The #Diva- one & only #SitaraDevi ji #nrityasamragyi; #Queen of #kathak


The moment you see Sitara Devi ji here in every frame the bright spirit comes alive.

Not only for women’s day but for my respect and remembrance I thought to “google” some images of our great Artist. From thousands of images I could select few and copied and pasted here. sitara3

I wish i can write a small booklet on her. Each frame tells a story. That story I will imagine and try to write  in my way. But for now, on women’s day, she is the true symbol to pay respect towards her (an untiring spirit of a woman).

I had seen her programs on Doordarshan all black and white broadcast from Lucknow Doordarshan Kendra during 1980s. I wish all are available in doordarshan archives? Similar programs of GopiKrishna were also telecasted.

I am not the only one who is in awe of her. The famous Dance critic writer Sunil Kothari said about her “Sitara was exceptionally talented. Full of energy and infectious spirit, her dance cast a spell on audiences, not for the nazakat (delicacy) and khubsoorti (beauty) the Lucknow gharana was known for, but for her electrifying Kathak. Sitara’s endearing way of speaking to the audience, be it in Motihari village in Bihar, or Carnegie Hall in New York, won her the affection of connoisseurs and lay people. She was a law unto herself.?       These words sum up about her in little.

The moment Sitara Devi ji used to come on stage, whole of stage seemed to be electrified.

Although SitaraDevi ji hailed from a Brahmin family, where it was a social stigma on dancing by girls of such families. But due to encouragement from her Father and guru Pt Sukhdev Maharaj, she got opportunity to learn Kathak Dance from her elder sisters Tara ji, who was mother of Natraj GopiKrishna ji. Another elder sister was Alakhnanda ji who was also a famous kathak performer of her time. I think she died nearly in 1984 ??? i dont remember exact year. But when I went to BHU to appear in an examination there i had read in a news paper that Alakhnanda ji was seriously ill and ailing in a hospital. Since I had gone to BHU to appear in an examination and i could imagine how my parents and relatives could have reacted had I requested them to take me to that hospital just to see Alakhnanda ji?? that is situation in our society. Then imagine what hardship these ladies, these legendary stars, had to face during their childhood in 1920s or 1930s?


Eldest sister of SitaraDevi ji Smt Alaknanda Devi ji
Sitara Devi ji was a permanent star attendance at most famous Holi Dhamal of RK Studio,.

pic 1

Has anyone thought that a  LP record of a classical dancer will be brought out in those times? HMV might have thought of her popularity among people of India for her singing and dancing capabilities.

Sitara Ji always loved the brighter side of life, i think that shows her positive attitude towards life. the zeal to live life to its fullest.sit1  sit6

sit10Dilip saheb considered as her sister? She was married to the husband of his sister, thus by our indian traditions She was his sister? we had great traditions in India. Till recently Sitara ji visited Dilip Kumar saheb ji on Rakhsabandhan, to tie Rakhi.

Sitara ji married at her own terms. Sitara Devi was married to Nazir Ahmed Khan then to K. Asif and then to Pratap Barot. K Asif was brother of wife of Nazir Ahmed Khan.


sitara3 (1)

In this age Dr Sitara Devi ji came up on stage and people sought her blessings, at Sur Singar Sansad. Here daughter of Sitara Devi Ji Smt JayantiMala presented her dance. After Sitara Devi ji and Gopi Krishna ji there is no one who can bear the Torch of Banaras Gharana of Kathak. I mean that charm and majesty which these star dancers carried will be missed.

queen of kathak   pic old   sitara 13

Each and every frame depicts her as lively persona



in filmssitara15sitara10



     sitara-naushad-suraiyatwo pics

few of videos are in other blog 


This particular image is enough to describe her untiring spirit and ever ready to dance. She was on wheel chair and still performed on stage at a function organised in memory of women empowerment !!! is it not a symbol of untiring spirit.


CHILD ABUSE at home : Child sexual abuse, what can we call it?

While sleeping i felt something unusual, But deep in sleep i could not figure it out. I felt a human body beside me. Thus clinging to that warm body I slept again. Now i know how dangerous is to fall asleep.

After applying his liquid kisses on me, he took me into tight embrace. I also put my arms around him. He was so pleased by this that again he gave me liquid kisses. He uses his tongue to lick my cheeks. Putting his lips on my cheeks, sucked my cheeks tightly. He then as if assuring me tried to caress all over my head, my body and planted kiss on my forehead.

After that whenever i felt something i would move. He immediately took me into his grip of arms. Presented kisses as if, saying don’t worry, everything is ok. For assurance i had bounty of his liquid kisses on me. He many times would say “good child”.

