Center for South Asian Studies | University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa


Jan 28, 2015
‘The many crickets of an Indian boyhood’ by Sankaran Krishna

JANUARY 27, 2015 – Originally Posted and Published on ESPNcricinfo

The many crickets of an Indian boyhood

Sankaran Krishna 

Tennis-ball cricket: ubiquitous in school yards, playgrounds and maidans across India  © PA Photos


One of the joys of growing up in the India of the 1960s and ’70s was the multiple forms of cricket played all around you. There was tennis-ball cricket, cork-ball cricket, French cricket, cricket played on matting wickets, turf cricket with a proper cricket ball, and a host of other forms – some of them possibly unique to India and owing to what one might call our context of scarcity and surplus of imagination. I’d like to ruminate on some of these forms and the special skills they necessitated and developed. 

Tennis-ball cricket (though sometimes the ball in question was nothing more than a lowly rubber ball) was the predominant form in most playgrounds and schoolyards, especially among the younger lot. Given the sheer surfeit of players and the need to rotate strike as quickly as possible (everyone fancied himself a bastman, of course) you were out caught even after the first bounce. Batsmen – the good ones at any rate – rapidly figured out the virtues of playing with soft hands, placing the ball into gaps, and using their wrists to control the trajectory of the ball. You could hit the tennis ball a long way if you had the elusive kinaesthetic skill of timing and always hit with the wind and never into it.  

As I heard foreign commentators rhapsodise on the wristiness of Indian batters like Azhar or Laxman or Vishy, I’ve often sent a silent thank you to those days of one-bounce tennis ball cricket that is probably to credit for overdeveloping those skills. As a bowler in tennis-ball cricket you quickly realised your best bet was to perfect the length and vary the pace ever so slightly. With all the tennis-ball cricket played by the youth of India, we should have been churning out metronomic bowlers in the Glenn McGrath mould. 

The cork ball was the poor boy’s cricket ball. It lasted forever and had the hardness of the real thing. On dusty playground tracks it offered bounce, and you could bowl both fast and spin with it. There was something funny about the cork ball’s bounce: upon first hitting the ground it slowed down and sort of stood up, but after the second bounce it accelerated rapidly. As a fielder this meant you either stopped it right after the first bounce (or caught it before, of course) or you were in for a futile chase to the boundary as the cussed thing picked up speed with each bounce. As a batman, if you timed your shot well off the middle, the bounciness of cork ensured that you could hit it a long way. If you were a bowler, again length became your best weapon. Short balls, even by the faster bowlers, stood up and waited to be clobbered. The roughness of the cork ball offered spinners a lot – sometimes too much, as it were – making length crucial once again. 

When you had no stumps, not even a wall on which to draw them with charcoal, and a postage stamp of a field, French cricket was your best bet. I have often wondered if this form of cricket is played anywhere at all outside India, and how it came by its strange name. Your legs are the stumps and if the ball hits you below the knees you are out. In some variants, the batsman cannot move his feet and has to dexterously play the ball behind his back even, when needed. Once you struck the ball away – and keeping it well away from you was the secret to success in the game – you scored runs by circling the bat around your midriff, with each circle counting as a run, until the next “delivery” came at you. This version required the least equipment of all (a bat and ball would suffice), and I remember school days where the hard clipboard on which we placed our exam answer papers served as bat and a balled-up wad of paper was the ball. 

My first encounter with a matting wicket and a real leather cricket ball was also my education about the chasm that separated all other forms of cricket from the real thing, and the boys from the men. Possibly because of the mat itself, suddenly the distance between the bowler and batsman seemed to have shrunk greatly. Matting wickets offered pace and true bounce (especially if the turf below was hard and well-swept) and you had to judge the length instantly. Batsmen who could hook, pull and cut – all shots played above the waist – thrived on matting wickets, and physical courage was indispensable. It was a delight for bowlers too: the coir offered turn for the spinners, movement off the seam for faster bowlers, and bounce for everyone. And you could bowl a genuine bouncer – as distinct from a half-tracker that floated over the batter’s head. 

As I watch incredibly talented batsmen like Suresh Raina struggle against the short ball on fast and bouncy pitches, I’ve wondered if early exposure to a turf wicket, especially in India, isn’t a tad underrated. A stint on coir matting might be the answer to Raina’s woes. In fact, what if we required about half our domestic matches to be played on matting wickets? It would give our faster bowlers responsive tracks and teach them the virtues of bowling the right length, our batters a chance to get used to the short and sharp stuff, and even our fielders some much needed deep-slip catching practice. It would certainly better simulate conditions in Australia or England than bowling machines or throwdowns can. And it may even help India accomplish something that seems more distant than ever – win a Test series down under or in South Africa. 

