Saturday, September 29, 2018

Self love and Shivambu

A challenging aspect to Urine therapy is the necessary self-love required in sustaining the practice.
Not the hippy ‘new-age’ self-love that relies on spiritual bypassing, fragmented boundaries and chronic suppression to maintain a dogged determination for nothing but a perpetual shiny, sparkly positivity.
But the self-love necessary to imbibe, surrender and accept the very watery essence of who we are.
An acceptance transforming into gratitude and appreciation for the gift of being returned to ourselves.
At a deep unconscious level, even the thought of reabsorbing our water exposes all denied, abandoned and suppressed places within.
Sensations and emotions, caught up in moments of tangled thought-forms, perhaps even comprehended...but disallowed genuine assimilation.
Being open to the idea that urine may not actually be ‘waste’ - dirty and repugnant - as we have been conditioned to think, may be the first intellectual step in getting our ‘head’ around UT.
But what of how we feel about ourselves, the dialogue carried around in the psyche, the way we talk to our imaginary self?
A lot is said about the physical benefits and apparently miraculous curing of disease. Are we willing to radically love ourselves into including the latent shadowy areas and their often uncomfortable exposure?

Monday, September 10, 2018

How Saint Kabir got wed

tore sang jaaungi

Once upon a time, there lived a man called Kabir who weaved cloth for a living. You probably had to study his poetry in your Hindi books. Forget all you ever read. Imagine yourself to be here, in Kabir's house, now, in the fifteenth century.

Kabir lives with his mother, and mostly spends his time weaving cloth and singing his own songs to the beat of the loom.

Seeing his detachment from the worldly and attraction for the spiritual, Kabir's mother takes him to a neighbouring village on the pretext of getting some cotton and gets him married to a young girl. Kabir is neither overjoyed nor unhappy.

On the wedding night, when everyone else is asleep and they are alone, his bride suddenly bursts into tears.

'What? Missing your family? Want to go back?' he asks her.

'No. Never,' she replies.

'Ok. That's fine. Then why are you crying?'

'I am missing someone.'


Kabir walks to and fro in the small room, as his bride sits in a corner and weeps.

'You love him?' he asks her.

'Yes,' she admits.

'And he?'

'He also loves me.'

'Then why did you marry me?'

'My family forced me to. He is from a different caste.'

'Caste is all crap. We are all the same. Get up, wipe your tears. I will take you to him. We will reach early morning.'

The young girl can't believe her good luck. She thanks him profusely and they sneak off into the night.

It has just rained, the sky is clear. The moon is full. A bride and her groom are walking back to her village to meet her lover. But the groom is a poet, and before the song, he warms up with a doha,

'Laali mere laal ki, Jit dekhun tith laal. Laali dekhan main gai, to main bhi ho gayi laal.'
(As I sought the beloved, I began to see Him everywhere. I was so enraptured that I lost myself in Him.)

The terrain gets rocky and slushy. After a while, the young girl begins to tire. Her mood drops and she starts crying again.


'Slow down! I cant walk as fast as you,' she cribs.

'Why not? We are going to meet your lover. You should be walking faster than me.'

'Look at my clothes! Look at all this jewelry! Try walking two steps dressed like this.'

'All right, I get your point. Ok, sit on my back. We can't afford to slow down.'

So she climbs on his back and he carries her like a child. She is overwhelmed and can't stop crying. To soothe her, Kabir starts humming below his breath.

As he has intended, her curiosity is aroused.

'Can't hear you. Sing aloud, please,' she requests the master.

'Naiiharavaaaa humakaa na bhaaveyy, humakaa na bhaaveyy,
Naiharavaa... aaaaa'

Kabirs voice resounds in the dark night, lighting it up with melody.

