The wind spread across the coast
Said few words,
In it’s silence.
No matter how complicated life is,
Just follow me.
Could make it simple and sweet
Be it the confusions of life
It is needed, the believe & trust
to keep it running
to make it loving.
Have bath at my courtyard
Let me wash your stress
Let me clean you
From sorrows and agony.
From the Horizon
A voice came
You are beautiful.
From heart and from soul
You are beautiful.
Focusing on things
That are beautiful and pleasant
Are the best moments & best captures
are not by the lens, but with the eyes.
Objects in the mirror (with love)
Are Prettier than they appear.
Just a little step ahead
Be the person you want to be.
Change the things you want to
Chase the target you dreamt of
I am with you.
It was never the wind,made me fly.
It was always me, myself
Who wished to be a bird
Being cage free, To fly high… higher… highest
Look at the eyes of the machine.
Which has an eye,
To make you believe,
what you saw.
But I suggest
Be the eye, Be the vision
Walk against the flow,
It will make you or break yo
But you will win
Because you tried
Beauty lies in the eyes of
BEHOLDER. Then i see you.
Moments I miss the most,
Are not gonna come again.
Can you wipe them out.
of your presence.
I see you,
through the eyes of my heart
through the lens of those memoirs.
I was getting late for my morning flight so I had to leave the gathering and meeting early. After a 15 Minute walk loaded with heavy thoughts to pen down this article, I reached the Gate No 1 of JNU. It was almost 3am at the night. To my surprise almost a huge herd of media persons with camera and boom were standing and trying to get some sneak peak of incidents happening inside JNU. Few of them were facing the camera to give a P2C (Piece to Camera). To my surprise among the few, I could recognise Rahul Kanwal of TV Today group was standing holding the boom and mike. At this odd hour, though it was unusual I could understand the importance of the situation and the dedication of the journalist.
I spent around 3-4 hours inside the campus and tried to get the feel of the JNU heat. Since the controversy has started. There has been a fight within us. Some of us support the ‘Anti Nationals’ being termed by a few so called ‘Nationalists’. Well, that’s a million dollar question who is a real Nationalist. To find an answer to this I took pain of watching more than 20 YouTube videos related to issue and also read more than 50 such most shared articles covering both the perceptions.
Some people we call rightist and some leftist. But there are a large number of people who are free thinkers. They decision is evidence based, logic based and mostly biased with first-hand information. They keep one foot on rightist philosophy and the other feet on leftist ideology to take a stand based on their own judgement. On the same note, being liberal and logical I took another step to go JNU and get in more details about it. The atmosphere there must guide me, was the idea which I am sure I can convey properly to all.
A fact has evolved now, the judicial authority in India being the court has now being partially transferred to people like Arnab Goswami and channels like Zee News. If the whole country is divided in the name of National and Anti-national, then this is not because we had anti national slogans enchanted by few students. Rather because the media trail led by Arnab Goswami and Zee News provoked the whole country to do so.
While walking along the deserted roads of JNU along few of my friends from JNU, I could hear the slogans from Ad block and we headed towards that. It was around 11.30pm at night. I was trying to overheard different conversations of students discussing in different groups amidst pro JNU slogans by JUNSU. I was trying to get the real sense of democracy and the gaps. Was it antinational and violation of democratic rights or fight against the hypocrisy?
What does our democracy teach us !! To question or to blame?
I do not buy the slogans of picturing Afjal as Martyr but questioning the trial of Afjal won’t make anyone anti-national. But who is there to take decision of sedition charges or booking someone as Anti-national; Arnab Goswami who in a way spreading hatred by his rudeness and biased media trial or Zee News, who produced the doctored video to get maximum TRP. Media as I have learned it from the best Media Institute of India, is ethical and it’s a service. Serving with facts and information is something media should be doing rather put forth the decision creating mass hatred which leads to Patiala House court incident.
