Thursday, February 22, 2007



Monday, 26 Feb, 7 pm - An epic documentary on Bob Dylan

Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Mumbai 400049. Tel:
2614 9546

VIKALP: Films for Freedom announces a monthly documentary series in
collaboration with Prithvi. Our inaugural show, as an exception, will
begin at 7 pm on Monday the 26th of February with Martin Scorsese's
epic tribute to Bob Dylan, 'No Direction Home'. From March, screenings
will revert to the Prithvi Annexe next door at 7 pm on the last Sunday
of each month. Information on these will be posted on

NO DIRECTION HOME/Directed by Martin Scorsese (USA) / 207 mins

An epic documentary that spawns the politically charged folk ballads
that came to embody the very spirit of the turbulent 1960s ("The Times
They are a-Changin") and the stream-of-consciousness litanies that
irrevocably changed the face of rock music ("Like a Rolling Stone").
Director Martin Scorsese crafts an unprecedented exploration of the
musician's creative process. The film is the first ever film biography
of the enigmatic, near-reclusive Dylan, who grants Scorsese his first
full-length interview in 20 years for a startlingly intimate and
endlessly revealing portrait. The interview is supplemented with a
wealth of archival footage that includes personal home movies from his
childhood in Minnesota; unreleased interviews with colleagues Allen
Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Maria Muldaur; and rare live
performances of classics like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Mr.
Tambourine Man." The result is a richly visual cinematic testament to
the life and work of one of the greatest and most influential artists
of the 20th century.

Also showing, three Indian short films/music videos.

Vande Mataram/ Directed by Amudhan R.P. / 5 mins

An alternate music video offering a unique perspective on pop patriotism.

America , America / Directed by K.P. Sasi / 5 mins

A satirical but severe indictment of America's role in escalating
world conflict.

Images You Didn't See/Directed by Anand Patwardhan / 5 mins

A music video that interprets images gleaned from the internet that
either never appear in the mainstream media, or whose import is masked
behind a velvet curtain of global infotainment.


VIKALP: Films for Freedom

The History: In recent years we have seen riotous mobs burn books,
destroy paintings, attack artists, tear down cinemas, rip apart
ancient manuscripts and make a mockery of all our constitutional
safeguards. The state itself has institutionalized censorship through
its Central Board of Film Certification and its counterpart in the
world of theatre. Documentary filmmakers have specially borne the
brunt of censorship. As the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF)
2004 approached, the then government knew that many films on the
Gujarat carnage exposing the ruling party's complicity could embarrass
it on an international stage. Overnight a new clause was introduced
stating that while foreign films remained exempt, all Indian films
would require a censor certificate. Even as over 275 filmmakers united
and threatened to boycott MIFF, official censorship was withdrawn, but
a dubious backdoor selection procedure excluded some of the best new
Indian films dealing with subjects like communalism, caste, gender,
sexuality and the environment.

The best way to fight back was to screen the 'rejected' films. So
VIKALP: Films for Freedom was born. Many filmmakers whose films were
selected for MIFF withdrew their work to screen them at VIKALP.
Girish Karnad stepped down from the MIFF jury. Filmmakers pooled in
their resources and found a perfect venue right across from MIFF at
Bhupesh Gupta Bhawan, whose solidarity was unconditional and whose
hall came free. Acoustic problems were overcome by curtains and
mattresses. Volunteers poured in and the buzz was electric. Despite
word of mouth publicity we had packed houses every day. VIKALP opened
with an excerpt from Sadaat Hasan Manto's ' Safed Jhoot', an
indictment of censorship and hypocrisy, performed by Jamil Khan,
directed by Naseeruddin Shah. From this high, we never came down. For
6 days rapt audiences saw and debated over 50 films and participated
in panel discussions on censorship. Across the street every official
MIFF bulletin and meeting denounced VIKALP and swore innocence to the
charge of censorship. But we were getting across. From juries to
filmmakers and audience members, the ranks of the disbelievers kept
growing - as they must. For an assault on freedom of expression does
not affect filmmakers alone. It is an assault on democracy itself.

The Present: Following this breakthrough we continue to do monthly
screenings at Bhupesh Gupta Bhawan. This success has led to
collaborations with other venues like Aavishkar in Mahim and Readers
Shop in Santa Cruz for monthly screenings. Film-makers in Delhi and
Bangalore organize regular screenings in their respective cities.
Selections of 'Vikalp' films have traveled to other parts of the
country and occasionally to other parts of the world. Now we begin a
new collaboration from March 2007 to do screenings at Prithvi, Juhu,
on the last Sunday of each month at 7 PM.

