october 2009 programmes

sunday 4th october
12 to 3 pm “Food Meditation: relishing the ultimate in food & revitalizing your being

tuesday 6th october
5.30 pm ‘Rasa in Dance & the Teaching of Dance’ by Roja Kannan,Priya Murle and N.Srikanth

friday 9th October
6.30 pm Odissi recital by Moumita Ghosh

tuesday 27th october
6.30 pm “Khayal, Dadra, Ghazal, Sufi” a classical vocal concert by
Sabina M Islam Rahaman

thursday 29th october – India International Centre Main Auditorium
6.30 pm “Seasons, Rasas and Food” a talk by Pushpesh Pant

friday 30th october

6.30 pm “Suna Karo Meri Jaan” (Listen, My Beloved) remembering the era of Akhtari Bai and the Begum by Vidya Shah




sunday 4th october
12 to 3 pm “Food Meditation: relishing the ultimate in food & revitalizing your being

Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the reflexive, "thinking" mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness. Meditation often involves turning attention to a single point of reference….. which here will be food.

In ‘Mindful Eating’ Thich Nhat Hanh says about eating a carrot And when you chew, chew only the carrot, not your projects or your ideas. You are capable of living in the present moment, in the here and the now. It is simple, but you need some training to just enjoy the piece of carrot. This is a miracle.

The essence of Indian cuisine was written in the Upanishads, 3000 years ago. Annam Brahma - Food is God. This expresses the concept of food not only as a material to fill your stomach but the spirit of life itself.  Food when eaten meditatively goes through a deep transformation and becomes consciousness.

Anaam invites you to the first celebrative session of eating food meditatively. This coming together around food will involve:

v      Setting the area

v      Preparing & cooking

v      Serving & eating

v      Cleaning the dishes

v      Setting the area as it was

There will be no verbal exchange during meditation and cell phones will need to be switched off. Questions and discussion after the meal.

Participation is by registration only. Telephone The Attic 23746050. or email info@theatticdelhi.org . Charges Students Rs 25. Others Rs 100


tuesday 6th october
5.30 pm ‘Rasa in Dance & the Teaching of Dance’ by Roja Kannan,Priya Murle and N.Srikanth

 Rasa, which means taste in Sanskrit has many dimensions in terms of aesthetics.  It is a concept that was first introduced in the Natyasastra, the oldest existing Indian treatise on dramaturgy [200BC-200AD], and is perceived as an experience ranging from simple enjoyment, to complete absorption, to a state of trance, and even to out-of-body experiences.  Rasa can be loosely  understood as a form of “fulfillment” or “satisfaction”. Many art forms in Asia aspire to create a state of  Rasa.   

Rasa requires the building of a bond between the performer and spectator – in which they meet on the same plane of thought. The communicative aspect of rasa is what  makes it interesting as a tool in the teaching process. In the case of dance, the body can be consciously used to enhance the process of communication.  

This lec-dem has the premise that teachers too are, in many ways, performers, who endeavour  to bring about wholehearted engagement in the student-spectators as they involve in the   learning process.  Integrating the concept of Rasa  in the teaching process of any subject, through selected aspects of the performing  arts,  learning becomes  fun and exciting and makes it much more effective.

Roja Kannan, Priya Murle and N.Srikanth are accomplished Bharata Natyam dancers  who have had a number of performances across India and different parts of the world. The dancers have made their mark as not only as performers but also as teachers and choreographers. Aesthetics research has also been a consistent pursuit with the dancers. All 3 artists are from Chennai. 

http://www.rojakannan.com/  , http://www.thehorizons.com/dancers/pmurle/bio.htm  http://www.nrityalaya.net


friday 9th October
6.30 pm Odissi recital by Moumita Ghosh

A traditional Odissi recital consists of a repertoire of Manglacharan – a salutation, pallavi – pure dance, Abhinaya – expressive dance and  Moksha – salvation. With live music Moumita dances to items choreographed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, the legend of Odissi dance.

 Moumita has been dancing from the age of 8 for over 17 years until recently with her  guru Padmashri Smt. Madhavi Mudgal. She has also attended Odissi workshops by the Late Guru Kelucharan Mohapatara and featured in her Guru's group compositions and choreographies in India and various parts of the world. She is an empanelled artist with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and is emerging as one of the foremost young soloists in the Odissi dance style.


saturday 24thoctober
6.30 pm ‘A Tradition Continued….’ Tabla solo and CD release of Arshad Khan 

This evening tabla maestro releases his first CD album at The Attic followed by a solo percussion concert.  

