logo

logo

  • -image
  • -image

She anchors social documentaries, moderates panel discussions, trains people & institutions on how to make sense of the media, and has even modeled for a saree brand, but if we had to sum it all up, we could say Vasanthi Hariprakash is a TJ, RJ & Emcee.

That’s a television journalist, radio jockey and master of ceremonies at events.

What is it about faith that makes people give up their children to a deity?

For those of us in urban India, it is hard to imagine girls tied down to bizarre traditions even in this hitech age. Watch this documentary anchored by Vasanthi from Tamil Nadu that aired on NDTV 24x7.

Continue reading...

Over A Cup Of HumaniTea

(Appeared in the Deccan Herald)

Vasanthi's Writings

Bangalore Mirror
Independent journalist & radio anchor Vasanthi Hariprakash tells about her date with Rajasthan's firebrand Bhanwari Devi ...

Continue reading...
Happenings-image

Happenings

Anna Hazare, the crusader & Usha Uthup, the eternally cheerful songstress on one stage:
the Namma Bengaluru Awards meant to honour and ...

Continue reading...

Events Anchored; Goodwill Garnered

Rupaparna Sarkar, HR, Microsoft
“Vasanthi did an excellent job at WoCo, in terms of holding...
Continue reading...
Aloke Biswas
MAAM Entertainment
“Does Vasanthi Hariprakash make a good anchor?”…
Continue reading...
aq_block_8-image

Get In Touch

Life saver, in under-20 mins

The receptionist at the medical centre told me somewhat guiltily, “Sorry madam, just 20 more minutes you have to wait. And then you can meet Doctor with the report.”

A dear relative was admitted, I was waiting to discuss details, only that the doc was still super busy. And so was the crowd in the room, some reading mags, others looking at, or talking deeply into, their mobiles.
Jain hospital in the heart of Bangalore is that way pretty easily laid out – you dont get lost in endless corridors. I stepped out of the room & the building, walked right across to ‘Lions blood bank’ on the first floor. Filled a white-colour form; after which a man there led me to a room next, pressed & pricked my finger and dabbed it on to an instant haemoglobin checker. “14.2, good. Neevu blood kod bahudu. Do you want to give right away?”
A quick BP check as I lied down, and in less than 15 minutes, they had extracted 350 ml of blood on to a thick plastic sachet. Deed done, a ‘frooti’ given, I was asked to rest for a few minutes more before leaving.
I walked back, the reception lady smiled. “Corrrect time, you can go” & I went right in, this time lightly holding on to the tiny round bandaid above my elbow.
Besides a little certificate & a ‘Be a Lifesaver’ sloganned white t-shirt shoved into my handbag..

 

View Comments (0)

Close Post

Ramblings of a woman wanderer: Dateline Dilli

I dont know how it is for you, but for many women, going all alone to a place whether on travel or work is a big deal. And if you have kids and a husband back home, even more so.
You make all the ‘arrangements’ until the time you return, yet, along with your luggage, you lug the guilt too:). And sometimes the travel part per se is pretty hassle free, but the two biggest challenges/awkward moments in whichever order: Going into a restaurant and ordering food. Asking/getting off for a loo break…
Iam no new solo traveller, but every lone travel gives you a newer high. Like this time’s travel, to a 5-day documentary workshop at a respected institute at a Himachali village which is more like a ‘logistics’ hurdle race. Began this morn with a cab ride from home to airport, then a flight to Delhi, hang around in the capital for a few hours, and now in the evening land up prepared at the ISBT for a 13-hour ride on a Himachal tourism corprn bus to Baijnath town, get off tmoro morning at a village called Dhramman (apparently there are two Dhrammans on the same route, but “get off onnnly at the second one ok”), then take a taxi (or if Iam lucky, a jhatka gaadi?) to Kandhbari village..
When I travel with only me for company, I watch myself keenly like an outsider would – trying to stay safe & act smart, adventurous yet cautious, spirited and at the same time spiritual.. The more you journey outwards, the deeper your journey inwards unto yourself.

 

View Comments (0)

