Slow – A film from North East India

Slow down. Take your time. Free your mind.
Watch this 90 second film from the amazing parts of North East India. In a fast paced world we are all trying to make the most of our time, but this film talks about a far more important task.

North East India

On rare mornings when the sky is clear, the rays of the rising Sun strike the Kanchenjunga peak and set it aflame. One by one the adjoining peaks catch this light and turn crimson. One of the few places in India, from where one can witness this match-light effect is the small town of Pelling in West Sikkim.

North-east-india-matchlightMeanwhile in Dawki, Meghalaya close to the border of India and Bangladesh runs a river with waters that are crystal clear. Clear enough for some people to catch fish simply by spotting and lifting them up.

Slow-poster-3And in the open grasslands of Kaziranga and Manas in Assam, one can get dangerously close to gigantic one horned rhinos. Close enough to hear them chew the grass as you sit on top of your elephant ride.

North East RhinoIt is surprising but many people don’t know about the treasures of North East India. Here’s a 90 second short film that captures the beauty of the less traveled Dooars region in North East India.

If you have traveled and experienced the wonders of North East India then tell us your favorite parts. We’ll try and include them in our next film from the North East.

film making mentoring 2NOTE: If you liked this film you can check out our collection of short travel films from amazing corners of the world at this link:
http://www.bit.ly/mind-travel

Folk Secrets Music Project

Folk Secrets Music Project rediscovers amazing folk bands from magical places. We explore far corners of the world to find out wonderfully talented musicians and bring their music to a larger audience. Here’s our first music video for Vayali Bamboo Band from Kerala, India.

Vayali Bamboo Band with all instruments made of bamboo comes from a small village called Arangottukara in Kerala. Surrounded by small verdant hills and lush green paddy fields with flocks of white egrets the village transports you to another world. And echoes of the bamboo music resonate with the beauty of this place. Hear the wonderful composition by the Vayali Bamboo Band and let their music take you on a magical trip.

Vayali is a registered non-profit. It consists of a group of young people, engaged in preserving their folk roots. Please share their music far and wide and if possible invite the band for shows and performances. Know more about them by visiting their web-site: www.vayali.org

fern-web

The frogs are croaking and filling in the silence of the night. The rain has just stopped, but one can still hear the occasional drops falling on the ground from high trees. I am sitting with a small group of musicians in a village in central Kerala. One of them manages to hook up a weak halogen lamp from a broken electric socket. A yellow pool of light creates an island in the darkness.

The musicians begin to open black canvas bags. They take out long bamboo sticks. Thick bamboo stems. A black leather case with steel clips clicks open. It reveals an array of neatly packed bamboo flutes in varying shapes and sizes. Slowly the band sets up their bamboo instruments.

The first instrument is a thick bamboo stem with a series of notches cut into it. A stick runs over the notches and a curious sound emerges. It mimics the frogs croaking. The other members join in with their instruments. The percussionists pick up the rhythm with their bamboo drums. A large hollow bamboo section has been filled with seeds. It’s called the rain stick. The seeds fall from one end of the bamboo to the other and create the sound of falling rain. The flautists join in. Their eyes are closed and a tune, hauntingly beautiful manifests itself into the dark jungle that surrounds us.

Music. One of the 2 universal languages. A language that has the power to bridge cultures and bring people together. I have traveled to a small village named Arangottukara in Kerala. Someone had told me about the Vayali folklore group and their amazing bamboo band. So I have come to see whether we can create a small music video and take their music to a larger audience across the world. I do not speak their language, but we understand each other.

Most of the band members are daily wage earners. Carpenters, painters, odd jobs at construction etc. But those jobs are for the day. When the sun sets and night covers their village, they come back to their music. Back in their village, they are masters of the bamboo band and owners of a rich folk heritage.

The bamboo band’s performance extends far into the night. There are many songs, many tunes and many stories. We end with a round of smiles. Black tea is served. I sit in silence and listen to the night. The frogs are still croaking, but the bamboo band’s music continues to play in my head.

Folk Music Secret Project
Folk Secrets Music Project

Sign up to our mailing list to get an update on the Folk Secrets Music Project when we release the next music video. We will also mail you a download link to the Vayali Bamboo Song.

India. Travel to Paradise.

India. Easy to explain, difficult to understand. India. A sea of stories. Here’s an inspiring story from incredible India. This film was shot in Kolkata. A city that will amaze, inspire, and enchant you. In case you ever get a chance to visit, I am sure you will have your own story to tell.

Please leave a comment and don’t forget to share.

Credits:

Film by: Nitin Das  
http://www.filmkaar.com
Special thanks – Tulika Bhattacharya
Music: Avinash Baghel

India Travel

Travel to Paradise (Text)

We are all travelers of life
Walking into the unknown
Some are driven around
Some fly
But some…are just pulling their way through it.

The journey is never easy,
There’s chaos and confusion
There are cross-roads and road blocks
There are laws to follow and laws to break
and there’s the endless waiting
waiting… to reach somewhere in life.

So what fuels our travel?
For some it is adventure
For some it is ambition
For some it is wealth
For some it is love
For some it is faith

Our paths and vehicles may vary,
but the journey’s end is the same for all.
And beyond the bridge
some hope to find Paradise.
But some
have already found it.
For they know,
We are all travelers of life,
but the real journey lies within.

Crazy Gurgaon

This is a story about crazy Gurgaon. Gurgaon, popularly known as the ‘Millennium City’ is a shining example of India’s development and growth. But that is an incomplete picture. To really understand Gurgaon and maybe India, you need to see the crazy side of the city. After all it is the craziness that gives a place it’s character. It’s the crazy Gurgaon that will stick in your head and perhaps if you visit, turn you a little crazy too.