22 feb : SIGHT MAY STRIKE YOU BLIND (in English)

FEBRUARY 16 to 26
THU 22ND, 9pm
Prithvi Theatre

Poetry performance and launch of SIGHT MAY STRIKE YOU BLIND (in English)

by Sampurna Chattarji in concert with Sanjay Divecha

Reality, surreality, sensuality come together as poet Sampurna Chattarji reads from her new book Sight May Strike You Blind (Sahitya Akademi) in concert with guitarist and composer Sanjay Divecha.
As Keki Daruwalla writes in his foreword to the book, "Hers is a poetry of subtle impressions, far-off correspondences (but never far-fetched!), dissimilar images moulded into a poetic whole. She experiments fearlessly."
So come see poetry in a new light – a play of music and word, speech and silence, silence and clamour, clamour and song. A song to the city of 'Dogs, Mobs and Rock Concerts'; a song of 'Darkness', of 'Fear and the Smell of Old Sheets', of 'Pleasure, Forbidden'; a song of learning to look…and learning to look away.
SAMPURNA CHATTARJI is an award-winning poet, fiction writer and translator.
Her poetry has featured on Hong Kong Radio; in the international documentary Voices in Wartime directed by Rick King as well as in journals and anthologies including First Proof: The Penguin Book of New Writing from India 2; Fulcrum Four: Fifty-six Indian Poets (1951-2005) (US); Imagining Ourselves (US); Wasafiri (UK), Wespennest (Germany); Slingshot (Canada); The Little Magazine and Chandrabhaga (India). Sampurna is an Executive Committee Member of the PEN All-India Centre, Mumbai; on the Editorial Board of its Journal Penumbra, and is a key organiser of the monthly literary event PEN@Prithvi in Mumbai, featuring poets, journalists, filmmakers, novelists, activists, academics and others. Her first book of poems Sight May Strike You Blind has just been published by the Sahitya Akademi.
SANJAY DIVECHA is a guitarist and composer. His influences range from Western Folk and Rock to Blues and Jazz. Having started his career in Mumbai, he relocated to Los Angeles in 1987. In 1988 he enrolled at the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood , and studied guitar with Joe Diorio and Scott Henderson among others. While in Los Angeles , Sanjay's "eclectic approach and forcefully-mature playing" made him part of the LA live-music scene, where he played myriad styles, including African, Brazilian, R&B and Gospel. As an active member of the Los Angeles studio scene, he played both acoustic and electric guitar on movie scores, jingles and albums, and recorded with world-renowned West African vocalist Angelique Kidjo and the legendary Carlos Santana. Back in Mumbai since 2003, Sanjay is an active member of the Mumbai music industry. He has spent the last two years composing and recording a collection of songs for his new album, where he is exploring the colors, sounds and languages of India .

Gorakhgad - The challenger! 25 Feb

The challenger!

In the movie 7 years in Tibet, when Dalai
Lama asks the hero what he likes about
climbing; he replies
"It is during climbing one gets focused, forgets all confusion, lights become sharper, sounds become clearer. It is this time one feel the deep and powerful presence of life.”

Gorakhgad named after the saint Gorakhnath, is a small fort which gives you the taste of exactly same feeling. So to feel the might of the fort Nature Knights is planning to accept the challenge and reach those heights on 25th Feb this year.

The Adventure
To reach Gorakhgad, one can travel to Murbad via Kalyan. Reach village Dhasai from Mhase junction. From here, private jeeps as well as S.T. buses are available to reach the village of Dehri. Village Dehri can also be reached from Murbad via Milhe. Right from Dehri village two prominent pinnacles can be seen. The smaller one is Machchindragad and bigger one is Gorakhgad.

Fort Gorakhgad had strategic importance during the reign of Shahaji Raje. However, no major battle is recorded to have taken place here.It was used in Shivaji’s era to patrol the nearby region and was used as a stopover station during the journey to Junnar via Naneghat which was a very important commercial route. Though small in size, there is enough availability water and a lot of space for accommodation.

Two cisterns can be seen just after emerging through the entrance and the path climbs up further ahead. Further, a small step-way descends down to the large caves that are carved out in the main rock of the pinnacle. The trek to the caves is an easy climb, but the pinnacle is what makes the fort look so tempting to climb.The top of the fort is very small. There is a small Mahadeo temple with Nandi. A wide region ranging from Siddhagad and Machchindragad up to Ahupe Ghat and Jeevdhan in the Naneghat area towards north can be seen from the fort-top.

