Category: Culture

June 21, 2016 /

It was that day I realized that unknowingly I was subscribing and preaching the very form of yoga I find so repelling; and that is yoga which is rigid and fixed. Comfortable in my usual routine, I had forgotten that one of the most essential trait to be a yoga teacher, is the ability to mould the ancient practice in a form that will benefit all, be free of judgment, religion and politics.

June 19, 2016 /

This is something I wished I never had to write about. But somehow I am compelled after reading the editorial in The Shillong Times regarding the nuisance created by street-hawkers in Shillong. My mother used to be one of them. That was many years ago, while I was in high school. And it made me wonder if my mother was a nuisance to the beautiful and sanitized Shillong, people love to portray. How does Shillong look like from below, from the margins, from the fringes of society? Marginal on the basis of community, class and even neighbourhood.

June 15, 2016 /

His work is a demonstration of how to rescue inauthentic from the jaws of reality. How to make spontaneous look orchestrated and vice versa – an art where so many rights are turned into one big wrong. He has mastered the skill to turn all conversation into a monologue, and then ignore one’s own voice, remove irresolution, and erase all personal music in the service of his war-like ‘humanism’

June 14, 2016 /

Andrew Lyndem, 25, is nocturnal and starts his day at 3 pm ending it at the witching hour. Ratul Hajong, 24, is awake before him but in circulation around the same time. Together, they are Cryptographik Street Poets (CSP) a rap act in Shillong, Meghalaya. Touched by the civil rights/black power movements in intangible ways, their sigil is the raised fist of solidarity and revolution, the Black Panther Party logo. Although they live in separate homes with their parents, they are in constant society with each other.

June 4, 2016 /

Muhammad Ali was also a symbol of black protest, a cipher for the anti-Vietnam movement, a martyr (or traitor, depending on one’s perspective), a self-regarding braggart, and many more things beside. While there have been several sports icons, none have approached Ali in terms of complexity, endowment and sheer potency.

May 29, 2016 /

When I started observing your photographs a few days ago, I stood witness to this very manifestation of dissent, and sensed an inchoate breeding of camaraderie—an unsettling urge to respond—taking shape between us. I did not resist. I kept writing, thinking that I was writing directly to you: a peripatetic nomad. But to this very moment, I do not know you. When I call you a nomad, I am trying to describe your photographs—the itinerant obliqueness, an almost euphoric derangement of your frame. I wrote as if I was corresponding with a boundless romantic, myself being one in the first place. You narrated stories to me through your images; I responded with words.

May 28, 2016 /

Three hours into the run and I can start feeling the strain. Glycogen in the body has almost depleted and thirst has also started setting in. I have a last hard climb for about two miles and my long run is done. The uphill is hard, the body aches and the panting starts picking up, as I try and push a little bit more to end with a strong kick, I only get what nature gives me. I hit the stop button in my watch and bend my knees to catch my breath. As I recompose, the pain fades into the background and I am filled with a sense of deep inner peace and happiness. Why I love running? I don’t really know…I just love running.

May 20, 2016 /

The night has fallen long ago and I won’t be stalking sleep tonight. Their guns have stopped to roar for a while, but they will resume again. They have difficulty in locating me in this dilapidated house at night and I am taking its benefit. But for how long will odds favour me? I will be dead by the morning. Their bullets will have made holes in my body or they will burn this house and I will be charred and buried under its rubble. By whichever way, I will embrace death without a shred of fear; I have resolved it in my mind.

May 10, 2016 /

That’s the moment when I began to wonder, as somebody who easily, effortlessly thought of himself as both Indian and Kashmiri, about what it means to live in a situation where all my democratic beliefs in being Indian were up against what I was seeing, my experience of life, in Kashmir. I was enormously troubled, as you can imagine, by what I saw there, by what I heard and by the fact that every time I expressed my sympathy with what was the visible oppression of people around me, my neighbours would say ‘no, no you mustn’t feel badly. We know what happened with you people.’ But I was always in an anomalous situation. I was notionally a Pandit, one of those families that had left in 1990, but in fact I hadn’t.

May 3, 2016 /

Leicester City began this season as relegation favourites and now they are champions, thanks to Tottenham’s draw at Chelsea last night. This collection of cast-offs and journeymen started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders. It’s the most incredible story in Premier League history and John Williams, a football-mad sociologist at the University of Leicester, has been eagerly following their rise.

May 2, 2016 /

The Indian state’s dominant visual order invisibalizes the structure of its violence in Kashmir. It enforces a blindness and numbs the critical senses of its citizens. From the twin images of Kashmir as a ‘beautiful landscape’ and as a ‘hotbed of anti-nationals,’ it mobilizes the composite image of ‘paradise crawling with serpents’ to justify the military occupation. Can there be a counter-project to this mode of seeing and representation? Can artistic works agitate the dominant imaginaries, trouble the subtle ruses of state power, and, in the process, train a new disobedient sensorium? The images by Rollie Mukherjee that you see here answer these questions affirmatively.