It started with Sadanand Menon and Kalaripayattu, an ancient Indian martial arts now reborn as an experimental dance form. Chiki Sarkar was candid, comfortable and, well there’s really no other word to use: spunky, as she spoke to us about the world of publishing. Tensions ran high, walkouts ensued and Apoorv literally tapped out when Prof. S. N. Balagangadhara decided to assert his predilection of legend over history. Vinod Raina joined us to “dig deep into the roots of education”. We were also witness, through a documentary, to the troubling tale of a community of professional courtesans, called Tawaifs, and the unfair perception of their culture as immoral due to its association with prostitution. Ashley Tellis was his usual, expressive, forceful self while we discussed the language of protest. Udayan Vajpayee gave us a little insight into how to appreciate art, and poetry in particular. Anjali Gopalan demonstrated how to make condom use more fun. Karan Thapar came back, two years post his last IDG visit, and with unfailing wit told us about his ‘fantastic’ interview in which the normally stoic Kapil Dev couldn't hold his tears back. Alam Khan, a 29 year old Sarod player and son of the late Ali Akhbar Khan spoke to us through the language of music. He wasn’t the only musician to grace the Staff Room; Sumangala Damodaran’s beautiful voice impressed us with the power of music and exposed us to the protest songs of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA).
It wasn’t all other people talking and us nodding along. The students’ discussion forum gave us ample space to argue amongst ourselves. Our discussion ranged from themes such as Secession and the Nation State to The Idea of Intelligence.
So here we are one on- a lot of work group reshuffling, journal talking, poster pasting and weird password setting later... we’re still going strong.