The Schedule
25th Feb, 2007
6 am Andheri (W) Station (near Ahura bakery S.V. Road)
6.30 am Bandra Kalanagar Juntion
6.45 am Sion Station (Opposite Sion Lunch Home)
7.45 am Thane
9.00 am Dehri Village
9.00-9.30 am Introduction & Induction for the trek
12.00 pm Reach main cave
1.00-3.00pm Climbing the pinnacle & fort exploration
3.30 pm Start for Base
5.30 pm Freshen up and start for Mumbai
9.30 pm Reach Andheri

* The charges do not include any meals or Snacks.
Breakfast at Kalyan junction
Pre-packed lunch on the fort. (Please carry your lunch)
Evening tea on route

Suggestions for packed lunch: (Sandwiches); Thepla & Potato Vegetable; Roti; Boiled Eggs; Ready to eat canned food; home cooked roti / dry vegetable; Puran Poli; Bread / Cheese slice / spread; Potato Vada; Bread; etc you can get creative; We will have multi-cultural buffet. You can carry tetra packed buttermilk.

track pants , full sleeves t-shirt spare shorts, socks.

Packing your stuff
Pack all to carry items in Backpack; lightweight on bottom and topside of bag; heavy items towards shoulder and closer to body. Use compression straps if you have them in your backpacks. Capacity of bag should be 40 to 60 liters.

Feet wear
Sports shoes with rubber sole or trekking shoes; carry spare slippers or floaters. No high heals allowed.

Other essentials in your survival kit
1) 3 meter x 3 meter plastic sheet (will be available in any hardware store) or local market
2) Hand Sanitizer
3) Torch
4) Pocket Knife (Preferably Swiss Knife or equivalent)
5) Towel (light) and carry one cloth, useful for wiping dirt.
6) Walking Cane (should be 65% to 70% of your height – strong and light)
7) Emergency money (Rs. 500/- per head)
8) One bundle of 5 mm Nylon or 3 mm Carnamental ropes (around 10 meter).
9) Carry a note pad and two ball pens for your diary writing.

Goodies & nice to have
You may also carry goodies like camera; small - binoculars, magnifying glasses and pocket field guide to make most of the trip.

Start and End – Date & Time
Start of Event:
Date: February 25, 2007
Time: 6 am
Place: Andheri Station
Anticipated End of event:
Date: February 25, 2007 evening 9 to 10 pm at Andheri.

Contribution per head
Contribution Rs. 400/= for members and Rs. 500/- for nonmembers. Only 20 seats available kindly reserve your seats well in advance. The above charges include transport, trek management charges and climbing equipment usage charges. Food is not included in the charges.

Transport: Private Bus/Jeep
For registration drawn a cheque on : “Nature Knights – ICICI Bank Account Number 041205000027” Drop the cheque in any ICICI ATM Cheque drop box Or Simply do an electronic fund transfer. Our Banking branch is Versova. SMS us your name and payment details Cancellation Charges: Any cancellations after February 21, 2007 will only get 60% refund. Members / Non-members registering/paying on the day of journey (Feb 25, 2007) will have to contribute Rs.450 and Rs.550 respectively. Kindly carry only cash for last minute registration/payments.

To know more about us visit:

Eco-Tourism Etiquettes
Camps organized by “Nature Knights” are in the eco / culturally - sensitive area like Sanctuaries, Jungles, and places of Historical importance. While visiting these places we should blend into the community of Original Inhabitants and respect their culture and sentiments. We strongly believe in traveling in small groups, and follow the principle leave only footprints and take only memories. Eco-Adventure Code Forest and mountains by its very nature implies certain code of conduct to be adhered and we need to blend with these rules to make the trip safe and enjoyable for individuals and the groups

No littering we take back all that we carry.
Do not shout at, harass or feed animals. Your silence will help you appreciate and enjoy the jungle environment better. Do not carry radios and walkmans, the sound may not only distract animals but also you would not be able to hear / senses the beauty or the beast in the Jungle.

Unless necessary; do not pick up dead wood, chop wood or pick flowers and plants. This may seriously damage the forest ecosystem balance.

Alcohol / Drugs not allowed
Avoid smoking during nature trials, this could cause forest fire or also distract the animals, as their sense of smell is far greater than ours. Do not carry very expensive items which are not necessary like jewelry, very flashy clothes etc. At the end always report on time for scheduled events and do not forget to enjoy selves and have a great adventure with new and old friends in Nature Knights Family.

Take initiative in participating for all group activities, your teaminitiatives will make the trip more memorable for you and others. Be a team player, do not be a city snob. Be responsible for yourself and others. Stay with the group; never cross the designated lead person and never lag behind the last person designated. Remain with the group, venturing out on your own could prove to be dangerous.

