Tagged Under: Vartanama

  • This lead photograph symbolizes the tongue-in-cheek theme of the associated article, that is, ‘lyadh’, a uniquely Bengali word that is possibly best and yet imperfectly translated as ‘sloth’. The photograph shows someone’s bed that has not been made after a night’s sleep and is in complete disarray, the handiwork of someone revelling in sloth. The bed is piled on with a blanket, two pillows, a discarded vest, used hand towel, open book, empty tea cup, and a piece of scribbled-on paper and pen – all lying in a scattered heap. A couple of cushions and a part of the bed railing also can be seen in the background. Photo credit: Pawan Dhall
    Jan '19

    ‘Lyadh’!

    By Pawan Dhall

    Vartanama, Jan '19 What better way to avoid a tedious editorial than to write about lyadh? ‘Procrastination’ doesn’t even begin to explain this quintessential Bangali expression – lyadh! Neither does ‘laziness’, though...

  • This photograph is symbolic in relation to the article below. It shows an evening scene of a Kolkata road. The foreground is quite desolate and somewhat dark. To the left of the photograph, there is a man walking with a limp by the side of the road (the man is walking away from the camera). Ahead of him is a car parked on the road, but there are no moving vehicles in the foreground. On a poorly lit pavement next to the road, a woman can be seen washing some utensils on the kerb near what looks like a roadside eatery, though there are no customers in sight. To the right of the photograph, a Kolkata Police movable traffic barrier is placed in the middle of the road, with no apparent sense of purpose. In contrast with this scenario, in some distance one can see bustling traffic at a junction, bright lights from the vehicles zipping past and lit-up ad kiosks mounted on lamp posts. The junction is bathed in overhead halogen lights. But the sky and the trees overhead are dark and seem quiet in relation to the rushed activity below. Photo credit: Pawan Dhall
    Dec '18

    Alienation, mindfulness and the New Year

    By Pawan Dhall

    Some ruminations as 2019 takes off from where 2018 never stopped . . . A year with a landmark human rights development such as the decriminalization of queer people in India just...

  • This graphic has text that says “Women’s and Transgender Communities’ Manifesto released on the occasion of early elections to the Telangana Assembly in 2018 – Demanding Women’s Rights, Comprehensive Gender Sensitive Policies and Empowerment of All Women”. The text is borrowed from the cover page of the manifesto document. The words are presented in a large and clear font in deep blue colour on a light grey background of a rectangular text box with rounded edges. The text box itself is placed in a striking slant on a wavy blue rectangular background. The entire graphic has been provided a pleasing and eye-catching mosaic tiles effect using the Adobe Photoshop software.
    Dec '18

    What’s with the pacific calm?

    By Pawan Dhall

    Post-Section 377 verdict, where’s the impatience to demand more rights, asks Pawan Dhall

  • The photograph shows a daytime long shot of the pond and park mentioned in the article – as taken from the author’s first floor window. A large leafy tree dominates the centre of the photograph. Adjacent to it are more trees and behind it is the water body surrounded by still more trees and houses, including a few multi-storied buildings. The reflection of the trees and houses can be seen in the water. Green algae cover the water surface near the edges of the pond. The large tree is inside the narrow park mentioned in the article – more like a sliver of an enclosure with a tiled ground and bounded by a blue-white iron railing on all sides. Inside the enclosure, to the right of the large tree, is a marble topped bench covered by an arched shelter made of green, yellow and blue fibre glass material. This is one of the benches on which the incidents narrated in the article occurred. The enclosure has a small gate opening on to the lane on which the author’s house stands. Next to the gate a small black car is parked, and next to the car is a lamp post. No human being can be seen in the photograph anywhere. Photo credit: Shampa Sengupta
    Oct '18

    Far away from the madding crowds?

    By Shampa Sengupta

    Shampa Sengupta stayed away from pandal hopping but had a room with a view this Durga Puja Three separate incidents during Durga Puja this year – all witnessed from my window. All...

  • This is a close-up shot of a Remington portable typewriter gifted to the author on his birthday by his father in 1991. For several years the author used this typewriter for his writings on queer issues and associated movements, including the challenges posed by Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. By 1997, the author completely moved on to personal computers, first at his workplace and then at home as well. The photograph shows the carriage, carriage release lever, platen, ribbon spools, typebars and keyboard of the typewriter, all held together in a bright red plastic body and black case. The cover, also black in colour, can also be seen partially in the background. Photo credit: Pawan Dhall
    Sep '18

    About constitutional love and great expectations

    By Pawan Dhall

    High fives and hugs yes, but the Section 377 verdict is by no means about closures! It took my father nearly 20 years to come to terms with my sexuality....

