Joker Minister of India
Meet the joker minister of India. He rides his bicycle hundreds of kilometres every year to visit the mother Poorna temple up in the Himalayas. He has been consistently coming from the last 26 years in the blistering heat of the Indian summer with temperatures soaring higher than 45 degrees. I stumbled upon him on the last day of my trip as I was walking back early morning from my photography walk. People ask me how do you find them and as I say - I think I found them but in reality but they’re waiting to be found to share their story - the India story. So sit back and enjoy the story of Kuldeep Saxena with subtitles.
The story of Indian education & Macaulayism
Meet Rajendra Awasthi a native of Rajasthan who has a keen interest in History and feels proud in presenting the correct History to anyone who visits his city, the city of Jaisalmer. Rajendra also want to start a debate on the education system in India which he believes needs a radical change as the quality of pupils in schools is in steep decline and that’s due to the policies of Indian government which he believes promotes mediocrity and is the “continuation of Macaulayism* in a true sense”. So, sit back and enjoy the story with English, French, German, Italian and Spanish subtitles. Also, coming shortly on Amazon Prime Video in UK, USA and Germany.
The story of a Hindu king of Muslim Pakistan, Rana Hamir Singh of Amarkot Sindh.
Meet Rana Hamir Singh Sodha, the present Rana of what was once the kingdom of Amarkot. Rana Hamir Singh Sodha is one of the last remaining Hindus in Pakistan. He shares with us the story behind why they decided to stay in Pakistan while the rest of Rajputs decided to leave to set up new homes in India after the 1947 Partition. Despite the separation, he frequently visits India for family gatherings. I found him in Jaipur when he came to celebrate the birthday of his niece. Rana Hamir usually wears his traditional Rajputana attire although while travelling he prefers to wear camouflage as he finds it comfortable. During our conversation, he opened up that he was schooled in India until his early teens and mostly stayed with his Rajput relative who was in the Indian army, and he only had seen the civilian life after he returned back and had to start a new life in Amarkot. He not only had to learn the mannerism and etiquettes of the Amarkot Dhaat kingdom but had to learn new languages as well - Dhaati, Sindhi among a few. So, sit back and enjoy the story of Rana Hamir Singh of Amarkot Dhaat. with English, French, German, Italian and Spanish subtitles. Also, coming shortly on Amazon Prime Video in UK, USA, Germany and Japan.
Swaroop Khan, a desert singer
Do you think music is a commotion, a drama? Meet Swaroop Khan, who has a story to share both in words and in music. Although he is facing an uphill task to disprove some people from his community, he is doing something different than the rest. I found him in Jaisalmer. Swaroop Khan comes from the pedigree of Manganiars who are renowned skilled musicians of Thar Desert - The Thar desert singers. They have survived through the patronage of Rajput Kings and their songs have been passed orally through generations. Although they are Muslims they perform Hindu rituals and their songs are in praise of Hindu deities and celebrate Hindu festivals. They traditionally invoke the Hindu God Krishna to seek his blessing before beginning their recital. This episode marks the end of sabbatical I had all this time. Hopefully I shall release more video stories soon. I have created a new intro and new music, you'd need to use headphones to hear it well (the full song is on its way as well). I’d love to hear what you think! Do send me a message. So, sit back and enjoy the story with English, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish subtitles. Also, coming shortly on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video in UK, USA, Germany and Japan. Namaste
Kathputliwala, a puppeteer from Jaipur
(Press CC for subtitles) What's the similarity between an artist and a peacock? After a long pause, I am back again to share a new story. Meet Rajesh Bhaat, he is a Kathputli puppeteer. Kathputli is the single string puppet theatre native to Rajasthan, with a history stretching back thousands of years. I stumbled upon him in Jaipur. He invited me to his home in the Katputli colony – a colony, a slum of street performers, artists and craftsmen living together. Rajesh Bhaat Nagori comes from a family where the art of Kathputli puppetry has been passed down through seven generations. He shares with - how there's a commonality between a peacock and an artist? So sit back and enjoy the story of Rajesh Nagori with subtitles in English, Italian, Spanish, German and French. Also on youtube - youtu.be/xazPrqbPNvY
Kashmir teacher on death, Urdu and poetry of Ghalib
While strolling through the narrow streets of old Delhi, I found Ishrat Ali in Jama Masjid waiting: waiting to catch his train back to Kashmir, his home. He was returning after finishing his exams from Aligarh Muslim University. I struck up a conversation with Ishrat. He shares with us his views on the sweetness of the Urdu language, and his thoughts on a life lived well which according to him is meant for preparation of life after death. He also relates a poem by the eighteenth century Mughal-era poet Mirza Ghalib, and a funny story about King Haroon Rashid and Behlool the Insane. Notice the way he tell of his age which is cryptic and poetic at the same time. Although it sounds more beautiful in his native tongue Urdu than the translated versions. So sit back and enjoy the story of Ishrat Ali with subtitles in English, Italian, Spanish, German, French, Russian and Portuguese.
