Survival through eight years in deep waters – that could be what the lead photograph symbolizes. Perhaps this thought will have special inspiration for Varta in its ninth year.
The lead photograph is one from the relatively recent albums. I shot it in 2012 during a boat trip from Barkul on the banks of Chilika Lake in Odisha to Kalijai temple located on an island in the same lake.
Going further back in time and up the coast of Bay of Bengal, long time friend and fellow queer activist Rafiquel Haque Dowjah captured the second scene below on the Digha beach in 1998. This was after we’d rescued the eight-legged wonder from a group of boys who were getting a kick out of holding it up for photographs without a thought for the pain they might have been inflicting.
So what’s there to eat in the birthday party? While Rafiquel could only find some capsicums in locked down Mumbai, Varta reader Martin Black from Dundee in Scotland has sent in some low-hanging cherries.
This inspired me to look around for more fruits hanging around in my neighbourhood. If grapefruits are not your thing, I’m happy to share my breakfast peyara with you.
Varta volunteer Debjyoti Ghosh on the other hand wants us to watch our weight even if all we do is gorge on fruits. But Debjyoti is in Johannesburg in South Africa, and we don’t quite know if he’s leading by example.
Enough of food, so here’s some abstraction from my bedcover. I love the pattern; it’s creative, soothing and inspiring.
Jia Mata, a frequent contributor to the webzine, on the other hand, isn’t one for staid stuff. They obviously think that Varta at eight is a t(r)ailblazer!
Prosenjit Pal, another Varta volunteer, believes in being traditional. He’s sent in flowers from Dundee. But there are more than eight types of flowers and more than eight colours in the flower bed. So we decided that the extra colours and types will hold good as a lucky charm for the coming years.
Readers are welcome to send in more photographs to help us celebrate eight years of Varta. Make them innovative, thoughtful or colourful, we’re open to as many birthday shoots as possible – Editor.