Never imagined that I would find Mary Wollstonecraft on a TEDxDelhi stage. Wollstonecraft was the mother of feminism, grandmother of Frankenstein, this muh I knew but that she was also an adventure seeker, a single mum with a baby tucked … Continue reading TEDxDelhi #x4Humanity – Report
Originally posted on Project SWBT:
The most common touristy places in India are famous for its forts and palaces, and wherever there are forts and palaces there are museums. Most of these museums have a display of how rich and… Continue reading Goa Chitra – Ethongraphical Musuem
My Huffington Post article on Candid Wedding Photography in India, and the lack of wedding documentary photography has angered all the eminent wedding photographers of India. … Continue reading Back To The Roots: A Wedding Photo Documentary Part 1
Article on the Flickr Photowalk coordinated by me in Delhi. I was the only one who actually did the walk and thoroughly enjoyed. The theme was macro texture photography. In this article, I explained what macro texture is and have … Continue reading Flickr Photo Walk Delhi – Macro Texture
In this series of photographs I celebrate the universal sisterhood, the love and bonding between women. Stories of brotherhood is common, we have films, books and poems on them, brothers in arms et all. But women are never seen to … Continue reading Universal Sisterhood – Breaking The ‘Woman is Woman’s Worst Enemy’ Myth
Facebook and social media in general is making me miserable. So I am doing an experiment to answer some existential crisis. Continue reading Acceptance Validation and Appreciation – 3 Things We Seek on Social Media
Originally posted on Project SWBT:
The best season to visit Ladakh (July to September) is here and news just came in that the Delhi to Manali bus service have reopened. So now, in addition to Manali and Srinagar you have… Continue reading 25 Breathtaking Images of Manali to Leh By Bus – Never Take A Flight Again
Originally posted on Project SWBT:
SWBT = Solo Woman Budget Travel or Solo Female Travel “Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together” – Mark… Continue reading SWBT Varanasi Day 1 – Arrival, Explore the Ghats, Ganga Arti
Originally posted on Project SWBT:
Let credits be given to whom it is owed. I owe my Ladakh trip to just one thing, the Outlook Traveller book on India’s top Trekking destinations which I received as a free gift along… Continue reading Ladakh Travelogue Part 1 – Manali to Leh the bus ride
I was recently invited as a speaker at TEDxITMU, the TEDx event at the Institute of Technology and Management University, Gurgaon. I shared the stage with a range of very interesting speakers like, Actor Vipin Sharma (of Taare Zameen Par fame), Delhi FM station Hit 95’s popular RJ Suroshree Dasgupta, Jazz musician duo Adil Manuel & Vasundhara Vidalur, Babar Afzal Founder, KashmirINK, Artist Roop Chand and others. Here is the complete list of speakers. Continue reading “My TEDxITMU talk – Have we survived the rape and violence?”
It was an end of en era, a historical moment when Mahendra Singh Dhoni lifted that cricket world cup on 2nd April 2011, 28 years after Kapil Dev first lifted it in 1983.
I am lucky to have lived this day, lucky to be a part of this euphoria, and also lucky to have lived the experience of watching it with people who didn’t judge you when you yelled at the top of your lung, jumped on the bed, broke a bottle and made stupid cynical comments. Yes I did all of that on this fateful night.
Let’s go back to the start.
If you didn’t get the whole picture from the title of the post, then you should read the event announcement on Samyukta Media website. I prefer not to repeat all about it here.
I wanted to go to Puri, to attend the BYOFF for the last 5 years, ever since Swagat told me about it. Swagat was part of the first BYOFF which makes him one of the unofficial founding members of BYOFF. I say unofficial because essentially BYOFF is a participatory, volunteer driven film festival and no body in particular owns it.
This was supposed to be a comment on an article ‘The Man Who Doesn’t Ask for Money‘ on the Open Magazine. Somehow the comment thing didn’t work, I tried thrice and every time it gave me an ‘HTTP Error 504 Ajax Comment.’ So I thought I will just publish it on my blog. (As a side note, not being able to comment on a blog / e-magazine just makes me very sad)
This event took place exactly 4 years ago, in May’2006 when I had completed one year of blog. By sheer work of fate BBC World had reached out to me to talk about the use of internet amongst Indian youth. … Continue reading Delhi Bloggers Meet with BBC World Radio May’2006
About 200 odd Delhi elites attended the first TEDxDelhi on Sunday, 1st Aug 2010 at the India Habitat Center. I did too, in the capacity of being a TED Fellow, thankfully to some of us they gave complimentary passes otherwise the ticket cost ranges from INR 1500 to 2500.
