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  • Vir Das' 'For India' gets nod from Emmy awards

    Produced by Weirdass Comedy, For India focused on India and being an Indian. The stand-up special was the comedian's ode to India. Stand-up comedian and actor Vir Das' special 'For India' that aired on Netflix India has earned a nomination in the 2021 International Emmy Awards for the Best Comedy. Das will compete with Call My Agent Season 4, Motherland Christmas Special and Promesas De Campana in the said category. The actor's featured in the stand-up special on India’s Republic Day in January 2020. It focused on India and being an Indian. The actor dedicated the series to India through his own experiences, both big and small, and embodied a whole variety of topics. The show was produced by the actor's production house, Weirdass Comedy. Sharing the news, the elated actor said, “I'm so honoured to be nominated, but I'm just so happy it's for a show about my culture and my people and how funny we are. The special was my love letter to India and this is just unbelievable.”

  • Ringing art season with blooms

    Art Pilgrim's latest show 'Bloom Time' features works of 18 artists. The showcase is a mix of acrylic and oil paintings, as well as sculptures. Blooms represent positivity, vibrancy and happiness. So when Art Pilgrim at Triveni Kala Sangam resumed its operations after the pandemic, Geeta Singh, the director of the gallery thought of opening the gallery's door on a positive note. Hence, she curated the show Bloom Time that celebrates flowers, life and its many facets in unique ways, represented through art. The show features works of Jayasri Burman, Jayashree Chakravarty, Niren Sengupta, B. Prabha, Bhaskara Rao, Bikash Poddar, Bratin Khan, Nupur Kundu, OP Parameswaran, Priyanka Aelay, Shabir Hussain Santosh, GR Santosh, Shobha Broota, Samir Mondal, Yusuf Arakkal and Zahoor Zargar. The works have been carefully chosen keeping the theme of the show in mind. While explaining the concept behind such a well-thought out showcase, Geeta says, "We chose artists that we thought could do justice to the show. Some of the works are from my own collection like Jayasri Burman's and Jayashree Chakravarty's pieces. The other artists have done theme-related works. I felt that their works would have complimented the show's theme that's why their works are part of this showcase." The showcase is a mix of acrylic and oil paintings. Shabir Hussain Santosh is one of the artists who specifically created an abstract painting for the show. The artist, who usually focuses on mythology and frequently draws a parallel between the past and the present, has curated a work using expressive colours, such as yellow, orange, red and brown, to represent the theme. Calling it an imaginative work, Shabir says, "My artwork defines the mood. I always observe and perceive things before putting my thoughts in my art. I don't draw objects looking at the picture otherwise my mind gets confined to a centre point. There is nothing deliberate in my work. I explore things while making them." Another artist who has specially curated a set of four works for the show is Nupur Kundu. "I did works for the theme which is the awakening of monsoon and things are vibrant. This work expresses my feeling of bloom time in terms of the application of vibrant colours with palette knife. It is my way of expressing happiness and freshness around this time of the year, especially during the lockdown," she shares. Nupur has titled her artworks as 'quarantine scape'. Explaining the title, she says, "It felt like sitting inside my studio during the lockdown but imagining that there is bloom around. I feel as an artist, we are all used to living in a solitary confinement. But this time, we actually learnt the meaning of quarantine." The show also features a few sculptures. Pramod Mann's sculpture, for example, represents a human and tree. Carved on a black marble, the artwork represents a three-dimensional view showcasing a human's face on one end and a tree on the other. Also making to the list is Dhananjay Singh's interpretation of a plant that has been created with the help of wires, bronze and stainless steel. Other artworks include Bikash Poddar's painting depicting lotus (watercolour), OP Parameswaran's painting of white flowers (acrylic), Bhaskar Rao's showcase on trees (acrylic on canvas), Priyanka Aelay's representation of monkeys on trees (acrylic on canvas) and Shobha Broota's artwork on germination (acrylic on canvas), to name a few. The show can be viewed till 27 September 2021.

  • NCPA to host dance, storytelling session

    The session will take place online (Zoom session) on 30 September 2021 at 4.00 pm. It is open at a nominal price. As India is set to celebrate Navratri, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is hosting a special session to share the the mythical stories of the Mother Goddess. The storytelling session, titled Stories from the Womb, celebrates Devi, the feminine form of divinity and her nine forms. Garba or the womb has a symbolic interpretation of being the body, within whom divinity (in the form of the Goddess or Devi) resides. Anita Ratnam, a storyteller and dancer, will conduct the session. Besides this, audiences will also be able to participate in a Garba Raas workshop. Eminent Bharatanatyam and Kathak dancer, Avani Shah will organise it. The two-hour session will be available to audiences at INR1,000. Speaking about the workshop, Swapnokalpa Dasgupta, Head of Dance Programming, NCPA says, “Navratri is almost incomplete without Garba and with the current COVID-19 scenario, we have missed the grandeur associated with the nine-day festival. Hence, this year, NCPA has decided to start the celebrations early with Anita Ratnam and Avani Shah hosting a virtual session that pays homage to the forms of Devi through a curated storytelling and Garba Raas.” Both Avani Shah and Anita Ratnam are popular faces in the entertainment industry. Shah has co-choreographed and assisted Sanjay Leela Bhansali for films such as Devdas and Ramleela. Ratnam is an Indian classical and contemporary dancer and choreographer, who has received formal training in Kathakali, Mohiniattam, T’ai chi and Kalarippayattu.