Sankaran Krishna is a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii, in Honolulu

Jan 27, 2015
Call for Applications: Sharma Memorial Scholarship for graduate studies on South Asia


Application Deadline: Feb 16, 2015

We are pleased to announce a call for applications for the Jagdish P. Sharma Memorial Scholarship to support graduate students who have a focus on South Asia. Now in its fourth year, the annual scholarship will award each recipient up to $5000–half delivered at the opening of each semester. A maximum of $10,000 is available for the upcoming academic year, Fall 2015 to Spring 2016. To date, a total of $30,000 has been awarded to seven graduate students.

The prospective recipient should be a graduate student enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences at UH and pursuing studies of or about the South Asia region and its people. The criteria for the scholarship includes: 1) Statement of commitment to South Asian studies; 2) Academic merit as determined by the selection committee; and 3) Letter of recommendation from an academic faculty member.

More information and the electronic application for the scholarship – administered by the Department of History – can be found through the UH STAR system. If prospective applicants have questions, or wish to submit an application directly, they can contact the scholarship administrator, Prof. Ned Bertz at

For more about Dr. Jagdish Sharma and this scholarship, please see the following article: JPS scholarship

Many thanks especially to the Sharma family for their continuing generosity.

Jan 26, 2015
EWC Exhibition: Mountain Minorities: Tamang and Rai Cultures of Nepal
Upcoming Exhibition Announcement
Mountain Minorities:
Tamang and Rai Cultures of Nepal
January 25 – May 10, 2015
East-West Center Gallery
Presented by the East-West Center Arts Program, in cooperation with The Nepal Foundation
Nepal, high in the Himalayas and the birthplace of the Buddha, is a crossroads between India and China. This small landlocked country is home to a great diversity of peoples, languages, flora, and fauna. Nepal has a population of more than 26 million people, made up of over 80 different ethnic communities. Although people often think of the Sherpas guiding trekkers and mountain climbers up to the Everest base camp, there are many lesser known communities living in the lower ranges of the mountains. These are very isolated communities who are often very poor, and have unique ritual practices, clothing, weavings, paintings, and utensils, many of which are on display. This exhibition will focus on two communities: the Tamang and the Rai peoples. In addition, on display are over 50 photographs by two Nepali artists, and thankas by the renowned painter, Hira Lama.
Curator: Michael Schuster
Installation: Lynne Najita
Photographers: Navesh Chitrakar and Uday Karmacharya
Research Assistance: Mary Carroll, Yadav Rai,Mohan Lama, Rabin Lama, Enuka Lama, Shulang Zou, Suresh Tamang, Society of Nepalese in Hawai‘i (SNEHA)
This exhibition is made possible by generous support from Aston Hotels & Resorts.
EWC Arts Programs are supported by the Hawai‘i Pacific Rim Society, Friends of Hawai‘i Charities, Jackie Chan Foundation USA, Richard H. Cox, EWC Arts ‘Ohana members, and other generous donors.
Click here to download the exhibition handout.
Special Events in the EWC Gallery with free admission, unless otherwise noted.
Sunday, January 25, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Exhibition Gala Opening including reception and traditional folk dance and music by the Society of Nepalese in Hawai‘i (SNEHA)
Sunday, February 15, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated talk: “Love, Indigenous Culture, and the Village in Nepali Music”
Anna Stirr, Assistant Professor, UHM Dept. of Asian Studies
Sunday, February 22, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated talk: “The Tamang: Mountain Indigenous Community”
Suresh Tamang, President, Society of Nepalese in Hawai‘i
Sunday, March 1, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated talk: “Release from Poverty: A Nepal Community’s Inspiring Story”
Mary Carroll, Chair, The Nepal Foundation
Sunday, March 8, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated talk: “Education in Nepal”
Kabi Neupane, Professor, UH Leeward Community College Dept. of Biology
Sunday, March 22, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated talk: “Improving Heathcare in Nepal through a Hawai‘i-based Youth Movement”
Cierra Nakamura, Pres. Smiles Across Miles; and Sen. Glenn Wakai, Pres. Reach Out Pacific.
Sunday, April 12, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Film: Himalaya, directed by Eric Valli
An annual caravan of Nepali villagers struggle to bring salt from the high Himalayas to the lowlands for trade.
Saturday, April 18, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 19, 4:00 p.m.
Concert: “Music of the Himalayas”
EWC Imin Center – Jefferson Hall
Featuring Parashuram Bhandari, master of the sarangi
Ticket information, coming soon
Sunday, May 3, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated talk: “Geology and Culture in Nepal”
Arjun Aryal, Post-Doctoral Researcher, UHM School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
Gallery Info:
John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road
(corner Dole St. & East-West Rd.)
Gallery hours: Weekdays: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Sundays Noon-4:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays and holidays
For further information: 944-7177 
The East-West Center promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1960, the Center serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options.
For 30 years the EWC Arts Program has enriched the community through concerts, lectures, symposia, and exhibitions focusing on traditional arts of the region, and by arranged cultural and educational tours by artists who are skilled in bridging cultures.
East-West Center
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96848

