India on my plate @ Fabcafe

india-on-my-plate

AN EXHIBITION OF CERAMIC PLATTERS

July to Oct 2018

We invited 6 ceramists to create platters on the theme ‘India on my plate’.
These are being displayed at the beautiful restaurant Fabcafe in Vasant Kunj, Delhi, India. The theme was inspired by the healthy Indian food that the cafe wins awards for. A plate full of India – India on my plate. Here is what the ceramists created and have to say about them. 8 to 10 inch platters, priced between Rs3000 and Rs5000.

  1. Alpana Gambhir: The Indian art of alpana on a traditional Indian thali. That’s my India on a plate.
  1. Ambika Mehta: Warli Tribal Art. Warli art is a beautiful folk art of Maharashtra, traditionally created by the tribal women. Tribals are the Warli and Malkhar koli tribes found on the northern outskirts of Mumbai, in western India…Warli paintings are painted white on mud walls.
  1. Divyam Surabhi: The Ashoka Chakra from the flag of India is the inspiration behind this platter. Having 24 spokes representing – hope, love, courage, patience, peacefulness, kindness, goodness, supreme wisdom, justice, truthfulness… I hope each of us is blessed with these qualities.
  1. Seema Kalra: Shibori – This platter is a part of a series inspired by the craftsmanship of Indian artisans who are incorporating Japanese shibori techniques to create contemporary hand dyed fabrics.
  1. Shehla Hashmi: India has varied vegetation in amazing forms and textures which I like painting on my platters. I have used under glaze to paint the leaves. On top is a clear glaze fired to 1280 degrees.
  1. Shreya Alok Gupta: India is full of beautiful textiles with handmade designs that are block printed, woven, embroidered together. It is this intricately handmade feel that I have tried to capture on my plate with a traditional block print design which is being used to print on cottons since many centuries in India now. After all, what other material than clay can one use to keep this textile craft alive and remembered; because ceramics itself has a life of more than a thousand years. The design is called a ‘Paisley’ and to make it three dimensional on the plate, I have slip trailed it and glazed it with a traditional ash glaze.
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Handmade Mugs in Cafes

st to 15th July 2018, ‘Handmade mugs in cafes’ was the latest event from ourAs project http://www.handmadeceramics.in. This project aims at promoting handmade ceramics in restaurants. Usually restaurants use moulded ceramics which are replicas. Handmade ceramics are unique pieces, individually hand-crafted by ceramists. It’s very on trend today to have your tableware designed around the food you serve in a restaurant. Many chefs are taking to working with ceramists closely to get unique individual tableware created.

This time round we were promoting unique signed mugs in cafes. We had 3 popular cafes sign up for this event – Another Fine Day in Gurgaon, Om made cafe in Bangalore and Third wave coffee roasters again in Bangalore.

The ceramists who participated – Anubha Jaswal, Nikita Dawar, Seema Kalra and Shubha V Raghavan.

You could walk into any of the cafes and order your usual coffee but in handmade signed mugs at a promotional price of Rs300 and take the mug home with you.

Contact us if you wish to get custom handmade ceramics created! 😀

Ceramic Display at Fabcafe

As part of the RACU:Restaurants and Ceramics Universal project and event, we have displayed ceramics at Fabcafe. This is one step further on our vision of having more handmade tableware in restaurants.

Fabcafe is an awarded restaurant in New Delhi, India. Serving healthy, organic food inside the Fabindia store in vasant kunj.

Conscious Administration/Governance. Who is in Control? Who is God?

On my return to Delhi few years ago. I found that the collective has many questions. Is it telepathy/thought flow/mind space/controlled emotions/mind/mental/intellect/tuning/connection/energy/structures? Who is in control? Who is God? How does this world work? Who runs it?

Consciousness is One. There is also Individual. There is personality. Conscious choices.

Consciousness is beyond mind/heart/body. There is a collective consciousness. That is where we are One. That is Godliness. Qualitative human excellence.

I am in tune with that. We make collective choices to change who we are as human beings. My path to accepting that I must become President of Asia 2040 is not an individual choice. It is something brought upon me because of the journey. This is the path forward.

