An Aye for an Eye

April 1st, 2021


An Aye for an Eye
Wells abound with feelings
A glance from me it is stealing
The eye answers to me
For questions that I haven’t framed…
It plays on my skin
A staring and looking game.
What is a portrait
Without the eyes that swell?
Brimming on the precipice
Of emotions that we know well…
….If I happen to come across eyes that speak to me
I might one day like to just be
With the face that beholds the eye
It’s an Aye for your eyes for me……
Them Eyes !
It is not contested. The significance of the eyes in a portrait. Cusped between curved lids, this organ is an engineering and a poetic marvel. It is unlikely that you did not notice the eyes on a portrait, for it belies every twitch and expression that we can manufacture. Ballads and songs, poetry and the times bygone, eyes have been the centrepiece of creative desires…
Light at the End of the Tunnel.
Is it not strange that even a mute portrait can say so much more than a tongue of spectacle and debate? What is there in the eyes that connects so deeply to the point of empathising? It is a mystery that we like to unravel, a closet that we like to open, a sense of not knowing what we see and yet we believe it….
The Cat-eyes!
Wonder why we couldn’t look through, the eyes of a feline that is so shallow. Couldn’t it be that they speak a language that we cant see? Perhaps, and we shall never know…… The grammar of the eye is an ancient mystery that we feel but cannot articulate. In art, we can find it, in ways unsaid but only felt. Now take a look at the eyes for they are a feast to your own! Find yourself lost in their depths, for words can only be shallow, lest in truth they are told !

The Theatre of Democracy

March 6th, 2021


“No pedagogy which is truly liberating can remain distant from the oppressed by treating them as unfortunates and by presenting for their emulation models from among the oppressors. The oppressed must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption” Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

The underprivileged, the ones in need, the ostracised corners of our chest-thumping and proud society, are the ones who primarily populate the streets of our country. While they may seem like silent observers, who should and must hold to the shorter end of the rope that we, the privileged, have so benevolently handed over to them, their voice is the pertinent sound you hear in many of the erstwhile and on-going protests in our Democracy, oft-cited as world’s largest. And what is a democracy without the freedom to express as one wants? Is Freedom of Speech too much for our thin skins? Are conferences, public speeches, Gram-sabhas, Nukkad-naataks, addas and the collective dissemination of ideologies, facts, fiction and the rest, a good way to give voice to the oppressed?

The answer to the latter question is perhaps a yes or a no. But what should be agreed upon by us now, is the role of street theatre and performances in a democracy like ours and around the globe.

Street theatre is intrinsically entwined into our culture and ethos. More than five thousand years ago, “Nritya” was a form of theatre that existed in our country when Sanskrit theatre was at its zenith. The dances conveyed a story, a morale or an ideology. At the same time, indigenous values and stories were spread in the rural corners of the country to keep communicate the ancient myths and stories of our rich culture. This kind of theatre is still prevalent in our country in the 21st century. I once happened to learn a lot more about Ramayan from a street play in Guptkashi, Uttarakhand than I could from reading my school books. These nukkad plays, or are a source of cultural enrichment and entertainment in the hinterlands of our primarily agrarian country. Not much unlike the Bhil tribes in the Aravalli hills of Udaipur district in Rajasthan, who put on a vigorous and colourful show during the months of July and August, celebrating Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in a festival known as Gavari.


Picture: An evening Gavari Performance in Udaipur

Source: W. David Kubiak, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Street theatre found its social and political clout in our country during the struggle against our Western colonisers. As the enlightened and educated citizens of pre-independent India grew more aware the barbaric and fascist British regime, they saw no clear opportunity to mobilise the nation through its innumerable newspapers and media outlets. The problem was (and ironically still is) the utter lack of education and literacy, further turned grim by the diversity in languages and cultures. Street plays offered direct participation, real-time reaction, and dialogue with the people. It seeded ideas into people’s heads, with simple plays of relatable struggles, pertinent issues of the society and effectively managed to communicate the need for action. Street theatre emerged as a potent medium to express and catalyse social transformation through participatory methods.

