very rare! relaxed, your insomnia is due to
sleeping, doesn’t it? strategies such conditions as
As the name heart disease, epil -
suggests, a sleep which calm epsy, pregnancy,
disorder means that you menopause or arthritis.
have some difficulty in both the mind It is not advisable at all
sleeping. Falling or and body are to medicate yourself
staying asleep, going to with your own gharelu
sleep at unusual times, very helpful in nuskhe or some herbal
sleeping much longer medicine because you
than what is normal and managing can get addicted to
other such abnormal insomnia. them.
behaviour related with In addition, medi -
sleep, all come under cations prescribed for certain health
sleep disorders. condi tions such as high blood
pressure and even asthma may
Can you please tell me, how adversely affect sleep. You
many hours of sleep I really need should also identify any psy-
to keep healthy. chological factors standing in
Eight hours is what an the way of your rest. Since
average adult needs. But some of falling asleep is a passive
us need 10 hours (“Me!” I squeak. I process that requires the
like my sleep...) Children need eight body and mind to be
to nine hours and babies need even relaxed, strategies which
more. However, there are some calm both the mind and body
people who are perfectly healthy, are very helpful in managing
sleeping for about six hours. insomnia.
If I do not get my daily quota of My grandmother advocated that brushing your teeth, and getting into
relaxed sleep, how will that affect we wash our feet before we go to bed with a relaxing book. The
my health? sleep. How does that help? moment you begin to feel sleepy,
The important word here is Apart from the fact that the sheets switch off the light, and forget about
“relaxed”. You might have eight hours remain clean longer, washing your your book.
of sleep interrupted by waking up feet before you go to sleep is a sort No three pages more! Stimulus-
with a jerk and dropping off again. of sleep-inducing trick. Absolutely no control therapy is what is needed
That is not healthy, relaxed sleep. coffee or chocolate before going to here. The bed is for sleeping and not
Relaxed sleep is dropping off in sleep. In fact, insomniacs should stop for preventing yourself from going to
seven minutes after your head hits drinking much tea or coffee. In a day, sleep by keeping awake to finish your
the pillow and waking up the next your quota should be not more than book.
morning at your regular time. five cups, do not drink either of these
beverages within three hours of your How about going out for a walk
Doctor, sometimes, sleep just bedtime. So no consuming caffeine, after dinner?
doesn’t come. Can you give me nicotine or alcohol too close to A gentle walk is always
some tips. I tried counting sheep, bedtime. Do not watch television right recommended after dinner, but no
but I had to give it up, because it before going to bed either. vigorous exercising! Exercise has a
was making me feel even more direct, beneficial effect on several
tired. I don’t think it’s stress and Is it better to rush to bed and factors that affect insomnia. It
there is no question of my try to go to sleep or is there any reduces the effects of stress,
suffering from heart disease, tire-yourself-out routine, which improves mood and deepens sleep.
arthritis, etc. But I am still am can make sleep easier? Regular daily exercise completed at
deprived of sleep. What can I do? (Anjana shook her head). In fact, least four hours before bedtime
Well, if you have been sleeping both of us know that anybody who is usually improves sleep performance.
badly, and you do not know any not completely tired out before he or
obvious reason for this, like a major she goes to sleep, is going to have Sometimes, even if my bed is
change in your life or some serious quite a whale of a time, counting very comfortable, I cannot get to
disturbance and worry, it is sheep. sleep. What should I do then?
necessary to begin to look at your Actually, there should be a pre- Buy a mattress which is not too
lifestyle. Are you eating late? Are you sleep routine, which we call soft. Discard lumpy mattresses. See
stressed out? Are you missing your unwinding. That is, you need about that your pillows are plump enough
meals? Are you hurrying around in a half an hour to 45 minutes to get to support your head.
chaotic manner? Well, remember not ready for sleep. That is a time when
to eat much after nine o'clock. If you you can go through your nightly Sometimes, my back aches
want to have something, have a drink beauty routine of moisturising and when I go to sleep. How do I
of warm milk. cleaning your face, having a bath, prevent this?
That is a common problem. Sleep
with an extra pillow supporting your
Relaxed sleep is dropping back where it aches. It should be
off in seven minutes hard and not spongy. If you have a
lot of back problem, try sleeping on a
after your head hits the hard surface. With an extra-firm
mattress.
pillow and waking up the No wonder our ancestors were so
next morning at straight-backed, sleeping on the
ground or on wooden planks!
your regular time. Try it out, it helps. The nawaar or
rope charpoy bends itself to the
contours of the body without giving it
support when and where necessary.
So you need a plywood phatta!

Sometimes, it happens that


there is something very important
scheduled for the next day and it
is absolutely essential for me to
get some sleep. And my brain
chooses that time to begin acting

120 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


thoroughly active and not relaxing patient who is in pain, only to find out naps, not drink coffee, make sure
at all. What do I do then? that he or she has become addicted that my bedroom is calm and quiet
For a long time, we doctors to them even after the pain has and dark, no alcohol or smoking at
advocated mental relaxation tricks disappeared. It also happens that all at night, (not that it applies in my
but you can try some physical continuous use of these medications case!). and eat some light
relaxation tricks. Close your eyes and make the body build up resistance to carbohydrates before going to bed.
tell yourself that you are not going to them, lessening their efficiency, due That all right in the general sense.
open them at all. Breathe in very to which some people begin to take So let us see what homoeopathy has
deeply, counting up to 10. Hold your higher doses in self-medication. to say about insomnia.
breath to a count of five, and then Excerpts from the interview with
breathe out, up to a count of 10. This So I got my medical certificate, Dr (Captain) Siddhartha Garewal.
is a simulation of deep sleep and you saying I am fit to drive. But I am BHMS. Hey, even the Indian defence
will drop off very soon. just this teensy-weensy bit sleep- forces believe that Homoeopathy is
You can also begin to relax all deprived. So what's new, pussy a genuine medical science!
your muscles by clenching them and cat?
then letting them go loose. Start with What I have found out from this First of all, doctor tell me,
your feet, clenching them, and then exercise is that before trying to go to before we get to insomnia, how
relax. Then work up your body, then sleep, I must exercise a little, not take does homeopathy cure a person
your arms and hands and last of all naturally?
your shoulders. That should loosen Actually, homeopathic remedies
up any tense muscles. are prepared from natural substances
so that they can stimulate the
Sometimes, I am so tired that I body's own power of healing itself.
cannot sleep. What do I do then?
Try relaxation techniques and if Do you mean that I can be
they do not work, get up and wash cured permanently by homoeo -
your face with cold water. Drink a pathy?
glass of water too. You can also Yes, homeopathy has a better
brush your hair, if you want to. Sit up record of offering long-lasting to
for a while, go back to bed, make it permanent cures, because the
afresh and then try to go back to disease is being treated from its root.
sleep again. Actually, we believe that there is
some affliction of the mind and
What do you think of sleep body which disturbs the whole
medications? organism.
Definitely no-no! These So we have to provide one
medications have side-effects like constitutional remedy. Instead
high blood pressure and nausea and of treating all the body parts
suntans. It has happened that separately, the disturbing force has
doctors have prescribed them for a to be treated. We

AN IDEAL MATCH...
Many a times I have come person will become ideal for you. yourself an ideal person – and be
across this question. Who is an I had learnt this from my past compatible to your partner – and
ideal match for you? Or how will you relationships and my marriage that then you will slowly notice that your
describe an ideal match for the person with whom you are partner is also changing
yourself? Parents search for "An related/married to, can be very accordingly, and will become an
ideal match" for their daughter. So, different or simply opposite of you. ideal match for you.
who is an ideal match? Then after having a relationship, if Don't load yourself with bundles
The simple answer to this you discover that this person is not of expectations, because coz it will
question is that there is no ideal your type, life can become horrible only lead to depression. So, to have
match for anybody. Surprised? But because it's not easy to break a healthy relationship – and an ideal
it's the truth. The only existing ideal relationships. The simplest way to partner, become an ideal partner
match is "U" and nobody else. If you solve this problem is to give time to and understand your relationship
can make yourself an ideal for your marriage/relationship, and and I can assure you, you will have
someone, then automatically any have patience. You have to make a wonderful life. – Shilpi Signodia

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 121


The Bridge
that United Hearts
It was not a material connection but a Faltu child that
brought them together. By Nalini Sharma

D
riven by intense desire to witness the don’t you sleep quietly and let others do so?”
gorgeous snow-clad mountains Nandini was “That is what we have been doing since we
prompted to take a fortnight’s leave in the arrived here... sleeping and eating,” she retorted.
month of January from her college where she “You can sleep as long as you wish. For your
was working as a lecturer. Braving the chilly information, it is nine o'clock. time to get up...”
cold of winter she joyfully undertook long saying which she jerked her shawl free from his
arduous journey from Agra to Fakhruhi, a grip.
small, hilly place nestling in the valley among the “I won’t allow you to go out in such inclement
treacherous terrain of Himachal Pradesh where her weather...” he growled.
husband’s eldest brother was recently posted. “Inclement, weather?” Nandini shot back. “I
Since her arrival there, severe blizzards kept came here only to enjoy such weather and...and to
raging forcing her to remain indoors. The white witness snowfall and picturesque bewitching natural
snow flakes rained incessantly from the heavens beauty. Remember?”
above. Even windows could not be opened He began to wriggle out of the loads of
for fear of them getting inside. Hardly had quilts. Before he could, she quickly made
Occasionally, she would peep out through her exit. The moment she stepped out the
Nandini scaled
a narrow chink in the window pane and sky above greeted her by showering white
marvel at their pure white ethereal beauty. a hillock when flowers upon her. The whole atmosphere
How she longed to go out and bathe under she heard exuded a divine aura, serenity and
the snow shower! But that was not to be. Rahul’s voice, tranquillity that held her spellbound. In
Aware of her intense longing to enjoy such “Wait, awe Nandini gazed at the snow-clad
freakish weather, Rahul, her husband, kept Nandini, I am peaks that outlined the horizon far away,
a strict vigil on her movements thinking that magnificently giving her a mute, irresistible
she was bit queer. He would lie snug
coming. You call. Though it was a time for hectic
buried under quilts smiling smugly at her won’t find morning chores with people running
discomfiture while she listened greedily to your way back. errands all over the place, not a soul was
the sound of the snow storm howling All the hillocks visible save one or two orderlies or
outside lashing against the window panes look alike...” maidservants who scurried past her
that was sheer music to her ears. hurriedly hidden under woollens with their
Eight days departed one by one leaving eyes peeping through headgear.
her short of precious time that she had wished to

H
spend on sightseeing. Weather still hostile, giving ardly had Nandini scaled a hillock when she
her no respite, was a great hindrance in fulfilling her heard Rahul’s voice, “Wait, Nandini, I am
mission. As the ninth day dawned, she peeped out coming. You won’t find your way back. All the
as usual. To her wonder there seemed to be a lull in hillocks look alike...”
the howling of the chilly wind though the snow flakes Nandini turned her head to see Rahul hurrying
still poured in profusion. Promptly covering herself towards her.She called back, “Rahul, you need not
from top to toe in woollen garments, she decided to come. I won’t lose my way back. Rest assured...”
steal out quietly before her husband woke up. But, unheeding he bounded up beside her in
As she unbolted the bedroom door, Rahul woke leaping strides with bouncy steps. Dusting snow
up. Catching hold of her shawl, he cried, “Why flakes off his body, he looked around. Shrugging his

122 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


shoulders indifferently, he asked, “What is there to
see here? Only bare tree stumps devoid of leaves
and flowers! Dry twigs and pale leaves groaning
greedily playing hide
and seek as snowflakes
melted slowly into dew
SHORT

