february 2014 programmes



The Persian Empire  – an education in 12 evenings .Every Monday where possible.  An Attic video presentation from The Great Courses taught by Prof. John W.I. Lee, University of California, Santa Barbara.

In its time, the Persian Empire was the largest and greatest the world had ever seen. Beginning in 559 B.C under Cyrus the Great it lasted more than 2 centuries, until 330 BC encompassing lands stretching from Greece, Asia Minor and Egypt in the West, across Mesopotamia and Iran, through Central Asia, all the way to the Indus Valley in the East. The Empire developed an efficient bureaucracy, a postal service, a complex economy and a powerful army. The Persians numbered only about one million people and successfully ruled over a multi ethnic and multi cultural population of 25 million.

This series of 24 half hour lectures - 2 per evening (4 per month).  are free. The title of each lecture is listed below.


monday 3rd february
6.30 pm

Lecture – 23 The End of an Empire, 333–323 B.C. 

Witness the suspenseful battles between the Persian and the Macedonians, the sieges of Alexander the Great and Darius III on the run. Alexander, arguably one of the greatest generals in history, commanded a powerful army and defeated darius, then took on the mantle of Great King, adopting much of Persian idelogy.


 Lecture – 24 Legacies of the Persian Empire  

When an empire ends, its culture and institutions don’t vanish overnight. Learn about the Persian legacy and what became of the kingdoms that followed – the Seleucids, the Parthians and the Sasanians. By the time Islamic invaders arrived in 651, the Persian Empire had become a legend, but its legacy lives on even in modern Iran. 


saturday 15th february

6.30 pm “Ancient messages from The Yoginis in our daily life” by Stella Dupuis. She  will give card readings  and will teach how one can read the cards

The divinatory system of India revolves around the Jyotish, which is related to Vedic Astrology. In that system, the planets are seen as divinities and are often venerated in the temples of India.  The term Oracle does not have a direct translation in Sanskrit. The closest approximation would be the term Jyotish, which means both "light" and "the science of the movement (energy) of heavenly bodies."

 In that sense, the Yoginis’ Oracle brings the light of the Yoginis, offering the knowledge of their energy and how to integrate that knowledge into one’s consciousness.  

The medium for communicating with these divinities is through cards that are displayed in a particular pattern. The card containing the figure of Bhairava, which symbolizes the person asking the questions, is placed in the middle of a series of cards depicting Yoginis.  The answers come from the Yoginis situated around this central image of Bhairava. The power of this configuration - Bhairava surrounded by the Yoginis – is seen and felt in the Orissan temple of Ranipur Jharial,. 

The word Yogini in the context of the Yogini temples has no direct connection with the ascetics seen in paintings from 18th century India, the sorceresses in the legends, or the female practitioner of Yoga in the modern world. The concept of the Yoginis in ancient times seems to have appeared as a continuation of different groups of goddesses such as the Matrikas.  The most significant feature of the concept of the Yoginis is the idea of the unity of the group, which derives from the Sanskrit word Yoga(joining, union, combination, etc.) Thus, the Yoginis’ Oracle is the wisdom of the group. The Knowledge carried by the energy of this group of Goddesses is to empower the person who listens to them. 

The various Yogini temples and sites contain different groups of Yoginis. For example, different iconographies of Yoginis are found in each of the temples of Hirapur, Ranipur Jharial, and Bheraghat where the Yoginis are observed in situ. Nor are the same characteristics found among the groups of Yoginis located in museums around the world today.  It appears that the particular attributes of the Yoginis depended on the needs of the different places and times when they were sculpted.

 Ideas evolve, disappear and sometimes are reborn in a different eras and places. The Yoginis in theirtemples were originally venerated but over time they were avoided and subsequently forgotten.  The Yoginis have resurfaced in the 21st century, stirring interest among scholars and persons from diverse horizons.  

Both scholars of the history of religions and art history study the Yoginis’ codes (their iconography and ancient scripts) to draw out and explain their mystery.  They elaborate accurate and even audacious theories in an attempt to satisfy the need to label abstract concepts and to understand structure, form and purpose.   Some believe that life-inspiring wisdom, symbolism and answers can been found on the subtle level of intuition. In this context the Yoginis’ Oracle of the 21st century came to life in the form of divinatory cards. This oracle is a playful and beautiful tool for obtaining insight into one’s daily life and for experiencing the wisdom of the power imbedded within us: The Energy of the Yoginis. 

Stella Dupuis will give simple tips to enhance your own intuition and she will explain the different ways to read the Yogini Cards. She will also be giving free readings. 

Stella Dupuis is a Swiss novelist born in Panama who is an inveterate traveller and observer of different cultures and lifestyles. During her years as a business manager, she also taught Yoga and meditation throughout the world.  Since moving to India nine years ago, she has been studying the Yogini Cult in the Tantra Tradition.

‘Teli Ka Mandir’, ‘The Yogini Temples of India’, ‘In the Belly of The Fish’, ‘The Esoteric Teachings of the Kaulajñanirnaya’ and ‘The Yoginis’ Oracle’ are among her recent published works. 


monday 17th february

7pm “ Into The Heart of Life…How to Put the Buddha’s Teachings into Practical Use” by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo 

at Casuarina Hall,  India Habitat Centre, New Delhi 

The teaching of Buddhist philosophy and Dharma was mainly devoted to monastic gatherings. In her recent book ‘Into The Heart of Life’ and in her lectures Jetsunma began to deliver Dharma talks, sharing the experience of spiritual practice with audiences made up of lay people with families, jobs, and a regular social life. As she travels around the world, her concern has always been - How can the dharma be of help to people in everyday life? How can the dharma be used to lighten our lives and give meaning to our existence?

