Daklakatha Devikavya – Provoking and Contemplative

A review by Manohar Khushalani for IIC DIARY

Daklakatha Devikavya is an open ended play performed in an engagingly
informal folk style, evolved from the epic poetry and stories of K.B. Siddaiah’s .
It was Directed by Lakshman K.P. It presents the inner workings and external
experiences of the Daklas — a Dalit community.
Presented by Jangama Collective, Bengaluru with Bindu Raxidi (Dakla Devi,
Kadiramma); Santhosh Dindgur (Dakla, Cheluvaiah)l; Bharath Dingri (K.B.
Siddiah & narrator); Narasimharaju B.K. (Narasappa); and Ramika Chaithra
(Gangavva, Munivenkatamma)
Accompanists who also added tone and tenor to the performance were: Poorvi
Kalyani & Skanda Ghate (vocal); Bharath Dingri (tamate); and Narasimharaju
B.K. (arevadya)

The Flower Sellers

The setting of the play had flower sellers squatting in the background and
rising in turns as actors with robust voices. The traditional Folk device, a half
curtain, known as, Yavanika, was used to introduce the important characters.
The actor would peep over the curtain which was lowered after he started
speaking or singing.

The Yavanika
The Traditional Yavanika

The most important aspect of the performance was that it
retained the spiritual richness of the Dakla community, through its music. Two
of the characters appear on the stage playing tamate (hand drum) and
arevadya (urmi), instruments not seen in contemporary theatre. Daklas are
people who are protected by the untouchables and hence are still lower in the
social hierarchy. But whatever notions people have about Adivasis or Daklas
being a backward community, better revise them forthwith. First of, the
female roles were done by women and not female impersonators. These
women unhesitantly lighted beedis, and were not coy about using cuss words,
which is true to their life. It is also true of contemporary OTT films, which claim
to be more modern and truer to our life.

The author had a strong faith in mysticism as exemplified by his poetry which
was the soul of the performance:

O mother as you rock the world
And rock the child
Bear me again in your womb

Walk this infant from the cave of your vagina
Into the cave of contemplation.

Here in the above context the poet brings out that once the mother bears him
in her womb the stigma of untouchability will not be so strong. One recurring
metaphor that has remained constant is hunger. The poet throws a direct
question to the creator:

O God! Take birth like me
Try to touch and be polluted!
Try to take like me, like me take birth!

Untouchability does not generate self-pity in the play, in fact it is an instrument
of self-awareness and enlightenment. Sheer magic was created in the dark
night by luminous display of improvised spinning fire wheels urns with radiant
charcoal cinders. All elements in the play contributed to an experience of a
magical night to remember.

Watch the entire play on You Tube:

The article as published in IIC Diary (Oct-Nov 2023)

Voicing Gender Fluidity

Maharashtra Sanskritik Sandhya at IIC

A review by Manohar Khushalani First Published in IIC Diary

Maharashtra Sanskritik Sandhya,  is an annual feature at IIC. This year, they presented dramatized readings, Beyond Gender, on LGBTQ communities, from two plays: Satish Alekar’s ‘Begum Barve’ & Mahesh Dattani’s ‘Seven Steps Around the Fire’. It was brilliantly and imaginatively directed by Sohaila Kapur, who has a knack for choosing very powerful and relevant themes . Six actors read the two plays. The event began with a mesmerising dance by Kaustav Ghosh, doing the role of Begum Barve, the female impersonator. The performance was also interspersed with carefully curated soulful marathi music played in the background.

 Begum Barve, the Marathi musical, features a quartet of characters: Begum Barve, an exploitative employer, Shyamrao, and two clerks, Jawdekar and Bawdekar, who, trapped in a life of penury and prejudice, use their caprices as an escape from it. In the selected excerpt for performance, Begum Barve and Jawdekar celebrate a fictitious pregnancy during a baby shower, helping Barve to fantasize that (s)he could conceive. The scene ends in his humiliation, Shyamrao strips Barve off his fantasy and robes and scorning his manhood. The script explores the intertwining of fantasies and reality through the creation of a female fantasy character, Nalawadebai, bridging the impersonator’s male identity and the clerk’s desire for a traditional family life. This complex narrative challenge’s conventional storytelling, weaving a tapestry of gendered social meanings and re-evaluating contemporary perceptions of womanhood.

Seven Steps Around the Fire, depicts the miserable plight of eunuchs who make a living performing at marriages and child births. A eunuch is murdered at her wedding. Her friend, Anarkali, is arrested without proof by the SP, Suresh Rao. His wife Uma, a journalist, who is also the daughter of the DCP, decides to catch the culprit through investigative reporting. The performance was just an excerpt where Uma is interviewing the imprisoned Anarkali.

Although the murderer is known, the police traps Anarkali to protect the actual criminal who is a powerful person. The subaltern hijaras are too scared to speak. Anarkali says, “They will kill me even if I tell the truth. If I don’t tell the truth, I will die in jail.” The dramatist shows how the murder of Kamla has terrified other hijaras that they cannot reveal the truth and cannot get justice for the dead soul. Anarkali says, “One hijra less in this world does not matter to your husband.”.  In self-defense, Anarkali reminds Uma, that she treated the deceased Kamla as her sister. Uma realises the bond of love among the hijaras is even greater, because they are isolated from society.

The event was introduced by Suhas Borkar, Trustee IIC. It was concluded rather dramatically by Kaushal Kumar, a fine arts university professor with an intriguing body painting improvisation involving audience participation.

Seasoned With Humour: Ajib Dastan Hai Ye!

Ajiib Dastan Hai Ye!
A Review by Manohar Khushalani

Originally published in IIC Diary

Wings Cultural Society presented, at IIC, Ajib Dastan Hai Ye, which was a collection of two dramatised soliloquies, in Urdu and Hindustani, that lampooned the absurdities of human behavior. The humour was created because of the imaginative craft of the authors, and the punctuated timing with which actors narrated the tales.

Bey is a hilarious anecdote penned by Shaukat Thanvi about a gullible protagonist who is warned by Tripathi, an astrologer, to beware of the Urdu alphabet ‘Be’ as his impending death will be caused by it. Thus begins, the narrator, Rajguru Mohan’s, roller coaster ride to avoid anything and anyone remotely connected to this alphabet, only to discover, that the whole universe was nothing but ‘Be’. It included objects he handled, his family members, friends and even strangers he came across. This first performance had the audience in splits and set the pace for an equally well paced and uproarious next performance

True to the style of the production of investigating comic text through soliloquies, the performance of Patras Bukhari’s, Marhoom Ki Yaad Mein was engagingly delivered by Tarique Hameed. The tale, as told, begins with an uninspiring conversation between two friends who have known each other for decades and have said it all, so there is nothing new to communicate. To spice up the conversation, the protagonist decides to impress Mirza Sahib, by boasting that he intends to buy a motor car. Amused and knowing his limitations, Mirza advises the narrator to think more realistically about buying a humble bicycle instead, which too it appears was way beyond the narrators means. At what appears to be a bargain, Mirza offers his own bike at a steal of a price. Thus, unfolds a hilarious series of disasters, when the author discovers that he has been taken for a ride on a contraption that he can’t even ride. So, ends his fantasy to be the owner of a motorcar, when he couldn’t even afford to repair the antique bike, in which each part had a mind of its own

As Published in IIC Diary June-July 2023

A Scene from the play Ajib Dastan Hai Ye performed at IIC on 25th July 2023

‘AFWAAH’ the Sudhir Mishra thriller opening 5th May

Rahab Ahmed, a top notch advertising professional takes an ill fated detour through his hometown and unwittingly rescues Nivi, a political heiress running away from her father’s legacy. This fateful night becomes a journey through hell as rumors run rife and social media becomes a lethal weapon.

Afwaah is a quirky thriller that explores the power of rumours in our society. Directed by Sudhir Mishra and produced by Anubhav Sinha, the film features Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bhumi Pednekar in lead roles. The film is set to release on May 5, 2023.