Jan 22, 2015
8th Annual Bollywood Film Festival (January 3-January 30, 2015) ​at the Honolulu Museum of Art

The 8th Annual Bollywood Film Festival (January 3-January 30, 2015) ​at the Honolulu Museum of Art ​offers an impressive range of films that cover​ a wide variety of themes, genres, and languages. ​The slate this year has again benefited from the work of Sai Bhatawadekar, Assistant Professor of Hindi-Urdu​ in Department of Indo-Pacific Languages.​ She has been serving on the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Bollywood film festival committee for four years now. As part of the committee, she helps critically study and suggest new films that would capture the attention of Honolulu audiences and, at the same time​,​ widen the scope of the festival.

The films featured in this festival include quintessential rom-coms of course, but also the festival’s first Marathi language film – Fandry – which depicts young love in the shadow of untouchability;​ a biopic ​on India’s world champion woman boxer,​ Mary Com; ​a documentary on classical Kathak dance; ​a spectacular adaptation of Hamlet​;​ India’s first motion capture animated film​;​ and much much more. These films illustrate growing ideological and thematic trends in Indian cinema – strong female leads and their struggles and self-discovery, relationships revolving around Indian cuisine and cooking, sports as a medium of evoking national pride, and East-West literary and artistic collaborations. The festival also features a Bollywood dance workshop for beginners and experts alike led by Hawaii’s Bollywood and Indian Folk dance group – Aaja Nachl​e.

The dance group – is founded by Prof. Bahatawadekar and Nada McClellan, and has become a well-savored ingredient of the festival recipe. Additionally, Prof. Bhatawadekar also contributes to this yearly festival by delivering inaugural lectures and giving ​brief talks on prominent actors and directors​.​

Please click here for the entire list of films and schedule for the film festival.

Sponsored by Indru and Gulab Watumull & the J. Watumull Fund.

Special thanks to the Bollywood Film Festival Committee—Sai Bhatawadekar, Maya Cowell, Alan Eyerly and Lachmin Singh.

Additional thanks to Antara Bhardwaj, Hindipendent Films; Farhana Bhula; Alice Coelho, Eros Entertainment; Gayatri Gulati and Khushboo Saha, Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd; Carol Khewhok, Shangri La, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art; Arun Pandian, Ayngaran International; Nishant Roy Bombarde and Nikhil Sane, Essel Vision; Vinitha Vinayachandran, UTV Films and Sanjay A. Wadhwa, AP International.

Jan 13, 2015
2015 UHM CSAS Symposium Call for Papers, April 15-17 2015


Decolonial Futures in South Asia and Beyond

** Please Circulate Widely **

The Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa invites paper and panel proposals for its 32nd Annual Spring Symposium

View the flyer here.

April 15-17, 2015, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi

Deadline to submit proposals: January 16 (Friday), 2015

The material and existential conditions in contemporary South Asia and its diasporas necessitate a reckoning with forms of power which suppress or marginalize different manifestations of knowledge, subjectivity and social relations.  What sorts of political struggles, epistemological shifts and aesthetic sensibilities could help envision and realize decolonial futures in South Asia and its diasporas?  A new generation of scholars has begun to engage with political projects and intellectual traditions that have been subjugated or silenced within dominant national narratives. We invite papers which engage with the challenges decoloniality poses for postcolonial studies, research on South Asian migration, and/or scholarship on imperial formations, old or new. We welcome new forms of writing and storytelling that excavate silenced histories, lived experiences, and resistance politics and practices. Given our location in Hawai’i and the Pacific, topics of particular interest include oceanic connections, decolonial politics, environmental struggles and rights, and transnational networks.

Please send a 200-word abstract for an individual paper by email to If proposing an entire panel, please also include a paragraph-length rationale and a proposed title for the panel along with paper titles and abstracts.  

For further questions, contact

A limited amount of free lodging will be available to participants.