Arshad Khan represents the fifth generation of his family, keeping the tradition alive by developing his own unique style. He started learning at the age of four from his uncle Ustad Rashid Mustafa Thirakwa. He combines in his playing the Delhi, Purab, Farukhabad, Ajrara, Punjab and Benaras gharanas. He is a ‘A’ grade artist with All India Radio and is on the panel of ICCR Performing Artists.



 tuesday 27th october
6.30 pm “Khayal, Dadra, Ghazal, Sufi” a classical vocal concert by
Sabina M Islam Rahaman

Calcutta based Sabina sings today, compositions from pure classical to light classical Hindustani music which she has learnt from the age of 5.

A Khayal, derived from medieval Persian and Indian Dhrupad is a musical expression of a thought or deep emotion with melodic and rhythmic improvisations. Dadra is a genre of light classical music mainly used in Agra and Bundelkhand.
is a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain, with each line sharing the same meter. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. Sufi music is generally an expression of the inner, mystical dimension of Islam 

Initially taught by her father Nurul Islam she continued her musical training with Pandit Aloke Chatterjee in Guwahati. She passed “Sangeet Visharad” from Bhatkhande Sangeet Vidyapith , Lucknow. Subsequently she studied at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy first under Pandit Sunil Bose and then Smt Subhra Guha of the Agra gharana. In 2003-04 she won the Young Artist award and a gold medal offered by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. She has performed for the Sangeet Natak Academy and at the 103rd Shastriya Sangeet Sammelan at Amritsar.  

She has been performing regularly in the US at New York, Chicago, New Jersey and Wesleyan University, Connecticut. She is also a visiting teacher of Indian Classical vocal in NYC under the American Academy of Indian Classical Music as well as a B high artist of AIR Guwahati.



Along the Spice Routes of the World


Indian ‘chicken tikka masala is now the national dish of Great Britain and any day now Mcdonalds in the US will be launching their newest culinary invention ‘McAloo Tikki Burger’. Almost everyday there is a new book on Indian cooking and this series will celebrate the vast diversity that is Indian Cuisine and its international influences. We will explore history with ‘Cooking of the Maharajas’, geography with ‘Cooking under the Raj’, literature with ‘Mistress of Spices’, travel with the cooking along the Grand Trunk Road, globalization with ‘Bound Together’ and  medicine with Ayurvedic cooking.  

This series of 12 lectures is brought to you by The India International Centre and The Attic. Some lectures will be followed by a dinner relevant to the subject.                       

 thursday 29th october – India International Centre Main Auditorium
6.30 pm “Seasons, Rasas and Food” a talk by Pushpesh Pant

The Cuisines of India are as significant a part of the sub-continent’s civilization as the majestic monuments, art and literature. Indian food documents in a most delicious manner the same process of synthesis of diverse influences as is witnessed in the land’s architecture, sculpture, music and costume. In fact it is best visualized as a magnificent river system crisscrossing the sub-continent, uniting different regions and food zones with indissoluble links, be it Moghaliya-Punjabi-Awadhi-Hyderabadi, Bengali, Chettinad-Tamil Brahmin, Malyali-Malabari, Govan-Mangalorean- Coastal, Kashmiri or Rajasthani, Gujarati, Jaini vegetarian. The evolution of different regional and ethnic styles, gastronomic traditions immediately recalls the metaphor of the journey of a river from its source to the sea. What lends unique enchantment to the ‘whole’ is the fascinating interplay of tributaries and distributaries. The confluences dramatically highlight the ongoing process of synthesis that is so characteristic of Indian civilization; no less significant is the contribution of a culinary waterway shifting its course.

The Hindu calendar divides the year into six seasons. While in the West, spring, summer, autumn and winter mark easily identifiable quarters, on the Indian subcontinent the rainy season and a sub segment of autumn are allotted an independent seasonal status. Thus

Falguna and Chaitra, Vaisakh correspond to Spring
Jyeshtha and Ashadh
are summer 
Shravan and Bhadrapad
cover the monsoons
Ashvin, Kartik and Margshirsh
correspond to autumn or fall
Pausa and Magh
describe the winter months

The seasons are also classified into two categories:
 Grahan: The months that seem to drain or sap energy - late spring, summer and the rains.

