Aghil Paulson Komban
Hailing from the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur, Aghil spent his entire school life in the beautiful seaside city of Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Though he initially wanted to be an actor, he later got inspired by the Scouts and wanted to be an army officer, Aghil later found an interest for the laboratories and the life sciences. While preparing to crack his Medical Entrance examinations, this confused violinist decided laboratories were not as they seemed and realized that biology was not his cup of tea. He confessed his love for the Arts especially literature and requested permission for a divorce from the Sciences. He was thus able to pursue his desire of learning Literature along with Journalism and Psychology from Christ University, which only added on to the new world that opened up through Humanities. In recent years, his desire to learn more about Christianity and the Bible brought him close to philosophy. He was in his quest to find the right platform to bring all these diverse interests – music, theology and literature together and MCPH, once again, situated in a beautiful seaside town just like his childhood days in Muscat, provided the right catalyst. Though he wanted to be a monk studying the Bible all his life, he is now content to be at MCPH desiring to be a teacher, following his mother’s footsteps.
Born in the town of ‘Touch River’ (Thodupuzha) in Kerala, this young dance enthusiast was brought up in the Garden City now rampaging with vehicles and IT professionals. Unlike most of her classmates at both the UG and the PG level, ending up in science and later realizing their true destiny in the arts, Blessy was never forced into this rat race by her family. Though she initially wanted to be a lawyer she realized that she could not be a good liar, therefore, she dropped the idea. The field of History intrigued her but she decided that her love to learn about people was better served by doing a triple major course in Sociology, Psychology and English. During her BA she discovered her passion for teaching. She was thus searching for the most suitable place to merge her varied interests in her academics. After having spent 17 years (Christ School-Christ Junior College-Christ University) in Christ Institutes, she decided that it was time to explore other places of education. And thus she ended up at MCPH, where she believes she can navigate to a new harbor in her life (the beaches in Manipal are adding on to this).
Writing poems and stories in Kannada, reading fiction and singing are on the top of the list of Snehajaya’s interests. She likes to call herself a feline but claims to love dogs too. She grew up in the Udupi-Mangalore region. She studied science at the pre-university level but later chose to do BA in English literature, Journalism and Economics in St.Aloysius College in Mangalore. Why MCPH? She herself might not have an apt answer for this but her newly developed interest towards English could be an answer; if someone could guess. At present, she is busy discovering what she really likes and what not. If you ask her status quo, she would grin and say she is happy. Why wouldn’t she be?
Marina completed her Bachelor’s in Arts from Sophia College (Mumbai University), with a major in Philosophy. In the city, she dabbled in several activities, which included stints at writing, photography, and music-management. She enjoys reading fiction and witty t-shirts, and has been known to spend days on end watching reruns of Blackadder, House MD and Sherlock. Having moved out of home for the first time, Marina would like to believe that she has found her place in the frisbee-hurling, chai-chugging land of Manipal. However, she occasionally suffers from severe bouts of Bombay-nostalgia.
After seven years of professional work as an arts administrator, Pankhuri is enthusiastic about a return to the academic sphere. The short commute at Manipal with its serene environment provide her the time and mental space to amalgamate (and also problematize) her experiences of performance, body, creativity, pedagogy, and aesthetics. She suddenly finds her experiences such as painting a 12 foot high mural, performing classical dance in the Thang Jing temple in Manipur, producing contemporary dance at Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, and watching plays such as Flowers or The Kitchen crop up in her assignments. She grew up in Bangalore, and spent time in Mumbai and Philadelphia – where she graduated with a B.A. in Growth and Structure of Cities from Haverford College in 2006. She loves to travel, play with colours, and experiment with cooking.
Madhu is from Tarikare, a small town in the Malnad region. She studied in Maitreyi Gurukula for six years. She moved to a formal system of education and finished her Bachelors in Journalism, Economics, and Political Science from S.D.M College, Ujire. Feminism, Literature, and Philosophy are her interest areas. She is probably the only student at MCPH who can converse in Sanskrit. She also enjoys reading Fiction, and writing stories and poems. She contributes to a popular Kannada blog ‘Kenda Sampige’.
Sharmada is from Bangalore and has a Bachelors degree in Journalism, Psychology and English. Having worked with Facebook for a year, she quit her job to pursue a Masters degree in English at MCPH. She is a lover of poetry and is an occasional poet too. At times, she writes for magazines and blogs; her area of interest being Gender and Sexuality. She loves going out for long walks at night and drinking Chai in cigarette shops. She has found solace in the rain, beaches and greenery in and around the picturesque Manipal. Someday, she wants to live in a small hill station and be a full-time bookstore attendant.
Rohini spent most of her life in Pune, a city in Maharashtra. She has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Fergusson College, Pune. Presently, she is a first year MA student, majoring in Philosophy. On usual days, she talks a lot and laughs a lot more. She does not read as much as she would like to, but she sure is trying hard. She enjoys dancing and sketching. Whenever she gets time, she likes to go for long jogs. She is optimistic enough to hope that one day she could meaningfully contribute to Philosophy.
Tarun graduated from Delhi University with a BA Honours in History and has since discovered that his true calling lies in philosophy. He is therefore overly enthusiastic about anything to do with certain Continental philosophers. He is greatly skilled at falling asleep anywhere, any time (with a special preference for Lecture Hall 1). As of now, he has no clue what to do with his life, but the abundance of fish, friends and exciting stuff at MCPH keep him too happy to worry about that.
Tanuja’s plans for her life change every few months, but her enduring love for literature brought her to Manipal to do a Masters. Her lifelong anxiety that she will never have enough time to read everything she wants even motivated her to become a Buddhist (she will have plenty of time in her future lives). She is currently struggling to find more hours in the day so she can start a regular meditation practice. Having come to Manipal, she spends far more time in the kitchen than most, cooking fairly elaborate meals with her roommate and friends: last night’s dinner was rice, dal, rasam, potato fry, salad, raita and prawn pickle.
Most people would describe Esther as fun-sized and enthusiastic (or more precisely, small and loud). Esther studied History at Delhi University, where she had a lot of fun, but realised that she didn’t want to study History anymore. She is, however, forever grateful that her undergraduate studies allowed her to develop a strong academic interest in Gender Studies and Feminist Theory, which she wants to expand on with the interdisciplinary lens she thinks MCPH will provide her. She likes music and funny things, with a soft spot for silly films about teenagers, preferably ones with a good soundtrack. When she’s not chasing deadlines or concluding heated arguments, Esther’s found humming her favourite songs from Disney movies she’s grown up with.
After a rather depressing affair with graduate college, Faustina decided to attempt formal education once more, in MCPH. Now that she’s beginning to understand what it means to like what she does and do what she likes, she’s finally able to devote time to finding the best sambar. Mostly occupied with trying not to lose her umbrella, she reads, sometimes cooks, and takes long walks around Manipal.
Srinivas Uppaluri (Srini) grew up in India, Algeria and Canada. He completed his B.A in Philosophy from the University of Waterloo and has been living in Bangalore with his wife and Children for the past eight years. He had been involved in real estate and hospitality ventures during this period before he decided to move to Manipal and pursue his interest in Philosophy as a masters student at MCPH.