The women of the Garhwal tribe in their stance during the Chipko Andolan of 1973

Picture: The women of the Garhwal tribe in their stance during the Chipko Andolan of 1973

Source: Biswarup Ganguly, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Street Theatre on Domestic Violence, Chandigarh, India

   Picture: Street Theatre on Domestic Violence, Chandigarh, India

Source: Biswarup Ganguly, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Since then, Street plays in the rural areas of India are widely used by NGO’s and even Government Organizations to spread awareness about developmental programs, schemes, preventable ailments, Women’s health, Malnutrition and several other pertinent issues. Socio-political issues, which might sometimes alienate the common man in terms of jargon and understanding, are best displayed with flair, creativity and most importantly, engagement via impact, through street theatre. As Ryan Powers, an artist in Pandies Theatre opines, “it is inherent in any theatrical performance that you would want to identify with what is going on. That is where I think it is more powerful than a speech”

In any part of the world, an uprising against the mighty ills of the society or even against the ones in autocratic power, needs the mobilization of people, their collective empathy and conscience. While speeches can only tremble our inner compass, street theatre is what creates fodder for the mind and the hearts of the common man.


Etiquette Guide to Make It A Happy Holi!

March 10th, 2020

Happy Holi everyone! While the festival of colors is something a lot of people look forward to, and many often refer to it as their Indian festival, there are still quite a few who shy away from all the color and loud music that is often associated with Holi. Wondering why? Because while the celebration of Holi has a lot going for it, it also, unfortunately, has a few drawbacks which make it a not-so-happy festival for several people. So here’s a quick guide to ensure that you aren’t the only one having a Happy Holi.


1. Always ask first!

It doesn’t take long. All you have to do is ask first. Just because you feel like celebrating doesn’t mean the other person needs to oblige that. Also, some people don’t like close contact, have skin allergies or sensitivity, or just don’t like it. And don’t just ask for the sake of asking, respect their right to say no, and move on.

Image Source - Times of India

Image Source – Times of India


2. Use natural and organic colors

So many of those colors that you’ve bought off the street are cheap. And the reason for this is often because they are manufactured without standards. Many of those colors have toxic elements and unnatural or dangerous chemicals mixed in to make the color pop more, and will often leave people fighting off rashes and skin burns, irritated eyes, among other issues, for several days after the festivities are over.

Image Source - The Softcopy

Image Source – The Softcopy


3. Don’t throw colors on animals!

What’s the first thing you do once the Holi party is over? You take a bath, right? You know who can’t do that? All those dogs, cats, cows, and whatever other animal you have doused in color. Not only that, they are at an even higher risk of health issues because they lick themselves, so are at the risk of ingesting all those chemicals.

Image Source - Facebook

Image Source – Facebook


4. Keep your distance

Women especially are unfond of Holi. The instances of strangers, and even acquaintances using the application of color as an excuse to touch women inappropriately is incomparable. Don’t believe us? Ask the women in your life how they really feel about it, and you’ll definitely get a ‘colorful’ earful of stories. No celebration should take away a woman’s autonomy and control over her own body. Please be respectful.

Image Source - Indian Women Blog

Image Source – Indian Women Blog


5. Bura Na Mano!

If you do get called out for any behaviour, don’t try to hide behind the age old “Bura na mano, Holi hai”. Just apologize and learn not to repeat it again. It’s a lot easier than you think.

Image Source - Thought Pillars

Image Source – Thought Pillars


Love celebrating Holi? Then we hope you try to make it a happy celebration for everyone around you too.


Happy Holi!


Rhythm By The Bay is Back for its Fourth Edition!

March 6th, 2020

NSPA brings you Rhythm By The Bay – The Steps!

We’re back and this time we’re heading to the streets of Bandra, or rather, The Steps! Are you ready for a couple of hours of brilliant music and the brilliance that is a Mumbai evening? Remember when street performances were the norm back in the day? We’re hitting major throwback vibes, as our artists are ready to wow with their acts, ranging from a solo violinist to an actual throwback act with a bunch of gems from the 90s.

Free and open to one and all, join us for the fourth edition of Rhythm By The Bay -The Steps on 14th March 2020 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the St. Stephen’s Steps, Bandra.

NSPA Presents – ‘Rhythm By The Bay – The Steps’, Bringing the Streets to the Stage!


6:30 pm – 7 pm : Swarna Murthy – Violin

7 pm – 7:30 pm : Richard Fernandes and Oscar Fernandes – Saxophone and Guitar Duo

7:30 pm – 8 pm : TBA

8 pm – 8:30 pm : NSPA Collective ft. Antara Bhattacharya, Love More, Pratham Joshi, Swapnil – 90′s Pop


Can’t wait to see you there!



