‘Mehboob-e​-Ilahi’: Sufi Kathak by Manjari Chaturvedi – New Delhi Sept 23/11

Sufi Kathak by Manjari Chaturvedi
September 23, 2011
6:30 PM
Lotus Temple, New Delhi

Ipshita Roy
Sufi Kathak Foundation
+91 9871310119

Manjari Chaturvedi is the creator and only performer of Sufi Kathak in the world.

Sufi Kathak Foundation, a non-profit registered society (Regd.No 61883) aims to create awareness for Sufi Kathak and provides scholarships to students pursuing classical and Sufi music and dance, and pension and medical insurance to ailing artists.

Prem Singh Solo Exhibition in New Delhi August 9-19/11

Prem Singh Solo Show
Scheduled between
9 & 19 August, 2011
At Shridharani Gallery
Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi


All That Shines
Right from my childhood I was fascinated by the shining and sparkling things around. Embroidery done in zari, tilla, gotta-kinnãri, salma-sitãré added joy to the soul. A woman laden with jewellery held a special charm to me. Playing with the golden and silver sheets of paper was a pleasure. Decorating the walls with the painting of flowers and leaves in gold and silver was a passion for me. The use of such metallic colours on clay toys was a common phenomenon. The spirit of our fairs, festivals, customs and ceremonies glow through this. Shining gumbads and kalash of gurdwaras and mandirs reminded me of the divinely powers. Palaces embellished with gold and silver denuded royal charm and grandeur. In all such manifestations the only purpose that we see is that of decoration.

Art awakened in me at an early age. This inspired me to have a closer look on the works of art created in the East and the West over the centuries. Gold leafs or its ghot were used by Indian artists for painting of mukats, ornaments, garments, borders etc. in the art of miniature painting. Most of this art was produced under the patronage of Rajas and Maharajas so due consideration was accorded to their taste and liking.

The advent of modern era brought with it a new thinking which led to individual freedom. This newly acquired autonomy culminated into a new sensibility and gave the modern period a distinct identity. Though this autonomy was opposed by the then conventional thinking yet it could not stop the surge of creativity. The works of modern art though seen in ornamental frames in earlier times did reflect on the traditional mentality but it soon disappeared. Here in India the use of gold and silver in our Mughal, Rajput and Pahari kalam was very realistic.

All this made me think about the use of gold, silver, copper and bronze beyond its conventional use and explore the tremendous possibilities hidden in these colours. This was also a part of my nature and also in my desire. Moreover the inspiration of my art lies in nature and its eternal music. While enjoying this eternal music I approach my canvas to sing my song on it. The whiteness of the canvas is scary to me. To ward off the scariness I fill up the canvas with just one colour. That colour could be any. In the process I discover in the web of my brush strokes a new rhythm lying beneath them. In such a vast array of strokes I record or register or compose by outlining them with charcoal. Soon my canvas wears a web of different tunes and tones.

In my new canvases the viewer would find the play of colours – gold, silver, copper, bronze and pearl – in as varied a manner as possible. Like the shine of the sun and the moonlit change the day and night into a spectrum of different emotions and feelings thus evoking a special mood, colour and music to each one of them. I try to evoke the same through the shine and sparkle of my colours. An organic feel of the silent activity of nature, intensive chirping of the birds in the low light of morning and evening, the transcendental music of light – all this and much more is an integral part of my creative quest. Light plays in my painting. And in this play the changing tones, textures, hues and shades create a Rãgamala of its own. And in the shine and sparkle of this visual Rãgamala I not only experience my childhood but also the realisation of my own growth.
Prem Singh

Prem Singh’s ProfileView more of Prem Singh’s work at Uddari Art
Prem Singh’s website: www.canvasview.com
Contact Prem Singh: prem.p43@gmail.com

‘Can you Hear the Nightbird Call?’ by Farah Shroff

Can you Hear the Nightbird Call?
By Anita Rau Badami

Canada: Knopf, September 2006; France: editions Philippe Rey, March 2007; Holland: De Geus, 2006; Italy: Marsilio, Fall 2006; India: Penguin India