Our panels will be anchored by keynotes by:

biopic_muppidi_smHimadeep Muppidi, Political Science and International Studies at Vassar College, New York. He is the author of The Colonial Signs of International Relations (Oxford University Press, 2012) and, most recently, of Politics in Emotion: The Song of Telangana (Routledge, 2014).  

CMS_VBald_155Vivek Bald, Comparative Media Studies and Writing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A scholar, writer, activist and documentary filmmaker, he is the author of Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America (Harvard University Press, 2013), and co-editor, with Miabi Chatterji, Sujani Reddy, and Manu Vimalassery of The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power (NYU Press, 2013).  

bahadur-author-photo-6Gaiutra Bahadur, writer and journalist.  She is the author of Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture (University of Chicago Press, 2013).  In this work of creative non-fiction, she reconstructs the lives of indentured women, including of her own family, in early twentieth century Guyana, breathing life into lost and neglected stories that stretch across continents. As a journalist, she has covered the politics of global migration.

bertz_nedNed Bertz, History, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.  An Indian Ocean historian, Dr. Bertz examines mobility, place, and claims of belonging amidst emerging notions of nationhood in Diaspora and Nation in the Indian Ocean: Transnational Histories of Race and Urban Space in Tanzania (forthcoming from University of Hawaiʻi Press).


Nov 26, 2014
Prof. Lee Siegel’s New Publication “Trance-Migrations: Stories of India, Tales of Hypnosis”

CSAS Affiliate Faculty Lee Siegel has a new publication out:

Trance-Migrations: Stories of India, Tales of Hypnosis


264 pages | 14 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2014



University of Chicago Press

Part non-fiction, part short fiction; part memoir, part essay, Trance-migrations is both an entertaining and informative read and a thoroughly original and creative experiment in metafiction. Combining great erudition with sophisticated word play and bawdy humor, it alternates sections containing stories– both fictional and non-fictional–to be read by the reader to her or himself with sections of stories to be read aloud to a listener. In the latter cases Siegel intends that the listener actually go into a hypnotic trance out of which the reader will eventually awaken her or him. In this way the narrative form of the book “performs” a hypnotic “induction script” out of which the listener awakens to find that it is impossible to tell what “really: happened, just as in hypnosis the line between fact and fiction is irremediably blurred. Siegel uses hypnosis and the dynamic between hypnotist and hypnos and as a way of exploring other power dynamics — between lovers, between writer and reader (or listener), between masculine colonial culture and the “feminized” East, between God (or gods) and mortals, and ultimately between memory – historical and personal – and constantly shifting meaning. The book is above all about reading as a hypnotic experience. Through stories based on motifs and characters from both Indian mythology and from real life (notably Abbé Faria, a Goan Catholic monk who gained notoriety in the early nineteenth century with demonstrations of magnetism in Paris, and James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon for the East India Company who experimented with mesmerism as a surgical anesthetic in Calcutta), Siegel epitomizes and elucidates the psychological and political dynamics of a fascination with a mysterious Orient, and reveals the anxieties embedded in such fascination.

Lee Siegel





Lee Siegel (Profile Picture)Lee Siegel’s publications, dealing particularly with the aesthetic, erotic, and comedic dimensions of religious experience, are experimental narrative explorations of the possible relationships between scholarship and fiction. He teaches an undergraduate introduction to religion, a graduate seminar on Indian religious literature, and he directs graduate workshops devoted to both rhetorical and pedagogical methodologies in religious studies. In both his research and teaching endeavors at the graduate level, he is also concerned with the development of a poetics for the translation of Sanskrit literary and religious texts.





Nov 17, 2014
Remembering Pandian

by Sankaran Krishna

MSS Pandian 

Generosity. That’s the first word that came to mind when I thought about how to write this difficult reminisce on Pandian’s passing away. Though I had been aware of his many essays in the EPW and had read “The Image Trap” by then, I met Pandian only in the early 1990s when I walked into his office at the MIDS in Adayar. Dressed casually in his bush-shirt and slacks, the thin and boyish guy with a scraggly mustache was a bit hard to square with the mental image I had of him. I was just beginning my research into India’s intervention into Sri Lanka and Pandian opened up a world of possibilities for me. He suggested names and phone numbers of people I should meet; groups in Chennai and elsewhere that I was unaware of; and books and articles to read. His interest in my research – and we met regularly almost every summer thereafter while also exchanging many emails – was deep and genuine. Most importantly, he helped me think otherwise than the nation. His take on Dravidian politics; on the alleged peripheries – both regional and intellectual- of the heartland and the mainstream; on the multiple and varied idioms of resistance to majoritarianism; on the ways in which support for the Sri Lankan Tamil cause in Tamil Nadu was something that could not be adequately understood or calibrated through just the formal domain of politics; and a host of other issues enriched and complicated my thinking in all sorts of ineffable ways. Looking back, what is striking was his patience with me. Especially at the beginning, I had unconsciously and completely ingested a very mainstream and Delhi-centric narrative of India’s intervention into Sri Lanka. Helping me see that, and in a wider sense to “rescue history from the nation,” was something Pandian did almost imperceptibly and as a consequence of our equitable conversations. Most importantly, all our interactions and arguments were marked by his generosity towards and affection for what I was doing.

