september 2010 programmes

 

saturday 4th september
1 to 3 pm Food Meditation # 10 

tuesday 7th september
Tuesday Lunches at The Attic – a 2 month experiment in meditative eating
 

tuesday 7th september
6.30 pm “Vegetarian Food” a talk by R.P.Jain at
India international Centre Main Auditorium
  

friday 10th september
6.30 pm “Raag, Anuraag and Nazrul Islam – Music, Love and the Poetry of Kazi Nazrul Islam” by Aahang a group of 4 musicians

saturday 11th september
6.30 pm ‘9/11 and all that.’- a talk and video presentation by Come Carpentier de Gourdon
 

 tuesday 14th september
Tuesday Lunches at The Attic – a 2 month experiment in meditative eating
 

saturday 25th september
6.30 pm “The Delhi Jantar Mantar” an illustrated talk by Anisha Shekhar Mukherjee
 

wednesday 29th september
6.30 pm “Collage of Odissi & Bharatanatyam” by Dr. Arkodev and  Mrittika Bhattacharya

 

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saturday 4th september
1 to 3 pm Food Meditation # 10 

We continue with our monthly series on meditative eating, exploring the traditional rural foods.

 

Menu
Naurangi Daal (Rice bean/ Cow Pea)
Jhangora (Barnyard Millet) Pulao
Paneer (Cottage cheese)
Raita
Chaulai (Amaranth) Chapatti. 

Naurangi daal  is probably the least known and the best looking of the great Indian lentil family which includes arhar, toor, urad, chana, mung and many others. Grown in the lush hills of Kumaon and Garhwal, the very small multi coloured seeds of this plant are an aesthetic delight even before one starts cooking. Lentils (Daals) and Beans are a huge part of the Indian diet. Most meals include them not only are they delicious but extremely nutritious. Just one cup of cooked Daal can give you as much as 62 per cent of your daily dietary fibre and many important minerals like manganese, phosphorous, potassium, iron and copper. They are high in folates and the B-vitamins like Thiamin.  

Barnyard Pulao: Barnyard Millet (Jhangora) is a native variety of millet grown in the mountain villages from where today’s meal is cooked. It is also used as rice and is gluten free and high in protein. The Jhangora species is very similar to Quinoa – the ancient food of Incas and is a popular health food in Europe. Today’s millet is hand pounded, unpolished and thus has different colour and taste to the polished version. The taste is enhanced by making it into a pulao with a variety of seasonal vegetables.

Pulao (Pilaf, poloپلو , polao, pilau, pilav, pilaff, plov) is a dish in which a grain, such as rice or cracked wheat, is browned in oil, and then cooked in a seasoned broth. In some cases, the rice may also attain its brown color by being stirred with bits of burned onion, as well as a large mix of spices. It is famous dish in many Middle Eastern, Central and South Asian, East African, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisines. 

Paneer in India is often made at home by souring boiling milk and separating the milk solids from the whey. The whey is often used in cooking daals and the milk solids are weighted to extract the remaining water and make a delicious, succulent block.  

Raita is a yogurt dish mixed with herbs, spices or vegetables. It is served chilled and is an excellent accompaniment to spicy Indian dishes.

The Raita and Paneer served today is prepared from the purest milk from our home fed cow. 

Amaranth Chapatti- The fiber content of amaranth is three times that of wheat and its iron content, five times more than wheat. It contains two times more calcium than milk. Using amaranth in combination with wheat, corn or brown rice results in a complete protein with a food value as high as fish, red meat or poultry. 

There will be no verbal exchange during meditation and cell phones will need to be switched off.  

Participation is by registration on payment only. Telephone The Attic 23746050 or email anaam@aol.in, mina@theatticdelhi.org.
Charges: Students Rs 25. Others Rs 100.
Only 15 participants. No walk-ins please

 

  

 Tuesday Lunches at The Attic – a 2 month experiment in meditative eating

 7 September
14 September
 

From October 2009 Anaam and The Attic have conducted a Food Meditation lunch exploring the 3000 year old tradition of eating in India. We have also emphasized the concept of ‘mindful eating’ recently expounded by Thich Nhat Hanh. 

