Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Priyanka Chopra to play Mary Kom

“I think Manipur is beautiful and I am so happy that I can come to Manipur to shoot here”---Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra is visiting Manipur for the purpose of her latest project in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie, where she will play the lead role of Mary Kom.

In a press conference held today at The Classic Hotel, Priyanka expressed her fascination and interest in understanding the life of Mary Kom in her native state.

She said, ““I am very very happy that I’ve got an opportunity to be a part of something which is being made from Imphal especially since Mary is a pride of India and she comes from the north east and I am very fortunate and honored that I get to play her part”.

She added that she will train herself in the art of Boxing to portray the Olympian boxer to the best semblance, “I will have to become a boxer” she laughs.

The actress arrived in Imphal airport yesterday around 2pm and will be leaving today, she expressed that she looks forward to coming back to Manipur “I love the food here so I’ll come back for the food in Manipur”, she added excitedly.

The biopic movie based on the life of five-time World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist, M.C. Mary Kom, is set to bring excitement to people of Manipur. However the movie, to be made in Hindi, has brought a little discomfort among the people as well, as Hindi films are banned in the state.

On the Law and order issues of the state, she anticipates that the film will be able to bridge the gap and since Mary Kom is a pride of Manipur, she hopes “some miracle happens where the people of Manipur can celebrate this movie with us”.

According to the director, the movie will be shot in different places including Manipur and Manali among others. The list of other cast members and the name of the movie has not been released yet.

The bollywood diva who resided in The Classic hotel, Imphal, was said to be taken on tour personally by Mary Kom’s family. “She (Mary) has been very gracious and so has her husband and her family”,  she said.

The above article is subject to copyright of the publisher
Photo Courtesy: Nanadakumar (ISTV) (Snapshots #4 and #5 @Imphal airport)


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

With Love, from Manipur...

An interview with Asa Kazingmei
by Somipem Keishing

Photo courtesy: Asa kazingmei 

Asa Kazingmei is not an easy man to reach. I chased this beautiful genius for almost a month before he finally had the time for me. I had barrage a number of questions for this rising star of LFW 2012. His creation 'Immortal' created quite a stir. I spoke to him at length about his work, the journey and lots more

Lakmé Fashion Week 2012 was the usual fanfare with topnotch models wearing the creations of some of the best designers of India and the world. But what caught the attention of me and many others was that fiery red dress that stood out from the rest.

The abstract black and red print of the Tangkhul tribe was the unique and outstanding feature of the collection Immortal that caught the world off guard. The moment I saw the familiar print of my tribe, I instantly connected with this new designer Asa Kazingmei and I couldn’t wait to get my questions across to him. In his line, he had adeptly fused the ancient with the contemporary.

The traditional shawl of the Tangkhul tribe is known as the Rivat Kachon. It symbolizes bravery and courage of the warrior tribe who wore it. This hand woven cloth of the native tribe of Manipur, was given a unique and fresh perspective with artistic creativity by the young designer Asa. Through his collection ‘Immortal’ the age old story of culture and lineage was re told in the most modern way.

Photo credits:Envynde
In Northeast India, where the influence of South Korean music and entertainment is prominent, Asa grew up being inspired by K-Fashion. Thus the grooming of a fashion designer with a unique inclination to Korean taste began at an early age in the small town of Ukhrul, in Manipur.

Asa confesses, "To be different has always motivated me. As a youngster I always used to rework my cloth, never wore them as they were. It started way back as a teenager designing for myself and for my friend. Having learned stitching mere out of curiosity, which helped me understand the technical aspect of the subject, it is now helping me immensely in design execution".

He came to Mumbai with the hope to further his dream to becoming a Fashion designer. Asa, a post graduate of the INFID (International Institute of Fashion Design) Mumbai, has completed a one year professional course in IBM. His shot to fame came when he was selected, from among 250 applicants all over the world, to debut as one of the 7 Gen Next Designer by Lakmé Fashion Week in 2012.

Speaking of his Collection Immortal which was showcased in the LFW 2012 he says “The theme of my collection ‘Immortal’, as the name suggest, is the never dying art form of our Nation. My inspiration is from the beauty and the intricacies of hand woven textile from NE. My theme revolves around the mesmerizing beauty of the NE. I tried to create a confluence of traditional and modernity.
‘Immortal’ is a line where silhouette are simple but very well constructed and structured.
The main feature of the line is textile of the Tangkhul Naga Tribe which is very rare to see and is beautifully hand woven with traditional geometric, zoomorphic motif besides other”.

Like a true artist, every piece that he creates, he does it with utmost care in that familiar systematic procedure. His first step to designing a line is to get a “theme for the inspiration”, next he makes sure he “spends some time to get good finishing (of the cloth)”. Last step and the most important of all is the tailoring, “I should say tailoring plays a very important role for the success of my collection” he adds.

