I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.



Sunday, January 31, 2016

Blackfish Review

Blackfish Review - 30th Jan 2016



I watched ‘Blackfish’ tonight, and it’s one of the best documentary films I've seen.
Blackfish is directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, and it follows the controversial captivity of Orca whales (killer whales), and it’s dangers towards both humans and whales.
The documentary is incredibly shocking, disturbing, education, heart wrenching, and painful to watch. It just shows how low we can stoop as humans. I have always felt very strongly about wild animals held in captivity for human entertainment. I remember when I was about 13 and we went to Mahableshwar, my parents wanted to take me horse riding. Most horses aren’t wild anymore, they’re considered domestic animals. But I just didn’t feel right to sit on it for ‘fun’. I just didn’t want to be a part of it, and everyone else had a good time, and I was pretty relieved that I didn’t join them.

They would call me oversensitive; But seriously thinking, how many times have you guys gone for shows like these? Animal circuses of sorts, amusement parks? How often do we question this billion dollar industry that we are supporting? Is this what we want our kids to grow up seeing; whales and dolphins living in swimming pools? And this isn't just something happening in the marine entertainment industry. Elephants, big cats, deer, and even pet birds you own have NO place in cages or zoos!

Blackfish is a huge eye-opener. I urge you guys to watch such thought provoking films, and listen to your conscience when you decide to entertain such cruelties. It’s hightime we stand up for them, since we started it in the first place.

Please watch and share this brilliant film.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Great Sunday

3rd Jan 2016

A very happy new year to you all! I hope 2016 is as exciting, fun, adventurous, happy, sad, and transformative as my whole life has been so far! ;)

Today I had a exceptionally chilled out, yet awesome Sunday. We woke up late, had a hearty and wholesome home-cooked misal-pav - thick and creamy, and then watched 'The Hateful Eight' by Quentin Tarantino. I had seen this trailer SO long ago, that I forgot it existed and didn't know when it came in and went out of theatres.



Anywho, like any other Tarantino movie, it was AWESOME. I had this awesome storytelling like I was reading a book with all its cliff hanging chapters and gruesome yet eccentric and unpredictable characters. I love how in each of his films he makes sure the audience remembers the names of each of the characters and associates a personality to them. It reminded me to watch more films of atleast directors I already love; and made me want to draw out those characters - Jon Ruth, Daisy Domergue, Maj. Marquis Warren, Bob, Mannix, Oswaldo, OB, Smithers, and Joe Gage are such unforgettable names and characters! I love how some of his scenes have SO much tentsion! Like the beginning of inglorious bastards, when the jews are hiding under the floor boards during the interrogation.




Besides all the awesomeness of the story, plot and characters, there is the compositions, colours and art direction. The cutting, boarding, editing. Just great film making. I need to use his work for storyboarding study.

Soon after I got ready and went to see a second hand TVS Jupiter in Borivali. Arvind was sweet enough to accompany me, since the last time I didn't do a good evaluation of the bike and asked for his help. The bike was almost as good as new besides a few scratches, but the owner isn't ready to negotiate much. Let's see where we go with that. On the way back we had a good cup of chai and headed home. I freshened up and left to meet an old aquaintance/friend at 'The Hive' in Khar. I had been quite curious of the place anyway, so I went.

I had a good time catching up with Sajal (who I had co-incidentally met the day I quit my job in Nashik on the way to Goa). The place was pretty chill. It had a cafe with a small menu and a load of books that you could sit and read and even buy - although I wasn't really fond of their selection.

Sajal bought me a ticket to a 'dramatic book reading' - which is like a storytelling performance. It sounded pretty exciting - I only hoped the Hindi wouldn't be a problem for me since my vocabulary sucked and I was pretty slow as well.
The reading was one of the best storylistening experiences I've had. It was better than any play I'd seen, even though it was just actors reading. . It was a group of 3 actors reading out two great stories written by Saadar Hasan Manto -  a Pakistani writer, playwright and author considered among the greatest writers of short stories in South Asian history. His writings are based in the times of the partition between India and Pakistan.

The actors were absolutely stellar - their reciting was impeccable, engaging, captivating, soulful and entertaining. Their selection of stories were insightful and thought-provoking. Each session ended with the audience and narrator discussing the story recited. Even though it was in pure Hindi (with a lot of Urdu), the perfomance was so lively and expressive that it was easy to understand and the stories just came to life. I felt like a kid, listening to her grandmother telling her a story before bedtime. Their group is called Jashn-e-Qalam, and I'm def. going to attend more of such readings. I felt a little illiterate, shallow and ignorant, and hope to read more Hindi and enjoy literature.

We had a good dinner at Amar Juice Centre and headed home.
I really hope I manage to make more time for such good films, events and friends. I think creatives in general need to be fed often - fed with stories, experiences and people as often as it can come. It is this what keeps us alive, more than the rewards of our struggles.