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Painting of First Indian Oscar winner to be auctioned at Saffronart sale in Mumbai

The modern Indian art sale also features significant works by stalwarts like Tyeb Mehta, Ram Kumar, M F Husain, and Akbar Padamsee among others

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Paintings at Saffronart (representational image, credits-Google)
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Wed, 8 Feb 2017: A rare painting of Bhanu Athaiya, the first Indian to win the Oscar in 1983 for costume design in Richard Attenborough’s film “Gandhi”, will go under the hammer at Saffronart’s evening sale on February 16.

The painting by modernist artist Vasudeo S Gaitonde that immortalises Athaiya, Gaitonde’s student at the J J School of Art, was later acquired by fellow modernist Krishen Khanna and is estimated at Rs 23 crore.The modern Indian art sale also features significant works by stalwarts like Tyeb Mehta, Ram Kumar, M F Husain, and Akbar Padamsee among others, PTI reported

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“We are proud to present an extraordinary and carefully curated collection of modern masterpieces. It features leading names including V S Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, Ram Kumar, M F Husain and F N Souza. Gaitonde’s painting of Bhanu is a rare and significant work,” Hugo Weihe, CEO of Saffronart said while talking to PTI.

The ‘Falling Figure’ (1965), one of Mehta’s earliest works, that won him a gold medal in the First Triennale of Contemporary World Art is estimated at Rs 57 crore.

The painting was an outcome of the artist witnessing the death of a man falling through a window during the Partition riots in 1947.

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“Mehta’s pared down minimalism, light colour and vigorous brushwork create an unlikely juxtaposition with the trauma that is the subject of his work. Mehta’s ‘Falling Figure’ is one of the earliest versions of his seminal series,” Weihe said.

A diptych by Padamsee is being offered at Rs 35 crore.

A continuation of the artist’s ‘Mirror Image’ series which are imagined landscapes, it offers a glimpse into his meditations on time, space and the duality of perception and reality through form, colour and texture.

Ram Kumar’s 1961 landscape ‘Benaras’, is an important early work of a subject that became the artist’s major preoccupation for the next several decades, marking a transition from his earlier figurative works.

The painting is estimated at Rs 65-85 lakhs.

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An unusual portrait showcasing a stoic Kumar painted by Husain in Kumar’s early figurative style, that is estimated between Rs 50-70 lakhs is also part of the sale. The artwork highlights the camaraderie between the two artists.

“Husain made the painting to honour Kumar, when the latter was unable to attend a joint exhibition of the two artists in Prague in 1967,” Weihe said.

The auction will be held in Mumbai.

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • 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’.

About Mahalaya:

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”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

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.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

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.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC