january 2012 programmes


saturday 7th january
6.30 pm “Magic Of Indian Classical Music” vocal recital by Malobika Mandal  

wednesday 11th january
6.30 pm “
Women Awakened: Book Discussion” by Swati Chopra in conversation with Simran Bhargava

saturday 14th january
1 to 2 pm "Olive Oil and Memories of Desert Food" a talk and demonstration by Lynne & Brian Chatterton

saturday 21 january
6.30 pm “Shades Of Kalyan Thaat” a violin recital by Praveen Sheolikar

monday 30th january
6.30 pm ‘Biodynamic  C
raniosacral Therapy’ with Vanessa Hodge





saturday 7th january
6.30 pm “Magic Of Indian Classical Music” vocal recital by Malobika Mandal   

Hindustani and Carnatic music form the genre of what is known as Indian Classical Music. The tradition was born out of a cultural synthesis of several musical traditions: the Vedic chant tradition (dating back to about 1000 BCE) and the equally ancient Persian tradition of Musiqi-e assil, as well as various folk traditions prevalent in the region. 

Khyal, (thought) the Hindustani form of vocal music, adopted from medieval Persian music and based on Dhrupad, is based on improvising and expressing emotion. A Khyal is a two- to eight-line lyric set to a melody. The lyric is of an emotional account depicting  

joy, sorrow, anger, excitement and even celebration as well as expressing the moods of the various seasons of the year.  

When performed in the right place at the right time with an accomplished musician and an appreciative audience a raga can engulf, cure and create the strong emotions that the musician is attempting.   

Malobika will present ragas and the bandish (a fixed, melodic composition in Hindustani vocal or instrumental music, set in a specific raga, performed with rhythmic accompaniment by a tabla or pakhavaj) to express different moods.                    

Malobika is a talented and versatile vocalist with a rich and vibrant voice.  

She is a science graduate and started her musical journey from her childhood under the Late Shri Satyen Das. After completing her MA in music she became the disciple of Padmashree Smt. Sumitra Guha. She has acquired the fineness of the Gayaki of Kirana Garana from her guru. She is a graded artist of AIR and has performed in India. She has accompanied her guru in the National Festival of Mauritius and the International Youth Festival at Istanbul.  

She has also trained in light music (geet, ghazal and bhajan) from Shri Mahindra Sarin a top grade composer of AIR, Delhi. Malobika has also taken training in semi classical music (thumri ,Dadra, Kajri, chaiti) from Smt. Parul Banerjee a senior most disciple of Vidhushi Naina Devi of Banaras Garana.


Accompanists: Tabla - Shri Pradip Kumar Sarkar,
                        Sarangi - Shri Ghanshyam Sishodia
                        Harmonium- Shri  Kaushik Mitra,
                       Tanpura - Kumari Anukriti Sengupta



 wednesday 11th january
6.30 pm “
Women Awakened: Book Discussion” by Swati Chopra in conversation with Simran Bhargava

For centuries, women have walked the inner path to spiritual realisation despite thorns placed in their way by patriarchy, discrimination and unequal opportunities. Their journeys have been characterised by courage and determination, ingenuity and creativity. Where they couldn’t get past the confines of gender roles, women found ways to lead spiritually rich lives under the skin of their worldly selves, amidst the babble of babies and bread, home and family. When they did manage to step outside spaces designated for them by patriarchy, and found fulfilment as wanderers and mystics, god-intoxicated wise madwomen, their insights and experiences remained largely anonymous, their heroism unsung.

This anonymity, born of a ‘second class spiritual citizenship’, persists till this day. At a time when women gurus are becoming far more visible than ever before, through new age media like television and the internet, there is nevertheless little understanding of a feminine spirituality. Through the lives of eight women, Women Awakened explores the idea of feminine spirituality in the contemporary context, and what it actually means to be a spiritual seeker in today’s world.

 Today Swati talks about her book and female spirituality in conversation with Simran Bhargava.

Swati Chopra is author of Women Awakened: Stories of Contemporary Spirituality in India (HarperCollins, 2011), Dharamsala Diaries (Pe nguin, 2007), and Buddhism: On the Path to Nirvana (Brijbasi, 2005). Her writing, exploring spirituality and its relevance to modern lives, has appeared in several publications in India and abroad. To research contemporary women and gender in spirituality, Swati was awarded a fellowship by the WISCOMP initiative (Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace) of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of the Dalai Lama. Women Awakened is based on this research.

Swati has also formulated a unique creative writing programme, ‘Way with Words: Creative Being through Creative Writing’. She was invited to the Edinburgh International Festival in 2011 as a speaker. Her website is www.swatichopra.com.  

Simran Bhargava has a Masters in Communication from Stanford University. She was writer and editor with the India Today group for several years.  She  has her own weekly television show on NDTV  “One Life To Love” which aims to help viewers lead a happier and freer life.  She has also done a six-part series for NDTV on "Happiness: A journey with Deepak Chopra"  



In Remembrance of Things Past Series

Almost a 100 years ago Marcel Proust had a cup of tea that sent him into an exquisite memory of the little sponge cakes that he used to have at his aunt’s house as a child. Quoted below is the famous madeleine episode that has become one of the most famous passages in French literature and that is inspiring this series.

