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Ongoing Art Exhibition in New Delhi focusses on Tantric art to entice people with its mystery

An ongoing art exhibition in New Delhi aims at proving to people that the idea of 'Tantra' is much more than eerie and pointless mumbo jumbo

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Rituals performed by a priest in a temple (representational image), Wikimedia
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New Delhi, Feb 16, 2017: The idea of Tantra has been shrouded in mystery, esoteric ‘mumbo jumbo’, wild speculation, gross misunderstandings and sheer fantasy. The explicit imagery, lavishly coloured multi-appendaged deities in union with consorts are on on display at an ongoing art exhibition.

In the mid-20th century as modern art came under the influence of abstract ideals, with the rise of “Abstract Expressionism” and “Post Painterly Abstraction”, painting fore-fronted western modern art movements where basic symbolic forms became the norm in western modern art.

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As Indian modern artists came increasingly in contact with Western modernist movements, they recognised increasing similarity with these International modern art forms and their own indigenous tantric motifs that they began incorporating into their art works.

For the most part, the Indian contemporary modern artists were not specifically practicing tantra but they in various creative ways incorporated this familiar imagery into their works of art.

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The works of Raza, Sohan Qadri and even M.F. Husain are good examples of this. However, skilfully these works used the tantric iconography they did not necessarily portray a direct tantric experience of the maker.

“Tantra” curated By Bryan Mulvihill, is on at Art Konsult in Hauz Khas Village till February 18.

The show includes a range of vivid and rich coloured canvases, created by numerous masters and contemporaries. It depicts the ancient culture and method of tantra that was a highly believed and used technique in the past.

The exhibit brings tales from the yesteryears in colourful forms and gives a glimpse of the spiritual side of ancient India. Through mediums like acrylic, watercolours and mix media the essence of tantra was portrayed to the audience.

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“Tantra has always been a subject of anonymity for everyone, but this exhibition will provide people a sneak peek into the world of tantra through the means of extraordinary art works created by masters and contemporaries,” said Siddhartha Tagore, owner of Art Konsult.

“These colorful and bold works will surely attract art lovers of the capital,” he added.

The paintings on display burst out loud with bright colours and eye striking colour combinations. Each artwork depicts the spiritual method in every explicit manner and let spectators to go in flow with the visual treat displayed at the exhibition. (IANS)

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To Fight Air Pollution, Delhi Scientists Are Turning Smoke Into Ink

Diesel exhaust contributed to just 2 percent of all air pollution deaths in India in 2015, according to the Health Effects Institute.

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In New Delhi, levels of the most dangerous particles in the air are sometimes 10 times higher than the safe limit, the survey noted.
Garbage Burning in Delhi, wikimedia commons

As the pre-monsoon summer heat takes hold in New Delhi, two things are as inevitable as 40-degree-Celsius days: power cuts and air pollution from the diesel generators that then kick in.

But a team of Indian engineers has figured out away to bring some good from choking generator exhaust: They are capturing it and turning it into ink.

“The alarming thing about diesel generators is they are located in the heart of densely populated areas. It’s spitting smoke right there,” said Kushagra Srivastava, one of the three engineers who developed the technology, now installed in Gurgaon, a satellite city of New Delhi, and in the southern city of Chennai.

The idea, Srivastava said, came about when he and his co-founders stopped at a sugarcane juice stall on a hot day.

They noticed a wall that had turned black behind the stand’s diesel generator, where exhaust emerged from a pipe.

They wondered if diesel exhaust might be used to produce paint — and set out to try.

The device they came up with, which attaches to generators, captures 90 percent of the soot particles from cooled diesel exhaust. The material can then be sold to ink manufacturers.

Srivastava and Dhupar both grew up in New Delhi, which the World Health Organization in 2014 declared the most polluted city in the world.
Smog in Delhi, wikimedia commons

Their company, Chakr Innovation, has so far installed 50 of the devices for government firms such as Indian Oil, real estate developers and other state government offices, earning more than 11 million rupees ($200,000) in revenue in the first year, Srivastava said.

The company has plans to install another 50 devices over the coming year, he said. It has so far sold 500 kg of collected soot, which has been used to create 20,000 liters of ink, he added.

Chakr Innovations is not the first start-up to see cash in diesel exhaust. A competitor called Graviky Labs, based in Bangalore, is using similar technology to turn diesel exhaust from vehicles into ink.

Choking Air

Srivastava and his co-inventors Arpit Dhupar and Prateek Sachan see themselves as part of a movement towards cleaner air and energy in a country where major cities struggle with choking air.

About 1.1 million people a year die from the impacts of air pollution in India, according to a 2015 survey by the U.S.-based Health Effects Institute. That is about a quarter of the total number of air pollution deaths worldwide, it said.

In New Delhi, levels of the most dangerous particles in the air are sometimes 10 times higher than the safe limit, the survey noted.

Srivastava and Dhupar both grew up in New Delhi, which the World Health Organization in 2014 declared the most polluted city in the world. Sachan comes from Allahabad, the third most polluted city in WHO’s 2016 rankings.

“Earlier I remember there were a lot less cars on the road, there was a lot less congestion, and a lot more greenery,” said Dhupar, Chakr’s chief technology officer.

But as trees were felled and roads widened to accommodate more cars, Dhupar — then in high school — developed chronic respiratory problems. Doctors put him on medication and warned him to stop playing sports.

“My problem is, whenever I start to run out of air, the anxiety levels shoot up,” he said.

Dhupar said many of his family and friends have also developed long-term respiratory issues.

Srivastava and Dhupar both grew up in New Delhi, which the World Health Organization in 2014 declared the most polluted city in the world.
Smoke Pollution, pixabay

Diesel exhaust contributed to just 2 percent of all air pollution deaths in India in 2015, according to the Health Effects Institute.

But in “confined spaces” in urban areas, where many generators are used, it represents a larger risk, said Pankaj Sadavarte, one of the report’s researchers.

Action in New Delhi

India has in place policies to monitor and restrict air pollution, but they can be difficult to enforce, experts say.

Worries about air pollution are growing, however. Last November, the capital launched its first air quality emergency action plan during a particularly hazardous week when pollution spiked.

The government halted construction within the city, raised parking fees to discourage driving and shut schools to keep children indoors.

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The national Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is drafting a national policy to clean India’s air, though its release has been delayed, said Sunil Dahiya, a senior campaigner with Greenpeace India.

“The air pollution debate and health debate is picking up in India,” Dahiya said in a telephone interview. “That momentum is forcing the policymakers to make our cities more livable.” (VOA)