Besides couture, Asa has also designed ready to wear, casual outfits. Till date his favorite garment, designed by him, remains to be the collection which he showcased at the LFW. Though he adds willfully that more are still yet to come.

Starting early he found his way through the labyrinth of struggle that we are known to be sure to face in the cruel world of fashion. When asked about his experiences he says “Oh.... My journey has not been so easy and I have gone through those ‘hard times’....I believe that there is never an end to the hard work. You cannot succeed until and unless you have that fire, that passion, in you”.

Asa is a man forever dedicated to the art of fashion, he says that “Fashion has always been the only passion I find in my life, which is incomplete without it”. He likes to characterize his style as “experimental, edgy, exuberant and limitless”. And that, according to him, “is what defines Asa Kazingmei”.

With utmost curiosity, I dared to ask if he is working on any new projects lately. To which, he replied; “I am currently working on my new collection which will be showcased at fall winter LFW on August 2013”. There is no detail on what his new collection will be, and on what themed it will focus, however an anticipated wait is expected from many of his fans, including I.

India is defined by its diverse culture and uniqueness of each state. The collection of Asa stands as a potent example of it. Featuring the colors of the hill tribe of northeast, Immortal becomes a symbol of the great talents of the region, many of whom are still yet to be discovered.

In respect to the recognition for his work, a strong line of fans follow him, many of whom are immensely inspired. To them, Asa says “believe in yourself and your dream”
Asa Kazingmei*


Special thanks to Asa kazingmei
Submitted to Leo Fernando
The above article is solely for the purpose of University project and not for commercial reasons.
It may be subject to copyright of the publisher.



Saturday, 13 April 2013

Media Literacy


 Photo: In the studio with Proffessor Dr. Muhammed Zin Nordin and P.hd research scholar Manolakshmi Pandey Raj. (photo courtesy: Ronak Singh) 

A few weeks back I had the privilege to interact with Professor Muhammed Zin Nordin, faculty of ‘Modern Languages and Communication’, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia. The discourse was on Media literacy in the present world today. Media literacy as far as I know, has been overlooked by almost everyone.
Media literacy does not only confine to the knowledge of using computer and being able to access the internet or having a set of smart TV. Media literacy refers to the way in which we access information. It brings under its realm the security issues of the internet and the content we access.
Internet is now not only the game of the professionals but also the requirement of the students, housewives and the common masses. Its usage is widespread and boundless unlike any other form of media. Also it is the only form of media which is least censored and globally available with the utmost ease.
Dr. Zin Nordin had conducted a research on ‘Media Literacy Campaigns for Children’. The results of the research were not pleasant but expected. It is the common practice of the schools and teachers to provide assignments to the students on various topics. As the topics are usually comprehensive, it has become a practice to check the internet.
Without my reminding anyone, it is a commonly known fact that the tradition of copy and paste has become quite frequent after the introduction of assignments to syllabus and Wikipedia to internet. Many of the students, according to the research, were a victim to this practice.
 It was also depressing to note that the teachers, with their already over burdened tasks, are not able to rank their students fair. Scary enough was the fact that these teachers are satisfied to mark their students’ assignments, which had been copy-pasted, with comments such as ‘excellent’ or ‘great work’. It is obvious that they are not really interested in the accuracy of the content or the process of acquiring it.
The other side of the picture is even grimmer. On being interrogated the students admitted that they are not really aware if the contents that they have acquired are actually true or false. That is to say, they have no clue which website they have visited, the authenticity of the website, the security issues concerning the website, or a single knowledge of their assignment for which they have been marked ‘excellent’.
With more ignorant and underage users the security issues on internet becomes a bigger concern. However, do not be mistaken that it is only the ignorant and the underage that fall under the radar of the internet risk. So far I have only been stressing on the finds of the research.
To talk about internet security, begin with passwords. Experts say that more than 90% of the internet literate do not follow the protocol of changing their password every 3 or 5 days. Forget what the experts say, consider yourself and question if you regularly change your password every few days?
I, as a communication student, a media literate, do not bother to change my passwords for the numerous accounts I have online. To tell a lay man to change his password therefore seems a lost cause.
Here, Media literacy, comes into play. It is basically to inform people about the various risks online and the threat it can be to their lives. It believes in using the internet in the right way, so that it does not have any rebound effect.
It also teaches the people access the right contents the right way. Self censoring and self regulation play an important role in media literacy. Like I have mentioned earlier, censorship is least effective in internet. It is a medium where pornography and Doraemon are available side to side.
A senior of mine mentioned that when her 6 year old niece accessed the Youtube to watch a certain cartoon show, the half nude add of Old Spice is shown as a preview. It is in such cases that regulation becomes essential. For an under aged minor, parental guidance and elder supervision is necessary.
This guidance can be carried on until the child is old enough to know and judge for himself.
 I, a major propagator for freedom of speech, do not believe in censoring the internet so that it does not harm the innocent or the sentiment of the people. For, every rule can be by-passed, every restriction can be sidestepped.
Instead, the noble idea of self regulation should be propagated more vigorously. For, the human mind can be controlled and restricted only by him and not by any law or censorship. They should be provided with choices, so as to choose what is morally right without anyone forcing the morale down their throat.
Media literacy aims to educate the people about the various features of media and the ways to access it. It basically teaches the people how to use internet the right way so that they are benefitted without being at risk and also not being a risk to the people around them.
Special thanks to Professor Gopalan Ravindran
HOD, Journalism and Communication
University Of Madras