Color Me Pretty!

March 4th, 2020

They say that once you get your first tattoo done, it’s only matter of time before you go back for another. Turns out, even getting tattoos done can be quite addictive. The reasons behind getting them are as varied and diverse as the people who get them. From ‘being cool’ to chronicling an important aspect of their life, to getting one to commemorate a loss, or as a reminder of strength. Since the festival of colors is just around the corner, we thought we’d give you some ideas of tattoos that have a splash of color. And honestly, even if you’re not interested in getting a tattoo, scroll through them. They’re quite pretty. And who knows, maybe the bug will even bite you. The point is, tattoos with a pop of color do add an extra little something that just isn’t there in the regular black tattoo. Have a look!


You can get your favorite flower, your favorite animal.

Image Source - Art and Design

Image Source – Art and Design

Image Source - IndiaMART

Image Source – IndiaMART

Image Source -

Image Source –


You can get a musical tattoo too.

Image Source - Doozy List

Image Source – Doozy List

Image Source - Tattoo Designs

Image Source – Tattoo Designs


Or your favorite line from your favorite poem or something symbolic.

Image Source - Twitter

Image Source – Twitter

Image Source - Flower Tattoo

Image Source – Flower Tattoo


Or even your favorite book or fairy tale character.

Image Source - Styleoholic

Image Source – Styleoholic

Image Source - Game of Spoons

Image Source – Game of Spoons


Or even this group tattoo where four friends got each piece of a jigsaw puzzle.

Image Source - Styleoholic

Image Source – Styleoholic


Or even this latest trend that has tattoos look like embroidered designs.

Image Source - OurtimeBD

Image Source – OurtimeBD


Whichever type of tattoo you do get eventually, remember to do a thourough check of the tattoo parlor you decide to use, asking around for recommendations, and check that they use single-use needles which they throw away as soon as they’re done. Also, check with your doctor first, especially if you have any pre-existing condition that could raise issues such as diabetes or anemia.


Playlist of the Week – Best of Maroon 5

February 28th, 2020

So here’s the thing about Maroon 5. Literally no one you know would ever list them as their favourite band. No one. Doesn’t matter what kind of music they like to listen to. Try it, test it, ask away. However, every single soul who’s listened to English music would not only know who they are, but also be a able to sing several of their songs. The thing about Maroon 5 is that while no one really admits to outright liking them, every single person loves their songs. We’re still trying to figure out why this weird love-hate relationship exists in the universe (seriously, why though).

So, obviously, it’s impossible to select just 5 songs of theirs that peaked in popularity, because that is literally their whole existence, isn’t it? Look at any album, and there are more chartbusters than not. But anyways, we tried. And we get it, there’s too many good songs to put here, so we probably missed a few of your favourites too. Forgive us.


1. Girls Like You (ft. Cardi B)

If the song wasn’t catchy enough, the phenomenal level of cameos kinda blew this video up. Who didn’t it have? The only one missing is Beyonce.

Girls Like You


2. Memories

A surprising one to come out of their latest album, this one was an unexpected tear-jerker. While we’re used to professions of love on popping beats, and loud frustrations, the absolute sentimental writing on this track resonated with absolutely everyone. We’ve all lost someone along the way that we sometimes sit back and miss in our happiest moments.



3. Moves Like Jagger (ft. Christina Aguilera)

You know it. You danced to it. In fact, you wiggled and jiggled to it. There’s no use denying it. We know.

Moves Like Jagger


4. Sugar

Yup, it’s true. They genuinely did crash and perform at all those weddings. Those are real weddings, where the grooms and brides had no clue they were gonna be there. That’s how amazing these guys are.



5. She Will Be Loved

Because what’s a Maroon 5 list without a little throwback. A decade old, and this song (the album in fact) is still so beautiful.

She Will Be Loved


Happy Listening!


Look Before You Leap (Year)!

February 27th, 2020

It comes only once in four years, and it’s already time! If you weren’t fascinated with the concept of leap day as a kid, were you even a kid? To find out that a year is technically 365 days but actually 365 and one fourth day was cute enough, but then to be told that since you couldn’t put a quarter day into the calendar, so they decided to four quarters together and create a single day every four years was beyond fascinating. If you were anything like us growing up, you were probably wondering you “they” even were. Who comes up with these things? But all of that aside, leap day, as the 29th of February has come to be known, is actually quite ‘famous’ for some other reasons too. The day is immersed in myths, old beliefs, weird superstitions, and whatnot. Let’s check some of them out.