 “No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs  touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. ... Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? ... And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.”

Food, not only assuages hunger but the memory of it, the cooking, the eating, the sharing is very much part of our family and  cultural heritage. Like the characters in Proust’s 7 volume work “In Remembrance of Things Past” we view our food through a  multiplicity of perspectives. The significance of what is happening (or what we are eating) is often placed within the memory or in the inner contemplation of what is described (eaten). This focus on the relationship between experience, memory and writing (eating) becomes a part of us and throughout this work and in our culinary lives many similar instances of involuntary memory, triggered by sensory experiences such as sights, sounds and smells conjure important memories for the narrator and remind us of the foods that we have enjoyed in family settings when we were young.




saturday 14th january
1 to 2 pm "Olive Oil and Memories of Desert Food" a talk and demonstration by Lynne & Brian Chatterton



Couscous with Onion Sauce
Hummus & Pita
Harissa (chili sauce)
Banana and Date Dessert
Mint Tea and Coffee with cardamom






Olive oil is obtained from the fruit of the olive tree mainly found around the Mediterranean basin. The wild tree dates back to the 8th millennium BC and originated in modern Turkey. Spain, Italy and Greece are the main producers of olive oil today. Olive oil contains a wide variety of valuable antioxidants that are not found in other oils. The USFDA permits the following label on olive oil bottles for sale.

Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tbsp. (23 g) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.”

Brian Chatterton talks about producing olive oil on a small mountain farm in Italy. He has been growing olives and making oil at Castel di Fiori in Umbria, Italy for 20 years. He is a hands on grower who prunes and picks his own 200 trees. He has also written a book on olive growing (Discovering Oil, Pulcini Press 1996) and an ebook (Growing olives and producing oil, Pulcini Press 2005). Before moving to Italy, Brian was a farmer, grape grower and wine maker in South Australia. He was a Member of Parliament and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests in the State government.

Lynne Chatterton demonstrates how olive oil helped keep hunger pangs away in the deep Algerian desert when she and Brian went on an expedition to see some wonderful prehistoric cave paintings and    rock engravings. Her remembrance is of the Southern Algerian Hoggar and the Tassili Plateau and Djanet – “we were in the desert without wood or any other resource. Our Toureg guide managed, with the aid of a bundle of sticks he carried with him, a pot, a container of water, a handful of spices, olive oil, the onions and dry couscous to cook us a delicious meal.   The remoteness of the site, how we got there, how difficult it was to reach the plateau and especially the simple food we ate remains an enduring memory.”

Lynne Chatterton, is the author of "Sustainable Dryland Farming" (CUP). a book about farmers and their successes in growing wheat and sheep in semi-arid regions of the world, and "Red Herrings"  a memoir about life, food and farming. She grew up in Australia with the desert on one side of her village and the great River Murray on the other.  She lived on an irrigated fruit farm, then married a wheat/sheep farmer, experienced political life from the inside, travelled widely, wrote and spoke regularly about food - from how food is grown and how food policy is made. Her new book "From the Ground Up - Cooking Without Fear" – connects what we cook in our homes with current world crises of climate change, water conflicts, diminishing fish stocks, declining and eroded farmland, and globalised trade.  She concludes that, in spite of these threats, home cooking can bring us pleasure and satisfaction.
 She has lived in Central Italy for twenty years, growing and cooking the food about which she writes.

All items demonstrated will be served for tasting.

Registration Required: Rs 250 per head Call 23746050 or email mina@theatticdelhi.org

tuesday 17th January
4 to 7.30 pm

                                Book Launch
 ‘Interrogating Empires’ and ‘Imagining Alternatives’ edited by Jai Sen, co-published by OpenWord and Daanish Books                                                  

Towards Building More Just and Democratic Societies, New Social Movement in Our Times and ‘Social Movements as New Politics ?’
Chaired by Professor Imtiaz Ahmed

Poetry reading
Movement in our times
by Krishnan Unni P

‘Social Movements as New Politics?’ 

3 speakers

  • Madhuri         - Practising movement,
  • Anja Kovacs           - Communicating (in) movement and
  • Aditya Nigam -Theorising movement

will critically engage with the world wide social movements across Africa, in Abya Yala (Latin America), and the Occupy, indignado, and other movements in Europe and on Turtle Island (North America)


Notes on the Speakers :

Aditya Nigam, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
A social and political theorist and activist, Aditya works with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. He has been active in the Left movement for three decades, and was a full time activist with the CPI(M) from 1980-90. Since 1992, he has been actively involved with different citizens’ initiatives in India, especially on workers' rights and anti-communal forums. His interests are political and social theory, and he has both been engaged in research on questions of identity, nationalism, and radical politics and has published regularly on these issues in various journals.  His recent publications include The Insurrection of Little Selves : The Crisis of Secular Nationalism in India (Oxford University Press, 2006) and, with
Nivedita Menon, Power and Contestation : India Since 1989 (Orient Longman, 2007).anigam98@gmail.com 

Anja Kovacs, Internet Democracy Project, New Delhi
Anja is the driving force behind the Internet Democracy Project (www.internetdemocracy.in), which engages in research and advocacy on the promises and challenges that the Internet poses for democracy and social justice in the developing world. The project currently focuses in particular on issues related to freedom of expression and the Internet – especially in India and South Asia, but also globally; see
http://internetdemocracy.in/2011/10/07/in-defence-of-democracy/.  Anja is also a Fellow at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, where she has worked on a range of issues, including researching on online activism in India. She obtained her PhD in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, and has been based in India since 2001.