Monday, 25 March 2013

Passion of man

"God is it fair that for your one and only son thousand other innocent babies have to die?" cries the mother painfully, her voice bitingly cold and sharp. Her son was among the many  who have been taken away by King Herod's army.

She had gone off to the fields leaving her one month old son at home. On hearing the terrible news of the king's order to murder all male babies in the kingdom who are one month and younger, she had came rushing back, only to find a blood soaked baby cloth.

'Did we even ask you to send your only begotten son as our Savior?' she asks God bitterly. 'To protect one son of yours thousands innocent souls are slain, God! How is that justified? Man can only bear, but to a certain limit' sobs the mother.

Clutching the blood soaked cloth to her bosom she continues to cry most desperately. As she cried and looked out towards the pasture behind her house, her expression suddenly changes.

She runs out of the house, towards the pasture, ran past the sheep, knelt down beside the bush, and exclaimed 'Oh! My son! You are alive! God have saved you after all"

She lifted up the small body gently and smiles up to heaven with tears in her eyes. She asks God to forgive her for the terrible words she had uttered in a moment of weakness and despair.

She cuddles the body lovingly and rocked it to and fro. She prays again, but this time her prayers were addressed to Madonna, virgin mother of Jesus.

"Madonna, you know how i feel don't you?" she began, "for you too lost your son Jesus on the cross, you will understand how I feel".

She silently began to rant on, on the extent of misery a mother feels when the security of her baby is threatened. But now, she says to Madonna, that she is happy and content as she got her baby back.

The mother continues in an odd cheerfulness “You know Madonna, now my son is so secure here among the sheep that he will not be threaten by Herod's man ever again”, “see Madonna” she says “he is so similar to the sheep here that no one will be able to distinguish him from a sheep”.

The mother then walks off towards the fading daylight still clutching the young lamb tightly to her bosom.



Plays have been enacted, stories have been told on the passion of Christ. But the above play talks of the passion of man, how man has learned to survive and adapt to life despite unpleasant conditions.

The play is an example of how man adapt to most terrible situations- by insanity. The poor woman, unable to accept her son's death becomes mad and took to the lamb as a replacement.

Not every person reacts to suffering the same away. There are instances where people simply choose to ignore it.

Those who are 'unfeeling' as the society terms them turns suffering into a source of gossip. The core idea of a person's suffering and the terrible scenarios are ignored, choosing to gossip about it then be pulled into it.

Some people simply don’t know why dreadful things are happening. They fail to understand why certain things are happening to them. They are the victims of situations.

Suffering has been weaved into very fabric of life from the time Eve ate the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden.

Humanity will still continue to suffer, but humanity will still find ways to cope with suffering. Hence we call it ‘Passion of man’.



Adapted from the Bible
Courtesy to Ma'am Aishwarya of Asan Memorial School.

The play was originally enacted at theUniversity of Madras.



Monday, 11 March 2013

The hostellers of the University of Madras finnally speaks up

This morning the university of madras, girl's hostel finally decide to make their grievances known. Mother Theresa hostel under the university of Madras in the early morning of 12 March walked out of their respective rooms to protest the water scarcity that has been prevailing for the past 3 rough days

The director of the university along with the previous warden arrived on the scene to pacify the frustrated hosteller. however there is still no sign of the warden of the hostel. According to the hostellers, hey have filed a report with the warden who allegedly replied 'there is no water what can I do?"

The metro works going on around the Chepauk area have resulted in problems of water flow in the hostel according to reports.

Mrs. Sumati, HOD of anthropology department and ex warden, tried to bring the situation down by offering solutions. however the students have refused to move unless a permanent solution is reached.

According to reports the water problems have been a common scene in the hostel. The students have been bearing the water scarcity problems adjusting with the little they get and waiting for the next water flow.

The discussion between the students and the authorities in charge continues with little success.