september 2013 programmes

 wednesday 4th september
6.30 pm Book discussion “Ohh! Gods Are Online..” by Rashma N Kalsie & George Dixon, introduction by Dr Bharat Gupt.

There are two things that do not go well together, religion and humour. But what happens when Christ, Buddha and Krishna (why not Krishnaswamy ?) decide to communicate through social media and Chris discovers that Buddy and Krishna already have Facebook pages. And the 2 authors have never met, except online. This could be a recipe for disaster or even more humour.

The online theological discussions given the circumstances have to be light hearted yet serious enough to make this work of fiction both readable and instructive. The book is an interesting mix of fantasy and satire, where, the Gods connect on Facebook to discuss existential dilemmas that confront today's man.

We hope the audience will be composed of open minded, light hearted, fun loving and interesting individuals for this potentially stimulating event. Dr Bharat Gupt will introduce the discussion with the serious stuff, Rashma Kalsie, one of the authors will be present, the other author has never left England.

Bharat Gupt, an Associate Professor in English at the College of Vocational Studies of the University of Delhi, 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 serves on the Visiting Faculty at the National School of Drama and as resource scholar at the IGNCA. His published books include: Dramatic Concepts Greek and Indian (1994), Natyasastra, Chapter 28: Ancient Scales of Indian Music (1996), Twelve Greek Poems into Hindi and India A Cultural Decline or Revivial.  

Rashma is a writer and playwright. She is a cultural ambassador Multicultural Arts Victoria/ Melbourne Theatre Company, 2013-14. Her recent play, The Lost Dog, was produced with the Australian government’s assistance and successfully staged in Melbourne. The play received international media attention and critics acclaim. Also, she was invited to talk about the play to women’s writing organization in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rashma has been involved with many NGOs and is the founder of Indian Diaspora Dramatics Association, Australia. Her debut novel, Ohh! Gods are online.., co-authored with George Dixon has been published by Srishti Publishers, India. 

Phil Cherry writes under the pen name George Dixon. He has been writing short stories for ten years and has published 5 books on Kindle.  Ohh! Gods Are Online.., co-authored with Rashma N. Kalsie is also his debut novel. He lives with his wife and two dogs in a bungalow in a small village in England.

tuesday 17th september

5.30 – 7.30 pm Japanese/Chinese calligraphy workshop conducted by Jyoti Naoki Eri  

 Charges: Rs. 500 adults, Rs. 300 for students (maximum 20 people). Materials will be provided.

 Chinese calligraphy is the art or method of writing Han characters, using a bamboo brush, ink and a mulberry paper. It is part of the cultural traditions of China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam where Calligraphy masters are considered as artists.

According to Stanley-Baker, "Calligraphy is sheer life experienced through energy in motion that is registered as traces on silk or paper, with time and rhythm in shifting space its main ingredients."

The shape, size and type of hair in the brush, the color and density of the ink, as well as the  texture of the paper are the main physical parameters influencing the final result. The calligrapher chooses the quantity of ink/water he lets the brush take up, chooses the pressure, inclination, and direction he gives to the brush, producing thinner or bolder strokes. Finally   the ‘stroke order’ and speed gives the "spirit" to the characters and its artistic merit. 

Jyoti Naoki Eri is a Japanese artist living in Auroville. He has practiced calligraphy for over two decades. Recently he participated in two International calligraphy exhibitions in Delhi. He feels that the ”Art of Writing is not only meant for the beauty of the appearance, it is the path leading me towards the clearer perception about the life which is full of mysteries and unclarity.
The darkness of ink invites me to the vastness in the womb of the universe. The untouched paper is her virgin memoir. Then brush bridges our breath; Hers and mine, and Two become One. There is no separation, it is timeless, no space for thoughts and questions. Calligraphy is our secret rendezvous”.

In this workshop Jyoti wishes to convey the profound beauty of Far Eastern calligraphic art. 

Participation by registration in advance only – or call 23746050.  Payment by cash or cheque in favour of “Amarjit Bhagwant Singh Charitable Trust” to be sent to The Attic, 10 Regal Buildings, Parliament Street,  New Delhi 110001


 thursday 26th september
6.30 pm “Mera paighaam mohabbat hai” organized by Hindustani Awaaz & SAHMAT

An evening with SAHMAT – to coincide with the three-day seminar on Secularism and the Arts -- where Saif Mahmood, Panini Anand and Kanishka Prasad take you through a journey of the pluralistic landscape and secular ethos of Urdu and Hindi poetry.

 Saif Mahmood

Saif Mahmood is a New Delhi-based litigating and corporate lawyer, holding a doctorate in Comparative Constitutional Laws in South Asia. He speaks and writes on diverse issues ranging from law to literature. Founder of the online group, South Asian Alliance for Literature, Art & Culture (SAALARC), he remembers most of his Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz by heart, recites them effortlessly and translates them into English cautiously. Saif has been associated with both Hindustani Awaaz and SAHMAT. He blogs on and is currently writing a series on Urdu poets of Delhi titled “Dilli jo ek sheher tha”.

 Panini Anand

A fearless journalist and courageous writer, Panini Anand, has been involved in theatre, documentaries, puppet shows, songs and poetry for mass movements and people’s struggles for more than a decade. He has frequently aroused audiences with his heart-warming recitation of prominent as well as lesser-known Hindi poets alike.

 Kanishka Prasad

Architect by profession, photographer by passion, peoples’ rights activist in practice and romantic at heart, Kanishka Prasad is almost omnipresent when it comes to literature, art and culture. His mobile handset is a repository of Hindustani poetry and his calendar reads like a Delhi Diary.  Having inherited a rich cultural, literary and academic milieu, Kanishka has been involved with SAHMAT since childhood.