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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Viraha Ras

There are two aspects of Shringar Ras. One is milan, and the other is viraha.

Milan is communion, uniting, togetherness.

Viraha is loneliness, rejection, yearning. Separation from the beloved.

I sometimes feel that most of the human condition is Viraha . We are all separated from God. The seekers entire journey is from Viraha to milan, then back to viraha.

Examples: St. Francis of Assisi once went through an all time low and declared that the Lord has abandoned him.

Nearer home, the Gopikas ran after his chariot when Krishna left Vrindavan for Mathura to kill his uncle, Kamsa. Radha died of jaundice when Krshna left Vrindavan I haven't heard this bit, but I can imagine Radha's last moments, with Krishna's name on her lips, his form throbbing in her heart.

Nearer still, Buddha's wife, when she was abandoned for the sake of enlightenment, wept to her girlfreind, 'Sakhi woh mujse kehke jate.' ( He could have told me when he left.)

I just learnt a trick to make Viraha bearable, or perhaps, even beautiful.

Only she can experience Viraha who has known Milan. So Viraha is nothing but an extension of Milan.

Further, Viraha is a ras, loosely translated as juice, or essence, or something to be savored. So loneliness, rejection, yearning, all are to be savored. Deep inside unfullfillment is hidden the fragrance of intense fulfillment.

Skimming the surface wont squeeze the juice out, however. Let there be tears, let there be pain, keep checking your cell, don't switch off the comp. You don't have to call, you don't have to yell. Anger does not help either. Continue to be in love and more shades will be revealed to you. The Beloved cannot stay away from that which is ardent.

Here is a song to take you there.

Some times when we cannot tolerate Viraha we go into Vibhatsa and get dropped off from Shringar. Vibhatsa is the worst state of mind, and the least of the rasas. Vibhatsa means disgust, neglect, bad intent, bad words, low self esteem, depression, etc.

Natya Shastra has categorically mentioned that Vibhatsa is to be used less, avoided. Dip in, dip out. Vibhatsa is like a black hole, it can make you wallow in it if you are not aware.

So Viraha is more graceful place to reside in. When the heart breaks, there is another way out than anger and resentment. It needs compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. And Viraha will always, always end in Milan.

St. Francis got re-adopted by his Lord. The Gopikas all went into Nirvikalpa Samadhi (where love can exist without a form attached). Radha died and became immortal. It is she who stands next to Krishna, not Rukmini. In fact, Radha-Krishna playing the same flute together is an epitome of Shringar ras.

Buddhas wife, met him again and became his disciple. Ah, to have Buddha himself as the master.
All the Viraha she experianced must have been her sadhana. All the yearning, the rejection, the loss.

Sakhi woh mujse kehke jate...

Sakhi woh mujse kuch kehte....

kuch to kehte....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Online Creative writing workshop in Mumbai on 10th and 11th April

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 4 pm on both days.

Fees: Rs. 2,300/ (lunch, tea included)

Venue: Goregaon, Mumbai and Skype - Online!

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:

Day 1
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.

Day 2
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 pen three 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.