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Stitch your own cloth pad >> At: 5 PM; Price: Rs 350; Contact: @ecofemme, Instagram
Sign up for a virtual acting masterclass
Hone your craft by attending a masterclass by playwright Atul Satya Koushik. The sessions will be about approaching a script, designing a character and working on oneself.
When: June 5-7, 10 AM to 2 PM
Price: Rs 500 onwards
Contact: @fts_clicks, Instagram
Lol with Sumukhi Suresh and others
Tune into Chudail Ke Chutkule, featuring Sumukhi Suresh, Sumaira Shaikh, Neeti Palta and Kaneez Surka. From a round-up about Modiji to YouTube v/s TikTok, you will hear witty banter on all kinds of trending topics.
When: May 31, 10 PM
Price: Rs 199
Master the art of faux calligraphy
Attend a faux calligraphy workshop hosted by SD Academia. The faux calligraphy technique uses fine lines to imitate the effect of calligraphy.
When May 31, 5-6 PM
Price: Rs 83;
Contact: @sd.academia, Instagram
Learn how to navigate therapy
Tune into a free webinar on finding a counsellor who works for you, led by Rahat Sanghvi, a therapist and Apurupa Vatsalya.
When: June 2, 10 PM;
Where: @bibliotherapymumbai, Instagram
Meet a person with a skill you can use
Monica Mishra, 30 Visual Artist
Mishra decided to pursue a diploma in Commercial Arts and found her niche in packaging art
Available for: Digital and animated wedding invites, professional websites, logos, social media creatives etc.
Monica Mishra began her art journey 12 years ago by joining a small scale ad agency, where she created print ads. She ended up working with top agencies such as Saints & Warriors and Ogilvy & Mather eventually. Four years ago, she founded Studio Kalaa. Mishra’s work is design-based and helps brands build their identity. She recently finished a package design for Emporio Patisserie’s new range of premium cookies. She is currently working on creating a grocery brand’s e-commerce website, packaging and handling their social media marketing. “A lot of technical aspects are important in designing. For instance, colour choices need to be in tandem with the brand. But once the job is done and you see the product on the rack of a leading grocery store, it’s a proud moment.”
The Mughal lord of lords
Akbar is to us, a genius—a jewel in pre-colonial India’s crown, and the greatest leader that the Mughal dynasty had ever seen. School textbooks will tell you how he built a formidable kingdom with the help of wise courtiers, and how his religious tolerance won him praise and wives from within the Rajput community. In popular imagination, thanks to cinema, he is the level-headed, unrelenting father of the rebellious, lovelorn Salim, and also, the romantic and soft-hearted wooer of Jodhabai. Ira Mukhoty’s new biography, Akbar: The Great Mughal (Aleph Book Company; R999), doesn’t take us into unchartered terrain, but she does open it up for us like a true storyteller. Her exceptional research and narrative writing of history (she is a scientist, by the way) makes her a significant voice among modern-day chroniclers of Indian history. The 500-pager is divided into six parts, beginning with the arrival of the Mughals into India from Central Asia, Akbar’s glorious years in Fatehpur Sikri and Lahore, and finally, the Padshah’s slackening of ambition as he “becomes more and more caught up in a battle of wills with his sons, especially Salim”. In the book, we are told, that even before Akbar was born, his father Humayun had seen a dream, where an ancient man, who identified himself as Ahmad of Jam, a 12th century mystic, promised that he would have an “illustrious son”, for whom he proposed the name Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar. Many others known to Humayun would experience such miraculous premonitions. No wonder Akbar ruled for over five decades, and with such panache.
Buy: amazon.in; Rs 612 (Kindle edition)
Who killed Jaspal Singh?
Singh's father in a still from the film
A Gursikh family is sitting next to the photograph of a young slain member, Jaspal Singh. Their home in Gurdaspur’s Sidhwan Jamita village is filled with Singh’s memories. “Jaspal was 18 years and nine months old when he was shot dead,” he father rues. “He was a kind-hearted, soft-spoken boy who religiously followed the Guru. ‘Waheguru, I have been shot’, were in fact his words when he breathed his last.”
Directed by Parmjeet Singh, Outjusticed 2 is the second documentary in the series, Outjusticed—the untold stories—that focuses on the denial of justice to victims of human rights violations in Punjab. This one revolves around the Punjab police firing incident of 2012 in which Sikh student, Jaspal Singh, lost his life.
First screened in Chandigarh in 2016, and later in various places across England, the film is now open to public viewing on YouTube. Singh’s parents take the viewers back to March 29, 2012. They and activists reveal that video and forensic evidence indicated that the police had opened fire on peacefully protesting Sikhs. “Still the police filed the closure report in this case,” claims his father.
The film takes you through the life of Singh, an engineering student at the Beant College in Gurdaspur. His parents, still coming to terms with his death, continue to fight for justice and against loopholes in state policies. Witnesses back video evidence and stand in solidarity with Singh’s family. For those still reeling in the aftermath of Netflix documentary, Who Killed Little Gregory, this should be on your watchlist.
Letters for the soul
Reading 56 letters: That’s like going through 56 different kinds of emotions. And for someone, who loves all things epistolary, it’s pure literary gratification. Terribly Tiny Tales’ new volume, With Love: A Collection of Letters (Penguin Random House) is curated from thousands of contributions by readers, and is the perfect bedtime read—one letter each night. It’s like reading a fairy tale, just that it’s not.
Megha Rao writes to a man, who doesn’t exist in her life yet, but will be her husband some day, about how she’d love their kids to be beautiful, the kind “that blossoms from the heart”. Komal Thami pens a heart-warming letter to her dad, a soldier, whom she is yearning to spend some time with, “collecting pictures of you without the uniform”. Joel Thottan writes to his friend with benefits, to ignore the I love you, “I sent you last Thursday. That was a quarter of Old Monk typing.”
Voices of the marginalised
Illustration by Alia Sinha
Skin Stories is an anthology of powerful and personal essays. The overarching themes in the book are disability, chronic pain, sexuality and gender. The book is divided into 12 different sections in the book: mind, body, romance, friendship, sex, work, violence, marriage, self, children, discrimination and myths. There are different essays under each section. “The book weaves a rich tapestry of many experiences, and all the narratives within are complementary,” says Shreya Ila Anasuya, the editor of the book. For instance, both Antara Telang and Tony Kurian’s essays in the romance section, deal with their experiences as people with disabilities on a popular dating app. It was heartening to read Telang write honestly about using Tinder to realise that her disability needn’t define her, or affect her dating life. Both Christina Thomas Dhanaraj and Rachelle Bharati Chandran’s essays deal with the structural barriers they faced when accessing mental health services as Dalit folk. Chandran’s eye-opening take makes one think about how unfair it is that some have to bear the brunt of inaccessibility of basic health services. It’s almost as if the book’s essays are speaking to each other. Apart from being an insightful read, Skin Stories should be treated as a credible resource that can be used in the fields of gender and disability justice. It amplifies the voices of people from the marginalised communities through storytelling, in the hope of creating a more just and accessible world.
Shreya Ila Anasuya, the editor of Skin Stories
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