We have learnt that food is not only a material that fills your stomach but is the spirit of life itself and when eaten meditatively goes through a deep transformation and becomes consciousness.  

We have eaten black rice from Manipur, Chaulai (Amaranth), Kulath (horse gram), Naurangi Dal, Jhangora (barnyard millet), Jau (oats) all from the Kumaon hills. These extremely nutritious foods  are rich in fibre, iron, calcium, vitamin E and have been almost totally lost to the urban population.  

These lunches are open to the public on the 3 days above only from 1 to 3 pm only.  Reservations are possible on advance payment but not necessary. We can seat only 25 people at a time. Seating will be on cushions on the ground and silence will be encouraged.  

1 to 3 pm Tuesday 7th & 14 th september
Forgotten Foods – an experiment in eating 

Menu:  7 september 

1.      Rajma (Kidney beans)
    Mandua (Finger Millet) and Amaranth (Chaulai) Roti
    Palak
Paneer (Spinach/Cottage cheese)
    Crispy Bhindi (Okra)
    Dhai (Curd)
   
Brown rice
    Kheer (sweet rice in milk)
    Mint & Coriander
Chutney
   
Freshly prepared achhar (pickle)
   Jal Jeera
 

Menu:  14 september 

1.       Chana (Chickpea)
    
Mandua (Finger Millet) and Amaranth (Chaulai) Roti
    
Paneer Pasanda (Spicy cottage cheese) 
     Seasonal Subzi
     Dhai (Curd)
     Pulav
    
Kheer (sweet rice in milk)
     Mint & Coriander
Chutney
    
Freshly prepared achhar (pickle)
     Jal Jeera

  

Tickweed (Jakhia) is a tiny seed used used in the hills to season vegetables and lentils. They are crispy and crackle and splutter when heated in oil. Jakhia is both a herb and a spice. Its chief medicinal value is in being lethal for stomach worms as well as in healing wounds.  

Jal Jeera – is a refreshing summer drink made with water, cumin and mint. It is generally served as an appetizer as it is intended to startle the taste buds. The cumin also acts as a digestive. 

      Pickle (achar) is freshly made from mangoes and mustard seeds 

Charges Rs 200/- per person. Telephone Mina Vahie 23746050 or Anaam 9911950530 or email mina@theatticdelhi.org, anaam@aol.in

 

Along the Spice Routes of the World

Indian 'chicken tikka masala is now the national dish of Great Britain and any day now Mcdonalds in the US will be launching their newest culinary invention 'McAloo Tikki Burger'. Almost everyday there is a new book on Indian cooking and this series will celebrate the vast diversity that is Indian Cuisine and its international influences. We will explore history with 'Cooking of the Maharajas', geography with 'Cooking under the Raj', literature with 'Mistress of Spices', travel with the cooking along the Grand Trunk Road, globalization with 'Bound Together' and medicine with Ayurvedic cooking.

This series of 12 lectures is brought to you by The India International Centre and The Attic. Some lectures will be followed by a dinner relevant to the subject.

 tuesday 7th september
6.30 pm “Vegetarian Food” a talk by R.P.Jain at
India international Centre Main Auditorium  

Vegetarianism is the practice of following a plant-based diet including fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, nuts, and seeds, with dairy products (Lacto) with eggs (Ovo) or excluding both (Vegan). It may be adopted for ethical, environmental, religious, cultural or economic reasons. It originated in Ancient Greece (Orphics and Pythagoreans) and Ancient India around the 6th c. BC.  

If one asks the man in the street what he knows about the Jains, his answers would probably be a) that they are rich and b) that they are vegetarians. The first answer is merely Chinese whispers and very much open to doubt but the second would definitely be true for the majority of those professing to be Jains.