Crazy Gurgaon

Crazy GurgaonPic 1. Beer is available at every corner, but to buy milk you may have to go to a mall.
Pic 2. Developers have used every inch of allotted space to build houses and offices, but they forgot to build the parking.
Pic 3. Forests are dying, but jungles are being built.
Pic 4. Gods and dogs share the same office.
Pic 5. Even the lamp posts are crazy.
Pic 6. Parks and Wildlife – Gurgaon version.
Pic 7. Tractors race along the roads. They are ideal for the potholes.
Pic 8. We live in boxes, with strangers for neighbours.

… to be continued.
What’s your crazy story about Gurgaon? Please leave a comment.

Note: This is an artistic opinion of Gurgaon and not a scientific one. There are many positive aspects to the city and it does have some happy people. The aim of this feature is just to highlight the quirky side. In case anyone feels offended and experiences a change in blood pressure after going through these statements, please see the film below.

Secret Gurgaon

This crazy city holds a few secrets. Secrets that have been forgotten and lay hidden for the explorers to uncover. Here is one secret.

Valley of Clouds

Valley of Clouds shown in this film is a beautiful valley situated in the Himalayas. In the mornings, the valley gets filled up with a sea of clouds. The clouds cover the forest, mountains and villages in a blanket of white. It’s a beautiful symphony orchestrated by nature. For more fables visit: http://www.elfproject.org/fables

Credits:
Valley of CloudsFilm by: Nitin Das
Special Thanks: Gurpal Singh for organizing the M.A.F.I.A. gathering at www.himalayanvillage.com
Ashish Arora, Deepa Pathak for hosting us:

Learn to make movies like this one>>

Valley of Clouds in pictures

3 Chocolate Zen Movies for the Soul

Zen movies:  What can a bar of chocolate teach us about happiness? In this collection of short zen movies a humble bar of chocolate will take us on a journey of envy, expectations and the race called life.The inspiration for these 3 short zen movies comes from one of the basic tenets of Zen, which is simplicity. Simple everyday objects can teach us profound lessons about life. The next time you have chocolate, think about these zen messages!

Zen Movie #1 Rat Race

Making of Chocolate Zen Movies:

These  zen films were shot with the nuns of Themisgam nunnery in Ladakh, India. Situated in a secluded valley, the nunnery is home to a small bunch of nuns from Zanskar. Besides their buddhist teachings the young nuns also get basic education in english, hindi and math. The little nuns had never acted in front of the camera, and were initially very shy. But it was wonderful to see their dedication and energy. In the icy cold desert of Leh, their smiles were heart warming.

Cast: Dolma, Chuskit, Palkit, Rigzen, Padma, Tsondus
Special Thanks: Themisgam Nunnery and Avalokitesvara Trust for facilitating the theatre workshop with the little nuns

Zen Movie #2 Expectations

Music for Zen Movie #2 courtesy: Tashi Morup. Music Produced by Upland Plateaux

Zen Movie #3 Envy


How to use these Zen movies
: The surprising thing about these short zen movies is that different people take out different messages from each film. E.g. For many people in the corporate world, the ‘chocolate bar’ represents the annual bonus. When one sees the films with that perspective, we get a totally new meaning. We’d love to know, what your interpretation is?

What next: In case you enjoyed these movies, you might like to watch our collection of 6 more short films for the soul. We are in the process of making more of such films. To stay updated, please subscribe.

 

Creativity Innovation Leadership Workshop

The Future Workshop

Look back in time. You will see a graveyard of organizations that have become obsolete. The writing on the wall is clear. Innovate or persih.

As we hurtle into the unseen future, the greatest challenge is not the uncertainity outside but the complacency inside. Do we have the right mindset to face the unknown? What is our relationship with challenges, failure and conflict?

We have developed a unique workshop module that revolves around the creative process of filmmaking. The interactive sessions help the participants explore and enhance their creative skills. Most importantly the workshop builds a new perspective centered around innovation.

The process involves working on creating a short film that perdicts the future. Participants take an intellectual leap in ideas to create new possibilities and solutions that will help their orgainzations evolve and grow. The completed movie can then be shared with the rest of the organization to spark new debates, discussions and ideas.

The future awaits. Let’s innovate.

Duration: 6 sessions of 2 hrs   Charges: Price based on workshop design and client specific requirements  Maximum participants in a group: 15

*Note: This workshop is only for groups and organizations. For more details send us an email at nitindas((at))flmkaar{dot}com or sitesh.das{at}gmail{dot}com

Workshop Session Design:

Session 1. Understanding your mind
Can creativity be taught?
Illusions and Perceptions
Fundamentals of Creativity and Innovation
Exercise: Playing with Perceptions

Session 2. Ideation Techniques
Visualization
Storyboarding
Conflict and Opportunity Mapping
Exercise: Idea Development

Session 3. Creativity in Action
Brainstorming
Role Playing
Frameworks and Successful Innovations
Exercise: Future Prediction

Session 4. Creativity in Teams
Understanding team dynamics
Finding your creativity type
Matching creative styles across teams
Exercise: Creating a short film

Session 5. Implementing a Creative Project
Participants work in groups to complete their short film based on innovative ideas and challenges for the future.
Exercise: Shooting the film

Session 6. Innovation Marketing
Selling new ideas to new people
Steps for effective implementation of new ideas
Creating and managing change
Exercise: The Ferrari Sales Pitch

End note: The Innovation Mindset
Hurdles to innovation
Creating a new future