I had picked up habit of imitating him. Whatever he did i did try to do same. He used to kiss on my forehead, cheeks, neck, eyes. i also tried to cling to him and try to kiss him on his chest and his cheeks. When he moved his body towards me then i kissed him. I also imitated him by placing my arms around him. All this happened in dark nights on bed.

he used to kiss me all over. His chest was over my mouth suddenly his nipples were touching  my mouth, at that moment my lips were on his nipple. He liked it. he then moved close towards me and adjusted me so that my mouth be placed on his chest, So that my lips touch his nipples. As soon as his nipples came in contact of my lips, I tried to firm up my lips as if I tried to kiss. He liked it. Actually he was trying to adjust himself so that I can do it again and again on him. He gone mad at that time with lots of groaning moaning sounds. He madly kissed me again and again. He just ate my cheeks as if he will puncture my cheeks. My cheeks were full of his saliva. He rolled his warm tongue all over my cheeks. He sucked cheeks strongly. Whole of my cheeks he pulled by making vacuum inside his mouth. as if sucking all my cheek.

When i tried to suck his nipple he laughed. I heard him laugh in that darkness. My ears were full of thumping sounds of his heart. His chest was so close to my face. He was taller and huge well built guy.

After I slept i didn’t know what happened? when he came? when he untied his cloths?. But when he placed his leg on me then the touch of his skin indicated that he is without cloths. he placed his leg on me as if keeping me under his control.

When he placed his leg on me, my hand touched his thighs. he lifted his leg and adjusted himself so that my hand touch him where both of his leg meet. He pressed his arms around me tightly, he pushed me down and funny thing was that he presented many kisses.

Again while sleeping in his arms encircling me, suddenly some movements woke me up. my hand found that he had loosened his loin cloth and he was rubbing himself against my body. there it was, a very hard erect thing. He might have also known that i have woken-up so he again encircled me with his strong arms and pulled towards his chest and tried to assure with soft kisses and started licking me. he guided my hand and placed it around that pulpy tube like organ. he guided my palm to grip it and make movements. By All that he meant as to tell me what to do??

My palm touched that stiff, erect hard thing. what was it? A hard fleshy thing. He started moaning. suddenly he took me into his tight grip, i thought he will break my bones. But he did not forget to put liquid kisses. I was made to turn halfway, now i was completely in his grip. He started rubbing vigorously his belly against me. I think he knew that i loved his liquid kisses, thus whenever i tried to stop him, softening his grips he kissed me.

with tightened arms around me, he thrust his belly on me with more force. when i tried to move he would just soften his arms. when i again start sleeping he would again do something.  All few days all this touching thing went on.

That day also he stayed in my house. Strangely i was sleeping, something happened, since by now i had become habitual of this body touching and tight grips. thus thinking that something happening as usual, carelessly i just put my arms also around him and slept.

I felt some pressure, he kissed me. He was partly naked. i felt his bare chest at my back.

when he applied force that time i might have woken up, he then forcefully took me into arms and was thrusting his belly into my back.  He had trapped me in his arms so i could not move freely, he caressed all over my body. he surveyed my back. When he forcefully pressed his belly into my back i was shocked. there he had applied his saliva, at that moment when he thrust his organ into me and When his raw flesh (devil) touched on that spot i was blown into pieces. He thrust his fly. his organ was trying to pierce into me. He was halfway through. At that moment With full force I moved a little and came out of bed. That night changed me for forever.

This incident brought some of the previous memories to fore, which i had forgotten.

These happened when i was i think 6 or 7 years old.

one dark night I woke-up due to some unknown sensation in my lower part, I found one of my cousin lying beside me. He was much elder to me. he was doing some movements holding me.  he guided my arm to hold in grip a slippery tube like bulbous structure. Holding my hand he made to do some to and fro movements with speed. After some time some strong smashing jerks felt by my hand. I could not see anything since it was a darkest night, i have ever known.

then he lifted and took me somewhere to another place. When he placed me on a bed i found there was another naked body.  i felt his skin.  It was a big body and well built. He took me into his arms, gently. Despite of a tough body he was gentle enough to kiss me several times. This was amazing and strange kiss i ever had. i never had such type of kiss ever before.

He adjusted me beside him on his bed. My cousin who brought me on that bed went back. This naked BIG body kept his arms around me as if i am a petite little chicken who has to be treated softly. he made me to cling to his body with his strong big arms. Immediately He made my left palm to hold something. It was much more magnificent than my cousin’s organ, hard, bulbous, smooth silky, wet, and erect with warmth. It also had some jerky motion within it. Only missing thing was that i could not see it. There was complete darkness of night. nothing was visible. He was holding me in arms while offering kisses. Body was wet with sweat. But that thing was much more longer than my palm. While i was guessing what this long thing is? He squeezed me, climbed on me, I felt crushed under his huge body and he was doing all his jumping motion on me, i wanted to run out. he held me strongly under his body. He was strong built… I tried to run out of the cot.   to that he said what happened my child? where are you going?

he was a tenant in my grandmother’s house. That night my grandmother was not at home. she had gone to attend a pooja at neighbour’s house which usually they do in the NAVRATRI days. Devi Jagran.

