june 2011 programmes



saturday 4th june
6.30 pm Odissi Recital by Sunanda Banerjee 

saturday 11th  june
6.30 pm
‘Raag Kalyan’ – a musical exploration by  Kasturi Atrawalkar

june 11 saturday
1 to 2 pm Food Meditation # 14

saturday 18th june
6.30 pm
Walking Naked: Female spirituality and self-expression” a fusion performance by Lakshika Pandey 

saturday 25th june
12.30 to 2 pm ‘Paella & Sangria’ a talk and demonstration by Guillermo Hidalgo

wednesday 29th june
6.30 pm ‘Finally a national language – Hinglish.’  A talk by Professor Seema Khurana





saturday 4th june
6.30 pm Odissi Recital by Sunanda Banerjee

Sunanda Banerjee returns to the Attic after a gap of 3 years with some new compositions. The first piece is a choreography to the music of Ananda Shankar, son of the dancer Uday Shankar and nephew of Pandit Ravi Shankar. Like his father and uncle he also made a name for himself in the U.S. and became known for fusing Western and Eastern musical styles. He released an album in the early seventies playing sitar based versions of the Rolling Stones hit ‘Jumpin Jack Flash’ and The Doors ‘Light my Fire’.

Sunanda continues with a traditional  Pallavi and concludes with a Champu. The champu is an unusual poetic structure based on a raga using an appropriate rhythm in which a poem has been composed using one letter of the alphabet and each word of the poem uses only that one letter.

Sunanda has been learning Odissi since the age of 8 from Guru Madhavi Mudgal. She is an Arts graduate from Delhi University as well as a graduate in Odissi dance from Gandharva Mahavidyala. She has performed at the Uday Shankar Ballet Festival in Jaipur, Qutab Festival in Delhi and the Konarak Festival in Bhuvaneshwar. She is a graded artist of Doordarshan. She is also a registered teacher of Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, Mumbai. 


saturday 11th  june
6.30 pm
‘Raag Kalyan’ – a musical exploration by  Kasturi Atrawalkar

Raag Kalyan is one of 10 divisions of Ragas (’that’) in Indian classical music. It is a raga of the early part of the night. It has been called ‘Iman’ as well as ‘yaman’ and is popular in Carnatic as well as hindusatani classical music as well as in religious and popular music.

In carnatic music it is also known by the feminine name Kalyani (‘she who causes auspicious things’) and compositions of it are popular in South Indian weddings. In the sikh religious tradition Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan composed 23 hymns in Raga Kalyan which is supposed to bring blessing, goodness and exaltation to one’s life.   

There are 14 variants to the Raga – Shudh Kalyan, Bhopali , Hameer, Kamodh and Yaman kalian, and Kasturi explores this evening its  many variations in the different genres of classical and popular music.  

 Kasturi Atrawalkar is a Classical vocalist from the Gwalior_Kirana Gharana. Her clear, beautiful voice and intelligent artistry bring colorful interpretations of musical nuances. Her first Guru was her mother Smt. Suvarna Datar, an All India Radio vocalist of Gwalior Gharana. Kasturi is a disciple of Pt. Vinayak Torvi, the great maestro from Bangalore and has also received guidance from ‘Pt. Balasaheb Poonchwale’.

Kasturi has been performing at various forums across India.  Mainly  Delhi and Maharashtra.


june 11 saturday
1 to 2 pm Food Meditation # 14 

The Food Meditation series continues with 2 new ingredients


Naurangi Dal (9 coloured lentil)
Karela (Bitter gourd)
Brown Rice
Chaulai Roti (Amaranth roti)
Aam Panna (Raw mango drink)

                                       Aam Panna is a typically North Indian drink, said to be cooling in the intensely hot and dry winds of an Indian summer. Mint leaves add to the cooling effect of raw mangoes. Salt and sugar replace the lost electrolytes in the hot  weather. 

• Wash 1 kg. green, unripe mangoes. Boil them with 1 cup water& simmer till soft. Peel when cool.