Reviewed by Farah Shroff

This book took me into the heads of 3 Indian women: two Sikhs and one mixed heritage South Indian/European. Through these fictitious women’s stories I learned about the partition of the Punjab and the senseless loss of thousands of lives and uprooting of millions of others; the Khalistan movement and the internal divisions it created, the Indian army’s invasion of the Golden Temple in Amritsar and the deaths of 2000 pilgrims; the horror of the aftermath of Indira Ghandi’s murder—over 3000 Sikhs were killed in a few days in Delhi alone; the Air India bombing and more. I wondered to myself how, a couple of decades after all this, India is led by Dr Man Mohan Singh and he is a very popular leader. So much change has occurred in such a relatively short period of time!

The book is very difficult to put down. Badami weaves a good tale and many times I found myself laughing out loud and on occasion, crying. One of the main characters, Nimmo, lost her mother, father and brothers when their small village in the Punjab virtually ceased to exist. She walked alone with other refugees for many days and in this long journey meets a family who is also devastated by the division of Punjab into Muslim and Sikh sections. This family adopts her and later she marries and has children of her own in Delhi. She knows nothing of her family of origin but that her aunt may live in Canada. Her husband, keen to make some connection with Nimmo’s family, during one of his many trips as a taxi driver to the Delhi airport, asks yet another traveler to Canada if they would be kind enough to take his wife’s name and address in case the traveler meets the aunt in Canada. Amazingly, Leela, one of the main characters, ends up meeting the aunt—Bibiji—and the two are reunited.

Much of the story happens in Vancouver in the Punjabi Market area. Badami has done a great deal of research about the many generations of Sikhs and other Indians in Vancouver and weaves a moving and fascinating tale based on many facts. The relationships between Indians in Vancouver and the homeland are also well illustrated. She is a gifted writer who understands life in India and life in Canada and movement between the countries. While the story is ultimately well titled because the night bird’s song is one that warns of danger—so the book is very sad–it is one that I will remember for a long time.

Farah Shroff

More info on Anita Rau Badami

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Great news for Canadian Punjabis!

Navtej Bharti [left] and Ajmer Rode, Ottawa May 2007
Photo by Manjit S Chatrik

Bhai Baldeep Singh brings us another good news. Two Punjabi Canadians poets, Navtej Bharti and Ajmer Rode, have been chosen for the Anād Kāv Sanmān 2010.

Poet Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki has been conferred the Anād Sanmān for the year 2010.

Based in India, these lifetime achievement awards were initiated by Anad Foundation in 2008 to commemorate the life and works of Punjabi poet Bibi Baljit Kaur Tulsi. The first poet honored was Surjit Patar in 2008, and last year, Uddari’s very own Amarjit Chandan received the award.

Bhai Anad has published more information about the poetry festival and the award here.

Congratulations to Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki, Navtej Bharti and Ajmer Rode, and to their families and communities in India, Canada and elsewhere.

Fauzia Rafique

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‘Anād Kāv Sanmān in Memory of Punjabi Poet Baljit Kaur Tulsi’ by Bhai Anad

September 26, 2010

Since April 2008, The Anād Foundation has organized the poetry festival Anād Kāv Tarang. To honour the sweet memory of the Punjabi poetess Bibi Baljit Kaur Tulsi, the Anad Foundation started Anād Kāv Tarang Poetry festival and Anād Kāv Sanmān in 2008. The award, offered to eminent poets by the Tulsi Family, includes a cash prize of Rupees 2.5 lacs, a citation, a silver plate and a shawl or a turban.

The famous Punjabi poet, Surjit Patar, was the first recipient of this prestigious award conferred, on behalf of the Anad Foundation, by Dr. Upinderjit Kaur, Cabinet Minister Punjab, on April 8, 2008 at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre. On that occasion, eminent poets Balraj Komal, K Satchidanandan, Anamika and Ashok Vajpayee recited their poems.

Amarjeet Chandan, was the second recipient of the Anād Kāv Sanmān in 2009 for his seminal contribution to Punjabi poetry and for bringing Punjabi poetry on the international scene. Professor Namvar Singh, Professor Emeritus, Jawahar Lal University and Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishvavidyalaya, presided over the Anād Kāv Tarañg 2009 and launched Paintee, selected 35 poems by Chandan. Krishen Khanna, the painter, was very kind in accepting our humble request to be the Chief Guest and for conferring the Anad Kav Sanman 2009.