Shehla Rashid started with addressing the legal complications that the JNU movement has been facing and this time her stand was much logical than before which I could see getting praised by the crowd. Mind it, this crowd is not the crowd pulled by any political party, rather gathered suo-motto in solidarity where, i could over heard, the ABVP crowd in the campus was having some DJ night in any one of the boys hostel.
My eyes were then on Umar Khalid, who said in his speech last night, ‘I am Umar Khalid and I am not a Terrorist”. Though an extreme leftist, he has also put very valid question on the media trial and without any court trial how can one be termed as Anti National. I am not at all defending him rather my views are towards the safe keeper of democracy. I was more interested to listen to Rama Naga, the GS of JNUSU originally hailed from Koraput, Odisha who is also accused of being an Anti-National. As he stated he is the only member in his family to go beyond matriculation. His anger and outrage got translated to his words and he started addressing ‘Sathiyon’ to the gathered crowd. With confidence, not very loud voice, he started and addressed the biggest question which many were asking since last few days. He made it clear, that they had not escaped. They were very much presence in the campus rather, they were avoiding legal complications.
Again Naga addressed with the basic idea of why the fight!!!! It is not about supporting Afjal or being Anti-National. It is being the fight against injustice. He was worried and he was concerned about his parents and family being targeted by media and others which, he has appealed not to do so.
Many people may not like me or dislike me after my this post, which may sound like pro-communist. But let me be very frank I believe in free thinking and liberal politics rather than biased decision making and fooling the whole country with miss-information which may harm the communal harmony in the country. The latest video by India Today exposing the Lawers who had beaten Kanheya and other journalists is just so pathetic in the name of patriotism.
I am amazed again to see the irresponsibility of Indian Home minister issuing false information believing on a fake social media updates. The stand of HRD Minister of putting flags all across Indian central universities and the most popular Mr Modi is silent on the issue. Where is the country heading and how the government is responding to the whole fiasco, along with unfair arrest of Kanheya Kumar has united the student mass. The #StandwithJNU tag is now trending and leading to unite more student groups all across India against the system and government.
There are questions unsolved, the release of kanheya, and trial of other accused students and so on. There is a challenge to be tolerant and face this issue. The social media fights have gone to a different level and the leaders are in making. The future of India seems bright. The leader of India is in Making. Inside the Tihar Jail.
While writing this piece inside the flight, I could see the silver lining in the sky and could feel ‘Achhedin aa gaye’.
I belong to a rather poor state and the State government often demands funds from the Centre to alleviate this dire issue of poverty. When I say poor, there is a lot that can be added to this definition of poverty. A state which is infamous for witchcraft and the violence on women leading to murders has a long way to go before it sees a change in the mind sets of people. This state is still witnessing pregnant mothers migrating from native villages to work in the brick kilns of neighbouring states, giving birth to babies inside dingy settlements in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. This state is still struggling with an open defecation problem which is a rampant habit among men and women, but the irony is that women can only go to defecate either before sunrise or after sunset to ward off and avoid onlookers.
Amidst many such issues which put women in the back seat, there is yet another concern which is still a taboo and not much effort has been made in that direction and not many social media campaigns have been initiated to make people understand that women’s menstrual cycles are commonplace occurrence just like any other act of daily life. Being a man, I may not be able to justify the issue to others to a life-changing extent but, yes I can definitely set an example by talking about it in the open.
If I look back on my graduation days, I can still remember that menstruation was a funny topic used to crack dirty jokes against those girls who were both our batch-mates and friends. I came to learn more about it only when I first had a girlfriend and there was this guilty feeling I underwent when I came to know about the pain and suffering she went through every month. Now however, I have been seeing a lot of awareness about this on the internet and in other forms of social media but the state is yet to become fully aware of this problem. Hence, it is now time to educate statesmen about some very important facts of life which they may or may not be aware of.