Look out for this space tomorrow for a detailed analysis and review of the film by Poet, Thinker, Author: Dr. Madhup Mohta


Beastly Tales: Animal and Human Fables

Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah performing in Beastly Tales

Beastly Tales : Animal and Human Fables
A review by Manohar Khushalani

READINGS: Beastly Tales
Poems by Vikram Seth with Stories by James Thurber
Presented by Motley
Recitations by Naseeruddin Shah;
Ratna Pathak Shah; Heeba Shah; and Kenny Desai
Produced by Jairaj Patil
17 November 2022

Beastly Tales was billed as readings by the well-known performers, Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Heeba Shah and Kenny Desai. Produced by Jairaj Patil for Motley, the heavily attended event included poems by Vikram Seth, from his book ‘Beastly Tales with stories by James Thurber’, TS Eliot’s poems from ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ and Robert Browning’s Legendary poem ‘Pied Piper of Hamelin’. The starkly designed presentation had no bells and whistles. Led by Naseeruddin Shah, the four performers stood behind their individual lecterns and read out the poems with a flair and perfect diction. Each one read their own piece individually and sometimes, in perfect synchronisation, in a chorus.

Spiced with humour, the content of the performance was deftly curated to reflect idiosyncrasies of contemporary times with follies and foibles of its people juxtaposed against an animal world which reminds you eerily of ‘Fables of Aesop’ and ‘Panchatantra’. The animals were near human too, but unlike the complexities we fallible folks suffer from, the cat, the lion, the tiger, the elephant, the owl were more focussed with a single idiosyncrasy each. This curious fact, along with the pulsating rhythm of the poetry delivered with a punch and an aplomb by the actors brought out the message of each piece with precision.

Let’s pick a few stanzas from here and there and see for ourselves the merriness of the mirth involved.

The Tortoise, in Vikram Seth’s poem, initially maintained the original story with who won the race thus:

“And the cheering of the crowd
Died at last, the tortoise bowed,
And he thought: “That silly hare!
So much for her charm and flair.
Now she’ll learn that sure and slow
Is the only way to go –
That you can’t rise to the top
With a skip, a jump, a hop”

But here comes the twist in Seth’s version, it is in fact the hare, who became the hero of the hour:

But it was in fact the hare,
With a calm insouciant air
Like an unrepentant bounder,
Who allured the pressmen round her.
“And Will Wolf, the great press lord
Filled a Gold cup — on a whim –
And with an inviting grin
Murmured: “In my eyes you win.”

Each of the selections had interesting, and sometimes mind blowing twists and turns, that be made you realise that, as in real life, in these fairy tales too you cannot take a happy ending for grantedFirst Published in IIC Diary Nov-Dec 2022

First Published in IIC Diary Nov-Dec 2022

Manohar Khushalani’s Team Building Exercises

This Exercise I use often in my theatre classes, but in smaller groups. Working with a large group provides a very exciting possibility, for me. The idea is to sensitize participants to their own vocal potential. To experiment with variations and nuances in sound. Participants learn to listen not only to each other but also to sounds in the environment within and without the space they are in. Results vary,  it can create a catharsis in some cases, but a very powerful bonding in all cases.  We start the interactive exercise by asking people to lie on the carpeted floor together in alternate circles with heads together or feet together. Those who cannot lie can sit on chairs in circles facing each other or with their backs to each other .

While representative images have been chosen to illustrate this complex interactive game., you can watch the video of the entire exercise shot by my dear friend Stuti Samanvay during one of my workshops with my students. The relevant links on TheStageBuzz Youtube channel are cited at the bottom. You can also watch the student feedback videos on the same channel
Please Subscribe to TheStagebuzzChannel to see many such training videos on Theatre and Cinema by clicking on the link below

Circle with feet together
Circle with feet together

Everyone is asked softly by the conductor to relax.  In fact he gives them auto suggestion to relax each part of their body muscle by muscle and joint by joint, helping them to lose awareness of their bodies. When they are fully relaxed and kind of mesmerized,  they are asked to listen to sounds within the hall. Some special sounds are created by volunteers. Example:  tearing a piece of paper.  Flapping of cloth.  Shaking  a Keychain.  There will be many ambient sounds they will be expected to recall later

Participants sitting on chairs

In the next step they are asked to listen to sounds outside the room. Those can be ambient sounds or sounds created in the corridors outside. Participants will be able to listen exclusively to external sounds without listening to sounds inside the room.

A very subtle beat is created, very softly,  with recorded sound of some percussion instrument(s)

Now in any one circle one participant starts a vocal abstract sound. The participant next to him adds with his own sound. One by one everyone in the circle adds his own vocal bit. Until they all create their own vocal band. The same exercise is repeated in all circles.

