LAUGHS WITH SHAZIA MIRZA
When humour is seemingly seeping out of our dreary lives, Shazia Mirza's skit is doing its rounds on Facebook, and making us crack a chuckle. This sharp-tongued English comedian pulls on her Pakistani-Muslim heritage in her stand-up shows. Mature audiences will enjoy her quirks and pauses in performance while taking in the full weight of her sarcasm and wit.
If you happen to be one of those who absolutely must see her, and will be in the neighbourhood of Kuala Lumpur in February, 2019, you can check out her tour schedule at https://www.shazia-mirza.com/tours/
REDISCOVERING GOUTAM HALDER
Theatre connoisseurs are no strangers to Kolkata based theatre actor and director Goutam Halder and his remarkable works. His recitation of Rabindranath Tagore's poem 'Mone Pora' with Bangladesh's own Mainul Ahsan Noble's performance of James' song Ma, is still making waves after a week of the original performance. The stage ambience was just astounding, and Halder's style of recital glowed through the performance.
READING – PYJAMAS ARE FORGIVING BY TWINKLE KHANNA
Third time's the charm, and Twinkle Khanna's third book is once again a showcase of her tongue-in-cheek humour, paired with unmistakable wit. The story follows a 40-something divorcee looking to cure her insomnia in an Ayurvedic health spa. To Khanna's credit, she has achieved an “ease-of-reading” without dumbing down her characters to stereotypes. Her cleverness lies in being able to show how families can both be a comfort and an annoyance. In case you are looking for an easy read under 300 pages, this is just the right order!
MYTHOLOGICAL AND ICONIC WOMEN OF THE SUBCONTINENT IN NEW LIGHT
It's not every day that that you recall the happening in the Ramayan or take a stroll through the recorded history. But the women of these stories and events have been an intrinsic part of our culture, in a patriarchal vision, unfortunately. Be it war or politics, the stories and records only talk of women, not talk to the women, or speak for her. Young writers of today have been challenging these tales and bringing forth even the most controversial women in mythology with back-stories worthy of 2019, instead of just going with the 'beauty and damsel in distress' or 'conniving villainess.'
What particularly takes the cake is Kaveree Bamzai's latest piece in The Print, titled “Our daughters will see Sita as a single mother and Draupadi as a #Metoo warrior.” Bamzai takes a concise and definite trip through the notable works in recent times.
You can read it here at https://theprint.in/opinion/our-daughters-will-see-sita-as-a-single-moth...
SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH AT THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM 2019
The town of Davos, Switzerland was buzzing with activity as it hosted this year's World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting. On the very first day in 22 January, Sir David Attenborough's one-on-one interview, taken by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, highlighted a range of issues, including glaciers, filming challenges, and plastic pollution. Sir Attenborough's interview focused on the radical changes that should have happened over generations now taking place within a single generation. Globalisation 4.0: Shaping a New Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, was this year's theme at the WEF, as world business and political leaders discussed the future of the global economy with the collective mission statement of the organising body to "improve the state of the world".
You can catch key points of the interview at https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/top-quotes-from-prince-william-si...
By Iris Farina
TRIP TO IVAC
I was handed over a token number that said my serial number was 247, and it was only 9:15AM and the big display board was showing that the 160th person was just being served. I was done for, when suddenly, my eyes rested on the fine print of my token that said my waiting time was only 12 minutes. I was stunned. Impossible! How will I jump over 90 plus people in front of me in just 12 minutes?
Well, I was shell shocked when it actually happened and I was out of the place in just 15 beautiful minutes.
The brand new IVAC (Indian Visa Application Centre) at Jamuna Future Park is a well-oiled uber efficient office. Hats off to the Indian High Commission for their brilliant effort to iron out all the visa related woes that we have faced for long. The spick and span spacious space has separate booths for different categories of applications, like medical, business and tourist, and these where sorted by separate tokens as well. The executives behind the counter were prompt and took exactly two minutes to deal with each applicant; provided you have all the correct documents that is. There is a help desk with glue pens and all necessary stationeries you might have forgotten, a food station with coffee and shingaras, and most importantly, the visa fee payment facility within the vicinity. It was impressive beyond words.
So if you are planning to apply for an Indian visa, now is the time. The high commission definitely earned a few brownie points with us for this new efficient office.