Archive for December, 2012

Christmas 2012 at Varkala: Papanasam, Kayikara, Anjengo, Sivagiri, Gurukulam…

// December 27th, 2012 // No Comments » // Culture and Ecology

Nature that washes away your sins; Varkala Papanasam beach: A view from the north of the cliff

Nature that washes away your sins and dirt; Varkala Papanasam beach: A view from the north of the cliff.  25 Dec 2012.  The unique laterite cliff formation on the verge of the sea is the geo-hallmark of Varkala, famous as the Varkala formation.

Bounty of nature and culture; popular book shops and art galleries on the Varkala cliff awaiting travelers from across the globe.

Bounty of nature and culture; popular book shops and art galleries on the Varkala cliff awaiting travelers from across the globe.  Black beach beyond in the north.

 

The perfect place to unwind and recharge with the nurture of elements. Sandy beach and rockery on Papanasam shore, Varkala.

The perfect place to unwind and recharge with the nurture of elements. Sandy beach and rockery on Papanasam shore, Varkala.

A dip in the mineral rich sea, a ride through the waves, a shower under the natural spa... will rejuvenate you from the dead of habit and the mundane.  25 Dec 2012

A dip in the mineral rich sea surge, a ride through the waves, a shower under the natural spa oozing out of ancient laterite cliff… will rejuvenate you from the dead of habit and the mundane. Papanasam beach, Varkala 25 Dec 2012

 

Asan memorial at Kayikara the birth place of poet laureate Kumaran Asan, 5km south of Varkala.  New sculptural complex and the Govt School in memory of Asan in the back ground.

Asan memorial at Kayikara the birth place of poet laureate Kumaran Asan, 5km south of Varkala. New sculptural complex and the Govt School in memory of Asan in the back ground.  Chandala Bhikshuki sculpted by Chavara Vijayan on the pillar to the left.

Candle lit evenings on rooftops atop the cliff at Varkala beach. 25 Dec 2012

Candle lit evening on rooftops atop the cliff at Varkala beach. 25 Dec 2012

 

Beating the recession blues: A musician from Rajasthan selling his instruments on the cliff at Varkala.

Beating the recession blues: A musician from Rajasthan selling his instruments on the cliff at Varkala. 25 Dec 2012

Narayana Guru memorial on Sivagiri, Varkala.  A view from Narayana Gurukulam on an adjacent northern hillock, the retreat of Nitya Yati who wanted to see his super teacher always from a distance.

Narayana Guru memorial on Sivagiri hill, Varkala. A view from Narayana Gurukulam on an adjacent northern hillock, the retreat of Nitya Yati who wanted to see his super teacher always from a distance (Nataraja the disciple of Narayana was Yati’s master).

 

Colours of enlightenment:  Various facets of the buddha and his symbol the elephant painted by a north Indian artist in his studio gallery on the cliff at Varkala Papanasam.

Colours of enlightenment: Multiple facets of the buddha and his symbol the elephant painted in acrylic by a north Indian artist in his studio gallery on the cliff at Varkala Papanasam.

An archetectural confluence of religious and philosophic polyphony: Narayana Gurukulam convention centre, Varkala.

An architectural confluence of religious and philosophic polyphony: Narayana Gurukulam convention centre, Varkala.

 

An organic vigil:  A diligent Pond Heron at the Black Beach, Varkala.

An organic vigil: A diligent Pond Heron at the Black Beach, Varkala.

A couple from alien shores: Sunset at Papanasam beach, Varkala.  2012 Christmas comes to an end...

A couple from alien shores: Sunset at Papanasam beach, Varkala. 2012 Christmas comes to an end…

 

Fisher women coming for work on the morning of 26 Dec 2012. Black Beach, Varkala.

Fisher women coming for work on the morning of 26 Dec 2012. Black Beach, Varkala.

A European mother showing crabs and marine life forms to her curious little ones on the Black Beach, Varkala. 26 Dec 2012

A European mother showing crabs and marine life forms to her curious little ones on the Black Beach, Varkala. 26 Dec 2012

 

Coconut palm groves at the edge of the laterite cliff on the Varkala coast

Coconut palm groves at the edge of the laterite cliffs on the Varkala coast, attracting a lot of honey mooning youngsters from north India.

Fresh catch from the sea displayed before each seaside restaurant, served fresh and hot as well...