The students and others you met at Pandian’s office in MIDS were different from the ones you might run into at the offices of most of India’s intellectuals. Very often they were more comfortable in Tamil or in regional languages rather than English, and were not part of that comfortable upper-caste/middle-class/English-educated habitus that dominates our academy. Pandian interacted with them no differently than with the twice-born, whether domestic or NRI or authentically firangi. The outpouring of remembered generosity by a wide diversity of his students from various places – MIDS, JNU, Manoa and elsewhere – is the real testament to his innate egalitarianism and collegiality. And of his respect for interesting ideas and people, irrespective of their provenance in terms of class, accent, language, or caste.  

As shown by his contrarian stance on the cartoon controversy, by his daring resignation from MIDS to become an academic libero for a while in the early 2000s, and his refusal to accept certain regions, cultures, civilizations or individuals as somehow more consequential than others, Pandian hewed to an ethic that came from both within and elsewhere. His was a distinctive voice, and a rare one in the context of India. In these biopolitical times marked by an obsessive and commodified care for the self, Pandian indulged his love for cigarettes, alcohol and the good life in full measure. I am trying very hard not to channel my frustration with his early passing into wishing he had played more by the rules. For Pandian was never about playing by the rules but more about playing with them, as he himself might have said with that delighted gleam in his eye. 

Sankaran Krishna

Krishna (Profile Picture)

Sankaran Krishna is Professor of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa. He has written extensively on ethnic identity and conflict and identity politics in India and Sri Lanka. Prof. Krishna is the author of Postcolonial Insecurities: India, Sri Lanka and the Question of Nationhood, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000) and Globalization and Postcolonialism: Hegemony and Resistance in the 21st Century, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2009.

Oct 16, 2014
South Asia related films showing at this year’s HIFF

34th Hawai’i International Film Festival


haider-2014-songspk-hindi-movie-songs-mp3-download-musictrain24-com_A Bollywood adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ by Vishal Bhardwaj, Haider is a young man who returns home to Kashmir on receiving news of his father’s disappearance. Not only does he learn that security forces have detained his father for harboring militants, but that his mother is in a relationship with his very own uncle. Intense drama follows as Haider learns of his father’s death and upon discovering the culprit, seeks to avenge the murder. Click here for more info…


Friday, October 31, 8:30 pm, Dole Cannery E

Thursday, November 06, 8:30 pm, Dole Cannery C

Mary Kom

Mary-Kom-Hindi-Movie-PosterA chronicle of the life of Indian boxer Mary Kom who went through several hardships before audaciously accomplishing her ultimate dream. Brilliantly portrayed by Bollywood favorite Priyanka Chopra (BARFI, KRISSH), MARY KOM can easily be dubbed the Indian MILLION DOLLAR BABY, but is also a stirring portrayal of a devoted wife and mother whose indomitable spirit has made her a source of inspiration both inside and outside the ring. Click here for more info…

Saturday, November 08, 4:30 pm, Dole Cannery G

Sunday, November 09, 4:00 pm, Dole Cannery E


Cannes_Titli_Film_PosterIn the badlands of Delhi’s underbelly, Titli, the youngest member of a violent car-jacking brotherhood, plots a desperate bid to escape the ‘family’ business. His schemes are thwarted by his unruly brothers, who marry him off against his will. But Titli finds an unlikely ally in his new wife, Neelu, who nurtures her own frustrated dreams. They form a strange, mutually exploitative pact to break the stranglehold of their family roots. But is escape the same as freedom? Click here for more info…