STORY
under our feet! Just hear the crunchy sound with drops. The icicles hung like pearls from the
every step you take. This uninhabited, dry stretch of bare branches of the trees sparkling in the
land and ugly mounds give me the creeps. I don’t golden glow of the morning sun. Feasting
see any beauty here. If I stayed here for a few her eyes on colours, she stared at their
seconds more, I would either go berserk or suffer beauty as if in a trance. It seemed that
from depression...surely...” nature was adorned with pearly white in
Saying it in mock depression he twisted his neck obeisance to divine power. The ground
sideways in a dramatic manner. Nandini burst out under her feet lay littered with pebbles,
laughing at his antics. potato-shaped, small, smooth stones and
“You have the gift of the gab,” she taunted, “You big boulders – reminder of landslides long
will go on orating non-stop and...and I am well ware ago. Nothing could ever fill her heart with
of your concept of beauty. The green colour of bank so much joy.
notes is the most beautiful sight for you, their scent is “Beautiful! Marvellous! What a
the sweetest fragrance and nothing is more magnificent sight!” she exulted.
melodious to your ears than the sound of crispy, new

R
currency notes.” ahul stopped short on hearing his wife’s
Letting out a hearty guffaw he looked deep into exclamation. But looking around, he cried in
his wife’s eyes before commenting, “Had I not been dismay, “Where? I don’t see anything
a lover of beauty, I would not have married you.” beautiful...”
His compliment made Nandini blush adding to Pointing to the branches of trees adorned with
her joy in that charming surrounding. exquisite white icicles glittering in different hues in
Shivering with cold, he took hold of her right the sunlight, Nandini exclaimed exuberantly, “Look
hand and began to drag her down the hillock. At here! Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder...” She
that very moment the sun emerged from behind the turned his face with both her hands in that direction.
range of mountains producing a star-like effect Crosshead: Appaling discovery
lighting up the horizon. An unusual sight greeted Hardly were the words out of her mouth when
Nandini’s eyes – the shadow of the hills silhouetted something soft struck her toes. Instantly, she bent
in the clouds created by the morning sun. The down to see what it was. One look at it made her
sunlight began to filter through the hills and through shriek in horror, “Faltu! Bhaiji’s son? Here?”
the thick growth of bare trees in its purest pristine Both of them were violently jolted at this sudden
glory. turn of events and cried in unison as if asking the
Standing in awe of the majestic panorama, she mute trees and hills, “How did he come here? This
drank in the beauty of shimmering sunbeams year- old tiny tot could not have tottered up there on
the hillock on his own!” But their voices reverberated
in the hills.
Instantly picking up the wrapped
tiny bundle, Nandini cradled it in her
arms. Faltu’s lips had turned blue in
the freezing cold and he looked
deathly pale. He lay still with
no movement. Putting her
fingers to his nostrils, she
checked its breathing but she
could not feel any. Then,
holding him close to her
bossom, she began to rub his
tiny feet to warm its frail, limp
body.
Man’s evil designs had
Rahul slapped Nandini so hard
that it sent her reeling against the
wall. “How dare you teach Bhaiji”? he
shouted at the top of his voice.
marred nature’s beauty. It was evident that someone Sobbing hysterically she hiccupped incoherently,
had thrown him there not without some ulterior “Nandini...er... Nandini found... him... on ...on the
motive just before Nandini and Rahul reached there. hillock...”
Had Nandini not gone to that hillock that morning, With fear-stricken face and tear-filled eyes, Lata
Faltu would never have been found. The euphoria of silently implored Nandini to tell him where she had
sightseeing evaporated in an instant. Rudely found Faltu. In response, Nandini gestured to her
awakened from her blissful reverie to ugly reality, husband to divulge the truth, but he kept mum as if
Nandini’s spirits sagged and, with a heavy heart, he had lost the power of speech. Nandini was
she quickly retraced her steps back home while aware of the fact that Rahul, being the youngest one
Rahul trailed behind her dejectedly. was in awe of bhaiji, his eldest brother, and never
opened his mouth in his presence. Not succeeding

B
ack home, Rahul joined his two brothers in the in evoking any response from him, Nandini gave
drawing room while Nandini went straight to him a nudge but she failed to make him open his
Lata, Faltu’s mother, in the kitchen. Putting the mouth.
tiny tot in her lap, she asked, “Where did you leave Crosshead: Truth unforheads
him, bhabhi? I found him lying on the top of the Unable to contain herself any longer, Nandini
hillock under a tree... in this freezing cold...” blurted out the truth, “We found Faltu lying
“On the hillock?” Lata repeated like a moron not unconscious on top of the hillock under a tree when
comprehending. After a few seconds, as the impact we went for sightseeing... a little while ago...”
of Nandini’s words hit her mind with Again she looked at her husband to
tremendous force, she let out a high- back her statement up but he averted her
Stunned
pitched painful shriek. Stunned, she looked gaze.
up at Nandini in utter disbelief with her at this Stunned at this revelation, bhaiji asked
big beautiful eyes swollen due to long revelation, in a rasping voice, “On the top of the
crying. bhaiji asked hillock? How did he reach there?”
“He was missing since morning,” she in a rasping Rahul’s silence was getting on Nandini’s
hiccupped between sobs. “He was not voice, nerves. On top of that, bhaiji’s silly
asleep in his cot when I went to feed him. I question irritated her no end. “This one-
“On the
searched for him everywhere in the house year-old,” she spoke up bluntly, “would not
but he was nowhere...” top of the have walked up there, would he?
Lata’s face was washed with tears and hillock? Obviously someone had taken him
her kameez wet with milk. She looked a How did he there...”
perfect picture of sorrow. Instantly, she reach ”Why?” he barked.
squeezed the limp body of Faltu under the there?” There was grave silence. No one dared
kameez to her breast to feed him. The answer his question. Anyone with a little
warmth and scent of his mother’s body intelligence could deduce the ulterior
made the tiny tot snuggle closer to its mother and he motive of the person who left Faltu in the desolate
began sucking milk that made Nandini jump with place in the freezing cold but not bhaiji. Only a fool
joy. Lata kept wailing loudly while feeding the little could ask such a silly question.
one. Since her arrival there, Nandini had been
Soon, the sound of her wailing reached the ears immensely grieved to see the ill-treatment meted out
of her husband whom everybody addressed as to Lata and her son. She was already seething with
bhaiji. He arrived at the kitchen door with his two rage. Now, bhaiji’s silly ‘why’ fuelled her anger all
younger brothers in tow – Raman and Rahul. Seeing the more.
her husband, Lata’s wailing pitch rose even higher.

E
When bhaiji saw his son at his wife’s breast, his xasperated no end, her suppressed fury erupted
face lit up with joy. in words all of a sudden, “Bhaiji, Lata bhabhi
But puzzled out of his wits at her non-stop crying, didn’t come to this house on her own. You
he asked, “Lata, where did you find Faltu? Didn’t I brought her here and... and you brought Faltu into
tell you that he would be here buried under some this world. You should protect them from... from...”
quilt?” Even before Nandini could complete her
But in reply Lata kept sobbing hysterically. He sentence, her husband standing like a mute statue so
repeated his question again and again but met with far, suddenly turned mobile with a jerk and slapped
the same response. Unable to control his mounting her so hard that it sent her reeling against the wall.
rage, he thundered, “Cut your miserable melodrama “How dare you teach bhaiji?” he shouted at the
and answer me. Where did you find him?” top of his voice. “What he does is none of your

124 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


business. Just eat two meals a day and sit quietly in in any respect. There is a great disparity between
a corner with your mouth shut... till you are here a you two. You will never be able to bridge the
few days more... or else... I would...” intellectual and cultural chasm. You are highly
He left the sentence unfinished menacingly. Tears refined with great aesthetic sense. Your life will be
welled up in Nandini’s eyes with humiliation and sheer misery with this...man. You have only seen his
righteous indignation. Rahul’s sudden aggressive handsome exterior but you don’t know the real man
behaviour towards her shocked her immensely but behind that charming facade. He has charmed his
more shocking than that was the vulgar display of way into your heart with his fluent, smooth and
his manliness in the presence of his mother and persuasive talk because he is shrewd businessman
brothers. Yet her husband turned into a coward and and... and a glib salesman. He never reads the
developed cold feet in dread of them. How she books he sells. Being an avid reader, you are well
despised his craven behaviour! The pain of being informed but he is an ignoramus. The moment you
the wife of a coward was more than all the see the seamy side of his life, you will repent your
humiliation heaped upon her. Even at the age of, 38 decision of marrying him. He is uncultured and
he didn’t have the guts to relate a simple fact he had highly materialistic. A man is known by his roots and
been witness to – to speak the truth. he can’t shake off its influence.
“Seeing you hell-bent upon marrying him, I paid a

T
his incident revealed the ugly facet of his quick, surprise visit to his parental home without
character – that he was a man of straw, a mere your knowledge. I am sorry to say his people are
puppet and a puny weakling under the thumb uncultured brutes lacking taste, refinement and
of his elders but could fly into a nasty temper to manners. Their language and manners are crude. I
subdue his morally correct wife at the slightest have seen their seamy side. What a sordid life they
provocation. A feeling of emptiness engulfed lead! Their ignorance and crudity will make you run
Nandini distancing her from her husband. She no away in disgust. Coming from different
longer felt the same warmth for him in her heart. This backgrounds, you will not be able to interact and
incident turned her into an unemotional robot – cold adjust with each other. Don’t get carried away by
and detached from him. She loathed being his wife his deceptive appearance. You are inviting disaster.
and didn’t feel a sense of belonging to his house. I will die of shock if you come to any grief. It is not
Totally detached, she withdrew to a corner. love but mere infatuation that will soon evaporate
Cross head: Papa’s warming like camphor...once his true character is revealed.
Her father’s words rang in her ears, “Nandini, for “It beats me how you, an intellectual girl with
goodness sake, forget Rahul. He is not worthy of you tremendous reasoning power, got influenced
by...that man... Strange are the ways...” he added
stifling a sigh and left the sentence unfinished.
Crosshead: The nightmare begins

B
ut Nandini had refused to heed his sane advice
and stood her ground. She was smitten with
Rahul so much that she married him much
against the wishes of her parents. The very first night
her father was proved right. She had shock of her
life when Rahul had pounced upon her body like a
beast saying, “I was waiting for this moment for
long...”
Miffed by his crude approach, she had
wriggled free of his grasp. Annoyed, he had
snapped at her, “Nandini, what is the
matter? Come on. You are my wife, aren’t
you? Let us celebrate our wedding night...”
With tear-filled eyes, she had managed to
mumble, “Yes, I am your wife, not your

Nandini was shocked to see the ugly


facet of her husband’s character,
which pained her more than the
humiliation heaped on her.
prey. I don’t like your beastly approach. You should who had wrongfully usurped their home and father.
be gentle...” The house, no longer a sweet home, was turned
“Pooh!” he had exclaimed in disgust. “That is into a virtual battlefield. Savage fighting took place
what happens if you marry a teacher. Instead of between the two warring parties – one of Suresh
making love, she gives me a sermon. Serves me and Mukesh, the other of Amit and Sumit. Suresh
right!” and Mukesh would go to any length to cause the
Something had snapped inside her at that very others injury or humiliation and promptly hide in the
moment. She felt a deep void in her heart. His protective arms of their loving grandmother ever
rough, unsophisticated, brutal approach had ready to cover up their follies and nasty deeds.
completely put her off and turned her cold. She had Hapless Lata was too terrified of her mother-in-law to
gone into silent mode after that. even hug her own sons, wipe their tears or heal their
At that very instant he had labeled her frigid. On wounded psyches with a kiss.
another occasion, he had jeered at her, “You are If she was ever seen doing so, her mother-in-law
like a beautiful statue with no life – fit to adorn a would scold her angrily, “Woman, my son brought
museum...not a home.” you here not to sleep with but to be a mother to
Her marriage was an utter fiasco from the very these two motherless children. Keep away from
start but Nandini kept up the facade before the those lazy parasites you brought with you...”
world of happy married life not to cause pain to her

