Monthly Archives: February 2008

Launching our first initiative:The Cyber Cafe Project.

Objectives: To try and bridge the digital divide. To re-create/redirect/relaunch the cyber-café’ culture. To connect virtual and real worlds.

Cyber café’s are places all over the world and in South Asia where people go to use the Internet. It is one’s gateway to the world. These are places in the flat world where negotiations happen between the real and the virtual communities that one is a part of.

People in the sub-continent use the Internet for various purposes, and what this project seeks to do is to use the Internet to connect locales that already have had a shared common culture in the past.

But what we don’t know is what has changed, and we don’t know what could be possible in terms of cultural exchange through technology. We also don’t know the structure and texture of this Internet technology.

What do you use it for, what do you look at, what do you seek?

It is understood that livelihood drives the chunk of operations on the Internet. E-business is an emerging trend in India, so also is e-governance. I’m not that aware about Pakistan and Bangladesh.

In this sense, what is the citizen of this new combined culture and ‘State’ going to be like? In what ways is s/he going to be different? What are the economic and financial opportunities that are going to open up for her and him with the dissolution of this painful border? How is s/he going to think of her/himself?

What forms of the public are s/he going to part of, where and how will she participate to engage in discourses about her rights, her freedom and her life in general?

These are some of the questions that we will ask people.

a.Where do you use the Internet from?

b.Tell us where your nearest cyber-café is.

c.How much does it charge you per hour to use the Internet?

d.Is Internet free, or does it come with censorship?

e.What are the sites that you would usually use or look at?

f.What has the Internet done for you?

g.Most importantly how has the Internet helped you create, hone or channelise your identity?


“What could be the way to live a normal life..

What could be the path for truthfulness…

What can be answered to the rightful desires of the beast living inside me…

Oh, u sacrifice yourself for sake of my sacred past….

No one has seen the future..

And few know to live in the present..


To build civilization we needed our past and its sacred baggage..”

– Ali Amitabha


‘ Not going into the deep intricacies, Emperor Akbar was against for his son SALIM(later popularly known as JAHANGIR) marriage with slave girl come court dancer ANARKALI. The only reason for this is mughalais were unhappy about AKBAR marriage with the HINDU princess (Jodhabai alias Mariam Zamâni ). Due to this marriage SALIM borne and SALIM again interested to marry a Hindu girl Anarkali. Hence being feared to face the aggression from own and rival communities and to avoid conflicts and fights, Akbar sandwiched Anarkali in brick wall. This is the original story. 70% fiction is like the 2 questions that jodha put forth to Akbar at the time of her marriage, the songs in it etc., . Rest is all for destructive criticism for vulgar comments.’

-We Wi.

(in response to this thread on the recent controversy about the film Jodha Akbar)


The Sarai Reader-List.Our Space.


Karna and reconnaissance.

Sharanya Manivannan takes the poetic license to make Karna a woman.

And after, I take the license to give her some more love.

She would have been brave.

She could only have been loved.

In the art of combat there is nothing left that you cannot unlearn.


Yuanfen is a Chinese concept which tries to determine the strength of a relationship(Wiki entry).The poem being read is called ‘Karna considers Yuan Fen’.

Speaking secularism and meaning it.

The White Ribbon Arts Collective is a group of individuals from across the sub-continent committed to redefining secularism in today’s context.

While setting up a goal as big as a One State Solution seems suicidal to many people, I gather that there are also others out there who think that this possible and worth doing.

While we are all harrowed by the erosion of the secular fabric within the subcontinent, bringing our energies together will give us the momentum we need to see this through.

Do you need convincing? Do you need to be nudged out your and our dormancy?

Among the tasks that I envision us performing are sustaining the blog, and organising diverse initiatives under White Ribbon in order to strenghten and sustain your own idea of what it means to be tolerant, secular and plural.


Comment is free!


Aur Hamara e-mail hai

Daer Mat kijiye!


Urging you to ‘keep your cool’.

A group of kind souls come together to discuss the invaluable attributes of one of India’s finest brands for cranial luxury.They deserve all your attention.They operate from here.


Baba Amte and Maharshi Mahesh Yogi are no more.


Among the things to whine about this week was the case of a girl student at a college in Patan, Gujarat, who was gang-raped repeatedly over six months under the threat of black-marking her internal assessment by the Staff of her institution.The White Ribbon campaign along with Sahiyar Stree Sanghatan, Baroda drafted this petition which Sahiyar aims to take to the Government of India.And Nazariya, an initiative of Drishti, Ahmedabad has set up this blog in order to collect opinions and solidarity for the victim.

Please take the time to read and sign this appeal to create Sexual Harrassment Committees in Educational Institutions across the country.

Among the things which are positive and which you could always count me in with is the Open Source movement in India.Yesterday, Barkha of Linux Chix India and I gave presentations at the GNU Linux and FOSS Awareness Day at Lala Lajpat Rai College in Mumbai .My presentation traces the analogies that can be drawn between open source technology and some key moments in the history of art.

White RibbonnavratnaWhite Ribbon

I also gave away some White Ribbons at the finale of the Kala Ghoda Festival‘s Grand Closing Event, just before Shubha Mudgal sang an amazing compilation of protest poetry and music from the work of Faiz, Sahir Ludhianvi,Ibn Isha…

The evening’s protest music concert, “Geet virodh aur Pratirodh ke” was organised by Open Space, Pune.What an evening that was! Shubha Mudgal, boldly and bravely broke all the false gods we’ve held, without a quiver in her voice, in a repertoire which began with “Gar ho sake to ab koyi shamma jalaiye…” and culminated with Faiz’s “Hum dekhenge, laazim hai ke hum bhi dekhenge.”

And to close this post I must bring you a highlight from the Kala Ghoda Festival for me, which is from a session called Mumbai by Design, a conglomeration of designers like Divya Thakur, Mortimer Chatterjee, Matthieu Foss and Krishna Mehta.The session brought to light the current scenario within Indian Design and the excitement and promises that it holds for the future.Indeed , I think that artists and designers in India need to stop worrying about a distinct identity, be it brand Mumbai or brand India.To quote from a Nigerian Music producer in a documentary about the emerging music industry in Nigeria, “you have to look around you, find and do things which are typical to you, and be proud of them.”

Last, from a political artist’s greatest boon in the absence of image editing software , the Banner generator, this is just the kind of boost we all need.


“Gar ho Sake to Ab Koyi Shamma Jalaaiye

Is daur-e-siyaasat ka andhera mitaaiye”

[If you can, then light a torch today,

and end the darkness this era of politics has brought ]