october 06 programmes


saturday 7th october at the Attic

6.30 pm 'Songs of Hope'by Ocean Blues


Indian classical music and dance is so busy conforming to tradition that young musicians who do not want to go through a 15 year study but still want to express their creativity take up western music to innovate and create. This very young group (a couple of them still in school) have collected some old and created some new songs on the theme of hope. Hope for love, hope for happiness, hope for their country…….. And the hope that they can get to                                                   America and perform at the"Blue Note" in New York.

In the meantime they are composing "hello tunes" for mobile service providers, music for documentaries for Doordarshan, very loud music for the Durga Puja festival and have just completed work on their debut album (untitled so far) to be released later this year.

Nairrit Das - Guitars, composer, lyrics
Ritwick Das - Keyboards, Piano
Balakrishna Sarda - Drums
Ronojoy Sircar - Vocals
Jude - Bass
Harsh - Guitars


tuesday 10th october at the Attic

6.30 pm 'My Father, the Builder' a DVD recording of the talk given by Khushwant Singh at the IIC on 1st August 06.
(This recording is being shown at the request of many who were unable to be present at the original talk due to shortage of space)


This was the first in this series of lectures by Sobha Singh's most famous son. Khushwant Singh has written about every topic under the sun - the sex life of Delhi, his favourite women, Sikh history, Indian politics, humour including the best Sikh jokes in seven volumes and some forgettable comments on Rabindranath Tagore and Sanjay Gandhi.

He talked for the first time about his father whose life was so linked with the building of Imperial Delhi. How a boy educated up to class five, feeling the lack of his education, studied English and many other subjects with a Maharashtrian tutor for two hours every evening after dinner for 15 years. How titles and honors were bestowed on him due to his enterprise skill, ability and integrity and how the best in the land, viceroys, generals, architects, bureaucrats, nationalists and politicians dined at his table.

Khushwant Singh delved into family archives and talked not only about his father but about a fascinating slice of early 20th century British history peopled by a host of colourful characters, Lutyens, Baker, Swinton Jacob and Lord Hardinge. The enterprising Sindhi and Sikh contractors Lachman Das (who built Parliament House), Narain Singh (ancestor of the Imperial Hotel), Dharam Singh (stone & marble), Basakha Singh (North Block), and the skilled and unskilled craftspeople from Punjab & Rajasthan.

This recording contains a short introduction by Jagmohan ex- Lt. Governor of Delhi and a 12 minute documentary on the building of Imperial Delhi.

saturday 14th and sunday 15th october at the Attic

11 am to 7.30 pm 'Art With a Diference'


A group of Artists have come together to show their appreciation of the teachers who gave them the gift of creativity. They invite you to view their products created with their own hands, absorbed fully in the act of creation and displayed for sale with respect and reverence. Exchange energies, views, experiences and understanding for those who have given their all in the creation of their products. Available - meditation robes, dancing shoes, paintings and more 'crafty' items they will create.

Ruchi Mehrotra is a mathematics graduate and a graphic designer. This exhibition is the result of her hobby and passion for paintings on glass and using various materials wire, jute, beads and stone to create interesting and unusual objects.
VedAmrita is a science graduate very interested in designing and "handcrafting".

monday 16th october

6.30 pm IIC Auditorium'Avenue Trees for the Imperial Capital' Illustrated talk by Pradip Krishen

When New Delhi was being planned early in the 20th century, planners, horticulturists and even administrators debated and argued the merits or otherwise of a list of trees intended to line avenues in the new imperial capital. The list of trees, as it was finalized, is not (at first sight) a remarkable list, except when you realize that it was improbably small (only 13 species) and excluded nearly all the favourite avenue trees (mango, shisham, shehtoot, bargad) that had been used by the Mughals, and others before them,to line city boulevards or trunk routes. How and why did the planners shortlist these particular trees (jamun, arjun, sausage tree) for Delhi's avenues? And why did they leave out the old favourites?

In researching his book on the "Trees of Delhi" (published in May 2006), Pradip Krishen spent some time in the National Archives researching this aspect of Delhi's trees, and he has some fascinating insights to share. He argues, in sum, that the tree species chosen for Delhi's avenues were the result of an 'ecological miscalculation' by the planners. There are important considerations to keep in mind, lessons to be learnt, and a few stories to be told en passant.

Pradip Krishen directed some well-known movies ('Massey Sahib', 'In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones' and 'Electric Moon') before he became a naturalist and ecological gardener. He is writing a book about the wild-flowers of the Delhi Ridge, and planting up native plant gardens at Jodhpur, Nagaur and in the NW Himalaya.

thursday 26th october IIC Main Auditorium

6.30 pm 'Dilli ke Totay, Mainay Aur Thoray Bahar ke Mehman
Common Birds of Delhi and some interesting Winter Visitors'by Sheila Chhabra


Although a city of over 16 million people Delhi has a remarkable number of interesting sites within its 500 or so sq kms. It has a bird list of over 450 species making it, after Nairobi in Kenya, the second richest Capital city in the world for birds. Whereas Londoners and New Yorkers have to be content with pigeons, the early morning Lodi Garden jogger could easily pass by or hear parakeets, mynahs, kingfishers, spotted owlets, barbets, koels..... and too many crows.

