Tag Archives: photography

By

Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog | Interviews

29 June 2017

Interview with Illustrator : Alicia Souza

Meet Alicia, an entrepreneur and self taught illustrator. 

Alicia Souza

 

Inspiro India: How did you start creating? What first got you into Illustrations? Tell us a bit about yourself.

– I like to think that I really never stopped drawing since I was a kid. I didn’t draw more or less than any other child but I just never stopped, when most did. It became my part time job when I left college and then full time job when I moved to Bangalore.

 

Inspiro India: How would you best describe your style of illustration? And the challenges you faced as an artist?

– I think I can call it a bit cartoony, funny and whimsical. I think the challenges are the ones that anyone faces when they just start out as a freelancer in the field- starting with personal challenges of things one is uncomfortable with, whether it’s talking about money or social media or even just talking and then there are the others like financial of making ends meet when you just start out and carrying forth. It’s a matter of time and passion.

 

 

Inspiro India: What are the tools you couldn’t live without? Can you please explain about your work process?

– An ink brush and paper is all I really need but I have way more that I need for finished work pieces.
My work process is really simple most of the time. I start on simple paper, usually copy paper, with a pencil. Once I finish the sketch, I ink it with an ink brush or a regular paintbrush and ink. Then I scan it and colour it in digitally! Voila! That simple!
Of course, there are times when I throw in photographs and textures, which involves a few more steps but the above is my usual process.

 

Inspiro India: Is studying illustration in college worth the cost or do you recommend an alternative?

– I didn’t study illustration so I can’t compare it to if I did. I think college is a time to explore but I think the ‘real’ learning starts when you start working. Though I think college can expedite basic knowledge, which is also necessary but not compulsory.

 

Inspiro India: Who/What has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?

– I think everyone I met and talked to when I began freelancing thought me something in some way. I can’t say it was one person but being thrown in the deep end really helped.

 

Inspiro India: What did you want to become as a child ?

– A veterinarian, an engineer, a mathematician, an accountant, a nun, a soldier, and a boxer even. Never ever anything in the art field, but life is full of surprises!

 

Inspiro India: What do you enjoy most about being a illustrator?

– That I can work in my pyjamas.

 

Inspiro India: Can you explain to our readers bit about the daily drawing project?

– There’s no project or anything but I just draw daily, that’s it.

 

Inspiro India: What are you passionate about besides your work?

– Animals, baking, writing letters, stationery, yoga, meeting people, cooking, and learning new things.

 

Images by ©Alicia Souza

 

Inspiro India: What advice would you as an artist give to other creative heads out there ? And Some creative tips you’d like to share?

– Just keep your head above water and never lose hope! Draw daily and be diligent with your work. Nothing beats hard work and passion.

 

Check out his full feature in Navember’16 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#33 – Download Free.

 

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog

28 June 2017

Blogger of the Week : Shivani Boruah

The immense love and support from you ‘Creative Heads’ have been surreal over the past few years. Inspiro India wishes to grow with the growing population of ‘#inspiroindia‘. We’re continuously working to bring great content to anyone and everyone following us on various platforms.

This year we present to you, an all new feature presenting ‘The Blogger of the Week’.

 

Shivani is a fun loving person and love dogs! Apart from being a blogger, she is a  musician and is currently working on her E.P. “The Velvet Radio is something through which I speak my mind. It’s basically a visual story teller. Currently it has the following major sections : Fashion, Lifestyle, IAndAThing. ‘IAndAThing’ is where I feature people who are living their dreams and in some way inspire me to work on my dreams. Also, June onwards, I have started a ‘music’ section where I would cover major music concerts across India and a few music related talks( The first and the latest one being ‘The Music Scene In North- East India: A Retrospective’). Coming to the fashion section, which is the crucial section of the blog, I mostly try to come up with conceptual ideas so as to be able to tell stories through the pictures. As I go by my motto- “Let Art Begin”, I love to experiment with my wardrobe.” Boruah talks about her blog.

 

Shivani Boruah

 

The Velvet Radio is a visual storyteller drawing major inspiration from Art. “I try to portray a few grey areas of the society through my pictures( Two such blog posts being–  Mannequin and Phantom Bride ). In the days to come, I want to bring to light more such grey areas of our society.” As she continues to talk about her blogging ideas.

Shivani’s style is all about comfort. Although she experiments a lot, it always revolves around comfort.

“Art and a lot of Art. Apart from it, its the people around me, people on the streets who inspire me. Also, it’s the kind of music I listen to helps me draw my inspiration from  ‘cause I like to move along, groove with the music, dance or headbang a little bit, so yeah, that’s the kind of clothes I usually prefer to wear in which I am comfortable to do all these! Plus one of the major source of inspiration is the nature itself! I also draw inspiration from the trend forecasts by the elite magazines and webzines but try to add the me- flavour to it.” Shivani shares about her inspirations.

