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
By Suresh Pattali
I was kind of tense. I had been sitting in this coffee shop by the Thames for quite a while. The cool breeze wafting across me and the enchanting view of a flock of seagulls cawing over tourist boats failed to calm me down. He still hadn’t turned up. It’s well past the time we had agreed upon. At the nearby tables, customers relaxed reading up tabloids and enjoying free WiFi. The heady aroma of coffee, which I had been breathing in for more than an hour, was becoming unbearable. The Thames joint as a meeting point, instead of any arty-farty gallery cafe, was chosen by him as he wanted to be away from the prying eyes of the media. My laptop and I were like Vladimir and Estragon waiting for Godot. Will he turn up? Will he be able to recognise me? How will he greet me — with a hug, a pat, or a long handshake? I tried to figure out different scenarios that could unfold when two long-lost classmates meet after a couple of decades.
Continue reading Banksy did it for charity. How’s that for creative destruction?
By Nivriti Butalia
George Orwell said, “Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie.”
There’s a lot that’s clever-funny about an exhibition in Abu Dhabi, and it’s not highbrow or inaccessible, if that’s your worry. It’s even free.
Continue reading It’s not boring or highbrow. Go see this exhibition just for fun
By Nivriti Butalia
Hannah Gadsby. Did anyone know of her before June 19th, when her show, Nanette, premiered on Netflix? I don’t know. Maybe in Australia, where she’s from, but more people (lots more people) know of her now, and with good reason.
Continue reading Football can wait. Why you should watch Nanette now