During the season from October to February the wetlands of Delhi and Haryana are full of pintails, tufted ducks, common cranes, bluethroats, black-headed gulls, and mallards from Siberia,Tajikistan and Central Asia. In fact the river Yamuna on a 3 km stretch along Noida has over 20,000 wintering waterfowl.

Today we know where most birds go, and why, but don't fully understand how they get there. Navigation remains the biggest mystery of migration. These birds travel thousands of kilometers to return to almost the same spot or garden year after year. Over 80% of common terns from one colony returned to nest within eight meters of their previous year's nest - having traveled thousands of kilometers in between.

Sheila Chhabra will do an illustrated talk on these beautiful birds that live within walking distance of our homes in Delhi.
She and a few enthusiasts from delhibird have agreed to organize a bird walk along the Yamuna only 20 minutes drive from here on Sunday 29th Oct.

Sheila is one of our leading bird writers. Her work has appeared in National Newspapers, Sanctuary, Srishti, Adventure World and Oriental Birding. She lives in Delhi but would rather be wandering the far flung forests of India. She is also a green teacher and takes pride in explaining nature to little kids. She runs an enrichment centre where is she training our future "Green Army".

sunday 29th october

6.30 to 8.30 am 'Bird Walk Okhla Bird Park, Noida'

Of the 450 species of birds in the Delhi area, about 300 can be found in the Okhla Bird Park in Noida. The migratory season for birds begins in October and if you happen to look up at the sky around sunset or sunrise you can see formations of ducks and other birds flying across from Northern Asia towards warmer climes.

The Attic in collaboration with delhibird - The Northern India Bird Network has organized a 'bird walk' to see these birds in their natural habitat with identifications and commentary provided by Nikhil Devasar, of delhibird.

Details are provided below :
Location: Okhla Bird Park, Noida
Time: 6.30 am
Meeting Point: Kalindi Kunj parking lot at 6.25 or the IIC parking lot at 5.40 am
Transportation: If you have registered in advance we will try to arrange transportation from the IIC to Kalindi Kunj.
Duration: approx 2 hours
Snacks: Please carry your own coffee and snacks. Hot tea will be provided by The Attic at 6.15 in Kalindi Kunj parking lot.
Clothing/Shoes: Please don't wear bright colors. Shoes - comfortable sneakers
We will see some migratory Ducks (Tufted Ducks, Garganey, Pintails) and Waders (Black-tailed Godwits, Ruff, Redshanks)
Directions to Kalindi Kunj:
Head towards Apollo Hospital from the Ashram crossing on Mathura Road. Turn left after Apollo
(do not take the flyover) and carry on straight till Kalindi Kunj approx. 2 kms (at this T junction the road turns right for Noida). We meet right here. Look for the blue cloth Attic sign that says ''The Delhi Series".
Registration: Even though the walk is free it is important that you register either in person at the IIC after the talk on Thursday 26th October or by emailing us mina@theatticdelhi.org or calling 23746050 latest by Friday 27th October 6 pm.
Maximum Number: 40. Please register as early as possible.

monday 30th october at the Attic

6.30 pm 'Approaching the Sacred: The Temple in Medieval India'a talk by Dr Parul Pandya Dhar

The medieval Indian temple can be approached, understood and addressed from varied perspectives - its origins and meanings, its philosophical and metaphysical underpinnings, analysis relating to style and form, ritualistic and iconological considerations, its cultural context, patronage and the socio-political milieu in which it came up, as well as its role in shaping regional and cultural identities. What are the early beginnings of the Indian temple and how does the secular relate to the sacred? How does the gradual progression from simple shrines to elaborate temple complexes manifest during the medieval period? What is the symbology and what are the other embedded meanings within the structure? This illustrated lecture aims at introducing some basic concerns and the multi-layered meanings generated in attempting to understand holistically, the temple of the medieval period in India.

Dr. Parul Pandya Dhar is currently Assistant Professor in the History of Art department at the National Museum Institute, New Delhi where she teaches post-graduate students. She was awarded the doctoral degree on her thesis, Toranas in Indian Architecture: with comparative reference to Southeast Asia, by the National Museum Institute, New Delhi. She has been awarded prestigious research grants and fellowships and has travelled abroad for research and conferences relating to the history of ancient and early medieval Indian art and architecture. Her writings have been published in national and international journals. She is also a noted Bharatanatyam exponent.