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M.I.L.A.P. Concludes on a ‘Homely’ Note – The Manipal Journal
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M.I.L.A.P. Concludes on a ‘Homely’ Note

 

MANIPAL: The last day of the three-day Manipal International Literary and Arts Platform (M.I.L.A.P.) on September 8, began with a talk by Sushma Deshpande on the portrayal of women in the Indian theatre scenario. The acclaimed theatre practitioner and director conversed with Anusha Ravishankar, discussing the lives of women artists performing Tamasha, a traditional form of Marathi theatre. The women are given flirtatious roles or only made to perform the dance scenes in skimpy clothes and the audience comprises mainly of men. When asked what inspired her to document the lives of these women so extensively, Sushma simply said, “They are strong women and I’m attracted to strong women”. || Photograph Courtesy: Aparna Shankar

 

A young Kunzang Choden believed that she would “change what was written for her”, and went on to become the first Bhutanese woman to write an English novel. The second session for the day was a panel discussion on the idea of home by Kunzang Choden and Tibetan activist/poet Tenzin Tsundue, moderated by Chintan Girish Modi. Choden, who was just nine when she came to India for her schooling, recalled what it was like to be a woman alone in a different country, the longing to go home and the times she devoured momos in the streets of Delhi. || Photograph Courtesy: Gibin Biju Justus

 

“I’ve been to 15 different jails. That is a personal record for me,” said Tenzin Tsundue all too casually. He has been actively involved in Tibet’s independence movement. Born to Tibetan parents in a refugee camp in India, he spoke about the refugees’ need to survive, to learn new languages and cultures. For the rebel that he is, Tenzin also knew how to get a laugh out of his listeners. When asked what home means to someone who has been away all his life, he declared, “This brain inside is Indian!” || Photograph Courtesy: Gibin Biju Justus

 

Goonj, the Hindi literary society of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and the only one of its kind, stunned the audience with their poetry recitals in the beautiful language. As each of the poets intoned verses on life in Manipal, religion, mothers, young love, the moon and Hindustan, the crowd applauded every fifth minute. || Photograph Courtesy: Aparna Shankar

 

The harmonium till date remains an important instrument in many genres of Hindustani and Pakistani music. Although the design was borrowed from the west, the instrument was further developed and mastered in the Indian subcontinent. Acclaimed harmonium players Ravindra Katoti and KeshavchaitanyaKunte, and tabla player Dinesh Shenoy discussed the journey of the instrument with Neeta Inamdar. The musicians treated the audience to North Indian classical pieces, Sufi Qawwalis and Parsi music, leaving everyone in the hall in a trance. || Photograph Courtesy: Aparna Shankar

 

After a short tea break, Damodar Mauzo, the Goan short story writer and Sahitya Akademi Awardee sat in conversation with Dr Vincent Alva. He spoke on the evolution of Konkani literature, expressing that the language had to suffer at the hands of history. A Hindu by birth, the Konkani novelist attributes his rich portrayal of Catholicism in his writing to his upbringing among his Catholic brothers. He explained, “While history has divided Goans into Catholics and Hindus, Konkani is the umbilical cord. I never look at people as Hindus or Christians. I look at them as Goans and Konkani-speakers. I love them all.” || Photograph Courtesy: Gibin Biju Justus

 


The best was saved for the last, of course. MILAP 2018 came to an end with the brilliant play ‘Shoorpanakha: The Unseen Face’, directed by the legendary Guru Bannanje Sanjeeva Suvarna and performed by the team from Yakshagana Kendra, Udupi. A combination of Yakshagana, Bharatnatyam, Odissi, and Kalaripayattu, the dance-play explored the other side of the character Shoorpanakha from the Ramayana epic – one that is far from the evil face that is hated and ridiculed. To say that the actor and dancer, Vallari Kadekar stunned the spectators would be an understatement. || Photograph Courtesy: Aparna Shankar

 

Featured Image Courtesy: Aparna Shankar

Edited by: Tarush Dhume

Rashmitha Muniandi

rashrox236@gmail.com

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