Fresh catch from the sea displayed before each seaside restaurant, served fresh and hot as well…

Narayana Gurukulam, Varkala.  Adjacent to Sivagiri.  It was the retreat of Nitya Chaitanya Yati.  The beautiful yellow bamboos scintillate the air and paint the blue sky in illuminating strokes...

Narayana Gurukulam, Varkala. Adjacent to Sivagiri. It was the retreat of Nitya Chaitanya Yati. The beautiful yellow bamboos scintillate the air and paint the blue sky in illuminating strokes…

 

Bass-relief of the buddha at Gurukulam convention centre, Varkala.

Bass-relief of the buddha at Gurukulam convention centre, Varkala.

 

Lady Christ among the fisher folk: A white woman helping the fishermen to pull the loop-net from the sea at Black Beach, Varkala.

Lady Christ among the fisher folk: A white woman helping the fishermen to pull the loop-net from the sea at Black Beach, Varkala. 26 Dec 2012

Fishing after Christmas:  Fishers active after Christmas day on the Black Beach, Varkala.

Fishing after Christmas: Fishers active after Christmas day on the Black Beach, Varkala.

 

Narayana Guru statue in Narayana Gurukulam, Varkala.

Narayana Guru statue in Narayana Gurukulam, Varkala.

The Chaitya facade to Gurukulam Convention Centre, Varkala.

The Chaitya facade to Gurukulam Convention Centre, Varkala.

 

Anjengo Fort and light house south of Varkala:  A historic battle field between the colonial powers like the Dutch, French and the British.

Anjengo Fort and light house south of Varkala: A historic battle field between the colonial powers like the Dutch, French and the British in Travancore.

At the summit of Anjengo light house.   Photo:  Jerry Antony

At the summit of Anjengo light house. Photo: Jerry Antony

 

Inside the Gurukulam Convention Centre, Varkala.

Inside the Gurukulam Convention Centre, Varkala.

A granite idol recovered from a pond at the birth place of poet Kumaran Asan at Kayikara.  It is seen as Buddha by the local people.  Can be identified as a Siddha idol belonging to the late Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhist stage in Kerala history, the transitional period from Buddhism to Brahmanism in Kerala history.  Siddha is associated with Vajrayana while Arhat is associated with early Teravada or Hinayana and Boddhisatva is associated with Mahayana.  C V Kunhiraman has observed that Ezhava people traditionally worshiped the Chithan and Arathan.  Chithan is Sidhan and Arathan is Arhatan.  Boddhisatva has become Chathan.  It is also associated with Sastha another synonym for the buddha.  Idol now installed at Asan Memorial, Kayikara.

A granite idol recovered from a pond at the birth place of poet Kumaran Asan at Kayikara. It is seen as Buddha by the local people. Can be identified as a Siddha idol belonging to the late Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhist stage in Kerala history, the transitional period from Buddhism to Brahmanism in Kerala history. Siddha is associated with Vajrayana while Arhat is associated with early Teravada or Hinayana; and Boddhisatva is associated with Mahayana. C V Kunhiraman has observed that Ezhava people traditionally worshiped the Chithan and Arathan. Chithan is Sidhan and Arathan is Arhatan. Boddhisatva has become Chathan. It is also associated with Sastha another synonym for the buddha. Idol now installed at Asan Memorial, Kayikara.

Thazhampally region south of Kayikara.  Vamanapuram river and Anjengo Kayal meet the Arabian sea here.  A bird's eye view from the top of Anjengo light house. 26 Dec 2012

Thazhampally region south of Kayikara. Vamanapuram river and Anjengo Kayal meet the Arabian sea here. A bird’s eye view from the top of Anjengo light house. 26 Dec 2012

Playing Christmas: Women in action in beach volleyball at Papanasam, Varkala on 2012 Christmas day.

Playing Christmas: Women in action in beach volleyball at Papanasam, Varkala on 2012 Christmas day.

Kim Ki Duk to Adeyapartha Rajan: IFFK 2012

// December 24th, 2012 // No Comments » // Cultural Politics

IFFK 2012 Office at Kairali complex Thampanur, Tvm, Kerala

IFFK 2012 media centre at Kairali complex Thampanur, Tvm, Kerala

young delegates and students at Kairali

young delegates and students at Kairali

Dipa Mehta in conversation at Sree.  Her Midnight's Children was a crowd puller in IFFK 2012

Dipa Mehta in conversation at Sree. Her Midnight’s Children was a crowd puller in IFFK 2012. Dipa also openly criticized the very idea of censorship in culture.

