Friday, December 17, 2010

Saint Kabir's wedding night



Some things don't change, not over a few centuries. The flip-flop nature of the mind and the stilling, magnetic influence of art.Makes sense? Yes, but so what, right? There are innumerable ways of saying something. I shall say the same thing now through a story. Tell me how you like it.

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.'

'Hmm.'

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.

'What?'

'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

Naiharwa

(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.

and sung aloud by Kailash Kher:



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?'

'No.'

'Then?'

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.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Creative Writing Workshop in Mumbai on 12th December

Soulpen: The adventure of writing.

How would you like to write a novel? Or a play? Or a script?

How would you like to dip into your own well for ideas, for short story, novella, novel or movie-script?

Have you ever felt that you have a classic inside you? That all you need is to catch the illusive thread from your bundle of thoughts and keep puling gently. Maybe you sat with a pen in your hand and tried to write a story. And maybe your bundle got tight and the thread snapped. Untangling that bundle can be a delicate, at times painful, but ultimately fulfilling creative process.

Anyone can write. Those who have the patience to deal with the tangled bundle will definitely come out with a novel.

Those who don't have it, come sign up for Soulpen. We give you the fevicol that will stick your bottom to the writer's chair.

The next creative writing workshop is scheduled on Sunday, 12th December, 2010.

Timing: 10 am to 6 pm

Fees
: Rs. 1,600/ (writing materials, tea included)

Venue: Andheri West, Mumbai, and ONLINE* option is available.

Eligibility: Preferably over 16 yrs old and a love for writing or reading or both.

Focus: 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 book.

Register : 09945192862 or mail manjushree.abhinav@gmail.com

* ONLINE : If you are not in Mumbai but would still like to attend, we can meet through Skype. You will need a computer with a microphone, speaker and camera with a net connection and you are almost here. An online participant can hear and see all the participants and be seen and heard too.
Please mail me if you want to attend online.

Flow chart:


Re-discovering the creative impulse.
Why do we write? Because we need to tell the story. As children, all of us are born creative. When we learn to talk, there is no difference between imagination and reality. Education encourages us to develop our logic and the creative process takes a back seat. The glimpses of the muse are short and sweet: She comes visiting, she leaves a line and takes back the novel.

Missing the muse, the creative angel, is the writer's block. We shall begin with an exercise, an ice-breaking ritual for overcoming the writers block. Then we get familiar with the source of all the art within: your well. We shall do some techniques to dive in with a torch and unearth the gems, the pearls or the bullets.


Nurturing the creative impulse.
How does curds set? First of all, you need a pot. The structure of the story. The American classical structure and the Indian traditional original masala formula from the Natya Shastra. The navarasas. Then it needs milk.

Characterization. We shall understand different approaches to creating your characters. The purpose of all these exercises will be for all the participants to complete a short story. And to fuel the love of writing towards a natural and intense discipline of sitting with a pen and paper.


Author's profile : I am a recently published novelist of A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage. This book should be available in most of the Crosswords and Landmarks. You can read reviews of this book on this blog. Just type the title in the search box. I am also a film maker. I was trained at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune in Film Editing. I have made several documentary films, and taught the various aspects of film making at NID (National Institute of Design), Ahemedabad and also at the FTII. I have conducted several creative writing workshops at the Srishti School of Art and Design and Times of India : Nalanda group, Bangalore . I write for the creative outlet, deep fulfillment and clarity of mind that sometimes comes as a gift with a good session of writing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

don't just crib, make a complaint.

Government of India has developed an 'Online Grievance Forum'

http://pgportal.gov.in/.

The government wants people to use this tool to highlight the problems they face while dealing with Government officials or departments like Passport Office, Electricity board, BSNL/MTNL, Railways etc. Many of us say that these things don't work in India.

Couple of months back, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation laid new roads in his area and the residents were very happy about it. But two weeks later, BSNL dug up the newly laid roads to install new cables which annoyed all the residents. A resident used the above listed grievance forum to highlight his concern. To his surprise, BSNL and Municipal Corporation of Faridabad were served a show cause notice and the complainant received a copy of the notice in one week. Government has asked the MC and BSNL about the goof up as it's clear that both departments were not in sync at all.

So use this grievance forum and educate others who don't know about this facility.

