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Teaching Music the SaPa Way: In Conversation With Bindu & Ambi Subramaniam

Anupama Krishnakumar interviews singer, songwriter and Dean of the Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts (SaPa), Bindu Subramaniam, and violinist and Associate Dean of SaPa, Ambi Subramaniam, about SaPa’s approach to teaching music, its vision, its curriculum and SaPa’s flagship program, SaPa in Schools (SiS).

Women in Today’s World : Voices

What comes to your mind when you see the phrase ‘Women in today’s world’? The editors of Spark reached out to some women – popular writers and activists – with this question. We are proud to present a compilation of their viewpoints.

Fighting for Women’s Right to Public Spaces

Why is it important to demand the right of women to “loiter” in public? What does it mean in a country where women need to fight bitter battles for a range of (basic) freedoms? In an interview with Vani Viswanathan, Neha Singh, who founded the Why Loiter? movement in Mumbai, discusses women’s right to public spaces for leisure and pleasure too.

Hitting a High Note: An Interview with Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Catch Sanjay Subrahmanyan, one of the foremost Carnatic musicians of our time, in a crisp-as-Kalyani and deep-as-Bhairavi conversation with Bhargavi Chandrasekharan.

Redefining Love in the Love Jihad Era

February brings images of pink hearts and ribbons, and a certain narrow form of love that we like or detest. Two campaigns, one ongoing and one just completed, do their bit to start a conversation about the innumerable forms of love there could be – and how, if we open up our eyes just a little bit, we’ll know that each one of them is worthy of our respect. Interviews on Tathapi Trust’s “Pyaar ki Gutargoo” campaign and Zehen Collective’s #RedefiningLove campaign.

I Would Like to Write Till My Last Breath: Vinita Agrawal

Vinita Agrawal began writing for Spark from August 2012. She has been one of our most regular contributors. It’s been a pleasure featuring her work, especially her soulful poetry in our issues. Vinita’s writing is simple, elegant and extremely heart-warming. Her poetry, especially the ones that exude pathos are sure to leave an indelible mark on your minds. Vinita’s humility is something we truly admire and her constant support, encouragement and motivation have been a big source of strength for us.
An interview with Vinita Agrawal.

I Had a Fascination for Space Travel : Jeevanjyoti Chakraborty

Jeevanjyoti Chakraborty is one of the first writers who came knocking on our doors after the inaugural issue of Spark was published in January 2010. He has been an asset to the team ever since, delighting us unfailingly every time with his spellbinding writing. Jeevanjyoti writes on Science and human life with equal ease and what we particularly love about his works is the emotional element that finds its way into his writing even inside something as rational as Science. He has a way with words that we believe is his biggest gift as a writer.
An interview with Jeevanjyoti Chakraborty.

The Love For Words Has Always Been There : Preeti Madhusudhan

Preeti Madhusudhan has been associated with us since May 2011. Preeti’s writing style is one that reminds you of the language that you find in literary classics. She is a versatile writer who can write across subjects as varied as architecture, science, history and life. Preeti’s stories and essays also have well-researched information that makes reading them a pleasurable as well as a great learning experience.
An interview with Preeti Madhusudhan.

You Need to Enjoy Your Own Work as a Reader : Parth Pandya

Parth Pandya began writing for Spark in June 2011. Little did we know then that he will grow to be such a crucial part of the Spark family. He has always had something relevant and interesting to offer on our monthly themes and has contributed to almost every single issue since then. Parth is a versatile and reliable writer, who is willing to experiment and is open to critique and has filled Spark’s creative pool with interesting fiction, non-fiction and poetry. We admire him for his creativity, spirit and unfailing regularity!
An interview with Parth Pandya.

My Writing Has Evolved With Each Stage of Life: Gauri Trivedi

Gauri Trivedi has been associated with us since December 2011 and her very first submission made us sit up and say ‘wow’! Gauri’s stories and essays have the ability to establish an instant connect with the reader. Her writings for Spark have dealt with themes like women, children, motherhood, the art of writing, personal experiences and life. What we love about her is her ability to write sensitively about a chosen subject and her proactive nature in working with us on bettering a piece.
An interview with Gauri Trivedi.

I Find it Easy to Express Myself Using Photography: Maheswaran Sathiamoorthy

Maheswaran Sathiamoorthy began his journey with Spark from the very first issue of the magazine. Easily and deservingly, the most published photography contributor through these five years, Mahesh’s photographs have that rare quality of capturing your imagination effortlessly. Time and again, his photographs have had their own stories to tell, gently nudging our soul and kindling our imagination to come up with delightful captions. His portraits and nature shots are our favourites for the sheer creative joy they pour into our hearts.
An interview with Maheswaran Sathiamoorthy.

Art Originates From a Place of Longing : Sandhya Ramachandran

She writes, sketches, doodles, takes amazing photographs and makes movies – in short, she’s a creative powerhouse. Meet Sandhya Ramachandran, one of Spark’s first contributors. Sandhya has charmed us with her beautiful verse and splendid artwork that interpret our monthly themes in very different light, very artistically. She also designed the absolutely stunning coverpage art for our very special 50th issue. We must say we are a big fan of her art – her doodles and her experiments with mixed media brim with the sort of creativity that we love to feature in Spark.
An interview with Sandhya Ramachandran.

I Seek Inspiration from Life Experiences : M. Mohankumar

M. Mohankumar has never failed to capture our imagination with his poetry. He has been associated with Spark since September 2013 and in every issue since then, we have published at least one or more of his poems. What we love about his poems are the perspectives they present on a month’s theme – something different and more importantly, interesting. The simplicity of the words is striking and Mohankumar is someone who can convey so much in so little. He is a poet who presents profound truths about life and interesting human traits through simple words and beautifully structured poems that occasionally also have subtle humour underlying them.
An interview with M. Mohankumar.

Sometimes the Process of Writing is Scary! : Shreya Ramachandran

Shreya Ramachandran is one of the youngest writers we have on board. She has been associated with Spark since December 2010. She is a versatile writer who has dabbled with fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her work for Spark has spanned themes like love, relationships and women. What we like about Shreya’s work, particularly her stories, is her attention to detail and her ability to turn the reader’s attention to mundane and taken-for-granted things through her words. She succeeds in making you see these things in a new light because of her descriptions.
An interview with Shreya Ramachandran.

Writing is About Self Expression : P.R. Viswanathan

P.R. Viswanathan is one of our senior writers and has been a part of Spark since March 2010. He is one writer who makes up for his occasional breaks from writing with one striking piece. We love his language that’s classy and smooth, the characters that he creates which are so likeable and familiar and the love, passion and concern he pours out for his country in his writings on India. His articles for our editions celebrating India and his stories set in Bombay are our favourites.
An interview with P.R. Viswanathan.

The Best of What They Said – 2012

One of Spark’s core defining factors has been the columns and interviews we have published in all our issues over the last three years. This exercise has been an immensely rewarding and a spectacular learning experience for us in many ways, including but definitely not limited to gaining a deeper understanding of how people approach their areas of expertise, realising that it is their passion, intelligence, persistence and a certain humility that has taken them to where they are today, and of course, receiving our biggest reward—that of Wisdom – that’s something we have received in copious amounts during our interactions. We felt nothing would be a more befitting tribute to all the wonderful people who agreed to share their thoughts with us than bringing out a compilation of the best of our conversations. Not to mention, a small gift to all our dear readers who have read and supported us through the last three years. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting joyfully —the best of what they said.