Close Post

Portraits from a Himalayan workshop Part 2

If you someone who has been following my scribblings from Himachal, you might feel a sense of deja vu on reading this. But this post is different, promise:).
The best bit about being in a docu filmmakers workshop for 5 days in a place that has only mountains, a river & pine trees as far as your eyes can see, is the total sense of timelessness. No one to thrust a deadline down your throat, not many phone calls to bug you to buy a house or take a huge bank loan..
And then, the format itself was such that you along with 16 other souls from across the country who signed up for the programme, would sit down in that cosy first floor projector room at Sambhaavnaa, to watch docu film after docu film, right after some wholesome pahaadi breakfast washed down with Palampur chai. Invariably, you would get to discuss your take on it too, with the filmmaker her/himself answering every query.
Your own work – whatever film (or in the process of being) made – would be screened in the second half, post-wholesome-pahaadi-khana. Post’screening you’d then wait for your friends to dissect it and tell you what they loved or didnt about the work. But clearly the most awaited bit would be the Mentor’s Take.
And that was the strength of this programme Docucharcha, thought up by two young women filmmakers from Delhi Tarini Manthanda & Bhamathi who believe that this art form helps in “understanding people and the world around us, and hence is timelessly relevant .. (but) few film schools teach documentary film making. Furthermore, docu production itself is a struggle. At the same time, audience interest is growing & more people are making films independently..”
The Mentors, all 4 of them renowned filmmakers in the genre, spent sincere time watching every frame of our films & giving critical inputs individually. Rahul Roy, Saba Dewan, Sameera Jain, and, the man who deserves a special mention for staying from start to finish (in my case, right from the overnight Delhi to Baijnath bus to get to the venue).
Besides all of us waiting keenly to hear what Ramani would say, his special camera class, mornings 730 was a superhit. Still basking in the light of a gorgeous sunrise behind you, a whole batch of us sitting on those comfy modaas outside the insti mess, at the edge of the plateau, “What aperture adjustment for what situation Ramani? Which settings for shutter speed works for which kind of light? In your film why did you use that foreground to set a frame.. mine is an ordinary handycam, can I get that shot on this you think?”, you could ‘shoot’ your questions to the FTII ace non-stop. And yet be rewarded with Ramani himself shooting a groupie picture that now sits as cover pic on this same fb wall.
That’s just one of those what-money-cant-buy moments one had, in the midst of misty mountains.

 

View Comments (0)

Close Post

Portraits from a Himalayan workshop Part 1

Okay tell me, what’s the best thing for you about travel? Is it the journey itself or the food, the vibes the place gives, or, the people you meet? I almost didnt meet Sandhya Gupta & Sarit Sharma, co-creators of Sambhaavnaa, the institute cradled in the Himalayas near Palampur, where I spent five dreamy days recently at a workshop meant to mentor documentary filmmakers. At around 7 am on Day 3, two of my new friends and I had gone down for a trek close to the river Avva that flows nearby. That’s when Sandhya walked past, back from her ritual morning walk. We had the ‘participants’-look Iam sure:). She stopped, called us home for tea, pointing out to a house we could see ahead in the hills. I had to get back for the day’s session, but told her I would land up at her place next morn, pucca. Am I glad I kept my word! The house, much like the buildings of Sambhaavnaa, blends in beautifully with the hills, built using traditional mud, wood & stone. And when I called out from the cobbled stone entrance above that little gurgling stream, I heard her voice say ‘Oopar aa jao’. I did as told, and opened the mesh door to an aroma & the sight of ample crushed ginger going into boiling tea on the stove. Over adrakh chai, we two women chatted in that lovely living room of hers that’s got a chulha right behind the table. It turned out that Sandhya, a Bihari, and husband Sarit met at Jamshedpur where they worked for the Tatas together. They married and then went to the US & did their PhD in Electrical Engineering and then worked as researchers there in developing advanced technologies. Shamli, their lovely daughter, came along & life was pretty good. And then, like one hears about many NRIs, the duo too had this inner voice telling them to get back to India to do something meaningful. One fine day they apparently sat with an India map to decide where that ”do something’ should happen. Both were clear it had to be around the Himalayas, and Sarit was keen it be near ‘some university town’. “Ek maahaul rehta hai na academics ka,” he told me the next evening when I walked over to their place, this time for dinner, and some music… And so this place, Kandhbari village, Palampur, Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh, literally fell off the map for the couple. Once friends knew what they had in mind, some of them put the duo in touch with Prashant Bhushan who had some plans as well as lands for a project. To cut a story short, Sandhya became the ‘sutradhaar’ of “Sambhaavnaa: The Institute of Public Policy & Politics” & Sarit, the ”Bhatakti Aatmaa’ on this stunning campus in the foothills of Himalayas, aimed at political activism. With likeminded people, they have also created Udaan, a learning space. The last day of my stay, the two along with their daughter, were doing what they do very often: Taking their mobile science exhibition created especially for local kids, down to Dhramman and nearby villages. (Btw on a related note, do you want to join them? They looking for enthusiastic volunteers!) Their pet project – Aavishkaar – is meant to help young learners in Palampur explore & experiment with science, math and music. Shamli, our young lady all of 11, is homeschooled, speaks impeccable Hindi & is a total joy to talk to. Grounded, sensitive, beautiful child. A day before I leave for home, I have a meal with the family, my palate pampered with some amazing pickles – Buransh (rhododendron, those bright red flowers?) chutney, bamboo ka achar and fresh paneer & pasta. Some kids from the village have come over for a sleepover. Dinner done, I urge Sandhya to bring out her sitar that I had heard she plays. Music – her Hindustani with the Carnatic raga Amrutavarshini that I sing next besides other Tamil and Hindi songs – then flows quietly into the night against the snowy Dhauladhaar peaks that stand outside their home – strong, silent and ageless.

 

View Comments (0)

Close Post

Mountain diaries

Watch for the space…

 

View Comments (0)

Close Post