Dear readers, you’ll have to forgive me for wandering off my usual circuit but, for now, at least, my parikrama takes us on a tour of some fantastic films from around the world. We’re starting with Japan.
For a 1985 film, Tampopo is surprisingly easy to watch if you can break out of the usual habits of watching. As the opening scenes caution, it’s a sin to crunch popcorn or have phones beefing when watching a film. Blink and you’ll miss the connections.
But I confess I’m abnormally restless and had only a fleeting idea of the film when I first saw it. Flashes remained – a spaghetti eating scene, an erotic scene involving food, a scene where a master explains how one should eat ramen…I was drawn to watch it again and now I end up watching it at intervals – each time I notice something more – a sound here, a piece of acting there, a reference, a lighting…
As it happens, in 2006 there appeared a Ramen film which makes many references to Tampopo.
With a high score on Rotten Tomatoes and supposed to be a favourite of Edward Norton on IMDB, this is a film which will tickle you enormously and it’s a must have, an absolute collector’s item.
Rent it on Netflix or buy it on Amazon, I promise you’ll have acquired a treasure.
India has some 586.47 million females, according to a census site. Of these, the adults too form a significant number. Alas, not many of them can easily find employment. Many take a maternity break after a period at work and find it hard to return to jobs. But this is only one reason why a lot of smart and sincere women in India today languish in unemployment while rising costs and personal fulfilment dreams soar with each passing day.
Beyond the individual needs, it is the nation, too, which suffers without recourse to this able skilled and talented task force.
In early 2011 I’d joined an initiative called Fleximoms which offered, as the name suggests, freelance and home based work for stay home mothers and such. As I wasn’t too sure what I really wanted to do I never really visited the site much.
Along the way it grew and developed into Sheroes, a warm and very user friendly web site for women looking for employment opportunities. But it’s much more than just another job site.
And this Saturday I had a chance to see Sheroes in action at a cosy little Meetup in the Venture Centre, Pune.
I reached there at about 3 and met the few others who had also arrived early: a young lady with a career background in HR, a software specialist, a psychologist and a content writer. The latter’s life had literally been turned around after she discovered Sheroes.
The first speaker, Shweta Shalini, broke the ice with her exhortations and humour. Besides some very acute observations on how to balance family and profession, she loosened up audience tension with her wit and charm.
Sheroe Sonali Brahma followed up by briefly discussing what the website was all about and quickly invited and replied to questions.
By then there was a goodly crowd of women of various ages and from various professional backgrounds. The questions flew fast and furious, showing how thirsty the participants were for more information on Sheroes and how much they craved the mentoring on offer.
Young Sheroe Paroma Sen then sketched some plans for the future and opened the floor for Venture Centre to tell us about its vision and mission.
And then we all trooped out for some wonderful tea and biscuits and group photos and networking at the canteen.
Pune is a city of enterprise. Every few yards you pass a man or woman selling something useful.
a cool drink, coconuts, and other eats…
I met Madhav tailor soon after we moved to Pune. I’d lost a lot of weight and my jeans were always slipping down my hips. I’m no belt person either.
I gave him the jeans and he took one look at me and tightened the waist in a few minutes. And he also did the same for a top. Both fitted divinely and I’ve been a fan of his ever since.
Also, we’re besties. I can stop by, even after a gap of many months, and we carry on as if we’ve always known each other. I made the big mistake of raving about him to a lady who promptly took him a bag to fix. He lost it! And it was an expensive or memorable bag. Madhav Tailor is one of the many in India, like me, who value freedom over money.
Displaced by some riots which took place in his youth, he learned tailoring and made a living. Along the way, he’s also worked for others. And found out that it was not his cup of tea.
Here, he works on his own terms, mostly, surrounded by friends: a key maker, a cobbler, a boy who runs a second hand book stall and many other such who ply a humble trade and, thus, fighting the system, keep their self-respect.
Before them the busy road races people past as if life itself were unfolding for their delight.
or someone who will fix your bicycle.
Alas, I would not dare take a photo of the latter – at least, the one I take my cycle to. He’s got character, like all of the above, and I’d take a picture of such a one only when we are both comfortable with such a freedom.
Pune is not too vertical and these men are as proud as the Puneite who owns three helicopters.
On a visit to Bali, we were taken to this museum as part of a day’s tour. It was, thus, a rather short stop but it has captured a special place in my heart.
Influences from the mythology of the Indian sub-continent are present everywhere in Indonesia and, most especially, in Bali. Thus, it was no surprise to see many stone statues of Indian gods even as we entered.
Design Founder Nyoman Rudana used the concept of Tri Hita Karana,art’s contribution to public wellbeing, to dream up a building combining space and environment, internal and external, including management, staff, the collection and other factors. It is serene and conducive to the enjoyment of art. Continue reading →