R
parents. How hard she tried but she could not be aman’s wife, burdened with the Herculean task
normal towards Rahul. His crudity repulsed her. of managing the house and two spoilt brats all
Their turbulent marriage was a love-hate alone after the death of bhaiji’s first wife
relationship. But now his behaviour in bhaiji’s home heaved a sigh of relief on the arrival of Lata and
had revealed an even more unbearably ugly facet of promptly washed her hands of the whole
his character so far unknown to her. responsibility and retired cosily to the sanctum of her
Nursing her wounded psyche, she began to travel bedroom.
down memory lane. Lata would get up at dawn when everybody was
Crossroad:Bhaiji’s background asleep. She would do the cleaning, wash clothes,
prepare tea and breakfast, tiffin for school, lunch,

S
he remembered just three days after her and then the evening meal. After slogging hard the
marriage, bhaiji first wife, Rama, had died of whole day like a slave, at 11 p.m., she would drop
meningitis leaving two sons, Suresh and dead tired on the mat on the kitchen floor. That was
Mukesh, in the hands of Raman’s childless wife. not enough; bhaiji was there invariably on the dot
Their grandmother doted on them. She pampered seeking her service in bed. Daily, this inhuman
and indulged them so much that they became spoilt routine was repeated. In addition, she and her two
brats – aggressive, self-willed and wayward. After sons suffered indignities and torture at the hands of
remaining two years without a wife, bhaiji secretly family members. She was made to pay for the sins of
married Lata, a young widow of exquisite beauty bhaiji. She suffered silently and never complained to
and a mother of two sons, Amit and Sumit by her fist her husband about the ill-treatment meted out to her
marriage, without consulting his mother, brothers for fear of incurring their wrath, further aggravating
and sons. Everybody was aghast at this behaviour her suffering. She bore her misfortune courageously.
and hated him for his remarriage but Bhaiji, blissfully oblivious of her plight,
nobody dared to oppose him openly. If she was ever enjoyed heavenly bliss of marital life.
Bhaiji was a dictator who ruled the house Nandini’s heart bled to see Lata’s
with an iron rod by creating a fear
seen doing so, unending misery.
psychosis. Consequently, Lata and her two her mother-in- One day, she asked her, “Bhabhi, don’t
small sons had to bear the brunt of their law would scold you think that you are paying a very heavy
anger. Suresh and Mukesh were her angrily, price for wearing a pinch of sindoor on
aggressive, ever ready to fight while Amit “Woman, my your forehead? Widowhood was much
and Sumit were meek, humble and always son brought better than this living death, wasn’t it?
on the defensive. Suresh and Mukesh you here not to Weren’t you happier then?”
despised Lata for taking their mother’s sleep with but Hearing her question, Lata’s fair face
place, refused to call her mother and to be a mother clouded over. Letting out a deep,
always addressed her in a derogatory anguished sigh, she replied, “Nandini, you
to these two
way – ‘that woman’ – and invented are educated, earning and self-reliant. You
imaginary excuses to bash her sons up. motherless can’t imagine the agony and hellish
They considered the trio as trespassers children. suffering of an illiterate young widow with

126 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


no support and means of livelihood seeing One day, she became extremely tense. No one dared to
her kids starving. And...and it is a man’s asked her, complain to bhaiji. After all, he was solely
world, isn’t it? Without a man around, a “Bhabhi, don’t responsible for the spoilt home
woman’s beauty becomes her worst you think that atmosphere. For the first time, Nandini had
enemy. Wily wolves in sheep’s clothing you are paying dared to speak the truth in the presence of
hover about ever ready to pounce upon a very heavy bhaiji, but in return she was rewarded with
her, taking advantage of her misfortune. price for a slap.
She needs a roof over her head and a wearing a Crossroad: Back to the present
pinch of Shedding tears, Nandini sat brooding
husband to protect her from other lecherous sindoor on your
guys. My life may look burdensome to you forehead? over the events since her marriage.
but I feel safe here and earn my living Widowhood Suddenly, her chain of distressing thoughts
respectably by doing household chores...” was much was disrupted by the voice of the
Nandini stared at her speechless. Lata better than this maidservant, the silent spectator of this
was right in her own way. She slogged living death, family melodrama, “Saab, on my way to
hard like a slave for a living and a wasn’t it? Arora’s house, I saw Suresh and Amit
respectable roof over her head. Bhaiji was holding Faltu in the cold outside...”
her meal ticket for life. Nandini’s educated, Hardly were the words out of her mouth, there
independent mind was in utter confusion. She was a thunder that shook the whole building.
cherished nothing more than freedom and self- “Suresh...Amit...!”
respect. She would have preferred widowhood, an All hell broke loose. Nandini feared the worst.
independent life, rather than getting chained to Bhaiji’s eyes were red like live coal. He was frothing
abominable drudgery for selfish brutes. at the mouth with uncontrollable rage. Hardly had
the echo of his voice died down when Suresh and

A
year after her marriage, Lata gave birth to a Amit shot out like a bullet from inside the house and
baby boy – bhaiji’s son – thereby adding to running at top speed, began to scale the hillocks.
her misery. The news was a bolt from the blue Rahul had no nerve to stop them. Raman made a
and came as a terrible shock to all the members. futile bid to go after them but bhaiji bellowed, “Stay
They were completely taken aback by the here, Raman. No need to go. Hunger and thirst will
unwelcome surprise. Nandini’s mother-in-law drive them back home... then I will give them a bit of
spewed venom in a loud, angry voice glaring at the my mind...”
newborn disapprovingly, “Faltu.” And he left for work as if nothing had happened,
“The house is already teeming with unwanted Nandini’s mother-in-law wailed at the highest pitch
children. Throw this faltu worthless fellow away this beating her breast in the most disgusting manner
very moment, for you have already burdened us with and hurling choicest obscenities at Lata and cursing
two good-for-nothing brats,” she commanded Lata. Faltu, “Why don’t you die, both of you? Bad luck
The name faltu stuck. Thus the newborn was will befall us if you stay here... any longer...”
named Faltu by the old hag with beady eyes who Hungry Faltu began to cry. Hardly had Lata
was as autocratic as her eldest son. Hapless, Lata picked him up for feeding when the old woman
dared not give the newborn a proper name. thundered, “No! You won’t. Let it die...”
The little one had inherited the beauty and

L
irresistible charm of its mother. Soon, it became the ata dropped on the floor in a dead faint with
centre of bhaiji’s attention. He doted on him like a the tremendous shock. When became conscious
man possessed, ignoring his two sons by his first she resumed doing her chores like a robot while
wife. Before going to and after coming back from Faltu sobbed to sleep. Unable to bear the cruelty,
work, he was seen pampering the baby. Nandini put a milk bottle to the lips of the sleeping
The two warring parties stopped fighting baby.
suddenly as if a ceasefire had been declared, and Her mother-in-law glared at her and roared,
got united against a common enemy – “Faltu the “Didn’t you have enough for the day from your
newborn tiny tot. They would sing in unison husband for poking your dirty nose into our affairs?”
derisively, Faltu, Faltu, Faltu,” causing intense agony Keeping mum, Nandini stared at her angrily. The
to his mother. They took delight in pinching and whole drama had made her brazen. No more afraid
pushing the little one. They would snatch the milk of these uncivilised brutes, she prepared to depart
bottle from his mouth or drop it roughly on the floor from there as early as possible, cutting short her
from its cot while the old woman smiled smugly with visit.
evil glee. She mounted her tirade against Lata and The hours ticked by and the day wore off but
cursed Faltu all the time. The home atmosphere Suresh and Amit had not returned. It was dusk when

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 127


bhaiji came back from work. As he picked up Faltu contention with you and turn him into an educated,
in his arms he remembered the boys. He cultured, self-reliant person like you...”
commanded Raman to summon both of them to his Crosshead: Faltu rechristened
presence – pronto! Only then did he come to know In reply, Nandini picked up Faltu, and hugged
that Suresh and Amit had not returned. His forehead him lovingly to her bosom, deliberately ignoring
creased with worry lines, he sent his younger Rahul’s disapproving glance expressing her silent but
brothers to search the boys in the pitch dark of the firm consent. Then she asked, “bhabhi, What about
thick jungle on the chain of hills. Three hours’ search bhaiji? Will he allow it? He dotes upon him...”
bore no fruit. After 12 hours, at 9 p.m., the police “Oh, that is no problem,” replied Lata.
were informed. It was too late. They combed the

T
entire area, but the boys had completely rue to her word, she succeeded in persuading
disappeared. They could not be found dead or alive. her husband, who was completely bowled over
A grave-like hush fell on the house. Occasionally, by her bewitching, irresistible charm to let
it was broken by the heart-rending wails of Nandini take Faltu with her for his proper
Nandini’s mother-in-law cursing Lata and Faltu. upbringing. In spite of Rahul’s repeated vehement
Rahul hissed in Nandini’s ears, “It is just because of protestations, Nandini stood her ground and
you... Had you not gone there for sightseeing we brought Faltu with her to Agra. The very next day
wound not have come to this grief...” after her arrival, she arranged a namkaran samskar
His words befuddled Nandini. Shocked at his ceremony and named him Praveen. Keeping a full-
blame game, she kept quiet. The mental impotency of time ayah to assist her in child-rearing, Nandini
Raman and Rahul, their inability to think sanely, blind resumed her duty at the college and the rest of the
obedience to their elder brother and refusal to see time she devoted to Praveen distancing completely
things in the right perspective, had cost them two lives. from her husband. She was happy with the tiny tot
Weary of Rahul’s false accusations against her while Rahul was seething with anger.
again and again, Nandini shot back angrily, “Had I One day, erupting like a volcano, he snatched
not gone there for sightseeing, Faltu would have Praveen from her arms and cried, “Enough,
died...” Nandini, enough. I have had enough of your wilful
“So what?” he cut her short, “His mother Lata behaviour. You are too obstinate, determined to
bhabhi is alive. She can produce another Faltu have your own way. I can’t allow this bone of
again but Suresh was the son of our dead bhabhi... contention here in my house any more. He is
He will not come back...” creating a rift between us. You have drifted apart
from me since you brought him. It is high time that