  • An artist’s take on nature and his life

    Artist Bikash Chandra Senapati's latest artworks show his life’s goals and the journey that he has travelled so far. Bikash Chandra Senapati always had an interest in art. But he had never imagined to make a career as an artist. However, very early in his life, his teachers recognised his potential. In fact, they persuaded his father to take Bikash to an art school to hone his skills. His teachers’ efforts didn’t go in vain. In class 10, the Odisha-born artist decided to pursue his hobby as a career. To turn his dreams into reality, he studied at SP Government School of Art and Craft in the 11th and 12th standard. Thereafter, he completed his Bachelors in Painting from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishad. However, soon after completing his Bachelor’s degree, things did not sailed smoothly. His family’s financial conditioned worsened. Due to which, he was compelled to take a break from studies. “We were facing financial instability at home and that's when I decided to look out for work. But I could not find any job so I started freelancing as an artist for four years between 2013-2017 to support my family and earn livelihood,” he shares. In 2017, the artist decided to pursue Masters. He took a degree in printmaking from Indrakala Sangeet Vishwavidhalaya in Chattisgarh. There he learnt wood cut and etching techniques. The artist now uses these techniques in his artworks. He recently showcased some of the pieces at an art exhibition at Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi. The exhibition titled ‘Nirupan’ was his take on nature. His subjects demonstrated inner dualities in interactions between human and nature, subtleties in various aspects of forests, disappearance, mystery and tests of self-identification in a developing urbanity. The artist used geometric shapes, such as circles, triangles, squares and rectangles, along with lines to depict his emotions. Senapati described his recently-concluded artworks as his take on nature. “I observed the nature and tried to present its beauty in my language,” he says. The artist used wood cut, etching, viscosity and lithography (carving on stone) in his artworks. The artist describes the wood cut technique as an impression art. "It involves working in layers. In this, carving is done on a block of wood. I have used a roller and black ink since it is a black and white work and added a paper on the wood. I then pressed the surface with a hard material like a bowl so that the impression comes on the surface of the paper,” he says. One of the artworks, which the artist describes as self-exploration, shows his journey. “I have tried to put myself as the centrepiece in this artwork," he says. The artwork shows his life’s goals and the journey that he has travelled so far in life. "The zigzag lines at the bottom of the artwork shows the ups and downs that I have faced so far. I have tried showing that both highs and lows are part of life that help us achieve our goals. Even if I don’t achieve what I aim for in life, I will reach at some point from where I stand today,” he says with a smile. Though it is unclear where life will take him in the future but looking at his journey, it is certain that he will continue his passion for art despite all odds.

  • Simantinee Roy releases new song 'Awaara'

    Simantinee Roy's latest song talks about a transformation journey. Singer, songwriter and performer Simantinee Roy has released the a new foot-tapping original song ‘Awaara’. This song comes after the success of her independent musical releases, such as Manchala Mann, Tere Saath, Ki Naame Daakbo and Brishti. Awaara portrays a transformational journey. The singer has always experimented with different music genres. She likes to innovate with music. “Life is like a groovy melody,” says Roy, who has also been a former Miss Tripura and Miss Photogenic - Miss East India. The song is Written by Rivo and composed by Rakesh Venkatapuram. It was conceptualized in San Francisco Bay Area and written in Kolkata. The music was composed and produced in Hyderabad, and was mixed and mastered by Praveen Muralidhar in Bangalore.