Madhuri, Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, Madhya Pradesh
A fulltime activist with the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, Madhuri has worked with JADS for the past thirteen years. JADS is a non-party, non-funded, membership-based ‘jan sangathan’ currently active in the predominantly adivasi district of Barwani, Madhya Pradesh, in India. JADS campaigns on issues of adivasi control of natural resources and so-called ‘development’ processes, and against state violence and expropriation. Mostly, JADS’ work is an attempt by adivasis to collectively negotiate and fight a hostile colonial terrain, recover their dignity, and ward off the fragmentation of their community by disruptive market and state forces, while simultaneously envisioning alternatives. There is also an attempt to ally with other communities of working peoples to forge a larger struggle for a just society. She is the only non-adivasi activist in the organisation.


 Krishnan Unni P, Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi
Unni is a writer in Malayalam and English with two books to his credit, and teaches at Deshbandhu College in the University of Delhi. His articles and poems have appeared in national and international journals, and a collection of his poems in English is due for publishing.



Chair :
Imtiaz Ahmad, retired Professor of Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Imtiaz Ahmad, retired Professor of Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, received his training in anthropology and sociology at the Universities of Lucknow and Delhi. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Chicago during 1967-68 and Visiting Assistant Professor in Social Anthropology at the University of Missouri during 1968-70, and a Senior Fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research during 1970-72. The list of his published works include Caste and Social Stratification among Muslims in India, Family, Kinship, and Marriage among Muslims in India, Ritual and Religion among Muslims in India, and Modernization and Social Change among Muslims in India.





 saturday 21 january
6.30 pm “Shades Of Kalyan Thaat” a violin recital by Praveen Sheolikar 

The ‘ragas’ of Indian classical musical tradition have been grouped under 10 divisions, called ‘Thaat’. Though many ragas get grouped under the same Thaat, each has a different character, a different temperament and a different identity. Some ragas under the same Thaat do have similarities, and presenting them without confusion calls for great skill and years of ‘riyaz’(practice).

The artiste today, Shri Praveen Sheolikar, will present to us ‘Shades of Kalyan Thaat’, through four ragas on violin – Shuddha Kalyan, Chhayanat, Hameer and Kamod, all extremely popular evening melodies.

The tonal quality of the violin comes very close to the human voice. Though originally a western instrument, the violin has been and is being used in Indian classical music to such an extent that it has become an important part of the Indian musical tradition. However, the real beauty of the instrument and its close resemblance to human voice gets manifested only when it is played in the Gayaki style, which is Shri Praveen’s forte.

Shri Praveen Sheolikar started learning music at a very young under his grandfather Late Rambhau Sheolikar of Raipur, himself an accomplished musician. He learnt advanced techniques and finer nuances of concert presentation from his father Shri V.R. Sheolikar, a violinist of repute and a regular broadcaster on AIR. The result has been a very fine blend and an impressive and distinctive style, to be witnessed by us this evening.

Currently associated with AIR Bhopal, Shri Praveen Sheolikar has participated in numerous prestigious music conferences throughout India and also in Italy.

monday 30th january
6.30 pm ‘Biodynamic  C
raniosacral Therapy’ with Vanessa Hodge

At the core of our being is a fundamental life force, a profound potency that underlies our very existence. This life force maintains our optimum health and generates subtle rhythmic motion which is expressed by every cell. The cerebrospinal  fluid, which bathes the central nervous system, exhibits this motion as a tide-like inhalation and exhalation, while bone, organs and other structures of the body follow their own particular patterns of movement within this. In a healthy body this fundamental life force is expressed fluently but if health is compromised, on any level, this balanced rhythm will be disturbed and inevitably affect the overall vitality of your system.


The craniosacral therapist is trained to palpate these subtle rhythms and identify stress, trauma, illness and shock states. The therapist works with these patterns and fluid motions supporting your body's natural propensity to find health and equilibrium.  A non-invasive, holistic approach to health, craniosacral therapy is suitable for all ages from newborns to the elderly.


Vanessa Hodge, BCST, RCST and member of the Craniosacral Therapy Association, trained with, and continues to study with, Franklyn Sills, the founder of biodynamic craniosacral therapy. She assists on craniosacral trainings in the UK and India. Vanessa is particularly interested in our pre and perinatal development and how this early experience influences our patterning throughout life. Post-graduate specialisation includes; working with trauma, embryology in practice, and working with babies and children. Her private practice caters to clients as young as 10 days old and as mature as 85 years. Vanessa brings deep presence to her work, drawing on a decade of mindfulness meditation and joyful Anusara yoga practice.