A
mit, Lata’s son was not mentioned. Rahul’s we pack him off to the place where he belongs...”
senseless reply horrified Nandini. Only an “This tiny tot is creating a rift?” retorted Nandini,
imbecile could think of such an answer. “You are an expert at blaming the wrong person.
Nandini cringed in fear from him. Her father was You are making me drift away from you, not this tiny
right. They had reached an impasse. There was no tot. Your ignorance, your cowardice, your
congeniality in their relationship as she and her thoughtlessness and your uncultured behaviour are
husband were as different as chalk and cheese. creating a rift between us. You don’t have the guts to
They had no compatibility with different interests and speak the truth. You are incapable of sane thinking.
dispositions. It was impossible to live with Your timely action could have saved two
him. Rahul was an ignoramus. His lack of precious lives....If you wish to win me
knowledge, education, experience and Weary of again, set your thinking right...”
culture became evident with every Rahul’s false “How dare you find fault with me?” he
sentence he uttered. His brothers and accusations cut her short rudely, “And how dare you
mother were all barbarians. Their thinking against her teach me? I am not your student. Don’t try
was frighteningly primitive and uncultured. again and to be a teacher at home...”
They were incapable of sane thinking. again, Exerting control over his anger, he came
Each hour passed like an era in that Nandini shot near her. Holding her chin up, he looked
house. Days dragged by. Nandini heaved back angrily, deep into her eyes and asked, “Am I not
a sigh of relief when the day of her “Had I not the same person you loved once? Nandini,
departure dawned. As she bade goodbye gone there for just say yes or no? No sermon...”
to Lata with tear-filled eyes, she put Faltu at sightseeing, “No,” replied she, “Not the same
her feet and implored in a voice choked person I loved...”
Faltu would
with emotion looking at her beseechingly, He pushed her aside gruffly. An eerie
“Nandini, please take this bone of
have died...” silence pervaded the house. Nandini

128 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


feared that her marriage would finally fall Seeing Nandini One day, their phone rang early in the
apart. But the little one kept the house devoted to morning. bhaiji was on the line. He said
warm and alive with his innocent pranks. Praveen, a in a whining tone, “Our mother is laid up
His sweet smile erased the frown lines from child born not sick in bed since you left. She can’t get
their faces. At some moments, he made of her own flesh over the loss of my son Suresh. I am
them laugh together at his antics, thus and blood but afraid we might lose her too... Your wife’s
taking away the blues. Time flew in the of his eldest foolhardiness will cost us her life. Had she
joyful company of Praveen. brother, a not gone up the hillock for sightseeing
Crosshead: Realisation dawns sudden that day, things would not have come to a
Seeing Nandini devoted to Praveen, a realisation sorry pass...”
child born not of her own flesh and blood but dawned upon Nandini had picked up the parallel line
of his eldest brother, a sudden realisation Rahul’s mind by accident to listen to what was being
dawned upon Rahul’s mind that he had been that he had said. Now, her heart began to beat wildly
most unfair to her, his gem of a wife. A been most with fear. She waited with bated breath.
feeling of remorse engulfed him. He set about unfair to her. After a few seconds of silence that looked
mending his ways in earnest, hoping to like eternity, she heard the cool confident
redeem her love and respect. voice of her husband, “Had Nandini not gone up
there on the hillock that day, your son, Faltu, would

G
radually, a change came over him. His have died. Bhaiji, rejoice in the fact that she saved
attitude towards Praveen turned positive. He his precious life. And... and that day we lost not only
began to help Nandini in looking after him by Suresh but Lata bhabhi’s son Amit too because....
carrying out various small chores like a responsible because we made no effort to stop them. Had we
father. To Nandini’s immense satisfaction he seemed seen the thing in their right perspective and taken
to be completely transformed into a new man prompt action, we could have saved two innocent
exuding superb confidence no more in awe of lives. Not Nandini’s, it is our foolhardiness that has
bhaiji. A doting husband, Rahul now often gave her cost us dearly...”
an adoring look that set her pulse racing. He had Nandini heaved a sigh of relief and quietly put
won her love and respect by winning himself over. down the receiver in the other room. Rahul had
Looking forward eagerly to a heart-warming reunion emerged the victor. He had won over himself – his
with him, she nursed a secret desire to settle down fear and diffidence. He had spoken the truth.
peacefully in the bliss of marital life. But a nagging Success had rewarded her courage, endurance and
fear kept gnawing at her guts that, thrown in the perseverance. She had won the losing battle. With
company of his elders, he would revert to his old, the victory of her husband over his weakness, she
natural craven behaviour that she despised. Since was victorious. She realised that Praveen was not a
Rahul was not yet put to the test Nandini dared not bone of contention but the bridge that had united
vouch for his total transformation. hearts torn apart. We

QUICK TIPS FOR A CLEAN KITCHEN


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● Use a soft cloth dampened with white vinegar to ● Give your counter tops a new shine with club
remove water spots from stainless steal and wipe dry. soda. – Anju D. Aggarwal

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 129


woman as his muse. Through her through my work. Since the days of
representation on the canvas she yore, she has always been exploited.
becomes a paragon of the modern Still, the pschye is unchanged.
Indian woman in magnificent colours.
One notices that the artist is inspired Any message for the up-and-
by feminism. In almost all his coming artists?
artworks there is an element of male Sure, they must actually learn to
chauvinism. His false pride is make paintings while understanding
depicted in the form of an earthen pot the basics. They should not become
which is prone to be broken at any part of the rat race in order to gain a
time. Biplab’s paintings come quick name, fame and bucks. The
together as a well-drawn narrative, beauty of art must be retained
one that is resplendent and extremely without letting cheapness and
enigmatic. One notices the element vulgarity seep into it. I would ask
of uncertainty and ambiguity in them. young artists to be focussed on their
A tete-a-tete with this artist who is art and work hard without being
more of a philanthropist, always distracted.
eager to help people.
In the making of artist Biplab,
The significance of colours in improve and manifest it into an art the credit goes to...?
your art work? piece. First of all, to my mother. She
I don’t have a liking or disliking for used to do exquisite kantha work with
any particular colour. Within my work, The concept of modern art her hands that was so intricate, and
I aim to distil ideas and processes according to you? later my wife Aruna – whom I lost 10
into richly nuanced artworks that It’s just a matter of a time-period. years ago. She was my source of
evoke the image, mood, substance, Whatever is modern today won’t be inspiration and – last but not least –
concept and beauty, which I want to tomorrow. The impact of time is Sunit Paul, a renowned artist who
convey. But yes, I don’t use much of reflected in the artist’s brushstrokes guided me into seeking admission to
mixing in colours! also because of the thinking process the art college.
of the artist that keeps on varying.
There’s a touch of feminism in Your source of strength?
your creations. Why? How do you choose the subject My only son Deep (means depth)
I hold women in great esteem. for your paintings? who is a choreographer. He is
She is an epitome of strength and Everywhere. I take inspiration studying business management. In
power for me and fills life with from the world around me, from fact, he is my source of strength and
happiness with her presence. So she various situations as well as keeps on encouraging me a lot by
should be respected. interactions with the common people. giving positive criticism.
In most of my paintings you’ll observe
How do you develop a concept woman as my muse. She has been After reaching this state, do you
on the canvas? taken as an allegory, who is so feel satisfied?
No hard and fast rule for that. powerful, but is still not is getting the I have not yet done anything. The
While walking or wandering many a desired respect, and prone to best is yet to come. Art is an
time, I see a particular thing, perceive exploitation by man. I have tried to unending process and we all keep on
it in my senses, then sketch it and bring out this very sensitive issue moving on and on... We

102 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


About the Artist
Puja Sharma
Date of birth: 24 November 1959
Qualification: M.Phil (English), MA
(Drawing & Painting)
Diploma in Art and Craft
E-mail: freezingnight82@gmail.com
Mobile: 9871577808
Exhibition:
AIFACS – Greater Noida, Wisdom
show, LKG, ‘Kala Kumbh’ – Aifacs &
Bikaner, Creative artist group,
Bhagidari Mela New Delhi organised
by Delhi Govt, Wisdom – Annual
Show 2004, All India woman
exhibition at AIFACS Delhi and
Hyderabad by Wisdom Society 2005,
All India Senior Artist Exhibition at
AIFACS; 1st Exhibition Wisdom
show at PSK Delhi, May 2005, 2nd
and 3rd Wisdom Show at PSK Delhi SPELLBOUND BY
NATURE
Nov. 2005. Group show at Lalit Kala
Academy, 2006. Group show at
Greenwood Art Gallery, New Delhi,
2006. Group show at Army & Navy
Building Art Gallery, Mumbai, Nehru
Art Centre Mumbai-2006. Art Mall.
Camps: The painter depicts on the canvas the
Tricolor Colman, AIFACS, Artist day
camp at the Platinum Jublee at varied swings of nature which directly
AIFACS 2005, Senior Artist camp at
Amritsar, 2005. Rani Jhansi Road,
impact on our lives. By Subhra Mazumdar
2004; organised by AIFACS 77th
ver the past few years, my colour palette by studying the

O
Annual Art exhibition at AIFACS,
artist Puja Sharma has different ways in which Nature
March 2005. All India Woman Artists
been continuously pushing manipulates colours. I do not mean a
Camp at Kud, Jammu, Tourism
her artistic frontiers, flat application of blue for water and
Deptt. J&K 2005. National Art Camp,
merging the visual with the yellow for the sun. It is the moods
Hyderabad 2005, Maharani Bagh
cerebral, the homely with and tonal differences that nature
New Delhi, In Bhusawal
the heart rending. Her creates, through its influence on the
Maharashtra,06. Sahitya Kala
paintings have thus mind and the body, that I exploit for
Parishad, New Delhi, Asoka Hotel,
become narrative state - my canvases.
New Delhi, Art Mall 2007. Conducted
ments, of calamities that
summer childrens’ workshop of
have shattered lives, as well as the Then let us take a colour such
Sahitya Kala Parishad as an ‘expert’.
happier sides of human existence, as red. What emotions does it
Dhoomimal city gallery 2008. DPS
amidst flowers, in the sunshine, create in you, and which you
Srinagar 2008, Orissa LKA,
surrounded by family and friends. All thereafter transfer onto the
2nd National Arts camp 2008.
these diversities of human existence canvas?
Awards:
are vocalised through a visual of Red is a very apt colour for
Award at 71st Annual Exhibition
strong abstracts, where every colour expressing my thought process and
Amritsar 2005.
is a language of expressiveness, and even my mindset at that moment.
tonal shades mark the nuances of Putting it simplistically, I would say
pain and pleasure that characterise that red for me denotes anger. So
human existence. when I am in an angry mood over
some happening in my surroundings
As a painter who is a colourist or circumstances, I pick up the brush
par excellence, what are your and dip it into a squeeze of bright
sources of colouration? red. Of course, red also means a way
Nature is my best teacher. I pick of creating warmth in a painting and
Nature’s marvel.

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 105


picture of raw pain, total chaos and
disaster. But within this scene I
remembered to include a beacon of
hope in the form of a pleasing colour
from my palette.

What is your favourite painting?