Squeeze one mango at a time in your palm and collect the pulp and juice in a bowl. Discard the skins and stones  

• Add 700 gms sugar, 20 gm. black salt (kala namak), 1 tsp dry roasted cumin seeds (zeera), 1 tsp ground black pepper and a handful of fresh mint leaves.

• Put in a blender and puree. 

• Cool in the refrigerator. When serving dilute with cold water, add ice and garnish with fresh mint leaves   

 Karela is an extremely important bitter summer vegetable and in the ayurvedic balance of flavours an antidote to the sweet mango.  

“Bitter gourd contains vitamin A, B1, B2, and C. It also contains minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and potassium. From the ayurvedic perspective, bitter gourd is excellent for balancing Kapha. It helps purify blood tissue, enhances digestion, and stimulates the liver.”

 For the next few sessions, maybe longer, we will eat and depart in silence. If participants want to stay and talk you are welcome. We provide the food and the silence.  


Participation is by registration on payment only. Telephone The Attic 23746050 or email:  mina@theatticdelhi.org.
Charges:  Rs 100.


saturday 18th june
6.30 pm
Walking Naked: Female spirituality and self-expression” a fusion performance by Lakshika Pandey

(Based on the book ‘Walking Naked: Women, Society, Spirituality in South India’ by Prof. Vijaya Ramasyami (JNU) 

Recovering and recording womens voices has been the subject, in the last couple of decades of  films, books, theatre and the arts. Devotional compositions of different religions in different periods has been one of the areas of exploration of female spirituality.  

In this original, fusion dance performance in Bharatanatyam and modern dance Lakshika aims to connect with the unnoticed and unsung women seekers through space and time. She explores this theme through the lives and journeys of four spiritual seekers from four different corners of India.  Gautami from Bihar, Meera Bai from Rajasthan, Akka Mahadevi from Karnataka and Lalleshwari from Kashmir.  

Contemporary women face more or less the same problems that these historical women went through. “Women could respond to their spiritual calling only by risking their reputation and being termed deviant.

Anything novel or unique was not accepted by society.” 

Lakshika says “It is my language where I fuse the feeling, depth and devotion of classical dance with the free expression and experimental attitude of contemporary dance in an attempt to discover the conditions and inhibitions that are binding us.  

How to be open with strength? Be lively but not violent. Be independent but not indifferent. How to live with totality? The lives and journeys of these women are a great source of inspiration. They followed the pursuits of their hearts, their inner calling with such freedom and integrity. This production is an attempt to in fuse these attributes in our lives...” 

Lakshika Pandey is a Bharatnatyam exponent. She is the disciple of the renowned Guru Shri Kalyan Sundram Pillai of the Thanjavur Gharana.

She is also trained in Contemporary Dance under the tutelage of Eunyong Jung, Korea. 

She has performed classical and contemporary pieces with different dance troupes and also as a soloist across the length and breadth of the country for the past eight years.

Her prominent performances include events for Shankaracharya, Microsoft, DSM and AIDA. She is also the recipient of National awards from Akhil Bhartiya Sankrutic Sang [Pune] and MTNL[New Delhi]. 

The author of the book on which this dance performance is based will be present. 


In Remembrance of Things Past Series

Almost a 100 years ago Marcel Proust had a cup of tea that sent him into an exquisite memory of the little sponge cakes that he used to have at his aunt’s house as a child. Quoted below is the famous madeleine episode that has become one of the most famous passages in French literature and that is inspiring this series.

 “No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs  touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. ... Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? ... And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.”

Food, not only assuages hunger but the memory of it, the cooking, the eating, the sharing is very much part of our family and  cultural heritage. Like the characters in Proust’s 7 volume work “In Remembrance of Things Past” we view our food through a  multiplicity of perspectives. The significance of what is happening (or what we are eating) is often placed within the memory or in the inner contemplation of what is described (eaten). This focus on the relationship between experience, memory and writing (eating) becomes a part of us and throughout this work and in our culinary lives many similar instances of involuntary memory, triggered by sensory experiences such as sights, sounds and smells conjure important memories for the narrator and remind us of the foods that we have enjoyed in family settings when we were young. 


 saturday 25th june
12.30 to 2 pm ‘Paella & Sangria’ a talk and demonstration by Guillermo Hidalgo

The Moors occupied Al Andalus and the Iberian Peninsula for 800 years. These Berbers, Black Africans and Arabs from North Africa left behind an important culinary legacy known to us as ‘biryani’ and to Southern Spain as Paella. This dish is now considered a speciallity of Valencia and in its many variations probably a national dish of Spain.

