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Editor Speak

April 2022

Spring is here. An array of gorgeous flowers are brightening up gardens and parks. A mass of dazzling tulips, in vivid colours and hues, has turned my garden into a veritable paradise. So, we decided to attire our April edition in a tulip ensemble and call it the Tulip Edition.

In this edition, we bring for our readers and viewers an Exclusive interview with Roger Frappier, the producer of ‘The Power of the Dog', a film that has won the Golden Globe Award 2022 for the Best Motion Picture-Drama, the BAFTA Award 2022 for the Best Picture and the Oscar for the Best director. In an interesting and friendly conversation, in the run-up to the Oscars in Los Angeles, Roger Frappier talks about what made him decide to make a movie of Thomas Savage’s novel of the same name. For lovers of photography, we have an insightful interview with Raghu Rai, the father of Indian photography, who is venerated for the expertise and uniqueness of his craft. We also have an interview with Sanjay Bahadur, a writer and a bureaucrat, whose book ‘The Sound of Water’ was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and the book ‘Bite of the Black Dogs’ is being adapted for a film.

Our poetry segment is a ‘Tanka Special’ and features beautiful tanka poetry of 11 established tanka poets from U.K, U.S.A, Australia and India. Dr Padhy, a renowned tanka expert, gives a peek into this genre of Japanese poetry. Kala Ramesh’s melding of this Japanese form of poetry with the ‘dohas’ (couplets of 24 syllables) of Kabir (a 15th Century saint-poet) adds a fusion facet to this segment. A tete-a-tete with Alan Summers, formerly General Secretary of the British Haiku Society, President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society and tutor of this genre, gives much-needed insights into this genre of poetry. We acknowledge the help and support of Neena Singh, a well-known haiku and Tanka poet, who is the Special Guest Editor of our Tanka special.

Our creative Non-fiction segment has a travelogue on Budapest by Gita Viswanath and some sensitive musings by Chitra Singh and Carlo Rey Lacsamana. The Fiction segment has riveting stories by Aiona Byuwek, Murali Kamma, Jeffrey Feingold and Katrenia G. Busch. The review section has reviews of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Gangubai Kathiawadi, the Oscar winner, Jane Campion film ‘The Power of the Dog’ and a poetry collection, ‘Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry’ by Shailja Sharma that tugs at our heartstrings.

The Visual segment features a friendly chat with Tom Allison Vernao, a watercolour artist from Philippines. We also showcase the delicate mastery of watercolours of RK Mishra and breath-taking photographs of Lake Tahoe by Anhad Singh and Monica Reddy. That’s not all. There are podcasts of Roger Frappier’s interview by Puneet Singh Gupta, Kala Ramesh’s Tanka and Jeffrey Feingold’s rib-tickling ‘The New Math.’ In our Montage section, we are featuring a short film, directed by Manya Sinha, called ‘No Way Out.’ It focuses on the mental health issues faced by youngsters during lockdown. 

So, settle down with your favourite brew and enjoy all that is on offer in the Tulip Edition.

Happy Reading! Happy Viewing! Happy Listening!

~Rachna Singh

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Exclusive:

Interview With Roger Frappier

Producer-Director

Roger Frappier is a Canadian producer, director, editor, actor, and screenwriter. He is known for directing and producing films with unusual themes that challenge the established mores. 'The Decline of the American Empire', 'Another House', '2 Seconds', 'Jesus of Montreal', are some of his critically acclaimed films. ‘Each time I am back on a project it has to be something that will teach me something and at the same time it will teach people who will see the movie and also it’s something I haven’t seen before,’ says Frappier. He founded Max Films with Pierre Gendron, producing 'Un Zoo la nuit' in 1987, the winner of 13 Genie Awards, still a record. He is  producer of 'The Power of the Dog', a movie that has won the Golden Globe Award 2022 for the Best Motion Picture-Drama and the BAFTA Award 2022 for the Best Picture. The film has also been nominated for the Oscars in 12 categories and has won the Oscar for the Best Director.