1. Proposal??

So while it’s not that big of a deal these days, long, long, long ago, it was quite scandalous for a woman to propose marriage to a man. So much so, that a quaint little tradition was started where apparently, a woman could propose marriage to a man on leap day and it was okay!

Image Source -

Image Source –


2. Taking the gloves off!

This one’s kind of a continuation of the previous one, but weird enough that it deserves it’s own heading. Apparently, if a man refused a woman’s proposal on leap day, he had to buy her 12 pairs of gloves as a punishment! You might not believe this but there were actually laws regarding this back in the olden days too. The reasoning behind this, they say, is so that the woman could hide her bare, no-ring-to-show-off-here fingers and save herself the embarrasment of having been turned down. Of course, it was slightly different based on which country was involved. In Finland, for example, the punishment was not gloves, but the man having to buy the woman enough cloth to make a skirt. We’re not too sure about the logic behind that one, but it’s amusing either way.

Image Source -

Image Source –


3. Capital fun

Did you know there is an actual “Leap Year Capital of the World”? The US town Anthony is that esteemed (and self-proclaimed) spot, and even celebrates by holding an actual festival every four years on Leap Day.

Image Source - Facebook

Image Source – Facebook


4. Bad luck?

Several countries believe that the entire leap year is just plain old bad luck, and therefore nothing celebratory or auspicious should be done during a leap year, especially marriages. The people of Greece and Italy believe that marriages are doomed. Russia and Taiwan believe these years bring death. Scotland believes it’s a bad year for livestock. Makes us kinda scared about 2020, to be honest.

Image Source - The Golden Star

Image Source – The Golden Star


5. Leaplings!

Babies born on the 29th of February are fondly known as Leaplings, and it said that they are all invited to join The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies – seriously, we’re not making this up. It’s an actual thing.

Image Source - Essential Baby

Image Source – Essential Baby


Hope you have a great Leap Year!


And the Oscar Goes To….

February 12th, 2020

It was such a surprising night (or early morning, for those of us here in India) for movie lovers. To say that things took a surprising turn, especially towards the end of the night, would be quite the understatement, wouldn’t it? And while we couldn’t be happier for all the wins that Parasite received, and well deserved too, we just have to commemorate all the nominees in the Best Film category, because they truly are, each and every one of them, gems.


1. Parasite

The underdog that won it all. A Korean movie directed by the legendary Bong Joon Ho (Okja, Snowpiercer) that ended up winning a total of 4 Academy Awards out of its six nominations. It must also be noted that it is the first non-English film to win best film in the over 90 years history of the Academy Awards. It took home Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film.

Synopsis: A poor family, the Kims, con their way into becoming the servants of a rich family, the Parks. But their easy life gets complicated when their deception is threatened with exposure.

Directed By: Bong Joon Ho

Starring: Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam, Lee Jung Eun, Chang Hyae Jin

Image Source - WallpaperAccess

Image Source – WallpaperAccess


2. Jojo Rabbit

Synopsis: A young boy in Hitler’s army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.

Directed By: Taika Waititi

Starring: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson

Image Source - IMP Awards

Image Source – IMP Awards


3. 1917

Synopsis: April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.

Directed By: Sam Mendes

Starring: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays

Image Source - Forbes

Image Source – Forbes


4. Joker

Synopsis: In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.

Directed By: Todd Philips

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz

Image Source - IMDb

Image Source – IMDb


5. The Irishman

Synopsis: A mob hitman recalls his friend Jimmy Hoffa.

Directed By: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci

Image Source - Amazon

Image Source – Amazon


6. Ford v Ferrari

Synopsis: American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car for Ford in order to defeat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

Directed By: James Mangold

Starring: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal

Image Source - Collider

Image Source – Collider


7. Marriage Story

Synopsis: Noah Baumbach’s incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together.

Directed By: Noah Baumbach

Starring: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Julia Greer

Image Source - IMDd

Image Source – IMDd


8. Little Women

Synopsis: Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on their own terms.