On my return I kept telling the collective conscious as a conclusion to discussions/questions being asked that they must join politics/political parties and make changes on an administrative level for the best of this planet. To the ones who want to find out who is in control. I joke now and say dial 100 number for the police control room. 😀

I was busy with my ceramic work, Looking for my husband and dealing with my family situation.

Those discussions have boomeranged. I knew of taking responsibility before (having the ability to respond). Yes I have finished my spiritual practice/learning/experience. Had so much of enlightenment, that I realized, sitting on this mountain can be an addiction. I decided to walk around and look at what else is going on.

Yes I know that changes need to manifest. We make changes as a collective. To make these changes in the most educated/organized/legal method is to join politics. Human beings from cave men have gotten thus far. We have paper notes as currency for money and not barter system. We have organized ourselves into administration/governance/countries/governments.

Conscious governance/administration is the path. Not just being used by this collective consciousness.

As an individual consciousness. I have worked many years and awakened myself. Died before death many times. This qualitative being has been shared time and time again with others who are awakened/chosen through the collective consciousness. I ask for a Department of Enlightenment to protect myself from other not-conscious beings. I am compassionate towards them. Choosing peace even when they want to fight. I don’t believe in the old Gandhian method of give your other cheek. That is not the world we live in. We need to step back to protect ourselves. I distance myself to start with and continue communication in a more formal tone/method.

Control/God?

Who is in control of a situation? Who is in charge? Who is responsible? The collective is together, we are responsible. We have to constantly change. When we know better we do better. There is no one answer. There are so many different dimensions/realities/levels/planes of existence at play/work together. I chose not to just play and consider it a game. It is life, we have to live it. Our choices are important to narrow down to our sense of reality/truth. Otherwise legality will not have any value. I give power to the Prime Ministers/Presidents by the choices I make. On a legal level they are choosen by the collective through the method of fair and free elections.

I am in control of my choices. As a conscious being (This is not conscious/unconscious medically speaking. Or conscious/aware from the educated perspective but conscious from the spirtual/higher plane of existance). Spiritual consciousness includes experiencing being the creator/maker.

People want to know who is incharge? Who is the decision maker? Each of us is and on a legal level we give power to the elected to make decisions for us. I am your spiritual guide ’cause I am part of this Godliness that prevails on this Earth – the collective superconsciousness. Yes we guide you. You have a body that is physical/material. There is non-material that guides you.

If you try to fight the spiritual/spirit/soul in yourself…you just hurt your ownselves and the collective. You all want to become Gods. The method is not through becoming Presidents/Prime Ministers (to rule and have power over people. It will only be a power trip). Not through becoming the richest men/women (it will only be a money trip). Not through becoming the sexiest/most famous actor/supermodel (it will only be a sex trip). You can enjoy these trips. But the qualitative human journey/path is inward. The self to the self. Discovering ‘who I am’. Becoming a God, inside. To want to be a God in the body for others is another trip. The spiritual trip. Go beyond that trip. Work in the world. Humankind. Consciousness. The planet. Don’t follow my words or whatever little you understand of it. Find yourself! 😀

Good Governance

Good Governance on my mind
It’s not sacrifice and service.
It’s not – be servant and not master. Be aware of power trips
It’s not – Desh Bhakti

It is the best for the individual and the nation.
It is master of oneself.
Working from the best in oneself for the best.
It’s conscious governance.

Developed during her pottery training in Bangkok, the signature ‘swirl’ style by Divyam Surabhi.

Latest from Talking Clay Studio Delhi!

Just out of the kiln. Super happy with the results. My latest project – http://www.handmadeceramics.in

Other than potting this is what we are upto –

Looking for a domestic help.

We try to be fair and socially correct by calling the maid a domestic help and not servant. Nothing wrong with the word servant but over years the word has a certain negative context. I enjoy work, including doing dishes and cleaning the house. But not many people do. Does anyone want to become a servant professionally? Some want to run companies that do housekeeping. But no child will say, I want to be a servant when I grow up. Does anyone in Asia want to become President/Prime Minister as a young child?

As educated people we choose to change that and be more inclusive and begin with using different words to address them. We call them domestic help/maids/bai not servant since childhood.

