By Keith Pereña
As the minibus to Manila City Hall started descending down Quezon Bridge, I could not help but notice the building adjacent it. From my seat on the left, it looked like a decrepit structure, its façade covered in perhaps moss or soot. But years later, as I walked past this magnificent building on my way to the metro station, I found out that it was the Manila Metropolitan Theatre — an Art Deco building that was inaugurated in 1931.
Continue reading For its next act, Manila’s MET theater will rise from its thrashes
By Tirtho Banerjee
Dusk was slowly tiptoeing and the zephyr gently swaying the gulmohar tree. Adeebah didi (as an older sister is referred to in Hindi), our landlord’s granddaughter, who I looked up to as my mentor then, was explaining to me an English poem from my intermediate (Grade12) book. It was either Sarojini Naidu’s The Palanquin Bearers or P.B. Shelley’s Stanzas Written In Dejection Near Naples. The year was 1987 or early 1988 in Lucknow.
Continue reading When the legendary Urdu poet Bashir Badr patted my back
By Janice Rodrigues
Looking at Alessio Mamo’s bold work, it is hard to believe this award-winning photographer only got started in the profession some seven-eight years ago. Hailing from Italy, Alessio worked as a chemist but confessed he was getting tired of the job. So, when the company he worked with had a crisis and failed to renew his contract, he saw it as an opportunity to “be free to choose his path”. He started travelling, taking pictures and, over time, getting them published. “It made me realise that it was possible to become a photojournalist — so, I put my 100 per cent into that field,” he says.
Continue reading Nobody’s war: The pictures that tell the story of ghastly violence
By Anamika Chatterjee
Who was it who said that a good story is one that holds a mirror to our collective conscience? That may provide an inroad into the world of dastangoi. An ancient storytelling form in Urdu, it has lately acquired a niche for its incisive takes on society and politics. Be it sedition or Partition, performers have taken on inconvenient truths of our time and made them more accessible to a wider audience.
Continue reading Dastangoi keeps the art of oral storytelling alive
By Keith Pereña
“There’s something poetic about a painter who dies before finishing his piece,” I told my colleagues while talking about a recent discovery made by the National Museum in the Philippines. An unknown sitter for the celebrated Filipino artist Fernando Amorsolo’s last portrait was finally identified. And it took them 44 years to discover this.
Continue reading She was the most beautiful woman I’ve seen on canvas
By Rituraj Borkakoty
For a land that has heard many a soul-stirring voice, Assam has seldom produced musicians that have covered themselves in Bollywood glory.
Continue reading Why there are so few voices from Assam in Bollywood
By Shaikh Ayaz
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain one once we grow up. Rashid Khalifa invokes Picasso to explain why he grew up to be an artist and thankfully, he didn’t face that problem. He has remained an artist, and a distinguished one at that.
Continue reading Sure, it’s abstract. It’s also about light, shadow, roots and history