Directed By: Greta Gerwig

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh

Image Source - IMDb

Image Source – IMDb


9. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Synopsis: A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie

Image Source - IMDb

Image Source – IMDb


Most of these are still in theatres in metro cities. Go out and catch as many of these as you still can!


Playlist of the Week – Saying I Love You

February 7th, 2020

It’s not always easy to find the right words to say just how we feel. That’s why we love music. There’s a song for every shade of emotion you could be feeling, for every thought you might wish to convey, to share in whatever you are going through. It’s magic, isn’t it? And when you need to show that special someone how you feel about them, finding the right song to dedicate makes it that much easier to convey what’s in your heart. Here’s a list of tracks to help you tell your story a little bit better.


1. I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston

It’s not just the lyrics with this song that make it special. The rise of emotion that builds with the song’s progression is perfect to show that your love won’t diminish, but rather grow stronger and bolder with each passing day.

I Will Always Love You


2. Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran

If there was ever a song version to the age-old thought of “I want to grow old with you”, this would have to be it. The song tells a story, and reminds us that while each of our love stories are different, the underlying hope to live out our lives together is ever eternal and common, and all the more special because of it.

Thinking Out Loud


3. A Thousand Years by Christina Perry

Want to say that your love is gonna last forever? There isn’t a more perfect song than this one for that. Because your love existed long before you did, and will continue to do so long after you’re gone.

A Thousand Years


4. Unchained Melody by Righteous Brothers

Arguably one of the most romantic songs out there, you can’t possibly go wrong with this one. It even worked for Patrick Swayze, and he was a ghost.

Unchained Melody


5. My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion

The eternal love song for an entire generation, this song is the epitome of romance and ever-lasting love. There is really not much more to be said, is there?

My Heart Will Go On


Happy Listening!


Celebrate This V-Day with More Than Just Your Partner

February 5th, 2020

Tis the season of love. And while we cannot obviously contend against the pure commercialization of Valentine’s Day, that doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate it nonetheless. But we do have a contention – why is Valentine’s Day only about our romantic partners? Isn’t love just love? And don’t all loving relationships need to be celebrated just as much? Here’s who all we think you should consider celebrating with:


1. Your Parents

The very first relationship most of us had. And possibly also the one we overlook the most, especially as we get older, and find ourselves more and more caught up in our own work problems, personal lives, and social drama. Take some time and make a little bit of an extra effort to reach out this year. If you live in the same city, why not take them out for a meal? If not, why not send a gift or flowers over and surprise them. Just let them know that you’re thinking of them, and that you miss them. It’ll make their year, trust us.

Image Source - the box is there for a reason

Image Source – the box is there for a reason


2. Your Siblings

No one really understands the term “love-hate relationship” like siblings do. They’re both your best friends and your worst enemies, all in one package. They know all your worst stories, and every single achievement you’ve made. Why not be the bigger person and show a little affection this year? If nothing else, you could do it just to shock them into numbness (and isn’t that a great return gift?).

Image Source - Lifehack

Image Source – Lifehack


3. Your Friends

Your buddies, your pals, your friends. They’ve been with you through singlehood, falling in love, and even heartache. How about taking some time to treat them to something special? After all, when you really think about it, aren’t friends the greatest thing ever? They are not genetically predisposed to love, yet still do. They chose you, and actively chose to stick around all these years. They’ve seen you at your worst and did not abandon you. And they seem to be sticking around for more. If that isn’t true love, we don’t know what is.

Image Source - My Be-loving Friends

Image Source – My Be-loving Friends


4. Your Pets

Let’s face it. Do any of us really need a reason or date to love our pets a little extra? Not really, no. But why not? Take ‘em to the beach, or to the park, or even bake them a cake. Whatever they love doing or eating. Just take a little extra effort and make the day special not just for them, but for you too!

Image Source - Home Maids in Dubai

Image Source – Home Maids in Dubai


5. Yourself

They say that all you truly have at the end of the day is you, yourself. In acknowledging all those we love, and who love us back, don’t ever forget that one special someone – you. Not only is self-love and self-appreciation a must in today’s stress-centered world, it’s also a great way to stay happy and balanced. Because you can’t truly love others if you can’t even love yourself, nor can you expect that of them. As one great person said, “How can you expect others to love you, when you can’t find it in you to love yourself?” There’s something unique and special about you – time to celebrate it.

Image Source - Heartki

Image Source – Heartki


Happy Valentine’s Day!