Calling Creatives To Protect The Aravalli

The Bad, The Ugly and The Not-So-Good

In the National Capital Region we are already battling the most polluted air in the world. On top of that our ground water levels are depleting at a rapid rate. The one thing critical for our air, water and health is our forests.

But Haryana govt. wants to convert one third of the forest land in the state for commercial use. By changing the PLPA (Punjab Land Preservation Act) they will be able take control of over 74,000+ acres of forest land. Even though Harayana has only 3.59% forest cover – one of the lowest in the country.

In March 2019, the Supreme Court (SC) placed a stay order on the provisions of the amendment of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) by the Haryana legislature. The PLPA act protects the Aravalli hills, NCR’s last green lung as forests. But Haryana has still not withdrawn the amendment and we will lose our precious Aravalli forests soon.

It’s time to protect the future of our forests once and for all. Let’s stop the amendment of PLPA. #Aravallibachao #StopPLPAamendment

The Challenge

A small group of citizens are trying to raise awareness on the importance of Aravallis. There is urgent need for creative material that can take the message to more people. 

If you are a creative soul and concerned about this issue, please lend your talent to this cause. Last date for signing up is 16th Sept 2019, but if you are still keen to contribute please visit www.healingourcities.org/aravallibachao

Writers, musicians, poets, filmmakers, photographers, graphic designers, performance artists, social media influencers .. the list is endless. Every idea can make a difference.

We will send you more details on the issue and connect you to other creatives in the pool so you can team up and amplify your ideas. All content produced will be released under a creative commons license with proper attribution to the creators. 

Timelines

We have to start sending out information as soon as possible. The 2019 Haryana Assemble polls will take place in October 2019. We have less than a month to convince the decision makers as well as the citizens. Here are some links to follow and know more.
Facebook group | Twitter | Instagram | Blog

*This is entirely a citizen’s campaign. There are no donors, sponsors, or political parties involved. For more information and to get involved please visit: www.healingourcities.org/aravallibachao

Healing Forest

Healing Forest is a journey to discover the magical healing powers of nature. To find ways to reconnect people with nature.  Join us in this exploration of fascinating forests and inspiring stories of healing from nature.

Our aim is simple. Helping people heal. Helping Forests heal.

b-leaf-3Forests are known to have great healing properties. As humans, we have evolved in nature. It’s where we feel most comfortable. It has been scientifically proven that when we spend time in nature, our brain behaves differently. It affects how we feel and think, which has a direct impact on our immunity and healing powers.

Countries like South Korea and Japan have designated healing forests. Forests that one can go to find calm, balance and good health. Forests that help people recover, relax and revive.

How Forests Heal People (film download link) | *Do help us share the idea. Our world could use some healing.

b-leaf-multiIf this idea interests you, please subscribe to this blog with your email. Here are some of the things we hope to do: Organise nature walks. Publish maps of healing forest trails. Bring out new films on the healing powers of nature. Create conscious communities. Provide natural healing tips. Tell stories of inspiring people. Discover fascinating forests that can serve as therapy forests. Do action projects that give back to nature.

Click on these links to read our latest posts and healing stories. Feel free to reach out to us with your thoughts in the comment box below. To know more about this initiative visit the about page.

Please share this with people in your life who may need a moment of calm in their life.
pic-forest-jag

India in 5 minutes

Catch the spirit of India in this short film and get a glimpse of the many wonders that India has to offer. From the Himalayan ranges in the North to the oceans in the South. From the deserts in the West to the rain forests of the East. Experience the many worlds that make up India.

INDIA

Simple to explain.
Difficult to understand.

Quick to amaze.
Slow to absorb.

Impossible to predict.
Certain to enchant.

Always full of adventure.
Never short of warmth.

INDIA
Easy to love.
Hard to forget.

India

This film ‘India Unravelled’ was made possible through a documentary film fellowship by PSBT. Visit them at http://www.psbt.org

Favourites

Here’s a list of 10 of my personal favourite destinations in India (in no particular order).