Naiharwa humka na bhave

Sai ki nagari param ati sundar

Jaha koi jaaye na aave

Chand suraj jahaa pavan na paani

Ko sandes pahuchave

Darad yaha Sai ko sunave

Bin Satguru aapno nahi koi

Jo yaha raah bataave

Kahat Kabeera sunoh bhai sadho

Sapane na Preetam aave

Tapan yaha jiya ki bujhaave


(Most of you must have heard this song, sung by Kumar Gandharva, Shabnam)

  1. (translated to English by Linda Heiss)

I don't like my native place.
The lord has a city of absolute beauty
where no one comes or goes,
where there's moon or sun,
no water or wind.
Who will carry this message?
Who will tell the lord of my pain?
I can't see the path ahead,
and going back would be a shame.
Oh beloved, how can I reach
the in-laws' house?
Separation burns fiercely.
The juice of sensuality
keeps me dancing.
Without a true guru
there's no one we can claim,
no one to show the way.
Kabir says, listen friends, seekers,
even in a dream my love won't come
to put out these flames.
The innocent girl's entire turbulence flows out.

For a little while after the song, there is silence. A deep, beautiful silence, a vast space where something happens. Something that can change a person's life. Kabir starts wondering if she has fallen asleep, when, all of a sudden, she starts crying again.

'Now what? You hungry?'



She is a fifteenth century village girl. But she finds her voice.

'Tore sang jaaungi.' I shall go with you.

He is a fifteenth century weaver. Who's just got wed.

'Pakkaa?' Sure?

'Sau takaa pakkaa.' Hundred per cent sure.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Script-Writing workshop in Ahmedabad, Sept' 2018

The Script Writing Course is divided into two parts, the Story and the Screenplay. All students will write their own short story and adapt it into a screenplay. 

 Aim – The secret behind a good film is a well told story. All of us have many stories in our cupboard, but we don't know how to tell them. In this section, we learn the art and the craft of writing a complete short story, which we will later transform into a script.
Day 1 : Finding your own voice / Ras. The Navrasas, our immense wealth.
Day 2 : An exercise to deal with the writers block. Start your own story.
Day 3 : Structure of a story : Conflict and Resolution. Developing your story.
Day 4 : Making it flow : Transitions, both poetic and visual.
 Aim – In the professional world of films, the audio visual format of the screenplay is the only way to 'show' your story. Your script will not be read unless it is written in the correct format. The final stage of the process is a storyboard, basically illustrations of all the shots such that the images and camera angles are clearly visualised. If you can master the art of the storyboard, your script is ready to be shot.

Day 5  : Format of the American Screenplay. Scene Construction.
Day 6 : Theme, Story and Plot. Integrating these in your script.
Day 7: Characterisation, Dialogues and Transitions.
Day 8 : Writing a complete five page script.
Day 9 : Going back to telling. Write a one-line script, and practice the pitch talk.
 You will be given links to free scriptwriting softwares, scripts to read up, and some films which I would like you to watch before and during the sessions. These sessions will be evenly spaced out, once a week, so that the student has enough time to finish his assignments.
The classes will be referring to popular Indian films like Sholay, Deewar, Dil Chahta hai, Pinjar, Satya, 3 idiots, Piku, Bajrangi Bhaijan, and American films like Kill Bill, American Beauty, Little Miss Sunshine, etc. So please watch most of these films if you have not seen them, before the course begins.
Fees : The fees for these ( nine/ ten sessions of two hrs each)  sessions is Rs 12,500/- If you need support for writing a longer script, we can discuss the amount. Women can avail a ten percent discount. 
Faculty : Manjushree Abhinav

The main faculty for this course is Manjushree Abhinav, a novelist and film maker. She has taught at NID, FTII, SRISHTI, CEPT, Anant University, and Storygram. 

Venue :  C2 - 124, Orchid Harmony, Applewoods Township, Ahmedabad. If the student finds it difficult to commute to this location, the online option can be made available.

Contact : Manjushree 9825476446, or mail

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Creative Writing and Scriptwriting Online Workshop

The Script Writing Course is divided into two parts, the Story and the Screenplay.

Aim – The secret behind a good film is a well told story. All of us have many stories in our cupboard, but we don’t know how to tell them. In this section, we learn the art and the craft of writing a complete short story, which we will later transform into a script. So, you will be guided  towards writing a short story which is scriptable, meaning which can easily fit into the audio-visual format of a screenplay. 

