february 06 programmes


friday 3rd february
6.30 pm ‘Tathagata’s Journey - A talk, audio and visual presentation’ by Anup Rej

What is the meaning of this never ending and repetitive journey which man of all times are destined to make? Is it a meaningless journey on a wheel through a blind alley from where no one can escape? Or is there a meaning and a purpose behind this eternal wandering of Tathagata? Anup Rej gives no answer because to seek an answer would only express ignorance about the great journey of the One, of whom all are parts. “Tathagata’s Journey” tells the story of the wanderer, who is Odysseus of Homer’s epic in the past as well as modern man . Odysseus was thrown in a tumultuous sea in a wandering between the islands of the sun and the moon and todays man is also trapped in a similar wandering.

Anup Rej born and educated in Kolkata is the son of Debabrata Rej, a great Bengali erudite, linguist and

poet. He moved to Oslo as a post-doctoral fellow to do research in the field of theoretical nuclear physics. It took him 10 years to write the book Tathagata’s Journey which is also available in a 20 hour audio tape. Scientist, philosopher, poet, sculptor and painter he is a true renaissance man. He presently lives in Oslo.

tuesday 7th february
6.30 pm ‘Rediscovering Manipuri - A lecture and demonstration’ by Guru Rajkumar Singhajit Singh and Charu Sija Mathur

Manipuri dance is one of the most graceful, lyrical dance styles of India . Still performed in the temples of Manipur and inextricably woven into the religious and social fabric of the people, the dances of Manipur are a living and throbbing tradition since ancient times. The style offers immense variety ranging from the softest, lyrical (lasya) to the most vigorous masculine (tandava). The basic character of the style is that however difficult a movement, there is always a rounded ease and fluidity, each movement merging into another.

Born at Imphal, Manipur and belonging to a

family of great dancers and musicians of the state, initiated at an early age, and trained by eminent Gurus, Rajkumar Singhajit Singh is indeed a personification of a living culture in all its facets.

Starting his training as a drummer he studied dance (jagoi) from the legendary Guru Amubi Singh and Cholom from Guru Thangjam Chaoba Singh. He also undertook training in the traditional martial arts of Manipur.

He is an outstanding performer, choreographer, scholar and an artiste of great creative ability. He has choreographed forty ballets and numerous dance compositions which have won international acclaim. He was awarded the Padma Shri and the Kalidas Samman.

Belonging to a famous cultural minded family of Delhi Charu Sija Mathur’s name is synonymous with Manipuri dance. Her works, among them the lead roles in 40 Manipuri ballets reflect the extremely rich traditions of Manipuri culture and her presentations are marked for their great elegance, maturity, sensitivity and sophistication.

In recognition of her great service to Manipuri Dance for the last four decades Charu has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Delhi Sahitya Kala Parishad Samman.

tuesday 14th february
6.30 pm ‘The Lonely Tree - A documentary film’ by Ishwar Pandey

‘Inauguration of his photo exhibition and a discussion on environmental issues led’ by film maker Mike Pandey

There is an ethereal painting-like quality to these photos, shot in the Himalaya, mostly along the Spiti Valley. Ishwar’s camera lovingly frames these breathtaking scenes which appear to have been painted in broad strokes by nature’s brush. He captures well the clouds nestling gently between majestic mountain ranges, while below, lie the barren wastes of this high altitude desert. His camera also brings to us the beautiful people who live in these rugged environments.

Ishwar Pandey….. a brilliant film maker and environmentalist and a great human being. To have known him was to admire this “gentle giant”, who lived a life true to the heart. His numerous films on the mountains were screened
around the world. In films like “The Lonely Tree” originally shown UK’s Channel 4, and “the Naked hills” for Doordarshan, Ishwar voiced his concerns about the deforestation that has destroyed so much of the forest cover of the mountains. He voiced these concerns nearly 20 years ago. Such was his vision. In recent years, we have witnessed the devastating results of the degradation of the mountain slopes and the soil erosion, resulting in some of the worst floods seen in the Himalayan river valleys.

thursday 16th february
6.30 pm ‘The Glass Blower - A poetry reading’ by Keki N. Daruwalla

There is no better known name in Delhi poetry circles than Keki Daruwalla. The characteristic features of his poetry can be described as vigor and immediacy of language, knife-edge tone, an abiding concern with love, death and domination, a skeptic and indignant cynicism about the plight of human society and a rare intensity in portraying living individuals.