Ladakh
Spiti
Arunachal
Sikkim
Jodhpur
Rann of Kutch
Mumbai
Hampi
Andaman Islands
Kerala

Write your favourite place in India in the comment box below and I’ll try to create a film on the most popular choice. Feel free to share, screen, embed this film.

kerala

Stories from the mountains

Mountains are like grandmothers. They have many stories to tell. Nestled in the Himalayan ranges of Kumaon in Uttarakhand are some wonderful people, ideas and initiatives. Given below are three simple stories from the region to give you a glimpse of the unwilted life in the mountains.
Junle fowl

Children of the mountains
In a world filled with hate, anger and aggression the children of the mountains have an interesting message to give.

A school in the mountains
Chirag is a small primary school run by an NGO of the same name. They have a very different view on what education is and how children should learn. You can volunteer or visit them at Chirag

Gifts from the mountains
Chandi Maati is a small social enterprise working with women from 4 villages in the Himalaya mountains. They make and sell wonderful gifts which help in creating a source of income for these women. You can find them here on Facebook.

Hope these films inspire you to travel to the mountains. There are some amazing stories waiting for you.
W-sunset-village

Varanasi – Time Loops

The flow of time is a great illusion. Sometimes it moves fast, sometimes it slows down. It can make you feel alive or it can make you feel half dead. But in Varanasi, one can see this illusion clearly. For in Varanasi, time stops.

Final-Cow

Given below are a series of time loops that try to capture the essence of life in Varanasi. They depict the illusion of being stuck in a time loop. For some people time does not move in a straight line, it flows in circles. Life may appear to move forward but if one observes closely, one can see it repeating itself in patterns. Check out the time loops below and see if the illusion is also present in your life.

ILLUSIONS

What is, isn’t
What isn’t, is
Varanasi-Bathing-MS

What was, will be
What is, won’t
Varanasi-Student

What flows, stays
What stays, fades
3-Final-Bathing-LS

What’s loved, is suffered
What’s suffered, is unloved
Varanasi-Fan

What’s gained, is lost
What’s lost, is missed
Varanasi-Wrestler

What destroys, creates
What’s created, is destroyed
Varanasi-Umbrella

What lives, dies
What dies, transforms
7-Final-Burning

What transforms, is truth
What separates, is illusion
Varanasi-Arti

What moves, is mind
What passes, is time
Varanasi-Old-man

What is, isn’t
What isn’t, is
Varanasi-Meditation

END NOTE: The wise people of Varanasi know that life is ruled by a simple principle- Everything Flows. The river flows. People come and go. Fortunes  and governments change. The sun, moon, seasons are all part of the flow. When one becomes aware of the flow, one can be free of illusions. I hope these words and time loops have helped you flow through Varanasi. Keep flowing.
Varnasi-Ganges

IMAGINE – A Space Project

A collaborative project to imagine the Universe. A small group of 3d Artists, Writers, Poets and Graphic Designers come together to create works of art inspired by Space. Writers and Poets send in quotes or verse on any theme connected with Space and 3D Artists or Graphic Designers turn the words to visuals by creating images or video. Here’s an example:

Imagine Space Project

Participants for Round 1 of the project are:
WORDS: Purvai Aranya, Jashoda Chettri, Nandita Yata Rai, Deepak Dhamija, Pratik Maheshwari, Varun Sayal, Nitin Das
VISUALS: Diya Sarker, Naina Jain, Arif Hussain, Milin Patel, Mohammed Anwar, Abhinav Yadav, Debashree Pal, Darshan Singh Grewal.

