I’ve just finished reading a magnificent collection of short stories by Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali writer and musician whose sublime, elegant lyricism earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1916, making him its first Asian recipient. Tagore loved his country — perhaps his most famous composition is “Jana Gana Mana” — but he also hoped that labels and divisions might be transcended by our shared humanity. It’s precisely that aspiration that propels his fearlessly compassionate writing.
For reminders of that shared humanity, there’s no better place to turn than the arts. We see it in empathetic stories like Tagore’s, of course, but also in music and dance, theatre and film. That’s why I’m so excited by our April issue of the Indian SCENE, which features a number of talented people who have made art and performance central parts of their lives.
In our Health section, Diya Chandra Sekhar, a dancer and former pageant winner opens up about living with lupus, an exhausting and unpredictable autoimmune disease. Our Feature Profile this issue is on Ashray Dravidian, an award-winning local filmmaker fascinated by the human psyche. For the Seniors section this month, contributor Nasy Sankagiri had a long, enlightening conversation with Srinivasan and Ambuja Venkatesan, who have made a name for themselves through their leadership in community theatre. And bonus: Vaishnav Siddapureddy, the subject of our latest NextGen installment and a football player at Pomona College, says he’s planning to be in his school’s Indian dance show this spring!
(If you’re now in the mood for some Indian cultural performances, good news: the Detroit Institute of Arts is hosting a “Celebrate India” event on April 6 and 7, featuring music, dance, yoga, poetry readings and lectures on Indian art and architecture — we encourage you to attend!)
As always, we welcome your thoughts and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and happy reading!