14LS01A.qxd 5/13/2013 7:19 PM Page 1 tuesday | may 14 | 2013 | chandigarh TRIBUNELIFE+STYLE CREATIVE PLATFORM If you fancy collecting authentic art pieces, it’s about time you headed to Art Portfolio, Sector 9, Chandigarh, where Neepa Sharma, curator, exhibits a collection of artworks of various artists from across the nation. PAGE 2 Þ A LEAF FROM HISTORY Jai Jai Bajrangbali, the hit mythological show from Sagar Arts, has just completed 500 episodes. We catch up with the lead actress Aparna Tarakad, who is playing Maa Anjana, Lord Hanuman's mother. PAGE 3 Þ CANNES CALLING Ali Zafar is among the many Bollywood actors who will be present at the Cannes film festival. PAGE 4 Þ LOVE IT OR HATE IT! I Don’t Luv U focuses on the youth of today—the fun-loving and frivolous lot, who are extremely casual in their relationships and do not want to delve into the intricacies of true love, commitments and fidelity. PAGE 4 Þ Internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker Sanjay Kak loves to provoke, even outrage his viewers, for the real purpose of his films is not to take sides but to trigger a debate... His cinema, his way Nonika Singh PHOTO: S CHANDAN H FRESH TAKE: SANJAY KAK More than a name The rather piquant name of his film Red Ant Dream may have your perplexed, but he offers no explanation. Sure the film has a sequence involving red ants and the analogy with the ant army is for you to make out. His process of making films begins from nagging questions. The quest takes him to in-depth research and academic reading. Once the riyaaz is over, the film gets rolling. He adds, "When you immerse yourself into something, one thing leads to another." His first moment of immersion came while working on a research project on Narmada Bachao Andolan. Since then he has not looked back. is films speak the language of revolutionaries and rather compellingly, forcefully bring forth the idea of revolution. Yet internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker Sanjay Kak comes across as anything but fire-breathing or venomspewing radical. In Chandigarh for the screening of his latest film Red Ant Dream, the man who constantly questions the way democracy works in India, in fact, does affirm faith in the Indian democracy, however, flawed it might be. Indeed, he is increasingly perturbed by the corrupt forces at work, the money power constantly undermining democratic institutions. No wonder his films, be the Red Ant Dream on Naxalism or Words on Water on Narmada Bachao Andolan or Jashn-e-Azadi on the Kashmir problem that created quite a stir, ask the all important question — who is the democracy meant for? As the film posed some pertinent if discomfiting queries, many feathers were ruffled. Jashn-e-Azadi was not even allowed to be screened in Pune's Symbiosis University by ABVP He . recalls and shares, "Sadly the objection was not to what was in the film." Not that he mollycoddles his subjects. Unlike other makers, he doesn't believe in the notion of objectivity and calls impartial observation nothing more than a trap. Upfront he says, "Often the so called two sides of an issue are not important. Hence balancing it is irrelevant." Besides he is not imposing his opinion on others, only making his stance clear at the very onset of the film. The intention he insists is, "Not to brainwash others, Mainstreaming issues Sanjay Kak may not agree with what mainstream cinema like Shanghai and Chakravyuh have to say about significant issues such as SEZ and Maoism, but he has no problem with it and feels more such films should be made. Even though he has won many an international award like In the forest hangs a bridge got the ‘Golden Lotus’ for Best Documentary Film, he clarifies he doesn't make films for film festivals. But yes it is gratifying that films meant primarily for Indian viewers find a connection overseas. Even more heartening is the money that the award fetches for it facilitates his next film. only to provoke and initiate an argument." A good documentary, he says, is one that does not reiterate the obvious and unveils something not seen or heard before. No wonder this Kashmiri pandit instead of choosing to tell the tale of his own brethren looked at the perspective of what makes Kashmiris continue with their dissent. No he is neither a votary of 'azadi' in Kashmir nor of violence. Only he wants the discourse to include the people of Kashmir, which fortunately he feels it has in the last couple of years. Similarly, in Red Ant Dream, which takes you to the centre of Maoist activity, he is not suggesting anything more than those indulging in guerrilla warfare — The People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) — are not aggressors. Interestingly, as he has used Paash's poetry and Bhagat Singh's ideals in the film many viewers in Chandigarh failed to see the connection of incorporating Punjab in the story that is largely the tale of Maoists. He smiles, "Such references too are part of the debate." Kak might be drawn towards dark issues but he is certainly not a pessimist; and neither underestimates his ability to make a difference nor the world to change. Documentary films, he understands, are only one of the instruments of transformation by propounding