TED conferences are costly, we all know it. That’s exactly why they came up with the TED Fellows program. In my brief conversations with some of the attendees I realized many, in fact most, don’t know about the TED Fellows program. Since this report is about yesterday’s event I will not digress from the topic but will soon write about what exactly is ‘TED Fellows.’ As of now I will just say that I think ‘TEDx License rules’ should perhaps make it mandatory for a license holder to briefly mention about the TED Fellows program at any time during their TEDx conferences. That’s how the word will spread.
So what is TEDx?
Many also don’t know about TEDx. And that was one of the biggest challenges that TEDxDelhi licensee Feroz Gujral faced when she set out for it. Though her attempt to joke about it failed miserably with me and left a bad taste right at the opening of the conference.
TEDx are independently organized TED-like events where a small local group can share TED videos or invite their own speakers to share great ideas. Anybody with an interest to organize such an event can apply to become a TEDx licensee. TED has no direct stake at such events except that the licensee is expected to adhere to certain guidelines on Logo use and funds etc. The content of such an event largely depends on the local organizers independent of TED.
I started at 4 am in the morning from home to airport, reached Infosys campus in Mysore at 4 pm. There was a special TED desk set up at Bangalore Airport. I mean that’s just how big TED is, dedicated desk at an international airport. From Bangalore they had arranged for frequent shuttle service to Mysore. So all of us were in a Volvo bus with a police escort navigating through Bangalore traffic. It was weird to some of us, annoying to some other of us. And then there were some like me who were too busy sleeping all the way.
The entrance of Infosys campus looks like a huge Victorian palace. Like really huge. And inside it looks like we are in a mini picture perfect world. The big UFO kind of building, which is like the signature of Infosys campus is called the Multiplex. You can see it from behind trees and buildings and you can tell its a bit of a walk within the campus from your hostel building to the conference area to the food area to the multiplex and so on.
You wait for a whole month to tell the world about something you achieved, then on the D-day you login to your twitter account and see that there are about 50 odd congratulations sent your way for achieving that, even before you could announce it. You achieved something the world was looking out for. That is a great feeling.
In my case that thing was, TED India Fellowship. I am one of the 103 extraordinary individuals who joins the TED fellows program at the TED India 2009 conference to be held in Nov at the Infosys campus, Mysore, India.
I am watching the final episode of Rakhi Ka Swayamvar. Blogging it live and also tweeting. At the end of it I would mention why I loved this only reality show so much. As of now just the live reporting via tv of Rakhi Ka Swayamvar. (Read in reverse order from 11 to 1 and then read 12th onwards, sorry about the confusion)
Below is my twitter stream.
Meet Ahana aka Mishkah, the baby girl who came to this world this morning at 8.20 am who would call twitter rock stars @snigdha and @lighttripper as mom and dad, and @sanjukta as Sexy Maasi :P
She is a very special child for many reason, one of them being her birth was perhaps the first in India that was live tweeted :D
Below are the updates from my twitter time line from 3 am to 8.30 am on 25th July 09. (To be read in revers order)
They believe in every few ages every time the affairs of the world goes haywire God pays a visit to earth, its the same God who just comes in various different avatars. He came and wrote holy books, The Geeta, The Bible The Quran.
But not every time will he write holy books will he, in different ages need of the hour changes. So this one time he came and gave man kind, the Pop music.
Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson, you were that God sent who gave us pop music. Do come back again for this world wouldn’t be the same without you. Michael tried in vain to teach her moon walk and just gave up at her attempts. “Michael loved to laugh, MJ’s laugh was the sweetest and purest laugh I’ve ever known, he was very mischievous.”
Watching the Live telecast of the Memorial service from Staple Center.
Queer people in Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai and Bhubaneswar today celebrated their ‘being’ under a rainbow colored flag. Gays, lesbians, kothis, hijras, intersexs, transsexuals and straight people walked the streets in large numbers amidst busy traffic dancing, laughing giggling, posing for the numerous photographers…and mostly, being proud of whoever they were in their ‘weirdest’ state of being.
This weekend and another weekend this month or last month, the Saturday evenings were spent at Snigdha–Vinayak’s place. What I usually do is land up at their place for lunch and then hang around till dinner. Towards the evening we always go to the terrace and enjoy the breeze and do a lot of talking. Three of us are amazing talkers. There is not another soul besides my sister with who I can talk so much on so many varied topics as much as I do with Snig and Vince.