Monday, November 03, 5:30 pm, Dole Cannery C

Thursday, November 06, 3:00 pm, Dole Cannery D

Tomorrow We Disappear

large_Tomorrow_We_Disappear_web_2“We are the flying birds…here today and gone tomorrow.” The puppeteers, performers, and magicians of the Kathputli colony in Delhi are the last of their kind. When their land is sold to developers to be bulldozed and transformed into luxury high-rises, these once-itinerant artists are forced to fight for the only home they know. Fending off relocation, they keep alive the mystical Indian folkarts, one day at a time. In this stunning feature debut, Jim Goldblum and Adam Weber capture the fleeting joys of a way of life that is quickly becoming lost. What beauty is destroyed as we are forced into someone else’s vision of the future? TOMORROW WE DISAPPEAR is not simply an act of documentation, but ultimately an extraordinary act of preservation. [-Liza Domnitz] Click here for more info…

Sunday, November 09, 11:30 am, Dole Cannery D

Bang Bang

Bang-Bang-Hindi-MovieA chance encounter of the unassuming bank receptionist Harleen Sahni with the charming yet mysterious Rajveer Nanda results in an on-rush of ditched planes, car chases, shoot-outs, bombing raids and general global mayhem. But as the transcontinental chase ensues with Rajveer convincing Harleen that he’s the good guy, can she really trust him, and will trust matter when the bullets start flying? Click here for more info…

Thursday, November 06, 5:30 pm, Dole Cannery F

Saturday, November 08, 11:00 am, Dole Cannery F

Beyond the Surface

8142756_origIshita Malaviya, India’s first female surfer, is joined by a unique and talented group of women- Crystal Thornburg-Homcy, Lauren Hill, Emi Koch, Kate Baldwin, and Liz Clark. With unshakable determination for a better world, they travel through Southern India documenting the ways in which surfing, yoga, and ecological creativity are bringing hope and fueling change for local people and the planet.

The saturated hues of India set the scene for this 16mm film documentary captured by award winning cinematographer, Dave Homcy. BEYOND THE SURFACE touches upon eco tourism, youth and women’s empowerment, biocentrism, and personal growth along with the pursuit of India’s perfect waves.

Through the medium of film, this group of women hopes to inspire others to seek a deeper connection to their fellow humans and nature. Click here for more info…

Sunday, November 02, 12:30 pm, Dole Cannery E

Tuesday, November 04, 4:15 pm, Dole Cannery E

Munich in India (München in Indien)

featured_exhib_featurebox_berlinbeyond_munichinindiaBetween 1932 and 1937, as the Nazis rose to power, destroying the works (and lives) of artists they disdained and breaking promises to even those it revered, German painter Fritz-Munich found acceptance and success in India as the only German court painter of the Maharajas. Walter Steffen follows Konstantin Fritz, the artist’s grandson, to India where he visits his grandfather’s paintings looking for fragments of his fairytale life. Accompanied by Fritz-Munich’s historical 16mm film shoots and diaries. Click here for more info…

Watch the trailer.

Saturday, November 22, 02:30 pm, Doris Duke Theatre

Oct 1, 2014
Shangri La: Celebrating the Arts of Mughal India – Event List

Sep. 16, 2014 – May. 2, 2015 


Space at Shangri La is limited and programs fill to capacity quickly. Advance registration is required. To receive email announcements about programs at Shangri La please sign up here. Online registration will open approximately two weeks prior to each event. 

For programs occurring at other community venues, available contact information is included below.


Kai’kena Dining Room, Kapi`olani Community College (KCC)
September 16 – 19
Celebrating Shangri La: Moghlai Banquet Lunch (Cuisine)
Chef Kusuma Cooray, Professor of Culinary Studies, and students from KCC’s Culinary Institute of the Pacific present a week-long menu showcasing a range of classic Moghlai dishes at $22.95 per person. Seatings available at 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Call (808) 734-9499 for menu information and reservations.

Culinary Institute of the Pacific Auditorium, Ohia Building #118, Kapi`olani Community College (KCC)
October 6, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Taj Chefs Prepare Mughal Cuisine: Demonstration and Tasting (Cuisine)
Executive Chef Hemant Oberoi and two master chefs from Mumbai’s Taj Hotel chain present a Mughal cuisine demonstration and tasting. Seating is limited and admission is free.

Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Museum of Art
October 9, 7:30 p.m.
From Doris Duke’s Bedroom to the Mughal Suite: An Inside Look at the Journey to Shangri La (Lecture)
Sharon Littlefield, Shangri La’s curator, maps Duke’s world tour in 1935 and explores the lifelong projects that arose from it. Shangri La curator since 1999, Littlefield is the author of Doris Duke’s Shangri La (2002) and several articles on Duke’s collecting. Admission is free.  