Kairali complex bearing the logo of IFFK 2012

Kairali complex bearing the logo of IFFK 2012 milked by the morning sunshine

Poet Anwar Ali and friends at the fest

Poet Anwar Ali and friends at the fest

East Fort in Tvm where the neo nationalist anthem was played before each screening in Sri Papanava theatre violating the cosmopolitan culture of the festival.  It was also an insult to the national anthem and the constitution.  A naked heinous aggressive fascist act by the Savarna fascists in Kerala capital.

East Fort in Tvm where a ‘neo nationalist anthem’ was played before each screening in Sri Papanava hall, violating the cosmopolitan culture and protocol of the festival. It was an insult to India’s national anthem and the constitution. A naked heinous aggressive fascist act by the Savarna fascists in Kerala capital. The ministry and political leadership is answerable for such condemnable bits.

Renovated public square in East Fort, Tvm.

Renovated public square in East Fort, Tvm.

With film buffs, Prof Isthahac and Dr P S Radhakrishnan before New Theatre.  Photo: Seena Panoly

With film buffs and critics, Prof Isthahac and Dr P S Radhakrishnan before New Theatre. Photo: Seena Panoly

Padmateertha Kulam, an ancient pond in Tvm inside the Fort before the temple.  It could be a silent witness to the conversion of Padmapani boddhistva to Padmanabha Vishnu in 8th century.  Anyway the affix Padma still stays...

Padmateertha Kulam, an ancient pond in Tvm inside the Fort before the temple. It could be a silent witness to the conversion of Padmapani boddhistava to Padmanabha Vishnu in the 8th century. Anyway the affix Padma still stays…

Bina Paul, artistic director and the woman behind the international film festival of Kerala, with her team of youngsters behind each venue.

Bina Paul (sitting), artistic director and the woman behind the international film festival of Kerala, with her team of youngsters prompt behind each venue.

East Fort, Tvam in the evening light from the west.

East Fort, Tvm in the evening light from the west.

A double decker KSRTC bus at Kizhake Kotta, Tvm. A favorite with children and the young in mind.

A double decker KSRTC bus at Kizhake Kotta, Tvm. A favorite with children and the young in mind.

Banana chips and fries in East Fort market, Tvm.

Banana, Jack chips, fries and nuts in East Fort market, Tvm.

East Fort and the historic Methan Mani (Mohammedan Clock) inside, built as a symbolic hit at the Mysore sultans especially Tipu by the Travancore kingdom that was spared in the Mysore occupation due to the British attack in Srirangapatanam.

East Fort and the historic Methan Mani (Mohammedan Clock) inside and annexed to Kuthira Malika, built as a symbolic hit at the Mysore sultans especially Tipu by the Travancore kingdom that was spared in the Mysore occupation due to the British attack in Srirangapatna and the treaty of 1792.

 

Idol of Sri Chatambi Swamy inside the fort in Tvm, a leading sage and reformer who fought the Vedic hegemony and caste during the Kerala renaissance.

An interesting idol of Sri Chatambi Swamy (1853-1924) inside the fort in Tvm, a leading sage and reformer who fought the Vedic hegemony (Veda Adhikara Nirupanam)  and caste elitism during the Kerala renaissance in early 20th century.

 

The people in the festival, defying all the fascist attempts of appropriating it, watching films politically, engaging in hot debates and acts of resistance and liberation.  Films of Kim Ki Duk were block busters in the fest and new directors from Kerala like Kamal K M and Adeyapartha Rajan were promising.  Cheekha the Crier by by Adeya Rajan was a phenomenal debut film from a young director that interrogated multiple ways of freedom... in the material, spiritual, aesthetic and many other worlds.

The people in the festival, defying all the fascist attempts of appropriating it, watching films politically, engaging in hot debates and acts of resistance and liberation. Films of Kim Ki Duk; Arirang and Pieta were block busters in the fest and new directors from Kerala like Kamal K M and Adeyapartha Rajan were promising. Cheekha the Crier by Adeya Rajan was a phenomenal debut film from a young master that interrogated multiple ways of freedom… in the material, spiritual, aesthetic and many other worlds.