Participants-creating collective sounds

There is a gradual build up in the hall as every circle resonates with each other’s sounds. They are asked to see to it that what they create should not be noise. They should listen to each other within the circle and without the circle. The percussion sound played on the speaker system provides a reference beat for all groups

Circle with heads together

In some circles, people who are feeling more active can all sit up in their respective positions maintaining their orchestral vocal compositions.

Sitting Posture
Sitting Posture

People who were sitting in chairs can get up move either in circle shoulder to shoulder or walk in circles.

Circle shoulder to shoulder
Circle shoulder to shoulder
Participants walking in circles
Participants walking in circles

Everything can end in an euphoric crescendo or in a soft sublime end. The climax will depend on the collective choice of mood. At the end if the participants feel upto it, they can share their experiences.  Which from my past experience can be very positive.

By now you must be very excited to see the actual workshop conducted by Prof. Manohar Khushalani. Please watch the film of the actual workshop and listen to participants feedback here:


Over Ten Theatre Groups will participate in the theatre festival

NATSAMRAT Natya Utsav has now come of age. Oscar Wilde once said,

“I regard theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being”.

If you agree, head to a fun fest that is all set to salute the spirit of Indian Theatre, Organized by Natsamrat Theatre, the 19th Natsamrat Natya Utsav which is all set at comedy, romance and tragedy-emotions that are key to any well-lived life at Narenjayan Studio Auditorium, 53, Bharati Artist Colony, Vikas Marg, New Delhi-110001.

Audience at the Awards
Always a jam-packed Auditorium at the performances and the Awards

Natsamrat has been at the forefront of Capital’s amateur theatre movement for the last 24 years, presenting entertaining and socially conscious theatre, participating in the prestigious theatre festivals and organizing every year theatre festival featuring work of leading theatre directors. Under the inspiration guidance of its founding director Shyam Kumar, a seasoned director and actor, Natsamrat has instituted awards which are given away every year to theatre practitioners –
directot, actor (male and female), playwright, backstage performer, critic, lifetime achievement,
theatre promoter – of eminence.

During the six-days we will have participation from ten different directors on one platform. The directors are:
Chandershekhar Sharma, Vishaw Deepak Trikha from Rohtak, Rajesh Tiwari, Ashraf Ali, Varun Sharma, Sunil Chauhan and Shyam Kumar and the plays are ‘Lajwanti’ on 11th March at 3:30 pm & ‘Gadhe Ki Barat’ at 6:30 pm, ‘Kambakht Ishq’ is on 12th March at 6:30 pm, ‘Jaanch Padtal’ is on 13th March, at 6:30 pm, ‘Charandas Chor’ will be performed on 14th March at 3:30 pm & ‘Aadhe Adhure’ at 6:30 pm, ‘Digdarshak’ on 15th March at 3:30 pm and ‘Shikasta Booton Ke Darmiyan’ at 6:30 pm and on 16th March ‘Chuhal’ at 3:30 pm & ‘Ek Ruka Hua Faisla’ at 6:30 pm.

The event will also witness the 14th Natsamrat Theatre Award in eight categories – Best Writer, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best in Back-stage, Best Critics, Lifetime Achievement Award and Best Theatre Promoter for those who have contributed significantly to the theatre. The award committee is consisted of award-winning playwright D.P.Sinha, Writer & Critic Jaidev Taneja, Writer & Critic Diwan Singh Bajeli, Award-winning light designer R.K.Dhingra and Writer & Director J.P.Singh.. at Muktadhara Auditorim, Banga Sanskritik Bhawan, 18-19, Bhai Vir Singh Marg, Gole Market, New Delhi-110001.

Treasure Art Gallery opens with Prabhakar Kolte’s ‘The Mind’s Eye’

Prabhakar Kolte, Acrylic on Canvas, 60-72″

Prabhakar Kolte with Ritu Beri

`Ritu Beri inaugurates the exhibition, Kapil Dev sends a video message to the artist, who is back in the city after 15 years

The Mind’s Eye: a seminal exhibition of Prabhakar Kolte
Curator:  Uma Nair
9th October –  10th December 2021
11.00am -7.00pm, Monday to Saturday
Treasure Art Gallery, D-24, Defence Colony, New Delhi- 110024

New Delhi, 9th October, 2021: Veteran Abstractionist Prabhakar Kolte’s seminal

exhibition The Mind’s Eye, curated by Uma Nair was inaugurated at Treasure Art Gallery in the city by renowned fashion designer Ritu Beri in the presence of CDirector General, ICCR; Adwaita Gadanayak, Director General, National Gallery of Modern Art; diplomats; eminent artists like Arpita Singh, Paramjeet Singh, Rameshwar Broota; prominent gallerist & art collectors.