Then whenever i felt something unusual thing while sleeping i found my cousin doing something at my front. While taking nap in summer afternoons, he used to come on bed and lay beside me. I was staying alone with grandmother during summer holidays. In afternoons time, Everybody would sleep. He wore just a cloth around his waist. so he was completely naked. encircling my body with his hand around me. he would make my hand to take his organ in grip and to do some movement over it.

Was this not child molestation?  where i could have complained? these persons were known to me, trusted persons.

That person who recently did this to me was much Elder to me.

He used to stay in our house whenever he used to go city for his job. He always got chance to stay at our house. By touching and praising he made my body accustomed to his TOUCH. then slowly he had graduated on to sneaking into my bed at Nights. Then he made me feel his kisses, liquid and warm kisses, gradually he introduced me to his bare body, his strong arms, He used to encircle me in his tight grip of arms.

Even after so many years of my life those acts and touch and that piercing act,  all that just dont leave me, they come all over again to me. What I can do?

Mughals visit Ascetic camp

Mughals Visit an Encampment of “Sadhus,” Mughal painting, ca. 1635. St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, f.47r

Such a colourfull beautifull painting showing a group of mughals visiting a camp of Ascetics. Usually Sadhu Sanyasi, Yogis always stayed on edge of community. while doing their meditation tapasya etc they stay away from society or human settlements, and most often in forested areas, with restricted entry by other people.

This seems any special occasion or tithi or day when group of Sadhu visit decided area, or any place of pilgrimage. at such occasions people living in near by city or village do visit these Ascetics to seek their blessings. otherwise ascetics live in simple ambiance but here colours are evident that are not common feature of ascetic’s staying place. If any Mughal royal or Noble family visit or invites Ascetics then only such arrangements can be seen, Colour of Qanat- Kanat कनात शामियाना are still same in present times as were in those days? usually red colour, but few other colours purple, green yellow are also seen now days. Enclosures are made where noble meets the head of group of Ascetic- Mahamandaleshwar महन्त मण्डलेश्वर महामण्डलेश्वर of any अखाड़ा

on left top corner nagada & turuhi नगाड़ा तुरुहि & other musical instruments are being played, on bottom side one person playing वीणा Veena (called बीन Been in those times) on right side elephants Camels are cared. Bhisti भिश्ती brings water. few men-ascetics cooking food, one ascetic shown milking goat. roti are being made, something is roasted on fire ? as if potato आलू or bati बाटी भौरियाँ are being made?

Grey coloured mounds of indicate that some यज्ञ yagya was performed and Ash भस्म राख remains. tripod for hanging pots containing food items are hanged- so that they can be safe from any insects of animal? on right side corner few ascetic shown making Bhang? भाँग. Over all beautifull composition

as it happened people along with nobles kings royals etc always try to search such opportunity to seek blessings of ascetics learned men. in turn they get fame name among society too!!

My Homage to All by Kanan Devi

autobiography by Smt Kanan Devi

Not many people of young age know about Smt Kanan Devi. Once she was the leading lady of Bengal Cinema. Honoured with Dada Saheb Phalke award in 1976. Thus many of young generation was not even born that time.

Title of her book is amazing, not many give such title? homage to All. So humble at heart. True to heart. down to earth all such words are coming to my mind in praise of her personality. while reading one gets more light of true self.

From Silent cinema to talkies she gracefully ruled in both medium. In her memoir she praised Jyotish Bandopadhyay. One who talked to her in nice words. But he said looking at her that silly girl, why you are crying?…… everybody will see you —- you will be famous.  Later scolding her escort he said “ you can climb trees, can’t you? Go take a look at the guava tree. It’s full of fruit. You can jump up the tree and eat your fill. These kind words Kanan Devi as a girl heard for the first time when she went to seek work at a studio, and after sitting for a long time. She was scared, no body was  even talking to her?

Now from these lines one can imagine how young was Kanan Devi ji. As she recalls she would have been nine or ten years old. But need to earn a living a child has to cling to whatever came her way to save herself and her mother from drowning. First film was joydeb, she received five rupees as payment. As she says it was like a lakh to me then.