This is one way we can raise our concerns in India.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bangaloreans, a rare treat for us

Seeking the Beloved

A Festival of Sindhi Sufi Poetry

presenting

Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai

21 November, Bangalore

What –

A festival of poetry by 17th century poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai – featuring folk singers from Kutch, poetry readings and evocative story telling of the love legends which feature in the Sufi poetry.

Where –

Sophia School Auditorium, Sophia High School, 70, Palace Road, Bangalore 560 001.

When –

6pm-10 pm, Sunday, 21 November 2010.

The poet –

Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (1689-1752) is one of the greatest Sufi poets along with Rumi (1207-1273) and Mir Dard (1721-1785), but relatively speaking lesser known. His poetry draws on the power and beauty of Vedanta and Islam melding the two philosophies into one poetic and spiritual vision. His major work is the “Shah Jo Risalo” and his poems thrive today as a vibrant oral tradition being widely sung, quoted and loved by both Hindu and Muslim communities in the Sindh region on both sides of the Indo-Pak border. He takes the popular love legends of the region and speaks through the voices of different woman protagonists. Sometimes he is Sasui, sometimes Moomal, sometimes Sohini and sometimes Marui… and through their journeys of seeking the Truth he expresses his own. His poetry creates a tantalizing dance of expressions between the sensual yearnings for the earthly Beloved and the deeply meditative yearnings for the transcendent Beloved.

rabab-like

my veins throb

but

he remains silent

my beloved butcher

soothe me

only you

can pacify my soul

***

she jumps in

to choose safe waters

is the path of imposters

those who love

take on the mighty river

(translations by Anju Makhija & Hari Dilgir, from “Seeking the Beloved”, Katha, 2005)

Disciples and followers of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai gather from all over the world annually at an Urs at Bhitshah in Sindh, Pakistan, where the poet spent the final years of his life.

The performers –

In the festival on Nov 21st, the poetry of Shah Latif will come alive in two distinct musical genres. One is the Kaafi form of singing prevalent amongst the bhajan singers of the Meghval community of Kutch. This style will come alive in the robust yet lilting voice of Mooralala Marwada, a folk singer from Janan village in the Khadeer region of Kutch.

The second is a deep, meditative musical form known as Waee which is also the name of the style of poetry created by Shah Latif. This style is prevalent across the border between India and Pakistan. The festival will present the last exponents of the Waee form of singing in the Indian Sindh region – Mitha Khan Jat and Sumar Khan from village Bagadia in the Banni region of Kutch.

The poems and love legends –

The music performances would be interspersed by evocative story telling of the folk love legends and poetry readings by Mumbai-based translator & poet Anju Makhija and filmmaker Shabnam Virmani.

Also –

A sampling of traditional Sindhi cuisine will be available at the venue along with stalls of films, music, books, T-shirts inspired by the poetry of Shah Latif and Kabir.

Organized by –

The Kabir Project, Sindhi Culture Foundation and National Centre for Biological Sciences.

The Kabir Project is housed at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore and has been engaged for the last 8 years in understanding and sharing contemporary expressions of the 15 century mystic poet Kabir. Currently the project has begun a similar journey of understanding the Sindhi Sufi poet, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. The Sindhi Culture Foundation was founded a year ago with the commitment towards researching and creating awareness about Sindhi culture and history.

Donor Passes available at –

KC Das – St. Marks Road, CMH Road, Wheeler Road, BTM Layout, Marthahalli, JP Nagar,

Sampige Road, New BEL Road.

Bulchee – Garuda Mall, Forum Value Mall -Whitefield, Cosmos - Whitefield, Total Mall - Sarjapur

Sigma Mall, Cunningham Road

Prism – The Bookshop, 11th Main, 4th Block Jayanagar 080-26637527

Inside Bharati Vidya Bhavan, Race Course Road (10.30-5.30)

Supermarket – 5th Avenue, Brigade Road 080-25581248

Pecos R & B – Near Ramaiah Hospital, New BEL Road 080-40905168

PecosBrigade Road, 080-25586047

MOJO – Residency Road (near Ballal Residency) 41142038

Stones Pub – Indiranagar 41481574

Favourite Shop – Commercial Street, MG Road, Jayanagar, Indiranagar, Marathalli, Forum Value Mall, Whitefield, Mantri Square

Soch – Forum Mall, Koramangala, Commercial Street, Forum Value Mall, Whitefield, Mantri Mall

Contact & Information –

For more information log onto www.kabirproject.org

The artistes will be available for interviews and interaction from 20 November.

Contact – Aruna Madnani arunamadnani@yahoo.com Mob: 9740066219

Friday, October 15, 2010

Creative Writing workshop on 7th November

Soulpen: The adventure of writing.

How would you like to write a novel? Or a play? Or a script?

How would you like to dip into your own well for ideas, for short story, novella, novel or movie-script?

Have you ever felt that you have a classic inside you? That all you need is to catch the illusive thread from your bundle of thoughts and keep puling gently. Maybe you sat with a pen in your hand and tried to write a story. And maybe your bundle got tight and the thread snapped. Untangling that bundle can be a delicate, at times painful, but ultimately fulfilling creative process.

Anyone can write. Those who have the patience to deal with the tangled bundle will definitely come out with a novel.

Those who don't have it, come sign up for Soulpen. We give you the fevicol that will stick your bottom to the writer's chair.

The next creative writing workshop is scheduled on Sunday, 7th November, 2010.

Timing: 10 am to 6 pm

Fees
: Rs. 1,000/ (writing materials, tea included)

Venue: Times of India office, MG road, Bangalore. Online option is available to those who live out of Bangalore. Mail me for details.

Eligibility: Preferably over 16 yrs old and a love for writing or reading or both.

Focus: 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 book.

Register : 09945192862 or mail manjushree.abhinav@gmail.com

Flow chart:


Re-discovering the creative impulse.
Why do we write? Because we need to tell the story. As children, all of us are born creative. When we learn to talk, there is no difference between imagination and reality. Education encourages us to develop our logic and the creative process takes a back seat. The glimpses of the muse are short and sweet: She comes visiting, she leaves a line and takes back the novel.

Missing the muse, the creative angel, is the writer's block. We shall begin with an exercise, an ice-breaking ritual for overcoming the writers block. Then we get familiar with the source of all the art within: your well. We shall do some techniques to dive in with a torch and unearth the gems, the pearls or the bullets.


Nurturing the creative impulse.
How does curds set? First of all, you need a pot. The structure of the story. The American classical structure and the Indian traditional original masala formula from the Natya Shastra. The navarasas. Then it needs milk.

Characterization. We shall understand different approaches to creating your characters. The purpose of all these exercises will be for all the participants to complete a short story. And to fuel the love of writing towards a natural and intense discipline of sitting with a pen and paper.

Scriptwriting: The audio-visual format of a script will also be discussed and those who are interested in scriptwriting will do one exercise in this format.

Author's profile : I am a recently published novelist of A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage. This book should be available in most of the Crosswords and Landmarks. You can read reviews of this book on this blog. Just type the title in the search box. I am also a film maker. I was trained at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune in Film Editing. I have made several documentary films, and taught the various aspects of film making at NID (National Institute of Design), Ahemedabad and also at the FTII. I have conducted several creative writing workshops at the Srishti School of Art and Design and Times of India : Nalanda group, Bangalore . I write for the creative outlet, deep fulfillment and clarity of mind that sometimes comes as a gift with a good session of writing.

Friday, October 1, 2010

One day scriptwriting workshop on 3rd October

Script-writing is a branch of creative writing. Most of us have grown up watching movies and dreaming. Our dreams are influenced by the movies we love. And movies are made of dreams that are actualized. A script is a movie on paper.

All you need is an idea. An inner feeling. Manifesting this inner feeling into an audiovisual story is the process of writing a script.

The art and craft of visual storytelling has some elementary concepts that need to be internalized. The format. The plot. Importance of conflict. Characterization. Structure. And last, the weave. Or flow.

If you have an inner feeling which glimmers now and then, if you feel that your dream can to be told on a screen, sign up for an introduction to the fundamentals of scriptwriting.

(After this workshop, I will be announcing a two-month weekend film-making workshop in Bangalore).

Venue: Times of India, MG road, Bangalore.