  • Make your home monsoon ready

    Thinking of making your home ready for monsoons? Interior Designer Punam Kalra, Creative Director, I'm The Centre for Applied Arts has some tips for you. Read on to know more... Monsoon homes are one-of-a-kind. The interior’s character can be as temperamental as the weather—there’s a need for daylight and open windows at one point of the day, while there’s a rush to shut the drenched doors at the other. The entire space calls for a new, effervescent outlook that brings a tasteful mix of sensible layouts, gratifying experiences and mindful choice of décor articulating the very core of the monsoon prep in a contemporary home. Repaint your furniture The saturated climate is a breeding ground for termites or other décor predators that are waiting to devour those wooden consoles and metal seaters handpicked by you. A generous load of enduring polishes on the furniture is the ideal escape route for your beloved pieces. Laminated paints, varnishes and lacquered coats give a second skin for the furniture and keep the pests at bay. Textured wood tables, handwoven wicker seaters or antiquated wrought iron accessories get a new look with paints, made better in cheerful colour palettes that make all the noise about lively corals, modest peaches, bold neons and a dash of the eternal red. Prudently cleaned surfaces of these assorted layers radiate a healthy glow in the indoors amidst a reassuring resilience. Invest in shades Indian monsoons are seen as beauty and rage, all in one frame. This is the time when the windows call for all those outdoor shades, indoor blinds, multi-layered curtains and sheer shutters designed to watch over your space. The cloudburst and drizzles are cloaked in all different forms—intricate finespun drapery, clean-lined bamboo louvres, woven jute rollers and quilted curtains have a unique take on the interior persona. The sheer choices befit the spaces overlooking good vistas and lighter showers, while opaque alternatives become the first choice for a rougher microclimate. With an aesthetic overlay of motifs, botanical prints or chintz patterns, these shades are everything we need on a rainy day. Declutter your space The palettes are easy to get muddled with the still air of the season. Ward off the damp patches with drier, spruced up finishes that comfort you inside-out, amidst the stubborn gloom from the outdoors. Mattified textures, dainty brush strokes and uniform palettes signal the counterpoise of austerity in the space. Furniture pairs break up for accommodating a decluttered layout and there is more room for standalone bespoke pieces, esthetically spaced-out for an airy ambience. Humidifiers further promise a dry vent while rugs and carpets vow to guard the floors. More air and less drear make a stunning monsoon home. Satiate your senses in the season The once-in-a-year experience can be overwhelming and indulgent at the same time. It is the time for introducing an artisanal coffee table along with the balconies, relaxing reading nooks along the window bays and a close-knit furniture setup staged in the living. Share the cheer with your plants that love the overdose of moisture, bring them closer to your seats and give a whiff of rejuvenating scent from the flowering, aromatic houseplants. Snake plants, Boston Ferns, jade, palm and other hydrophilic greens soak up the excess moisture, leaving ambient indoors. More of interior indulgence comes from a dose of nostalgia reflecting along the souvenirs lining the shelves, lore hidden in the artistic centrepieces and everything bespoke. Listen to the mood and go with a free flow of choices that rewrite all the thumb rules in design. The sensorial connection with the outdoors tops the list.

  • Suniel Shetty shares fitness secret

    The 60-year-old actor thanked Lose Fat, Get Fittr for helping him transform his body. Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty has often given fitness enthusiasts major goals with his workout videos. The 60-year old actor recently shared the secret mantra to his healthy body on his Instagram story. In the post, the actor credited Lose Fat, Get Fittr, a book authored by Jitendra Chouksey, Founder and CEO, Fittr, helped him transform his body. The actor said, "It is one of the best books I have read on wellness and fitness which entails that you do not need to invest in expensive equipment or expensive diets. Instead focus more on your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing and willingness to workout which is synonymous to what I also believe in.” He also gave credit to Chouksey and the entire Fittr team for his fitness transformation in the past one year and urged his audience to read the said book.

  • Unknown artists pay tribute to birds

    Imagine entering into a gallery to view an artwork but hear chirping of birds simultaneously. As surreal as it sounds but DAG is providing a one-of-a-kind experience to art enthusiasts in its latest show, Birds of India. The exhibition features paintings of some of the unknown Indian artists through 125 species of birds from across the subcontinent. They were originally commissioned by the East India Company in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Dr Giles Tillotson, Senior VP Exhibitions and Publications, DAG, who is also the curator of the show, while describing the exhibition said, “Company paintings as the term means works made by Indian artists, generally towards the end of 18th century and early 19th century working for European patrons, typically members of the European trading companies like the East India Company. It is the coming together of two worlds where artists who have been trained in the very refined techniques of Indian coal paintings were supplied with the materials of English-made paper, turning their focus on to objects in the world.” The gallery has made the entire experience interactive. They have added a QR code to a collection of artworks for visitors to listen to the sounds of birds featured in the exhibition. The paintings depict intricate details of birds - one can see each feather and colours that make birds naturally beautiful. Some of the birds include raptors, game birds and coastal waders along with woodland and forest birds. The birds that have made it to the showcase are Indian roller, black-hooded oriole, Indian grey hornbill, greater coucal, purple swamphen, streaked rosefinch, black redstart, common stonechat, white-rumped shama, and plain prinia, to name a few. The entire showcase is divided into four groups. The most extraordinary ones, i.e., 99 paintings date back to 1800-1804. There is also a 1810 album of birds from north-east India in vivid colours and the Faber album from 1830 wherein the artist’s observations have contributed to the ornithological studies. Besides this, there are the 4 folios by Chuni Lal, an artist from Patna, who is the only one artist that remains identified from the never-seen-before 1835 Edward Inge album. Together these four groups illustrate the development of Company Paintings through a single genre. The show is on display till October 6, 2021, and is open to public at DAG, The Claridges, New Delhi.

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