You can view the on-going submissions at this link


RULES
Rule 1: Quote / Poem must be original, and linked to Space theme. For visuals, the artist can select space elements, backgrounds , textures from material available under creative commons license. But use those elements to create something unique.Helpful sources:
NASA: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/search.cgi?contentType=SVS
HUBBLE: http://www.hubblesite.org
Rule 2: Teams have to email their work by end of 23rd June 2015 to support@filmkaar.com
Word limit: Not to exceed 250 characters.
Final Image Dimensions: 1920 x 1080 px Filetype: .jpg
Final image to contain text by writer / poet.
Also include names of team members in the image as credits in small font size.
Note: This is an exercise in exploring the boundaries of imagination. Teams should follow the principles of creative respect and creative acceptance while working together.* This is not a commercial project. All works created will be available under creative commons license with proper attribution to the respective authors.
imagine-title

Finding Bah Kerios Wahlang

Some of the greatest treasures of our world are safely tucked away in distant corners of less traveled regions. But once in a while, you stumble upon an invaluable experience. Here is an account of one such treasure.
Folk Music Meghalaya
On The Road
I am escaping Shillong. There is a 48 hour strike by some political groups that want outsiders to obtain special inner line permits before coming in to Meghalaya. Incidentally Shajal, the driver of my taxi, is also an outsider. He is driving in nervous bursts like a mouse in a grocery store. We are traveling to the sacred forest of Mawphlang in the hope that outer areas will be less politically charged. On the way I am also hoping to meet a special person.

I land up in a small town called Mawngap. It bears a deserted look because of the strike.  We ask a car mechanic by the road for Mr. Wahlang, the musician. It turns out there are many musically inclined Wahlangs in the village.
Folk music -2The Search
For the past 30 days I have been traveling across many less known areas of the North East. Through forest reserves with beautiful villages surrounded by bamboo and betel nut trees, amidst green hills and meandering streams, I am searching for some exceptional folk music. On my journey I have met amazing singers and musicians and come across folk instruments of varying shapes, sizes and sounds. But there is something within that doesn’t click. There is a lock in my heart and the keys just don’t fit.

 While I am in Shillong, I hear about an old folk singer who composes his own songs and has an amazing voice. His name is Kerios Wahlang. But like all good things in life, many people know of him but not how to get to him.
Folk Music Meghalaya -4
Meeting Bah Kerios
It takes me days to find out his contact number. I finally manage to land up at his small house perched atop thick wooden pillars. Bah Kerios has just returned from seeing the doctor. He is running a slight fever. He knows very little Hindi and I don’t know any Khasi. I show him some of my earlier films and he understands. He asks his grandson to bring his Duitara, a traditional guitar carved out of wood.

 Tuning the strings with his experienced hands, Bah Kerios begins to sing. In his voice is a magic that transports one into a dense green forest full of old trees. A forest that is alive and singing in a deep voice. Later, Bah Kerios shows me a photograph of him singing besides a row of huge stone obelisks with a thick forest behind. It is the sacred forest of Mawphlang.
folk music 3The Sacred Forest
Leaving Bah Kerios Wahlang to get better, I head onwards to the village of Mawphlang. A village known for it’s monoliths and it’s sacred grove. Large vertical rocks are scattered all around the village. Mysterious stones arranged in circles. Stones shaped as benches or simply standing out of the ground like a giant’s finger pointing at the sky.

And at the edge of the village is a sacred grove. There are monoliths and stone structures spread inside the forest as well. The stones inside are covered in a layer of wet, green moss. The air is delightfully pleasant and filled with birdsong. Being inside the forest gives one a strange sense of calm. The music of Bah Kerios belongs to this forest and originates from it. He has been giving a voice to these songs of the forest for many years, but not many people outside of Meghalaya have heard his music.
Bah Kerios WahlangFarewell to Bah Kerios
Two days later, the strike has ended. I am headed back home, but on an impulse I decide to check in on Bah Kerios and take his picture. I find him smoking a pipe outside his house, soaking in the crisp winter sun. His army of little grandchildren are chasing the rooster and the hens in their backyard.

We sip some black tea and Bah Kerios brings out an old scratched CD. It contains one of the few recordings of his songs. The life’s work of a great folk master, preserved in a fragile disc. Bah Kerios holds the precious CD in his hand and says, “I wonder whether people will remember my music when I am gone.” I think to myself, I hope they will, Bah Kerios. I hope they will.