Kapil Dev, former Indian Cricketer who could not be present at the event, said  in a video message, “Looking forward to seeing Prabhakar Kolte’s beautiful abstract painting at Treasure Art Gallery in Delhi. This will add colour through everybody. To me definitely. All the best and hope I can have one painting in my house too. I wish everybody whoever is involved, good luck.”

Treasure Art Gallery is a contemporary art gallery owned by Tina Chandroji with two partners. The avant garde gallery located in the heart of   Delhi’s upscale Defence Colony is made up of two exhibition spaces that makes it one of the biggest spaces for exhibitions in Delhi. TAG plans to work with emerging and established artists with the central aim of allowing their work to grow both in terms of production of new projects and the making of new exhibitions.

TAG launched officially on 9th Oct 2021 with debut solo exhibition of the abstract master Prabhakar Kolte one of the greatest mentors of the Sir J.J. School of Art Mumbai. For curator Uma Nair, “The most intrinsic quality of the gallery is the light filled window spaces and the fact that you can glimpse the masterpiece in the window as you pass by in your car.”

Kolte a famed Professor of J.J. School of Art and deeply loved by his students and collectors alike was present for the show. He ranks amongst India’s finest artists according to Nair who has followed his work for more than 3 decades. The seminal exhibition includes the portraits and still life works made during the early stages of his career, the paintings made during the formative years and the mature works made during and after realizing the hallmark art lingua that established his position in the modern art discourse.

One of the pioneers of Indian Abstract Expressionism, Kolte has been successfully carrying forward his unique abstract language for over five decades with timely innovations, experiments and changes within the same, in order to make the paintings fresh and alive. TAG houses the largest inventory of the artist’s works till now and has the ability to create a new collector base for the artist.

Uma Nair, Curator, The Mind’s Eye, said,  “The Kolte solo show has stellar works of art and they range over a period of time while most belong to the past 10 years. Amongst canvases and works on paper and drawings are three intriguing installations that add to Kolte’s repertoire of creativity. The show is expected to run for a few months so that many art lovers and students of art have the opportunity to discover this great master from Mumbai.”  

“I’m Delighted to inaugurate the Treasure Art Gallery, with an exhibit of Prabhakar Kolte, a personal favourite. I believe this show is going to be a visual delight for one and all. The Treasure art gallery is also going to add to the vibrant art scene of Delhi. We look forward to some unique collaborations between art and fashion to blur the lines between fashion and art.  Congratulations Treasure Art Gallery and I wish you all the very best. You guys are going to rock.” said  Ritu Beri, Fashion Designer and Founder Luxury League.

“We would like to add to the city’s character of art shows and hope to expand our reach with established artists as well as emerging contemporaries,” says Chandroji a second-generation art collector. “We hope to serve the arts in many ways and are looking forward to establishing new connections in Delhi which has a thriving art market.” Said  Tina Chandorji, Director Treasure Art Gallery

“I have been practicing my way of painting and it will continue till my last breath. For me painting is my passion, it’s my breath and life. I am really glad to showcase my diverse practice with the official launch of Treasure Art Gallery in Delhi. I have full faith that Treasure Art Gallery will be a great treasure to the existing art ecosystem and will definitely add value to it.  My best wishes and support are there with TAG in this new journey.” – Prabhakar Kolte, Artist

“Looking forward to viewing ‘Prabhakar Kolte’ – legendary abstract artist at the inauguration of Treasure art gallery” – Nupur Goenka, Director, GD Goenka Group

“We are delighted with the opening of Treasure Art Gallery which will be featuring the honourable Prabhakar Kolte. We fully embrace the beauty of Indian art and are looking forward to the opening.” said Mr. Ramesh Chauhan, Chairman Bisleri

Treasure Art Gallery TAG launches itself in Delhi with a grand show of recent works of the master abstractionist Prabhakar Kolte of Mumbai.  Impressive and gorgeous in range, size and depth, the show presents Kolte in his well-regarded essentials and yet discovering something new and unexpected.