Tarang with Kenny Endo (Performance)
Shangri La

October 25, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Abhijit Banerjee’s Tarang, an ensemble of Indian classical musicians, collaborates with Hawaiʿi’s taiko drum virtuoso, Kenny Endo to perform traditional Indian music with a modern and multicultural twist. Tickets are $30 and must be reserved in advance.

Hasan Elahi, Artist Talk (Lecture)
Art and Architecture Auditorium, University of Hawai
`i at Mānoa
October 29, 6:30 p.m. 
Hasan Elahi is an interdisciplinary artist whose work examines issues of surveillance, citizenship, migration, transport, and borders and frontiers. He is an associate professor of creative media at the University of Maryland and the director of digital cultures and creativity. He will be an Artist-in-Residence at Shangri La from October 26 through November 9, 2014. Cosponsored by the University of Hawai`i Department of Art and Art History and the Center for South Asian Studies.

Hasan Elahi, Artist Talk (Lecture) 
University of Hawai
`i at Mānoa, venue to be announced 
November 5, 12:00 noon
Hasan Elahi is an interdisciplinary artist whose work examines issues of surveillance, citizenship, migration, transport, and borders and frontiers. He is Associate Professor of Creative Media at the University of Maryland and the Director of Digital Cultures and Creativity. He will be an Artist-in-Residence at Shangri La from October 26 through November 9, 2014. Cosponsored by the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa International Cultural Studies Program.

Chain of Fire: The Prologue Exhibition to the 2016 Honolulu Biennial (Exhibit)
Our Kaka’ako: 445 and 449 Cooke St., SPF Projects at 729 Auahi St. and Agora, at 441 Cooke St.
October 30 – November 9, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily
Shangri La Artist-in-Residence Hasan Elahi will present a site-specific multimedia work as part of theChain of Fire: The Prologue Exhibition to the 2016 Honolulu Biennial co-presented by the Hawaii International Film Festival and Honolulu Biennial Foundation. The exhibition and related public programs will be held in Our Kaka’ako: a new neighborhood by Kamehameha Schools. For additional information, please visit

2014 Hawaii International Film Festival Spotlight on India Film Series (Film)
Regal Dole Cannery Theatre 
October 30 – November 9
“Spotlight on India” showcases four of the best new films from India, presented by the Jhamandas Watumull Fund as part of the Hawaii International Film Festival 2014. Visit for film dates, times, location and ticket information.

Ustad Ikhlaq Hussain Khan and Amir ElSaffar in Concert (Performance)
Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Museum of Art
November 20, 7:30 p.m. 
Sitar virtuoso Ustad Ikhlaq Hussain Khan and award-winning Iraqi-American trumpeter/composer Amir ElSaffar combine talents with performances of traditional North-East Indian Delhi gaharana sitar music, the Iraqi santur (a traditional Persian 72-stringed dulcimer) and original genre-crossing jazz. Khan and ElSaffar will be Shangri La Artists-in-Residence October 10 through October 24, 2014. For ticket information, please visit

Ustad Ikhlaq Hussain Khan and Amir ElSaffar in Concert (Performance)
Shangri La

November 22, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Sitar virtuoso Ustad Ikhlaq Hussain Khan and award-winning Iraqi-American trumpeter/composer Amir ElSaffar combine their respective talents in sitar, santur, and trumpet in an intimate, highly original jazz-tinged performance followed by a buffet dinner. Khan and ElSaffar are Shangri La Artists-in-Residence October 10 through October 24, 2014. Tickets are $40 and must be reserved in advance.

An Evening with James Ivory (Lecture)
Shangri La
November 29, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Legendary filmmaker James Ivory of Merchant Ivory Productions shares his experiences from a lifetime career of making films in India. Buffet dinner to follow. Tickets are $35.00 and must be reserved in advance.

A Conversation with James Ivory (Film)
Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Museum of Art
November 30, 7:00 p.m.
Legendary filmmaker James Ivory introduces the film series Picturing India: The Films of James Ivory, Ismail Merchant and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala with a talk and screening of their films The Delhi Way andAutobiography of a Princess. For tickets, visit

Picturing India: The Films of James Ivory, Ismail Merchant and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (Film)
Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Museum of Art
November 30 – December 5
This series of classic Merchant Ivory films on India includes The Delhi WayAutobiography of a PrincessShakespeare WallahBombay TalkieIn Custody; and Heat and Dust. Merchant Ivory Productions was a collaboration of three remarkable people: Producer Ismail Merchant, born in India; Screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, born in Germany and educated in England; and Director James Ivory, born in the United States. Ivory continues to direct films today and introduces the series of films on November 30. For information on tickets and screening times, visit

Learning from Mughal Architecture (Lecture)
Shangri La
December 6, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Kazi Khaleed Ashraf, professor of architecture at University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, presents an illustrated lecture on 16th-17th century Mughal architecture and art, focusing on how the foundation of a native modernity, secular practice and culture of cohabitation was laid out in a fractious universe. Cosponsored by the University of Hawai`i Center for South Asian Studies. Reservations are required. Admission is free.