That time as a girl she didn’t know about all this renumeration for working in film. Later she learnt that her payment was fixed at 25 rupees, but when payment was made by studio, only 5 rupees came to her hand. Where those 20 rupees gone? she never thought about that. She was in dire need of bread to eat so where was the time to know all this. Here I just wisht o pint out the extent of exploitation of girls in entertainment industry(read films) though there were other mediums too such as Jatra, Natak (Theatres- often in starting known as parsi theatre &Nautanki. Not to leave out the Mehfils or at Kotha or private mujra).

On shooting day she was dressed as Radha for the film, set was being readied but some how it was dragging for long so this little girl, The great Kanan Devi, ran outside into garden plucked unripe guava, climbed tree and while eating she slept. Meanwhile whole studio was searching for radha, after much time she was found sleeping on branch with half eaten guava in hand. What this tells us? A girl child, working hard, felt tired & hungry too, tried to get rest and fallen asleep on a spot where she felt the shadow from sun. What’s crime here? But she got a slap by the great master JyotishBabu, there too it was understood why? He was angry due to waste of time of studio and people in searching her?

She says in her memoir that she never told such things to her mother and sister. As she cannot see her mother to feel sad. So She always had a habit to keep everything inside her. She became introvert (if language finds that word appropriate) but actually she learnt to be self-respecting from childhood. Thus this tells that her conditions in childhood compelled her to become mature beyond her age. Later when she told everything to her mother, her mother consoled her, saying he cares for you that’s why he scolded you. And her mother also said Can anyone learn anything without being scolded? These were great teaching for young Kanan Devi. Later this all helped her as film producer, when actors and heroines tried to exploit her.

She was a great heart and mind as so much of suffering she suffered, but even then she remembered JyotishBabu in nice words, she says it was a great learning  for her, in her career, it taught her to be more dedicated towards her work.

She says about her birth also. She remembered in her memoir that when his father died, how her mother had to suffer. Even in those days they had to struggle for one meal? Later she got a place to stay in a courtyard full of rooms on a rent. Few say that it was a brothel. In those days ladies without a home and without any family support, one can imagine, what kind of struggle they had to face? Where to live? What to eat? What to wear? From where all this will come? Her mother begged help from relatives, but no one cared for them. She says in her memoir that wherever they got shelter they had to work as domestic workers. Her mother used to work as servant in those relative’s house!! Tortured, broken in heart, they carried on for a while. Once a plate slipped mother’s hands and broken. All hell broke, they tried to beat her. Immediately young child KananDevi asked her mother to quit that house. Imagine that time and events, then you can think how was time? In which she had to struggle? It is story of all such families of girls or women who were orphaned, abandoned by relatives. We have read about Bengal of that time, Child widows, imagine in that society how such girls could have survived?  Vidyasagar, BrahmoSamaj, Raja RamMohan Roy, and there were many. Child marriage, child widow and abandoned or doomed widows all these tells about our society of that times?

Then this sound came into films, with this came another disaster to many artists. They faded into poverty again. As she says, not everyone’s voice was found suitable in those sound machines. Many top level artists lost their jobs? But for Kanan Devi after initial nervousness her voice was found suitable thus her job was saved by her voice. She did learn singing under guidance of AllaRakkaji for quite some time. She got basic teachings of Hindustani sangeet and ragas from Ustadji. Later when the Gramophone Company invited her to cut a disc she met with NazurulKaziji, JN Ghosh introduced her to him. Being an actor she always felt that singing is more close to her. As in singing she felt freedom more that acting. She also felt self-confidence while singing. She had gone through bad phase in early life, as she describes. That shows the bad condition of women working in films and studios of that time. While reading her memoir one can understand the struggle of women in those times. Even I have read similar things about NatiBinodini, as she is known. She had to struggle a lot despite of this fact that she worked hard and brought life to stage arena. But people around her exploited her the most.

At one time in her career, she was shocked with an incident happened on set. While shooting was in progress, the hero near the end embraced and kissed her. This was not told to her by Director. She felt humiliated. As a young girl she felt bad, she wept but could not take revenge. She did ask director, he told that it was not told to you since they knew she would not agree. But such things should be taken by artists/actors lightly. Once actor also came to her and tried to hold her hand with malafide intention in garb of teaching her acting, as he felt that actors in English films did. Similarly a director also tried to get cosy with her. She had faced luring advances of males while she was trying to establish herself as heroine. But she was acting in films purely due to support her family. She had to face such exploitations during her growing years. But she succeeded in retaining purity honesty in her life till the end. She even managed to do some construction works herself while making her own house. Since the contractor was trying to be dishonest.

She later established Shrimati Pictures in 1949 and along with her husband Haridas Bhattacharya made few films.

Amazing World: #Fishing #nets #Fishingnet, Child games

During Childhood we have an amazing free world in front of us. As child we play around whole day as per our wish. little we think of our parents? As i child i always felt that my parents are there to save me from any kind of trouble. if child gets hurt while playing it immediately cry for mother-Amma mummy Aye etc etc.