 Done largely during the pandemic, the art underlines a colourful zest for life. An intense spontaneity, well-tuned to the multiple rhythms of colours, runs across fiving you enough freedom to discover your own personal intimations of meaning and memory. A very well-appointed gallery, elegantly designed, with a magnificent show,” said Ashok Vajpeyi, Indian Poet, Noted cultural & Arts Administrator

About Treasure Art Gallery:

Located in the heart of New Delhi at Defence Colony, Treasure Art Gallery (TAG) is born out of a vision to build an institution dedicated to modern and contemporary Indian art. Treasure Art Gallery (TAG) is formally launching itself into the contemporary Indian art sector with a select retrospective exhibition of the veteran modernist Prabhakar Kolte from Mumbai.

 TAG a gallery with a difference, is aimed primarily to offer a panoramic view of the arts they represent. We aim to encourage collaboration with institutions and artists by bringing in an active discourse around art and to create business partnerships. TAG also aims to support seminars, workshops, lectures, discussions, and talks that contextualise art within critical dialogue. We truly respect and value the modern masters and simultaneously encourage emerging, cutting-edge contemporary artists. Our objective is to provide a cohesive environment where younger artists are able to contextualise their work alongside the masters of Indian art and find avenues for their own journeys.

About Prabhakar Kolte:

Short Bio:

Prabhakar Kolte was born in 1946, in a village called Nerurpar of District Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. He received his Diploma from Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai in 1968. He also taught there between 1972 and 1974. The artist has a number of solo shows to his credit. He has participated in many important group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of ‘Druga Bhagwat Award’ for his Book ‘From Art to Art’ – a compilation of various articles on art, in 2010. He has been writing about international and national artists for the Mauj publication (Marathi magazine).

About His Work

One of the pioneers of Indian Abstract Expressionism, Kolte has been successfully carrying forward his unique abstract language for over five decades with timely innovations, experiments and changes within the same, in order to make the paintings fresh and alive. 

His early works show a strong influence of Paul Klee, the Swiss artist and teacher whose childlike figures belie the sophistication of his richly textured surfaces. Kolte’s abstract layering with paint echoes cityscapes where the signs and textures give a glimpse into his modernist consciousness. His early works are characterised by a single, dominant colour in the background, on which lighter and more complex geometric or organic forms are juxtaposed.

The operative system that Kolte found for his works was in a way colour field,  but fundamentally different from that of the colour field abstractionists of his time like Marc Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still and so on. What he made was not even remotely similar to the paintings by KCS Paniker in the south or GR Santhosh or Biren De in the north. He was even different from his immediate predecessors like Raza, Gaitonde, Ram Kumar and Swaminathan. But the most interesting thing about Kolte is that, throughout his career he has been having the spirit of this international abstract movement that later condensed into a life philosophy rather than being just a mere art style or lingua. Kolte is a conversion of life into terms of colour. It occupied everything pertaining to life; from music to harsh mundaneness. Using an aesthetic alchemy, he turned them into pictorial expressions that opened up wider and narrower slits allowing entry to the viewer and sealing it the next moment, a sort of visual trapping for aesthetical engagement.

Abstractionist Prabhakar Kolte’s Exhibition,’The Mind’s Eye’ opens 9th Oct

Prabhakar Kolte

Prabhakar Kolte was born in 1946 and received his Diploma from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai in 1968. He also taught there between 1972 and 1974. His early works show a strong influence of Paul Klee, the Swiss artist and teacher whose child like figures belie the sophistication of his richly textured surfaces.

Treasure Art Gallery
cordially invites you to the Preview of this

Veteran Abstractionist, Prabhakar Kolte’s
the seminal exhibition The Mind’s Eye

Curated by Uma Nair
Inauguration by Ritu Beri

The other dignitaries who will be a part of the exhibition opening and inauguration are Shri. Adwaita Gadanayak, Director General, NGMA; Shri. Dinesh K Patnaik, Director General, ICCR; Diplomats; Eminent Artists; Prominent Gallerists & Art Collectors.

The Mind’s Eye by Prabhakar Kolte
Treasure Art Gallery
9th October, 2021, 6pm onwards
D/24, Defence Colony, New Delhi – 110024

The Preview will be followed by wine and cheese
The exhibition will be on view until 10th December, 2021. Monday-Saturday, 11am-7pm

Anuj Kumar Boruah/ Shakti Raj Vidyarthi
Conversations Unbound
+91 9958372662 / 9711118189

As tributes pour in on Surekha Sikri’s demise listen to her Swan Songs

Veteran actor Surekha Sikri passed away this morning, Friday the 16th July 2021, following a cardiac arrest, her agent, Vivek Sidhwani informed. In a statement shared with the media, the agent said the actor had been suffering from complications arising from a second brain stroke. She was with her family and her caregivers who requested privacy at this time.

Surekha Sikri (19 April 1945 – 16 July 2021) was an Indian theatre, film and television actress. A veteran of Hindi theatre, she made her debut in the 1978 political drama film Kissa Kursi Ka and went on to play supporting roles in numerous Hindi and Malayalam films, as well as in Indian soap operas. Sikri has received several awards, including three National Film Awards and a Filmfare Award.

Sikri won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress thrice, for her roles in Tamas (1988), Mammo (1995) and Badhaai Ho (2018). She was awarded the Indian Telly Award for Best Actress in a Negative Role in 2008 for her work in the primetime soap opera Balika Vadhu and won the Indian Telly Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the same show in 2011. In addition, she won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989 for her contributions towards Hindi theater. Her last release Badhaai Ho (2018) got her immense recognition and appreciation from viewers and critics. She won three awards: the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Screen Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film.

As a fitting tribute to the great performer she was we will listen to her mellifluous recitations of Hindi and Urdu Poetry. But before that, here are some of the tributes which poured in on social media and otherwise from her millions of admirers, and eminent people whom she knew, including actors and directors from film, television and theatre.

Ashish Abrol, Income Tax Commisioner, laments: “Surekha Sikri or Surekha di as we called her passed away today morning. I cannot get myself to accept that she is no more. I came to know her in 1985 when she was a faculty member in NSD and came completely under her thrall as she became a mentor, teacher, older sister and a maternal figure for me. Her panache, idiosyncrasies, brilliance as an actor and her erudition… often when her silences taught you more than lectures of so many others. Her love for chaat and the occasional joint… later of course she could not eat much courtesy the intestine problems. She was perhaps the greatest theatre actor ever in modern India; some one who could emote and yet be aware of her own performance as if standing out of her body observing herself perform. More than that she was always overflowing with warmth that traveled to you through her twinkling often mischievous eyes. She was so thrilled when her son Rahul had an exhibition in The Habitat Centre …I was not in touch with her for some time more since her paralysis and with her inability to speak. A triple national award winner; Surekha ji was known to the country at large courtesy her TV and film roles…in Tamas, as Dadisa, in Mammoo but it is her oeuvre in theatre that is stunning; she owned the stage, set it on fire and then doused the flames with her voice and gentleness. RIP Surekha di my mother in another life you live on in your performances and our memories”

“She was one of my personal favourites .. a lovely actress .. will never forget her Nsd work when I was in college in delhi .. god bless her” – Lillet Dubey

“There is a total immersion in life…have deeply admired her work, her persona from the Nsd days, so fully engaged in enjoying everything that came her way intensely” – Amba Sanyal

“Surekha my dear dear friend! We were in the same batch! A consummate actress,very strong woman , determined and brave! ! Never let go of her beliefs and strong options! I shall miss her dearly” – Amal Allana

“Very very sad news. We have lost another great actress. Surekha Sikri left for her heavenly abode. Heartfelt condolences to her family. May God rest her soul in peace” – Satish Anand

“Another great loss to theatre and films. She was a great actor and inspiration to all her juniors at NSD. Will never forget her superb performances. Rest in peace Surekhaji” – Anila Singh Khosla

“Deeply saddened – was always uplifted by her rendering of Faiz’s poem- may she rest in eternal peace” –Salima Hashmi

“Shocking news. She was one of the few who defined theatre for us in our youth. What a great loss for all of us” – Rajiv Bhargav

“Last of the greatest products of NSD..and loved and respected hugely for her talent and principles. Will be sorely missed” – Dolly Thakore

Tail Piece: Surekha Sikri was very fond of poetry. Listen to her reciting poetry by Faiz, Raghuvir Sahay & Sarveshvar