Whereas in Greece vegetarianism died out, in India it became firmly entrenched due to the Buddhist and Jain concepts of ‘ahimsa’. Non- violence towards all living beings became the hallmark of food injunctions for major portions of Indian society. Today about 40% of Indians are said to be vegetarians whereas in spite of its increasing popularity vegetarianism attracts less than 2% of the population in Western society.

Indian vegetarians including the Jains are lacto-vegetarians. In the West Vegans abjure all animal products including milk, milk products and even honey. The principle of ‘ahimsa’ underlies almost all the injunctions about the Jain diet. Most important of all is the avoidance of any root vegetables.  This of course applies mainly to onions, garlic and potatoes, because in the majority Jains are quite happy to eat carrots, radish, groundnuts and use turmeric and ginger powder all of which are also root vegetables and spices.

There are other various levels of restriction that a pious Jain may impose on his diet.

Many dietary injunctions of the Jains are common with Hindu society. The concepts of sattavic and tamasic , ‘kachcha’ and ‘pakka’ food and avoiding foods from outside ones own home is found both among the Jains and Hindus, leading to the emergence of special foods taken on travels.  In India there are many other excellent traditions of vegetarianism – Vaishnav, Rajasthani, Gujarati, Brahmin and the complex, rich and intricate vegetarian cuisines of South India.

 Rajendra Prasad Jain retired as professor of German Language and Literature from the JNU. He had earlier received his Ph.D. in Indology, with special emphasis on Jain Studies, from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He continued working in this field by lecturing and holding seminars on Jainism at some German universities. More recently he has lectured for the last three years as part of the International Summer School of Jain Studies in Delhi.

Besides German and Jainism his passion and interest in Western classical music is well-known to many in Delhi. He has lectured widely on Western music throughout India in numerous fora.

His interest in food started at the age of ten when due to family reasons he learned how to cook. He honed his skills in vegetarian cooking during the many years he spent in Germany. He became an accomplished cook in North Indian, South Indian, Italian and Continental cuisines, something he has sadly neglected in recent years after his return to India as he has now an excellent cook on his rolls!

 

 

friday 10th september
6.30 pm “Raag, Anuraag and Nazrul Islam – Music, Love and the Poetry of Kazi Nazrul Islam”
by Aahang a group of 4 musicians
 

 

Kazi Nazrul Islam is popularly known as the rebel poet (vidrohi kobi). Born in 1898 in Bengal, he became an exceptional force in Bangla literature.  A patriot, poet, composer, writer, and political figure he composed and wrote prolifically. He had a good command of Indian classical Indian music. Nazrul was an emotional person and those who came in personal contact with him were moved by his irresistible sensitivity. He was crowned in 1972 as the national poet of Bangladesh. He died in Dhaka in 1976.  

The poetry and music of Kazi Nazrul Islam like that of Rabindranath Tagore are an intrinsic part of our lives. All of us were introduced to this great poet in our childhood when we learnt compositions based on classical ragas like shudh sarang, jaijaiwanti, hamir, ahir bhairav, and the beautiful bhairavi not knowing that they were written and often composed by the poet himself.  

This evening by Aahang is a tribute to this myriad minded poet through his poetry of love composed on various Indian classical ragas. This one hour presentation will comprise of Nazrul songs by Bidisha Roy Das, vistaar (improvisation) on instruments like the Hawaiian guitar by Neel Ranjan Mukherjee , Flute by Sudip Chattopadhyay and Tabla by Jagannath Roy. 

Bidisha Roy Das (Vocalist)
Music is a way of finding self expression for Bidisha. She has been learning Hindustani vocal classical music since the age of 5. Bidisha started learning under the guidance of her guru and mother SmtRita Roy. After completing her Visharadin music from Bhatkhande University, she continued her training under the tutelage of late Smt Meera Deshpande of the Gwalior Gharana. Bidisha has been performing at baithaks in India and overseas. She continues to learn music from her mother and is actively involved in activities of their music school Alaap. She is also a documentary filmmaker by profession. 