Behind the Scenes: Conservation and the Mughal Suite (Lecture)
Shangri La
January 10, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Shangri La’s art conservator Kent Severson describes the remarkable range of repairs and conservation behind preparing the Mughal Suite and collections for exhibition. Reservations are required. Admission is free.

The Power Within: The Love Story of Mehrunissa and Khurrum (Performance)
Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Museum of Art
March 13, 7:30 p.m. 
One of the greatest love stories of Mughal history is interpreted through dance, spoken word, music and poetry in an original performance by Shangri La Artists-in-Residence Dipankar Mukherjee and Krithika Rajagopalan. Mukherjee is the creative director of the Pangea World Theatre in Minneapolis; Rajagopalan is the creative director and a principle dancer at the Natya Dance Theatre in Chicago. For tickets, visit

The Power Within: The Love Story of Mehrunissa and Khurrum (Performance)
Shangri La
March 14, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
One of the greatest love stories of Mughal history is interpreted through dance, spoken word, music and poetry in this open-air, original performance by Shangri La Artists-in-Residence Dipankar Mukherjee and Krithika Rajagopalan. Mukherjee is Creative Director of the Pangea World Theatre, Minneapolis; Rajagopalan is Creative Director and Principle Dancer of the Natya Dance Theatre, Chicago. Performance followed by buffet dinner. Tickets are $40 and must be reserved in advance.

Visions of Courtly Splendor: Costumes and Jewelry in Mughal India (Lecture)
Shangri La

March 28, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Cheri Vasek illustrates Mughal jewelry and costume as part of a larger visual aesthetic by examining shared motifs and meaning across a variety of forms, including miniature painting, architecture, carpets and tile work. Vasek is assistant professor of costume at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa Department of Theatre. Cosponsored by the University of Hawai`i Center for South Asian Studies. Reservations are required. Admission is free.

In the Footsteps of Babur: Musical Encounters from the Lands of the Mughals (Performance)
Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Museum of Art
April 29, 7:30 p.m. 
Inspired by visual images and literary descriptions of exuberant music-making in the Mughal courts, the Aga Khan Music Initiative brings together musicians from Afghanistan, India and Tajikistan with the aim of merging their talents, traditions and musical instruments to create new sounds. Cosponsored by the Honolulu Museum of Art. For tickets, visit

In the Footsteps of Babur: Student and Musician Workshop (Workshop)
Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Museum of Art
April 30, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Musicians with the Aga Khan Music Initiative will host a master class for students and working musicians to learn about Central Asian musical traditions. Cosponsored by the Honolulu Museum of Art. For information, visit

In the Footsteps of Babur: Musical Encounters from the Lands of the Mughals (Performance)
Shangri La

May 2, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Recreating the exuberant music-making in the Mughal courts, the Aga Khan Music Initiative brings together four musicians from Afghanistan, India and Tajikistan, merging their talents, traditions and musical instruments to create new sounds. Performance followed by buffet dinner. Tickets are $40 and must be reserved in advance.

For program website, click here

Sep 9, 2014
Congrats to CSAS Graduate Student Rajiv Mohabir!
Congratulations to UH CSAS Student, Rajiv Mohabir, for winning the 2014 Four Way Books Intro Prize for his poetry manuscript “The Taxidermist’s Cut.” Four Wars Books has announced that his book will be published in 2016.

Here is a sample poem of his, titled ‘Preface,’ featured here

Let’s pretend you are going hunting.
You pack your gear: a buck knife, a bow
and arrows cleft from the straight weeds, wild
in my front yard. You perch in a red oak, yearning
for those chilly mornings that signal harvest.
The copper of pine needles falling; whether
you catch me or not is not the point. You look first
at the wandering deer, the bigger prize,
full of meat and bone, with a skin to cure,
but you keep an eye peeled for upland birds too,
smaller, easier to mount once ensnared. You don’t need a guide
to hollow lungs of song. Yes, I said,
birds are easy to work with, their refugee bones
hollowed for flight, so small and delicate,
they may as well not be there. I have always
made myself invisible. I mean to say
I am still—the trembling breath of a comma,
the coincidental object of your want.

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