Bhopal partied hard into the year 2012
TNN Jan 1, 2012, 05.21AM IST
BHOPAL: The city of lakes rang in the New Year by partying hard well into dawn. With 30-odd listed parties around the town, people of Bhopal had a rollicking time.
With New Year bashes kick-starting as early as 7 pm, there were options galore for the town's party hoppers. Many let their hair down and swayed to hit numbers.
Most city hotels like Jehanuma, Lake View Ashoka, The Mark, Amer Greens and Palash Residency regaled the crowd with unlimited drinks and food. Crescent Resort also offered the unlimited fare. Most party places stuck to the tried and tested formula of DJs, live music, fireworks at midnight among others.
Not just the city hotels, restaurants like Pind Balluchi, Greek Food and Beyond, Wind and Waves, Ranjit also jazzed up their offerings to include kebab platters, extended multi-course dinners, and complimentary drinks to woo the gourmets.
While most bashes were high on spirit, teetotallers of the city were also not disappointed as there were some non-alcoholic dos as well.
Noor-Us-Subah, which came to life by local dance group and DJ performance, was one of no-booze affair. The Den at Vardhaman Mall, Windz Cafe at 10 No. market, Wind and Waves and Filfora were no-liquor spots.
Osho Frolic Eve, organised by Osho Anhad Commune on Raisen Road, was a unique in many ways. Most party destinations in the city were overflowing with couples before the D Day.
While most parties around town would have wrapped up around 2 am in the morning, Eldritch Blues and TDS pub were supposed to party till 5 am and 4 am in the morning respectively.
Godly power triumphs
The judgment by a Russian court, rejecting a petition to ban the Gita, is truly triumph of good over evil. Ask yourself a simple question: Can one really ban God or His work?
It seems it all happened over a misunderstanding or misreading of a Russian translation of and commentary on the Gita, titled Bhagvat Gita As It Is, by ISKCON founder AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
It was alleged that the Gita (read Krishna) promotes social discord and hatred towards nonbelievers. Apparently, the hue and cry emanated from some verses saying that a king, in order to protect the lives and the rights of his people, can resort to violent means against the enemy.
We know that is a king’s ‘dharma’ and moral obligation; otherwise he has no right to be his subjects’ Lord! War is necessary to maintain peace in self-defence; and not to allow create disharmony and destruction in others’ lives.
The book by Swami Prabhupada, therefore, is just a clear and sincere translation and commentary on Lord Krishna’s messages, mainly his conversations with Arjun. It is, therefore, not only wrong but foolish to see in Krishna’s messages a source of violence and extremism.
For the peaceful existence of the people and the progress of their nation, and in self-defence, a section of the populace, namely the armed forces, is justified in resorting to lawful action. No sane person in any country, including Russia, will call them extremists or terrorists. It is in this sense that the Gita sends out the message for a righteous war in order to have peace and progress on this earth.
The Gita is actually a treatise on how to lead a good, meaningful and noble life. It tells you the ways and means for such a life. It warns you of the harmful effects of negativism and violence to gain over others’ loss. It teaches you how to discover a meaningful and helpful life so that the real voyage in life comes not in seeking new landscapes but in “having new eyes”.
The Gita is thus a master guide for peaceful existence and harmony. It tells you, in Osho’s language, simply ‘be’ and try not to ‘become’. As the Buddha says, ‘be’ and ‘becoming’ make a world of difference! While ‘being’ is the path to enlightenment, ‘becoming’ is the way to ignorance.
Vithal C Nadkarni, ET Bureau, Jan 7, 2012, 03.39AM IST
In his Book of Understanding, Osho tells the story of how Buddha, Confucius and Lao Tzu went to heaven and were served three glasses of a juice called Life. The Buddha refused the offer politely, saying, 'Life is misery'. Confucius decided to give his judgment after taking a sip. "You are Gautama," he said after wetting his whistle, "Life is a misery."
Lao Tze took in all the three glasses with one huge gulp, saying, "How can one say anything without drinking?" He then started dancing. "Aren't you going to say anything?" the Buddha and Confucius asked. "My dance and song speak for me," Lao Tzu replied. "Unless you taste totally, you cannot say; and when you taste totally, you still cannot say because all you know is how inadequate words are to describe life."
Osho's own approach favoured Lao Tzu: accordingly live life king-size; in all possible ways, seems to be his motto. "Do not choose one thing against the other and don't try to be in the middle," he advises. "Do not try to balance yourself; because this is not something that can be cultivated," he explains.
Balance is something that comes out of experiencing the totality. In its deepest essence, Buddhism says the same thing. "There is no bondage or freedom from bondage," says the Heart Sutra. It ends with the famous mantra, Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi svaha. This pays homage to the awakened mind that has gone over to the other shoreof illumination.