The original Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck), land snails, beans and seasoning. Seafood paella replaces meat and snails and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat or seafood, vegetables, sometimes beans, saffron and olive oil.

Paella is normally cooked in a paella pan (sometimes paellera), a shallow pan made of iron or steel with two handles. (see photograph)

The perfect accompaniment for paella is a jug of cool, fruity sangria, one of Andalucia’s most popular refreshments in the summer months.
From its humble roots in Spain, sangria has become a cool party drink around the globe. Every household has its own sangria recipe, but the drink typically includes fruit juice, red or white wine and fruit, with plenty of ice.

Guillermo Hidalgo is the visiting Executive chef of the Spanish NGO Naya Nagar in Gurgaon. He studied Hotel Managament in Barcelona and went to New York to work in the hospitality field for one year. After that he worked in various Hotels, Restaurants and Food Franchises in Barcelona, Madrid and in Buenos Aires (Argentina).

He came to India for a 3 month trip and fell in love with the country and its people. He went back to Barcelona and “I was dreaming to come back again”. He returned to collaborate with the NGO Naya Nagar in Gurgaon for teaching western cooking to poor women, so they could get jobs in expats houses. Currently they are opening a Catering delivery service in order to provide jobs for these women.  

He also collaborates with the Olive Restaurant in Delhi through the Spanish Government to present Spanish food items in India.

All items demonstrated will be served for tasting.

Registration Required: Rs 300 per head to be paid in advance. Call 23746050 or email mina@theatticdelhi.org or mail cheque in favor of ‘Amarjit Bhagwant Singh Charitable Trust’ to The Attic 10 Regal Buildings, New Delhi 110001.


wednesday 29th june
6.30 pm ‘Finally a national language – Hinglish.’  A talk by Professor Seema Khurana

Parlez-vous Franglais, Spanglish, Chinglish or Hinglish? If you do you are code switching – speaking a mixture of 2 languages being equally fluent in both.

This is different from both Pidgin and Creole. Pidgin is a simplified language that developed as a means of communication between two or more groups that do not have a language in common. And Creole is a nativized pidgin which has become a stable natural language taught to children as a primary language.

 Nehru’s vision of gradually establishing Hindi as the national language ten years after independence led to language riots. But popular culture media such as radio, television, bollywood and advertisements have unobtrusively but surely popularized and promoted Hinglish as an acceptable language of the globalized Indian. It is the ‘new cool’ linguistic currency that links Desis across the globe.

So if you ‘pre-pone’ your dinner plans because you are ‘Hungry kya?’  and your ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’. And if you are caught ‘eve teasing’ , the girl says ‘you road side romeo ‘ ‘Clear off, or else I'll give you a tight slap’ and the police asks ‘ what your bahana is?’ to which you have no reply but ‘Life ho to aisi’. Relax, ‘tension mat lena’, you are speaking the language of the new bindaas Desi. It might seem effortless and random but there are linguistic rules and patterns that govern where and when Hindi words can be inserted in a supposed English sentence.

Professor Khurana will discuss the popularity of Hinglish and its mechanisms of code-switching.

Seema Khurana is a Senior Hindi Lector at Yale University since 2001 and an accomplished writer of short stories, poems and plays published in India and America. Her work, initiated by two masters, one in English literature and one in Hindi,  aims at bridging English and Hindi as spoken languages and literary instruments of expression. As an educator, she is constantly developing materials for teaching Hindi as a foreign language as well as introducing new courses to meet the demands of the students. She founded 'Sandeshi', a project of nostalgia and passion, giving voice to Hindi literature and bringing it to life.