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A refreshing performance

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Light-Camera-and-Action

Pooja-Rani-and-Chris

SHIMLA- A refreshing performance was seen by theater lovers in form of “Light Camera and Action”, organized by The Beginners at the historic Gaiety Theatre.

The play was inspired by two writers’ work that is John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger (1956) and Anton Chekhov short story The Shoemaker and the Devil.

The entire play turned out to be a mixed experience as themes of both work failed to jell in the performance. On one hand a love triangle involving an intelligent and educated but disaffected young man who aims to make his mark in the field of performing art, his upper-middle-class, impassive wife, and her haughty best friend.

On the other it was “The Shoemaker and the Devil” is a humoristic morality tale about a shoemaker who dreams about selling his his soul to devil in return of becoming rich.

The-Shoemaker-and-the-Devil

The play turned to be bit confusing for both the stories did not mix well. The Devil part caused interruption in the Look part. It was very difficult to find connection between both the stories. Devil part was all in dim light and the original humour faded out in the experiment.

Many people were of opinion that it could have been two plays rather than experimenting to merge the two stories together.

However, Pooja Rani and Chris did a wonderful job and made strong connection with the audience with their performance. All felt their joy and pain. On the other hand Jazz (stage name) failed to capture the intensity of hitch when Uday’s wife returns home after 2 years.

Light-Camera-and-Action

Whereas Devil part here portrayed as media, education, system and business, like said before was way too experimental and became bit heavy to receive. The climax dance of all gave impression of play’s conclusion and all of sudden a guy comes introducing director of play which again turns out to be Uday from other story; while audience is applauding Mukesh – the director of Light Camera.

The transfusion from one scene to another or rather to say from one story to other could have been better. TV commercials and serial was good filler in the play that gave a refreshing kick to spectators; giving them opportunity to laugh.

The-Shoemaker-and-the-Devil-gaiety

Considering the recent play fest it one can call this play a refreshing break and a good attempt; ignoring too much experiments. Had the advertizing banner been little better, many people wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to enjoy; as book was judged by its cover which gave failed to give a decent message.

Art & Culture

Video: Mega Natti at Kullu Dussehra 2019 Performed by 4,000 Dancers to Send Out Message of Cleanliness & Nutrition

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Kullu Dussehra 2019 Manha Natti

Kullu- International Kullu Dussehra Festival on October 12, 2019, witnessed a traditional dance “Natti” performed by four thousand women at the Dhalpur’s Rath Maidan. It event was named as “Mega Natti or Manha Natti”. Women from various parts of the district including Manali, Sainj, Anni, Banjar etc participated in the dance.  Not only a large number of locals swarmed the Rath Maidan to witness this majestic scene, but visitors from foreign countries also witnessed and captured it in their cameras.

This year’s theme was Swachhta (Cleanliness) and Poshan (Nutrition). These thousands of women, dressed in the traditional attire of Kullu district, danced on the beats of traditional folk songs and instruments for one hour. During the first 25 minutes, ‘Natti’ was performed by Anganwari workers to send out a message on cleanliness.

The tradition of performing “Natti” by a group of thousands of women had begun in 2014. While about six thousand women had participated in ‘Natti’ in 2014, in 2015, 9,892
women had performed during Kullu Dussehra, which was recorded in the Guianese Book of World Records.  

Since 2014, this tradition continues, and every year Mega Natti is organized on different themes. In 2015, the theme was “Save Girl Child.”

Cabinet Minister Govind Singh Thakur also attended the event as the Chief Guest. The Deputy Commissioner, Dr Richa Verma, was also present on the occasion. Both participated in the dance too.

The District Administration has been receiving appreciation for its efforts to highlight the traditional culture of Kullu and the messages of awareness it is delivering through this event.

While Dussehra in other parts of India is celebrated for only one day, in Kullu, the celebrations continue for a week. During this period, approximately five lakh visitors, including domestic and international, attend the weeklong festivity.

 

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HP Govt Should invite Hollywood, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. to Shoot Films in Himachal: Makkar

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HP Film Policy 2019

Shimla– Through new Himachal Pradesh Film Policy 2019, the state government is endeavouring to promote the state as a popular destination for filmmakers, said Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Information & Public Relations, Sanjay Kundu, while interacting with the Chief Executive Officer of Producers Guild of India, Kulmeet Makkar, who met him  regarding the film policy of the state government.

Makkar said that since Himachal offers offer natural grandeur and splendid environment, the state government should also invite Hollywood, Netflix, Amazon Prime and other channels to shoot films in Himachal Pradesh.