an argument. As he tilts the argument in favour of those whose voice he becomes, he reminds you, "Remember documentary films are not a document. It's not a dastavez." But a significant world view, impelling you to drop your coloured vision and look at things from a fresh vantage point his films certainly are! Anita Roy, while growing up in Buckinghamshire, often wondered how it would be like to work in India given her half-English half-Indian descent. Her work in the publishing industry brought her here with an intention to stay for a year or two. It's been eighteen years now and she has continued to work in India. Commissioning Editor for the Young Zubaan, Anita was in Zirakpur for a creative writing workshop with Dikshant International School students. The mentor and young learners had fun sharing what made 'bad' characters appealing in story books while also breaking down various elements in a fiction; examining their component parts and a trying a hand at writing. "The workshop led by Young Zubaan's Editor was a great learning experience for us. I learnt that there storybooks quite promising. "It's not easy trying to get what you want your children to read. This guidebook is the first step in that direction, which takes into account both classic stories as well as the recent ones." This will hopefully be out around August and plans are to have it in other languages as well, the first one being English. Co-author of Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness guide to India long back, WITH A SMILE: Manoj Pahwa Anita is ready with the draft of her children book. As for the theme she says, "Well, it's aimed at ten to twelve year olds, an adventure set in the land of the dead!" We are waiting… ple, actors in this context, who have the craft of bringing something different out of monotony each time. Manoj Pahwa has made us giggle as and when he has appeared on screen and this is what he has been doing for a long time. When you drop the word monotony, the actor, who is in Chandigarh to shoot for a Punjabi film, sets out to redefine it! "It can be killing, it is a matter of concern for any actor or character artist, however, I try to bring in something new in similar kind of roles," says Manoj Pahwa, trying to give a philosophical touch to a practical problem. It is in search of finding new in the routine that brings Manoj Pahwa to Punjabi cinema for the first time. "I had met the producer, Gabbar, during the shoot of Mausam, later he came to Mumbai with the script. I liked my role and agreed to be a part of it," he says. Manoj plays a recovery agent in Heer & Hero, a situational comic character. Comedy is something he has been doing for long. Doesn't it get tiring? "Sure it does. This is why I joined theatre after almost 15 years, so that I could satisfy my creative urge. I used to do theatre in Delhi, after moving to Mumbai I did not get the opportunity. Theatre breaks the monotony if you understand." Manoj has featured in various advertisements, something he thought he would never do and in successful films like London Dreams and Tum Bin. "I would want to experiment with my character, but if you click in a particular role (in his case it is comedy) the industry begins to give you similar kind of roles," says the actor, who has always done some dark comedies as and when they came his way. Sometimes even in acting it comes down to the need for survival. Manoj laughs, he can relate to it and knows what we are heading for. "Actors sometimes say yes to roles, characters which they wouldn't agree to do otherwise. I didn't have to struggle for recognition because I knew I wanted to act, whether it was films, television serials or ads," adds Manoj, who will be seen in three upcoming films Waar Shod Na Yaar, Purani Jeans and Dedh Ishqiya. email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org WORD WISE: ANITA ROY WITH STUDENTS OF DIKSHANT INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL it's the emotional connect that's most significant in a story. That's been universal around the world and more or less the same." Working for Zubaan, she finds the upcoming Guidebook 101 for the best Indian Comedy is Manoj Pahwa’s forte. Yet there is more to the man than just that… email@example.com Commissioning Editor for the Young Zubaan, Anita Roy says the emotional connect is most important in any story… was a great opportunity in writing books aimed at children and young adults," says Nalini Chaudhary, a student of Class X. Mitul Dikshit, director, Dikshant International School adds, "The idea behind organising the workshop was to expose students to creative writing skills and present a whole new career option in front of them." Ask Anita if technology (read texting and internet) had an adverse impact on the writing skills of youngsters and she says, "For me caper Monotony can be killing, it is a matter Repetitiveness can be of concern for any actor or more lethal than character artist, however, I being executed in an electric chair! For an try to bring in something actor this clearly indinew in similar kind cates the End. Surprisof roles. ingly there are some peo- In black & white Mona Comic Jasmine Singh
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