global art shot: kampani kalam, when east met west

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Two friends seated in discussion. Way back in the year 1810-12 in Delhi. Two very real, very ordinary people. Just like you and me. And if it weren’t for an art form that went by the name Kampani Kalam in the local Indian lingua franca, or Company Paintings in English, these two gentlemen would have been forgotten in the pages of time.

But they survived. The two, not meeting my eye, but seemingly fully aware of being the focus of my attention last Sunday, were part of a special exhibition at Delhi’s National Museum. Some two hundred other paintings hung around me, but this hung in the spectrum of time. Their true-to-life faces, their elaborate local costumes, even the hair on their arms and chest.

Through them, I could travel back 210 years. In a flash. Continue reading

a culture vulture’s guide to delhi’s 7 best heritage parks

Culture vulture.
Noun INFORMAL
a person who is very interested in the arts.

Are you one? I like to think I am. Culture gets me all starry-eyed. Whether it be museums, art, or theatre. And somewhere in this mix, for me, is heritage, which places culture in a continuum of time. I see culture and heritage as part and parcel of the same mix, one incomplete without the other.

Luckily for my present location, Delhi oozes of heritage. Both tangible and intangible. And one of the many ways the city protects its built heritage is through heritage parks—a delightful combination of monuments and gardens, each unique and with a narrative of its own.

Here are its seven finest that I came across in my explorations of the city and which I would like to share with you in their historical order. If you are in Delhi, do make your way to them.

I have also included tips on how to add some present-day culture to the visits, to make them that much more memorable. Remember … continuum. Happy exploring. 😊 Continue reading