Well, It was last year July ​​that I took my writing skills and ideas about fashion a little seriously and started blogging. Although I kicked off TVRadio as a Fashion Blog, now it has many other sections too. I have a great interest in putting my thoughts into words and then I also needed a platform to showcase my ideas behind fashion with a poetic flare. Fashion, for me, is a creative expression and a beautiful form of art. My blog serves as a medium for my visual/ photo stories.”

Shivani talks about the blogging industry, “ It is good to see how the blogging- industry is developing but also at the same time there is a lot of grapevine around it. People usually do not know how much time and effort bloggers and photographers spend on one concept. Also, in blogging it is very much important to be original and never copy the style and content of an already- famous blogger. Two of the key traits a blogger has to have are: Patience and Honesty. I don’t endorse brands with which I can’t relate my style to. My blog is a personal blog portraying two of my passions: Fashion and Music. I wanted a name that would highlight both, hence, the name. Velvet signifies fashion and Radio signifies music. Well, since my blog is pretty new, I do not have a huge follower base. Plus as I am mostly into an editorial theme, people can’t always relate to it. But yeah, it’s the youngsters around the age group of 15- 30 yrs within and across the nation.”

As she moves ahead with her future plans, “ I want to be better w.r.t., the kind of work that I have been doing. At times, I don’t get what I seek from the photographers, as in, there is a clash of taste and interest. And it is very important to maintain your flare throughout no matter who you work with. Its my creative direction that I put into my pictures, so as to master it I want to develop good photography skills. I do not shoot and am still in my learning phase with my Canon 700D. I use my iPhone for on- the-go pictures. My photographers get their own cameras but I only work with photographers who understand my flare and with whom I am very confident shooting.”

Shivani gives us two tips regarding blogging, “Never lose your originality and develop  the basics of photography and editing.”

Words by Archita Rajkumari

FRIDA for eShakti

Phantom Bride- A concept blog dedicated to Early and Child Marriage

In the shoes of a PAINTER who longs for unadulterated art for QUIRKBOX

Showcasing Maybelline’s EYESPEAKDRAMA Campaign as a tribute to victims of Domestic Violence

What does a MANNEQUIN desire

©Shivani Boruah

Follow Shivani : Instagram | Website

 

“Inspiro India will be featuring bloggers every week irrespective of what they blog. To get featured on Inspiro India simply use ‘#iiblogger’ on Instagram ”

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

26 June 2017

Traveller of the Week : Shubham Mansingka

What happens when a usual guy who does all the normal things in his mundane life decides to let go of all his troubles and travel as a way of living? He graduates from being a usual guy to a happy one! Well, such is the story of our Traveller of the Week – Shubham Mansingka. He has given up his aforementioned old life and is now dedicated to blogging about his journeys, alongside freelancing as a travel writer, photographer and social media influencer for a living.

 

Shubham Mansingka

 

Shubham inherited the travel bug from his parents and he is proud of that. He vividly recalls his childhood trips with his parents who were avid travellers themselves. Having been introduced to the ideas, challenges and liberties of being on the go, he was quite used to it when he had his first solo trip to Ladakh. News claimed that we had a road that was higher than the mountains of Europe and that was motivation enough for him to start on a sojourn that was initially planned with friends but ended up being the start of his solitary journeys.

Once these ventures had begun, h never looked back. Over the years he became most comfortable travelling solo but has recently realised that travelling with other like-minded people in a company of 3-4 folks is quite interesting and insightful.

Shubham is one for spontaneous trips that do not necessarily involve ticking places off a list just for the sake of it. With a penchant for slow travel, he prefers to spend more time in a place learning about the local culture, food, customs and traditions of that vicinity. When he travels with other people and limited time, he then chalks out a rough plan but with a flexibility that considers changes according to the mood, weather and inevitable situations.

He believes that every destination has its own charm and the world is too big to make a concise list of just a selected favourites. But from all that he has seen the few places that left him asking for more, even though the list keeps changing, are – Zanskar & Ladakh, Kashmir, Goa, Rajasthan and Meghalaya. While he is out on these trails he never forgets to carry his must-haves that comprise of sturdy sports shoes, a lip balm, a warm hat to protect from the cold winds, a comfortably light backpack and most importantly, the never dying spirit of adventure! He would go on to mention a portable tent too but he prefers homestays more than anything else. With such zest and zeal, he has covered about 20 states in India and travelled to 3 South-east Asian countries. This being said, he is not a big fan of keeping counts and believes in meaningful trips.

