New Delhi, Feb 7, 2017: From kundan and silver jewellery of Rajasthan to the pearls of Hyderabad, the ongoing jewellery exhibition-cum-sale “Abhushan” brings an exquisite collection of handcrafted pieces.
Organised at the Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India (CCIC) here at Janpath, the exhibition showcases some of antique jewellery as well as contemporary crafted pieces.
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Starting from Rs 1,500 and going up to Rs 40 000, Abhushan offers a wide range of exclusive statement jewellery pieces in ethnic silver, gold plated silver, pearls, semi-precious stones, lac and temple jewellery.
“We want to promote Indian craftsmanship and present their creations with a view to increase awareness about handcrafted jewellery, to a wider audience,” Anubha Marwa, Deputy Manager, CCIC, told IANS.
“Like the ‘Thewa’ gold jewellery from Rajasthan has been specially crafted by Padma awardee artist Mahesh Soni. There were some new collections, specially those which are from Gujarat and these pieces are very carefully handcrafted,” Marwa added.
The exhibition presents some exclusive range of neck pieces with variety of designs, from heavy pieces to light weight ones. There are also huge collection of earrings — jhumkas, studs, chandelier, drop and hoops.
On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent
Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.
Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.
Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!
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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.
As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.
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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.
The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.
Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.
July 31, 2017: Curated by Jitendra Padam Jain, an exhibition titled “Memesis” was a solo show of Prints and Painting by artist Rajni Sahni and was conducted at Shridharani Art Gallery at Triveni Kala Sangam from July 11th- 21st in New Delhi. “Memesis”, she says, is a representation of herself and the visual perceptions she had in her mind during the time of pregnancy.
Reporter Tusheeta Kaushik of NewsGram spoke to Rajni Sahni on how different forms of visual arts helped her in expressing her mind s visual perceptions in reality, on how art is such a potent form of creative expression which helps in soothing her mind whenever she s going through different emotions and phases in life and on how her mother found the spark and talent in her when she was a little girl.
Tusheeta: When did you realize your passion for art? When was the first time you expressed yourself through art?
Rajni: I realized my passion for art when I passed my diploma in painting from South Delhi Polytechnic College. There, an art critic appreciated it and then there was no turning back after Santiniketan. I started expressing myself through art when I found an artist in myself and that was during my Santiniketan days.
Tusheeta: Anyone or anything that inspired you to take this art form?
Rajni:As a little girl, I was inspired by my mother since she used to appreciate my work and pushed me to never stop myself from expressing through drawings and sketches. Later, as a student at South Delhi Polytechnic College for Women, Professor Jain Gajera inspired me through his works and teachings.
Tusheeta: How did painting help you or relax you at the time of conceiving?
Rajni: Painting had a huge calming effect on me during my 9-month pregnancy! I had some critical conditions. I was there in a room for 6 months and had difficulty in moving from the bed. So, it was my husband who insisted me a lot on unleashing my pain and emotions through art. I agreed and the depiction of my imagination through the usage of different colours made me calm and composed. That s when I thought of starting a series named “Memesis” which depicts my inner feelings during the time of pregnancy. Etching, Painting, Print Making, Lithography, Paper Pulp Casting and Sculpture making are different forms of visual arts that I have worked on.
Tusheeta: You’ve mentioned about the magical relation with your daughter. How and why is it so unique and special to you?
Rajni: (Laughing) My daughter is a big critic of my art work. Her appreciation, criticism, guidance and support matters to me. She herself is great at craft making. She s in class 6th and I m glad that I m close to her and the fact that she likes sharing about her daily routine with me.
Tusheeta: You’ve talked about the complex, yet compassionate and a lovable relationship between a mother and her daughter. How this powerful relationship is depicted in your work?
Rajni: I have made a few art works showcasing my relationship with my daughter. I also have had a powerful relationship with my mother, she s been my pillar and I love my daughter immensely, that s the reason I love to showcase the beauty of a mother and daughter relationship through my art work.
Tusheeta: So, when do you usually paint and what kind of impact does painting have on you?
Rajni:See, it s not just about me as an artist. Any artist out there doesn’t t really have a regular time schedule for painting. Whenever I feel like painting, I paint. I might work on my art piece for a week then I might work on some other piece after a month. It all depends on my mood and whenever I feel like expressing something. I love painting, it has made me what I m today.
– reported by Tusheeta Kaushik of NewsGram. Twitter @TusheetaKaushik
Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August
June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.
The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.
Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.
Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.
The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.
The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.