In my family the domestic help has been given so much power that on ocassion I see them choose to rule through it. They start believing they are the queens and kings without the education. Higher eduction for all in this country not just beti bachao beti bardaho campaign. They will run after the girl child to educate her and the educated girl adult will run after the government. More women in governance for sure. Also night education for working adults.

Btw, my maid decided to take off for a month. In the process of looking for a maid. Busy with my project http://www.handmadeceramics.in 😀

Branding & Brand Consciousness: Racing to Save the Planet

Established Brands are mostly responsible.

Big well know brands are often questioned about the quality of products, where the raw materials are sourced from and if they are child-safe, chemical-free, fair trade. What they stand for as an organization, how happy their employees are, how they give back to society, where/how their profits are invested, what are their sister concerns/companies/organizations and how they take responsibility to save the planet etc.

As consumers we are ‘Brand Conscious’. We are aware about where we invest/spend our money. Who makes the profit and how it’s spent.

I asked my nephew Viraj one day, “Do you know what the ‘Messi’ on the t-shirt means?”. I asked him whether he knew the brand/person he was supporting. 

I wondered on my return to the city – felt quite proud of what was being created in Delhi NCR. The AAP political party. But wondered about the choice of the broom as the symbol of the party (perhaps the election commissioners office selects a symbol?!) They could have used something more hi-tech like an automated robot that cleans. 😀 And the current chief minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, who is the leader of the AAP. On hearing him on the radio for the first time. I wished for him to get some good voice modulation lessons. A man representing this political brand AAP.

On an individual level we are brands unto ourselves. Making an effort to be qualitative humans individually and then collectively. 

Each of us is born enlightened. Some of us become aware of our own enlightenment through spiritual/religious practice. There are spiritual/religious brands in this world like the Dalai Lama,  the Pope.

Being conscious of the collective and how brands are changing the world, setting trends with release/updates of new products.

There are some famous brand wars such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola, Apple and Samsung.

Sometimes companies copyright colours like the coke red. And sometimes they are able to gain popularity by the subconscious minds of humans. Ask anyone A for___. The answer is always Apple.(It’s time to teach children A for A, B for B, C for C etc.)

Hope brands such as the Micheline stars, Oscars and Olympics are on the cards for India.

We are winning the race to save the planet through brand consciousness.
Here is a link to what I wrote in the past about the same topic -https://talkingclay.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/talking-brand-consciousness-do-you-pot/

Upliftment of women / Women’s Liberation

As a liberated young woman, I say to upliftment of women / women’s liberation – “I don’t think so!” (with an attitude). 

Upliftment of the human race. Let’s work towards being the best human beings each of us can. 

And here is my humorous take on upliftment of women / women’s liberation.

Gone are the days when women had to take their bras off and thrown them into the air and claim women’s liberation. Uplifted free thinking Indian women don’t need to put large bindis and look all artsy any longer. Now, we do wear (and don’t need to wear) wonderbras/pushup bras to uplift our breasts. We don’t fight men, but love them.

There is ofcourse the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. (save the girl child, educate her)  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beti_Bachao,_Beti_Padhao_Yojana

As a well educated girl-adult, I feel we should ask for a campaign for the uneducated adults. And also especially, for retired folk! Something like “Save the Adult, Especially the Retired Ones, ’cause an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” (I live in a colony/community where the number of retired folk is high!)

Perhaps the Government Of India should restart free adult night education. Or perhaps not free. My experience is that we must charge a little money, the minimum possible. And teach some skill along with education. This is quite a common practice in the non-profit sector.

Don’t take my word for what I say about the Government and the campaigns. I was missing in action while I was away from the city/capital for approx. 10 years, busy running after enlightenment and then teaching ‘how to’. So a lot more catching up on news for me. Check my resume on my site divyamsurabhi.com to know more.

Talking about Indian politics. Indira Gandhi has been the only woman prime minister of India. We are a proud nation and have so many women in politics.

And yes, when I struggled with being left alone by all other known human beings, in the village context a few years ago..I did have and was surprised by nasty thoughts like – maybe we should kill the girl child at birth (wasn’t for my own self ofcourse! 😀). I immediately rejected that thought. Perhaps with all the meditation, I was tuning into the collective unconscious.) 

That tradition is already resolved, by very strict rules in India. Identifying the sex of the child when pregnant is illegal. 

As a modern educated person from the city and having done a lot of design for the social development sector, I knew not to socially activate my village neighbours (other than by opening non-profit orgs, which was not my choice) or try to force my city ways on them (very culturally different). I did refuse to wear the chunni to cover my breasts! And I did dress up conservatively 😀. Not calling upon myself unwanted attention.

Watching modern Indian bollywood movies showing sexual uplifting of women. Movies like – Lipstick Under My Burkha, with a middle finger on the poster http://m.imdb.com/title/tt4807830/
And parched by Ajay Devgn Films http://m.imdb.com/title/tt3043252/

Another movie I was impressed by – Queen of Katwe http://m.imdb.com/title/tt4341582/
Lead actor: Lupita Nyongo and Director: Meera Nair. 

Not the day for legal strip clubs (thinking of men stripers 😜) in Delhi NCR. But read recently in an article, that 80% of the people looking at pornography online in India are women. This is modern India! 😀

With all my spiritual background, I choose not to be a Ma/Mata ji sitting in an ashram or temple giving blessings. Perhaps I’m not that old and ofcourse it isn’t my personality type (more into being friends with everyone! 😀). Decided I’d rather be an intelligent beauty, back in the city, marry and have a child.

Satyamev Jayate

Truth Wins!

“Satyameva Jayate” (Sanskrit: सत्यमेव जयते satyam-eva jayate; lit. “Truth alone triumphs.”) is a mantra from the ancient Indian scripture Mundaka Upanishad. Following the independence of India, it was adopted as the national motto of India in May 1949. It is inscribed in script at the base of the national emblem.

Showing next to the image of the balance, my original signature as a ceramic artist. It means balance. 

I was surprised to sign this as my name the day I made my first ceramic. Without thought, I just turned it around and made it at the base of the first pinched pot. 

Growing up I was inspired by ‘being truthful’. Born on the same day as the father of the nation India. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

I learnt through my journey to create more balance in life. Always balance between personal and professional life! 

When I was teaching the path of Beauty/Sundram, I wished to add to the techniques of balance. I wished to add rope walking which i had once experienced in the neyyardam ashram in kerala (This is one of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres in South India http://sivananda.org.in/neyyardam/) Wished to learn myself and then teach the sport of balancing on the line/slacklining.  It culminated when I returned to Delhi. There are free sessions available in Deer Park every Sunday (https://m.facebook.com/groups/151612535035099?ref=bookmarks)

There is a note worthy movie about this art/sport- The Walk. http://m.imdb.com/title/tt3488710/

I had gone for 12 years of intense spiritual practice away from the city I was born and brought up in. “Isn’t it needed to go into something with intensity?” Someone asks. It is, is my answer, if you want it bad and need it in your life. How else would I have become enlightened and then returned to the city I was born in. To my roots, to work and marry and lead a happy married life!

Have already changed my sign to my studio logo – Talking Clay. Read more about it – https://talkingclay.wordpress.com/2017/01/29/talking-about-the-talking-clay-studio-logo/

Looking forward to my future! 

Pottery as a profession in India

When people come to learn pottery from me I always talk about the great history of this city I come from. Delhi NCR is where, the father of pottery Gurucharan Singh taught this profession to the educated rich women. Teaching the profession which is associated with the lowest caste, of this caste rich country India.

I don’t encourage people who learn from me to take this up as a profession. This is not a money making business. Just striving for conscious sustanibility. Hope to make it profitable enough to pay taxes to the government. I’m working on that! 😀

At the same time it might be possible…

The prajapati community should find a leader, choose a political party and fight elections. The prajapati name is the caste/last name for most of the village potters. Mind you, we do have the prajapati kumhars living in Delhi in a community near Uttam Nagar East/West. Once voted into power they could perhaps uplift their own caste/community.

Once they are able to pay taxes, that might be the day I can recommend pottery as a profession to people learning from me.