 

 

Shubham’s life-enlightening travel journeys have transformed him into a full-time traveller. He, now, works from the road even though it has its own share of troubles much like life. But he doesn’t want it to be perfect either. Instead, he is of the opinion that that’s where the fun lies – to be able to take care of problems as they come and solve them to the best of his ability. Travel has made Shubham realise that if he works hard and remains true to himself, the whole universe will indeed conspire towards making things happen for him. It has taught him that life is not as rosy as it seems but if the road is one’s best friend, then everything is worth it. He has learnt a great deal not only about focussing on his work and not falling prey to petty shortcuts, but also living responsibly by helping communities and the desolates. It has made him a better human, he feels and is content with it. Ultimately it is about how wonderful the world is with all its goodness. From natural beauty to culture, local food of the people, folklores and traditional art forms, architecture and especially warm hearts are the best stories to live. He has faith in ‘the goodness of strangers’ which allows him to live in the moment and not worry about what’s about to come next. Travelling makes him seize the day!

An interesting story that Shubham would like to share with us is a heart-touching co-incidence. In 2015 when he had just spontaneously ended up in Turtuk and had no place to stay, a local named Obaidullah who had no mattress or blanket to share let him sleep under his roof with warm eyes. He had no bed to share for himself but he did borrow a mattress and a blanket for Shubham so he could sleep peacefully. A year later when Shubham visited the place again he resided in a newly built homestay. In a conversation with the owner of the property, he expressed his desire to meet Obaidullah again and thank him for his generosity. A cosmic fire of love was lit inside his heart as the owner went on to say “You know who was the person who gave the mattress to Obaid? Me.”

Such are the wonders of being on the road and exploring beyond the obvious!

Words by Aishwarya Choudhary
Images by ©Shubham Mansingka

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

24 June 2017

Monsoon Destination in Kerala : The Illikkal Kallu

The alarm woke me up to the sound of a heavy downpour – something which was unusual considering those last couple of days. I sat on bed, slightly worried about the day’s plan. But soon I made up my mind and decided to head for the day’s destination – Illikkal Kallu.
Illikkal Kallu gained popularity in the span of past one year through Facebook and a few travel blogs. I still remember reading about the place in a Facebook travel group and adding it to my travel bucket list. Hence, due to its increasing popularity, roads to Illikkal are now well tarred with signboards kept at major points.

At about 3400 feet above sea level, Illikkal Kallu is one among the highest peaks in Western Ghats and is situated above Illikkal Mala, thereby giving its name. Half portion of the Kallu had fallen off thereby giving it a horrendous look. The Kallu (which means rock in Malayalam) comprises of three Kallu’s. Apart from Illikkal, the other two rocks are Kuda Kallu (Kuda being umbrella) and Koonu Kallu (Koonu being a hunchback). Across Koonu Kallu, there is a half feet wide narrow path called Narakapaalam which means bridge to hell – the name comes from the hazardousness it possess. Illikkal Kallu is also known as Kolliyaan Paara (Lightning Rock) due to its probability to lightning.
Popular belief also says that the famous medicinal herb Neelakoduveli grows here, which has supernatural powers and can increase wealth. Atop from the Kallu, one can get a panoramic view of Kottayam district and on a clear day, Arabian Sea will be visible far in the horizon.

I waited at the bus stop for about 20 minutes hoping to board a direct bus to Kottayam and join Sumi at the bus stand – but I couldn’t catch any. So I took a bus to Changanassery, and from there, took another bus to Kottayam. Sumi had already arrived and I was half an hour late.
Next up in our plan was to head to Poonjar where we will join Navaneeth. But again, since we couldn’t find a direct bus, we took a bus until Pala, and took a bus to Adivaram which will ply through Erattupetta and Poonjar.
After a late breakfast at around 11:00 from Navaneeth’s home, we headed to Illikkal Kallu through the Erattupetta – Teekoy – Adukkam Road route.
It was noon already. As we drove through the beautiful winding road to Illikkal Kallu, arrays of mountains stood behind swiftly moving fog. Sumi suggested parking our car half the way and cover the rest of the distance by foot. As we walked up, the fog began to become thicker to a point that the person standing even a few meters away couldn’t be seen.
We climbed from the starting point a bit and sat atop a rock so that the fog will get cleared. Parts of Illikkal Kallu could be seen at times as the heavy wind kept moving the fog towards left. At a point when finally the wind took all the fog away, I saw it for the first time, the gigantic and dreadful Illikkal Kallu.
While Navaneeth and Sumi stayed back, I climbed down and walked through the narrow path towards Illikkal Kallu, desiring to see the famous Narakapaalam and if possible, try crossing it to enter the cave. As much as the view is scenic, since the path gets narrower towards the Kallu, it can be a bit scary; and if heavy wind is there, it gets much worse.
Each step carefully placed, I reached the point from where one has to climb a rock before attempting to cross the (in)famous Narakapaalam. But back then, I was unaware of this particular route – so I stood there in a dilemma of what to do next.
I shot a few pictures and waited in the hope to meet someone, probably a native who can guide me.
After about 15 minutes, a guy came and started climbing up. But since I saw a narrow ridge a few meters ahead of me, I was still in a dilemma whether he is right and to follow him or not. By this time, he already reached the top and had disappeared. I sat on a nearby rock, utterly saddened for the fact that I couldn’t even find a way to see Narakapaalam.