It is a little removed from all the
others because it is a painting that
was not done from an outdoor
inspiration. In fact, the seed idea of
this painting on conjugal bliss is
recessed in the personal, for me. The
only link in this painting with my body
for that purpose I sometimes paint of works is the choice of a delightful
the sun in red, to explain its fiery pink overlay, where the colour is
content as well as suggest that it is suggestive of a caressing
the source of warmth in our lives. togetherness. It is a convoluted and
fantasy-filled painting, where human
Going by that logic, black and animal bodies are conjoined into
should have little or no place in a fluidity, creating a free flowing
your paintings and yet I find that thread of sensuousness and warmth,
you have used black very born of a shared happiness and
judiciously in some of them. togetherness. emotional side, even the dullest
The black colour is a technical painting becomes a spark of
input in my paintings. I use it to With such an enhanced inspiration for me. I like to search out
create a linear space demarcating sensitivity, that reacts acutely to the positive elements in the work and
the lower portions of a canvas, where pleasure and pain and then spend time trying to understand the
the colour above the black base translates it into art, how do you thought process behind the work.
gives off its true import, through this look at the works of fellow artists? That makes me study the paintings
device. The contrast between, say a When facing another artist’s work, of other artists at close quarters. In
vivid red, or a sunshine yellow, my critical faculties tend to see the the case of self-portraits I can gauge
becomes more meaningful when it is painting from both the technical and the individual’s future potential and
contrasted against a black base the emotional angle. On the technical many a time have been able to spot
below it. side, I assess the style of his strokes, relatively unknown talent and seen
and that helps me realise the how, through the years, the same
Just as you express joy, potential of his art calibre. On the artist has risen into the limelight.
togetherness and warmth in your
work, do you also pick up your How do you plan to contribute
brush and create the vocabulary towards the betterment of the art
of pain through your art? fraternity in your personal capacity?
Your query brings back memories I am a school teacher by
of the earthquake that struck profession. So I plan to open a
Chamoli, in Uttaranchal. I was a school of art for school students, in
witness of this calamity and I was so the future. It will be a sprawling
moved by this incident, that I campus where young minds will be
immediately began a painting, free to exploit their creative abilities
depicting my feelings on first seeing and where artists will guide them
the destruction caused by this through giving them technical inputs
calamity. I saw first-hand, the to realise and express their creative
mangled homesteads, the avalanche thoughts. I have often come across
of destruction rolling down the hill very talented children with a liking for
slopes in the form of a mass of art, and who could easily be coached
debris, and the cries of the helpless, into making very creative paintings
who were survivors of this tragedy. under proper guidance. It is this
The pain and despair of this scene untapped source of talent that I want
took the form of an abstract painting, to showcase before the art fraternity
in reds, blues and ochre, making it a at large. We

106 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


Abstraction is
close to the heart
of this artist.
By P. Sharma

A SHROUD OF
MYSTERY
Anand Goswami
E.mail:
anandgoswami_30@yahoo.com
Mobile: 9810672496

nand Goswami was born in His works, even after a number of which is an exceptional experience

A
Damoh (M.P.) in 1970. He viewings make one take a journey on for him, reflects the introspective and
did his schooling in Sagar. an unexplored path with him to serious reflective mood of the artist,
The artist within him demystify oneself and the world becomes an exceptional experience
surfaced in the early around. And I am sure, new vistas of for the viewer also – “It blesseth him
formative years itself and life will open up for everyone as this that gives and him that takes” as
he did a couple of murals journey continues. Shakespeare said. Anand has
in temples and privately Anand Goswami is also a man of expressed his deep feelings with
commissioned works dedication—an artist who listens to remarkable ease as can be seen
during schooling itself i.e. his inner voice; an artist equally at from the serenity that pervades his
even before joining the Art School in ease both in abstract and figurative rendition of the Sakyamuni. The
Indore. paintings. His present series, which is colours that he has used are also in
The present series of paintings based on Sakyamuni, the ascetic of tune with the feelings that he is
reflect various turning points and the Sakya tribe, effectively combines depicting and the philosophy of his
stages of his life, some open to both forms. ideal. The greens and golds transport
everyone and a few of them A good work of art is a medium of us into a stress-free world of
partially/fully closed, to be left within. uplift, of creating positive vibes, of tranquillity, simplicity, and well-being.
Colours inspired from Jupiter and realising the higher self. To create a The best way to understand his
Mars are closer to his heart in various good work of art, an artist has to painting is to sense their vibrations
tones and hues and have been used have a positive message to convey, with our heart by tuning into the
to imbibe the spiritual aspects of life. should himself be aiming at realising consciousness behind the works and
According to Anand, “These his higher self and has to produce a to feel their effect on our
paintings make me relax within and in work of art after listening to his inner consciousness. I would not be
the world around me, whether voice. These attributes are clearly exaggerating if I say that his
working on them, or viewing them essayed in Anand’s present series. paintings have a healing touch says
again and again. There has been Anand has been quite taken up by Promilla Shankar (I.A.S)
nothing between me and my canvas. the philosophy of the Sakyamuni – She continues: “I have been
Sometimes it has been me and the preacher of the Middle Path of closely appreciating Anand
sometime it has been the canvas, ahimsa, peace and renunciation, Goswami's canvases for the last few
controlling the form and shape of the qualities which he has tried to years whereby I marvel at his smooth
works.” portray. The process of painting transition from a highly gifted and

108 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


“Glorious Sunshine” An abstraction from Anand Goswami. (oil on canvas 48” x 60”)
talented abstract artist capable of generous hues of yellows, reds and which intertwine the form highlight
fascinating exploration and rendition.” greens which he considers the intensity of turmoil.
Anand Goswami’s art reflects his auspicious and mandatory in all A closer look exposes the artist’s
personal quest and religion – an Hindu rituals. His colours though preoccupation with colour and rituals
ongoing discipline immersed in effectively vibrant are never meant to in the smooth golden tones , the
divinity which gives him immense jar but merge effortlessly with one turmeric yellows, saffron reds and
satisfaction. Greatly inspired by another. greens interspersed with each other
mythology he often painted Lord His new body of works comprise highlight the formless and make him
Shiva and scenes from the the culmination of a long spiritual appear as an entity to reckon with .
Ramayana as a child. journey where he finds solace in his The area around the forms play with
He then went on to study at Indore depiction. A fascinating and the vibrancy of colours and
School of Art where he honed his mysterious form several of Anand’s demonstrate Anand’s skills in
passion into academia and immersed canvases are enveloped by a shroud texturing with the oil paints.
his creative sensibilities into paintings. of mystery. “For me my works are not just for
The inspiration for all his art is Anand’s very original treatment of the sake of art but it is the joy of
“spirituality and worship of the the theme highlights the visual creation which I cherish the most,”
divine”. Being ritualistic himself he mastery of the formless and the form says Anand. He most definitely lives
transfers all the symbols , forms and in the same painting. He is draped by this motto.
colours of Hindu (poojas) into his behind a veil of intensity and fervour Though abstraction remains close
abstract canvases. which grips the viewer immediately. to his heart, Anand Goswami finds
Anand who mainly works with oil The mystery of life is hidden by this peace at last with his series. His
as a medium very deftly blends his veil of struggle. works almost certainly have the
religious ethos onto his art with The formless frenzy in his strokes blessings of the divine! We

110 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


ABOUT ARTIST
Name: Manoj Aggarwal

CARVING OUT
Born in Delhi – 1967
EDUCATIONAL
QUALIFICATIONS
B.F.A. in painting from

OWN NICHE
Delhi College of Art, Delhi, 1991-92
Three year Diploma in Fine Art from
Sarda Skill School of Art,
Delhi, 1988
SOLO SHOWS
Gallery Beaux, Delhi, 1995 “The colours are the art devices
Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2006
Pioneer Art Gallery, Delhi to showcase the dreams and aspirations of the
Mishi Art Gallery, Delhi, 2007
GROUP SHOW
people” says Manoj Aggarwal.
All India Fine Art and Craft Society, By Shahana
Sahitya Kala Parishad Gallery,
In Search of Telent, Vadhera Art rtist Manoj Aggarwal is a

A
Gallery keen observer of the
Dhoomimal Art Gallery current urban agglomerate.
Town Hall, Dehradoon Being a Delhiite from his
Jehangir Art Gallery very birth, he has not lost
Rabindra Bhavan his fascination for the many
Full Circle Art Gallery, Delhi facets of this city and
India Art Gallery, Pune makes it the centrepiece of
Mystic Art Gallery, Delhi his artistic endeavour. A
Art Farego Art Gallery, Gurgoan graduate in painting from
Haryana the Delhi College of Art, he had
Alliance Francais, Delhi, earlier done a diploma course in fine
Visual Art Gallery, art, at the Sarda Ukil School of Art,
India Habitat Center Delhi.
Rashtrapati Bhavan With a feel for the ordinary,
AWARDS everyday existence of this city,
College of Art, Delhi Agarwal has made its mundanity the
Sahitya Kala Parishad, Delhi leitmotif of his canvas. The result,
Delhi Art Teachers Association, therefore, is that his art rises beyond
Delhi the ordinary and becomes a visual
narrative, relating through the colours, I do not put all the colours
CONTACT
pigments of the canvas the many of my choice on one canvas only. At
e-mail: amannu@sify.com
vicissitudes of the life of its citizens. any given point of time, I choose a
www.manojaggarwal.com
He is, therefore, not a silent observer, certain palette, to match the mood
but a keen participant in the dreams, depiction of my subject. Then, the
hopes and aspirations of the entire canvas is painted around the
individuals who people the city. particular choice of colour. The
Excerpt from an interview: ultimate result is a monochromatic
Though you choose to use a work, where each canvas has a
realistic subject to paint on, you separate palette.
have a restricted approach to the
use of colour on your canvas. Do you find certain colour
Why? palettes being used often, for their
I don’t do too many colours on a aesthetic merit, on your canvases?
single canvas, but I am in the habit of Yes. My favourite colours are the
playing with colours on the canvas, primary colours and often, I find
nevertheless. For me, colours are art myself choosing a certain primary
devices to be used judiciously. By colour as the starting point for my
this I mean that, though I use all canvas.
An aesthetic expression of the nudity of a woman does not reflect any inclination towards vulgarity.

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 113


central figure of the painting a larger-
than-life figure. They become a
statement of their lifestyle. Take for
instance my portraiture of a man
riding a bicycle. I have shown his
bike perched against a full-grown tree
in the middle of a road taking a little
rest it seems, during a long, tiring
ride. The gesture, the parked vehicle,
and the comforting look of a giant
tree, brings solace to the mind of the
viewer at once.

You have participated in several


group and solo shows over the
years. What is your experience?
First: Participating in group shows.
I like this method of reaching out to
Since you are fond of the art lovers of Delhi. Recently, I
cityscapes, do you like to paint exhibited in a group with four other
realistic depictions of them? artists, organised by Gallery Pioneer
The city realism that I like to depict and held at the Visual Art Gallery,
is not totally realistic, as in a Delhi. My feeling was that the
photograph. The figures in my work collective effort of our group at this
have a semi-abstract feel. They are exhibition was less strenuous and
placed within their surroundings and more rewarding.
the surroundings themselves become With only a few works on display, I
an immediate link in my painting. was able to reach out to a wide
Indeed, the composition of the audience of buyers, viewers and
painting is thus a direct outcome of even gallery owners, who had come
my immediate surroundings. to see the display.