While I was listening to Mr. Anshu Gupta, the Magasaysay awardee, speak on this issue, he mentioned the poor and unhygienic sanitary practices of women and girls in many rural parts of the state. I could relate quiet well to it since I have seen that in most of the villages, shopkeepers do not even store sanitary pads and this is an indicator of the seriousness of the issue. However, in urban settings and cities even, menstruation is ridden with myths and many don’t like to talk about it In public; shopkeepers in fact use a piece of newspaper to wrap them up in.
Funnily enough, the same state celebrates a four-day long festival across the region and most importantly in rural areas, in celebration of womanhood. This festival is primarily meant for young girls and symbolizes those cultural practices which applaud the fertility of mother earth. Symbolically, the young girls celebrate the festival as a matter of joy and enjoy these four days with great enthusiasm. During the first three days of the festival and on the last day, it is traditionally a time to get cleaned up which is symbolically done by women washing their grinding stones with turmeric paste and adorning it with flowers and sindoor.
During the festival, girls wear new clothes every day and they do not do any other work apart from sitting, relaxing, roaming around and playing on tree swings since they are banned to walk about barefoot. They apply make – up and walk around in groups, visit friends and eat locally made cakes. There are several other customs and traditions and flexibility that these young girls enjoy without knowing as much as the crux the festival is premised upon. Some historians and cultural enthusiasts are absolutely clueless about the origin of this festival. However, many have admitted that the seriousness of the festival lies in the fact that people do not actually know why it is being celebrated in the first place.
‘Raja Mahotsava’ or ‘Raja Paraba’ is an annual festival that is dedicated to the celebration of womanhood, fertility and more importantly, menstruation. The word ‘Raja’ comes from ‘Rajaswala’, which actually means menstruating women. It is believed that during this time, mother earth menstruates and hence she must be given respite from work. It is even believed that the rain god/s pours heavily during this time in order to lessen the pain that mother earth undergoes. Unfortunately, this festival is being celebrated among ignorant young girls and hardly any of them even know the basics about it. It is high time they did. When people and mostly young men and women are vocal enough in many Indian cities to talk about menstrual taboos and practices, there is a further requirement for everybody to talk more about it in public spaces. Fathers should make their daughters comfortable enough to discuss these issues with and this should be included in educational curriculum across the country to make both girls and boys aware of things which are natural processes and certainly not taboos.
In most parts of the state, when people annually celebrate womanhood, it is much more welcoming and important indeed to let people know the reasons and importance behind celebrating this festival. Given the many problems when it comes to gender issues in my state, it is now time for everyone to open up about the fact that just like mother earth, every single woman menstruates as well and there is absolutely nothing to hide or be ashamed of!
This Article was first published in Menstrupedia.com
The clouds and flowing against the wind
The irritating sounds of the diesel engine
The cotravellers and their highness
I was sailing consciously with subconscious mind
I felt indifferent with the little tides
Striking along the boat and giving me Goosebumps
It roared, the thunder peeped out
The empty bottle of tuborg and kingfisher
Looking at different shades of sunglasses
I thought if i could read the minds
If I could read the hearts
I was sailing with imagination with full of romanticism
Those tall piles of Jhau trees safforning the shore
Those dark blue curves of the water
Those faded black clouds
And white shining sands
I heard someone is calling me
I followed the voice. Into the horizon
She was blushing
May be in love, may be being high
Could see the eye lashes moving ups and downs
It was going to to be dark soon
I see her smiling again
I see her blushing again
It was chilled..
Better than the beer
Sweeter than the sunset
It was the hope
Being loved being adored
I was blushing I was smiling
I loved the presence of the moment cherished for
Looking at different layers of the cloud
Bluish black and darkish blue skies
Few drop of rains
I wanted to dissolve in the waves
To sail and to enjoy the independence
The unclear foot steps on the sand
Made me realise and convinced my conscience
Life and nature are just realisation
One you live it and one you feel it
You just need to sail yourself being calm, being content
Took a deep breathe
Started realising the difficulty of the narrow path
I choosen knowing its gonna blow up
My fate and my future
My efforts and my intentions
I want to fly high… I want to sail into deep
I want to dissolve with the nature.