 

 

I then heard Sumi calling out my name – probably because it’s been some time since they’ve seen me. I walked back a few meters, waved her and asked her to come down. A couple of minutes later, she joined me. I took my shoes off and tried to climb, but the jeans restricted me. I gave it a few more tries, but failed. In the process, Sumi started refraining me from going up considering its risk. I sat on the rock, regretting my decision of not following the guy who went ahead. Moments passed and we saw him returning after entering the cave through Narakapaalam.
If had a company then, maybe I’d have climbed up and crossed the Paalam somehow. Because according to me, it’s always good to be with someone who knows the place in situations like this. Like if the Kallu gets covered in fog within the time one reaches up there, the only thing he can do is to wait, wait..and wait. Additionally, chances of lightning becomes high.
When a group of drunkards came abusing each other, we finally decided to return considering our safety. I left the place with a self-promise to come back with someone who had crossed Narakapaalam at least once.

SOME USEFUL INFO

  • Entry to the top of Illikkal Kallu is now restricted due to an accident (second one in 2016) which resulted in the death of a tourist on the 18th of September, 2016.
  • A car accident was also reported on September 26th (as seen in a Facebook travel group) due to brake fade.
Photos & Words by Kannan K R

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Photography

23 June 2017

Creative Head of the week : Sachit Chainani

Sachit Chainani is a person trying to step out of the box with his vision and ideology. He is someone who likes chilling on the beaches as well as trekking on mountains. He loves the sunset and waits for the sunrise. He clubs on the songs like one dance, closer and loves listening to old kishore kumar songs late night. He is on a mission to create innumerable stories in his life to tell people about. He just picked his mom’s phone in his teens to click pictures around wherever they went and they luckily would turn out to be great. He started enjoying that part and started practising it more to just get better but he wasn’t exposed to this part of creativity still. He demanded for a camera when he realised he is ready to seriously practise this little hobby that gives him happiness and makes other people smile when he shows them his pictures. He didn’t realise when did this hobby turn into passion and now, he would want to make this something he could survive on.

As per Sachit, taking a picture is quite simple which anyone and everyone can do. What actually interested him in a picture is its beauty, simplicity, elegance and the way he looks at it because this is going to be his signature in his picture. In his belief, a watermark isn’t something that is going to tell people this is his picture but his vision would. He approaches the nature the way he wants it and approaches people with a smile to never offend them and makes sure to get the best of that consent.

Travelling anywhere gets him to observe things in a way people wouldn’t generally. A very typical photographer’s thing drives him to create a picture.

He himself is pretty sorted as an inspiration to click but the amazing photographers he sees on Instagram who create something marvellous are his major inspirations to keep learning new things and implementing a lot of techniques in his pictures.
He, currently, is not to fancy with his equipments and software. He uses a Nikon D5100 (crop sensor camera) with a basic kit lens and he edits his pictures on Light room.

About Inspiro India Magazine-
“This one magazine that I’ve been following since a long time that gives creative heads a platform to showcase their moves to the viewers is something really cool.”

 

Photos by ©Sachit Chainani

Follow Sachit : Instagram

 

“Inspiro India will be featuring bloggers every week irrespective of what they blog. To get featured on Inspiro India simply use ‘#iiblogger’ on Instagram ”

Check out his full feature in November’16 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#33 – Download Free.

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Interviews | Photography

22 June 2017

Interview with Photographer : Auditya Venkatesh

Meet the man behind Audi Photography, always encouraged to create.

Auditya Venkatesh

 

Inspiro India: Tell us something about yourself and how did you start creating?

– Right from when I was a kid, I was always encouraged to create. Initially, I used to sketch and paint a lot. It was a lot of fun trying to put down the little thoughts I had on my mind on paper.

 

Inspiro India: How did you develop interest in this field?

– Back in the day, our families would only take pictures of important occasions or festivals, and those pictures would fascinate me a lot. I loved how you could relive one exact moment in the past with all those memories rushing back to you by just looking at one picture. So much in fact that when I was still too young to be trusted with a camera I would sketch people, a little negative along with it, put a time stamp on it, and then put it in an envelope like they used to back in the day. But I’d never thought it would’ve become a career.

 

 

Inspiro India: Did you face any kind of problems while pursuing this field? How satisfied do you feel after working in this field?

– As with anything there were definitely challenges, but in retrospect it made me stronger and made the journey more memorable.

From not knowing where to start because it was still “unconventional”, to having to convince everyone around while hearing negative things about your choices, people taking me for a ride in my initial days in the name of “opportunity” and a “platform”, there’s been a lot. But I think I’ve learnt from it, and that’s the most important thing. I love doing what I do! As long as I’m getting to learn, travel and interact with interesting people I’m a happy man.

