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OBR Himalayas Rising 2014: Just a little get together this time

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dance strike and rise

dance strike and rise

SHIMLA-The One Billion Rising was celebrated all around the globe on Valentine’s Day. It’s a mass celebration where women and men gather to stand against the various discrimination they have been facing due to gender biases and crimes against women. India has seen the extremity of the insensitivity towards the females, and after horrific 26 Dec gangrape and murder, it was apparent to the whole world. One Billion Rising gained momentum in India since then, and is celebrated as a call of awaking for all women, and that of justice, respect, and dignity from the male dominated society. It’s not about shouting slogan, rather it calls women, young or old, to come and declare their rising to end the suffering. Dance, Strike, Rise is the weapon here, and is also the main motto of the campaign itself.

a song

In Shimla, JAS India, a non-profit organization, organized One Billion Rising, and HW had the opportunity to promote it. However, the intensity and the comprehension of the concept behind the campaign was somewhat missing. OBR is the rise of women beyond laws, and it could be defiant to all the ridiculous mockery of the society they have been tolerating.

shimla theater artist

The Shimla was all set to dance and strike, and the event was scheduled to be held at Open Air Gaiety Theater on 14 February when the weather spoiled it. The snowfall not only snatched the venue but also prevented the people to attend it. Many guests, including the Chief Guest, DIG Shimla and Mayor of the town did not arrive but their apologies for their inability to attend the events did. Similarly, many groups which were to perform at the event had to cancel their performances due to the continuous rain and snowfall.

guests at ywca
However, the event was held inside YWCA hall with a crowd that the space could accommodate. It was like a formality with a couple of dance performances by a group of young students, a wonderful play by Manish, and a couple of songs.

shimla rising
It was unfortunate to have come this far an end up with a small show, but for those who did come to attend it despite the odd weather, it was not all disappointment. Some of the performers did not give up their enthusiasm for the crowd is little; neither the cancellation of other performances discouraged them.


v day at shimla

The performers did sing and dance. One of them was ‘Visthapan’, a wonderful play directed and written by Munish, a local theater artist. The theme pondered over the impact of villagers who migrate to the cities after selling their agricultural lands. A drastic change in the routine, which was earlier completely occupied with agricultural activities, and lack of vision on the part of males of the family (husband and son) who couldn’t manage the bulk of money they had received for their land, the inclination of the son to drugs that ultimately blinds him of all respect for his blind sister whom he later abuses.
guests

The event was concluded with a pledge to impart all the respect to every female member in our society that they always deserved but didn’t ever received it. The event seems to have transformed into a sort of small get together towards the end, and in that instance, the real concept of One Billion Rising was achieved, miniscule however.

obr himalayas shimla

one billion rising himachal

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Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 7 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture world around him in his DSLR lens.

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A small initiative by bunch of creative people making a difference

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Healing Himalayas rainshelter art

Shimla: Shimla – a name that leaves many hearts pounding, many wandering souls want to travel to this place, is well on its way of losing its charm. Every hilltop blotted with concrete houses, every slope shrouded under littered waste, every corner of the town chocked to death by oil-guzzling machines – this is the new picture of our town that was once famous for being ‘Queen of the Hill.’

Visual pollution mostly remained unchecked, and the majority of the public properties like rain-shelters have become free advertisement boards. 

To whatever direction you throw an eye, all you see is the tainted landscape. A hazy skyline hidden behind a cloud of dust and pollution ruins the vista. If you ask who is responsible for creating this mess – the only sound that echoes in the mountains is bad governance.

However, holding the governance alone responsible would be wrong. The people of the town are equally responsible for turning our town, which once used to be a beautiful hill station covered in deodar forests, into a wretch place. The landscape turns gloomier when you discover more about how our once-a-beautiful town looks on the inside.

Rain-Shelter at the BCS in Shimla City before Revamping

No matter how gloomy the landscape of our town turns, there are always people with positive spirits who refuse to give up. This group of creative people, under the name of a Non-profit organization Healing Himalayas – in association with some local artists and volunteers, is a good example of how to work in the right direction and set things right.

Healing Himalaya initiative in shimla city 1

Before revamping

They are striving hard to bring back the lost glory of the hill queen by making small efforts like conducting cleaning drives across Shimla and inspiring people to not litter.

Healing Himalaya initiative in shimla city 9

Removing posters/pamphletsa

This doesn’t stop here. They are taking steps to beautify the town by giving bus stops or rains shelters a revamped look. Almost all bus stops are in a really bad state.

Healing Himalaya initiative in shimla city 11

Cleaning the rain shelter

I am not very sure if they serve the purpose of providing shelter to the public on a rainy or sunny day, but they are a free and open playground for advertisers. Every local company, business, institutions especially coaching academies come and use interior as well as exterior walls of rain shelters to advertise their services and offers.

Healing Himalaya initiative in shimla city 8

Painting after cleaning

In an effort to spread awareness on how to use public properties/places, the NGO takes to the streets of BSC, New Shimla on Sunday, May 20, 2018, and started peeling off posters and banners that stained the walls of the shelter beyond repair.

Healing Himalaya initiative in shimla city 10

The team which included about 25 artists and volunteers took over the shelter at around 7:00 am and removed all posters and banners from the wall.

