Saturday, February 28, 2015

Taj Mahotsav at AGRA

The city remains gripped in the festive mood during the 10 days - Taj Mahotsava, cultural extravaganza is to it end and here is my experience about Taj Mahotsav! Every year the Mahotsav began on February 17th and ended on Feb 27th, this year however the event was extended for two more days!

Taj Mahotsav is being celebrated in the city of Taj since 1993. Tourism department started this event to increase tourism in the city. The days were also selected carefully, where people could enjoy the pink winter in the city of Love! 

Taj Mahotsav, Derived its name from the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, the festival gives visitors a chance to enjoy India's rich arts, crafts, culture, cuisine, dance and music, all under the same roof.

Tourism department celebrate the festival under various themes, this year's theme is 'Sanskriti ka Satrangi Utsav'. The entry to Mahotsav is free for children below five years and foreign tourists, while all Indians above five years of age have to pay rupees 50 as entry fee.

Performers: Taj Mahotsav organized around several cultural programmes by various performers, local as well as nation. This year's major attractions were folk singer Kailash Kher, Ghazal singer Peenaz Masani, comedian Sunil Grover (Gutthi), Rajiv Thakur, Ahsan Qureshi, Warsi Brothers and singer Shaan.

Apart from these, the festival also presents India's folk, classical, semi-classical and other cultural dances, songs, lesser show,poetry recitation and dramas performed by renowned artistes from across the nation.

Arts and Crafts Display: Every year at least 400 artisans get an opportunity to put on display their exquisite works of art at the festival. Some special attractions at the festival are wood/stone carvings from Tamil Nadu, Bamboo/cane work from North East India, paper mash work from South India and Kashmir, marble and zardozi work from Agra, wood carving from Saharanpur, brass wares from Moradabad, hand made carpets from Bhadohi, pottery from Khurja, Chikan work from Lucknow, silk & zari work from Banaras, shawls & carpets from Kashmir/Gujarat, hand printing from Farrukhabad and Kantha stitch from West Bengal. 

This year around 350 craftsmen from Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal have displayed their art at the Mahotsav.

Cuisines: Taj Mahotsava treats visitors with the best of India's traditional dishes. The oldest masters of the art of cuisine are brought here to prepare scrumptious cuisines. This year's highlights were, Kebab, Biryani, Bhelpuri/Sevpuri/Panipuri, sweets from various states etc.

This carnival is not just an amalgam for art-lovers or connoisseurs, but has things of amusement for people of all ages. Even children and teenagers get to enjoy merry-go-round, train-rides, roller coaster, ferris wheel and other adventurous rides. 

Thanks for reading :)


Monday, February 23, 2015

Women’s ROLE in media

Check the graph and lets talk about Women in Media (Few isn't it)

Recently in the SAARC - Literature Festival, I met a young beautiful entrepreneur and magazine editor from Afghanistan, Nasina Hamdard. Wait... a Muslim girl in a Muslim country working and on the top of that editing a magazine. Something weird right! 

But no, she was really, the independent one working for a cause and giving the world as much competition as much she can. Another example is Farheen Chaughary. A writer, director, anchor from Pakistan. She is trying to open the doors as well. 

I know I can gave some examples from India as well, but we all know them very well. There are very few faces in India and these woman are trying to work as much as they can. Barkha Dutt, Humera Qureshi, Chitra Subramaniam Sagarika Ghose, Saba Naqvi, Rana Aayub, Nidhi Razdan, Mini Menon, Sucheta Dalal, Talveen Singh are some of the names but they are like Cherries on the cake and we can well count them.

I am writing this post, as people (most of the time) think that media is a field which is well suited for man only and I agree that there are banners where only 2-3 woman are working among the team of 100s or 200s men.

But let me clarify this, most of the fashion column and magazines are run by women, globally. Women are becoming photo journalists, Women are reaching out to fields including politics, crime, rural development. There are much more women in college now days than men; women are getting into politics, business, the military and every other area of what use to be the man’s world. 

On the contrary, it seen that, women are on screen all the time. The way women are portrayed in the media, constantly bombarded with these images of the perfect woman, best housewife using so and so washing powder, best mother with so and so food item and best girlfriend with so and so lipstick share. And off the screen or behind the camera the role of women become negligible, sad truth of the media. 

These days women seem to be fighting for the getting other roles as well, which means that the gender line behind the camera shouldn't be only sure of Men, there should be a balance.

Women are keep fighting, around the world to torn these images and labels of being a bad driver, less efficient in career fields etc. We can change the world's perspective, only we have to try!!

A Note: Another topic is related with women in media that how safe it is. I am not gonna lie to you, it is a risky job. Hard work needed all the time may be during the late evenings too, but trust me, no job is safe for anyone. If you talk about teaching or banking, I have seen the harassment in these fields too. Coin always have two sides, good and bad, consider both the sides. 

Thanks for reading :)