 

Inspiro India: What is it about Travel-photography that interest you the most? What are your top three favourite photography locations? And Why? 

– My dad was in a job where he travelled often, and so whenever he’d come back to town he’d take us on a little trip, that is when I fell in love with travel. This is why any place I went to felt like home away from home. So when I took up photography, I looked to travel for inspiration because that’s how it all began. It’s really hard for me to put down just 3, but for me I’d say Kashmir, Sikkim and Gokarna so far.

 

Inspiro India: If not this, What would have Auditya been doing?

– I dropped out of CA to be a photographer, so I’d probably have been a not very happy auditor or accountant somewhere.

 

Inspiro India: What is typically in your camera bag while travelling?

– One camera body which is my A7R2, and 3 lenses, namely the 16-35, 55, and the 70-200. My hard drive, ND Filters, a mini tripod and a Rode mic make up the accessories.

 

Inspiro India: Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in travel photography and wedding photography (both)?

– It works in 3 steps for me. Creating the narrative/story in your head, capturing it as best as you can on the camera which means being well versed with your camera and the technicalities, and then polishing it all up in post.

 

Inspiro India: Can you please explain how one should go for Mobile Photography?

– I love smartphone photography. It takes photography back to the basics for me and helps me create more with challenging restrictions.

We get very used to equipment we have and sometimes that may make us lazy without us realising, we don’t end up shooting if we don’t have a particular lens. But with smartphone you know this is what you have, so it makes you think as you create, you have one fixed lens so you move in and move out, and do everything you can to come away with a good image. As it must always be.

 

Inspiro India: Describe your post-processing work flow And the equipment that you use?

– I usually import all my images into their respective catalogues in lightroom, and then keyword them. If there needs to be more work done, I work on them in photoshop and then save them back on here. That simple. There is no specific equipment that I use for processing.

If I’m just posting it to social media though, a lot of the times I just transfer the files from my camera via wifi to my phone and just upload it directly.

 

Cover by Auditya

Photos by ©Auditya Venkatesh

 

Inspiro India: What advice would the artist inside you like to pass on to our readers?

– That you need to be happy doing what you are, and you get to define what that happy is. Because if you aren’t it’ll show on your work.

 

Check out his full feature in June’16 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#29 – Download Free.

 

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog

21 June 2017

Blogger of the Week : Mawi Neitham

The immense love and support from you ‘Creative Heads’ have been surreal over the past few years. Inspiro India wishes to grow with the growing population of ‘#inspiroindia‘. We’re continuously working to bring great content to anyone and everyone following us on various platforms.

This year we present to you, an all new feature presenting ‘The Blogger of the Week’.

 

Mawi is a 90s kid, who’s obsessed with fashion, food & of course Selena Gomez! haha
Apart from that, she considers herself as an (annoying) perfectionist. Her blog is a reflection of who she is and what she believes. Mawi says, “I write about my take on fashion and my personal fashion choices. If you love thrift (and budget) shopping, Welcome to my world! I try and keep it as real as possible and this might come as a shock to most of you but I do not see my blog as a means of making money because to be honest, I started my blog out of passion and even today my main focus is to share my love for fashion and style to my readers and followers rather than making my blog a source of income.”

 

Mawi Neitham

 

On asking about her sense of style, she quotes, “I do not have any specific style. I love experimenting and how I dress up depends on my mood. I can go from edgy streetstyle to feminine all in a week. The only thing that’s constant for me while picking up an outfit is Comfort! I make sure that I’m comfortable in whatever I wear”.
Mawi loves spending multiple hours on Instagram and Pinterest and that’s pretty much where most of her inspiration comes from.

Mawi talks about her blog as how she initiated, “ I started my blog in 2013. Being a college student who’s constantly on a budget, I always had a hard time finding budget friendly blogs especially in India and that’s where my inspiration for starting a blog came from. I’ve always believed that fashion does not come with a heavy price tag and you can always stay stylish and be on trend without burning a hole in your pocket! That’s what I try and convey my readers through my blog.”

“It’s quite interesting to see how the blogging industry has grown over the years and people have (up to an extent) realized the worth of bloggers. I love the fact that blogging helps us connect to people worldwide and seeing them getting inspired from our blogs is one of the best feeling ever” Mawi talks about her take on blogging..