Schedule: 18th September, 10 am to 6 pm

Fees: Rs 1,000/ (tea/coffee and writing materials included)

Faculty: Manjushree Abhinav wrote her first two feature film scripts before she joined the Film Institute of India, Pune. She has written scripts for documentary films and short fiction films before writing a novel, 'A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage.'
She has taught script-writing and film making in NID (Ahemedabad), FTII (Pune), and SRISTI (Bangalore).

--

Film and TV workshop in Mumbai


-->

"Fulfill your celluloid dreams, every Sunday... Did you harbour a dream of becoming a filmmaker, but ended up pursuing an entirely different profession? Or are you one of those who buried their dreams, while trying to realise more pressing responsibilities? Or do you like to broaden your experiences with learning how things are done in the film industry? There might be good news in store, for such readers... sign up for a Sundays-only course conducted by National Award-winning filmmaker, Rajashree."

MiD DAY, Mumbai Newspaper

"Rajashree is a teacher par excellence. She can make the most difficult topics comprehensible. She is very patient and understanding, yet strict. Her Sunday classes are ideal for students who want to learn hands-on filmmaking without forsaking their responsibilities towards their work or studies. Its well-designed syllabus is practical-oriented; the theory goes into developing a good understanding  of the fundamentals of  story-telling and filmmaking. The course requires the students to write and direct a short film, which may be used as a showreel and can also be submitted to film festivals. Films made by the previous batches have been shown at the International Film Festival of India, Goa, the most esteemed film festival in the country."
Complete Television Magazine

Do you want to make feature films, TV shows or short films? But can't spare the time to learn full-time? A new batch of Rajashree's popular 4-month Film & TV Direction Course, with full-day classes on Sundays, in Andheri (W), Bombay, begins in February 2014. It's designed for working people and students by Rajashree, an award-winning film-maker and bestselling novelist who’s taught at FTII, Pune, and some of the best film schools in Bombay. The course is great value for money, since the fees have recently been reduced to Rs 24,900.
We have tied up with Humaramovie, a popular platform for short films with which prominent filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap, Imtiaz Ali, Anurag Basu, Vikramaditya Motwane and Rajat Kapoor have been associated. It has more than a million views per month. We have also tied up with Mediapippl, one of India's best Media Recruitment & Resource Services. They are our placement partners. You would be getting a lot of hands-on practical experience while doing this certificate course, including making a short film. Many films made by students as a part of this course have been screened at the Short Film Center at the prestigious International Film Festival of India, Goa. 
This Sunday course organised by Rajashree is very popular because it has a great faculty, special tie-ups, reasonable fees and a convenient location. And because it gives people the opportunity to learn film-making without leaving their jobs or studies.
So you can now follow your dreams while taking care of your responsibilities.
^_^  Please visit http://filmtvcoursesmumbai.blogspot.in/p/film-tv-direction-course-taught-me-how.html or contact +919769449556 or rajashree.in@gmail.com for more information.