Neel Ranjan Mukherjee (Hawaiian guitar)
Neel Ranjan belongs to the Senia gharana. He started studying guitar under Dr Shivnath Bhattacharya of Varanasi at the age of 9 and continued learning under his maternal uncle Dr Dyuity Acharya Chaudhuri disciple of late ustad Allauddin Khan and is currently a disciple of Sitar maestro Padma bhushan Pandit Debu Chaudhuri. He had his first solo performance at the age of 13.He is the only artiste to have performed both Guitar and Santoor in concerts organized by the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi, Lucknow.

Jagannath Roy (Percussionist)
Jagannath is a versatile musician of the present generation of percussionists. He started his early training from his father late Shri Ajit Kumar Roy and later under Shri Shubhen Chatterjee. He also had the opportunity to learn from the Tabla wizard Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. He has accompanied musicians like Late Pandit V.G. Jog, Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty, Pandit Debojoty Bose, Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, Rajeev Chakraborty and Sarathi Chatterjee.
 

This event is co sponsored by India World Cultural Forum (IWCF) set up to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the rich and diverse cultures of various countries. Its vision is to achieve harmony, understanding and friendship between people of different cultures through food, music, theater and dance.

saturday 11th september
6.30 pm ‘9/11 and all that.’- a talk and video presentation by Come Carpentier de Gourdon
 

The attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11 2001 was a pivotal point in World History. The American over reaction to that – its attack on Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the restriction of civil liberties by almost all western governments, the almost universal demonization of Islam and Muslims has resulted in an increase of global terrorism. Only Pyrrhic victories have been won against a mostly invisible enemy and US national security as well as that of most of Western Europe has been undermined. Al Qaeda’s top leadership seems to have been eliminated. Nonetheless, the organization continues to function in a more decentralized form. 

Since September 11 the average levels of terrorism fatalities increased by 250% over a 5 year period post 9/11 as compared to a 4 year period before that. The major bombings in Madrid (3/11 2004) and London (7/7 2005) as well as Mumbai 29/11 2008 are just the tip of the iceberg of terrorist violence by groups and individuals not counting the terrorism of major governments against their own people or against other countries. 

Using short clips from documentaries, hopefully some You Tube and other visuals Come Carpentier discusses Global events since 9/11 showing a not very optimistic future for all of us. 

Come Carpentier is currently the Convener of the Editorial Board of the World Affairs Journal, a quarterly publication dedicated to international issues. In 1999, he co founded the Telesis Academy in Switzerland dedicated to the study of the ancient wisdom of East and West in the contemporary scientific context. He has been associated with the Nuclear Disarmament Forum and the Foundation of Global Dialog in Switzerland, the Global Commission to Finance the United Nations, the Business Council for Sustainable Development in Paris amongst many others. He has spoken at The Attic on a wide variety of subjects.

  

saturday 25th september
6.30 pm “The Delhi Jantar Mantar” an illustrated talk by Anisha Shekhar Mukherjee 

    The Delhi Jantar Mantar is an enigma. Its huge and arresting forms evoke awe even today when architecture seems to consist primarily of strange shapes and proportions. Most people who see it are left with many questions.

•        What is it really?
•        Why is it called Jantar Mantar? Is it some sort of mumbo-jumbo?
•        Why were its gigantic structures made?
•        Do they form part of a maze? Are they forerunners of abstract art
          installations?
•        Or are they buildings? If so, what is this strange architectural style, so
         different from the other buildings of its time?
•        How, if at all, is it linked to astronomy? 

 


Puranic
Diagram of the Planets  
            

The talk by Anisha Shekhar Mukherji explains these and other little-known facets of one of the world’s most unusual and intriguing works of architecture. Arising out of her association with the ‘Jantar Mantar Project’, and extensive research for her book Jantar Mantar: Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh’s Observatory in Delhi, it brings authentic information into the public domain about the 300 year old Jantar Mantar Observatory. The talk, in addition to clarifying the context, form and function of the Jantar Mantar, also traces its transformation into ‘an archaeological monument’, and hopes to raise awareness and appreciation about this important part of our built heritage. And finally, it addresses the appropriate ways in which the Delhi Jantar Mantar should be conserved to ensure its continued existence in the physical and cultural landscape of India and the world.  

