Be it capturing the spirit of the city, telling inspiring life stories of people or spreading positivity by aiding social causes, city-themed Facebook pages in India are becoming wonderful platforms that bring the human spirit to the fore. The people behind Humans of Bombay, Humans of Bangalore and Humans of Madras talk to me about what it means to be running inspiring Facebook pages that have transformed the way people look at the life of a person on the street.
Author, Editor & Creative Specialist
A picture can speak a thousand words, we have heard, and when the subject of the photograph is something that is most fundamental for life to sustain and thrive, it gets all the more interesting. For, when a photograph is that of food, it just doesn’t stop with telling the world about the dish’s existence but stirs in its audience a range of diverse emotions – from being enticed to smitten to feeling the hunger pangs. I attempt to demystify the charming world of food photography by speaking to food bloggers, Soma Rathore (www.ecurry.com) and Chinmayie Bhat (www.love foodeat.com) and Divya Yadava, food photographer and culinary consultant (www.divyayadava.com).
One of the biggest developments that the internet unleashed was the arrival of blogs a few years back, which grew to become great forums for showcasing talent, having discussions, exchanging ideas, making new friends and most importantly, finding an audience in a world where becoming a published author for an aspiring writer was still a formidable task. I speak to Parul Sharma, author of ‘Bringing up Vasu : That First Year’ and ‘By the Water Cooler’, Judy Balan, author of ‘Two Fates : The Story of My Divorce’ and Sagarika Chakraborty, author of ‘A Calendar Too Crowded’ – all of whom began as bloggers a few years back before they became published authors. Parul, Judy and Sagarika talk about their days as bloggers, the roles that their blogs played in their writerly journey and of course their books, among a host of other blog-related things.
Words are magical, they are powerful, and to be able to use the magic of the written word to inspire people is indeed an immensely beautiful gift. I speak to three people who have used the power of words to inspire thousands and gets them talking about what inspires them, how they feel about the inspiration they are providing others, and more – meet Preeti Shenoy, author of ‘34 Bubble Gums & Candies’, ‘Life is What you Make It’, & ‘Tea for Two & a Piece of Cake’, Swapan Seth, author of ’This is All I have to Say’ and Varun Agarwal, author of ‘How I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-founded a Million Dollar Company.
Six people talk about what music means to them and provide a glimpse of how this beautiful art form has become a part of their lives. Diverse that their fields are, it is interesting to note how music can be learnt, savoured and shared in such different ways. Here’s a special feature I compiled after my conversations with Harish Sivaramakrishnan, Lead vocalist at Agam, a Bangalore-based music band that has been around since 2003, Namita Devidayal, Journalist and Author of the acclaimed books ‘The Music Room’ and ‘Aftertaste’, Krish Ashok, popular blogger known for the humour that permeates his writing, RJ Prithvi, the highly popular Radio Jockey at Radio One 94.3 FM Bangalore and Vidya & Vandana Iyer, the music sisters whose rendition of ‘Munbe Vaa’, ‘Aasai Mugam’ and ‘Nee Nenaindal’ with clarinetist and composer, Shankar Tucker went viral on YouTube.
India is a melange of many cultures – each with its own characteristics. If you have lived in India, whichever part of the country you may belong to, one of the things that keeps you implicitly connected with your place, no matter where you go or whichever part of the world you live in, is the defining culture of that region. Wouldn’t you think it is great to actually have some initiatives that help you sustain the connection with your culture, ones that take you closer to your roots? When we speak of culture, and initiatives that help you connect with your own, the Tamilian and his or her connection with the Tamil culture could very well be considered a case in point. Looking around, I found some very interesting ventures that are passionate about bringing regional culture to the fore with particular focus on Tamil culture. A special feature on a melange of inspiring measures. Additional inputs from Vani Viswanathan.
Education and learning is an important aspect of the life of any individual. But what does it mean to children or adults with mental developmental disabilities? I spoke to the mothers of two special children – one diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and the other with autism, both at a very young age. Read on to know more about what teaching and learning has meant in the context of these children and what special education is all about.