What is the latest aspect of city What was its negative side?
life that you have been painting? I had to share media attention with
Interesting that you have asked my fellow artists. The critics could not
me that. I have just exhibited in a devote an entire column to my work
group show and there I had works alone, and my coverage in the press
that showed the artist as an observer. was therefore reduced. But I feel
My details on the canvas included a at the same grounded level as the even a small mention in a group
street vendor hawking his wares on a subject of my painting. In other show coverage creates the right
cart, the gardener watering a roundel words, my mind soars above the impact and draws media attention to
on the road crossing, a bored city’s everyday concerns and seems my art.
housewife looking out of her to float in a world of self-assessment,
apartment window, and a gay couple searching for a self-image to project Why then, do you also work for
in a statement of identity. All these this awareness. The noise, crowds a solo show?
depictions are infused with flesh and and lights, are but inputs and not the In a solo show, my individual effort
blood in my art and if you stand and whole picture. There are deep-set at producing quality art is very visible.
listen closely, you can almost hear emotions embedded in each canvas, I have to produce and exhibit works
the tinkling of the cycle bell, or the that speak of the city’s soul. of similar standard and that is
honking of a car, or even the demanding as well as satisfying. For
unspoken thoughts of the silent, in What are the most common a solo show, therefore, I have to
this city. objects that you like to depict in produce fresh works and that means
your works? thinking out a new line of creativity
How do you make sure that I like to paint the life of an ordinary and expressing it aesthetically.
your painting does not become a man. I like to place figures in the Media attention, too, comes like a
linear depiction of your keen forefront to make them prominent. I spotlight shining on my work and
sense of observation? also do not draw and paint my figures brings with it the satisfaction of a job
In my paintings, I am not mentally to scale, and prefer to make the well done. We

114 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


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About the artist
Name: Kalpana Mohanty Rai
Qualification: 1988 – BFA with gold
medal from Faculty of Visual Arts,
BHU, under Dilip Dasgupta.
1999 – MFA from College of Arts,
New Delhi.
Group exhibitions
2004 – Nehru Centre, Mumbai.
2003 – Group Show at Artist Kala
Dham, Greater Noida, UP.
1996 – ABC Art Gallery, Varanasi.
1993– Shridharani Art Gallery,
New Delhi
1991-92 – Regional Art Centre,
Bhubaneshwar.
2004 Dec – An art show on women
representing legends of India, at THE POWER OF
FEMININITY
Radisson Hotel, New Delhi.
2008 at legends of India at
Ravindranath Tagore Centre ICCR
Kolkata.
Solo exhibitions
1988 – Varanasi. Why does a dragonfly feature in all her
2003 – Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
2004 – Conventional Hall, India
paintings? By Subhra Mazumdar
Habitat Center, New Delhi. hen Kalpana Mohanty were spending their time at play, little

W
Camps Rai was growing up in Kalpana found immense pleasure
1996 – Sahitya Kala Parishad, her native town in sitting in a quiet corner and drawing,
New Delhi. Orissa, the members of colouring and painting. So when her
1996 – All India Women Artists, her large joint family father took up a teaching assignment
New Delhi. were quick to spot the at the Benaras Hindu University, she
1988 – All India Artists and Writers’ sense of discipline and accompanied him, much against her
Camp, Allahabad. singlemindedness she mother’s wishes. Later, when she
Awards displayed, when given obtained admission for the bachelor’s
1999 – Orissa State Award; some art materials. degree in painting at the BHU, it was
Lalit Kala Academy. While the other siblings and cousins her mother who had become her arch
1991– State scholarships from Lalit supporter.
Kala Academy, Orissa Kalpana did not disappoint. She
1987 – Young Artists Art Exhibition by topped in her batch and was the
Orissa State Lalit Kala Academy. recipient of the gold medal as well.
1983-88 – Merit award, Faculty of Having worked under the guidance
Visual Arts, BHU. of masters such as Dilip Dasgupta
1984-85 & 1984-88 – Annual art and Prof K S Kulkarni, Kalpana has
exhibition, Faculty of Visual Arts, now exhibited extensively at home
BHU. and abroad. Her notable moment
1984-88 & 1991 – State Scholarships was when she was a participant at
from Orissa State Lalit Kala Academy. the Vasudeva Kutumbakam display
1985 – Youth, Bombay art society. held globally, at centres in New York,
1986 – 16th Annual Art Exhibition, Usten Starton, Ireland and Los
Lalit Kala Academi, Lucknow. Angeles. Excerpts from an interview:
1990 – All India Exhibition, Lalit Kala
Academy, Lucknow. What are the most important
1991 – Talent Exhibition of young and awards that you have received in
upcoming artist by Vadhera Art India?
Gallery. New Delhi. This year, I was particularly lucky
Her works adorn many private as my painting was displayed at the
collections in USA Los Angeles, lifetime achievement awards function
Germany, Australia, Japan, several for fine arts, organised by the Indian
other institutions and hostels.
It is not just only the woman’s coquetishness, but her true inner persona, revealing
the reservoir of strength to combat struggles all her life.

Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). thoughts often ruminate on the Did you get support from your
It was a great honour to be exhibited struggles that are a part and parcel of dear ones?
alongside the greatest artists of India every woman’s life. I feel struggle is a Yes, I dedicate my achievements
at this venue. Just four years ago, I constant companion for a woman to my parents, my husband and
participated in the Canvas 2004 throughout her life. And these whole family or friends. Without their
exhibition, where the theme was become the sources of my painting. support I would not be able to stand
Woman . This organisation is a where I am today.
paramount body for promoting Indian Is there any incident behind this
art forms of various kinds. angle? What about the theme of
It is the relationship that we, motherhood? As a woman and an
What is the womanly angle that mother and son, share all the time. artist interested in the theme of
you like to depict through your As a son, he is constantly asking womankind, do you not paint on
paintings? after my welfare and sharing his this theme?
I have studied and worked on the childlike ideas with me. That nature It is interesting that you ask me
various aspects of a woman’s life. My has drawn us close to each other. this. My best painting, I feel, is one in

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 117


which I have painted the mother the symbol of hope and peace,
and child theme. The child in the rising from the ashes
painting is my own son Shinichi, symbolically. What the painting
named after a famed Buddhist is trying to say is that there is
monk. He is depicted in the always hope in the most dire
symbolic form of Ganesha sitting situa tions. Our immediate
in the lap of a female figure, a surroundings make us angry and
modern woman, much like me. fiery but when we sit back and
You can almost call it a self-portrait calmly retrospect, then peace
because it is not my physical descends and the helping hand
appearance alone in that painting, of hope guides us to a better life.
but also my dearest self.
What are the techniques you
Are there other symbolic use in your painting?
figures that you include in your I use graphic lines to define parts
paintings? of the work, particularly in depicting
Yes. All my paintings have a details like the folds of drapery, the
dragonfly in them. This tiny insect curly strands of hair, outline of facial
has very happy associations for me. features and so on. Drawing is
Its gossamer structure expresses the important in my art and I sketch on
feminine essential in my painting. the canvas before I paint. The colour
Then, as a child, I used to be very is applied layer by layer on the
fond of watching these little creatures canvas, but the lines are deliberately
flying about the garden. When I paint drawn with acrylic. So, while oils form
them on the canvas, memories of my the fluid content of the painting, the
happy childhood come rushing into acrylic is my deliberate mind working
my mind and give me a spurt of on the theme I want to depict. I also
excitement. give special attention to merging the
colours, so that the effect is not
Besides motherhood, what forced, or looks artificial.
other theme do you like to paint?
I always paint nature in some form York stirred me tremendously. As What are the many aspects,
or other. Painting tensions, war, soon as the news was flashed on our other than motherhood, that you
revolutions and action, is against my TV screens, I went to my studio, like to show in your painting?
nature. I shy away from such pulled out a fresh canvas and began It is the silent woman in all of us. It
subjects. I like to paint serene painting. The uppermost thought in is not the outwardly dressed-up form,
feelings on my canvas. The colours my mind was the sayings of the great for that comes out of a beauty kit. It is
are those that depict nature. Even if Buddhist monk Daisako Ikeda, who the inner persona, revealing a level of
the painting is that of a woman, there advocates world peace. My painting sincere feeling, where she has one
is always nature in the background. I is called Ten Worlds. finger pointing towards herself,
paint inner peace through the meaning thereby that when one
language of nature in my art. Can you describe the symbols points the finger at another, one finger
in the painting? is always turned towards oneself.
Have you ever painted on the The background of the work is a
current problems around our brilliant blue, like the sunny morning Besides the woman and nature
world? of the incident. The towers are what other theme have you been
As a matter of fact, I have. The depicted in running lines of white drawn to?
incident of 11 September in New acrylic, but, instead of standing tall One that evokes humour and
and erect, they are blurred behind a expresses some of my frustrations. It
criss-cross of acrylic lines and is a chair and that is the politician’s
smudges. The lines are random and chair. It is a symbol of the leader who
deliberate, expressing hell, hunger, aspires to his public position for
animosity, so to speak. There are personal gain and becomes a
sparks and flashes of crimson on the nuisance for the ordinary being. In all
canvas, expressing the obvious. But, my art exhibitions, I always carry a
instead of ending at that point, if one painting on that theme and like to
looks closely, there is a phoenix-like explain the reason for its inclusion,
form rising out of this chaos. This is much to the delight of the visitors. We

118 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


With the strokes of
his brush Mukesh
Parth builds
a bridge between
nature’s most subtle
creations and those
beings who arise
from it.
By Our Correspondent

AN ARTIST WITH
A RARE INSIGHT
front running artist of the audience’. The moods and

A
country today, Mukesh Parth silhouettes here are both natural and
uniquely distinguishes surreal; with withered trees informing
himself by his vision, a parched landscape that lies
acumen and insights that earnestly craving the first drops of
have laced the world of art monsoon. Characters – desiccated,
for over twenty years now. pensive and poignant – complement
Despite the many stumbling the ambience perfectly, even as
blocks that he faced disparate elements from nature and
throughout life, Mukesh the man-made world lie scattered all
Parth continues to hold sunny outlook over the rest of the canvas. It’s easy
for life. He was drawn to the magic – to lose yourself in this fantastic and
and possibilities – of the canvas early bizarre universe, till this soft-spoken
in his life. A natural artist and a and reclusive artist invites you back
relentless dreamer, he found life, and to reality. With that signature smile,
all its ‘miracles’, mesmerising. A man and a very, very unmistakable twinkle
of reasonable wealth, Parth still in his eye. You can almost sense it.
retains that hundred-rupee note he The brush has come alive, the man is
received from his first painting (it was back. Excerpts:
a sketch of a family at the zoo). In one sentence: What drives
His Nature and Life series – an you to create art?
ongoing exercise – has found wide Art features right after eating and
acceptance amongst the ‘knowing sleeping on my priority list in life…

120 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


Woman’s Era

January (Second) 2009
121
Out of sheer reverence, a woman is called mother earth. She is even hailed as divinity at home, much taller than those worshipped mythological
deities. Yet, she is subjected to utter subjugation, in favour of gender bias.
What can you tell nature, it has endeared itself to
the readers about your everyone – including kids.
unique art statement?
My art is semi- What were the toughest points
realistic. As we grow, we of your career? Have you ever hit
imbibe the various faces rock bottom?
and facets of nature, and When I began my Shakti series, it
the world we live in. In got mixed reactions from society.
time, we mould and Many were mildly humoured, many
‘align’ the realities and didn’t understand the significance,
concepts we accost and many scoffed openly. I myself
every day in tune with had moments of self-doubt when I
our own personality. In wondered about the feasibility,
looking at the planet topicality and public acceptance of a
through our own eyes, subject of this nature. There were
we create a world of even days when my morale nose-
The feminine form seems to metaphors and images that, in time, dived, and I hit rock bottom. When
hold a special place in your art. get to be identified as our signature. the exhibition opened, I performed a
Would you like to elaborate on Nature, woman power (naari shakti), little prayer and invoked my inner
that? the underprivileged and society–in its powers. As it turned out, my show
Subject: Nature, woman, birth. many forms and shades – are the was a super hit, and I sold all my
We are born from a woman’s items that dominate the canvas as paintings. My ‘perceived weakness’,
womb, so one feels a fundamental create. It is informed by honesty, or moments and months of pain, had
connection with women and feminity intensity and a deep sense of turned into my greatest, and most
across its many manifestations in poignancy. It responds to the rhythms inspired triumph. As it is said, the
nature. A mother’s lap is the first of life that surround us. And it reflects night is never endless. So someone
school where some of life’s most the many urgencies, tragedies and must take the first step.
defining and lasting lessons are joys of life and living. Every canvas
learnt. As a creative individual, I feel has a different story to tell, and every What was the subject of the
this affinity towards the form and story has a lesson to teach. This is painting in this winning entry?
concept of women and feminity how I look at life, and how I feel The winning entry was roughly
stemming naturally from within me. through my art. titled Life and New Life. It depicted a
In a sense, I have felt this bonding mother trying to commit female
with womankind it all my life. How has society influenced foeticide, simply because she was
your art? What are the social acutely aware of the gender bias
Why do you choose the medium implications in your art? associated with a girl child. Indeed,
that you use? An artist is a part of society. As so deep rooted is this curse that
I work in a variety of media – be it such, I believe, all art is intrinsically despite being a woman and mother
oil, acrylic, watercolour, pencil social. My art is infused with feelings herself, she is keen on having a son
drawing, others. If I were to choose, I of transformation and regeneration. and not a daughter. The painting also
would probably vote (albeit It tends to celebrate the natural form. depicted – in what has been
reluctantly), oil, as my medium of It is aligned with the Indian look – a described as a chilling rendition of a
choice. While, admittedly, oil takes sensibility and silhouette that I have stark reality – the timeless yearning
longer to dry during winter, it is a ‘honed into’ after working on a myriad of the newborn to be accepted and
phenomenal and rhapsodic medium themes and series, which were loved, as if she was entreating her
to work with, during the summer. researched painstakingly over the parents to love her, instead of
Acrylic, however, dries quickly in both years. Social issues close to my destroying her. She seemed to be
the seasons. It is for this reason that heart are female foeticide and AIDS saying to them: ‘Don’t kill me and
sometimes, I use both the media among others. Currently, I am don’t try again’. The painting tries to
simultaneously (in such cases, the working on the themes of Inner give out the message that we should
first layer is that of acrylic, while oil Inspiration, Desire, Life and New Life not forget that women are the
features in all the other layers). This and, my latest theme: Life and creators of the universe in their role
fusion results in both speedier work, Nature. The latter (Life and Nature) is as mothers. My painting was thus a
and longer life (for the painting). an infinite universe of images, humble gesture aimed at making a
‘Texture white’ (on acrylic) and ‘knife metaphors and themes (indeed, as statement coaxing all citizens to come
work’ (on oil) are techniques that I infinite as nature its and will, by all forward and prevent this dastardly act
employ to instil a signature 3D effect accounts, continue as a longstanding prevalent in our society. We
on the painting. exercise and fetish. By its very e-mail: amp3001001001@gmail.com