On asking about her blog’s name, “I’ve always loved thrift shopping and collecting vintage pieces since the very beginning and while deciding my blog’s name I knew I wanted to include my name along with something I love. So that’s how Mawi’svintage was born (hehe)”

Her audience are mostly teenagers and young adults!
“I love watching fashion and beauty channels on Youtube so I’m thinking of giving Vlogging a try. But considering the perfectionist that I am, I want to make sure all my videos are perfect to the T so maybe I’ll learn to edit first and let’s see where it takes me. *fingers crossed*” Mawi talks about her future plans.
Regarding cameras, Mawi uses Nikon D7000 when shooting on her own but when she’s working with photographers, they usually use their own cameras.
“It’s totally cool to draw inspiration from latest fashion trends or influencers but make sure you give it your own twist. Also, don’t follow trends blindly! If you wanna start a blog of your own, the only thing I would suggest is to be yourself. Just keep it real because that’s how this blogging industry works. Love what you do and try to be as consistent as possible. Apart from that, just enjoy and have fun blogging!” Mawi advices people about blogging.

Words by Archita Rajkumari
©Mawi Neitham

Follow Mawi : Instagram | Website

 

“Inspiro India will be featuring bloggers every week irrespective of what they blog. To get featured on Inspiro India simply use ‘#iiblogger’ on Instagram ”

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Inspiration | Photography

20 June 2017

Women of India | Photo Series by Deepti Asthana

India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world but despite these developments; there is a wide gap between rural and urban India with respect to technology, living condition, economic empowerment, and most importantly women rights. More than 77% population of India resides in its rural parts making it one of the world’s largest rural establishment and also most diverse in terms of spoken languages, ethnicity and culture.

While documenting stories of women across India, I saw the dichotomy of these two Indias.. The contrast is astonishing. While baby girls are given away, sold, or even killed in parts of rural India, urban women are gradually seizing power and asking for their rights. While things are changing in bigger cities, rural India is still far behind, where discrimination against women is largely whitewashed using the label of ‘Indian culture’. When it comes to modernization of thought and freedom of choice and speech, the progress in this part has been minimal.

As a woman, I have experienced the uncertainties firsthand, through my own life and my mother’s struggles. After losing my father, when I was only four, I saw her single handedly fight for the most basic of rights and dignities in order to provide her children with a decent living. Standing next to her; through her fight for our survival, I have lived in constant fear for our safety and in a way lost my childhood. As a girl, growing up in a small town, I struggled to both ‘stand out’ as well as ‘fit in’ the stereotypical moulds of Indian culture.

The urban world I inhabit now is, however, completely oblivious to the rural world of India. Though they intersect at several levels, it is alarming, how little these two worlds interact and there is a need to connect these two worlds.  While I feel an ingrained need to tell my story through stories of many Indian women, I also want to bridge this gap through my long-term project ‘Women of India’. I want to provide the stories with a platform; an outlet that recognizes the plight of these women and allows the mainstream to identify with the fringes, which may hopefully lead to a change.

These stories are largely neglected in mainstream media and even if it surfaces occasionally it has a skewed perspective of presenting the story from a male point of view.  For instance while covering the agrarian crisis in Vidarbha; I realized the whole farmer suicide issue was viewed from the perspective of the male member of the family but it is important to tell the stories of widows who are left behind with the huge debt and responsibility of their children. Similarly in Punjab, the issue of female drug addicts is largely neglected and layered with stigma and barely 5% female drug addicts get appropriate treatment.

I strongly believe that the gender issues in rural India, which are largely different from urban India and western world are not highlighted and addressed appropriately.  Being a young woman from India, I feel I have this duty towards the future generations that these subdued voices get heard and they receive an equal rights to education and expression Through this project I intend to bring out stories of daily lives of these women, the stories of struggle, stories of victory, stories of breaking norms, and expose them to the modern India and the modern world.

Japiyammal, 34, sells dry fish to make living for her family. She also received a notice to vacate her home. After 50 years, government suddenly seems to have woken up from its deep slumber and has recognized the tourism potential, Dhanushkodi has to offer. The fishing community here relies on traditional methods of reading the winds, stars and direction of waves. Without any formal training on modern techniques of fishing and unavailability of any GPS or Wireless devices, it is very hard for Japiyammal and other fishing community, to leave their land and learn the new ways of fishing elsewhere.

Shakila Husain, 75, weaves to make money for her living in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh. Her own son pushed her out of her home and she now lives alone close to her work place. Belonging from a conservative Muslim society, it was difficult for her to step out from her home and work, but she refused to go to an old age home and is now the senior most member of ‘Women weaver’ society. She encourages women from her community to educate their daughters and allow them to work; so that they never have to depend on anyone.

Sangeeta, 38, widow of Ashok lives with her two sons, in Vidarbha, Maharashtra. Her younger son is a sickle cell anemia patient and dropped out of school to support the family. Once known for its cotton or ‘white gold’ production, Vidarbha now is notoriously known as the suicide belt of India. The region has been going through severe drought for the last ten years leading to almost 8,000 farmer suicide cases. So when a crisis-hit farmer kills himself, these widows are pushed further into more debt and are forced to take jobs as laborers on other farms to sustain.

