Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Born to lead

'Ai, what all did you do in the gym today?' my ten year old boy asks me as we are having dinner.

'I just warmed up, then cycled, and then walked on the treadmill, that's it.'

'What? You didn't do the stepper?'
Pavan had come to the gym when we joined a few days ago, and was told that he is too young to join. But his fascination for the gadgets continues.

'I was too tired, Kiddo.'

'You should have done it at least for five minutes, no?'

'I was all alone, and hungry and missing you, so I just came home.'

'Can I come with you to the gym tomorrow?'


'To make sure you do all that you are supposed to.'

'And who will do your homework?'

'I will come back from playing by six, finish my homework by seven, then come to the gym with you. Please Ai? We can come back by eight and we even have time for a chess game with dinner!'

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Creative Writing Workshops in Bangalore on 20th and 21st August


Discover and Recover the artist within. Nurture the creative self by art therapy.

Creative Writing Workshops in Bangalore

Soulpen level 1

20th August, Saturday
at TOI, Times of India Office, M G road, Bangalore-1,

Soulpen level 2

21st August, Sunday
at Bellary road, five mins from Mekhri Circle, Bangalore

Online (Skype) Option is available.

Cost - The fees per participant is Rs. 1200/-

Contact - me at manjushree.abhinav@gmail.com or call 9945192862


Writing is healing with words, just as painting heals stroke by stroke. The creative energies flow well with regular scrubbing and clearing out the garbage that clogs our minds.

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....

What is the essence of the creative process? What is the source of the artistic impulse ?

A film, or a book, is born as a thought, a strong, palpable feeling that tugs. Once identified, this tug can be the link to the big bundle , the one that can stream out as the novel. All you need to do is to catch that thread from your bundle of thoughts and keep puling gently. Maybe you sat with a pen in your hand and tried to write. 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.

Dealing with the tangled bundle requires something they don't sell in the shops. You can try to use fevicol and stick your bottom to the writers chair. If that doesn't work, come sign up for Soulpen.


SOULPEN level 1
  • A three step ritual to loosen the writers block.
  • Exploring the map of the mind, from oceans to the stars, to write a short story.
  • The two approaches to fiction: A ) the American Conflict- Resolution Structure and B ) the Navarasas.
  • Secret tools of a writer
Participants will be given plenty of writing exercises during the workshop to bring home their understanding of the concepts.

SOULPEN level 2

  • Who writes : Sorting out the identity crisis
  • Characterization : The backbone of an interesting story.
  • Dialogue writing
  • Script writing: the audio-visual format.


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 scene and takes back the movie. Missing the muse, the creative spirit, leads to the writer's block.

Creative blockage can happen to the best of artists. Although we call this a writer's unblocking ritual, this exercise is known to help all kinds of artists in getting over their creative blocks. This exercise is self-introspective and at the same time lighthearted. Words get tossed out, opening a series of self traps. Those who are truly interested in unearthing their hidden depths love this exercise.


Why did your grandmother tell you stories when you were a kid? Most likely, to put you to sleep. Why did Shiva dance? To work out his turbulence? What is the purpose of the Nava Rasas? Traditionally speaking, to pass into the Shanta Rasa.
Re -experiencing the turbulence, recalling it, can give you a perspective of how it can be healed. We shall go into both, the happy memories and the traumas that shaped your lives. Re- living is relieving.


Creativity is not just a hobby. It is a spiritual path. More like a spiritual garden. A garden that is watered with attention and shined on with energy will flower. The creative gardner who is flowing in art carries a bag full of secret tools. I am not talking of the painters canvas and oils. Those you can buy in the shops. My bag is full of attitudes. Devil may care or not, the artist is not an artist without them.


A one day workshop, I must admit, is just a teaser. For those who are committed deeply, I mentor first time writers through their novels. Click here for the post on online mentorship. (http://baktoo.blogspot.com/2010/07/online-writer-mentor-ship.html)


Authored a novel, 'A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage'. This book is available in most of the Crosswords and Landmarks, and on flipkart.

I am also a film maker. I studied at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. 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, Ahemedabad and Mumbai.

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 teach what I most need to learn.