World over we can find different ways of living that suits to local populace. There is no international convention on lifestyle?

Below is photo of fishermen from Sri Lanka. they use this wooden stick or pole or bamboo, stuck in sea bed in shallow water, some time deep water too, they wait there siting and hunt for fish or marine creatures who comes in their view with those sharp edged wooden arrows like sticks


Fishermen, Weligama, South coast, Sri Lanka, 1995-Steve McCurry Photography

koggala srilanka

Related image

Related image

Moving eastward toward South East Asia fishermen use many different kinds of fishing nets.

this is from Burma or Myanmar. Lake Inle is a freshwater lake, it contains number of endemic species. Over twenty species of snails and nine species of fish are found nowhere else in the world. Basket type of nets used by fishermen. This basket net is also used in many parts of India too. 

Lake Inle, Burma. Ewen Bell Photographyfisherman, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Lake Inle are the Intha, meaning sons of the lake myamnar
fisherman at Burma

Wagenia men Enya or Genya people with their fish-trap construction in the cataracts. Near Kisangani, Congo, here too a net woven with sticks is used. Wagenia men Enya or Genya people with their fish-trap construction in the cataracts. Near Kisangani, Congo211fc3ad638349a73323b75b724622ba (1)

Humbukushu Women Fishing in Okavango River, Botswana | Peter Johnson 
Humbukushu Women Fishing in Okavango River, Botswana Peter Johnson

Hambukushu are scattered in small extended family homestead and larger communities along the rivers of the northern Ngamiland of Botswana, northern Namibia, and Barotseland of Zambia along the Kwando River in what is called the Mashi region.


Bugakwe, Dxeriku,  Wayeyi,  Xanekwe these are four major groups of  tribes in South Africa combined with Hambukushu people are known as “The Okavango Delta” people. these fishing nets are more sophisticated than Congo ones?

Hambukushu women fishing with baskets, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Boatmen of Ethiopia’s largest lake (PAPYRUS AND LAKE TANA)

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there is documentation of fishing nets of various kinds in India. When i went to Kochi there i saw large fishing nets. Strangely they are called Chinese fishing nets?

art2images (50)497px-The_fisherfolks_at_Chinese_Fishing_Nets Das Buch der Welt, Stuttgart, 1842-48Eilif_Peterssen-Laksefiskeren_(1889)

this above is very common fishing net it is large and lowered in water body after it goes deep it is lifted from all sides fishes get trapped in it.

800px-Thookku_Valai This photo taken during a villager catching small fishes by using Chinese Net in a small pond @ Pichan Kotagam Village, Tiruvarur District, Tamil Nadu, India

hand held short version of so called Chinese fishing net, local made as handicraft, lowered in water and pulled up thereby trapping fish.


this peculiar fishing net i found more sophisticated, as while flowing with water fish enters from one side and get trapped inside below and cannot come out, opposite direction of flow

800px-Fishing_nets fixed gil nets

here above seems a wall of large nets is erected so as to not let fish come to this side or to return back in low tide?


In the photo above we can see a man using hand held fishing net, it is thrown in water, while it sinks down in between fish are caught. in background large Chinese fishing nets are visible.

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Cormorant fishing is a traditional way of life on the Li River and unique in Guilin, China,  their birds perched on the gas-lit bamboo rafts. The lights on rafts scattered all over river form as an extraordinary sight. fishermen keep this cormorants bird as pet

cormorants are trained to dive into river. After catching a fish birds return to boat where the fisherman removes fish from the bird. Bird is prevented from swallowing the fish by a ring that is placed around the neck of the bird. Bird is rewarded for its work by its owner. Cormorants are so good at diving that they can go underwater for quite a long time. sometimes it feels that it is cruel treatment towards birds. These birds work for Men?

Cormorant fisherman in Guilin-COLLAGE

comorant-fishermen-bird-guilin-chinaChinese fisherman, Yangshou, China

As night is coming on, they went on their bamboo rafts in group with torches on the bow of the raft, shouting to attract the fish school into their encirclement. Then the trained cormorant jumped into the river to catch the fish. With the development, the torch is replaced by gas lamp

fish-by-cormorant-fishermen-at-dusk-li-river-guilin-china-dan-6Cormorant fisherman in GuilinCormorant fishing on Eir lake near Dali, Yunan, Chinacormorant

These below are colorful round nets and fisherman in Fujian China, Photograph by thierry bornier    what we can call it Ring nets?