***  “Rajashree taught me how to create 3-dimensional characters, structure the plot, and direct actors, which helped me tremendously when I was writing and directing my movie.” Rakesh Mehta, Rajashree’s ex-student, whose debut feature film, ‘Khuda Kushi’ has won 3 international awards. ***
***  "The next best thing to a course at FTII." - Bharati Hemmady, Rajashree's ex-student.  ***
Rajashree’s Film & TV Direction Course is right for you if you are:
•           A Newcomer to the Film & TV Industry:  The course would equip you to enter the Film and Television Industry professionally as an assistant director and work on feature films, TV programs and advertisements
•           An Animator: You would build on your skills by learning Film & TV Direction. It would make you a better animator, since film-making is such a vital part of animation and special effects. Or, if you want to shift to live action, it would help you do that.
•           A BMM/ BMS Student: The BMS/ BMM course introduces you to various mass media. If you want to specialise in films and TV, this course is just right for you.
•           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 Industry in another capacity: It would help you become a full-fledged director.
•           An Aspiring Short Film-Maker: While our 4-month Film & TV Direction Course is designed for people who want to take up direction as a profession, it also serves film hobbyists. The advent of digital technology and You-tube have revolutionized filmmaking. You can make short films independently at an affordable cost after doing the course. Making short films is ideal for those who want to hone their craft and create an impressive showreel to showcase their talents. It’s also a fun hobby for those who are working full-time. These short films can be shown at film festivals, screened on television, and also uploaded on You-tube & social networking sites for lakhs of people to watch. 
•           From the Corporate Sector: The course would add to your qualifications since films are an increasingly important medium of corporate communication & advertising.
*** "Rajashree is like the energy drink Red Bull! She motivates you to spring into action and pushes you to deliver beyond your limits." - Priya Saraiya, Rajashree’s ex-student. ***
The benefits of joining this Film & TV Direction Course are:
•           FACULTY: The course is organised by Rajashree, an award-winning film-maker and bestselling novelist who has taught at the Film & Television Institute of India and some of the best film schools in Bombay. The faculty members are FTII alumni and professionals from the film industry.
•           SUNDAY 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 & TV Direction.
•           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 showreel as well as submit to film festivals.
•           VENUE: The classes will be held in an air-conditioned classroom in Andheri (West).  Since the venue is on S.V. Road, opposite the railway station, it is very easy to reach.
•           VALUE FOR MONEYThe course is fabulous value for money, since the fees have recently been reduced to Rs 24,900 (if the student pays the full amount at the time of registration.) The fees cover the classes, the cost of making the student film, refreshments during classes, a directory of the Film & TV industry and study material like books and cds. A donation of Rs 500 would be given from every student’s fees to a children’s charity.
 •           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 are sent for film festivals. Many films made by previous batches have been screened at the Short Film Center at the International Film Festival of India in Goa.
•           TIE-UP WITH HUMARAMOVIE: We have tied up with Humaramovie for the production and distribution of the short films made by the students as a part of the course. Humaramovie is a platform for short films co-founded by Preety Ali, Pallavi Rohatgi and Vinay Mishra. They have over 26,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel and more than 18,000 Facebook fans. They have a  viewer base of more than a million viewers per month. HumaraMovie is also associated with directors such as Imtiaz Ali, Anurag Kashyap, Anurag Basu, Vikramaditya Motwane and Rajat Kapoor who provide them content for the channel.





•           PLACEMENTS: We have tied up with Medipippl - one of India's best Media Recruitment & Resource Services. They are our placement partners and will help you in getting a job in the Film & TV Industry after you've completed our course. We would also be giving every student a directory of the Film & TV Industry, which has a database of the contact numbers and addresses of all the directors, producers, production houses, actors and service providers of the Indian Film & TV Industry, so that if the student wants to work with a particular director or producer, he/she can contact them directly as well.
•           DEMAND FOR FRESH VOICES: The Indian film and television industry is looking for fresh voices. With the success of 'different' kinds of films and TV programs, 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.
*** "I have had an amazing experience with Rajashree’s script-writing and film-making workshops. The workshops were structured very well and had a good effective blend of relevant theory, creative discussions on assignments, analysis of classics and hands-on experience in writing a script and making a short film. The workshops were conducted very diligently in a focused manner encouraging participation from all students. I found them to be especially useful for working persons as the structure and organization of the workshop accommodated these aspects very well."         - Rajesh V. , ex-student ***
FACULTY: Our faculty members are FTII alumni and professionals from the film industry. Details about some of the teachers on our faculty are given below: 
Rajashree has been a film buff since she was a kid – she stood in a line for five hours to get tickets for Sholay when it was re-released. She has been working in Bombay after studying direction at the Film and Television Institute of India, Poona. She’s assisted Mansoor Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. A film she wrote and directed, The Rebel, was screened at many film festivals, and won the National Award and the Golden Ten Award. She has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Film Writers’ Association. Her critically acclaimed first book, Trust Me, is a lighthearted romantic comedy set in the Bombay film industry. According to figures given by The Times of India and The Sunday Telegraph, Trust Me is the biggest-selling Indian chick lit novel. It has recently been published in French. She is represented by Isabel Atherton, the director of Creative Authors, a literary agency based in the UK.  She has taught at the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, and some of the best film schools in Bombay. She has been organising courses independently since 2009. http://rajashree.in
A.M. Padmanabhan, a National Award-winning sound designer, would teach the students about post-production. He has worked with the who's who of Bollywood and has taught at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, and the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata.
Arun Varma, who has studied Cinematography at the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, will be teaching the students about camerawork, the various practical aspects of shooting a film and professional behaviour on the set. He has shot Bollywood films like Bhajatey Raho and Dasvidaniya.