I do not remember exactly but it was sometime around when I was in class 6-7. I was quiet active in extracurricular activities and used to win prizes in many competitions. Those days, digital camera had not hit the market. During all those prize distribution ceremony most of the kids would come with their parents and with a camera to click a photo of their child getting prize. That was the time when I got developed the craze of being photographed but I was helpless and I never have a photograph of any award ceremony till 2006 when I got my first camera gifted by my brother-in-law Mr Biswa Bhusan Chhotaray.
It was also a funny incident when the marriage proposal of my sister got confirmed all were happy for the obvious reason but I was happy more than anyone because he was a cinematographer and I could now get a camera gifted. I told my sister Anusruta that I want him to gift me a camera, because he must have loads of camera, which I was perhaps too ignorant of then. However, I got my first camera KODAK EC 200. It was not a digital camera but I kept clicking. My first guide in photography was a friend who is a great artist now Sitaram, who had amazing ideas of photography. No wonder he was amazingly creative then and happens to be a very popular before he joined JJ School of Art. It was a silver color glossy Kodak which I still have and I cherish my memories with the beauty. However, the irony remained same though i had a camera but i had no one to click when i gets prize. However, this made me trying my hands on photography. The journey started with KODAK EC 200.
I used to save money to buy reel and get those photos printed. I still remember I was growing and my craze for a digital camera was increasingly growing. Then it came a time when i took admission in my mass com. I took this as a huge opportunity to buy a camera of my own as I was supposed to apply for study loan. It was Dhenkanal and Indian Institute of Mass Communication and I got a brand new black color Fuji Film HD 1000 Camera. The real journey of color, light, distance, micro, macro everything started with the sexy black beauty whose curves were my weakness those days.
I kept clicking with that for more than 3 years apparently which gave me loads of good names as a photographer, which I never had considered myself neither today I consider. Those days It was like I used to sleep with the camera and it had become my companion. It was very close to my heart still it reminds me those good old days.
It was a time when it started showing issues and I wanted to upgrade to a DSLR. I had then revived from my joblessness and struggle. However, I wanted a good decent DSLR which could give me both experience of digital photo and video where I can experiment a lot. However, I had no money and I wanted to get it by loan which was a difficult task for me to get it from bank. At the same time I was also saving money , so that I can afford the down payment of a new car which I needed badly as doctor had strictly restricted from riding bike after my ligament tear surgery. However, it was also a fact that i had got the phobia of riding bike. So I wanted to go for a car which I still do not have. One of the sad angle of the story. Anyway, according to the plan, I messaged a lot of people who were very close to me and asked for some money, I had thought I will get small amount of money from these people who won’t ask for it for next 2-3 months. It is worth mentioned that these were the people whom I had helped a lot both in cash and in kind earlier; ever few had borrowed money from me. But not a single person replied and helped. So I had only option to buy either car or camera.
For both the thing I needed 50,000 ruppes and only one friend Bikram who still is one of my closest friend borrowed me 10000 rupees and went Narayani Motors. Car was my first priority and that time only Maruti Alto 800 was available with a down payment of 50K. I went inside. Discussed everything and all documents were verified. They took me to show the car and comfort. I get into the car. Sat onto the driver’s seat and I could feel my extra-long legs were touching the steering wheels and it was such a discomfort to people with height. With the stroke of that disappointment my wishes of buying car got scattered and I am yet to have since last 3 years.
I came from the Narayani Motors and then immediately headed towards Bapujee Nagar, Spectra Vision. Our very own Prasant Bhai was waiting eagerly with his typical smile. I got the beast CANON 550D wit 18-135 Kit Lens.
Alok Mohanty, is the person who taught me basics of DSLR photography. I owe this to him. In due course i learned a lot of techniques. Starting from Sankar, Sunnil to Raj Sampad a lot of people have influenced me in their work. A lot many people have appreciated my work and i owe them for their constant encouragement. I would like to thank few subjects, who inspired me to click them. Anuradha, Madhu, Puspa these are few of my friends whom i loved to click and some of my best shots have featured their beauty.
