Author: Aparna Sridhar

Ganjhon ki Goshthi – An Interview With Saket Suryesh

Saket Suryesh’s book Ganjhon ki Goshthi is a collection of contemporary satirical essays in Hindi. The book brings out Saket’s world view as he consistently takes a dig at the inconsistencies of the modern world, modern value systems and modern politics, using fictional heroes from the past to make his point. You have characters from Rag Darbari wandering about, Emperor Ashok landing in Karnataka post elections and even legendry writer Sharad Joshi himself coming out of retirement to get his satire published. The son of an Air Force officer, Saket’s boundary-less expressions resonate with Indians all over. Watching his child grow, and getting random people walk up to him and appreciate his writing not ‘for its style or art’ but for his honesty is what he values most in life. In this interview he talks about how he thinks, writes and feels. How do we get youngsters to read more? Saket Suryesh: This is a very serious question. Somewhere down the line, as we evolved as a society from excessive government to becoming crazily liberalized, …

Navayug Ke Dashavatar – India’s Glorious Years Animated

India today seems to be a country with a history, but not a past. While we are largely familiar with what has happened in the last century or so, a lot of what has gone before that eludes us in our history books, our literature and arts, and in our collective consciousness. Like most Indians, the members of Ithihasika also grew up gleaning the missing pieces from their grandparents, parents, and of course the ubiquitous Amar Chitra Kathas. They can now be described as a modern era Uncle Pai, the creator of Amar Chitra Katha, recounting the stories of Indic heroes in animated form. Two years ago Ithihasika made a basic animation movie on Shivaji Maharaj with a paltry budget of $400 to solicit donations for a museum of Indian history to be built by Indophile Francois Gautier in Pune. The production team expected 1000 views for the movie, and today they are euphoric at the 5.6 million views it has had without a marketing budget. A thumping endorsement that spurred them on. Ithihasika’s latest …

The Khanjira’s on a roll

It was Carnatic vocalist DK Pattammal who asked Khanjira maestro G Harishankar’s mother, “From your womb, did you deliver a baby or the Khanjira itself?” This is the late Harishankar’s 60th birth anniversary year, (Birth: June 10, 1958) and top Khanjira soloist Bangalore N Amrit pays tribute to his guru, who paved the way for artistes like Amrit to maintain the glory of this special upa-pakkavadyam. Amrit’s gutsy journey as a Khanjira soloist has been both a challenge and a responsibility. Guru Harishankar Among the percussion instruments being played in Carnatic concerts today, the Khanjira comes after the Mridangam and Ghatam in hierarchy.  While such a ranking is problematic in itself, it has also led to a struggle by Khanjira players to specialise in the instrument as soloists. Played with one hand on one surface, the small single frame drum with a pair of jingles sounds simultaneously bright and resonant. Deceptively small, it can produce a range of sounds that can keep up with the other instruments it plays with. There were great Khanjira players …