Fishing nets at Tuyen Lam lake
Vietnamese fishing nets

basang inner mangolia
Thierry Bornier is a French landscape photographer living in Yunnan, China

Bantou and Baka women


women fishing shrimps in a river on the edge of Lobéké National Park Congo basin, Cameroon’s international border with Central African Republic and the Republic of the Congo

main source of food Ba’ka tribe is fishing. They move their tribes around every 1-3 months, always along the edge of a stream – used both for drinking water and fishing. this photo is also on the page–2

Kenya, Lake Turkana, Kalakol. Turkana spear-fish in the shallow waters of Lake Turkana


Vietnamese, fisherwomen


Vietnam floating Basket Boat and combined called as Floating Market. women handled many of such boats. Means women are participating in economical activities along with men.

Transport in Vietnam Nha Trang

Fishing net at Kochi, often called as Chinese fishing nets?

Image result for traditional fishermen fishing nets


somewhere in our world few brave hearts live, these men dive in sea water from a cliff with spears in hands, aiming down at any fish or marine creature they just hit it.


called DONGI डोंगी canoe made of local wood sticks Bamboo etc but it is also craft of making boats that can be used while fishing, thus it is not fishing net?

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Image result for traditional fishermen fishing nets

Caballitos de totora are reed watercraft used by fishermen in Peru for the past 3000 years. i thought to use it but it is only craft of making boats not fishing nets

The Caballito de Totora Ancient was used cultures such as the Mochica

Huanchaco fishermen still use materials from these swamps to make their fishing boats

#Museum #MuseumWeek #InternationalMuseumDay

#InternationalMuseumDay? #MuseumWeek how they are going to serve the purpose?


Museums have evolved as multi dimensional learning spaces, from just being exhibiting old photographs artifacts antiques etc. Now museums also work in multimedia.

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Chandraketugarh चन्द्रकेतु गढ़

यह दृश्य अदभुत है पर अगर पता चले कि यह 400 -300 वर्ष ईशा पूर्व मृतिका पट्ट मिट्टी से बना हुआ है तो अविश्वसनीय लगता है considering that this plaque is of terracotta and dated to 400 BCE with so much of minute details, all this makes it unbelievable. making of artifacts from clay is quite difficult work and requires high skills and patience, precision.

Scene depicts game of chausar chaupar or pachisi चौसर चौपड़ या पच्चीसी? One royal or king is overlooking the game. Two men are playing in sight of so many people. Is that game being played in a court? Another man sits next to royal man. Is it a duel between these two men? All around women are in attendance, chauri bearer, bringing kinds of eatables for men. One lady seen taking a man in arms? An embrace. Or she consoling him? One lady pours drink from a pot. Few debate it is court of Kaurav कौरव, Yudhishthir with shakuni are playing chaupar. Not much archeological studies are available for this plaque.

Chandraketugarh is 2,300 years old archaeological site located near Bidyadhari river, about 35 kilometres north-east of Kolkata, near township of Berachampa. Once it was an important hub of international maritime trade

This lady is pouring something from that pot?

Flowers and foral patterns are made beautifully. Making such intricate pattern on terracotta is difficult Skill or Art.

Who is this man? First I thought it can be woman? But dhoti is slightly smaller compared to worn by other women ?

He is holding a pot that indicates he is having a drink? remarkable #jewellery ornaments are depicted all over this terracotta plaque. to get such fineness in clay work is beyond comprehension in that age? 400 to 73 BCE?

Here woman is taking man in embrace, by facial expressions and gestures it seems she could be consoling him? Has he lost I’m game or he is drunk?

identify these two figures? men of women? left seems a man? see the dhoti?

This plaque is more strange. Appearance of जलपरी mermaid makes it interesting. Medieval times were full of many stories of sea travelers sighting strange sea creatures also few beautiful mermaids.

Royal king along with men are looking a mermaid in pool of water, it could be sea shore. Rumour of sighting a mermaid reached palace, thus king came on chariot with his men. Beautiful woman bears royal umbrella. Mermaid is made beautiful and looks majestic.

This another version of plaque showing mermaid. Few indicate it could be scene after capture of mermaid. People caught mermaid in a fishing net, few boats are seen in background. One net is depicted that is used traditional by fishermen. all attires Jewellery head wear of men & women depicted beuatifully. flora Fauna too is there indicate richness of nature

Erotic plaque from Chandraketugarh
Brick wall excavated at Khana-Mihir Mound, Chandraketugarh

this brick wall indicate presence of rich human settlement with skills to make urban space? or walled city, enclosures.