He informed the Principal Secretary that leading producers like Ramesh Sippy and Subhash Ghai have established centres for media and entertainment education in Mumbai for instance, Ramesh Sippy has established in collaboration with Mumbai University, Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema & Entertainment. On similar lines, the Himachal Government may think of establishing such institutes for skill development of its youth so that they can pursue their careers in the film and entertainment industry.

Kulmeet Makkar invited the Chief Minister to visit Mumbai and interact with the Bollywood producers and cinema builders (like PVR, INOX etc). He said the Chief Minister may discuss the film policy of the state with the producers and invite the cinema builders to establish modern cinema halls in the state.

Besides, the producers could also be invited to shoot films in the state and suggested for familiarization visit of film producers to virgin destinations of the state like Chanshal, Pong Dam, Bir Billing and Janjehli etc.

Deputy Director (Technical) of I&PR department briefed about the main features of the film policy of Himachal Pradesh. A film facilitation office would be opened soon in the Directorate of Information and Public Relations with email, web page and presence on social media for ensuring liaison and interaction with the film industry, he said.

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Book Review: ‘The Billionaire Raj: A Journey through India’s New Gilded Age’ by James Crabtree

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The Billionaire Raj A Journey through India’s New Gilded Age

For long, we all have broached the subject of India’s experiment with socialism. The state-controlled the various fields of business, planning was central; also the means of production were not with capitalists but with the state. The state promised to uplift the poor form the poverty, raise their living standard by utilization of these means of production to bring economic and social equality in society.

But years after embracing socialism growth was still sluggish, corruption percolating deep into the system, choices with the people were far and few. Inequality was, as ever, still prevalent in the society. Amenities like telephone and exuded power and exclusivity. The world mocked our “License Raj” and we became notorious for our Hindu Growth rate.

Eventually, the closed economy turned sclerotic and ran into trouble. On the contrary, economies worldwide grew rapidly, at this time. India was left with no other option, but to open its economy to the world. Finally, India yielded and opened its economy in 1991, with an hope of removing the ills of corruption, creating more jobs, removing social inequality and to overcome challenges of economic development. The new era of neo-liberalization was considered augury of prosperity and egalitarian society.

However, who would have imagined that within 27 years of opening up the economy, the majority of the wealth would be held by a handful of people. James Crabtree in his debut book, “The Billionaire Raj: A Journey through India’s New Gilded Age, offers an overview of this fascinating journey of India’s new Gilded Age.”

He writes,

Yet the decades after 1947, it at least grew economically more equal, with an elite that lived modestly by the standard of the industrialized West.

A silver lining to India’s bygone era of socialism.

The Billionaire Raj is the narrative of the breakneck rise of the Indian riches- Bollygarchs, as he calls them- corporate power, their lifestyle and the mansions.

The book is an overview of the concomitant of wealth: inequality, crony capitalism, massive corruption and mega scams. The writer explores the exorbitant funding of political parties by these tycoons, the costly affair of India’s election.

The book talks at length about the deep-rooted problem of mounting debt, IPL, about Modi and his tenure as Prime Minister of India. The pro and cons of various reforms ushered under his regime. Mr. Crabtree is successful in raising the fundamental question that holds imperative to India’s future.

The book is well researched, the exceptional storytelling skill of the writer keeps the readers engrossed; the personal interview with various business tycoons like Vijay Mallya, Naveen Jindal, Gautam Adani etc, offer the readers classic vignettes of their life, their perspective about the event that unfolded in this age.

The writer has successfully flagged various fissures as a warning that can pull India down. The country will have to fix these fissures first, only then it can fulfil the ambition to lead Asia.

Today India stands at the crossroads of what sort of superpower it will become

, he further writes.

Mr. Crabtree offers an optimistic view about India’s future:

India’s new Gilded Age can blossom into a progressive Era of its own, in which the perils of inequality and crony capitalism are left decisively behind,

he writes.

The Billionaire Raj will make us ruminate about the era of Neo-liberalization, as we did aggressively about Indian Socialism in the past. The Billionaire Raj is an eye-opener for all of us and will certainly be helpful in paving the way for our future ahead. The book is Locus classicus on the contemporary history of India- a must read for every Indian.

About James Crabtree

James Crabtree, a former Mumbai bureau chief for The Financial Times. He spent 5 years in India before moving to Singapore. At present, he is an Associate Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore.

Book Review by Sunny Grack, Kotgarh, Shimla

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