INDIA TODAY - The most widely read newsweekly in South Asia.

INDIA TODAY - The most widely read newsweekly in South Asia.
    CURRENT ISSUE MAY 01, 2006
Forever Young
Sen with his works
KOLKATA At 88, with years of adulation and appreciation behind him, one would've thought Paritosh Sen didn't need to reinvent himself. But the artist says his painting habit is like that of an old widow who doesn't forget to count her rosaries every day. "I find myself, more than ever, getting increasingly interested in the language of painting," he says.

And with two shows-of 40-odd drawings at the Akar Prakar gallery which will open on April 23, while 36 of his paintings are on display at Gallery Royal (on till April 30)-this veteran of the brush only underlines his passion.

There's more. Sen, who has written five books, is to release another one at the show's opening. A collection of 14 limited-edition serigraphs has also been prepared to be part of the drawing show.

The book, A Tree In My Village (Popular Praka-shan, 2006), which is to be released by Soumitra Chatterjee, has an interesting history. It is a coffee-table edition of a spiral-bound book that had originally been published by the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad two decades ago when Sen was a visiting professor there. The story, handwritten and interspersed with his paintings, is a simple tale from his growing up years about a favourite tree, which housed all kinds of birds, insects and small animals-a veritable microcosm of the universe.

Wit, irony and humour are the hallmark of his oeuvre. "I have tried my best to say something in terms of line and form," he says, lamenting that these days, painters do not give enough attention to the language of art. From

April 23 to May 7.

-By Swagata Sen

Voices of Faith
Bhai Harbans Singh Jagadhari (centre) of Ludhiana
DELHI: Praise the Lord. The lawns of the Talkatora Gardens will reverberate with the strains of Gurubani at the kirtan-durbar, Guru Maanyo Granth, from April 28 to 30, which will present singers from India and Pakistan. Gurubani is the singing of the Guru Granth Sahib, which contains the mystical poetry of virtually every saint-poet, from Kabir and Namdev to Bulle Shah and Nanak. The festival will open with a rendition by classical singer Surinder Singh followed by raagi from Nankana Saheb of Lahore, Ashiq Ali Bhai Lal. He is the 17th generation descendant of Bhai Mardana, the companion of Guru Nanak Dev. On the second day, apart from Kartar Singh, Gurnam Singh and Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa, the surprise inclusion is the bhajan samrat, Anup Jalota. The last day will feature Bhai Harbans Singh Jagadhari of Ludhiana. One can also listen to students from Miri Piri School in Amritsar singing the poetry of the gurus, and enjoy the innocence of their soprano voices. A bouquet of various styles and verses. Spend some quiet prayerful evenings at Talkatora Gardens before it gets too hot.

-By S. Sahaya Ranjit

Con Version
A still from the film
Director: Raj Kanwar
Starring: Anil Kapoor, Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif

Can we please solemnly, officially, legally declare Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) dead? Can already betrothed heroes and heroines not meet in suitably pretty foreign locales and spend sexless nights together? Or have ponderous discussions on the true nature of love? Or have romantic rides in horse-drawn carriages? Or pass by each other at high speed so the audience knows that even though they didn't meet, they are made for each other?

Raj Kanwar is so enamoured of the decade-old film (which is still running in a Mumbai theatre) that his hero is called Adi, short for Aditya, just as DDLJ's director is. But for good measure, Kanwar also bungs in scenes from Notting Hill and various other romances. Kanwar has occasionally displayed a crude narrative power (Deewana, Judai), but this film, despite the opulent trappings of locations, stars and songs, is just a tired rehash. The only discovery here is that the luminous Kaif is a passable actor.

-By Anupama Chopra

Art & Theatre
Fable Connection
The FabulaTantra cast
BANGALORE A rare union of art, theatre and story-telling will enthrall Bangaloreans in the last week of April. The Alliance Francaise de Bangalore and Artist's Repertory Theatre present Fabula-Tantra-a bridge of tales drawn from the Pancha-tantra. The fables of Jean de la Fontaine are to France what the Pancha-tantra is to India. In fact, research suggests that Fontaine drew inspiration from myriad sources, one of which was the Pancha-tantra. These tales find an echo in the Indo-French collaboration that resonates not just with the sound of crows, crabs and wolves, but also with the beauty of prose and poetry set in the animal world. With a script by Gautam Raja, music by Tara Kini and choreography by Helene Marionneau, FabulaTantra is directed by Arundhati Raja. Coinciding with the show will be an exhibition of miniatures, The Dream of an Inhabitant Moghul, which forms part of the collection of the French National Museum. These paintings of the fables by Imam Baksh of Lahori were done under the patronage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The Indo-French connection lies in the fact that these paintings depict the fables written by Fontaine, drawing inspiration from the Panchatantra and Tutinama.

At the Alliance Francaise de Bangalore from April 21 to April 27.

-By Nirmala Ravindran


CD Rs 250

This is a recording of the sufi and mystic music festival held in Mumbai. The first song is a raw and poignant offering by Ghulam Mohammad Saz Nawaz from Kashmir. Bhaji mursheeder kodom is a song by Laalu Fakir from Bengal, who has a rich voice. Nanak Manak brothers sing a Punjabi sufi song Aa sanwal mere, underlining the restlessness of a soul separated from the supreme being. Hyderabadi qawwal Iqbal Hussian Bandanawazi sings Amir Khusro's verse and the poetry of Kabir comes alive in the song by Kulcham Bai and Jameela Bai from Rajasthan. Soak in the Sufi splendour.


Sa Re Ga Ma
CD Rs 175

Light vocal compositions are not something new for santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, whose latest offering has eight pieces written by Javed Akhtar and sung by M.G. Srinivas, Babul Supriyo and Kavita Krishnamurthy. "It is a journey through the different emotions of love. When you talk of love, words and music are the only aid," says Sharma. The CD has an introduction by veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah.

-By S. Sahaya Ranjit



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