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