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Interview 

Raghu Rai

Father of Indian Photography

Raghu Rai is an iconic photographer and photojournalist, whose photographs reflect ‘life’s longing for itself.’ Mr Raghu Rai has been honoured with the prestigious Padma Shree in 1972, Photographer of the Year (USA) in 1992 for ‘Human Management of Wildlife in India’ published in National Geographic, Academie des Beaux Arts Photography Award in 2019, Creative and Lifetime Achievement Award by the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry (India) in 2017. Raghu Rai is a prolific master who has produced more than 50 books, including Raghu Rai's Delhi, The Sikhs, Calcutta, Khajuraho, Taj Mahal, Tibet in Exile, India, and Mother Teresa. His photo essays have appeared in many magazines and newspapers including Time, Life, GEO, The New York Times among others. During the pandemic he picked out archived photos and clicked lots more. We will soon have the pleasure of seeing his new creations. He says succinctly, 'My religion and dedication is related to my exploration and has nothing to do with the world.'

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Poetry: Eloquent Emotions
A Tanka Special

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Tanka: The Meandering of Musical Song

Dr Pravat Kumar Padhy's  insightful article gives a peek into the origin, characteristics and essence of this Japanese genre of poetry that has been adopted with fervour across the globe. 

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Creative Non-Fiction

Travelogues Musings Essays

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Travelogue

Bowled By Budapest

Budapest is a city where different traditions meet and meld. Gita Viswanath’s travelogue ‘Bowled by Budapest’ weaves together the different strands of the city’s heritage and its history of Roman baths that goes back to the Stone Age. She gives the travelogue a touch of romance by weaving in the WWII love story of her AirBnb hostess’s Russian Grandmother and Hungarian grandfather.


~ Gita Viswanath

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Musings

La Dolce Vita

Foraging for wild, juicy berries, drinking the nectar of sugarcane from cane stripped off the sugarcane fields, lying under the azure blue sky, popping fresh green peas from the pods and enjoying their tangy flavour and playing marbles was what made life interesting and enchanting for the children living in a tiny hamlet on the outskirts of Dehradun. Chitra Singh reminiscences about the halcyon days of childhood.

~Chitra Singh

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Essay

Why Read 'The Iliad' By Homer?

The Iliad is an epic poem written by the Greek poet Homer. It tells the story of the tragedy of the Trojan war fought between the city of Troy and the Greeks. The writer compares the Trojan war, as described by Homer, with modern warfare. He believes that Homer’s Iliad teaches a lesson in mercy and compassion even in war, something which is missing in the modern context. 

~Carlo Rey Lacsamana 

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Fiction

Stories of Fantasy, Romance History

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The New Math

The author and his music band have been invited to play music for a film but what ensues is almost farcical. Jeffrey Feingold’s story, with its quirky twists and turns, will surely elicit full-throated chuckles and belly-laughs.

~Jeffrey Feingold

Exchanging Gifts

Saved For Christmas

Alison could not afford to go home for Christmas as her education in a prestigious college had drained her financially. She accepted the inevitable but the pain of it made her cry inconsolably. An angel comes to her rescue. A touching story by Aiona Byuwek.

~Aiona Byuwek

Vaccine

The Mother of All Vaccines

Prejudice and bias have become an inextricable part of our lives and society. It is this baseless prejudice that is destroying the very fabric of our society where humans are meant to live in companionable peace. Murali Kamma takes a satirical shot at this prejudice.

~Murali Kamma

Woman in Forest

The Sun-Kissed Maiden

As children, we have all listened entranced to fairy tales about sylphs and maidens with magical powers. These fairy tales always had an underlying moral- the triumph of good over bad and how magic kept good people safe from harm. The Sun-Kissed Maiden is one such story of magic and mystery.

~Katrenia G. Busch

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Reviews

Movies Books OTT Releases

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Larger than Life

Gangubai emerges from the brothels of Kamathipura, her spirit unfazed by the demeaning work of a sex worker. She then devotes her life to fighting for the rights of sex workers. She wants sex work to be treated with the same respect as any other career, and for the children of sex workers to have equal access to school. Dr Ramandeep Mahal reviews the film ‘Gangubhai Kathiawadi’ with a deft hand.

~Dr Ramandeep Mahal

The Unease of the Unloved

Jane Campion's brilliantly directed film, 'The Power of the Dog' is based on Thomas Savage's novel of the same name. A story of toxic masculinity, it has at the heart of it the pain and isolation of a gay Phil Burbank. This masterly crafted film has won the Oscar for Best Director, the Golden Globe Award 2022 for the Best Motion Picture-Drama and the BAFTA Award 2022 for the Best Picture. Balpreet reviews this amazing film.


