Wednesday 30 April 2014

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Monday 28 April 2014

Dolna recommends a great way to stART each day.

For more information about the artist Ranjit Singh Kurmi and details of his works visit

Saturday 26 April 2014

Friday 25 April 2014

Thursday 24 April 2014

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Dolna recommends a great way to stART each day.

For more information about the artist Rajatsubhra Bandopadhyay and details of his works visit

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Monday 21 April 2014

Saturday 19 April 2014

Happy Birthday Dad


White banyans, check lungis,
Sparkling white Dhoti, Kurtas
The morning newspaper
The second cup of tea at 11am
Marie biscuits, Crisp fries, Hot meals carefully served
Eye drops
Hawai slip ons…

Mom’s permission to take bath…Mom taking cue to keep lunch ready. Your orchestrated tuning (Developed our understanding of interdependence in relationships)

“Do tomorrow what you want to do today” (This biased philosophy only applied to any frills that we requested for, like shopping, dining and movies) (Developed our liberal values with our children…worked as an antidote)

“So what’ keep going (You had no concept of obstacle) (Developed our sense of optimism to dare)

“There is no door that can’t be opened” (Unabashed fearlessness that comes from living in truth) (Developed our self-belief & confidence)

Simple living and high thinking (Developed our ethical values)

School red marks and remarks are a part of school life and never to be feared.  (Developed our sense of acceptance and balance)

Read aloud and study altogether. (Developed our ten siblings concentration)

Unitary method of solving maths. (Developed (my) patience)

Unruffled under any situation (Developed our resilience)

Never giving us hand- me- down books or bags (Developed our sense of thrill and joy of acquiring)

Giving us excursions and vacation travels ((Developed our understanding that attitude is more important than affording)

Taking us all to the sport shop (Dhobi Talao) the day exams got over. (Developed our understanding that a family that plays together stays together) Just realized we are carrying forward this legacy with our passion for ‘Time Waste’ our moniker for a game of cards

Your unique understanding of business economics. (Expense doesn't exist when you are calculating profit…every rupee earned is profit and calls for celebration. (Celebration was a loaded market bag and ‘Mangsho Pullao’ (Sweet flavoured rice and a delicious lamb preparation)  (Developed our spirit of celebration)…

I miss your silent participation, your eyes that turned to slits and the rubbing of your hand on your crew cut hair at Sejda’s  (brother) jokes. The nagging for us to bathe on a Sunday and the ‘Very Good’ even if it was a shower at 10pm. The non stop ‘ghumao’ (go to sleep)  when mom and me would be awake late into the night, chatting. Your unconditional appreciation of anything that we cooked.  Your, trying to stop me from going for my morning walk, fearing someone would kidnap me, I suppose. With you no more, the fun of disobedience has gone, making me fat, smug and still unkidnapped.  

Wherever you are Baba, I am drinking my chai in a glass with Parle G biscuits, just like you treated all your colleagues on your Birthday. And today I went to the market and I looked up and asked you, just like you did to all of us on our birthdays ‘Ki khaiba’ (What do you wish to eat)- So it is your favourite , Pullao and Mangsho for me today because you taught us to celebrate birthdays.

19th April 2014

Thursday 17 April 2014

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Monday 14 April 2014

Friday 11 April 2014

Thursday 10 April 2014

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Monday 7 April 2014

Hampi Study trip 2013.

Dolna recommends a great way to stART each day.

For more information about the artist Rajendra Kumar Pradhan and details of his works visit 

Friday 4 April 2014

'Jal' a visual epic - 'must see' only on the big screen- A Review

An epic saga of man's tryst with destiny and nature

Starring: Purab Kohli, Kirti Kulhari,Tannishtha Chatterjee, Mukul Dev

Directed by: Girish Malik

Helping save the Flamingoes -Saidah Jules with Purab Kholi  
Jal stuns you as it opens – a visually dazzling landscape and devastating sorrow of draconian proportions. It shakes you out of your comfort zone to sit on edge and never take nature for granted. The saga is set in the mesmerizing Rann of Kutch panoramically cinematographed by Sunita Radia. The directorial debut by Girish Malik is a story of a land born without water, a scarcity that brings out the beast in man.

Jal sees life through 'Bakka' - the uncanny divine dowser who can sense the existence of water in the depths of the earth. In Rann that is nothing short of finding liquid gold.  The story told on an epic scale is a visual treat from the word go. Love, sensuality, enmity, deceit, intrigue, action, folklore, randy humour Jal has it all.

Female bonding - Kirti Kulhari with Tannishtha Chatterjee
Bakka and The Rann of Kutch are reasons enough to make this film a 'must see'. They are ably supported by the ensemble of actors who fit their roles to a 'T'. The lewd Mukul Dev, sensual Kirti Kulhari, rustic Tannishtha Chatterjee, tricky Yashpal Sharma, stereotype environmental activists Saidah Jules and Gary Richardson to mention a few, add credence to their characters. The endearing old man who is still naughty at eighty adds many a light moment to the film. Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh keep the music score faithful to the land.

The story telling style, like the tempestuous vicissitudes of nature in the desert land is unpredictable. The twists and turns of fate see the worship and fall of the water God ‘Bakka’ all in one lifetime. The harshness of nature turns friends into foe and man to beast with the slightest provocation.

Like life the film is complex, addressing many issues through the voice of Jal. Scarcity of water and the harsh, hazardous life in thhe Rann of Kutch . The contradicting sensitivity of environmentalists who are human to their birds and at the same time inhuman to human woes. There is relief in the lighter moments, of rustic joy, humour and celebration.