Anād Kāv Sanmān Jury
2008-09 till 2010-11
Chairperson: Professor Satyapal Gautam
Officiating Chairperson: Professor Bhagvan Josh
1. Professor Satyapal Gautam, Vice Chancellor, Mahatama Jyotiba Phule Rohelkhand University, Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh) philosopher and critic
2. Professor Bhagvan Josh, Professor and Chair, Centre of Historical Studies, JNU, leading historian and commentator
3. Professor Renuka Singh, Associate Professor, Centre for the Study of Social Systems
4. Dr. Madan Gopal Singh, Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti House, New Delhi, and cultural activist and commentator
5. M. K. Raina, leading theatre director, film maker and cultural activist
6. Manglesh Dabral, leading Hindi poet and journalist

Anād Sanmān 2006
Citation: Honouring Bhai Avtar Singh, Bhai Gurcharan Singh
Bhai Avtar Singh and Bhai Gurcharan Singh are of those rare ones who through their radiance remind us of the vastness of which we are a part.
They have traveled the globe to carry the Guru’s message of joy and serenity through sacred music that flows from their rich oral intangible heritage.
Steeped in tradition, they have remained open to the needs of the changing times and have responded with a monumental collection of recordings and published documentation.
With artistic craftsmanship, unwavering stability, gracious humility and selfless service, they have lived as representatives of the Guru’s darbar, and have left a legacy to ensure that the treasures they have cared for will remain for the generations of seekers who follow.
With heartfelt gratitude for a lifetime of service to humanity
through your music, inspiration and love
Anad Foundation presents
Anād Sanmān 2006
Bhai Avtar Singh Ragi and Bhai Gurcharan Singh Ragi
This 16th day of October, 2006
Delhi, India

Anād Kāv Sanmān 2008
Citation: Honouring Surjit Patar
Surjit Patar Ji, you have made a significant contribution to the advancement of Punjabi literary heritage by making Punjabi Poetry a companion of contemporary times.
The partitioned Punjab of 1947, people longing for social justice, oppression of women, migration of millions of Punjabis and induction of workers from outside Punjab, alienation of Punjabis from their land, environs, language and self-identity – are the themes which have found a voice in your poetry.
You have enriched and embellished Punjabi poetry by bringing it closer to the people. Your poetry is a sensitive expression and document of the joys, sorrows and aspirations of Punjabis.
As a recognition and appreciation of
your dedicated service to your mother-language Punjabi
Anād Foundation
today, Tuesday, the Eighth day of April the year 2008 AD
feels honoured in presenting you
Surjit Patar Ji
Anād KāV Sanmān
with gratitude

Anād Kāv Sanmān 2009
Citation: Honouring Amarjit Chandan
Punjab has been the land of poetry since times immemorial. You, Mr Amarjit Chandan, have contributed substantially in carrying this rich poetic legacy forward.
Your writing throbs with the collective cultural heritage of the united Punjab. You have been blessed with the gift of the word. You have nurtured this gift with an abiding adherence to a simplicity of expression, a deeply felt compassion and a disciplined diction.
In your entire oeuvre – encompassing both poetry and prose – the reader experiences a purity of being. It is indeed an achievement to have coined a new literary idiom so unique and pure. You do not just write with language, you write with an authorial style.
Suffused with the resonance of the sky, earth and the unknown, your creations are distinct in their essence. The universe you create in words is wondrously aesthetic in its elegance and beautiful in its humane warmth.
Delving deep within the self, you have reflectively invoked the folk, the Sufic and the Gurbani traditions assimilating their philosophy and vision in a contemporary idiom.
In your writings, the division between philosophy and poetry dissolves even as the world of Punjabi cultural memory opens up in a spontaneous and gentle evocation.
Your poetry celebrates the spirit of the entire humanity and effortlessly traverses across cultures.
The manner in which your poetry expresses and affirms the human and material relations is a signpost in the history of Punjabi literature.
The innate simplicity with which you have represented the Punjabi language is a great achievement of your creativity.
Your poetry has decisively earned an international space for your mother tongue, the Punjabi language, in the comity of world literature.
Recognizing the inimitable service rendered by you to literature and to your mother tongue,
the Anad Foundation on this day,
the 22nd of November 2009,
in New Delhi,
confers upon you in humility and with gratitude the Anad Kav Sanman in memory of Bibi Baljit Kaur Tulsi.

