Tag Archives: Karnataka

You Can’t Exist. It Offends ‘Us’

By Ankit Chandra

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In the news today, among other more immediately critical things, is this news about a paintings exhibition in Bangalore (http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/in-bangalore-moral-policing-means-three-paintings-face-the-wall-326900?pfrom=home-otherstories).

What’s the big deal about a paintings exhibition? Isn’t it just about some people only putting their expressions on to some canvas? who has time for that right? To be quite honest, I think it would be a big deal when a painting exhibition was actually not a big deal. Sadly, we are not there yet.

So what happened was that in this paintings exhibition, there were some paintings showing a few Hindu Goddesses in the nude. A local BJP ‘leader’ walks in and sees these paintings and flips out. He ensures that those paintings be put inside out, so that no one can see them. He said “I have reported to chief coordinator of Chitrakala Parishat saying you people should not show like this, Hindu gods and all. We have our own belief, we have our own culture…”

When I read this, I had a mixture of feelings inside me. Besides the obvious questions like ‘who the hell is he to be the representative of Hinduism’ (I am sure Lord Ram didn’t send him an appointment letter, because I think God likes me more than this BJP leader), I was more anxious because I see a special type of slow rape and murder happening here. That of freedom. Not only of speech, but to exist freely. Given that this rape of freedom a slow process, I am sure the government wouldn’t care to fix this, as this doesn’t affect the elections in 2014, or the local Karanataka elections, whenever they are held.

This is an urgent problem. Not only in Karnataka, but in Tamil Nadu with Viswaroopam, or with the late M.F. Hussain, or with the painters in Ahmedabad whose exhibition was vandalized, or with Deepa Mehta for making Water. The list goes on. And this list scratches our faces with its iron finger nails telling us that you must live in servitude of those who can walk over you whenever they feel like.

Anyway, back to the news. The father of the painter issued a statement: “There is absolutely nothing objectionable in his paintings. If that is so, then all temples should be destroyed.” After reading this statement, I had another mixture of feelings ride inside me. One of which was that of desperation. You see, in the older times people seemed to have more freedom of expression. They ‘could’ sculpt Hindu Goddesses in the nude. And those sculptures were integrated into temples. In 2013, we have regressed to a time even before them. Maybe stone ages where the whims of a petty local politician were taken to be a decree more critical than the dreams of Rabindranath Tagore.

Of course we could not have one more than one Nobel in literature. For that, we’d need to coexist in this century first…

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Exploring Goa: The Rail Trek to Dudhsagar – IV

Kartik Kannan’s continues his photographic journey of Dudhsagar in this fourth part of the series!

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One interesting game to play at the base of the waterfall as a group is to dunk into the water, and hold your breath, and then come out. The one who spends least time inside, has to photograph the rest, for the next iteration.

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Another interesting thing worth observing are the patterns of water when people splash about in water.

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Do watch out for the contrast between water against the rocks, and the bright sunlight on the other rocks.

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For Photography enthusiasts, this is a good opportunity to use a slow shutter to capture the motion of the water.

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If you are getting too much light because of a long exposure, it may be wise to carry along a Neutral Density filter for your lense, so as to cut off unwanted light by 2 F stops.

Exploring Goa: The Rail Trek to Dudhsagar – I

Kartik Kannan writes on his photographic journey – and this time it is to Dudhsagar!

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Dudhsagar, translating to sea of milk, is a tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in the Indian state of Goa on Goa’s border with Karnataka state. It is four-tiered. It is 60 km from Panaji city by road and 46 km from Madgaon railway junction by train. It’s a wonderful journey on the South Western railway as you walk along the railway track, exploring pristine nature at its best.

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The Rail trek begins, once you get inside the tunnels. It’s a chill world inside there, and in the darkness you need to carefully traverse the tracks. Some of your conversations stay longer than the time you took to speak them, with the echo inside the tunnel, creating re reruns of your conversation. The best part however is the point where you have light seeping into both ends of the tunnel, which illuminates the track as you go in/come out.

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And if you happen to have an express train travelling with you, do pamper it by giving it space and a photo opportunity. This place inside the tunnels is the best place to have some long exposure shots if a train is passing by. The feeling of the breeze caused by the train’s motion is an exhilaration that needs to be experienced, even as you struggle to balance yourself on the rocks that lie on either side of the tracks.

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You will pass an abandoned building, as you walk along the railway track before the first tunnel. You can use this place to change into something comfortable. This place presents some wonderful photo oppurtunities before you get started into the arduous trek.

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Wave back to the passengers with a smile! You are about to embark on one of the best railway treks in India!