122 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


destination. For some sceptics, the

ONLINE AUCTIONS
The great way to reach great art with great ease.
idea of viewing a work of art on a
computer screen suggests that the
reproduction might be flawed. An oft-
heard grumble about online auctions
is that the images on the screen rob it
of its truism or its perspective. This
By Sukhu may be a valid point for the
very now and then art news viewing, or just browsing through the experienced collector, who likes to

E
becomes the talk of scores exhibits. see art in full form before placing his
of homes across the country Even when the auction is over, money on it. For such collectors, the
for its very profitable one can still contact the website and auction house also holds a preview of
reasons. The mounting ask for details and view more works, the works on auction and even
returns from investments in as these sites have works in stock follows it up with a one-day physical
Indian art has made it a very that can be viewed and bid for, even viewing of the work at their gallery or
hot-selling item, not just for when an auction is not in progress. at a five-star location in the town.
its financial gains but also for An online auction also de-links the Outstation bidders are thus able to
the personal satisfaction that need to be in the same city or place send a local agent to see the painting
it incorporates. Collectors like to during the days of the auction. One and assess it for themselves before
acquire a work not for its price tag can book or bid for a painting while the final bid.
but for its intrinsic art pleasure. being miles away from the city as As works in the Indian art mart
But alas! When one is in the mood deals are transacted via the Internet. become more and more dear,
to buy art , or one feels the urge to Thus collectors from all over the collectors are becoming more
study market trends before investing world have access to the painting, protective about their identities.
in art, there may be no exhibition on, giving both exposure to the artist and Online auctions take special
for viewing. More importantly, there a better sales climate for the precautions to preserve the bidder’s
may not be an auction of art due on auctioneer. anonymity, restricted to a one-to-one
the art scene, pushing back one’s Being on the Internet, the site is bidder-auctioneer relationship.
dreams of possessing a work, into open all through the day and night. From a nascent start made by the
the back burner. But the So, when bidders in India are asleep, auction house Saffron Art in Mumbai,
establishment of online auction those in the USA can avail of this this form of sale and viewing is
facilities, a growing trend nowadays, option and file their offers. Even the becoming a part of almost every
has given art a decided boost in the busy executive, after a day’s work gallery’s portfolio, and services and
right direction. can come home and log on to the facilities are extended with enthusiasm
That such a manner of exhibiting site, without taking the trouble of to the potential collector by every
contemporary art has caught on, is physically travelling to the auction gallery they wish to patronise. We
vouched for by Sarika Batra of
Emami Chisel. This Kolkata-
based art auction house claims
that it holds the record of the
highest online sale of a
Husain, in ’89, when the work
went for Rs four crores.
The auction can be viewed
and bid for, in the comfort of
one’s own home. All one has
to do is to log on, book into the
auction site and view the
works. Finally, after due
deliberation, one can decide
whether or not one would like
to bid for any particular work.
In case the works do not suit
one’s pocket or style of art
preference, there is no
restriction about quitting the
site. Thus the auction does not
restrict anyone from bidding,

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 123


Onkar Singh
Born: 1963 Delhi
Qualification:
B.F.A. Painting, JMI, New Delhi
M.A. Painting Jiwaji Gwalior (MP)
Phone: 9811811898
E-mail: onkar_art@yahoo.co.in
Group show
1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 & 2005
LKG, New Delhi
2002 – India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
2005 & 2006 Lokayata
2006, 07, 08 – Travancore Art Gallery,
New Delhi
2006 – Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi
2006 – Tatav Art Gallery, Indore
2006 – LKG, New Delhi
2006 – Prince of Wales Museum,
Mumbai
2007 – Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi
Participation
Exhibition of Perfect Health Mela
organised by Heart Care Foundation of
India, 1998, 99.
Attended workshop of Creative Art CAPTURING
COMPOSURE
organised by N.T.R.C. Bal Bhawan
Society India, New Delhi, 1989.
Camp:

AMID TURMOIL
2006 – Khajurao (MP)
2006 – Indore (MP)
2007 – Gwalior (MP)
2007 – Bhimtal (Uttarakhand)
2007 – Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi
2007 – Art Mall, Delhi
The artist focusses on the maddening
2008 – Citi Art Gallery (Dhoomimal) rush of ordinary people to eke out a living
2008 – Rai Foundation
Awards in a metropolis. By Puja
Prizes in poster competition by Jamia nkar Singh is an artist who recipient of this panoramic spread

O
Milia Islamia, New Delhi, 1987. has made the world suddenly realises that when face-to-
Merit Award in ‘On the spot Painting around him, in all its face with Onkar Singh’s canvases it
Competition’ by Sahitya Kala Parishad, everyday delights, his own is not a realistic depiction of city life
New Delhi, 1986. special canvas. Unlike the that is on view but alongside, and on
Collection: conventional painter who another plane, the pictures carry
London and many private collections in finds inspiration in the deep glimpses of the burden that life
India and Abroad quiet recesses of the mind, imposes on its subjects. Behind the
Sahitya Kala Parishad, Delhi or in the silence of the pleasant symphonies of recognition
Rashtrapati Bhawan, Delhi studio, for Onkar Singh, that strike as we view a portrayal of a
Pepsi India Delhi. the canvas is like his cinematic balloon seller with her two children in
device, where the many facets of tow, we also find that peeping from
living from day to day becomes the behind that visage is a woman of
subject of inspiration. substance, who is
Thus it is the crowded trying to come to grips
parts of the metropolis with her status in
which excite his society. She is
imagination and what capable of standing on
other artists dismiss as her own and is no
diurnal tedium, Onkar pliant subject that can
Singh embraces as be blown away by the
glimpses of the Muse. next gush of negative
The viewer as a wind.
Inducing the other... painting by Onkar Singh.

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 125


What steps do you take
to add a bit of cheer to your
works?
There is always a tinge of
humour in my works. For
instance in one of the
paintings, where the crowds
are milling about with
earnestness, there is one
figure sitting in the midst of
this rush. The figure is resting
his head on the palms of his
hand, giving the impression
of complete relaxation amidst
the turmoil.

The rigours of city life


to leave behind the security and affect men and women alike. How
safety of their own homes and step have you dealt with this aspect in
out into that crowded and somewhat your paintings?
hostile world beyond their doorsteps. I have shown this common
experience by using the technique of
What do you think about the creating mirror images where one
woman plight? part represents the male and the
I have shown her stepping out of other the female. In one of them, the
the compartment of the train, bag man wears a Brahmin’s knot and on
slung from her shoulders and the other side there is a single
walking or riding towards an office in earring. The two parts have a single
the early part of the day. It suggests body, symbolising the unified
what lies in store for her for the rest difficulties faced by either of them in
of her day. The hard day ahead is not a city.
one of her inner choosing, for given a
chance, most of them would prefer What about the way people
What is your favourite urban to stay at home and make their cope with their circumstances and
subject for your paintings? private spaces a heaven on earth. make the best of their
It is the sight of hundreds of This is the silent message which tells opportunities in the city? Is this
people pouring out of a suburban it all. The woman, I find is the most also a subject of your paintings?
train, during rush hour. I like to affected by the hustle and bustle of Absolutely. The city is a very
observe and then create the stream city living. positive factor in the life of its
of figures just flowing out of the exit citizens. There is irony in the fact that
doors, as if it is an outpouring You have painted on the though everyone is aware of the
dictated by some unknown force. In working class. ...Say? problems of city living, yet the lure of
the same way, I also like to capture As a matter of fact, I have done a city life never ceases to attract
bazaar scenes as my subjects, and very representative work on their people to itself. Even the poorest and
‘crowd’ my canvases with people and condition. In that work there is a most deprived among its citizenry
goods to such an extent that one gets balloon seller, a woman, who has her find something to cherish in it. Onkar
the feeling that there is no space left two children alongside. The passers- is blessed with two children daughter
to even get a foothold. by are oblivious of her plight. In other Shivalika and son Jaisurya.
paintings I have chosen the cycle Though awards and opportunities
Such paintings make good commuters that one sees on busy for participation have come his way
pictorial content. What about the streets. They run the risk of accidents often, it was when one of his works
aesthetics behind such a painting? every moment on the streets. I have was selected for display at
These works are not meant to brought attention to their plight by Parliament House that he felt really
describe just the present condition of their placement in a canvas full of gratified. It was none other than ex-
traffic jams or overcrowding. They crowds and traffic. Even the rickshaw President of India Dr APJ Abdul
are meant to provoke viewers into pullers who eke out a meagre living Kalam who did the selection and he
thinking of the circumstances that from driving people around, find a felt he had struck upon a timeless
have forced people, specially women, place on my canvas. moment in his art, with that choice.We

126 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


QA &
implantation. This is done by
peristaltic movements of the tube and
baby. Treatment consists of a high-
protein diet, bed rest in the left lateral
with the help of fine, hair-like position to increase the blood
processes in the tubal lining called supply to the foetus, blood thinning
cilia, that sweep it forward. The agent, etc.
fertilised egg remains in the damaged Serial monitoring by ultrasound,
tube and implants there. As the tube colour Doppler and a non-stress test
has a very narrow lumen and cannot (NST) keep the doctor informed
possibly accommodate a growing about the well-being of the baby.
pregnancy, it bursts leading to pain If its condition is improving, the
and internal bleeding that can lead to pregnancy is allowed to continue till
shock. the baby attains maturity after it is
Ectopic pregnancy is known to delivered by artificial pains.
recur in a small percentage of cases If, on the other hand, the baby’s

Q&
when the other tube too is diseased condition is not improving despite
though quite a few patients go on to treatment it is delivered sooner and
deliver a full-term baby. So do not kept in the nursery.
I would like to know how many lose hope.
caesarean section operations a
woman can have. I am in the seventh month of my
Usually, the maximum number of I am seven and a half months pregnancy and have developed slight
Caesareans that can be done in a pregnant. The doctor suspected that bleeding from the vagina. Is this
woman are three. In special my baby was not growing as well as normal? Do I have to visit the doctor
circumstances when there is no living it should and asked me to get an for the same?
issue, one can undertake a fourth ultrasound done. This has confirmed You should visit the doctor as
caesarean section after exercising that my baby has intrauterine growth soon as possible for bleeding in
great caution. This involves frequent retardation. pregnancy, especially at this time can
visits to the hospital, reporting of any What are the implications of this be due to placenta privea or placental
untoward symptoms and undergoing condition and what precautions abruption, both of which are serious
a planned operation at an appointed should I take to improve my baby’s complications of pregnancy.
date. health? I am very worried. Please In placenta privea the placenta is
I had undergone treatment for advise. situated lower down and during
infertility that included a laparoscopy When the internal environment is painless uterine contractions that
and hysteroscopy and endometrial less than ideal, the blood supply to occur throughout pregnancy or after
biopsy. It was found that I had TB of the baby is reduced thereby reducing sexual intercourse/internal check-up,
the genital tract and took a treatment the supply of oxygen and nutrient to can cause bleeding.