Today when we were sitting on the terrace I had told the universe via twitter, “am with @snigdha @lighttripper on their terrace. They are few meters away from me yet this I can only tweet, not say – I love you guys.” For emotional intimate communication twitter works for me, I can’t ever say I love you face to face.
He was one of the few Indians to be invited to the Oprah Winfrey show, was one of the candidates for Time Magazine’s World Top 100 Most influential People list in 2007, have been quoted and interviewed by respected magazines and news dailies from all over the world; he is one of the most prominent face in LGBT rights activism and HIV awareness activity; he hosts an annual cultural festival at his palace for homosexual artists to celebrate their talent and their being, yet he is someone who is hardly talked about on Indian mainstream media. A convenient silence, deafness and blindness prevail on us when it comes to homosexuality – but not any more.
I wrote about Prince Manvendra Singh on this space exactly a year ago on my post ‘Its time to stand up and stand tall’ where I said “only when the number of people identifying themselves as queer is large enough and the faces known enough will the society realize it is not something so unnatural after all. And this responsibility lies with LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people themselves to come out of their closet and be confident of their sexuality. It’s time to stand up and stand tall.”
And they did. In just one year the queer movement in India has grown by leaps and bounds. There are more popular culture celebrities who now openly support homosexuality, most vocal of them being Celina Jaitly who have called out for gay rights in India in her blog on Times of India. The last year or so saw movies like ‘Partner’, ‘Dostana’ which had both explicit and implicit homo-eroticism and gay rights advocacy. While our cinema and advertisement have always had depiction of male homosexuality albeit in a funny and derogatory manner, we have been terribly silent over female homosexuality. This also changed (very insignificantly) in the recent past, a certain Virgin Mobile TV commercial is the case in point, where a girl tells her father that she is not interested in going out with this boy from her class. The father gets all worried thinking she might turn out to be a lesbian and insisted she goes out with boys more.
Human beings going on a jungle safari in a National park is a ridiculous activity. I have been to quite a few of them myself and trust me I am not particularly proud. We go to Jim Corbett National Park … Continue reading Human beings: the funny creatures that we are
8th March 7.45 pm
Happy woman’s day to all my readers. A male friend said this day is to be wished only to woman. I said no, you can wish it to men too, its like independence day. Wanted to write a post on W-Day but was outside most of the time so couldn’t.
I don’t know how much and how many of my readers like reading these live blogs I write but I love writing them.
Today I am live blogging my reaction to the Filmfare Awards ceremony 2009 as I watch the recorded telecast on Sony TV. Filmfare is a necessary evil, never a fan but still I end up watching the ceremony every year. I mostly watch it keep assuring myself that my icon Aamir is so right in boycotting this award completely.
Right now Mini Mathur and Murari talking to the stars on red carpet. The show would be anchored by Imraan Khan and Ranbir Kapoor. As always a lot of humor is expected.
Blogging this as I watch this story closely on CNN IBN: *Satire alert*
12 am – This whole Gandhi Auction issue is such a ridiculous waste of national time and resources. We are such losers. Much like the screen Gandhi of Lage Raho Munnabhai, Gandhiji’s soul must have woken up with a startle with so much noise around his name and reading all about the issue he must be saying, “guys stop this drama, like you ever cared for anything I stood for. All you people ever did since the time I have been dead is to freeze me in various forms- statues, frames, trays, showcases, now what is the big deal if an American does the same?”
Phew! So much is going on in life, just don’t have the time to blog. This person asked, “whats up?” Now for some it might just be a conversation starter but for me it is a dilemma, should I or shouldn’t I start telling what all is really up. Let me see, umm, from the last time we met, work, hectic, health bad, food outside, activities, NDTV, We the people, Barkha Dutt, happy, Mutiny, stress, friend, hope-to-be-boyfriend, fight, patch up, love, sex, valentine’s day, free hugs campaign, fame some more, travel, Goa…Those are the things that has been up off late. I don’t think you’ll like it if I really start talking about what’s up, and that’s why my safe answer would be “nothing much, life in general.”
