Friday photo: Kathakali

Kathakali means a story (katha) told in the form of a play (kali). A mix of classical and folk dance forms, Kathakali is originally from the Malabar region of Kerala and goes back to the seventeenth century. Everything in Kathakali is exaggerated and larger-than-life – the music, the make up and the gestures – and…

Vote on Kerala Blog Express

So, if you have been reading this blog all along (and if not, why not?)… Or if you have just wandered here after a chance search on google… Here is the perfect chance to show some blog love. I am participating in the Kerala Blog Express contest, where 25 bloggers from all over the world…

The great Indian Regatta

There is a buzz in the air. At 11 in the morning, the dozens of houseboats lined up on the edge of the water are all packed, people already sitting on rooftops for that vantage view. Police patrol boats have been going up and down the lake for the last hour, with the cops making…

Snapshots from the Biennale

I went, I saw, I came back confused. It’s contemporary art – and I don’t really get most of it. So sue me. Update: In Tehelka, the reasons why the biennale didn’t work for me – Controversy Calling. In the meanwhile, decide for yourself. Some snapshots from the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. At the lovely Kashi Art…

Scenes from a boat race

After years and years of dreaming and planning, I finally found myself at the Nehru Boat Race in Alleppy last weekend. I joined an enthusiastic group of photographers at the weekend workshop organized by Photography Onthemove – when I say enthusiastic, I mean that most of them were to be found all the time taking…

A story in dance

I recently watched a Kathakali recital at the Chembur Fine Arts Society in Mumbai. The performance that evening was based on the story of the wicked king Jarasandha who is supposed to have lived in the time of the Mahabharata. Over a two hour period, the performers enacted a piece called Jarasandha Vadam (the conquest…

A slice of history

This piece on Fort Kochi appeared in HT Cafe on Saturday as ‘Historical Potboiler’… Walking out of St. Francis church, I see a tour guide escort a group of British visitors into the building, leading them to a flight of steps to sit on comfortably while removing their shoes. “In India it is customary to…

‘Tis time for tea

We had a kettle; we let it leak: Our not repairing made it worse. We haven’t had any tea for a week… The bottom is out of the Universe. ~Rudyard Kipling I came across this piece this morning on tea cultures of the world – via Travels in the Riel World. A lovely post on…