How to prepare your self for any treks?
Go through the “What to carry?” matrix while packing your backpack. Carry personal medical kit, even though general first aid kit is available with the group. Rehearse packing and un-packing of your bags with proposed items to be packed (Remember - every item has a place, every item in its place); check the weight of your bag. You have to carry this weight for 4 to 5 hours of trek; do not carry items not required.

Fitness – Most important
1) Start walks 3 to 4 times per week; go for 45 minutes to 60 minutes brisk walk. If you can go for walks with your backpack or smaller bags, it would be the best way to prepare.
2) Do stretching exercise (stiff body can break down easily).
3) Built strength training (weights or GYM or at least do Surya Namaskar; Pushups; Squats and Stomach Crunches). 20 minutes 3 to 4 times per week is OK.
4) Eat good food (have 3 to 4 servings of vegetable or fruit salads per day).
5) Pranayam – Breathing exercise for developing stronger lungs. Research – Browse net; talk to friends who may have gone to proposed location; investigate publications etc.
If you have purchased a new shoe for trek, start wearing it at least 10 to 15 days in advance to get used to the new shoe. Most important; reach at the designated meeting place on correct place; time and date. Good Bye and take care.
Dnyanesh- dkgolatkar[at]
Know more about us at:

24 Feb :"Jeevika" documentary screening


Screening winning entries from 2003-2006

Date: 24th February, 2007

Time: 3:00 – 5:30 p.m

Venue: SOMA Store, Colaba
( Next to Y.M.C.A, diagonally opp N.G.M.A)

For details, call Anindita: 9820543245; Cyrus: 9821235370; SOMA Store: 22826050


TWO PLUS PRODUCTIONS Let's change entertainment
In Association with 'SOMA'

Zoom in on a mode of living, give a voice to people's struggles and triumphs.

Capture socio-cultural norms or legal-regulatory barriers that prevent people working in the vocation of their choice.

"What's the democracy doing? It takes 90 days to set up a business in India. A small business is not even setting up a complex shop- it's like somebody wants to be a rickshaw puller or someone wants to sell something on the road. A coolie's badge is selling at a premium of 3 lacs nowadays…you keep seeing archaic laws where the demand is far outstripping the laws…I have this memorable phrase (which I rob from a speech) "Review, Revise and Remove". ~ Rahul Bose speaking at the inaugural ceremony at Jeevika 2004

For film ideas, entry form & guidelines, visit

To take part in the 2007 competition, contact Nidhi at

Last date for entries 31st May, 2007.


K-36 Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi 110016, India

Phone: 91-11-2653 7456/ 2652 1882/ 2651 2347;


Synopsis of documentaries to be screened:

1) Tales of the night fairies

Five sex workers-four women and a man embark on a journey of storytelling. The film explores the power of collective organising and resistance while reflecting upon contemporary debates around sex work. The simultaneously expansive and labyrinthine city of Calcutta forms the backdrop for the personal and musical journeys of storytelling.

The film attempts to represent the struggles and aspirations of thousands of sex workers who constitute the DMSC, an initiative that emerged from the Shonagachi HIV/AIDS Intervention Project. A collective of men, women and transgender sex workers, DMSC demands decriminalisation of adult sex work and the right to form a trade union.

2) Zarina

(Zarina / Urdu / Eng ST / 22 minutes / DVCam / 2004 / Dir: Suhail Bukhari and Piyush Pushpak / College of Media & Communication, Rai University, Delhi/ India)

Zarina is a film on the dying art of Mujra. The film recreates the golden era of Mujra, which has now eclipsed amidst the glamour and glitz of modern day entertainment. The contributions of the tawaif (nautch girl) to art and culture has rarely been perceived in positive light in a society mired in dubious puritanical standards. The film aims at changing popular and often simplistic, stereotyped misconceptions held by the society as well as an establishment that has failed to accept tawaifs as artists.The film also reflects upon how this art was socially accepted in the era of nawabs but the changing socio-economic and religious conditions made the common folk indifferent to it, leading to a much mistaken notion about its identity.

This film chronicles the story of Zarina, a 'tawaif' and her struggle to eke her meager livelihood. Zarina stands for many others like her who have lost their bread and butter to the music of the changing times.