 1 : Storytelling in Cinematic language.
 2 : Indian Cinema: Inspirations from the Navras and Mythology.
3 : Characterisations, the back bone of a good story.
 4 : Structuring the story based on the dramatic need.

(The classes will be referring to popular Indian films, like Sholay, Deewar, Dil Chahta hai, Pinjar, Satya, 3 idiots, Piku, Bajrangi Bhaijan, etc. So please watch most of these films if you have not seen them, before the course begins. )
Aim: Apart from the following lectures, you will be expected to write a five to ten minutes script for which I will give you feedback. 

 5 : Format of the Screenplay. 
 6 : Scene Construction.
 7:  The art of writing Dialogues.
 8 : Narrative Structure of the Script.

You will be given links to free scriptwriting softwares, scripts to read up, and some films and scenes which I would like you to watch before and during the sessions.
You will be given plenty of homework, it should keep you busy for an hour or two per day, so please be prepared to work hard if you want to really benefit from the course.


The fees for this ( nine / ten  sessions of two hrs each) online workshops is Rs 12,500/- You can pay this online. I will send you my bank account details if you want to register for the course.

Faculty : Manjushree Abhinav

Manjushree is an author and a film maker. An alumnus of the Film and TV Institute of India, she has taught scriptwriting and film making at FTII, NID, and Storygram.
You can watch her recent film, And Then The Mountain Called Her, here :
And here you can watch short films made by her students at Storygram
You can contact her at, or call 0982574664 .

Friday, April 14, 2017

Film making course on Sundays in Bangalore

 Film your dreams.  

Storygram is back in Bangalore!

Free Trial Class, 
2 pm to 5 pm, Saturday, 3rd June, 17
@ 1 shanthi road, bheemanna garden, shanthi nagar, 
 Bangalore- 95  

Manjushree Abhinav, a film-maker, novelist and teacher, is organizing the 12th batch of the course in film making, from story to youtube, in Bengaluru. Apart from Storygram, Manjushree has taught at FTII, Pune, NID, Ahmedabad, and Srishti, Bangalore.

Here is the course flow, fee structure, benefits of the course, and teachers profile.


Creative Writing 

Since this course deals with fiction films, we would first tap the biggest reservoir of stories : an unblocked storehouse of memories and emotions. We will also understand the structure of the conflict-resolution story, and we shall dip into the Navarasas. The aim of the workshop is to dig out the blocks that hamper the sprouting of the creative juices and fuel the love of writing towards an intense and natural discipline. It will help the beginner as well as the writer who is stuck in the middle of a story, a script, a film….Students will get assignments to work on during the week, and they will be expected to write a short story by the end of the module.


The story we have structured in the creative writing workshop, we will stretch out into an audio visual script. We will understand the elements of Scriptwriting: Characterization, Plot, Structure, Theme, etc. 

We shall also be watching world class films and understand how they have been structured and written. 
Students will get assignments to work on during the week, which will be reviewed in class. By the end of the course, students will write a short script in the prescribed format.

Acting workshop 
It is only when we our-self get liberated from inhibitions that we can direct others. A theater professional will conduct this workshop, which includes body work, skits, and loads of fun. Most of the times, the short films that we make at the end of the course are enacted by the students themselves.

 So students have a great time performing for each other, and this exercise basically serves as a pre-curser for the experience of directing the short film. 

Screen Grammar 

The various elements of shot-taking: Image Size, Camera Angles, Camera Movements, Lighting, colour coordination, the rule of thirds, the golden points. 
Lenses. Depth of Field and Selective Focus. Maintaining continuity, the imaginary line.

Screen grammar is the practical knowledge on which a script is made into a shooting script.

Camera Practicals 

Basics of how to use a digital camera will be followed by shooting a twelve shot exercise to apply the rules of screen grammar hands on. 
A professional camera person will conduct this class. 