The rest is history. I still consider myself an amateur and feel ashamed of saying myself as a photographer. Yes. I am a story teller with visuals. But there are a lot more to learn in photography. But yes, one decision I feel I took right that I never learned Photoshop. Because someone initially had told me Photoshop makes a photo better not a Photographer.
HAPPY PHOTOGRAPHY DAY.
However, there has been no fire in the social media and off the internet as well on Rangabati; but I just want to reaffirms my stand on the whole fiasco and share a healthy note on the issue that who owns Rangabati. However earlier Mitrabhanu Gauntia, the lyricist of the real Rangabati has admitted before that they had adapted the tune, melody and rhythm from an old Adivasi folk tune. He also admits that Rangabati has gone through many versions locally after it became popular in the late seventies.
Recently released new Rangabati being featured as an Item song with loads of changes in the lyrics, music has made me state my views on the whole song and to those people who have proved that Odias are really crab in nature. Recently I read an article by Tanaya Patnaik in Odisha Sun Times where she has rightly pointed out the harsh truth where she has felt ashamed of being an Odia. In a way that’s true as, the so called civil society and safe keeper of Odia tradition and culture have moved to a level where it proved the narrow minded thinking of people in the state.
There was massive fight over social media and as well as in TV and News Papers on the whole issue but MTV, Sona Mohapatra and Rituraj stay affirmed with it. The popularity of the song however, could make many feel jealous and there was a toggle at much intellectual level.
Amidst all such fight It was disheartening to see the fight between Nila Madhab Panda and Sona Mohapatra over twitter which defamed the state. Lakhs of people around the globe who follow both these celebs could see the mockery of the state with those fights. However, I do not blame any of them. My point is very clear. Whatever the reasons may be, if with all enthuse and all ethics we opposed MTV version of Rangabati then on the same grounds we can file FIR, sue the singers, start protesting and do all such of things which will again break the nerve of the statehood. It will make people laugh on us in any such national or international forums.
To be very honest, I am also very disappointed with the arguments of my fellow friends from Western Odisha, when you always complain about eastern and coastal Odisha with western Odisha, you should realise by complaining you have actually drawn a laxman rekha. The difference in the brotherhood in the state is at stake with this feeling. It’s like India Pakistan tussle when I see some people fight on this issues of western and coastal district. However, the truth remains the same. By virtue of our birth and statehood, we all are Odias. Irrespective of caste, color, religion and region Odisha is one state. We should not forget the contribution of our ancestral who fought for this statehood and gifted us for free.
Every time I listen and see both the songs, I feel amused. It gives me goose bumps and my feet starts moving with every beats of both the songs. When I listen it again and again both the songs are just amazingly experimented for good. No matter which becomes more popular, no matter which singer gets more mileage, no matter whosoever earns more money, ultimately it’s the songs that is touching the heights. From Sambalpur to Bollywood and MTV; it could have never happened if our people would not have spent so much time on it. The music and the song have been into our bloods and it will be there forever.
The most infamous state for being popularly known for its leg pulling nature has marked a bench mark for Rangabati. It has become an identity which many wants to claim but in their own ways. Apart from taking credits it’s high time now to be sensible enough for taking stand on our statehood and to work, to post, to comment and to share views on the interest of the state. First of all the song belongs the state, no one is over and above the state. However, the credit goes to the original singers, the lyricist and the music composers, but making it more popular and taking it to an upper level is no harm. I urge to the artists of the original song to be liberal enough to advocate for the identity this song has given to us. Instead of getting into the controversy, we must keep sharing the efforts that our young artists took to take this song to a next level which was not at all thought of ever.
From bottom of my heart I congratulate Sona Mohapatra and Nila Madhab Panda for their bold steps but also request them to maintain the statehood intact along with their emotions and outrages, because it’s the State that matters.
NB: This article was first got published in Odisha Diary.