july 2012 programmes


tuesday 3rd july
6.30 pm “ Ink in My Veins” a book relaunch by Surendra Nihal Singh

monday 9TH july
6.30 pm The Foundations of Western Civilization

Lecture 9 – “The Greek Polis-Athens” 

Lecture 10 – “Civic Culture-Architecture and Drama”


saturday 14th july
Food Meditation # 24

1-2 pm Relationship of Food and Mind in the Vedic Tradition by Dr. Vinod Verma

saturday 28th july
6.30 pm “Riding Solo To The Top Of The World” a 90 minute documentary film by Gaurav Jani



tuesday 3rd july
6.30 pm “ Ink in My Veins” a book relaunch by Surendra Nihal Singh

http://www.giftsmill.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/product_full/9789381431016.jpg    From Jawaharlal Nehru to the Manmohan Singh era, from the rise to the fall and the phoenix-like resurrection of Indira Gandhi, from the Prime Ministers musical chairs of the 1970’s to the 70 years of the tempestuous relations between India and Pakistan Surendra Nihal Singh has covered it all in his gentle and sometimes not so gentle way.

He has covered the 1991 Gulf War and was a witness to dramatic events in South-east  Asia, Eastern and Western Europe and the United States. His tour of duty took him to Moscow, where he rubbed the Soviets the wrong way.

Over the decades, editing two major newspapers (The Statesman and the Indian Express) and Dubai's Khaleej Times has ensured a varied and eventful life.  

This evening he will talk about his book, the interesting people he has met and the hazards and excitement of being a foreign correspondent and an editor.



The Foundations of Western Civilization – an education in 24 evenings.  An Attic video presentation from The Great Courses taught by Prof. Thomas Noble, University of Notre Dame.

You can discover the essential nature, evolution, and perceptions of Western civilization from its humble beginnings in the great river valleys of Iraq and Egypt to the dawn of the modern world.

This series of 48 half hour lectures - 2 per evening will be introduced by an eminent professor/personality who will also answer questions. The events and the course are free. The title of each lecture is listed below.


monday 9TH july
6.30 pm

Lecture 9 – “The Greek Polis-Athens”

 Lurching from crisis to crisis, the Athenians accidentally created one of the world's most freewheeling democracies—at least for adult male citizens—even as they were building an empire. How did the whole thing work, and what finally brought it down?

Athens is at the center of the history of ancient Greece. Most of what we know of ancient Greek culture depends on records from this principal polis. Athens is the birthplace of democracy and has been called the cradle of western civilization. Although culturally supreme among the Greek city-states, Athens and Sparta were rival political leaders.

Lecture 10 – “Civic Culture-Architecture and Drama”


The Parthenon in Athens, built around 440 B.C.  is the finest example of a Greek building. Its secular character teaches us a great deal about the people who built it.  Its Doric and Ionic orders, its incredible sculptures (amongst which the Elgin Marbles now in the British Museum) and its impressive size was meant to make Athenians proud of their empire. 

The other great public art was Drama, performed in impressive open air theatres, where citizens got free tickets. We will hear about 3 great playwrights: Aeschylus, who wrote trilogies one of which becomes a parable for the origins of justice. Sophocles- whose plays explored justice, principle and the consequences of right action (Antigone) and of just punishments for unintentional acts (Oedipus Rex). Euripedes adapted dramatic forms and looked at the power of emotions – love, jealousy and revenge.  

We will come across Greek Tragedy as well as comedy, Aristophanes in his famous anti war play Lysistrata in which the women of Athens stage a sex strike to end the war. 

Dr Bharat Gupt will introduce this lecture and answer questions after the screening. 

Bharat Gupt, was an Associate Professor in English at the College of Vocational Studies of the University of Delhi. He is a classicist, theatre theorist, sitar and surbahar player, musicologist, cultural analyst, and newspaper columnist. He is trained in both, Western and traditional Indian educational systems. He was awarded the McLuhan Fellowship by University of Toronto, and the Senior Onasis Fellowship to research in Greece on classical Greek theatre. He was a Visiting Professor to Greece and member of jury of the Onasis award for drama. His published books include: Dramatic Concepts Greek and Indian (1994), Natyasastra, Chapter 28: Ancient Scales of Indian Music (1996), Twelve Greek Poems into Hindi (2001), India: A Cultural Decline or Revival?(2008).