Ashok Purang learnt the nuances of theatre under the tutelage of Mr Barry John. He is the founder of two theatre groups Pierrot’s Troupe (estd.1991) & Showbiz Action Players (estd. 2004). For over twenty years, he has been working on Acting Training Methods. He has developed unique and practical methods, which are effective in theatre, as well as TV and films. Being a renowned acting teacher, he has trained a lot of Bollywood actors and upcoming talent. A curator and judge of many short film festivals, Ashok has been a major force behind the new generation of short film makers.
The other faculty members are FTII alumni and professionals from the film industry.
CONTACT
^_^  Please contact +919769449556 or rajashree.in@gmail.com for more information.
DURATION
Full-day classes on 12 Sundays and 2 Saturdays and half-day classes on 2 Sundays, over 4 months.
FEE STRUCTURE
The fees have recently been reduced, making the course great value for money. The course fees cover the classes, the cost of making the student film, refreshments during classes, a directory of the Film & TV industry and study material like books and cds. A donation of Rs 500  would be given from every student’s fees to a children’s charity.
There are two plans for paying the fees:
1.         It is preferable if the student pays the full amount at the time of registration. The fees would be Rs 24,900 for this plan.
2.         It is also possible for the student to pay in monthly installments, in the form of post-dated cheques (non-refundable) that would be submitted at the time of registration. The fees would work out to Rs 29,700 if the payment is made in installments.
The first installment: Rs 9,900 (Payable at the time of registration)
The second installment: Rs 9,900
The third installment: Rs 9,900
COMPLIMENTARY REFRESHMENTS: would be provided to the students during classes.
CHARITY : The administration would give Rs 500 from the fees paid by each student to an NGO that’s working for underprivileged children.
STUDY MATERIAL:
The students would be given:
•           Copies of important books
•           Scripts
•           Links to useful websites and free scriptwriting software
•           A directory of phone numbers and addresses of everybody in the Film and TV Industry
•           CDs & DVDs of some important films
COURSE CONTENT: The course has been designed to teach the students the basics of film-making. There is a well-worked-out balance of practicals and theory classes.
The topics that would be covered are:
• The Process of Making a Film 
• Scriptwriting: Audiovisual Writing & the Format for Writing the Synopsis, Step-outline, Screenplay and Script for a film.
• The Elements of Scriptwriting: Characterisation, Plot, Setting & Theme
• Introduction to Screen Grammar: What is a shot? The editing transitions that can be used to join two shots: Cut, Dissolve, Fade, Wipe, Bleach. The various elements of shot-taking: Image Size, Camera Angles, Camera Movements, Lighting, Camera Speed, Stocks, Graphics, Colour. The Rule of Thirds & the Golden Points. Lenses. Depth of Field and Selective Focus.
• Shot Breakdown
• Continuity and the Imaginary Line
• Ways of Shooting
• Preparing for a Shoot
• How to Narrate a Story or Screenplay to Producers & Actors
• Assisting in Direction
• Directing Actors
• Sound Design
• The Principles of Editing
• How to Make Your Own Low-Budget (or No-Budget) film
• Television: Genres & Techniques
• Film History 
^_^  Please contact +919769449556 or rajashree.in@gmail.com for more information.
COMMENTS ABOUT RAJASHREE'S WORKSHOPS BY EX-STUDENTS:
"I had read quite a few books by Syd Field and Robert McKee but most of them had been written keeping in mind Hollywood  movies. After attending Rajashree's workshop I got to know that Bollywood is a different ball game altogether and what works in Hollywood might not necessarily work in Bollywood, or to make it work you need to add those extra spices (masala) to make it palatable for Indian Audience. If you need to know what works in Bollywood and Tellywood (I mean television) per se, the Bollywood Structure, the Rasas etc., then you must attend her workshop."         - Brijesh Bolar
"To me, Rajashree is like the energy drink Red Bull! She motivates you to spring into action and pushes you to deliver beyond your limits. Without her encouragement, I dont think I would have been able to transform my idea into a screenplay .....And with her encouragement came the right dose of constructive criticism......Also it was a great help to share and brainstorm ideas in the presence of other students and see where your idea stands....It is a relief to see so many people sailing in the same boat as you are and trying to get better and getting there.I was actually groping in the dark when Rajashree came as a ray of hope...."         - Priya Saraiya
"This programme gave me the mechanics of writing for features, along with the confidence. But what Rajashree really did was crack the whip, pushing us constantly to keep writing and keep exploring. The lively discussions were the best part of this programme."         - Satish Desa
"You can't open a door by pushing a wall, this is what I realised in the workshop. Rajashree will not only let you open your thoughts but also direct them to a proper way so that we push the door and not the wall."         - Amit Shukla
^_^  Please contact +919769449556 or rajashree.in@gmail.com for more information.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Creative Writing workshop in Bangalore and Online on 28th august