The lead hero, Purab Kohli has come a long way, always endearing in his many roles and avatars model, Vj, television actor / host or in the cinemas, 21 films to be precise. With Jal Purab is sure to be 'in your face' as the captivating 'Bakka' the protagonist.

A commendable directorial debut, Girish Malik emerges a director to watch out for.

Dolna recommends a great way to stART each day.

For more information about the artist Amitabh Sengupta and details of his works visit 

Thursday 3 April 2014

A Highlight from my Holy Land Diary: A global collection of paintings and mosaics of Mother Mary

The Façade of the Church of Annunciation
The Alter at the Church of Annunciation
On the second day of our Holy Land tour we were at the Church of the Annunciation. It is built where it’s believed was the house of Joseph and Virgin Mary, parents of Jesus. The Church has on display this stunning collection of paintings and mosaics of Mother Mary handcrafted by Christian communities from all over the world. Every art work reflects the national character of the country that sent it. Enjoy the diverse renditions.

That's me admiring the offering from USA













UK - Walsingham









Dolna recommends a great way to stART each day.

For more information about the artist Gautam Mukherjee and details of his works visit 

Wednesday 2 April 2014

My Holy Land Diary: 10th March 2014

Joyous start at Indu's house
It all started with our friend Indu Rao wanting to do something really special for her youngest sister Sushila’s 60th birthday. Much brainstorming later Indu and Murli struck on the idea of a Holy Land tour. A mail was shot out to family and friends, confirms poured in and in twenty four hours a group of fourteen was signed and sealed. Many among us had made attempts to go but for some reason it didn't materialize. It strengthened the belief that you get to go, when you get the call.

Six months of excitement ensued. Indu as at it, planning and drawing the itinerary with A K Travels, reading about the destination, adding some place and subtracting another. Ensuring we get only the best. Israel and Jordan being the birthplace of three of the world's largest religions - Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, it was a challenge to edit sites as you have to, when one is on a time bound visit.

The white peacock ceiling and pillars at the T2 Port Cochere
The day finally dawned. Excitement was at its peak, to make it convenient Indu organized a lovely dinner at her place so that we could all set out together for the airport. Rima, Indu’s daughter had to drop out last minute, her characteristic radiance was something we knew we would miss her for, every day of our trip, but proceed we had to.

T2 our all new international airport terminal blew us away. The peacock motif inspired; foyer, ceilings, pillars and skylights with tinkling chimes on arrival, efficient technology, the grandiose art walk. A simply jaw dropping start!
Smooth as silk movement at Mumbai's pride Terminal 'T2'
A five hour flight on the Royal Jordanian with a two hour stopover at Amman and finally a short 45 minute flight and we were in Tel Aviv. Our courteous guide Gabriel was waiting with the bus all set to start us on our cherished trip.

Seeing us all fresh and chirpy he suggested a change in plan. ‘Why not go to St. Peter’s today itself’ – a chorused ‘yes’ followed. The bus wound its way through quaint and modern Tel Aviv. Full blossomed Orange and Lemon trees dotted the sideways and gardens. White sun washed Lime stone houses dwarfed by contrasting clusters of chic glass and mortar buildings whisked past until we reached the vicinity of St. Peter’s church. Lunch was a quick choice between Falafel and Shawarma wraps and drinks of our choice all for $10 each.
Hello to the land of Falafel and Shawarma
We stepped out and walked up the hill with inviting alfresco café’s along the side walk. We stopped at a viewing point to gape at the aquamarine blue sea, feasting our eyes on the layers of colours from blue to emerald green, speckled with pearl white by the shining sun. The lighthouse with its blue green minaret added to the beauty. Not far away we could see the unique Bauhaus-style designed houses with their signature terraced levels cascading on one side while the other side stood vertically tall, German influence and now a World heritage conserve. 
Pristine beauty of the sea and the light house on our walk
up to St. Peter's Church
The Church, we were told would be shut for a while, so Gabriel walked us through the cobbled path and down the time-worn stairs to Simon the Tanner’s house. It was so indescribable to know that St. Peter had walked the same path and stayed here, in this very house where he raised from the dead the pious Tabitha one of Jesus’ disciple. Here he was also witness to a dream that changed the course of Christian history and marked the start of Christianity's split from the Jewish religion.
On the steps of Simon the Tanner's house
It was our first encounter of the blessed path and the impact was felt by all. We strolled down further seeing little alcoves with embedded boutique shops selling handicrafts of the land. Down below was the Jaffa port; we walked down to it and climbed up again to the church.
Breeze by the bay at Jaffa Port
The warm red brick façade of the church takes you by surprise in a city built of lime stone. We sat for a while observing the vaulted ceiling, the exquisite stained glass windows and the large painting above the alter depicting St. Peter’s dream and soaking in the history of a church twice destroyed and rebuilt to tell its tale.
The twice destroyed red walled St. Peter's Church
The first day’s travels were coming to an end as we headed to our bus to check into The etropMolitan, our hotel for the night.
At the lobby we discovered Wifi was on the house, all fingers got busy while rooms and roommates were being allocated and bags tagged. We headed to our rooms to refresh and come down for a lovey buffet dinner.

Tomorrow will be another day, our second. More in the next blog.

Our group: Top left to right: Indu Rao, Murlidharan Srinivasan,Beena Mansukhani, Sushila Sharma, Tabassum Varma, Ravi Varma, Lynda Verma, Mithu Basu, Kunal Verma, Lucy Gonsalves, Iris Babu, Ima Lobo & Eaujean Rao.