Thursday, December 29, 2011

aPaulogy - a Gallery of the Works of Paul Fernandes

I visited it last Saturday and it was a great start to a week's holiday. 

Paul's works on display are a curious and delightful mixture of cartooning and watercolour painting. Each work has elements of both in greater or smaller measure. Added colour is the word play and a fund of badly or wrongly written signboards collected with a keen eye.

One of the best things about this gallery is the way it has been arranged. Superb - is the word. It can not be described - it has to be seen, experienced. DO not miss the miniature Pianos made by Paul - both uprights and a grand.

My recommendation: Go see it, enjoy it and have a grand time! 

It is open from 11 am to 7.30 pm on weekdays and Saturdays. 


15 Clarke Road (Opposite Au Bon Pain) Richards Park Entrance, Richards Town, Bangalore - 560 005.

Here are some pictures I took.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Power

On a recent short holiday, a whole evening was spoiled by Ayyappa. I mean, Ayyappa's devotees. At the very edge of the reserve forest they have built a small temple. (In that setting, at dusk and dawn, with all the oil lamps lit, it is a beautiful sight I must admit, almost reluctantly.) and from 6 to 9   in the evening, the loudspeakers were blaring out the typical, sadistically monotonous Ayyappa songs. One particular song which has "kallum mullum" in it in the first few lines is really kallum mullum to my ears. In spite of it, long after even the devotees had had enough and left, the song was going through my mind in an endless loop- it just wouldn't leave me. A perfect earworm.

(Ayyappa, is also called Shasta or Dharmashasta - claiming that he preserved/interpreted (or something, I really do not know) the dharma shastras for this world. I am sure the shastras did not have anything that said, "thou shalt not cause harm and alarm to wild beings, who are also the creation of the supreme being, peace be upon him, especially in or close to their natural habitat" - ah that is a unification of three major world religions in one sentence.) 

When I related this incident to an Ayyappa devotee, he half earnestly said that it was an earworm because it was the power of god in general and Ayyappa in particular.

Then came Kolaveri di.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pandit Vijaya Raghav Rao - A Multi Faceted Genius

Pt. Vijaya Raghav Rao, a flutist I admired a lot, passed away recently. I came to know about it yesterday and here is a small tribute to him.

He is prominent among the long list if South Indians who made a name in and contributed to the field of Hindustani music. 

If I remember right, I heard him first on a AIR Radio Sangeet Sammelan. Later, I realised that music for most of the Films Division documentaries at that time was composed by him. On the rare occasions I saw a movie, I would look out for the credits to these documentaries and I would have guessed if the music was indeed his or someone else. Even in a field like that, his refined sense and distinctive style were recognisable - not an easy task.

While I was researching on the net for this post, I found that he was the music coordinator for the film Gandhi by Attenborough, he composed music for Mrinal Sen's "Ek Adhoori Kahani" and "Bhuvan Shome", among others, and that there is a movie on him, (made by his son?), called My Father: An Artist.

Sometime ago, I sketched a portrait of this sensitive musician and I post it here in tribute to him.