Follow The Link, To The Album Page
From “As the World Burns: 50 things You Can Do to Stay in Denial” By Stephanie McMillan and Derrick Jensen, page 6, Seven Stories Press
What this cartoon depicts is something which has bothered me for ages now. It’s a certain passivity and lackadaisical worldview among the New Age/Spiritual and even at times, the yoga set.
Most of them employ a type of thinking which is called “magical thinking”. That somehow by meditating on a certain idea, or by “dedicating your yoga practice” and doing 108 Sun Salutations, that some magical aura of positivity will emanate from you, like a fuzzy gas cloud your dog just farted out and then goes around to transform the world into your version of the Garden of Eden.
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save manipur from (AFSPA)
A report prepared by the Centre for Organisation Research and Education (CORE) on the practice and incidents of torture in Manipur documented by the organisation’s autonomous humanitarian action service for victims of torture, the Human to Humane Transcultural Centre for Torture and Trauma Victims (H2H). The documentation was done for the period from 2014 to May 2015 and includes information on the rehabilitation efforts made by H2H for the victims and their families. The report is released on the occasion of the UN International Day in Support for Victims of Torture, 26 June 2015.
“…views the prevailing climate of impunity in Manipur leading to the perpetuation of the practice of torture and related trauma as leading to one of the worst forms of psychosocial anguish and deeply ingrained social anomie. Furthermore, the administration of justice and efforts to understand and address…
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I’ve spent most of it partying,” he says simply when I ask him about his life so far.
The 38-year-old is easy to miss in a crowd, or even when he is at the console spinning his discs. In plain clothes and even plainer demeanour, the only things that stand out about this underground artist are his long salt-and-pepper hair, his signature music and his stage moniker: Ravana Tenheads. Then of course, he has 10 SoundCloud accounts, but we’ll come to that in a bit.
“My real name is Shravan. In 2002, when I became a DJ, I had to have a stage name. A friend suggested I remove the “Sh” from my name. That’s how Ravan was born, it evolved into Ravana and subsequently into Tenheads,” he says.
Born in Mumbai, brought up initially in Banaras, Shravan moved to Delhi when he was eight. A lack of faith in the education system meant he took to music instead as a teenager. “Metallica and heavy metal first got me interested in music,” he says. All these influences later formed the base for how most of his music shaped up: dark, heavy and downright unapologetic.
A dubstep artist, Ravana Tenheads mixes heavy bass lines and beats with “Third World” ambient sound samples and most uniquely, with vocals that range from songs by Girija Devi and Parveen Sultana to the Radia tapes to his mother’s voice to speeches by P Sainath, Osho, and Vandana Shiva to dialogues from Gulzar’s 1988 TV serial Mirza Ghalib. It is this last bit that forms his brilliant and highly trippy Ghalib series.
“The idea came last year when I was hanging out at a friend’s place. He had several books of Ghalib’s poetry. I don’t read at all, but I am a fan of documentaries and 1980s Doordarshan serials,” he says.
“I remembered having this serial on Ghalib on my hard drive. I went back home, played it alongside a mix of music by various artists, and it just gelled together so well!” He went a step further and made what he now calls ‘conflict music’ out of Mirza Ghalib dialogues and music by a British electronica artist of the 1990s called Muslimgauze.
“Ghalib’s was a time of upheavals and revolts, his poetry reflected the tension in the society of that time. Muslimgauze made music on Middle Eastern conflicts of the 1990s. Same emotions, different eras. I just brought elements of both together, added my touches, and found a vent for my own angst over life and society.”
“Why are you angry?” I ask him. “I worked for three years in one of these big corporate places,” he says. “You look at their people and you see their dazzling cars, their nightly drinks. They don’t worry where their next meal is going to come from. But these corporations suck the life out of them. Then there’s the dirty, dirty politics. And of course, the helplessness of being a citizen of this country.”
Shravan says that now that he has found his foothold in music, he’s finally found a meaning to life and a way to live it. “I do a gig once a month, I do odd data-entry jobs once in a while, I live minimally and I save most of what I make and invest it all into my music. I hardly go out now, I party large once a month, I hang out with my friends at a park,” he laughs.
After DJing for several years, Ravana Tenheads made his first track in October 2011. “Funnily enough, it was thanks to Metallica again. When their show in Gurgaon got cancelled, I went over to a friend’s house. He had a 10-year-old Apple computer which he sold to me for just Rs 3,000. I made my first track on it.” Since then, he has made over 150 tracks, all of which can be found in one of his ten SoundCloud accounts.
“Initially, I had only one page: Lankesh. As my music developed, I realised I could categorise them into different groups, so each group became a different account.”
So while Shoorpanova, dedicated to Shravan’s sister and girl power, has female vocals, RavanaORama has tracks that denote harmony, “because what is good without bad, or Ram without Ravan?”
Kumbhakarna becomes active once every 3-4 months when he uploads one single track. “It is my darkest, heaviest, and most intense SoundCloud page,” he says. “There’s another account called Scratchoski with tracks of classical music and scratchings by me.”
I point out that old school musicians may not call that music. “Old school, new school, how does it matter? We who belong to the underground belong to no school. We hate schools. And colleges too. We’re like anarchists,” he laughs.
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Guest Post by SATYA SAGAR
Several years ago a friend of mine filed a petition in the Indian Supreme Court against – believe it or not- the tenth incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu! Or at least, against a fellow who claimed to be ‘Kalki Bhagwan’ and has in the past two decades drummed up a significant following in the southern part of India.
Blasphemous as the claim of this fake avatar was the court battle itself was not really about the finer details of Hindu mythology or theological doctrine.Based on several years of painstaking investigation and research it was my friend’s claim that ‘Kalki Bhagwan’, had taken money from the public for ‘rural development activities’ and fraudulently diverted it to his personal bank accounts as well as that of his close relatives.
From being an ordinary clerk working for the Life Insurance Corporation in Chennai thirty years ago today the…
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Beth Moon, a photographer based in San Francisco, has been searching for the world’s oldest trees for the past 14 years. She has traveled all around the globe to capture the most magnificent trees that grow in remote locations and look as old as the world itself.
“Standing as the earth’s largest and oldest living monuments, I believe these symbolic trees will take on a greater significance, especially at a time when our focus is directed at finding better ways to live with the environment” writes Moon in her artist statement.
Sixty of Beth Moon’s duotone photos were published in a book titled “Ancient Trees: Portraits Of Time”. Here you can have a sneak preview of the book, full of strangest and most magnificent trees ever.
More info: bethmoon.com