Thus, the enlightened one does away with all views, ideas and perceptions and merely looks upon reality without any mind obstructions.
Life in abstract
By SHARMILLA GANESAN
An artist finds the perfect palette for her emotions and intellect.
WHEN it comes to artist Kalawathi Schuebel’s works, it seems more acccurate to say art found her than the other way round. Having started with acrylic and glass paintings in 2000, the 42-year-old mother of two has gradually found herself drawn, almost uncontrollably, to abstraction.
“Abstraction is a process, and one that I’m still not sure if I wanted to be in! But you come to a point in life where you want to see the world with more than five senses. You want break the things you see, take them apart, see how they fit together. That’s how I became a painter of abstraction,” Kalawathi explains.
To her, abstraction is where “life floods into your painting, whereas in realism, you have to put life into it.”
So much so, Kalawathi finds that she can no longer do realism when it comes to her paintings.
Kalawathi Schuebel finds lines intellectual, and tries to fuse them with colours, as seen in her painting, Bouquet Of Roses.
“It just doesn’t happen! I can try and sketch an elephant, but automatically, the ears will became larger, or the tusks will start to intertwine, or the lines will start to mingle. Abstraction has just become a part of who I am now,” she says.
Born and raised in Singapore, Kalawathi migrated to Bavaria, Germany, with her German husband, where she discovered her passion for art and writing. The couple now live with their two daughters in Malaysia, where she is currently exhibiting her works for the third time.
Having graduated from the Sharjah Arts Institute, the Middle East, in 2003 – besides a correspondence diploma course at the Pennsylvania Institute of Art – Kalawathi’s works show a definite Eastern influence. While the subjects of her latest collection, Abstraction, range from animals and flowers to Ganesha and Buddha, there is something about the exuberant interplay of colours and the dynamic lines that speaks of Asian inspirations.
She says her choice of subjects and colours is usually reflective of her moods, as well as a particular phase in her life.
“One day, I felt like being monochromatic. At the same time, I wanted to see whether I could do still-lifes or not. So I decided to paint a bouquet of roses and see what it would turn into. It eventually became an abstract piece as well, but it is one of my great works, because it took a lot of work getting the shapes right.”
Her painting Nude, on the other hand, is her attempt to depict one’s journey to becoming more real.
“A nude, to me, is about being transparent, not about sensuality or sexuality. In my painting, I’m trying to convey the idea that you become more real day by day,” she says.
As for her depictions of Buddha and Ganesha, she is trying to convey a particular quality, rather than merely portrayals of the religious figures.
“To me, Buddha or Ganesha is a quality. Buddha is not just a monk sitting serenely, and Ganesha is not just a god watching over us. I like exploring the different emotions and feelings one can interpret from them.”
Hence, the variety of Buddha paintings in her collection, such as the vibrant and energetic Buddha The Intellect, the more structuredWitnessing, and the calmness of Osho.
While to the casual observer, abstractions may be all about free-flowing forms and colours, Kalawathi shares that a lot of work and discipline is required to create her pieces. The basis of her paintings, in fact, comes from drawings that she does daily.
“I do about two to three drawings every day. The fundamentals of my painting are in those drawings, my brush moves with them.” She also constantly researches figures, in order to break them down into shapes and lines that she can use in her works.
“My goal with my latest collection was to learn how to fuse colours with lines. All the experience I’ve gained from working with colours, I wanted to bring into lines.”
Her series of paintings of horses, for instance, display her attempt to merge her natural affinity for colours with the structure of lines and shapes.
“Lines are intellectual to me. My previous works, where the focus was more on colours, were led by my emotions. But you can use your intellect to govern your emotions. I’ve painted for so many years with colours, and now I want to fuse them with lines.”
Many of the artists that inspire Kalawathi display a similar aesthetic; she cites Cubism founders Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, and Indian painter M.F. Husain as being among her influences.
“I also admire (local artists) Syed Thajudeen for the way he fuses his colours, and Sivarajah Natarajan because of how he deals with perspective and spaces out colours.”
Art, Kalawathi adds, is a glimpse into what is going on inside the artists’ head.
“Something should happen to your being when you see a work of art; the artist doesn’t have to say a single word. Abstraction lets me do that. It gives an artist the possibility of looking at one idea in many different ways, so that you’re fixated on one point of view.”
■ Abstraction is currently showing at Kalawathi Schuebel’s residence at Tivoli Villas, Jalan Medang Tanduk, Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur, until Jan 31. Call 017-602 4544 for a viewing appointment.