This is not a talk about esoteric practices or advanced methods of meditation. The talk will deal with ordinary practitioners concerned with translating Dharma instructions into an ongoing life experience.

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo was born in England in 1943 and discovered Buddhism in her teens while working as a librarian. In 1964, at the age of 20, she went to India, where she met her teacher, the respected Drukpa Kagyu lama Khamtrul Rinpoche, and became one of the first Westerners to be ordained as a nun in the Tibetan tradition. She spent 18 years studying and practicing in Himachal Pradesh, including 12 years in a cave in the remote region of Lahaul. In 1973, she traveled to Hong Kong to receive bhiksuni ordination.  

Her biography “Cave in the Snow” by Vicki Mackenzie showed her to be one of the most remarkable women of her time, "One of the true yoginis of our time, a woman who has dedicated her life to Buddhism...Tenzin Palmo's is a voice we need to hear, a woman who has fully experienced what she speaks about with an absolute honesty, delightful humor, and real insight."  — Tsultrim Allione, author of Feeding Your Demons  

Her books of teachings 'Reflections on a Mountain Lake' and ‘Into the Heart of Life’  bring her to the forefront of teachers and  practitioners of Buddhism.

Tenzin Palmo's vision was to found a Nunnery to give young nuns of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage the opportunity to realize their intellectual and spiritual potential after so many centuries of neglect and to reinstate at the Nunnery the 'Togdenma' (yogini) tradition. The Nunnery started in January 2000 in a small room at Tashi Jong with a group of girls from Ladakh. Today there are seventy five nuns living, studying and practicing at DGL. The 6th intake of nuns from Darjeeling, Lahaul and Nepal was ordained recently. 



friday 21st february -  2 to 6 pm and
saturday 22nd february - 2 to 5.30 pm and performance at 6.30 pm 

“Page to Stage 2” – a creative writing workshop for solo performances  conducted by Sahil Farooqi

Creative writing specific to solo work is a unique genre different from other forms of writing. Sahil Farooqi’s 2nd workshop involves writing for solo performance techniques, voice work and body movement and this workshop will give participants a chance to showcase their solo piece at the Attic.

The Page to Stage workshop will be held for two days with four hours each on both the days. The second day will also include an extra hour of performance by all the participant in the workshop. Each participant will be given up to 10 minutes to showcase their work. 

The two day workshop will help artists express their stories through writing and performance and weaving them together into a full solo work. This workshop is here to generate, explore and produce stories that are hidden inside a person but needs to be told for the greater good.


Day 1

1st Hour : Group check in/ instructor introduction/ Overview of the workshop. 

2nd Hour: History of Solo Theatre with youtube extracts of good solo performances, Solo Theatre in India, Solo Performance examples by the Instructor, Creative writing exercise.

15 mins. Break.

3rd Hour: Mini performance from the writing exercises, group discussion of enhancing your work, another creative writing exercise this time in small groups.

4th hour: Group discussion on writing stories with the intent of performance. The difference between writing novels and writing for stage. Read through of all the work from the first day. 

Day 2

1st Hour: Group check-in, A talk about prominent Indian Solo Artists and their past work. A read through and video presentation of some their work.

2nd Hour: Discussion on different types of writings found in Solo Performance such as Spoken Word Poetry, Storytelling, Solo Monologue and Skits. Last creative writing exercise concentrating on Telling Your Story.

15 mins. Break

3rd Hour: Sharing your writings and leading into a group discussion. Choosing your piece for the Attic performance. Techniques used in enhancing your solo work. Breakdown of your work and turning it into a performance.

4th Hour: Rehearsal for the performance, techniques of memorizing lines and last discussions before closing the workshop.  

   Born in Allahabad, India, Sahil Farooqi was raised in the  family of the renowned Urdu writer and literary critic Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, which made him aware of the nuances of language and creativity from an early age.  At thirteen, he moved to the United States with his mother entering a cultural world that was very different from the one he grew up in. The challenges of cultural translation went on to influence his artistic temperament. Farooqi earned a B.F.A. in Theatre Studies with a concentration in Acting from the prestigious Emerson College (2007). In Boston, he developed his first solo show Flip The Switch. The show was about a South Asian boy choosing Theatre over traditional career options such as Medical or Engineering. After graduation, he lived in Washington D.C. working with Sol & Soul Theatre Company for two years, where he performed regularly with the company during their Hip-Hop Theatre Festival. Farooqi also had an apprenticeship with Regie Cabico, a spoken word artist and the Artistic Director of Sol & Soul. With Cabicos mentoring Farooqi developed his sensitive, self reflective, solo piece A Brown Monkey Goes To McDonalds.  


For the last two years Farooqi has been dividing his time between New York and New Delhi. Mentored by Mahmood Farooqui, he performed at The Attic in New Delhi and joined the Hoshruba Repertory as a performing artist. He had the lead role in Krapps Last Tape, directed by Danish Husain. The play was presented to a receptive audience at the Habitat Centre in  March 2012. It was also selected for the Kerela Theatre Festival in November 2012. The Attic has also collaborated with Farooqi on several performances based workshops, included Page to Stage. Recently he has performed at the United Solo Festival on Broadway, New York, Alliance Francaise Delhi and Jaipur Lit. Festival 2014. Farooqi has several new projects, including one on Agha Shahid Ali. He has been writing his perceptions of Delhi in prose-poetry which he intends to publish as a book.

Participation by Registration only . Call or email. 2374 6050 mina@theatticdelhi.org  

Charges Rs. 3500.

Cash or Cheques payable to Amarjit Bhagwant Singh Charitable Trust  

Last date for registration Monday 14th February 2014. Maximum 16 participants only.