~Balpreet 

A Collection that pulls at your Heartstrings

Shailja Sharma’s poetry collection entitled ‘Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry’ is another addition to the sea of immigrant literature. What sets her poetry apart from other works of this genre in that although her collection begins on a note of despondent, dislocated bleakness, common to immigrant literature, it emerges into the sunshine when it dismisses the sense of foreignness and alienation, says The Wise Owl Team.

~The Wise Owl Team

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Interview

Sanjay Bahadur

Author-Bureaucrat

The Wise Owl talks to Sanjay Bahadur, an author of repute and a senior bureaucrat. His writings span a variety of genres. His debut novel, 'The Sound of Water', a literary fiction, was longlisted for the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize 2007 and won critical acclaim. His second novel, 'Hul-Cry Rebel', a historical fiction, was published in 2013 and received rave reviews. His third novel 'Bite of the Black Dogs', a military action thriller, was published in 2017. The book has been optioned for a feature film by a prominent production house.

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Tete-a-tete

Alan Summers

Haiku & Tanka Poet

The Wise Owl talks to Alan Summers, a poet of haiku and related genres, whose poetry has been published in various anthologies and journals worldwide.He has authored several poetry collections viz. 'Does the Fish-God Know', 'The in-between Season', among others. A double Japan Times award winning writer, Summers was filmed by NHK Television (Japan) for ‘Europe meets Japan-Alan’s Haiku Journey’. He is a Pushcart prize nominated poet for haiku and haibun and was formerly General Secretary of British Haiku Society and Editor Emeritus for the multi-award-winning Red Moon Anthologies for best haikai literature (2000-2005). He also happens to be the recipient of a Touchstone Individual Poem Award for 2016.

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Visual Arts

A Visual Treat for the Soul

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Photography

Tahoe.HEIC

Glimmering In the Sunlight

Lake Tahoe is a freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides. Anhad Jai Singh & Monica Reddy, capture some breathtaking moments of Lake Tahoe glimmering in the sunlight. 

~Anhad Jai Singh & Monica Reddy

Watercolours

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Delicate Strokes

R.K Mishra strokes his colours with utmost delicacy across his canvas, creating watercolours of sensitive beauty. His paintings capture the ephermeral beauty of an Amsterdam Evening or a fishing Harbour or a Vizag Landscape with equal dexterity.

~RK Mishra

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Tete-a-tete

Tom Allison Verano

Watercolour Artist

The Wise Owl has an interesting chat with Tom Allison Verano, a passionate, self-taught freelance artist who uses varied mediums like watercolours, graphite pencils, ink and acrylic paint etc. Tom’s expertise and inclination is to paint portraits, mainly female faces. Tom has won the Department of Trade and Industry painting contest (2007) and Civil Registration painting contest (2008) held by the Philippines Government. He was declared Artist of the Year in 2008. He is currently residing in Baler, Aurora in Philippines where he is pursuing his passion for the arts full time.

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Podcasts

Podcast of Top Articles, Features, Poems and Stories

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Interview Podcast

Exclusive Interview:
Roger Frappier, Producer of 'The Power of the Dog.' 
Interview: Puneet Singh Gupta

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Poetry Podcast

Tanka by Kala Ramesh
Writer: Kala Ramesh
Narrator: Kala Ramesh

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Story Podcast

The New Math
Writer: Jeffrey Feingold
Narrator: Jeffrey Feingold

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Montage

No Way Out

Film that reflects the mental health issues faced by youngsters during Lockdown

A Film directed by Manya Sinha

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Manya Sinha is a budding filmmaker. A postgraduate from Sophia College, Mumbai, her primary interests are photography and filmmaking. She also dabbles in editing films. A writer, she breathes films, often analyzing and writing about her favourite movies. She has always believed in maintaining a sense of fluidity in her work. For this young DU graduate, her art and beliefs are strongly intertwined, and her perspectives and worldview formed through her lens. An award-wining photographer, her wanderlust allows her to tell stories that would otherwise remain on the margins. Her short film, ‘No Way Out’, captures the mental health issues many youngsters faced during the lockdown and otherwise as well.

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