From Bhai Baldeep’s facebook page

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Musical tribute to Manjit Bawa


A daylong musical tribute to painter Manjit Bawa was paid in New Delhi on the 1st January at a heavily attended day long memorial organised by the Sahmat (Safdar Hāshmi Memorial Trust) in the lawns next to Mavlankar Auditorium.

The occasion was Hashmi’s 20th Death Anniversary with a special tribute to Bawa. Hashmi was brutally murdered in 1989 in Delhi while performing a street play.

Amongst the outstanding artists paying musical tributes were: Madan Gopal Singh, Meeta Pandit (grand daughter of Krishnarao Pandit), Sunanda Sharma (the singer from Pathankot who has established herself as a singer of unparalleled power and intensity), Astad Deboo (his dance was sublime), Prahlad Singh Tipania (the current head of the Kabir Panth), Jasbir Jassi (in a short and impassioned tribute), Rabbi Shergill (with his new compositions), and the Mangniars from Rajasthan.

Jassi sang Bol Mitti deya Baweya and Madan Gopal Singh ended with Shah Husain’s kāfi Maen vi jaan*a jhok Ranjhan* di.

Celebrities like Mira Nair, Nandita Das, Teesta Setalvaad, Vivan Sundram, Geeta Kapoor, Ghulam Sheikh, Nilima Sheikh, Rajeev Sethi, Manmohan Bawa, Kumkum Sangari and Aruna Vasudev were among the audience.

People kept sitting till mid night under the tent in freezing cold.

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MF Husain kept out of India Art Summit

The following statement was issued by members of Sahmat in New Delhi to protest against the decision of the authorities to keep MF Husain’s work out of the now-in-session India Art Summit. The Sahmat also offers the citizens of Delhi an opportunity to view MF Husain’s work in images at Sahmat office during the three days of the Summit.

In support of Sahmat statement and the action, Uddari offers to make available on the Net, some of the images of MF Husain’s work on display at Sahmat.

On Husain being kept out of India Art Summit

Delhi 21.8.2008

We are surprised and unhappy at the decision of the organisers of the first India Art Summit to exclude the works of MF Husain from the displays of all the participating galleries from across India. The Art summit and three day fair, which opens at the Trade Fair venue in Delhi on the 22nd, is also supported by the Ministry of Culture.

While the organisers may have made this decision out of a fear of attacks or protests against the work of Husain, by giving in to such threats by extremist political groups, they are playing into the hands of these forces. It is the duty of the state and the police to protect our institutions and citizens against threats of violence and surely the Trade Fair authorities and the Delhi police are capable of confronting any such threat. An earlier exhibit by Husain continued at the India International Centre last December under just such assurances by the Delhi police.

For the artists community, Husain is the reigning father-figure, commanding enormous respect. In fact, Husain has been single-handedly responsible for putting Indian art on the world map and equally responsible for creating the world market boom in Indian art, without which such a summit and fair would not be taking place in Delhi at this moment. It is therefore deeply ironical that his work is being excluded by dictate.

We request the organisers to rethink this decision. In solidarity with Husain, Sahmat will show Images of his work on all three days of the summit outside its office at 8 Vithalbhai Patel House, Rafi Marg. We invite all the citizens of Delhi and all artists to come view his work at Sahmat.

Ram Rahman, MK Raina, Madan Gopal Singh, Sohail Hashmi, Parthiv Shah, Vivan Sundaram, Indira Chandrasekhar, Geeta Kapur, K Bikram Singh

8, Vithalbhai Patel House, Rafi Marg
New Delhi-110001
Telephone-23711276/ 23351424
Email: sahmat@vsnl.com
More information:
Banned artist misses Delhi’s first art show

Fauzia Rafique

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