"Western", "Civilization" and "Foundations"


History Begins at Sumer


Egypt-The Gift of the Nile


The Hebrews-Small States and Big Ideas


A Succession of Empires


Wide-Ruling Agamemnon


Dark Age and Archaic Greece


The Greek Polis-Sparta


The Greek Polis-Athens


Civic Culture-Architecture and Drama


The Birth of History


From Greek Religion to Socratic Philosophy


Plato and Aristotle


The Failure of the Polis and the Rise of Alexander


The Hellenistic World


The Rise of Rome


The Roman Republic-Government and Politics


Roman Imperialism


The Culture of the Roman Republic


Rome-From Republic to Empire


The Pax Romana


Rome's Golden and Silver ages


Jesus and the New Testament


The Emergence of a Christian Church


Late Antiquity-Crisis and Response


Barbarians and Emperors


The Emergence of the Catholic Church


Christian Culture in Late Antiquity


Muhammad and Islam


The Birth of Byzantium


Barbarian Kingdoms in the West


The World of Charlemagne


The Carolingian Renaissance


The Expansion of Europe


The Chivalrous Society


Medieval Political Traditions I


Medieval Political Traditions, II


Scholastic Culture


Vernacular Culture


The Crisis of Renaissance Europe


The Renaissance Problem


Renaissance Portraits


The Northern Renaissance


The Protestant Reformation-Martin Luther


The Protestant Reformation-John Calvin


Catholic Reforms and "Confessionalization"


Exploration and Empire


What Challenges Remain?







saturday 14th july
Food Meditation # 24

1-2 pm “Relationship of Food and Mind in the Vedic Tradition” by Dr. Vinod Verma

  moong dalThe three qualities of the cosmos- sattva, rajas and tamas are also the qualities of our mind. The stillness of mind and its ability to concentrate on a single object or aim is a sattvic quality. A wandering and active mind performing actions is the rajasic quality of the mind. A sleepy, tired, listless state of mind is the tamasic state. The emotions that hinder progress and development of the mind are also tamasic. Examples are jealousy, anger and thoughts of revenge. 

These three qualities apply to everything that exists in the cosmos, including our food. According to the Vedic tradition, the kind of food we eat influences our state of mind and our health. Health problems are treated keeping these aspects in mind. For example, those prone to anger will be given different food with different spices to those who feel drowsy or sleepy during the day.

The present menu is a combination of sattvic and rajasic foods, which is ojas (immunity and vitality) promoting and establishing balance and harmony in the body.



Vegetable rice
Germinated Moong Dal
Seasonal Vegetable: karela (bitter
   gourd) preparation as a rasayana
Garlic bread
Mixed fruits


  1. Vegetable rice is prepared with finely chopped seasonal vegetables and onions along with cumin, pepper, clove, cardamom , cinnamon and cinnamon leaves.  
  1. In Ayurveda, the initial stages of germination give the best value. Moong beans are soaked in water for 24 hours and then cooked on a slow fire. Fried onion, ginger, garlic and tomatoes are added as a sauce prepared separately.
  2. Karela (bitter gourd) has a bitter taste and other rasas are added to balance it. The final preparation is enriched in flavour and is like a rasayana (an immunity and vitality promoting preparation).
  3. During the rainy season an excellent remedy to keep insects (and other people) away is to eat lots of garlic.
  4. A sweet is a good way to end a meal. It should be light and not made of flour. Mixed fruits are highly recommended.

    Participation is by registration on payment only. Call The Attic 23746050 or email: mina@theatticdelhi.org.

     Charges:  Rs 150.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


saturday 28th july
6.30 pm “Riding Solo To The Top Of The World” a 90 minute documentary film by Gaurav Jani

Riding Solo To The Top Of The World is the unique experience of a lonesome traveller, who rides his motorcycle all the way from Mumbai to one of the remotest places in the World, the Changthang Plateau, in Ladakh, bordering China.

Situated at an average altitude of 15,000 feet, Changthang covers almost 30,000 square kilometers of Ladakh A land devoid of roads and with temperatures which dip to minus 40 degree Celsius in winter.

As a one-man film unit, he astonishes you, filming the landscape he passes by and the people he interacts with, capturing moments of beauty, pain, love, hardship, self doubt and spiritual triumphs.

As a city slicker, his interaction with the nomads of the region, the Changpas, who live at the highest altitude used by mankind in the world, teaches him a new perspective on life, as does the religious fervour he encounters.

The Hemis festival that comes once in twelve years, the Tashi Choling monastery where the Changpas pray to the Rain God and their ever changing life have all been shot in all its splendour and festivity.

The highlight of the trip is the permission given to him to film the monastery at Chemur, ( the very first time a camera has been permitted.)

Riding Solo to the Top of the World, in essence, is a film about a journey that begins as an adventure and ends with the man, Gaurav Jani, seeking the person within. Gaurav will be present at the screening to answer questions.

Mumbai International Film Festival - India


Jury Comment: With "Riding Solo…" a new form (of film making) emerges which should encourage young filmmakers to explore the world around them. A road movie  which transforms a trekking adventure into a poem, revealing the mysteries of a gentle mindscape.

53rd National Film Awards – India BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM

Jury comment: "Made in the best tradition of cinema verity, personal, vivid and natural. The film leads the viewer from revelation to revelation, giving us an opportunity to come to love and know the 'Changpas' and their unique lifestyle"