Soulpen: The adventure of writing.

How would you like to write a novel? Or a play? Or a script?

How would you like to dip into your own well for ideas, for short story, novella, novel or movie-script?

Have you ever felt that you have a classic inside you? That all you need is to catch the illusive thread from your bundle of thoughts and keep puling gently. Maybe you sat with a pen in your hand and tried to write a story. And maybe your bundle got tight and the thread snapped. Untangling that bundle can be a delicate, at times painful, but ultimately fulfilling creative process.

Anyone can write. Those who have the patience to deal with the tangled bundle will definitely come out with a novel.

Those who don't have it, come sign up for Soulpen. We give you the fevicol that will stick your bottom to the writer's chair.

The next creative writing workshop is scheduled in Mumbai on the 10th and 11th of April.

Timing: 10 am to 6 pm

Fees
: Rs. 1,000/ (writing materials, tea included)

Venue: Times of India office, MG road, Bangalore. Online option is available to those who live out of Bangalore. Mail me for details.

Eligibility: Preferably over 16 yrs old and a love for writing or reading or both.

Focus: 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 book.

Call : 09945192862 or mail manjushree.abhinav@gmail.com

Flow chart:


Re-discovering the creative impulse.
Why do we write? Because we need to tell the story. As children, all of us are born creative. When we learn to talk, there is no difference between imagination and reality. Education encourages us to develop our logic and the creative process takes a back seat. The glimpses of the muse are short and sweet: She comes visiting, she leaves a line and takes back the novel.

Missing the muse, the creative angel, is the writer's block. We shall begin with an exercise, an ice-breaking ritual for overcoming the writers block. Then we get familiar with the source of all the art within: your well. We shall do some techniques to dive in with a torch and unearth the gems, the pearls or the bullets.


Nurturing the creative impulse.
How does curds set? First of all, you need a pot. The structure of the story. The American classical structure and the Indian traditional original masala formula from the Natya Shastra. The navarasas. Then it needs milk.

Characterization. We shall understand different approaches to creating your characters. The purpose of all these exercises will be for all the participants to complete a short story. And to fuel the love of writing towards a natural and intense discipline of sitting with a pen and paper.
Call me at 09945192862 for registering.

Author's profile : I am a recently published novelist of A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage. This book should be available in most of the Crosswords and Landmarks. You can read reviews of this book on this blog. Just type the title in the search box. I am also a film maker. I was trained at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune in Film Editing. I have made several documentary films, and taught the various aspects of film making at NID (National Institute of Design), Ahemedabad and also at the FTII. I have conducted several creative writing workshops at the Srishti School of Art and Design and Times of India : Nalanda group, Bangalore . I write for the creative outlet, deep fulfillment and clarity of mind that sometimes comes as a gift with a good session of writing.

Friday, August 6, 2010

creative writing workshop in Tiruvannamalai

A creative writing workshop in Tiru.....I hear the Mountain calling me, so softly calling me....

Soulpen: The fulfillment in writing.

Ever since Arunachala was created, God has not tired of singing and writing his praises. He kept me away from the Mountain long enough for the unbearable yearning to pour out into a book. The yearning did not lessen, but I stopped feeling like a miserable fool. Now I am a happy fool.

Writing can be a sadhana. Dreams are fulfilled, nightmares are faced. The madness within gets leveled out, somehow. On a piece of paper.

All you need is to catch the illusive thread from your bundle of thoughts and keep puling gently. Untangling that bundle can be a delicate, at times painful, but ultimately fulfilling creative process.