The Elements of Editing

 What we have shot we will now edit on Final Cut Pro, an editing software. 

So we will experience the entire process of scripting, shooting and editing. The basics of screen grammar, like continuity, will thus become clear. 
We will also talk about how the history of Editing is synonymous with the development of language of cinema. A professional Editor will conduct this class.

Making the short film 

 The final project of the course will be to make short fiction films. The best scripts will be selected from the scriptwriting course, and students will make groups of five to make their fiction films. 

Here is a film made by past students about a facebooker who lies. Only he/she who has never ever lied on facebook may hurl the first stone!

CONTACT : , +91 98254 76446.

DURATION : The course would span across four months of Sunday classes, starting on 3rd June, to end of September, 2017. Those who miss a class for a genuine reason, an additional class will be organised on a Saturday. ( Please note, the course has already started on 28th May, but, on popular demand, we are organising an extra class on saturday for those who are joining late. So those who are joining on 3rd June, will have to come again on 4th June to join the rest of the batch. Thereafter, they can attend on sundays only.)

VENUE : 1 Shanthi road, Studio Gallery, near Bheemanna garden, Shanthi Nagar, Bangalore. 

FEES : The total fees for this course is INR Twenty six thousand and six hundred, ( 26,600/).     
  •  A 10 % discount for women. 
  • For those who bring their friends, an additional discount of Rs 2,500 for both.
  • It is possible to pay your fees through EMI, equated monthly installments.
  • You can book your seat by paying INR 4,900. 
  • We accept payments in cash, cheques, or online banking -, and click on pay your fees.

Manjushree Abhinav’s Film making Course is right for you if you are:

  • A Newcomer: The course would equip you to enter the Film and Television Industry as an assistant director or to make short films independently.
  • A Mediaperson who’s learnt on the job: You would benefit from learning the basics formally and getting your fundas clear.
  • A Professional who is already working in the film Industry in another capacity: It would help you become a full-fledged director.
  • From the Corporate Sector: The course would add to your qualifications since films are a very important medium of corporate communication & advertising.
  • Animators will understand the narrative structure of film making, which is an important aspect of animation.

The benefits of joining this Film Direction Course

  • WEEKEND CLASSES: Full-day classes on Sundays, so you can pursue your dreams without forsaking the responsibilities of your work or studies.
  • WELL-DESIGNED SYLLABUS: More than 50% of class time would be devoted to hands-on film-making, so that you learn how to transform your ideas into films that light up the silver screen. While the course is practical-oriented, the theory portion would help you develop a sound understanding of the basics of story-telling and film-making. You will also be watching many world class films to appreciate the different aspects of the teaching. The visiting faculty will be from reputed institutes like FTII, SRISTI School of Art and Design, Chitra Kala Parishad, etc.
  • STUDENT FILM: You would write and direct a short film. The cinematography and editing would be done by professionals from the Industry, which would be a great learning experience. It would also result in a well-made film which you can be proud of and use as your show-reel as well as submit to film festivals.
  • STUDY MATERIAL : The students would be given:
  1. Soft copies of important books
  1. Scripts
  1. Links to useful websites and free scriptwriting software
  • CERTIFICATE: You would be given a certificate at the successful completion of the course.
  • FILM FESTIVALS: The student films made as part of the course would be sent to film festivals.
  • DEMAND FOR FRESH VOICES: The Indian film and television industry is looking for fresh voices. With the diminishing appeal of the formula masala film, there is a demand for out-of-the-box thinking, for directors who understand the art and craft of film-making. It’s a great time to enter the field!


Manjushree Abhinav has authored a novel, 'A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage'.
She is a film maker. She is an alumnus of FTII, Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. She has made several documentary films, and taught various aspects of film making like scriptwriting, documentary films, video editing, at FTII, NID (National Institute of Design), Ahemedabad, Srishti School of Art and Design, Bangalore.
She has also conducted several creative writing workshops at the Times of India Nalanda group, Bangalore, Ahemedabad and Mumbai. 

You can watch her films and read part of her book at
Film your Dreams!