Thursday, April 24, 2008

Leaving sport culturally impoverished
by Nirmal Shekar

Compression kills sport; it gnaws away at sport’s artistic aspirations, its claim to aesthetic élan. Art, and sport, cannot aspire for the high ground when they are condensed to the perpetual climax of the present.
The best of sport allows for the pause. It lets us sit back and savour the has-been and dream of the still-to-come. Nothing that is breathless — and therefore leaves no room for a complex cognitive process leading to emotional fulfillment — can lay claims to sporting greatness.
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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Scorching, sizzling Sagar

Perhaps, it may not have been the ideal time to visit Nagarjunasagar in the second week of April. Since we were planning for a long time but never managed to get the rooms booked at the APTDC guest house, we decided to go ahead as we finally got the rooms. The drive was quite smooth as there was hardly any traffic after we crossed the city. We tried for the launch to visit Nagarjunakonda as soon as we reached. The next available boat was at 1.30pm. And what a boating experience it was! So many steps to climb both ways in that sweltering heat - to get into the boat and after getting down at Nagarjunakonda- it was least pleasing in that scorching mid afternoon. The water levels had receded quite significantly, and the dam road is closed for general public so we had to drive some extra kilometers to reach the launch station.

In the evening we visited Ethipothala waterfalls. This was a soothing experience - the place is done up quite well, the illuminated waterfalls and some instrumental music to create the right ambience. The cool breeze and comforting scenic surroundings negated some of the harshness of the sun we felt in the afternoon. The next morning I spent most of my time sitting in the balcony of my room and enjoying the serene blue expanse of water. The stay was quite comfortable, though the stuff for lunch could be made less spicy to avoid adding to the heat of summer! One observation: This place hasn't undergone any remarkable change in terms of eco-tourism, may be because of some inherent limitation in its location.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Where is the real khadi?

Last weekend I happened to drive past the Khairtabad road, there was an exhibition on Khadi and Gramodyog at Institute of Engineers that caught my attention. It was long since I came across a government sponsored event that dedicatedly promoted Khadi except the regular stall at the annual industrial exhibition at Nampally.

Years ago the big Khadi shop at Kothi was turned into a small and insignificant outlet by moving it somewhere in the bylanes behind the Andhra Bank. Rest of the Khadi shops along the Lakdi-ka-pool area have hardly any genuine Khadi; they mix up powerloom and other handloom stuff in the name of Khadi to cater to the symbolic requirements of our politicians.

Well, this exhibition had nothing great to offer in terms of genuine Khadi - neither material nor readymades. In fact, even the gramodyog stalls hardly had any handlooms or handspun ethnic wear. They were filled with machine-made garments and similar materials that too, mostly women's wear. The only exception was the terracota stalls from West Bengal that had some artistic pottery and other decorative items. There was some regular eatables like pickles, papads, jellies and jams that kept the visitors busy.

Where is the real handspun coarse khadi that signifies a certain identity, makes a statement, and promotes eco-friendliness. Is it limited to the designer wear and some privilieged and powerful segments of population in society? Or is it on its way out unable to adjust to the demands of mechanization in handspun and handloom industry.