All posts filed under: Art & Culture

books, plays, events, arts

Arts & Crafts of Nirona

Rustic and unique: A glimpse into the crafts of Nirona

It’s a sunny day when the taxi driver pulls up in a rather non-descript looking village and drops me in front of an ATM. I don’t really see what he wants me to see. Yet. And then I see this guy, holding a smart phone, standing beside the ATM and I realize that there’s some invisible pact that my taxi driver and this person are already a part of. I don’t want to know too much. He comes forward and leads me on to my first stop in Nirona village. I am a few days into my Gujarat trip, starting from Bhuj and today my aim is discovering arts and crafts. I’ve always been inclined towards handmade and anything time consuming and local. And Gujarat is well-known for its variety when it comes to crafts so I won’t run out of things to see and experience. Craft is a truly fascinating domain. When machines and robots have taken over, there is even more charm to something handmade. Some call it a dying art, which some …


Ancient connections to come alive through “Ghadai”, an initiative by the Kumbhars (potters) of Kutch

The arts and crafts from the Kutch region are well known today. There is a lot of interest in the fabrics, the weaves, the prints, silver jewellery, copper artifacts and these products are in demand not only in India, but all over the world. Yet, one craft which is not getting the focus and appreciation it deserves is pottery. Reviving the ancient art of Kutch pottery The history of pottery in the Kutch region dates back 5000 years at least. Pottery products have been excavated from the archaelogical site of Dholavira, an ancient city belonging to the Indus Valley civilisation. Talking to Meera Goradia, the director of the Kutch-based NGO KHAMIR, I get to know a little more about the efforts being taken to bring alive the tradition of potters in the region. There are many who have stopped their craft, mainly due to a loss in livelihood. In some villages, the potter’s wheel now lies unturned. Yet in others, there is renewed interest as the craft has also started integrating aspects of newer and …


Jane Jacobs themed photo walk in Bangalore on May 4

Came across this interesting concept called Jane’s Walk, named after Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), an urbanist and activist, whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. More about the walk: Jane’s Walks are free, locally organized walking tours, in which people get together to explore, talk about and celebrate their neighbourhoods. Where more traditional tours are a bit like walking lectures, a Jane’s Walk is more of a walking conversation. Leaders share their knowledge, but also encourage discussion and participation among the walkers. And who is this walk targeted at? According to the website, “Everyone knows something about where they live. Every perspective is important to building vibrant and healthy cities.” This walk is intended for: — Anyone who enjoys getting to know their city and neighbours. — People who want to participate in meaningful conversations about the social and built future of their neighbourhoods. — People engaged in the work of building cohesive communities and improving the walking environment. — People who want to change their cities and neighbourhoods, for example to narrow …

Happy in Kerala!

Finding happiness in Kerala!

Pharrell Williams set off a really large happy virus when he released his “Happy” song. Now there thousands of versions around the world now with everyone hooked into making their own videos and if you haven’t starred in one yet, make sure you do it quickly. It’s catchy, fun and good for your soul! We made one during the Kerala trip, thanks to the camera work of Anthony, who’s captured some amazing shots of us dancing (and trying to dance) to the tune in scenic locations during our 15 day journey. Well, it’s difficult not to be happy in Kerala! And go make your own happy video now!


And this is how we bend it!

After 15 days on the road, the Kerala Blog Express chugged into Cochin and came to a halt. It’s been fun. It’s been tiring. It’s been exciting. Yes, it’s been quite a trip. And instead of writing about more sights or sounds, here’s a fun post. Introducing some of my fellow passengers on board the Kerala Blog Express (KBE) 2014. It’s been fun getting to know them and though it’s impossible to cover everyone, but here’s an attempt to present a few. And with a twist. Yes – I’ve convinced, sweet talked and arm twisted them to do various yoga poses with me. A disclaimer – these might not be “real” yoga poses, but we should at least get brownie points for trying. Daniel is from Brazil and is a very well-known journalist and writes for several high profile publications in his home country. He’s in India for the second time and is excited to be Kerala. From here, he goes onto Ethiopia for an assignment (I’m jealous!), before flying home. And I have a …


Fun, curious and interesting facts about Kerala

Just some notes from the road as we meander through Kerala on a 15 day trip with Kerala Tourism on the Kerala Blog Express taking in lots of sights, sounds, history, monuments, beaches and backwaters. So while the rest of the troop are in the thick of action sightseeing somewhere in Wayanad, I am enjoying a “do nothing” day at the pictureque and peaceful Vythiri Resort. And while I’m trying to make friends with the monkey who keeps dropping by, these are some thoughts that cross my mind on a particularly lazy day. Density and number of moustaches More often than not, Malayali men will sport moustaches. Most heroes and famous people/ politicians (seen on hoardings – haven’t seen that many in real life) all sport large, abundant moustaches. “Why” is a question that befuddles me and I haven’t gotten an answer from anyone yet. It’s also a fact that it’s not in vogue in the North. Coconut here, coconut there, coconut everywhere Has anyone taken a census of how many coconut trees there are …