  Daan: The seasons when nature appears to be generous with her gifts, we feel full of vim and vigour - autumn and winter. 

The Indian diet is strongly based on ‘heating’ and ‘cooling’ foods using these 2 categories. In Grahan cooling and cleansing ingredients are incorporated in traditional recipes; the accent is on bitter and steaming or boiling.  In Daan calorie rich sweet and fried foods are permissible.  

This evening’s lecture will cover the philosophy of Indian food and deal with both the aesthetic and therapeutic aspects. The concept of Rasa and the food zones of India will also be included. 

Professor Pushpesh Pant is Former Dean, School of International Studies,

JNU and Consulting Editor and Contributor to Man’s World (Bombay) as well as a regular contributor to Asia Cuisine and Wine Scene. He is author of many books on Cuisine, Environment & Culture which include -

Buddhist Peace Recipes, Foodpath: Cuisine along the Grand Trunk Road, Hindu Soul Recipes, Indian Fast Foods, Cuisines of India, Kambhog, Classic Cooking of the Punjab, Classic Cooking of Awadh,  Ganga: The Descent of the Celestial River, Garhwal Himalaya: The Ramparts of Heaven, Ajanta and Ellora, and Buddhism.

He writes for all the major English and Hindi language newspapers in India on current affairs and has been associated with over a hundred radio and television programmes for the BBC, Discovery Channel, NDTV, DD, Zee and STAR.

This lecture will be followed by dinner organized by The India International Centre under the supervision of the speaker. Details of this dinner will be available on our website (www.theatticdelhi.org)  and on the IIC programme listing. Reservations can be made by members 24619431 

Forthcoming Lectures 2009 - 2010






       Title of Talk



Dr Gopal Guru 

Professor of Political Science JNU

Food as a Metaphor for Cultural Hierarchies


5 Dec

Sally Holkar

Author Cooking of the Maharajas

Cooking of the Maharajas


2 Jan

Nayan Chanda

Director of Publications, Yale Centre for the Study of Globalization

Spicing Up The European Imagination: The Impact of Indo-Arab Trade on the European Kitchen



Prof. Zilkia Janer

Associate Professor of Global Studies at Hofstra University in New York

Indian Cuisine and the geopolitics of Culinary Knowledge



Dr Vinod Verma

Director, The New Way Health Organization .NOW . Author Ayurvedic Food Culture and Recipies

Healing Foods: the Ayurvedic Tradition



David Housego

Journalist and Chairman Shades of India

Raj Cooking and the spread of Indian cuisine in Britain

                           Cooking Utensils Exhibition IIC Annexe 26 April to 2 May 2010


friday 30th october

6.30 pm “Suna Karo Meri Jaan” (Listen, My Beloved) remembering the era of Akhtari Bai and the Begum by Vidya Shah

Begum Akhtar passed away on 30th October 1974. She is almost synonymous with the concept of ghazal gaayaki mostly an expression of the pain of love and separation. Over a 40 year career in performance, films and theatre performance she immortalized her own definitive, unmatchable style of singing and earned the title of Mallika-e-Ghazal.  

This evening on the 35th anniversary of her passing away, Vidya Shah presents a selection of Thumri, Dadra and Ghazal as she celebrates the music of the era of Akhtari Bai Faizabadi (later Begum Akhtar), her music and those inspired by her. Vidya, in this tribute sings and talks about the musical genius of a time gone by.


After her initial training in Carnatic music Vidya Shah moved to the North Indian Khayal Gayaki and trained with Smt. Shubha Mudgal. Currently she is training with Smt. Shanti Hiranand, senior disciple of Begum Akhtar. Herself a versatile composer she has a rich repertoire, made richer by the resonances of her voice.


She has performed at various National and International forums like the Humboldt Forum in Germany, The India Festival of Arts, Singapore, The Festival of India in Trinidad and Tobago, The Asia Society in New York, Women's Initiative for Peace in South Asia (WIPSA), the ICCR Festival ‘A Tribute to Africa’ and at the Jaipur Virasat Festival. 


She is currently working on a project titled “Women On Record” in a tribute to women performers in the 78 RPM era from the early 20th Century. The project includes a series of ongoing concerts, programs presented by her for World Space Radio, exhibitions and seminars among other events.