He reads from his last three poetry volumes, monologues & sonnets from "The Map-maker", dream poetry from "Night River", "A Summer of Tigers" and his new unpublished work.

He retired as a senior government officer, is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Commonwealth Poetry Award. He has published 9 volumes of poetry , 3 volumes of short stories and a novella based in Latin America. He did a car ride from the western end of the Indian Himayala Siachen to the eastern end Kibitu and is equally passionate about cricket and poetry.

saturday 18th february
11.00 am to 1.00 pm ‘Behind Maach & Mishti - A demonstration of Bengali cooking’ by Chitra Ghose

Like art and culture, Bengalis are passionate, almost obsessive about food. Most well to do families had two kitchens. The vegetarian kitchen was deeply influenced by widows who were banned from eating meat , onion and garlic. Their confinement to religious and household activities led probably to the best vegetarian cuisine in India.

Even Bengal’s main football teams are food obsessed - Mohan Bagan has a prawn as their symbol and East Bengal have the Hilsa fish , the price of which goes up or down depending on who wins. Also famous are the‘ mug ‘ Anglo Indian cooks from Chittagong and ‘Eastern Railway mutton curry‘.

Chitra demonstrates 4 dishes :
1. Maccher Paturi – beckti filets with fresh mustard paste steamed in banana leaf.
2. Shona Munger Dal Tarkari Diye – small

grain moong dal cooked with grated coconut and vegetables.
3. Aloo-Posto – potato with ground poppy seed sauce.
4. Bhapa Doi – steamed, sweetened yogurt dessert.

All served with Gobindo Bhog Chaal . Special Bengali rice available only in Chittranjan Park. City.

Chitra Ghose runs a Bengali cuisine catering company ( Chitra’s Kitchen) . She is researching and writing a book on reviving 18th & 19th century Bengali cuisine. Her research has led her into the history of Bengali cooking and recipe’s from out of print books, libraries and family homes. She is a food consultant to ITC Hotels.

Cost Rs 300/- per person. Please register in advance by calling Sunil 23746050 Or make cheques in favour of Amarjit Bhagwant Singh Charitable Trust and mail to The Attic. Please give name, phone number and email address.

saturday 25th february
6.30 pm ‘Advaita - Classical Vocal Music’ by Subhadra Desai

Advaita (non - duality) is a perception of truth first discovered by the Upanishadic sages of Vedic India, in their intense search for the eternal and the immortal. They conceived an identity between a Cosmic Self (Brahman) and Personal Self (Atman).This vision of Unity or Oneness underlying the diversity of life became the keynote of Indian thought, feeling and civilization. Saints, poets, artists and artisans rediscovered and revitalized this idea through the millennia.

Subhadra Desai explores this briefly in her presentation of Khayal, Mantras and Bhajans to illustrate this continuity of this

luminous vision . Mantras here refer to the Vedic verses where the seers recorded their insights millennia.

Advaita ( non - duality ) is a perception of truth first discovered by the Upanishadic sages of Vedic India, in their intense search for the eternal and the immortal. They conceived an identity between a Cosmic Self ( Brahman) and Personal Self ( Atman ).This vision of Unity or Oneness underlying the diversity of life became the keynote of Indian thought, feeling and civilization. Saints, poets, artists and artisans rediscovered and revitalized this idea through the millennia.

Subhadra Desai explores this briefly in her presentation of Khayal, Mantras and Bhajans to illustrate this continuity of this luminous vision. Mantras here refer to the Vedic verses where the seers recorded their insights.

Subhadra Desai is a contemplative artist of Hindustani Classical Vocal Music. Her music is characterized by meditative timbre and a graceful voice. Deeply inspired by the vision of Pandit Kumar Gandharva , she imbibes a commitment to purity of purpose and form from her guru Pandit Madhup Mudgal.

As a post- graduate of Sanskrit, she draws close to the wellspring of Indian tradition which invests her rendering of devotional music with a tangible intensity that moves her listeners. Subhadra has performed at prestigious national festivals and is an empanelled artist with ICCR and AIR and Doordharshan.