Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sangram’s ‘Ramdhanu Milan Utsav’

My Story, Sep '14
Aniruddha Dutta on his experience of the ‘2nd Rainbow Festival of Unity’ at Baharampur

It was a cloudy, rainy Sunday evening in Baharampur, a small town that is the headquarters of the district of Murshidabad in West Bengal. The mood was sombre among the participants who had gathered for the ‘Ramdhanu Milan Utsav’ – Baharampur’s version of the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride walks and festivals held in many Indian cities. The event, which entered its second year in 2014, was organized by Madhya Banglar Sangram, a community-based organization that works with the transgender and other gender or sexually variant communities of Murshidabad, including Kothis and Hijras (terms for feminine-identified people assigned male at birth).

Friday, September 12, 2014

Remembering Shikari

Vartanama, Sep '14
By Pawan Dhall

Was it 1977 or 1978? Shikari must have been 10 when he was reportedly shot dead by the Hind Motors Colony administration in a ‘cleansing drive’ – or was it something to do with the Emergency? Funnily, I too was around 10 at that point of time. But by then I had moved with my family to Kolkata from Hind Motors and Shikari was gradually receding into a memory. When our family friend broke this news to us, everybody was stunned into silence for a few moments. I don’t remember crying for him, but Shikari’s image in my mind became vivid and since then has stayed as that of a childhood friend first I lost touch with, and then lost with a finality that can’t be questioned.

Living with a god . . . err . . . dog

Insight, Sep '14
By Dr. Tirthankar Guha Thakurta

Dogs have shared a long evolutionary history with humankind. The archaeological findings on the walls and floors of Chauvet Cave in southern France or the Goyet Cave in Belgium bear testimony to the tens of thousands of years of our relationship with our best friend, the dog. Many theorists believe that humans and dogs evolved together, resulting in a deep sense of interdependence and mutual understanding. It is not surprising that dogs, even without rigorous training, understand so many gestures and words that we use in our day-to-day life. With such an intense inter-species relationship comes a great responsibility – to make the journey safe and joyous for both the species.

Mamalogue - 101

Poetry, Sep '14
By owais

I cannot be
like your other sons:
those that live
to consume.
To desire,
to conquer. 
To want,
to get. 
To top,
to orgasm.

Love is a four-legged word

Clickhappy! Sep '14
Love, affection, family can have diverse expressions – each meaningful in its own way and worthy of acknowledgement – Dog-Mom Vahista Dastoor gives us a peek into her family album!

“Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies” – Gene Hill,
American magazine columnist and author of books on nature related subjects

“The ideal age for a boy to own a dog is between 45 and 50” – Robert Benchley,
American newspaper columnist, actor, humourist

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vertical infections

Advice - Mind, Body and Family, Sep '14
By Dr. Tirthankar Guha Thakurta

After sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and reproductive tract infections, it is time to take a look at mother to child infections. Several infections can be transmitted from a mother to her child. The infections can be transmitted not only during pregnancy, but also during the process of childbirth or breast-feeding. Let’s take a look at some of the common infections that can pass down from mother to child.