Friday, December 15, 2006

Raman Niwas

A new acquaintence of mine, Navneet Raman, whom I met on Assi ghat, commissioned me to do a painting of his family house. It is an exquisite old building in Varanasi which I really enjoyed painting last Sunday. Navneet owns a gallery, where I might show my work too.

So long,

Wednesday, December 13, 2006



I have bought a tanpura from Nithai and Tarak Nath, a father - son intrument making team. This gorgeous instrument has transformed my Dhrupad practise every day.


I went to Bina, Madhya Pradesh for a collegue's wedding, which was an overnight journey by train. Shailesh's wedding was a fabulous extravaganza. It all started with the marriage troupe which occupied an entire compartment on the train to Bina, Madhya Pradesh. When we reached the hotel there were barbers provided to give us shaves, and then ironers to iron our clothes and shoe poilishers and so on. We started the marriage procession under a still magnificently full moon and I initiated the dancing. It was my only chance to dance under the moonlight, in the middle of the street mindless of traffic and such trivialities.

It was wild! Maharaja band provided the music, Shailesh's goda (horse)turned into a white gaadi (car), as he was transformed into Prince charming. Money thrown in the air, children running helter skelter to pick it up, gyrating hips, human chandeliers, family feuds and the laughter of a lifetime, as we stopped to have chai on the way to the bride's house.

There were several other stops for water, sweets and more chai in the span of 1 km...which took 3 hours to reach, after which the wedding ceremony took place on a rooftop under the stars, until 5:30 am!

December box

My December sketchbox is a little paan box, that I've converted to hold
daily doodles. I even inscribed my seal on the back of this metalic box.
The paintings are about 2" by 3", so they are best viewed small.

This week's fascinations have been with the various symbols painted on the
faces at Assi ghat.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Leo and I catch up over morning chai's on Assi ghat.


Somavati Amavasya

An Amavasya (new moon) that falls on Monday. On this occassion the pipal tree is worshipped, and women wrap thread around the tree in the morning.


Khayyal concert

Smt. Mangala Tiwari

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Slow down



Climbed all the way up this Kadam tree at Rajeev and Connie's house, after a breakfast of pancakes and Canadian maple syrup!


Saturday, November 11, 2006


Varanasi is also famous for it's body builders, and they work out in an Akhara - a kind if gym, where they wrestle in the sand, and use ancient body building devices!


Barbers and such


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ganges river dolphins

Just thought that I would draw your attention to the Ganges river dolphin. I have seen these beautiful fresh water dolphins swimming gently in River Ganga. They are an endangered species now, as their lives are threatened by industrial and urban pollution, shipping, and they are also hunted for their oil. Very often they get trapped in fishermen's nets too, and their habitats are encroached upon by the building of dams on this river, as they are a migratory lot.

About 4000 to 5000 of these stunning dolphins are alive. They are virtually blind, but use echolocation to feed off other fish. Much public awareness is needed to heed the frequencies of these sublime creatures.