Music. Movies. Magic. Meditation Movement Maharasa – where the random becomes a dance. Random Maharasa is a bubbling cauldron. Here creativity of many unique beings is mixed in random recipes to form intimate, quirky, delightful stuff.
Stimulating and deepening the human experience of living and loving
Damini’s facilitation work rests in between the intersection of society, culture, ecology and spirituality. She uses visuals, sound, films and text to create potent experiences of the visible and inner worlds. She has nearly a decade long experience of facilitating people into meditation from multiple cultural regions in the world via various methodologies – Vedanta, Tantra, Bhakti, Sufism and Tao.
She comes from a family tradition of mystic Kumaoni women. Being an army daughter from the Gorkhas, eighteen years of her childhood she has travelled, learning from diverse Himalayan cultures. As in the Indian spiritual tradition, she has experimented with various practitioners of meditation and dance.
She is also a professional filmmaker with an honours degree in Journalism from Lady Shri Ram and Mass Communication Masters from MCRC, Jamia. She has been an executive producer of Janmat now known as Live India, a national current affairs TV channel. She is a multiple award winning indie filmmaker, cinematographer, and photographer who now runs her own media company.
Damini is also the only Indian woman filmmaker to make an award winning film on Hindu philosophy – ‘Hindu Nectar: Spiritual Wanderings in India’ on Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s work for the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India. She conducts screenings and mediations based around the film regularly. Her other award winning films are based on ecology and climate change, ‘Chilika Bank$’ and ‘Earth Witness’.
In India, you are always asked a question, “So, where do you belong to?” Akanksha, belongs to India. She led a gypsy childhood. Traveling with her fauji parents all over India. Growing up in Kashmir, Arunachal, Andhra, Punjab … all over, really. Tasting India’s diversity, first hand. Absorbing the dances, singing the songs of every culture she grew in.
Much like a wandering minstrel in the guise of a filmmaker, Akanksha now finds herself in Delhi. Creating not just films but participatory experiences of the inner delight, through meditative sessions on natural dance. Using ancient mediative techniques of the Sufis, Bhakts, Tantrics. Combining them with tools from the modern world – she leads people into celebration, that heals. Her personal favourite techniques are “… dance, sounds, play. Save the wilderness, within. So you can nurture the wilderness without. ”
She continues to make, what she calls are, … handmade films. Spun one at a time. Weaving my life. Embroidering with sounds, with rhythm. She films, scripts, edits, voices, her own stories.
Ms. Akanksha Joshi | filmmaker | 5th International Festival on Yog, Culture and Spirituality 2015
Ms. Akanksha Joshi | Creative Director at Random Maharasa
All World Gayatri Pariwar
Shantikunj, Haridwar Bharat
SAIL Climate Change and Sustainable Technologies Award
Earth Witness: Reflections on the Times and the Timeless
An ancient call – a cinematic journey directed by Damini (Akanksha Joshi), produced by the Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Diplomacy; music by Prem Chinmaya (Dunster).
A daughter’s journey distilling the nectar of the stories she heard as a child. Weaving ancient texts in the fabric of modern life. Rediscovering the land of her childhood. Where religion was synonymous with the celebration of life.
Journeying from the Himalayas to Peninsular India. Through rivers, mountains, forests, caves, she meets many practitioners. Each conversation reveals unfathomable depths to the seemingly simple rituals. The nature of life; why we are born; why we die; what is change. And what amidst this constant flux – joy, sorrow, success, failure, love, hate – is the One… constant, unchanging, unmoving.
This cinematic journey creates an experiential rendering of one of the Earth’s oldest spiritual traditions.
Come. Wander. Experience.
2008-09 Karamveer Award for Chilika Bank$
Akanksha Joshi is an emerging new talent in the field of documentary film making. She took on a project in January 2004, documenting a Satyagrah March in Orissa. The issue was Land Rights struggles across the state. She began to make a film on Chilika – Asia’s largest brackish water lake, India’s largest coastal lake and the largest wintering grounds for migratory birds in the sub-continent.
In many ways, it can be said that this was the beginning of her ‘love affair’ with the lake and her people. She showcased violence, land grabbing, murders, and corruption – at every rung of the business around Chilika. She highlighted not a ‘mainstream’ or a ‘hot’ issue, but a very important one. By choosing an issue of global concern, she has made an everlasting impact on the viewers’ minds.
24th December, 2017
#Spiritual #And #Religious #LearningFromTheRoots #KirtanMandalis #Bundelkhand #TheVillageFolkOfIndia #RandomMaharasa #Poorna #Saguna #Brahman #Samuhik #Dhyan
Village Bagoha, Bundelkhand
Kirtan is a method of Bhakti Yoga. Telling, narrating, describing, Sagun Brahman, Forms of The Whole. Meditation via story-telling, singing, dancing.
As we sing, as we dance, as we express our bhaav, emotions … our antahkarana – mind, to be precise – gently begins to focus on the Lord. Diffusing the flow of mechanical thoughts. Creating space from our ‘self’.
As we connect with the Sagun Brahman, the form manifestations of Brahman, we begin see the circumstances surrounding us – life, work, relations, heck, even our own emotions – as things, Outside. Passing. Anitya. Transitory.
The connection with the Whole makes us objective towards Reality. What others perceive us to be, what we perceive others to be. We begin to learn the art of sifting with clarity, the perceived and the Real.
Folk India uses the method of #Kirtan to dive into the Brahman. That which IS #Poornam, whole.
The Kirtan mandali of the village Bagoha sings this Bundeli bhajan, in the tradition of Gopi Geet from Bhagwat Purana.
Story goes like this. Kanha has gone to Mathura, killed Kansa. He is now the Lord of the Yadus, not a cowherd of Gokul. He has left Gokul, become one of Mathura. The Gopis are in pain. Angry, hurt, and hugely missing.
Kanha sends his friend Uddhav as a messenger to Gokul.
Gopis see him, and first reaction is an outpouring of hurt, pain – “Uddhau, go tell Giridhar, tell him of our pain. Why did he leave his home? Why did he make Radha cry so? Why? Why? Go Uddhau, tell him of our pain.”
Then. Once the pain is expressed, released. The turning in, towards the home, within your self.
“Come on, sakhi, lets search for him, he has not gone, he is here, in Barsana – the home of his beloved Radha.”
Kanha, never leaves home of the beloveds. In other words, to find the Lord, the Whole, the All … search in your own home.
Microcosm, is the Macrocosm. यथा पिण्डे, तथा ब्रह्माण्डे.
Filming, Edit & Context : Akanksha Damini Joshi
7th January, 2016
Can a scientist believe in spirit and live a song?!
Dr. Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande holds a Masters degree in Microbiology and a doctorate in Biochemistry from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, along with Sangeet-Visharad and Masters degree in Music. She is a well known and a gifted Hindustani classical music vocalist .
8th January, 2016
Random Maharasa Entertainment we explore “Science, Spirit & Song” with Dr. Bhide-Deshpande. The third offering of our four-part series #Sannidhi.
In my life I have met at least two well-respected Indian physicists who have been deeply involved in mysticism and a deeper layer of understanding of nature and cosmos than any ‘scientific’ theory as understood by the western paradigm will accept.
There is no dearth of doctors one will meet, or technologists and engineers in India who have been on their own experiential journeys beyond the simplistic categories of objective knowledge as defined by the visible modelling of proving thesis.
And telling you truthfully, they do not care that the ‘other’ system should make sense of them and their experience. It’s their loss .
So to the unseen sadhnas, the delight of uncatchable rasas, a razor-sharp chetna that watches every resonance and dissonance, we dedicate Random Maharasa Entertainment’s next presentation in the #Sannidhi series of #MeditativeMusicals .
25th December, 2015
#Sannidhi #Gurubhav #RandoMaharasa
GURU, a relationship gifted by India to the world. He is a teacher, but not only. For him is not just respect, but reverence. Not just love, but devotion. A relation which, in calling the disciple to live his highest possibility, opens the door to the divine.
In our musical traditions, Guru-Shishya attempt to share that experience of the divine via performance that gives the rasika – the engaged listener – a glimpse of that beauty and truth.
Random Maharasa Entertainment presents first in a series of four videos exploring ‘The Sacred Presence: Sannidhi’, of the India’s musical maestros, her Gurus. A unique relation that continues way after the physical form of the Guru has faded.
In this video is featured the well known vocalist Nirmalya Dey, Rudra Veena exponent Mohi Baha’ud-din. In the Sacred Presence of their Gurus – Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar.
In Indian musical traditions, just like in Yoga, you cannot ever separate the spirituality, the process of meditation from the talent and skill of playing the instrument or the vocals.
The singing and the music is a gift to the divine, a kind of feedback loop that gives one the energy and the flow to keep getting closer and closer to total dissolve, in bhav, in dhyan and perfection in performance.
Niharika Popli ( an engineer turned film-maker) and Akshay Madaan (who is a software geek as well as a classical music enthusiast and disciple) have been working with Akanksha Damini Joshi right from the inception of the idea to its final edit and presentation .
The idea is not just to talk about the genre, but the relationship between the performer and the Guru. To hear how these complex and evolved traditions carry on , in their intimate encounters. Without any schools and institutions. In the ancient one-to-one Bharatiya Parampara.
Hope you see and relish the series .
Our dream at Random Maharasa Entertainment is to keep sharing the real alchemy of how material, cultural, spiritual processes have happened, continue to happen in this indefinable land of ours.
It can be craft, it can be music, it can be innovation, it can be farming .
As long as there is deep spirit, a humility, an intensity, a creative involvement and a delight.
We hope to keep catching, in our valley, filled with receptive roots and trees, such drops.
Have a great new year, and follow your bliss.
24th April, 2015
Making India Fly !
One of the murals in our office cabin for Random Maharasa Entertainment, painted by Rakesh Kumar, who originally hails from Rajasthan . An alumni of the Faculty of Fine Arts from Jamia Millia University, he has been assisting and doing murals since college.
I wanted something folk and fun. And he evolved this brilliant theme. An Elephant that flies with the birds, flying fish and dragonflies. But has a snake in its tail !
2nd February, 2015
Our two young Maharasiyas, Akshay Madaan and Niharika Popli reporting live from Mumbai !
Sujata Mohapatra performs Odissi, one of the oldest classical dance form of India. Traditionally it begins with an invocation, Mangalacharana. A homage to Lord Jagannath. And Bhumi Pranam, salutation to Mother Earth. A way of begging forgiveness for stamping on her.
Odissi is mentioned in the classic treatise of Indian performance arts, Natya Shastra, as Odra-Magadhi.
The entire performance is meant to take the artists and the audience into an aesthetic ecstasy which is traditionally in the dance form called, Moksha, Spiritual Liberation. It is the concluding item of a recital.
Random Maharasa Entertainment‘s team caught up with Sujata di before the performance when she was preparing herself. A Pooja to Lord Jagannath. A preparation of sweet sweet prasad.
She told us how special it is for her to prepare the Prasad for the Lord. The feelings that she puts into that preparation are really the taste of her performance on stage later. You can be sure, our Maharasiya’s had some of that prasad too. First, off stage. Then, on stage!
We offer you a few delicious glimpses. You are invited to savour them.
22nd January, 2015
I have shared how I live with the philosophy of Randomness and the Great Dance, the Maharasa. My whole understanding and meaning of the cosmos is based on dhyan and dance, colours and flavours, rhythms and beauty ‘Raas Desa‘ .
And if something in Indian tradition that has carried it across centuries, its the classical Indian musical traditions. Its an ibaadat, a riyaaz, a sanatan ekagrataand pravaha.
A couple of young friends are passionate about making this mode their ‘isht’ or form to infinity. So together we are documenting this renewing of faith in the magic of forever , embedded in the shashtriya and the gharana, as it emerges into the world of followers of intentional passion, not families of blood.
In memory of Dhrupad Maestros Ustad Z M Dagar & Ustad Z F Dagar.
Venue: Sakarben Karamshi Somaiya Sabhagruh K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering, Somaiya Vidyavihar Mumbai 400077
Mumbai, Feb 1st to 4th, 2014
An art contained in the expanded heart of Time. Where there is no rush. Nowhere to go. Nothing to do. So, the sacred may descend. Softly. Gracefully.
Random Maharasa Entertainment is delighted to be the co-sponsor and digital partner for SANNIDHI, a performing arts festival holding a rare gift for our times, Time. Each artist, one whole evening, 3 to 4 hours. So she can weave her unique interplay. So she can be allowed. To create the mood. To carry the audience. In gushing waves of the eternal flow. Sannidhi, The Sacred Presence.
- The four day festival will feature the meditative art of Guru Sujata Mohapatra ~ Odissi Nritya
- Parvathy Baul ~ Baul parampara
- Nirmalya Dey & Mohi Bahauddin Dagar ~ Vocal Rudra Veena duet Dhrupad jugalbandi
- Vidushi Ashwini Bhide Deshpande ~ Khayal
12th August, 2014
Releasing on 16th August the music-video of Ajnabi by Harpreet. It is the first song of his first album “Ajab Ishq… maati da” which has been the first album funded by our digital media entertainment chotta-company Random Maharasa Entertainment.
It has been a roller-coaster of a journey for Harpreet and Friends. If any album was due to a hundred friends, its this one. From Vernita Verma who set her documentary career aside, to so many affectionate and passionate yaars who gave their time and resources, mentoring and hand-holding. This album ranges from Bulle Shah to poets like Nirala to young song-writers like Maheep Virji and Deepak Dhamija, to Harpreet himself and his friends. You can say it has the smell and touch of Punjab and North India .
As Amit Kilam, the drummer of Indian Ocean says “I like the fact about Harpreet, that he sings different stuff. His language and what he is telling you is different. You can relate to it. The kind of work Harpreet is doing is very important, we need some people like Harpreet to succeed, for the people to realise that there is the other side to Indian Music.”
And one of the most brilliant guitarists India has seen Susmit Sen“I have seen him create music and evolve. His guitar is fresh and his own… and his songs have a distinct ballad like quality to them. Harpreet’s music has the easy storytelling style of country and folk music. His acoustic sets are a treat with his controlled guitar playing and silken vocals. Melody, expression and simplicity in composition – these make his music very very special.”
28th July, 2014
There is metre and yard in the west. Just like calendars every culture has had its own measurements. Like ‘tola’ in gold, or ‘kos’ in distance, or ‘bigha in land area in India . I have always been mesmerised by the different bighas all over India. There is also a ‘kaccha bigha’ and ‘pukka bigha’ ranging from about 1000-3000 square yards.
There is a saying in rural India , that in every 12 ‘kos’ the boli and khana changes , the dialect and cuisine changes (That would be about 40 kms).
Forget caste and class, language and state, no one, no Telangana, no Maharashtra, no Kashmir, no Meghalaya, no Mizoram, no Tamil Nadu, no UP or Bihar or Rajasthan or MP can monopolise a region bigger than a radius of 40 kms in India. Just as they question the Nation-State one can question the State-State
They are all random . That is why my faith is only in Random Maharasa Entertainment.
22nd May, 2014
I was caned by my Irish brother’s all boys middle-school head , as a 14 year old for getting 23 on 25 ! I should have got full-marks as that was my potential !
Caning and slapping was common, as was teacher’s sticking chewing gum in your hair. Government schools were much worse. I have friends whose trauma of teacher’s was embedded in their psyche. When small boys have to experience such violence, is there are surprise that there is violence in society ?
English teacher’s made public fun and humiliation of any wrong grammar in front of the whole class. A young child can be terrorised by a bad teacher. In my college, Hindu, in DU, an Odiya economics professor once said that we teachers are just highly paid baby-sitters for the children of the elite.
With little respect for a true-education and teachers and their psychic situation, looking at the demands parents and children have, is the other side . How school managements spend little to nourish their staff regularly and support them with creative encounters.
Akanksha is the Creative Director Random Maharasa Entertainment , under which we are making cultural communication , there will also be “stress-bustershops” for teachers and any organisations who feel the need of them. Theatre, Dance , Conversations, Meditations and Pure Undiluted Fun and Play will be the subjects It will be called Raso Vai Sah – from the Taittiriya Upanishad loosely translated as that ‘The Lord is Rasa‘ . For me the whole cosmos is Leela, a Maharasa, a Great Dance of flavours and colours .
The third aspect will be ‘Raas Desa‘, which is documentation, research and innovation based on Indian folk and classical dance craft, food, dialects and every form of cultural , spiritual and intellectual expression.
The video was made from a workshop of 45 women teachers of Army Public School last week, who shared that in their staff life of 13-28 years they never had such a session.
9th April, 2014
This Mahachunav 2014 we bring the R’aap of AK and SS , Modiya Wrap , Rahul Gaan and the unbeatable Basapa ki Maya ka Janamgeet !
The Four Maha-hastiyan of this Largest Voting Show on Earth are- Mahatma AK , Mahapurush NaMo , Manbhavan RaGa and Maharani Maya ! Enjoy the Random Re-Mixes of the Raj Raiders
12th March, 2014
When the Aam Aadmi gets goin’ the Party gets hot and anarchic.
Did you hear Sanjay Singh ‘Ek Hi Parivaar’ rapid fire speech !
If anything defines Indian politics its the ‘Mera Beta Mahaan‘ syndrome !
This 2014, the Mahachunav of this Prithvi happens. And we at Random Maharasa, will get you unique audio experiences of the wonderfully scripted bhashans of our netas , mixed , re-mixed and masala-fied like never before.
We are a country of young people We deserve some fun. Anyways so many of our leaders are such stand-ups and let-downs.
‘Bharat-ek hope” and ‘Raj- Dulhara’ to soon follow !
7th September, 2013
Nijera is presently producing very high quality Natural Indigo, known as ‘true’ Bengal Indigo. It has a range of indigo dyed hand stitched textiles. They were exhibiting at the recently concluded South Asian Dastkar Bazaar in New Delhi. Their textiles reflect the traditions and beauty of Bangladesh .
Random Maharasa was the digital partner for the event and is producing a series of films on the bazaar .
30th August, 2013
We, at Random Maharasa, invite you for a unique celebration of South Asia. Its art, crafts, cuisines, and, of course, people!
They come from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and, the heart of India. The artisans & craftspeople. In Delhi. Carrying with them a whiff of their home, their culture. Many creations. And many, many more stories!
28th August, 2013
Well my late Daddyji was from Jhang, Punjab.
The one next to the Chenab, where Heer is buried.
The only two things he got sentimental about while remembering home was the big tarboozas (water melons) they fed their Majh (cows and buffalos) and the Heer makbara where the rain fell, but the makbara would’nt get wet !
And obviously freshly churned makkhan. Till a long time growing up, we never got outside yellow butter. It was made at home, with parathas for breakfast, or to be put in maa ki daal. We were told that this makkhan by itself is a meal.
I took it seriously and had every cousin’s malai off their milk. Most kids hated the malai, and I loved it.
This nature of obsessive consumption, soon makes me allergic to just about everything (it is known as intolerance generally)
This is also the nature of love. If not practised with temperance, it can lead to a deep reaction. I am still learning to temper my temper and obsessions .
Doesn’t seem this janam I will get there .
So I never understood this desire for getting out of the ‘pain and suffering’ of death and rebirth, and I absolutely don’t believe in Qayamat and Day of Judgement, just having that single life fundas.
I want to be born again and again, to have infinite obsessions.
Not just a Janam-ashtami, but a Janam-infinti
To Krishna, my isht, the only icon I have ever had. Human icons are too boring and sterile.
To someone who stole and ran from wars. To someone who danced and loved. To someone who was aristocratic and a cowherd. To someone who won a thousand wars and died by a mistake of a hunter. To someone who always had that smile and that line he could twist.
Life is just this. Random. Maharasa. And above all a huge Entertainment.
This world is the way it is because of all the bores. Those who think life is pain and suffering. If you believe that is what it is. That is what it will be.
21st July, 2013
The first ‘cinematic journey’ that was crafted at the Random Maharasa Entertainment studio. It is about looking at the immensity of the thousands of years of spiritual exploration of the inner infinity of this land called India/ Bharat/ Hindustan . It has been a “Bhagirathian” effort to distil the unknowable into the aesthetic expression of film.
This is a small preview of the film, produced by PSBT (Public Service Broadcasting Trust) India.
‘Hindu‘ is a cinematic journey the filmmaker takes to reconnect with the essential fragrance of the religion she was born in. Through rich, evocative images, insightful comments, and soulful music she poetically weaves an experience of the sacred. The film reveals an India that has been a womb for unique experiments with the soul. An India that questions. That offers methods. That enquires. Deep. Into each aspect of our lives. Why we are born. Why we suffer. Why we die. What is Joy. Why is sadness. And how. How to transcend, to go beyond this ping pong of dualities that is Life. An India that calls. For a journey. Into infinity. Immortality. Transcendence.
Once there was a reality. Then it got a name.
With time, the name eclipsed the reality. But, the real. It flowed.
Like the unseen river. In stories. In songs. In the unsaid.
‘Hindu Nectar‘ is a cinematic journey the filmmaker takes to reconnect with the essential fragrance of the religion she was born in. Through rich, evocative images, insightful comments, and soulful music she poetically weaves an experience of the sacred. The film reveals an India that has been a womb for unique experiments with the soul.
An India that questions. That offers methods. That enquires. Deep. Into each aspect of our lives. Why we are born. Why we suffer. Why we die. What is Joy. Why is sadness. And how. How to transcend, to go beyond this ping pong of dualities that is Life. An India that calls. For a journey. Into infinity. Immortality. Transcendence.
– A film by Akanksha Damini Joshi
“This is an impressionistic film, an experience, which is appropriate for Hinduism, an experiential religion. Each viewer will take away his or her personal experience.”
– Sir Mark Tully [former Bureau Chief of BBC, New Delhi; Author, No Full Stops In India]
“The film lets practitioners, rather than scholars speak, letting the pantheism germane to the Hindu faith emerge. It should be seen as a sequel to the film-maker’s earlier film, Earth Witness“. Both speak, in evocative images, to the ecological urgency of our times. In the process, in Hindu Nectar the nihilistic discourse of monotheistic Hinduism is quietly challenged.”
– Aseem Shrivastava [Ecological economist and co-author of the acclaimed book, ‘Churning the Earth: The Making of Global India’]
17th July, 2013
Random Maharasa Entertainment
12th December, 2012
Just got our film company registered Random Maharasa Entertainment Private Limited