Anisha Shekhar Mukherji, a trained architect with a specialisation in conservation, has a particular interest in the research, teaching and application of history. Her earlier published works include The Red Fort of Shahjahanabad (Oxford University Press 2003). The book is widely recognized as one of the most authoritative pieces of research and analysis of the Red Fort and has been an important reference for the case of its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.  

She is the conservation consultant associated with the formulation and implementation of a conservation strategy for the ‘Jantar Mantar Project’―a partnership venture between the Archaeological Survey of India, the National Culture Fund and The Park Hotels (Apeejay Surrendra

                                          The Samrat Yantra through the Jai Prakash Yantra

 

wednesday 29th september
6.30 pm “Collage of Odissi & Bharatanatyam” by Dr. Arkodev and  Mrittika Bhattacharya 

     

Indian classical dance is a relatively new  term for various codified art forms rooted in the Natya Shastra attributed to the sage Bharata from the 4th c. BC. The Sangeet Natak Akademi (God in these matters) has used the term ‘classical’ (shastriya) to categorize, Bharatanatyam,  Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam, Odissi and recently Sattriya. All these dances have many elements in common. Firstly they are not strictly dances since they combine elements of drama (Natya), Mime (Abhinaya) as well as what is defined as pure dance(Nritta). They also have in common an elaborate use of hand gestures (Mudras) and in many cases a use of facial expressions to narrate different concepts and emotions. 

This evening you will see performances in 2 different styles. 

The Bharatanatyam style by  Dr Arkodev and the Odissi style by his wife Mrittika Bhattacharya. This gives a great opportunity to those who do not understand the differences in costume, makeup, basic postures and movements that make one style dynamic, earthy, linear and rhythmic, creating patters in space and time and the other lyrical, lissome and sensuous with its Tribhanga position unequally deflecting the knees, torso and neck gracefully exaggerating the female form. The music of one form highlighting the tradition of Tamil poetry and the music of the other expressing the devotional folk traditions of Eastern India. 

Mrittika will begin with " Manikyabhinaya " an invocation to goddess Saraswati followed by Dr. Arkodev with " Iyan Palli " in praise of Lord Vishnu &  Lord Krishna in the Bharatanatyam style.  

They will perform solos and duets in their styles ending with "Taaraana", a collage of Bharatnatyam & Odissi.

Dr. Arkodev Bhattacharya is a Ph.d in Bharatanatyam under Dr. Sruti Banerjee. He learnt Creative Dance at Ananda Shankar Centre for Performing Arts for 8 years and the Tanjore style of Bharatanatyam under Guru Gopal Roy for 6 years. He has also learnt the Kalakshetra style under Guru Khagendra Nath Barnan.  

He was a choreographger at UNESCO Youth Festival & participated in the Indian Cultural team at the FIFA World Cup 2006. He is presently a Dance Teacher at "The Heritage School", the "Nehru Children's Museum" and "Niharika Centre for Performing Arts" Kolkata. 

Mrittika Bhattacharya received training at Nrityagram and learnt the Tagore style of dance under f Smt. Poly Guha and Smt. Purnima Ghosh. She is learning Odissi under Smt. Poushali Mukhopadhyay. Mrittika is an empaneled artist of ICCR. 

She has participated in several Odissi dance Workshops conducted by Late Padma Bibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. She has performed in Uday Shankar Satabdi Samaroh, Konark Festival, Beach Festival Puri. Rabindra Nriya Natya Sammelan in India and in various festivals in Paris, Luxenberg, Brussels Glassgow, Amsterdam Hamburg and Berlin.  She runs her own institute "Niharika Center for Performing Arts", where she provides training to the children.

This event is co sponsored by India World Cultural Forum (IWCF) set up to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the rich and diverse cultures of various countries. Its vision is to achieve harmony, understanding and friendship between people of different cultures through food, music, theater and dance.