Anyone can write. Mostly, the glimpses of the muse are short and sweet: She comes visiting, she leaves a line and takes back the novel. Is there a way to keep Her next to you?

The purpose of this workshop will be for all the participants to write a short story. And to fuel the love of writing towards a natural and intense discipline of sitting with a pen and paper.

Schedule: 21 st August, 10 am to 6 pm, Rani's Garden in Tiruvannamalai. For those who dont know where is Rani's Garden, any auto driver worth his salt knows where it is.)

Fees: This workshop is on donation. You can put your money in envelopes.

Eligibility: Preferably over 16 yrs old and a love for writing or reading or both.

Call : 917708748148 (Anja in Tiru) or 09945192862 (Manju in Bangalore) or mail manjushree.abhinav@gmail.com

Author's profile : I am a recently published novelist of A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage. I am also a film maker. I was trained at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune in Film Editing. I have made several documentary films, and taught the various aspects of film making at NID (National Institute of Design), Ahemedabad and also at the FTII.

I have conducted several creative writing workshops at the Srishti School of Art and Design and Times of India : Nalanda group, Bangalore . I write for the creative outlet, deep fulfillment and clarity of mind that sometimes comes as a gift with a good session of writing. I blog at www.baktoo.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

there is no connection between anybody

'What do you think of Jesus Christ, Sir?' a lady asked Patriji, founder of the Pyramid Spiritual Societies Movement. We had gone their for a school trip yesterday.

'A great master. Among thousands of great masters.'

'Which masters are you connected to, Sir?'

'I am not connected to any master. I learn from many masters, but I am not connected to any master. All this talk of connection is for the buffoons. There is no such thing as connection, between anybody.

We are all equally divine.

After a child is born, is it connected to its mother? No.

We learn from each other. But we are not connected to each other.

And we learn from the wise. Not from the buffoons. Buffoons are fun, and fun is required too. But we should not make the mistake of trying to learn from the buffoons.'

'What about religion, Sir?' the lady asked him.

'Religion is also for buffoons. Have you seen the Pope? His dress? He is a buffoon!

There is no need to worship anybody. What is needed is to serve. If you love someone, you have to serve them, take care of them. If you love nature, keep it clean. A mountain, a tulsi plant does not benefit from being worshiped. If you love a plant, you give it water.'

He then broke into a Kabir song, and the beauty of it was that he sung it bit by bit, and we all sung with him.
'Dukh me sumiran sab kare, sukh me karen na koi. Jo sukh me sumiran kare, to dukh kahe ko hoi'

(We go inwards when we are unhappy. If we go in when we are happy, why will unhappy come?')

After his song, the school sang the silence song, a kannada song and some sanskrit shlokas.

He got up from the dining table, asked us to sit on the floor and plonked himself on the edge of wall.

'We will meditate on the breath for ten minutes! Close your eyes, fold your hands, and feel your breath.'

And then Patriji played a flute, to the tunes of which, my tears flowed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Online Writer Mentor-ship

So you are stuck with a book. Or, you want to get stuck in a book? Read on..

You have had it with the living. You want to play in your head. Thats what your mom says, and she ain't no artist. What you want to do is to unload yourself into book.

These days I am guiding two of my creative writing workshop participants to write books. One is untitled, a mystery on the net. Other is a non-fiction, working titled 'Stories of Homeopathy'.

We meet online on skype, thrash out structures, twist the characters, stretch the creative licence to the horizon, make notes to be stuffed into chapters, and end the session with a truckload of work for the writers. I am trying to get them to 'read' their unwritten books out to me but that hasn't happened so far. I guess the muse takes its own sweet time to land on a head.

So if you are looking for a sounding board, contact me.

I invite all struggling writers to lay bare their woes.

I will listen, but you will write.

I will clear your mind off the cobwebs, but you will write.

Be very clear, I do not ghost write.

I can send you the ghost, but you will write.

Write to manjushree.abhinav@gmail.com with a synopsis of 300 words.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

when the muse writes with your pen

If I said I agreed with this poem, I would be out of business. So I am not telling but I cant not share it either.

So do you want to be a writer?
by Charles Bukowski

if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
fame,
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.


if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.