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The poster removal drill that lasted for about four hours was followed by applying multiple quotes of primer and whitewash. That’s not it; to turn the once-an-ugly-looking shelter into a work of art, the enthusiasts covered the walls in beautiful artwork.

Healing Himalayas shimla city initiative 15

An inspiring initiative by a bunch of creative people turned gloomy walls of the shelter into a life-size canvas where beautiful forms and figures started taking shapes. In the tireless process, the rain shelter was a changed place that looked no less than an art gallery.

Healing Himalaya initiative in shimla city 3

Inspiring art depicting endangered mother earth instils an element of emotion in the concrete walls. Blooming flowers, guitar, beautiful landscapes, and ‘Ardhanarishvara’ with moon arch as his head ornament turn the walls into a multicoloured art.

After cleaning and painting

From blending colours to make a perfect hue to making the right brush strokes took them about 8 hours to complete the paint job. And, the final output, which reflects their (the team) artistic approach towards a mundane life, deserves your attention. See for yourself.
Healing Himalaya initiative in shimla city 5

Healing Himalaya initiative in shimla city 6

Healing Himalayas shimla city initiative 14
Healing Himalaya initiative in shimla city 7

By Yash Sharma, Shimla

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Self-taught local artist to exhibit ’17 Paintings’ oil painting works at Gaiety, Shimla

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Shimla: For the art lovers and critics in Himachal Pradesh, a self-taught local artist will showcase his collection of oil paintings titled “17 Paintings” on a two-days exhibition at the historic Gaiety Theater, Shimla on December 9 and 10 from 11.00 AM to 6.00 PM.

Surya Ranjan Shandil (31), who hails from Solan district, works in Bengaluru as a computer programmer in the field of education technology. After his schooling from Shimla, he obtained a B.Tech Degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Himachal's cutlural paintings

Courtesy: Surya Ranjan Shandil

However, he did not ignore his love for the painting and continued it at evenings after college, work, on weekends, and Sundays.

Later, Ranjan realized he has a collection of his own. His first solo exhibition was held in November 2016 at the Gaiety Theater.

The appreciation he received at the first exhibition encouraged him to present his second collection of oil paintings that he painted during 2017.

He received his education upto Class 12 from Shimla’s St. Edwards and Dayanand Public School.

He is best known for his captivating genre paintings.

I started drawing at the age of 3-4 years. At that time, I used to sign the drawings with incorrect spellings of my name,

Ranjan told Himachal Watcher

His father, Dr R G Shandil, who is now retired, was a professor of mathematics at the H.P. University, Shimla. His mother Dr. Sandhya Shandil was a teacher at the St. Edward’s School, Shimla.

After graduating in 2010, I started with oil painting during the evenings and weekends. Gradually I built up a collection and in November 2016, I held my first solo exhibition of 29 oil paintings at gaiety,

he said.

local himachali painting artist

Ranjan’s paintings reflect people. The upcoming exhibition opens with simple themes like the joy of shopping, local festivities, celebration, dance and music. Most works painted on these themes are in the context of Himachal.

Surya Ranjan Shandil

Following these are mellow paintings ‘Seaside Nap’ and ‘Personal Sunrise’ – more subtle takes on human thought. The artist also takes a step towards satire in comically interesting works ‘Monkeys’ and ‘Chimpanzees’.

Slowly moving towards expressionism ‘Kayal’ takes the viewer to the realm of subjectless painting while in ‘Frenzy’ the artist dispenses with form.

Ending on a light hearted note, the paintings ‘Bonfire’ and ‘A Silent Conversation’ recreate the magic of Gabbar Singh and Rajesh Khanna on canvas.

About his love for painting, he said,

I believe art is a journey of constant improvisation.  

It would be his second solo exhibition. Earlier, he has participated and won prizes in several painting competitions throughout his schooling and B.Tech.

 

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Bollywood film-maker Onir conducting auditions in Shimla for his next film

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Teenage Shimla girl actors

Shimla: Shimla-based production house ‘Secret Corridor Pictures’, run by award-winning filmmaker Siddharth Chauhan, is looking for new faces for Onir’s upcoming film “Kuch Bheege Alfaaz”. The film will be shot in Shimla.

Onir is a National award-winning director and producer. He needs a young girl in the age group of 14-18 from Shimla to cast in his film.

Onir has directed films like: My Brother Nikhil, Bas Ek Pal, Sorry Bhai, I AM, and Shab. His ‘Chauranga’ had won him multiple awards last year.

The Secret Corridor is looking after the casting & production process for this film. The production house is currently scrutinizing applications and organizing auditions.

In the first round of the auditions was conducted online and five finalists were selected out of over 50 applicants. These five candidates were invited for an interview with Onir on October 8, 2017.

The production house is also looking for actors in all age groups for other projects.

Onir’s films are known for the unique content that works as a trailblazer for the Indian film industry.

He is the man behind ‘My Brother Nikhil’ – the first Bollywood film that addressed the sensitive topic of homosexuality and AIDS.

His other film ‘I AM’ had won him the prestigious National Award & many other awards at various international film festivals.

The interested candidates can apply for auditions alongwith their pictures and other details. The candidates can either apply through e-mail at [email protected]” or through Facebook.

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