A Bohemian farmer, activist and poet from Himalayas
Meet Kailash Chandra Bhatt, a true bohemian from the foothills of Himalayas - Uttarakhand. He is a farmer, an activist and a poet. During his youth he fought for the creation of a new state, Uttarakhand. He is one of the last few from his generation who are still continuing with activism although the mission and the world around him has changed. Despite it being over twenty years since the creation of Uttarakhand, Kailash's dream of a new era based on the Gandhian philosophy of Swaraj and simple living has been crushed by the level of corruption that took hold after independence. He shares with us his poetry and perhaps a solution. The release of this episode also happens to coincide with the man with a camcorder's birthday :) So sit back and enjoy the story of Kailash Chandra Bhatt with the subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Turkish.
A Hindu Christian teacher from Sherwood school Nainital
Subtitles in English. In my Indian journeys I have stumbled upon some incredible people over the years. Jaswant Singh is one of those people. An incredibly talented man, a guru who left a prestigious Sherwood College in the foothills of Himalayas to follow the wishes of his father. He shared with me his family history and one of his hobbies - a musical talent her mother recognised at a very young age and encouraged him her whole life; which he still continues to hone. He also shares with us his resume which he initially created for it to be send to the Indian film superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who is also an alumni of the Sherwood college. I have enclosed the document along with the video. Although I'd encourage you read it after watching the video as it might contain spoilers. Document Link - http://flic.kr/p/nWVJux He can also draw perfect circles from both hands simultaneously which he has drawn in the enclosed document.
Tapinder Singh on traditions (with Subtitles in 5 Languages)
With subtitles in English, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and French. I'm back with lot of stories to share after a pause. The one releasing today is the story and beliefs of Tapinder Singh. He shares with us - what does it mean to be a Gursikh? And why certain traditions can withhold the natural progress of a country or a group? And how India had to pay a huge price for that? For subtitles please press CC.
Jitendra Jauhar, from a family of freedom fighters and philanthropists shares his story.
Meet Jitendra Jauhar, Jitendra lives in Delhi and belongs to family of freedom fighters and philanthropists.In the first part he shares with us his family upbringing and his views on the current obstacles faced by India.
Javitri Devi, a house cleaner shares with us her story and her innermost desire.
Meet Javitri Devi, Javitri washes dishes in people’s homes and clean houses and do whatever daily work she can get her hands on. She left her village over thirty years back with her daughters and moved to a small town, to make a living and to just basically survive. She shares with us her innermost desire.
Bhagwat Saran - on King Akbar, his witty minister Birbal, Anna Hazare and revolution.
King Akbar, his witty minister Birbal, Anna Hazare and revolution... how are they linked together? Meet Bhagwat Saran, Bhagwat runs a small general store and has interests in History and Economics. He shares his views on the new Indian revolution.
Mukti Narayan, on Bhakti Yoga and Sufi Seer Bulleh Shah’s poetry
What’s the connection between Bhakti Yoga and Sufi Seer Bulleh Shah’s poetry? Meet Mukti Narayan, I found him in the city of Haridwar. He was born deaf. He is an Auyrvedic medicine practitioner (Vaidya) and a Hindu (Vaishnav) philosopher. His ability to read lips (most of the time) helps him converse like anyone else. He wasn’t very keen in speaking in front of the camera but his grandson convinced him otherwise. I started the conversation by asking him – “Why is there a need for Kundalini Awakening in Yogic school of thought?”
Attar Singh, a folk singer from Shamli village
Meet Attar Singh, Attar comes from Shamli village in Uttar Pradesh. In his village he works as a seasonal worker and every summer he travels alone to the holy city of Haridwar. He says he comes to Haridwar for a glimpse (Darsana) of mother Ganges (the river) and to do only one thing and that is to sing folksongs on the life of Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati.