Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

A blessing to have had stalwarts of Indian Art and Culture on SPANDAN 2016 for release of special issues of Nartanam Dance Journal on Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Dr Padma Subrahmaniam and Sri Avinash Pasricha by Prof Lokesh Chandra (President ICCR). The Amaltas Hall at IHC was packed with eminent scholars, dancers, gurus, photographers and rasiks.

Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

The evening was anchored by Ms Indira Ganesh.

It was very kind of Sri Raghuraman to play “Vataapi Ganapatim” on his soulful flute to start the evening, as the chief guest was a triffle late. It was blessing!

Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

Indira invited Dr. Sunil Kothari, scholar and dance critic, who conceived the evening to share about the chief guest, Prof Lokesh Chandra. Indeed we were blessed to have him, for his sheer depth of research on various aspects of culture, language and heritage. He extensively recited Sanskrit shlokas and also shared stories from his journey to the Oriental lands of Japan and China. Dr. Sunil Kothari felicitated Prof Lokesh Chandra.

Madhavi Puranam, editor Nartanam, humbly invited scholars Dr. Sunil Kothari, Mrs Manjri Sinha, Mrs. Leela Venkataraman, Sri Avinash Pasricha on stage. Prof Lokesh Chandra felicitated the scholars and also released the special issues of Nartanam. Unfortunately Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan was indisposed with a fall, and could not make it. Prof Lokesh Chandra unveiled the book on Art and Aesthetics written by Madhavi Puranam.

Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

Mrs Leela Venkataraman and Mrs Manjari Sinha shared their insights into the effort being taken by Madhavi in running the journal Nartanam, to deliver the issues month after month for the last 15 years. Indeed a commendable work and service to the art forms.

Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

The evening culminated with a divine performance by Bharatanatyam Danseuese Rama Vaidyanathan. It was a humble gesture on part of Ramaji to gracefully accede to our request to perform. Smt Sudha Raghuraman with her divine vocals accompanied by Sri Raghuraman added to the divinity of the evening.

I humbly thank Mr. Veenu Pasricha for clicking these photographs.


Sreeni’s first book of the year : Contributing to “Indian Classical Dance – The Renaissance and Beyond” by Smt. Leela Venkataraman, noted dance critic

Indian Classial Dance - The Renaissance and Beyond

This year’s first book with my contributions, along with those of Sri Avinash Pasricha ji: The latest defining work of Smt Leela Venkataraman, noted dance critic, “Indian Classical Dance, The Renaissance and Beyond”, features quite a few photo-captures of various classical dance forms and exponents by SREENI (in all about 80+ captures were shortlisted by the publishers, how many in there?);

Hope to have a bumper year in 2015 too; last two years I had half a dozen books, published… education, innovation and technology and travel apart from performing arts…

Fancy and Fantasy – Gurudev’s works come alive on stage : Conceived by Dr Utpal K Banerjee

I had the honour of anchoring the organization of the unique dance evening – Fancy and Fantasy – that well known performing art critique Dr. Utpal K Banerjee conceived.

Fancy and Fantasy brought Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s later life works for children to the stage through the translations of Utpal da, choreographed and performences by very eminent gurus and dancers – Shovana Narayan ji in Kathak, Vaidyanathans – Saroja ji, Rama and Dakshina in Bharatanatyam, Bharati Shivaji with disciples in Mohiniyattam, and Santosh Nair and his disciple Rishi Sharma with fellow dancers in Chhau and Contemporary dance form. My humble gratitude to each of the gurus for whole-heartedly making this evening a memorable one through their performances. No words can really thank them enough.

Each of the guru picked up one or two poems of Gurudev’s from the translated works of Dr. Utpal Banerjee – Rainbow Rhymes of Tagore – published by National Sahitya kala akademi.

Fancy and Fantasy collage

Here is the coverage of the program on ‘Colors of India’ on Doordarshan, the Indian television channel.

You can also view the photographs of the evening at this link The photographic captures of Fancy and Fantasy

Narthanam – SPIC MACAY Special, decked with Sreeni’s photo captures

NARTHANAM’s (a respected quarterly journal on Indian Dance) special issue, dedicated to the movement of SPIC MACAY is out!

Sincere bow to the movement of SPIC MACAY (Society for promotion of Indian Classical Music and culture among youth) for kindling the love for music, dance, culture and heritage. The special issue of Narthanam on SPIC MACAY is embellished by hundreds of captures by me, of the movement over the years, as my humble dedication to the cause ..

Narthanam - SPIC MACAY Special, Sreeni's photo captures

Kindly contribute to the cause of spic macay, and also subscribe Nartanam. See the excerpts from the issue at…

Love and regards,

SREENIViews Photography & Visual arts

“Autism and a dad” – Yash Gupta (batchmate, class of 1996, IIMB) shares his learning in a book

Albert-Einstein GenuisI was the chairman of one of our schools, Indus World School in Hyderabad, between 2006 and 2008. We were scouting for a principal and eventually narrowed down to one gentleman, lovingly called JP, a father figure, who had a strong grounding at JIDDU Krishnamurthy’s Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh. Since IWS has been envisioned as child-centric and learner-centric school, we co-opted JP to be the principal of the school.

Soon, we came to meet a young man into his 20s, JP’s son, who was very sharp in thinking yet child-like in behavior, at times seemed to be very adamant. We realized that he was autistic. He loved being with other children, and was very active too. JP, his wife and daughter took good care of this child-like young man. Our schools made sure that we follow inclusiveness and help such children to get integrated with the normal children. We succeeded in integrating quite a few children, with tender care.Different but no less

This morning, I received a mail from one of batch-mates of class of 1996, IIM Bangalore, sharing his journey with Autism, when his family realized at the age of two, the condition of his child. The last five years have been a great challenge, and they are facing it with a great resolve, which made YASH write a book on how to face Autism, from the perspective of a dad! Here is his mail….


I have authored a book – yes, an actual book. A paperback.

Many times life throws a curve ball and we try to deal with it. My kid, now seven, fell into autism at age two. He is a lovely child. He was lovely and sociable before age two and is lovely now and getting there.

This is my story – from the eyes of a dad facing autism. This was something I was unprepared for in 2006, when autism came home to us. If you see one of the videos in the book, it shows my kid as a gregarious one year old in Singapore. He was the darling of all. All that changed in a short time. The last 5 years have been tumultuous for our family. Initially there was disbelief and heartbreak. Then of course, we started on the arduous task of getting him back on track. As usual, Vijnan, my dear friend, played his part in helping me.

To cut to the chase, I wrote this book primarily to pass on the guidance and help I received from various parents in similar situations. In some ways autism is worse Someone with autism has taught me to think outside the box[6]than cancer. It strikes the young. It changes families. Then there are parents who have taken their kids totally off the spectrum using therapies and other techniques. I know of at least one kid who is now excelling in mainstream school. However, the spectrum is broad and something which helped one kid may not apply to another. That is the challenge thrown to parents. I cannot tell you how many times I have felt my brain exploding just thinking about what to do and how to do it..

It’s my heartfelt wish to get this book in the hands of all the fathers who feel powerless and unsure of what to do. It is neither a panacea nor intended thus. Even if it helps one kid through the parent, I will be glad. I am positive it will. We have come quite some way in our struggle to understand, accept and move forward with determination. I am waiting for the day when autism will be found, tried and exiled. Till then the kids need all the help they can get.

My work is available at,, and across the world as “Autism and a dad”. It took me 4 years to write it with everything else that was going on.


Autism and a DAD, listed on AMAZON.,  the brief states…

Autism and a DadThe book explores the role of Dads as the focal point in the struggle over autism. Since most books are by mothers, I felt the need to write down my experiences as a father with a child on the spectrum and share the guidance received from other fathers.
Dealing with autism needs to be considered a race. Many times dads seem to think better on those lines – Something akin to the Iditarod in Alaska – A project to be embarked upon with the ultimate challenge to be not only completing the race but most important, planning for the milestones in advance. These are Insurance, Biomedicals, Special services and Therapy. Dads need to aim to get a coterie of important professionals around them early on and believe in them to avoid information overload in terms of therapies and biomedicals.

All of us are autistic. We differ only in degrees. It is difficult to tell at what point in our upbringing our caregivers should have intervened to broaden our vision. However, when we do see a young child of two struggling to make a connection, we cannot sit back and let nature take its course. We have to rise to the challenge nature has thrown to the child’s parents.

There are many aspects of dealing with autism. Running away from the problem is a way out. Why not take up the challenge instead, as for a long-playing activity. The benefits are too many to enumerate.

We all are with Yash and Neera in this challenging journey! God Bless !

(thanks to the www and the original creators of these beautiful quotes, that have embellished my post)

Think Big, Start Small! “We come up with quality books, all of which are good” – Sachin Garg (MDI alum) – Co-founder Grapevine

MDI invited me to be part of a panel with four other bright young entrepreneurs to address their B-School graduates recently and I am glad that I was there. Each of the four – Amit Kharabanda from tech world, Sachin – a publisher and talent scouter, Sonal Kapoor – a social entrepreneur, Mattea champeo – an investing evangelist – is very inspiring. As they spoke I captured my own learning notes and their stories. I thought of sharing those notes, one after another…as part of my Think Big Start Small, series..

Here is the story of Sachin Garg


Sachin Garg is an Indian bestselling novelist, best known for his semi-autobiographical chronicles. Garg has authored the bestseller – It’s First Love..Just Like The Last One! And I’m Not Twenty Four…I Have Been Nineteen For Five Years. Sachin Garg’s plots generally embody tragic romances and young love, and are targeted towards the younger generation. His books, though not inclined towards verbose language and more of an easy read, have successfully reached their targeted audience.

Sachin graduated from Delhi College of Engineering with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and went on to study management at MDI, Gurgaon. After completing his MBA, Sachin found his true calling and started writing novels. In 2011, he co-founded Grapevine India Publishers Pvt. Ltd

Sachin Garg, founder Grapevine publishing, an alum of MDI sharing his story with the current students of MDI

Sachin talking to the students of MDI –

  • When I came to MDI I had already clinched a deal with a publisher to publish my first work
  • 2009 – My first book clicked – Srishti publisher
  • Social media played a huge role in popularizing the book. I was in the first year at MDI
  • I got placed at JSW steel during our campus placements
  • Never expected that I will be posted in a remote location, in their steel plant, beyond Bellary for the next 16 months
  • Especially after being in France for the previous 6 months, during the student exchange program, the posting to the remote location was no less challenging. It was like being thrown back to 18th century
  • But, I must confess, the experiences there became the ‘masala’ for my next project
  • Second book came from my observations and realizations from that experience
  • my book had a girl being posted there, I covered everything… work, romance, love… amidst the rustic hinterlands of India
  • The book hit the market in 2010
  • In May 2011, I thought of being an entrepreneur
  • What is my ARENA going to be? only thing I know about was books and publishing
  • My father was in DDA, a publishing IDEA was beyond his grasp or our family’s
  • I went to Durjoy Dutta (‘Of Course I love you… Till I find someone else’ fame), a big name by then, and a few more joined in
  • By Sept 2011, we had 20+ authors
  • All happened in a couple of weeks
  • One of our books was in the AC Nielsen list at number three
  • Next year AC Nielsen’s list of 250 had Penguin, Rupa too, but Grapevine had 15 in that list, highest number of entries
  • Usually if you want to publish you need connections in those publishers
  • We wanted to give platform for the new authors. From one new author a month, we moved to the short story writers
  • We are creating a self publishing platform
  • We are organizing ‘India lit fest’  in this year’s world book fair at Pragati Maidan this FEB
  • The journey has been exciting… looking forward to many more plots..

I was with my better half, Indira and our book-gorging daughter Mallika at the World Book Fair at Pragati Maidan, early this month. We bumped into Sachin there and he was very excited about the Lit Fest and invited us to be there. Unfortunately we could not make it. Sachin invited Mallika to contribute to the book series that is featuring young authors under 18! Mallika is excited!

If you want to submit a manuscript to Sachin to publish, write to Grapevine with:

  • Author’s Bio
  • A Brief Summary of the novel
  • 3 sample chapters or the full manuscript

Explore and know more about Grapevine and connect with Sachin.

Passion paves the path.. Have you ever thought of what you are passionate about and how to celebrate that passion in a productive way?

Sreeni’s humble journey – In Media, Books, publications, collaborations

I feel very elated and humbled at the same time, looking back at my journey as an edupreneur (educationist + entrepreneur) in the last eighteen years. This journey took me to many countries in the world, met many inspiring personalities, gave opportunity to create new businesses, initiate new endeavours that would facilitate thousands of children and youth realize their dreams, yet the most important thing has been that of discovering many more dimensions of my own journey of infinity (discovering the infinite potential within).

Ever since I returned to Delhi in 2008 after a five year stint abroad and then setting up schools in Hyderabad and Indore, I seriously started working on my passions – performing arts, fine arts, introspecting and writing, facilitating passionate artists who need support, apart from motivating youth to excel and young parents on parenting, creating exciting learning environments. I am inspired by all near and dear who have changed their gears in multiple-areas – brothers, Satya in Urdu poetry and lyrics, Param in holistic healing; My colleagues at Career Launcher : Shivku, GP, Nikhil, Sujit have been role models in many ways for their steadfastness in the endeavours they espouse; My friends who have created their own enterprises, eminent personalities and artists who are excelling in their passions have also been prodding me unbeknown to them. When I was taking stock of the outcome of these endeavours, I feel really charged and motivated to change the gears to do so much more.

The outcomes of this passionate journey has been varied, unexpectedly – publishing of my work in media, books magazines, online portals; invitations to programs, workshops on various media; eminent personalities co-opting me in their work and so on. I thought of showcasing it as a way of keeping myself motivated, apart from being a source of inspiration for many more who wish to excel. This reiterates my thought that, “If I am passionate about my work and dedicatedly persevere then the world will conspire to make it much more meaningful; and take me to places that I have never known.”

The most unexpected of the outcomes has been featuring in a book, “Young Leaders Success Code,” published by National HRD network and IMI. This chapter, dedicated to my leadership style, traces my journey from childhood to 2011…

Book - Young leaders Success Code - features R.SreenivasanBook - Young leaders Success Code - features R.SreenivasanBook - Young leaders Success Code - features R.SreenivasanBook - Young leaders Success Code - features R.SreenivasanBook - Young leaders Success Code - features R.Sreenivasan

Media – Both electronic and print have been kind enough to co-opt me, invite me to be a speaker or panelist on various programmes that address the needs of youth : Education, Careers, Parenting; Also covering my motivational tours and workshops – ‘Dream It, Do It’; ‘Think Big, Start Small’

Sreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pmSreeni in DD News Charcha mein Sept 03, 2011Find the leader and winner in your child - Motivational sessionEarly Childhood Education - School Leadership Conference2013 posters of Dream It, Do It! tour across the country

As I kept traveling around the world, my constant companion ‘the camera’ did enable me to capture India and the world in its kaleidoscopic spirit and colors; These splendid captures have attracted many publishers to embellish their works across the media – books, magazines, online-works etc from adorning their covers to centre-spreads!

– coffee table book by Ministry of External affairs – “The India Idea” dedicated to Indian Innovation spirit
– Three coffee table travel books published by Parragon on Jaisalmer, Rajasthan and golden triangle
– The cover of a book by Cambridge University Press
– Special issues of Femina; IIMB Alumni magazine
– Penguin’s best five – ‘India – A portrait through your lens’
– Overseas : Online magazines and their offline publications in Singapore (STORM); French publication – Linternaute; Las Vegas city guide

The India Idea – BookThe India Idea – BookThe Golden Triangle - Travel Guide features Sreeni's imagesJaisalmerRajasthan, the land of colors - Travel guidCambridge university press features Sreeni's photo on the cover of the book Devotion and Dissent in Indian HistoryLiving in Two Worlds - Femina Anniversary Issue 2011Living in Two Worlds - Femina Anniversary Issue 2011IIMB Alumni Magazine covers SPANDANIIMB Alumni Magazine covers SPANDANFrench website features my holi photos - LinternautePenguin India : 'India: A Portrait Through Your Lens' - Best 5

My passionate pursuit of performing arts – in front of and also behind the camera – yielded such a rich collection that, in 2013, I initiated my own dance photography exhibition and world dance festival, SPANDAN, that coincides with world dance day; and my annual SPANDAN calendar of Dance – a tribute to Indian dance forms emerged… glad to see the second year taking off in a very auspicious note. I owe my sincere gratitude to India Habitat Centre for being my hospitality partner for my annual exhibition and dance festival. My humble salutations to every artist who has allowed me, encouraged me to capture their performances and participated in my dance endeavours.

SPANDAN in FIRST CITYCalendars 2014 - Spandan and AIDSSpandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Blogged select captures

I am indebted to many eminent critiques and writers, movements like SPIC MACAY, SRISTI for co-opting me to capture their work and contribute to their cause, and also for embellishing their work in dailies and magazines…

Celebrating selfless service - THE HINDU - June 28, Three photosMedia : SPIC MACAY Coverages feature my photosSPIC MACAY 25th National Convention, in MediaSPIC MACAY 25th National Convention, in MediaMedia : SPIC MACAY Coverages feature my photos
Media : SPIC MACAY Coverages feature my photosSPIC MACAY - 27th National Convention, NITK SurathkalSPIC MACAY - 27th National Convention, NITK SurathkalSPIC MACAY - 27th National Convention, NITK SurathkalSPIC MACAY - 27th National Convention, NITK SurathkalSPIC MACAY - 27th National Convention, NITK Surathkal

Books, publications and Media, a set on Flickr.

In offing, in early 2014 : A couple of books on Indian Classical Dance forms, embellished with my photo-captures, by

a. An eminent dance critique of our country, who is a SNA Awardee and regular columnist,
b. A brilliant young dancer, SNA Yuva puraskar awardee, with an eminent culture ambassador.
c. SPANDAN dance festival and photography exhibition in April

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