FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Mayor Lori Ackerman brought up an order of new business at Council regarding the review of the Cemetery Bylaw.Mayor Ackerman wants to review provisions for ornamentals kept at the cemeteries after a recent incident that took place with a family’s gravesite being disturbed.On Wednesday, October 30th, Trish-Allen Dyck made a public post on a FB group regarding the removal of the wooden cross and plot marker from her parent’s burial site in the cemetery.- Advertisement -The FB post received immediate attention from the public and responses from Mayor Lori Ackerman, Councillor Becky Grimsrud and Councillor Trevor Bolin.The following day, Thursday, October 31st, 2019, the cross was returned to the plot, and the grass sodded by city staff and made a public apology on the city of Fort St. John to its FB page.The conversation will continue at Council on Monday, November 25th, 2019.Advertisement
The evening brought together acclaimed Bollywood poets at ICCR’s (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) poetical soiree: From Rahat Indori of Munnabhai MBBS fame to Padma Shri Nida Fazli who has Star screen award for Sur in his kitty besides his popular film songs in Razia Sultan and Sarfarosh. MP Karan Singh lit up the lamps as the chief guest for the occasion. He began the evening with a tribute to the power of goddess and woman to mark the onset of Navratras.The auditorium reverberated with fervent applause and praise unequivocally, by an audience enraptured with the line up of poets and poetesses. It concluded with a promise of continuing the tradition of holding Kavi Sammelan atleast once a year by ICCR.
The walk will trace the origin of Sufism, it’s advent in India, the several orders of Sufism and the characteristic differences as well as the Pir and Murid (master and disciple) relationship. The walk will be covering the following monuments and ruins in the same sequence – Hauze-e-Samsi (water tank), Jahaz Mahal (water boat palace from 15th century), Jharna (water fall from 18th century), Khawaja Syed Ghaznavi’s darga (a sufi saint from the Qadri order), Kala Mahal (an old khanaqha which is now a Madarassa), Zafar Mahal (Bahadhur Shah Zafar’s summer palace) and Khawaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar. The walk will end with a theatre performance of Bahadur Shah Zafar II inside the Zafar Mahal. The booking will be closed after 20 participants, so sign up quick!When: 14 September Meeting Point: Chattarpur Metro Station Timing: 9.30 am to 12.00 pm Charges: Rs 1000/person, a group book of 3 or more: Rs 900/person
Sagar Island: In order to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the Gangasagar Mela, the state Power department has taken up several measures to increase the capacity of the substation at Rudranagar, near here, in South 24-Parganas district. The Power department has been working hard to increase the capacity of the 33/11 kV substation, a senior official of the department said. “We are working on war footing to increase the capacity of the substation at Rudranagar. This is being done for the last few months to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the Gangasagar Mela scheduled to be held in January,” the official said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt has been decided to ensure uninterrupted power supply to 54 points within the Mela premises and surrounding areas, he added. In the previous years, 40 points in and around the Mela used to get uninterrupted power supply, the official said. Work related to laying of underground cables between Kachuberia and Rudranagar have been undergoing to ensure automated power supply through the diesel generated (DG) system in case of any problem related to power supply in any area, he added. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIn fact, the state administration made elaborate arrangements to ensure the security of the extra high-voltage (EHV) substation in Kakdwip, which has been kept on stand-by. The Power department had nearly doubled the power supply from 8.9 million units per day to 16 million units per day, during the Gangasagar Mela last year. An additional 800 KW of power, excluding 250 KW generated by the State Electricity Board at the Mela ground, 150 KW power at Chemaguri and 170 KW power at Kachuberia, would be generated as well, the official said. The official also said that proper arrangements have been made to provide adequate power supply to the pilgrims as well, when they camp near the Maidan area in Kolkata for a few days, before beginning the last leg of their journey to Gangasagar. “Arrangements have been made to ensure that the pilgrims do not face any problems during their stay at the ground before going to Gangasagar and while going back to their respective destinations,” he said.
Would you want to pledge your next unborn child for experimentation to a man who lives in a gutter, along with rats and trains pests at your home to help you? Or would you like to buy certain kind of headaches (piercing, dull, etc) so that you could train your mind to deal with pain, thus learn a life skill? Would you mind helping an extinct word survive at a Word Hospital?Sounds weird? So did it to me when I visited ‘The Emporium; At the edge of Uncertainty’, an immersive play, staged at a huge but dilapidated building in Okhla Phase 3, last week. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhy would a play be staged at a derelict building? What’s the theme; the storyline? That’s the key catch with such an experience called the “Immersive Theatre”. New to India, almost none, except one theatre group of young actors called Crow, has dared to bring it to India. Dared, because it involves a vague or almost no fixed storyline, yet it engages the audience directly within the play, hence the name – Immersive. It creates several situations and characters, at various locations. The audiences are made to interact with all characters who occupy them in several creative and unexpected ways. Each character has a subtle message to give to the audiences. Here, even a venue has an interactive role to play. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFor instance the venue for The Emporium; At the edge of Uncertainty, a ram-shackled multi-story building had office cabins, canteen, etc of a manufacturing unit. The group renovated and turned it into an emporium housing several shops, cabins of dream house sellers, a laboratory, a pest control centre, lost and found department, a salon, a court and a tea house. In a complicated yet interesting situation, each space has a character engaging the live audience. The emporium has a barter system and a candle is its currency. In one showroom, a highly sophisticated anglicized shopkeeper is selling numerous strangely designed, antique cameras and binoculars which he says he has discovered, procured and patented from across the globe. These special instruments, “Optic neurotics”, as he calls them, are meant to give buyers, certain kinds of headaches. A butterfly look-alike glass, for instance, is for nature lovers. Once they see through it, they get a nervy feeling of their skin being touched by a crawling insect. The feeling induces pain. Another lens can get one headache as he takes pictures by it …. it gives broken, fragmented, distorted shots, enough to give him dementia. “Why are you selling these headaches?” I ask. “To create a cognitive dissonance in your mind. It gives you enough headache to deal with its pain, without any pills, hence teach you better life skills…” he answers. Another shop is of a card player. He is local Haryanvi short-tempered guy who will indulge you in card games. There is a court where the audience is not allowed as “it is in session” and a “Lost and Found” department – where you can buy someone else’s wasted minutes. And Adavnijis office, a super salesman who sells you a home in your dreams – you will then never have to pay rent during your dreams and can stay in that house whenever you dream. Besides that, there is Gupta ji corner shop, a general merchant, who is a chatterbox – more interested in storytelling than selling his wares. He wants someone to make a nice logo for his shop. He has another hair cutting salon which has no employees. But with posters inside, it boasts of having skills of styling your hair like Hollywood and Bollywood stars.The play concludes with a winner, who wins a house and a dream car in return of candles. She can live in that house in her dreams; a comment on builders today. Post this there is a bell as it is dinner time for the shop owners and means the audience can leave. Complex storylineLeft rather open-ended, the play keeps the audience captivated until the end. Though it has surprises at every turn, the play could begin with less complex stories. Our theatre audience is still not educated about how to handle himself in given situations. Moreover, in India, most audiences go to the theater for entertainment than an intellectual experience. Finding acceptance with such complex storylines is certainly not a good idea to begin with. Struggle for fundsApart from the U.K where it started in the early 1990s, and today seems to have reached a saturation point, Immersive Theatre is still in nascent stage across the globe. It is also prevalent in Prague, Paris, and some parts of USA, Spain, and Russia. Actor-designer Nayantara Kotian, who has done her Masters in Theatre from London and learned this technique from Felix Barrett, the founder of Immersive Theater in the US, and artistic director of company Punchdrunk, brought Immersive Theater to India, “to give an alternate theatre experience to Indian audiences.” She, along with actor-director Prashant, founded Crow in 2014 and staged their first production in 2016 in Mumbai. Nayantara says, “Though excited about the idea, sponsors don’t want to take chances. We were lucky to be funded by OML (Only Much Louder) a Mumbai-based music venture for our first play, but we haven’t been able to make any major breakthrough yet.”Prashant echoes, “We have no precedence, no milestones in India for Immersive theatre so it is advantageous for us. We create our own rules but patrons want to play safe. Thankfully, Gujral Foundation gave us little funds and this building for free. We had terrible time cleaning and renovating it according to our script. Getting audience is another major issue, A few shows were for India Art Fair visitors, that was running parallel last week. Since such plays cannot be staged in compact auditoriums, it is tougher to bring the audience to an alternate venue like this. And our audience also cannot be in hundreds but in just a few numbers, say maximum of 50; all the more reason that they have to buy tickets.”In India, where audiences largely don’t want to buy tickets for theatre but look for passes, the Immersive Theatre certainly needs a push from theater lovers. However, to create a momentum, it needs to keep its stories limited, simpler and familiar. Though a bit expensive, but a must go, the ticketed play could be experienced on February 24 and 25.