Farmer Harvesting with a tool?. terracotta plaque, Chandraketugarh, First Century BC
Bengal village in the year 1860 (Source: British Library)

this photo shows condition of people who were colony of Europeans & other barbaric invaders for centuries, what their condition is at present after so much destruction by those invaders. rich heritage is lost or people were detached from their glorious past & roots? All wealth was looted out of India

Dancer, Terracotta plaque, Shunga period (185 to 75 BCE) Chandraketugarh, private collection since 1998. Spain via #catawiki auctions

#Museum #MuseumWeek #InternationalMuseumDay

Museums have evolved as multi dimensional learning spaces, from just being exhibiting old photographs artifacts antiques etc. Now museums also work in multimedia.

Museums world over have evolved in this century. After colonization stopped many colonies got freedom & started breathing fresh air of their own, with feeling of OWN, i think many things got changed. Colonial times was dark period of these countries, many can debate over this, but few countries did feel it. East of Far East as they say started searching their roots & tried to study their own civilization, in few countries it was culture renainasance kind of thing. after 1940s lot many colonies came to their own. With Education, upliftment /evolution of Arts Traditions too taken up. in East world culture is integral part of our life ( as a matter of truth- every civilization had its own culture?) In India we felt many setbacks, after Thousand years of Invasion coupled with British & European LOOT, it was like cultural DRAIN. Many treasures of Arts were taken to WEST. Initially as mark of LOOT it was status of showing that we are Master! Rulers. Later loot of wealth happened, jewellery, sculptures were taken to WEST as ART Anitque? in their world it had commercial value.

After Independence as a Nation we grew, alongwith that our cultural awakening happened. India is a living nation, had been and wish it will be, if you subtract medieval period. where anything and everything that was ours was destroyed by invaders to establish their supremacy of all kinds-Education-literature, philosophy, religion culture and many more words one can see in dictionary

Independent Governments tried to take forward Education of citizens, along with idea came up to establish places where art facts, treasure of Arts, items of Archeological importance are to kept safe. Thus came up Art galleries, museums etc all these were very STATIC, Just like display boards, few GALLERIES (literal meaning) rooms housing sculpture and other such items. But within few years Museums have transformed themselves into multidimensional places with a tremendous growth. Greater participation of people from all walks of life is a great achievement. Not just Teaching community, researchers but many journalists, news houses- or Media houses as they are called spread the magic through respective media.

50 years back i got to see only PRINT MEDIA, few magazines and News papers, if they came to our house. Not many people households used to buy News Papers. Radio was also in very few households. Such electronic items were Luxury. till mid 70s there was no TELEVISION kind of things. Cinema or Film halls were few. Few people went to see films. I got liking towards Arts while reading magazines that i had in my home. Dharmayug, few old Hindustan (it was a magazine then) Illustrated weekly. My Father had small collection of LIFE magazine, all those lustered pages & photos printed on those magazines attracted me. There were magazines NAVNEET, Sarita, Chandamama, and later Amar Chitra Katha came into life.

in 1971 for the first time i saw Red Fort, Taj Mahal, National Museum-New Delhi etc. this was under disguise of education tour by a college where my Mother was doing her BEd degree at Kanpur, AND College Kanpur. Mrs Sehgal & Mrs Nigam two teachers i remember. So it was an education tour? i mean to say that teaching Institutions too had started thinking of taking students on exposure visits! i dont remember exactly why students from AND College went to Delhi in 1971? still i try to guess. I mean since that time Museums have become items of importance and were added in any travelling plan.

Later came year 1976-77. Our family along with 8 families went on tour around INDIA by road. A bus was hired Chabra Bus Services at Kanpur. 8 families from IIT Kanpur came together and visited India by road on LTC- Leave Travel Concession as scheme for Govt Servants by Govt of India. See a scheme of Government of India is being utilized to visit and see different places of our country, to know diversity of our civilization, which otherwise could have never happened. Our Bus visited upto Kanyakumari from Kanpur and back in one month. Kanpur via Allahabad, Rewa, Nagpur-Plateau of Deccan started in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh. Few journey in 1977 were so scary that police allowed many vehicles to travel like a CARAVAN in night of these hilly regions, due to fear of Dacoits? Hyderabad, Ooty, Mysore, Pttapurti-PrashantiNilayam?, Madumalai forest, Nilgiri Mountain range with rich forest, Chennai, Madurai, Mahabalipuram, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari-Vivekanand Ashram(we stayed there), Travancore, Kochi, Punjim-Goa, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Ajmer-Pushkar, Jaipur, Delhi, Agra, Mathura-Vrindavan, Haridwar Kanpur

Second trip was upto Srinagar in Jammu Kashmir, Gulmarg Pahalgam, Jawahar Tunnel, Amritsar, Jaladhar, Chandigarh, Nahan-Solan, Shimla, Panwta Saheb.

Salarjung Museum, one museum gallery in Mysore Palace, National Museum, Albert Hall Museum Jaipur i saw on these journey.