A few of us on Twitter and Blogaloreans list were discussing about what we can do about this Ram Sene issue and an idea struck us, in order to challenge the various threats from Mr. Muthalik and Ram Sene what we should do is dare him. He threatened us against celebrating valentines day, we want to challenge him by having a mass valentine’s day celebration. An actual event started taking shape since then. A Free Hug campaign on 14th Feb 2009 in Bangalore. We would be out in groups offering free hugs to the people of Bangalore, carrying placards like, … Continue reading An appeal to all you wonderful women in Bangalore: Join the Free Hug Campaign this Valentine’s day
[This is the new thing I am doing] An important update on this. The meeting is cancelled because there were only 8 confirmed bloggers for the meet, and the ABIDE team wasn’t interested in meeting such a small group. I don’t blame them, after all Mr. Mishra and Mahesh are really busy people. That also makes me realize what a shame it is that they are all so fond of cribbing but no one wants give up their Sunday morning for something really constructive. Anyway the Blogaloreans are now focussed on organizing a Free Hug Campaign on V-Day to defy … Continue reading Bangalore Bloggers Meet with RK Mishra and Ashwin Mahesh (cancelled)
Starting from today I am introducing an Interview section on my blog. One interview every month. Starting with Jasmine Shah, the Campaign Coordinator of the Janaagraha and Tata Tea initiative, Jaago Re! One Billion Vote campaign. I took this interview … Continue reading An Interview with Jasmine Shah of Jaago Re!
It is official. Mutiny, the thought terminus of India which was till now restricted to the world wide web is officially a national publication. Refined, refurbished and printed it is now up for grabs. You can now hold the ‘Mutiny’ … Continue reading Mutiny Print edition
Last week I wrote a piece on how its time for the queer people to stand up, stand tall and assert their rights. In this context the queer activism in India just witnessed a landmark event, the first ever nation wide Queer Pride March was concluded on Sunday, 29th June 2008. Thousands of gay, lesbians, bi-sexuals, transexuals and other non-heterosexual people in Delhi Bangalore and Kolkata came out on the streets to join the march which was “not a protest but a celebration”, as Leselie Esteves, member of the newly formed Delhi Queer Pride committee puts it. This was the … Continue reading Nationwide Queer Pride March: An Historical event
I am at BCB6 in IIM Bangalore attending the Photography Session. Am starting the live blog a bit late, low connectivity and low battery too so not sure how far it wud go.
We just had a round of introduction. There are 30 of us barcampers interested in this session.
Talks about taking portraits on the street and otherwise street photography. The ethical issues, what to you tell people when you take their photos. If the subject is not happy that you are taking their pic, what do you say.
The Blogaloreans are meeting again. This Saturday, 12th April 08. On agenda this time is something beyond blogging, an attempt to know our favourite city, Bangalore, how? See below. Venue: Bangalore Traffic Police Park on St. Marks Road. So why this venue? Simple reason – Not everybody knew about the park, as a Bangalorean we all should, and now we do. The park is described thus on the Bangalore Traffic Police’s website “This traffic park has a facility to train citizens and students in road safety and traffic rules.” So you know, may be it would be a good idea … Continue reading Blogalorean’s Meet 12th April 08
I am at this photography workshop which is being organinsed by Flickr based group Bangalore Weekend Shoots at BreawHaHa Kormangala. I was the first one to reach and we are some 8 of us right now. Vinayak Das (one of the moderators of BWS) and Dr. Vivek (the founder of BWS) are the two the resource persons of this workshop.
Coffee is being ordered.
Round of introduction. the participant count right now is 13. People from various walk of life are pursuing photography more seriously than their original profession. We have Vinayak who is an engineer and a techie but is looking forward to be a professional photographer, then we have Vivek, a doctor, who is pursuing this hobby from photo journalistic point of view. Most of the people here are in this hobby since 3-4 years.
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I am watching the Filmfare awards ceremony right now on Sony TV. I specially earmarked this evening for this show. Have got some popcorns that I made in the microwave and some apple juice. Well Juice because I’ve already have had enough of beer in the afternoon.
Am I a big fan of Filmfare. Hell No. All my life I have hated filmfare, but could never ignore this necessary evil.
Even if I have accomplished everything in life, even if every reason to exist in this world ceases, I would still live, to see, how does it feels to get those roses, chocolates, gifts and wine from a valentine. wonder Just how long would that be. Continue reading Valentine Thought
Originally uploaded by samyukta_basu Just there, where I want to be, is where I want to go Is what I can see. Continue reading Floating colors
Sunset Originally uploaded by samyukta_basu Faint is the light Dim is the hope Cold is my love Dead is my dream Yet I would stand For so long as river flows I would stand to see where do all the lovers go Continue reading Sunset
The above picture has been my cell phone wall paper for a long time. Whoever saw it asked what it was with immense curiosity. It’s a very rare picture I must say. I took it at the Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2006 in Mumbai. On one of the 7 days of the festival there was an art exhibition on the theme of ‘crow’. Yeah crow, that silly ugly bird about which no body talks. The present pic represents the character of crows who are apparently great transmitters. Kala Ghoda festival happens every year in Mumbai during the month of February. … Continue reading Kala Ghoda