Vaishnavi was only 5 when her father committed suicide. She now stays in a hostel in a relatively bigger village, as her mother can’t afford to pay for her daily travel to school. While she misses being at home, she is determined to become a doctor and provide free health services to her village. The younger generation is now distancing itself from agriculture after witnessing the pain of their fathers. With no crop insurance or a minimum support price, the farmers do not get a fair price for their crop, which piles up their debt year after year.

Sarita, 30, was only 17 when she got married to Praveen and now she has two kids. Praveen died just 7 months ago, which is the most recent case of farmer suicide. To take care of her children, she is now looking forward to start a small business of sewing clothes. While the local NGO tries to help the women and train them to make an alternate living; the Government has turned a blind eye towards the plight of these women. In most of the cases, the Government doesn’t acknowledge the suicide cases and labels them as family disputes.

Rural women usually cover their faces in a saree (the traditional long piece of clothing), a custom in many parts of India, following the conservative way of living. But it was exhilarating to witness a friendly swimming competition among these rural women in a ‘women-only’ section on the Ghats of Narmada River, Madhya Pradesh. Nestled away from their normal lives, they were oblivious to the outside world, for the time being and are seen flaunting their swimming skills to each other. time being and are seen flaunting their swimming skills to each other.

Krappa, 34, is a part of a nomadic family of approximately 10 members traveling together to sell iron stoves in Rajasthan. Without a permanent dwelling, the nomads live a meager life, creating makeshift homes and using woodstock for cooking. Women are given the responsibility of cooking for the family, while men talk to the customers. The smoke coming from traditional stoves is extremely harmful. Almost one million deaths occur annually in India due to household air pollution and most affected by this practice are women and children.

Anandi, 22 works along with her parents in salt-pan fields of Mithapur, Gujarat. Most workers here in the saltpans haven’t been able to escape this work for generations. While the contractor and companies earn millions, the wages have remained abysmally low for them. The laborers are not provided with any protection gears to cover their feet and hands. Working in extreme environments, these workers are prone to severe occupational hazard contracting fatal diseases. There is a saying here that if you are a saltpan worker, you have three ways to die: first gangrene, second TB or third blindness.

The seasonal migrants from Madhya Pradesh come to sugarcane farms of Gujarat at the end of the monsoon season, leaving their poorly irrigated land. In the sugarcane farms of Somnath, Gujarat, one element that stands out is the dark smoke coming out of the chimneys. While women work day in and day out to produce sugar, they are continually exposed to the smoke and pollution. All they can afford is a headscarf to save their hair from flakes and man’s shirt to save them from the heat. While profits continue to increase for owners, it’s the migrants that remain impoverished.

Sheela, 21, lives in a makeshift house by the sugarcane farm in Somnath, Gujarat. Migrants are compelled to live in sub-human conditions on work sites, which lack basic amenities and sanitation facilities. Most of these women submit their documents to the owner at the beginning of the season, which leaves them helpless and forces them to work throughout the season despite all odds. Women and child migrants form a vulnerable group facing serious lack of security without any identification and insurance. Women in particular face high risks of trafficking and various forms of exploitation, including forced prostitution.

 

Deepti Asthana is an independent photographer, born in 1986, in Uttar Pradesh, India. An engineer by training, Deepti was introduced to photography in 2012. She developed her passion for photography and explored different facets of it along with her day job, as an IT engineer. In 2016, she took the leap of faith and started to work as an independent photographer. Deepti wants to tell her story, through stories of Indian women settled in small towns and villages to highlight the gender issues in this part of India, which is largely different from urban India and the western world.

 

Photos & Words by ©Deepti Asthana

 

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

19 June 2017

Traveller of the Week : Divyakshi Gupta

Born in Punjab and brought up in Mumbai, Divyakshi has spent all her summer vacations in a tiny town, nestled in the hills of Himachal.

Divyakshi Gupta, our Traveller of the Week, is a self-confessed door lover, who has a penchant for architecture, loves long road trips and travels to off beat places to explore different cultures, and discover stories outside and within.

 

Divyakshi Gupta

 

Travel runs in her blood. Her grandfather loved nature, her mother is always game for road trips and her father has sailed around the world. Growing up in a family that inherits the idea of travelling inspired her at a very young age when she fell in love with nature. Divyakshi has no memory of her first trip but she vividly remembers walking on a riverbank with pebbles, making paper boats and trying to reach out to the ripest mangoes to pluck. Spending time amidst the scenic beauty of the mountains, taking long walks by the river and reading books that complement such natural elegance has made her the itchy-feet nature lover she is today.  From starting her career as a strategic planner in advertising she has now happily resorted to being a freelance travel writer and a blogger who narrates her stories. One can read about her ventures on www.quirkywanderer.com and consult her for likewise social media campaigns. That being said, she has already done about 12 travel trips in the first six months of 2017.

