Category Archives: Art

Daryar Panch Pir

Dariyar Panch Pir, Badr, Badr! Anyone who has read stories about the boatmen of Bengal will remember the invocation they call out to the five Pirs to protect them against stormy weather as well as Portuguese and Arakan pirates from … Continue reading

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Rajkahini, Abanindranath Tagore’s tales of the Rajputs

‘When Maldev brought Hambeer to the court where his father and his father’s father had ruled their kingdom from, one cannot begin to describe what was going through Hambeer’s mind. He felt as though all the brave men of the … Continue reading

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Gerasim Lebedev, a Russian in Calcutta

The first person to play Indian tunes on Western instruments was not someone from the early days of Bollywood. It was a Russian named Gerasim Lebedev who came to India with a travelling military band in 1785. Initially based in … Continue reading

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An Australian identity, 1880s style.

Shearing the Rams, by Tom Roberts. An Englishman by birth, Roberts moved to Australia as a boy of seventeen. He trained in England and became a master of peinture sur le motif or open air painting. This later led to … Continue reading

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Galileo:4, Kepler:Won

“Jupiter is much blamed by the poets on account of his irregular loves. Three maidens are especially mentioned as having been clandestinely courted by Jupiter with success. Io, daughter of the River, Inachus, Callisto of Lycaon, Europa of Agenor. Then … Continue reading

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Emperor Napoleon, 2nd December 1804

A woman who was made to look younger for those who would see her, a man whose egotistical nature was clear in the way he stood, a grouping that was doctored to make certain parts highlighted and everyone somewhat nobler … Continue reading

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Calcutta and its changing face

Calcutta’s street and suburb names still hold traces of its past when people practicing a specific trade stayed with others doing the same. Thus you would go to Kumortuli for the kumor or potters, Colootolla for the coloo or oil … Continue reading

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