  • This illustration is a graphic that simply says “#KeralaFlood”. The graphic symbolizes the theme of the article, which is essentially an appeal to the readers to donate resources for the relief work being carried out in Kerala after the havoc caused by recent massive floods in the state. The graphic text is in black colour on a light yellow background.
    Sep '18

    Lending a helping hand

    By Pawan Dhall

    Varta appeals to its readers to contribute as much as they can - every bit counts! There can never be enough of lending a helping hand to people in distress. Let’s...

  • This photograph shows a queer community vigil organized in Chennai during the Supreme Court hearings on Section 377, Indian Penal Code from July 10-17, 2018. Eight individuals, most of them transgender women, are seated on the floor or on chairs inside a hall like room. They are holding up rainbow pride flags and placards in English and Tamil that say “No 377”. Behind them is a large rainbow pride banner that is spread across the width of the room. In the right corner of the photograph we can see a video camera recording the proceedings. In the background, the entrance to the hall can be seen as well as a reception counter near the entrance. Photo credit: Jaya Sahodaran
    Jul '18

    Birthday fervour?

    By Pawan Dhall

    It’s a momentous occasion for Varta to turn five and also government’s silly season on queer issues So here we are, expectant again for better sense to prevail in the matter of...

  • This graphic announces ‘Reach OUT’, a multimedia campaign to publicize an online locator or database on queer friendly health and legal aid services across India. This locator has been developed by Varta Trust, Kolkata; Grindr For Equality, Los Angeles; and SAATHII, Chennai. The campaign will run from June to August 2018. On the left side, the graphic shows the ‘Reach OUT’ logo. It consists of a partially open hand reaching upwards, as if to hold on to something. The hand forms the letter ‘R’ in the word ‘Reach’ which is written out in deep red colour. Right below the word ‘Reach’ is the word ‘Out’ in bold lettering and coloured in the queer pride rainbow flag colours. Next to the logo is text that says: “Locate queer-friendly health and legal services near you”. The graphic background is all white. Artwork credit: Brindaalakshmi K. and Parvathy
    Jun '18

    For your well being!

    By Pawan Dhall

    Varta’s online locator for queer friendly health and legal aid service providers is formally launched!

  • This main illustration is a poster of the film ‘S.D. Saroj Dutta and His Times’. A black and white photograph of Saroj Dutta, communist intellectual and revolutionary associated with the Naxalbari movement, occupies centre space in the poster. The edges of the photograph are stylized like that of a postage stamp, with a white border framing the photograph on all sides. Saroj Dutta seems to have a rather serene look on his face. The initials ‘S.D.’ in large font coloured red are printed on the bottom left of the poster. The top right corner carries the graphic of a circular rubber stamp with the name of the film printed along the circumference and the duration mentioned in the centre (115 minutes). The poster background has a partial hand drawn outline map of India, with places where the Naxalbari movement had its bases handwritten in Bengali – in particular Naxalbari itself and Srikakulam. Several other bases of the movement in eastern India are marked on the map with small star-like jottings. More Bengali handwritten text in the background, above Saroj Dutta’s head, says that the Naxalbari movement aims to show a way forward to the downtrodden masses in society. Text printed below Saroj Dutta’s photograph prominently mentions the names of the filmmakers Kasturi Basu and Mitali Biswas. Other film credits follow in smaller text in three lines. The poster also mentions that the film is in Bangla with English sub-titles. Poster courtesy: Facebook page of ‘S.D. Saroj Dutta and His Times’
    May '18

    Cinema of questioning the world order

    By Pawan Dhall

    The summers just got that much more intense with some gripping cinema! Two very different settings across the breadth of the country, two films on rather different subjects (but I...

  • The photograph shows a scene from the ‘MyNameKeepsChanging – No More Rape, Murder and Violence’ event organized by the women’s rights collective Maitree at Hazra Park in South Kolkata on April 18, 2018. The occasion was to protest the incidents of rape in Kathua in Jammu & Kashmir, Kushmandi in West Bengal and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, and the thoroughly inept and biased government response to these incidents. The photograph shows a section of the crowd gathered at the event to hold a candlelight silent protest. About 20 people can be seen standing facing the thoroughfare next to Hazra Park so as to catch the attention of the people walking by or sitting in the vehicles passing by. The right side profiles of the protestors are visible in the photograph. The only exception is a young smiling man who has turned to look back and talk to someone behind him in the crowd. His smiling face stands out in the sea of heads of the protestors. In the background can be seen traffic lights, shops with signboards, a few trees and a number of people on the pavement across the road. Photo credit: Pawan Dhall
    Apr '18

    When will the tide turn?

    By Pawan Dhall

    Both photographs in this article were clicked during an event organized on April 18, 2018 by Maitree, a pioneering women’s rights network in West Bengal The event was called ‘MyNameKeepsChanging –...

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