Not only does she love to travel but also likes the company of like-minded people. Nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts or bird watchers, irrespective of their age or location, they all have something to teach and inspire, she feels. With companions like these, the idea of travelling becomes enriching. She has her solo moments too even when she is in a group. Her favourite travel companion is her mother who she can beautifully enjoy silence with.

Divyakshi is of the opinion that coming back home is as dear to her as travelling. She questions the idea of ‘full-time travelling’ and wonders what that really means – is it being nomadic eternally or travelling non-stop?

The feeling of a homecoming for her is realised and valued even more when one’s continuously on the go. Travelling gives value to everything we take for granted in life otherwise and thus, returning home is the acknowledgement of that newly found realisation.

Travel plans for her can work both ways – planned or spontaneous. Sometimes planned trips go awry whilst instinctive detours can lead to remarkable learnings. Spontaneity leads to discoveries that become the highlight of one’s trip and provide opportunities for storytelling while planned trips ease out glitches, reduce risks and are economical.

 

Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim

Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh,

Myanmar

Kinner Kailash view

Valparai tea gardens

Venice

 

Divyakshi has a list of destinations that are her absolute favourite. She talks about them fondly with us.

  1. Kinnaur:

With its magnificent mountains, idyllic villages, warm people, great food, pristine rivers, and delightful orchards that place is next to a home for her.

 

  1. Rajasthan:  For its stunning architecture, vibrant colours, impeccable hospitality and the ability to make her travel back in time is close to her heart.

 

  1. Andamans:  This place for her is like paradise, she feels. The beaches are beyond beautiful, the forests are spectacular and the islands are mesmerising. She feels that it is highly underrated but is the perfect destination for her to unwind.

 

  1. North Sikkim, she feels, evokes the poet in her. The landscapes are surreal and the paucity of

oxygen makes it a little difficult but all the effort is worth it.  She can’t get enough of the tiny Himalayan villages and diverse forests with stunning lakes. Divyakshi expresses that North Sikkim is nature’s own painting.

 

  1. Offbeat forests near Coimbatore are a perfect detox. The thick tree canopies remind her of Amazonian rainforests where the sun doesn’t reach the forest floor. There isn’t any network there and she really doesn’t mind it. Forests of Annamalai, Parambikulam do that to her.

When Divyakshi is off to these places she never forgets her must-haves. Her list is quite interesting and enlightening as it talks not about material needs as much as it calls for a sound perspective. As told by her, her list comprises of an open mind, sensitivity towards surroundings, appreciation for local culture, a pepper spray to be her own hero, the ability to trust her gut, and well, her eyes as the best equipment.

Having travelled extensively in various parts of India like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Andamans and Sikkim, she has had memorable trips internationally to Italy, Bhutan and Myanmar too.

Travel for her was an escape initially but eventually, it became her best teacher. Divyakshi feels that it is an exchange, between places, people, stories and her. It has made her open up, let go of her inhibitions, accept the world with open arms and most of all, it has bettered her as a human being, she feels. The biggest lesson Divyakshi has learnt from travelling is that we are all different and yet the same.

Words by Aishwarya Choudhary
Images by ©Divyakshi Gupta

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog

17 June 2017

iidailyinspiration #135

Featuring series of inspiring images by creative heads from all over the world everyday as ‘iidailyinspiration’.

To contribute, send your work at info@inspiroindia.com along with subject: ‘iidailyinspiration’, your name and location.

Eg. Subject:- iidailyinspiration+name+location

Check out our previous series of inspiring images here – iidailyinspiration#134

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

©Credit

 

Featuring series of inspiring images by creative heads from all over the world everyday as iidailyinspiration’.

To contribute, send your work at info@inspiroindia.com along with subject: ‘iidailyinspiration’, your name and location.

Eg. Subject:- iidailyinspiration+name+location

 

Check out our previous series of inspiring images here – iidailyinspiration#133

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog

16 June 2017

Creative Head of the week : Aparna Ramesh Mhatre

There were many influences that went into Aparna’s decision to select this field. Her early mentors and her family always encouraged her to explore opportunities in this field. They pointed her in the right direction to explore the possibilities. She has found that the only art style that’s universally understood is realism. Everyone’s heard the line “it looks just like a photo.” She thinks, for her, other styles hold so much more interest, both emotionally and in terms of the level of technical skill. She is not using any special tools for her work. She just tries to do her work with perfection to give it a little professional touch. Her inspiration is her parents’ effort on her. Her paintings also inspire her. They give her the positive energy to do more and more perfect work. It usually takes her 3 to 4 hours to complete one art work. But, sometimes it takes up to 1 to 2 days.

About Inspiro India, “I think it is the only right platform for my artwork.”

 

Photos by ©Aparna Ramesh Mhatre

Follow Aparna : Instagram

 

“Inspiro India will be featuring bloggers every week irrespective of what they blog. To get featured on Inspiro India simply use ‘#iiblogger’ on Instagram ”

Check out his full feature in November’16 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#30 – Download Free.

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine