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Manch by Tape A Tale: A Global Poetry & Storytelling Event

Tape A Tale takes the captivating words of Indian artists like Nayab Midha and Amandeep Singh global with “Manch”.

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Manch, Nayab Midha, Tape A Tale, Amandeep Singh, words

Words were thought of as the mightiest of all weapons. But with time it so happened that those poets and writers who used to make life worth living started to fade in recognition. Going from a time when people used to arrange “Ghazal” meets and poetry recitations to being holed up at offices from 9-8 pm and barely having time to listen to such masterpieces, technology changed the way art is perceived and appreciated in the modern age. But a few old souls for whom words still hold the power to bewitch the mind like the sound of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, have finally managed to spread their message worldwide. With “Manch” by Tape A Tale, in Melbourne, Australia, from 13th-14th April 2024 Nayab Midha and Amandeep Singh took us back to those glory days of words with their words on a physical tour outside of India. 

Australia Tour

Thanks to the power of social media, the storytelling and poetry scene in India has been getting an ever-growing fan base. From small open mics to auditoriums filled with people, Indians have finally realised the beauty and power of words that used to hold an entire generation before them in a trance. The revival of this forgotten art did come with its own fusions to suit today’s time but that just goes to show the power of literature that breaks set established norms and categories for the sake of expression.

Taking this revival one step forward, Tape A Tale organised “Manch” a storytelling poetry and music event in Melbourne, Australia from 13th-14th April 2024, for all the Indian fans living abroad who were eagerly waiting to meet the young writers from India who reignited their love for poetry and storytelling. Taking the stage with their captivating tales and mesmerising words, Nayab Midha and Amandeep Singh kick-started the highly awaited event in the poetry storytelling scene. Both Nayab Midha (writer of the poem Khubsoorat) and Amandeep Singh are well-established poets and storytellers in India and carry the beacon of modern poetry and storytelling with them. They both have done solo tours in India titled “Rajkumari” and “Pluto”. Further to encourage the local artists, they shared the stage with a few local artists from Australia to help them get the exposure their brilliant work truly deserves. The local artist lineup included Shefali Malandkar, Aman Punia, Priyanka Rajwani, Kirti Rawat, Ravita Kamra and Akshay Sindwani.

What To Expect Now?

Two unforgettable days in Australia, marked just the beginning of this journey to spread the influence of words that is bound to release today’s sedentary and mundane lives and help them realise the forgotten glory of art. “Manch” by Tape A Tale was a one-of-a-kind tour that reassured millions who were hesitating to spread their written works such as poetry and storytelling to the world. With this international tour Tape A Tale managed to set the benchmark high for the scope of making such unconventional career options a reality. 

Refusing to cap creativity with just this one international tour “Manch” will be taking their international tour forward by organising it in the UK and Ireland, in London and Dublin between 24th-26th May 2024 with Nayab Midha, Amandeep Singh and Yahya Bootwala.

Book your tickets now!

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Editor's Pick

Exploring the Mind: The Rise and Impact of Cognitive Psychology 

Indulge in the world of Cognitive Psychology, a study of mental processes required for a smooth functioning of an individual.

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Cognitive Psychology, Mental, Process, Attention, Memory, Language

 We must all know about biology, psychology, neurology and other forms of studies but in the recent development of domains, an interesting advanced form of psychology is Cognitive Psychology. Cognitive psychology is the study of the mental processes of the brain. To put it simply, we have our brain which has its biological processes happening- secretion of neurotransmitters, secretion of hormones and many more, but we also have our brains doing mental processes like thinking, attention, perception, visual processing, problem-solving, abstract reasoning and creative thinking. Cognitive psychology is the study of these mental processes. It helps us understand the way we think, where it starts, processes and what it leads to. It is a recent hot topic in psychology used mostly in therapy because of the objective approach it has towards understanding ourselves. And we love some objective reasoning for our problems! 

   Cognitive psychology comprises several domains which integrate to form our mental processes. 

The domains include

Memory

Memory constitutes all the necessary information needed for communication and information processing. It encompasses encoding, storage and retrieval. Encoding is the process of understanding sensory information- visual, auditory, tactile and other forms to store them inside the memory. Storage is the process of holding the information encoded into the memory. It can be either short-term or long-term depending on the information being rehearsed or necessary. Retrieval is the process of accessing the stored information when needed. Considering the process of memory, there are types of memory as well to understand which are implicit and explicit memories and types under them as well. Implicit memory refers to the memory we store or remember unconsciously, for example, when you learn to ride a bike you do end up riding it effortlessly after a while which means memory of learning becomes unconscious. Explicit memory refers to the memory we consciously work to remember like trying to learn a phone number, studying for an exam and many more. 

Attention

Attention is the ability to focus awareness on a particular stimulus and receive information which allows us to perform actions effectively. Attention leads us to follow the memory processes and enable other activities like perception, decision-making, learning and many more. Attention is of various kinds, but the basic ones are Divided and Selective Attention 

You might find yourself listening to music and reading a book sometimes, or most times multitasking in your everyday life. It becomes a perfect example of understanding divided attention. Here you process multiple stimuli simultaneously. There has been continuous improvement in the research of divided attention and it forms to be the most common everyday cognitive function performed by us. Another important type of attention would be selective attention where you focus on a stimulus among many others. For example, you might focus on one aspect appearing on the screen while other people are talking to you, this makes for selective attention to happen which helps in many other aspects of life as well. 

Perception

Perception is the process by which we integrate sensory information and give meaning to our environment. There are several perceptual processes that form the information we receive and give meaning to. These perceptual processes can be categorised into top-down processing and button-up processing. Top-down processing is where sensory information builds about your brain, from simple information to more complex. Bottom-up processing is where you interpret your pre-existing knowledge and interpret the sensory information around you. 

An example of these perceptual processes may take place in your daily life as well. Imagine yourself in a noisy environment and you’re talking to your friend where you assess their pitch, tone, and words they use and integrate them into your brain to formulate what they are trying to say. This is an example of bottom-up processing taking place where the sensory information is integrated into your brain. Further, when you talk to your friend, you take your pre-existing knowledge to converse with then, especially in a noisy setting where there are gaps which you fill yourself knowing your friend’s perks and habits. This is an example of top-down processing helping us integrate information accordingly. 

Language 

Language is a complex system occurring through the brain where acquisition, comprehension, production and representation. It helps in putting forward your own thoughts and feelings and also converses with others and develops social skills. It is important to understand that language can be either verbal or non-verbal. An example of the acquisition of language can be when you utter small words as a child and develop it accordingly. Further, as you develop language acquisition, you are also able to comprehend what others are saying by understanding the meaning of the sounds uttered by them. Moreover, you are also able to produce speech in a way where you can select words, organize them into grammatical structures and integrate them. Hence, you also develop a memory Lexicon which comprises of all the information of your language knowledge. To put it simply, its a dictionary of words and their meanings in the long-term memory. 

  Considering the rising popularity and importance of Cognitive Psychology here are some of the emerging trends of concepts in the field.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is targeted at changing the core beliefs people hold starting with the Negative Automatic thoughts and many more which in turn help the person understand themselves and modify their behaviour.

Cognitive Aging is another concept that helps in understanding cognitive development over time and in turn helps in formulating interventions for older adults for cognitive development.

Cross-Cultural Cognitive Psychology helps in studying various cultural factors shaping a person, their cognitive processes and mental representations. It helps us understand the universality and variability of the processes across cultures.

Neuroplasticity is another trend that accounts for the way our experiences and learning can change the structure and functioning of the brain throughout the lifespan. 

Embodied cognition is another concept that theories that cognitive processes are deeply rooted in the body’s interaction with the environment, emphasizing the importance of the body in shaping the mind.

    There are so many different theories and concepts that embody the essence of cognitive psychology that help in understanding how we do what we do in an objective sense. 

   In conclusion, Cognitive psychology is deemed to be one of the most trending and popular fields in psychology and mental health today. It helps us in understanding our thought processes and how we perceive, remember and solve problems. Cognitive psychology has practical applications in various domains such as education, therapy and artificial intelligence, making it an essential field of study in both academic, research and everyday life.

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The Healing Power of Dance:Movement Transforms Mental Health

Explore the profound impact and Healing Power of dance on emotional well-being and its therapeutic potential.

sherrylsanjaypal@gmail.com'

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Mental Health, Dance, Movement, Expression, Emotional

In a world where medication and therapy are always dominating the conversation around mental health, dance emerges as a dynamic and powerful alternative. Beyond its visual and physical appeal, dance is increasingly recognised for its potential to heal and transform emotional struggles.

Bridging the Physical and Emotional

It is a holistic activity that connects physical movement with emotional expression. Engaging in dance leads to the release of endorphins-neurotransmitters that boost happiness and well-being. This natural mood enhancer can help alleviate anxiety, depression and stress, offering more than just temporary relief.

Expressing Emotions Through Movement

A key strength of dance therapy is its ability to facilitate emotional expression. For many, conveying complex feelings through words can be challenging. It allows individuals to express and process emotions that might be difficult to articulate. Whether through the elegance of ballet, the rhythm of hip-hop, or the storytelling of contemporary dance, each style provides a unique outlet for emotional release and catharsis.

Mindfulness and Presence

Dance promotes mindfulness by focusing attention on the present. As dancers move in sync with music, they become aware of their bodies, breath and sensations. This mindfulness can help manage intrusive thoughts and a racing mind. The meditative aspect of dance aids in relaxation, lowers cortisol levels, and enhances mental clarity.

Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem

The benefits of dance extend beyond physical health, significantly boosting self-esteem and confidence. Regular practice helps individuals develop body awareness and acceptance. It encourages embracing one’s abilities and strengths, fostering a positive self-image and resilience in facing life’s challenges.

Community and Connection

It often happens in communal spaces-studios, classes, or cultural events where people share a common passion. This sense of community helps reduce feelings of isolation, a common issue for those with mental health struggles. Dancing together fosters empathy, cooperation and a supportive environment where individuals feel accepted and understood.

Dance in Therapeutic Settings

Given its therapeutic nature and potential, dance is increasingly used in clinical settings as a complementary treatment for mental health disorders. Dance therapy sessions, led by trained professionals, are tailored to address specific emotional or psychological goals. This structured approach combines dance with evidence-based therapeutic approaches, providing a safe space for exploration and healing.

Cultural and Creative Expression

Globally, it is a powerful form of cultural expression and storytelling. Traditional dances, rooted in history and heritage, provide a sense of belonging and identity. Engaging in these cultural practices helps individuals connect with their roots, promoting emotional resilience and a deeper understanding of self.

Conclusion

As we navigate the complexities of modern life, dance offers a transformative path to better mental health. Through expressive movements, mindfulness practices and therapeutic interventions, it transcends barriers, sparks creativity and fosters emotional well-being. Embrace the rhythm of life and dance your way to a healthier mind, body and soul.

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Kadambini Bose Ganguly: India’s Medical and Feminist Icon

Discover Kadambini Bose Ganguly- the remarkable journey of India’s first practising female doctor and women’s rights advocate.

sherrylsanjaypal@gmail.com'

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Kadambini Bose Ganguly, Medical, Women, Doctors,Calcutta

Kadambini Bose Ganguly was a trailblazer in India: a legendary doctor and women’s rights advocate. Kadambini Bose Ganguly was born on July 18th 1861, in Bhagalpur, Bengal Presidency. She broke barriers and shattered stereotypes in 19th-century India. As the daughter of Brahmo reformer Braja Kishore Basu, she inherited a legacy of progressive thought and dedication to women’s education.

Early Life and Education

Raised in the backdrop of British India, Kadambini defied societal norms by pursuing an English education at Brahmo Eden Female School and later at Hindu Mahila Vidyalaya in Calcutta. She overcame significant obstacles to become the first woman to pass the University of Calcutta entrance examination, making a milestone in women’s education in India. Her academic prowess led her to graduate from Bethune College in 1883, alongside Chandramukhi Basu, making history as the country’s first female graduate.

Medical Career and Achievements

Kadambini Bose Ganguly’s determination propelled her to new heights when she became the first woman to gain admission to Calcutta Medical College in 1884. Her pursuit of medical education extended to Scotland, where she received rigorous training in Western medicine, earning her the distinction of India’s first female practising doctor. Returning to her home country, she established a thriving practice and became well-known for her expertise and compassionate care.

Personal Life and Advocacy

In 1883, Kadambini married Dwarakanath Ganguly, embarking on a journey that balanced her roles as a devoted wife and mother alongside her professional pursuits. Despite the demands of raising eight children, she continued to advocate for women’s rights and education with fierce determination. Her courage in facing conservative backlash, including legal battles against defamatory accusations, underscored her unwavering commitment to gender equality.

Legacy and Recognition

Kadambini Bose Ganguly’s legacy transcends her medical achievements. As the first Indian woman to speak at the Indian National Congress, she paved the way for future generations of women doctors and leaders. Her story has been made immortal in popular culture through television serials. Google honoured her 160th birthday with a dedicated doodle acknowledging her significant impact on Indian history and feminist movements.

Final Years and Beyond

Ganguly passed on 3rd October 1923, shortly after performing surgery, symbolising her unwavering dedication to her medical practice until the end. Her contributions continue to inspire and resonate in the ongoing fight for women’s empowerment and equality in India and beyond.

Kadambini Bose Ganguly’s incredible journey from Bhagalpur to the forefront of India’s medical and feminist landscape is truly inspiring. It demonstrates her unwavering resilience, determination, and the enduring power of her conviction to impact the world positively.

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Attachment Styles: Understand Why We Connect the Way We Do

Understand your connection with people and also their connection with you. Attachment Styles go both ways.

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Attachment Styles, Children, Styles, Relationship,

  You may wonder from time to time, why am I built this way? Why am I so bothered by my connection with others? Why am I so unbothered with the way I handle my relationship? Why do I behave this way with my closest person? Why am I so attached to them? Why can’t I handle it if I have a conflict with my partner? And many many more. The answer to all of these questions arises from the kind of attachment style you have with people. An integral part of every interpersonal relationship is to understand the kind of attachment style each person holds in the relationship. 

    Attachment Styles are patterns of behaviour that develop during early childhood and influence the way we connect with others in close relationships. They are formed based on the relationship with our primary caregivers, typically, our parents. The way they respond to our needs defines our basis of attachment style and shapes our expectations in future relationships. Understanding our own attachment style becomes crucial to help develop a sense of our own behaviour with others, provides an insight of our behaviour to others and also forms a bridge of communication between yourself and your loved ones.

The Experiment

The Attachment theory originates from the research initiated and experimented by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Both believed that the primary caregiver forms a crucial role in shaping the child’s personality and character. While the initial attachment theory was suggested and explained by Bowlby with the types- secure, anxious-ambivalent, disorganized, and avoidant, Ainsworth’s famous experiment in 1969 called “The Strange Situation” built the basis of the four attachment styles that we know of today. 

   In the experiment, “The strange situation”, there are several phases in which the child’s reaction is recorded. In the study, babies and their birthing parent played in a room together. The parent leaves in between and returns after a few minutes. Further, the parent leaves soon after, during which a stranger also enters the room. The reaction of the child during the few minutes in the absence of the parent and also the reaction and interaction with the stranger, with and without the parent  is monitored and labelled with a certain attachment style based on the behaviour of the child. There is also a second separation episode where the child is left with the stranger and then later reunited with the parent. Therefore, the study is an intricate study of the relationship between the child and the parent, which resulted in the development of attachment styles of people. 

Based on the experiment by Ainsworth, the four attachment styles developed are what we follow today and applicable to most people are as follows. 

Types of attachment styles

Secure Attachment Style

This attachment style was developed when the child in “the strange situation” seemed comfortable during the absence of the parent and also in the interactions with the stranger. The children who have primary caregivers with responsiveness and stayed available to the child possessed the security and stayed attached at an optimal level. An example of this would be when in a relationship, a person resolves conflict in a healthy way, communicates with their partner, forms a resolution, gives space for the other person and also self-regulates themselves emotionally and mentally. 

Anxious Attachment style

People with Anxious attachment style crave intimacy but often mistrust others. An example of an anxious attachment style would be when in a relationship a person would seek constant reassurance from their partner and exhibit actions like excessive calling, mistrust and wanting attention. Based on “the strange situation” experiment, children who developed the anxious attachment style cry in response to their parent’s absence and also have difficulty adapting to the change of environment. 

Avoidant Attachment style

Sarah and Brad are dating. Brad starts introducing Sarah to his close friends and spends more time with her. He is enthusiastic about being together with Sarah most of the time. But, Sarah, having an avoidant attachment style actively avoids plans with Brad by cancelling them or making excuses about having to do other things. She feels overwhelmed with the pressure Brad displays and does not communicate it with him and instead avoids meeting him and having conversations about them. This displays that discomfort of intimacy, preferred independence, suppression of emotions are characteristics of avoidant attachment style. Furthermore, in the experiment, the children with avoidant attachment style exhibit behaviour that seems like they’re indifferent to their parent’s absence, limit their exploration of the environment and seem dismissive of their parent’s return as well. 

Disorganized attachment style

Children with disorganized attachment style presented in “the strange situation” with inconsistent and contradictory behaviours. It has been observed that these children might approach the caregiver upon reunion but then become withdrawn, confused or even fearful. For example, a daughter of a parent who exhibits qualities of disorganized behaviour has the same tendency to behave with her best friends. She has a push-pull tendencies with her friends, where she’s sometimes really nice with them and sometimes she’s avoidant. People with disorganized attachment style tend to also have emotional distance with others, sabotage closeness even when enthusiastic about it, unpredictable, and also fearful of abandonment and engulfment. 

   In conclusion, attachment styles may be helpful in understanding your own personality and reactions but it does not define your entire self. In accordance with your style, you can also help yourself in improving your relationships with others and make yourself secure with your interactions. You may also display several styles in different situations, therefore acknowledging the importance of knowing your own strengths and weaknesses with respect to attachment styles can help you grow into a better human being.

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The Healing Power of Tears: Understanding the Benefits of Crying

Discover and Understand the surprising health benefits of crying and how it can lead to emotional and physical well-being.

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Crying, Mental Health, Health, Emotional, Stress, Tears

For some of us, tears come oh so naturally , brought on by either a sad commercial or an emotional movie, sometimes even a heartfelt reel on Instagram. For the rest of us, crying could be more challenging, perhaps due to societal norms such as ‘boys don’t cry’ or ‘crying is a sign of weakness ‘, or a personal condition. Regardless of where we fall on the waterworks spectrum, one thing is clear, crying plays a crucial role in our emotional health.

The American Psychological Association reports that women cry an average of 30 to 64 times per year, while men cry between 5 to 17 times annually. This difference is often attributed to socialisation, where expressions like “big kids don’t cry” have influenced how emotions are expressed across genders.

Why Do We Cry?

Crying is unique to humans, and there are three types of tears: Reflex, continuous, and emotional. Reflex tears protect our eyes from irritants like smoke or onions. Continuous tears keep our eyes lubricated, protecting them from infection. Emotional tears are linked to our mental state and arise from sadness, joy, frustration or anger.

The Benefits of Crying

1. Stress Relief

Crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body rest and digest. This transition from a flight or fight state to a more relaxed state can reduce stress and make problems more manageable. Some early research likened crying to a safety valve, releasing emotional energy and preventing a buildup of tension that could harm mental and physical health.

2. Enhancing Relationships

Crying can strengthen social bonds. As babies, we cry to get the attention of our caregivers. As adults, we cry in the presence of trusted friends or partners, which can deepen connections and foster empathy and support. This vulnerability is a fundamental aspect of human connection.

3. Reducing Pain

Tears can help with physical pain. When we cry, our bodies release endorphins and oxytocin, which help us feel better and reduce pain. This is especially evident in children who often cry after minor injuries.

Context Matters

Not all crying is beneficial. Crying in a safe, supportive environment can be cathartic, but shedding tears in less comfortable settings, like at work, might not have the same positive effects. Dr. Grace Tworek, a health psychologist, emphasizes that the benefits of crying depend on the context and the individual’s comfort level. Crying with trusted people or in private often feels more relieving than doing so in a public or professional setting. It’s important to understand that tears can be a healthy coping mechanism when it’s not used to manipulate or control others, or when it’s not a sign of a deeper emotional issue.

Emotional and Physical Cleansing

Emotional tears can help us eliminate stress hormones and toxins from the body. This process is not just emotionally soothing but also physically cleansing. Historically, thinkers from ancient Greece and Rome believed tears had a purgative power. Modern psychology agrees, highlighting the role of crying in releasing stress and emotional pain.

Encouraging Healthy Emotional Expression

Teaching children, especially boys, that it’s okay to cry can help prevent the emotional suppression that leads to health issues, both mental and physical. Societal norms often discourage men from expressing vulnerability, leading to emotional withdrawal, substance use or even suicidal tendencies. Early emotional education can foster healthier coping mechanisms.

Crying During Difficult Times

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the collective grief, making emotional expression more common and necessary. Public displays of emotion have become more accepted as people navigate unprecedented times, losses and stress.

When to Seek Help

While crying is a natural and healthy response, excessive or uncontrollably doing so might indicate a deeper issue. It’s important to seek professional help if it disrupts daily activities or if someone is unable to cry despite feeling the need to. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and can provide the necessary tools to cope and heal effectively.

Crying is a natural, healthy way to process emotions and relieve stress. Embracing our tears, rather than suppressing them, can lead to emotional and physical healing. It’s a sign of strength and self-awareness, helping us navigate life’s challenges with resilience and compassion. If it becomes overwhelming, seeking professional help can provide the necessary support and tools to cope and heal effectively.

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