A
course for the same. the baby, resulting in intrauterine In placental abruption, a normally
To our joy I conceived after a gap growth retardation (IUGR). situated placenta comes off its
of six months only to learn that it was The cause is usually not known attachment to the uterus leading to a
an ectopic pregnancy on account of though PIH (pregnancy induced collection of blood between the
which my right tube had to be hypertension) can be the culprit in placenta and uterine wall, part of
sacrificed. I am in a state of some cases. which may trickle out.
depression. Please tell me why this There is a narrowing of blood In either case, you need an
has happened. Will I be able to vessels in high blood pressure which immediate ultrasound and hospital
conceive again? Can such a situation decreases the blood supply to the admission.
recur?
It is indeed unfortunate that you
had an ectopic pregnancy but such Can I have an X ray done during pregnancy?
a situation can arise occasionally Though X rays are best avoided during
when the tubes are diseased, as in pregnancy, a lot depends upon why it is needed
your case. and how beneficial it is to you at this point of time.
The medicines you took for TB, The further the area to be X rayed is from your
remove the active disease and kill the baby the less likely is it to cause harm.
TB bacteria but the scarring of On the other hand, in case you have
tissues remains. inadvertently got an X ray during pregnancy, do
The tube is not just a rigid pipe but not panic or think of an abortion on this account.
a dynamic organ that actively pushes – Dr A. K. Bajaj, MD.
the fertilised egg into the uterus for

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 127


About the contemporary artist
Name: Bijan Paul
Birth: 1st January 1958 in Calcutta

Solo shows
1981: Paris, 1986: London,
1981: Home Stores (Art Division)
(Telok Karau, Singapore)
2007: Art in CANAN Road,
New Mexico,
1982-2008: Taj Art Gallery,
Bombay, National Expo 86,
Redenation Border Bombay,
Invited by the Govt. of India,
Ministry of Textiles, Jehangir Art
Gallery Bombay, Visual Art
Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New
Delhi.

Group shows
1980: London, 1982: Canada,
1983: Japan, 1985: Germany.
2000-2008: First International
UNVEILING
Conference South Asian Artist,
focusing on “Capacity Building of
Marginalised Women and widows
SECRECY
in February 2002.
July Art Forum, An artist’s history enriched with nature,
Sadhna Enclave Delhi. plants, banjaras. By Our Correspondent
ijan Paul is born with the Knitting together these

B
proverbial silver spoon, divergences – nature, plants,
having opened his eyes in Banjaras – are the use of symbolic
this world in the culturally motifs, in the form of a female figure,
vibrant city of Kolkata. Ever set amidst pastoral grandeur, who
since, though he has visited shares thoughts and relationships
many parts of the globe and with the surround of plant life, birds,
exhibited in a number of arboreal grandeur and even another
prestigious platforms woman. For Bijan Paul therefore, a
worldwide, his inspiration is painting is never complete unless it is
not from these places alone. It still ‘peopled’ by his favourite leitmotifs
continues to spring from life on the and bring forth the message that
bustling streets of his home city, or living the simple life is the best
for that matter, any city, and his alternative for survival.
canvases capture this essence with Excerpts from an interview:
artistic skill. But what one sees on As you always do paintings
the canvas is not a truism of city around the theme of nature and
living but a constant interaction with women, it must be easy to
what lies beyond the visual inputs compose the subject matter of
provided by one’s surroundings. It is your paintings on the canvas. Do
complexities of city living and an you agree?
understanding of city ways while at Surprisingly, the dictates of a
the same time exploring the richness blank canvas continue to intrigue me
of plant life, nature on the whole, and when it comes down to putting paint
even tribal existence, such as the life on it. For that matter, every single
of the Banjara community, that line put on that space reaches out to
demarcates a Bijan Paul painting an intent, based on my experiences,
from the rest. gathered from my surroundings, both
The artist conveys through portrayal the message that living in simplicity is the best alternative for survival.

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009 129


present and past. I am thus confused modern complexities and though How can such ideas be made
by a host of images striving to find living in the city, they had continued known to the larger public?
space on the canvas and am to improve their traditional craft skills I would urge the media to educate
transfixed into a state of near without taking to other more urban people through their columns. By and
impasse, caught in contem plation lifestyles. I was drawn to this fact, as large people do not know the hidden
between space and content. a painter and this gave rise to a power of colours in our lives. So here
series of works, titled ‘Secrecy of is a way that the media can come to
How do you then begin to re- Life” and ‘ The Beauty of Nature and the fore and take on the responsibility
connect with your work once again Life’. Both these sets of works of educating its readers and listeners
and go on to complete a painting? underline my prime philosophy of about art, culture and above all, the
I would like to give you an living the simple life even within a message that can be conveyed
example in answer. I was once cosmopolitan world. through art. It is the best way of
looking at this canvas that I had spreading the true message of art to
before me. It was late in the night in Your latest works are in the the common man and until the
the studio. Gradually, I began dipping abstract form. What has inspired common man begins to understand
my fingers into paint and started this change? art, there will be no visible impact on
smearing it on the waiting surface. The abstract is a very good form society,. The falsities and
After a while, the forms began to to express one’s desires and untruthfulness of higher society will
appear. In time, the conviction of life feelings. The theme behind each remain at large and painters will be
and living began to peer through the abstract format becomes the working harder than ever, trying to
colours and the forms and a painting unveiling of the various notches that expose these practices through their
was set in motion. society has climbed, or slipped into. It art, but without success.
is the ideal way for a painter to
Are all your works experimental expose the insincerity of today’s What part can art institutions
journey of this sort? socialite lifestyle, where taboos are play in educating the common
I like to experiment with the imposed on innocent thoughts and public about the power of art?
medium, be it working in line, with the satirical comments are glossed in A system must be put in place to
fingers, or even with an abstraction of acceptable ways. The abstract format create awareness in the marketplace.
thought. When doing a painting, the gives me the power to communicate This will help people know the
experimental angle is confined to the with people who want to unearth the relationship between art and
tools and the technique. The spirit truth, who understand, but remain everyday life. We artists are ever
behind each painting suggests my clandestine and suppressed, by the ready to play a role and institutions
inner urge to go on, to grow, to goings-on. The theme helps people should step in the fray, as well.
progress and not stagnate, as to peep into forbidden closets and
stagnation of any sort is not a good unfasten truths that lie buried in its As a senior artist what is your
sign for any artist. depths. message to junior artists?
I would say that they always follow
How did you get fascinated What is the reaction of society the basics of art and live their art
with the subject of the Banjaras? folk to such exposures? through their hearts and minds.
It was some thirty years ago that I Not so favourable, but they know Thereby a good creation will blossom
first came across this group. I found that what I expose through my art is for appraisal. Keep growing in yourself;
their lives surprisingly removed from the truth. there is no short cut to this aim. We

130 Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009


QA &
I am a working mother and my
husband always takes small-time
jobs and works from home. He has
cared for our two children. Now he is
threatening to take away the children
if I don’t give up my job. I know we
cannot manage in what he earns but
I am unwilling to go through a
divorce. What do I do and can I get
legal custody of our children if I am a
working woman?
if you try to find a solution at this If your husband was fine with your
point in time. Most often, when working and caring for the children,

Q&
women want to avoid going to the what has changed in your life for him
toilet, they drink less water and that to threaten to take away the children?
creates its own set of problems. Why Giving up the job might not be the
don’t you begin to carry some answer if your problems lie else -
antiseptic wipes and disposable seat where and needs to be addressed. If
covers with you? Being from the you are sure about your inability to
I have been married for a year and Western world upbringing you might manage financially, ask him how he
live in a joint family. I really crave for not find it so abhorrent to clean a plans to make ends meet without
time alone with my husband and toilet seat and use a seat cover which your salary. Divorce and custody of
although I appreciate the advantages can then be disposed of. Carry your children becomes an issue when a
of joint family, how do I steal this own hand wash too if you desire and marriage breaks down irretrievably
private time with my husband? you could deal with the problem. which somehow does not seem to be
It is good sign that you are able to the case in your marriage. But you
appreciate the advantages that come seriously need to address the issues
with a joint living family. Yes, private Both my husband before it reaches that situation.
time becomes a luxury not easily and I were divorcees
found in such a situation but you could when we got married
speak to your husband about it. If you and now we have a Mine was an intercaste marriage and
are not able to take time off for a long 3 year old son. My I tried to live with my MIL. However,
holiday together, how about a week- husband wants a my sister-in-law never liked me and
end, or even one night in a hotel? If divorce as he says eventually my MIL asked us to move
that is difficult to work out because of he is in love with somebody else. I out. Now she is very unwell and
time or finances, you have to make a don’t want to go through a second wants my husband to live with her but

A
routine where something is private – divorce but he has already left not me. While I feel bad for her I feel
like a mutual relaxing massage on a home. What can I do legally? why my husband should live with her
weekly basis, or having a shower It is often said that divorcees and I live with our children away. It
together on a Sunday morning? Light find it difficult to settle in the will increase our expenses plus I feel
a candle for romantic ambience after subsequent marriages and your my sister-in-law will take my husband
you’re in your bedroom. Communicate husband is proving such fears also away from me.
with your husband and you would be right. Maybe he is just irresponsible You are totally justified in wanting
able to work something out within your and is addicted to the freedom of acceptance from your in-laws,
living style as well. divorce and marrying somebody especially as your children need their
else. Legally, you can do very little father as much as your MIL needs
if he decides to leave you and live her son. Your best bet is to speak
I was born and brought up in Europe with the other woman. You can ask with your husband and he has to
and came to India after marriage. I for maintenance for the child and stand up for you. Your husband is not
am settling in fine with my husband alimony for yourself but it is often a a commodity that your sister-in-law
and his family but my problem is that tedious process which eats time will take away but you should voice
I am unable to visit a public toilet and and money. What is your your concerns to your husband and
hold my bladder, which leads to husband’s stance on caring for his say that when he visits his mother he
frequent urinary infections. How do I son is important. Sometimes, you should take either you or the children
overcome this mental block? have to give a spouse a long rope along and you are not being stubborn
Your problem might not seem and hope he will see sense before but have genuine concerns for your
serious but could lead to lasting real harm comes to his family life. children and for your own relationship
health problems for you. So it is best with your husband.

Woman’s Era ● January (Second) 2009