When i ventured into school-Campus School & later KV IIT Kanpur a whole new world awaited me. It was through library. Through beautifull colourfull books, cover pages, illustrations on pages inside books all attracted me. For hours i used to see those books. From those library books i came to know that there is a big world out there and i dont know much about it. Mrs Roustan & Mrs Banerjee were our librarians. So Library were my Museums of sort while my School days.

Later in 1982 a Black and white Television came to our house. I am gratefull to my Parents that they purchased it. As a earning man i know how it is difficult to take decions of buying anything that is costly and doesn’t fit in our budget. specially of Salaried employee. It was a luxury back then to have a TV in homes. I suffered this POVERTY and all those bad things taunts bullying attached to status of not owing a TV? though i saw TV in 70s but we could not buy it back then.

1982 happened to be year of India took a leap into launching Satellite in Space, after that National telecast started in colour too. We saw Rakesh Sharma in a Space craft and talking to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Via TV many achievements of Museums i witnessed. Important documentaries of art facts, paintings, sculpture and all our cultural treasures i saw on TV. Many places of historical and Archeological importance i saw in TV. Many Artists i came to know about from watching TV. Doordarshan Only.

National museum & other museums have started organising workshop, learning classes, educational courses, and offer various degrees. Many new fields of study are emerging through this dialogue-interactions . Recently i saw a live dance performance at British Museum in UK. i tweeted see below. @britishmuseum.

Stem Vase, utensil

Stem Vase with Incised and Painted Design 1000–300 B.C.  Thailand (Ban Chiang culture): Earthenware with buff slip and red oxide decoration Ceramics

Stem Cup, Bronze and Iron age period, Date: ca. 1500–1250 B.C. from Thailand Terracotta with buff slip and red oxide decoration Ceramics

Cookery show: Can these show teach anything?

As we all know cooking or kitchen undoubtedly is considered as oldest laboratories in history of Mankind.
From the time Man learned to cook his food in kitchen he became an Human or so called civilized, isn’t it?

In India the kitchen in Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha might have been the oldest kitchen.
It must be having oldest cuisine also? Similarly when we move ahead we find that there are many kinds of recipe, either family tradition or of country’s heritage kind of things.
If we say that cooking had been preserve of women, then it will be labeled as Gender Bias?
But truth is that since centuries women has been forefront in managing the kitchen, and they have been the best cooking masters. But when we see in Temple Kithen of Puri, we find usually or mostly men are doing the job of cooking. I dont know whether those men do cooking in their house? or the women folk of the house do the cooking?
But why to blame others I myself started cooking at a very young age, circumstance might have been such that i was drawn. But I think i was very much interested in observing the ladies of households as how they cook? How they light the stove? how they make dough of wheat flour? how they cook so many delicacies?
Later i myself started cooking at my home, i got chance in absence of my mother. When she used to go out on her job, we children tried to cook something for our pallet’s appetite. Greed for tasty food also was one of the cause. Our family was not such that we can afford outings and have food at hotels? I dont think i ever had food at hotel in first 20 years of my life.

Later when Doordarshan the sole synonym of Television came in existence i got chance to watch few cookery shows. Black and white screen.
After 1982 the national broadcast started and we were able to see whole of India with its colorful cooking styles on color TV screen.

Footed Bowl and Plate, Mughal style?

Footed Bowl and Plate made in first half 18th century in India. Medium: Glass, opalescent white; blown, bowl with applied stem and blown applied foot, fired silver and gold decoration

Met museum describes this white thing as rare. Opaque surfaces of bowl and its matching tray are decorated with identical flowering shrubs enclosed within oval compartments, painted in two shades of gold and silver.

The round, flat tray with everted rim, however, follows a classic Indian thali form, recalling earlier examples of bidri ware both in shape and decoration, especially in the radiating arrangement of flowering shrubs in compartments

While little evidence of glass production from early India survives, the Mughal period saw a flourishing of this industry, in several cases stimulated by European, and in particular British, contact. Glass was fashioned into a number of types of objects including globular and bell-shaped hookah bases, square “gin” bottles, and assorted vessels, some of which were inported, and then painted and gilded to luminous effect. Glass workshops were located in Gujarat, Lucknow, Rajastan, and Sindh, where the technique of free blown and mold-blown glass was best known but also was accompanied by a revival in wheel-cut and more rarely twice-fired applied glass. The decoration of Mughal glass followed trends seen in the broader world of decorative arts and painting of the period including, as in this example, the classic combination of floral forms, in profile or silhouette against a plain ground, often incorporated within cartouches of varying shapes. The hallmark Mughal style first developed in floral painting studies of the Jahangir period (1605–27) and was adapted to the decorative arts in general under his successor Shah Jahan (1628–57) by about 1640.