3) One Show Less

(Hindi/19 minutes/MiniDV/2005/Dir: Nayantara C Kotian/National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad/ India)

One Show Less is about the increasing numbers of single screen cinemas that are shutting down all over the country. The film focuses on one theatre, Usha Talkies, whose spirited employees and raucous, seat-breaking public make it one of a kind. As the ticket seller puts it, this cinema is meant for the masses- if this theatre shuts down as well, the question raised is 'are the masses to be deprived of the incomparable experience of watching cinema on the big screen?' Through a series of evocative arguments put forth by the employees of Usha Talkies, a vivid portrait is painted of a unique way of life which might soon become extinct.

It makes its points with sophistication and avoids the pitfalls of documentary. Most importantly, it takes a human look at an institution that has survived at the edges of polite societies, familiar but unknown: the cinema of the poor.

4) Turf Wars

In 1999, the Great Himalayan National Park(GHNP), in the Kullu Valley of the state of Himachal Pradesh, in northern India, was finally notified and brought under the regulations of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act. As a result, the rights of the locals to graze animals and extract medicinal herbs within the national park were terminated. Simultaneously, however, a part of the park was deleted from the originally demarcated boundaries of the park to enable the construction of a hydro-electric power project. Turf Wars explores the contradictions that seem to characterize the government's policies towards conservation-wherein local livelihoods are expendable in the interests of biodiversity, but biodiversity must make way for national development.

Turf Wars engages in a number of debates about conservation. It is an open minded film, one that aims to provoke discussion rather than provide answers to problems that are inevitably complex, contested and heavily politicised.

5) Pretty Dyana

(Pretty Dyana/ Serbia /DV/45 minutes/2003/Dir: Boris Mitic/Serbia)

An intimate look at gypsy refugees in a Belgrade suburb who make a living by transforming Citroen's classic 2cv and Dyana cars into Mad-Max-like recycling vehicles, which they use to collect cardboard, bottles and scrap metal. These modern horses are much more efficient than the cart- pushing competition, but even more important – they also mean freedom, hope and style for their crafty owners. Even the car batteries are used as power generators in order to get some light, watch TV and recharge mobiles! Almost an alchemist's dream come true! But the police doesn't always find these strange vehicles funny…

6) In Search of a Job

(In Search of a Job/ English /Beta/ 14 minutes/2005/Dir: Mrinal Talukdar/ India)

Assam has long tradition of domestic elephants used in the logging business for centuries. Unlike other parts of India, even middle class people used to keep domestic elephants like their family members. There are still 1200 of them. The 1997 Supreme Court order of banning all sorts of felling of trees has changed the whole scenario. Overnight these elephants and their mahouts have become jobless. All others involved in the timber business have changed their livelihood, but not the elephant and mahouts. Desperate attempt to sell them or transfer to Kerala and Rajasthan where there is a demand of elephants for tourism and religious purpose is not plausible because of a law that does not allow transfer or sale of animals like elephants. So these 1200 elephants are in search of job. They are in search for an honest livelihood.

7) Treacling Down

(Treacling Down/Sinhalese/14 minutes/2005/Dir: Upali Gamlath/Sri Lanka)

The remote village "Meemure" is surrounded by a range of mountains and is famous for the production of jaggery. This village still retains old cultural habits and is largely self sufficient, but its excess production is sold after a tiresome and long journey from the village. Highly commercialised towns bag the produce of the village for a mere pittance and the products are then sold in luxury supermarkets at exorbitant prices. This production attempts to generate empathy for the Meemure villager. The film shows the villagers tapping the " Kithul tree" to make jaggery and the bees, wasps and butterflies collecting nectar from flowers. The bee does a lot of work, but an outsider reaps the benefit. The bee gets no honey. The bee and the Kithul taper suffer the same fate.

8) Aamchi Kasauti

(Aamchi Kasauti/ Hindi-Marathi/ 12 minutes/ DV Format/2005/ Dir:Rrivu Laha / Film and Television Institute of India, Pune)

Dawn breaks in the city of Pune….Sita, Shewanta, Kaushalya are seen dusting the streets around the town. What could they be possibly looking or? They are a rare breed of traders. They scavenge dust from day break to dusk and take their harvest at the end of the day to the gold traders who mark it against a kasauti or a testing stone to evaluate the harvest. The film is their story-Aamchi Kasauti, which literally means 'our test.'

23 Feb : Jerry and Jess at Oxford, Mumbai

Oxford Bookstores
in Association with Penguin and Kitab invites you to
Readings and conversations over Wine & Cheese
Jerry Pinto will speak on his book
Reflected in Water: Writings on Goa
Jessica Hines will share her experiences in Bollywood while writing
Looking for the B Big
Join us on the 23rd of February, Friday 6pm
The Oxford Bookstores
3, Dinshwa Vachha Road
Mumbai -400020