Monday, May 30, 2011

Announcement: The Rich Monetary Heritage of India - 4th June 2011

தமிழ் பாரம்பரியம்
(Tamil Heritage)
invite you and your friends to a lecture on
The Rich Monetary Heritage of India
by
T. Sivasubramanian
at 5.30pm on Saturday, 4th, June, 2011
at Vinobha Hall, Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, T Nagar.

Abstract:

The ancient treasures of India literally includes a vast array of exquisite coins made of gold, silver and other metals. Even a cursory look at some of the coins of the Satavahanas or Guptas will reveal the rich heritage we possess in this field. Indeed, the Gupta period can be classified easily as the golden age by the sheer variety of gold coins they struck and the number of coins which are available even today with our museums and private collectors. Right from the time of our ancient kingdoms (Janapadas) up to the period of Mughal emperors, coin making in India has witnessed brilliant ideas and innovations that hints at the vision of the emperors and how they want to be perceived by their people.
In this talk, we will start with the Punch-Marked coins of our Janapadas, starting from 600 BC such as Shurasena, Gandhara, and Magadha. Some excellent samples from Indo-Greeks and Scytho-Parthians who ruled Punjab and North-West (Bactria) will be presented next. Then, we will see the coins of the of the mighty Kushanas. This will be followed by the Gupta coins, where we can see the brilliant coins of Samudragupta and Kumaragupta. We will look at some Chola Coins, and finally, close with some interesting Mughal and early East India Company coins.
Speaker Profile:
T. Sivasubramanian (Siva) is a part of the Tamil Heritage Group for the last two years with hands-on experience visiting Ajantha/Ellora and conducting a Children's Summer Camp for the Tamil Heritage Group.  He has graduated with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering (University of Madras and University of Alabama, respectively) and an MBA (University of Houston).  Currently, manages a software training and consulting company -- DuraSoft (http://www.durasoftindia.com). 


RSVP:
A. Annamalai: Gandhi Study Centre - gandhicentre@gmail.com; 94441-83198
Badri Seshadri: Kizhakku-p-padippakam - badri@nhm.in; 98840-66566
TK Ramachandran, IAS - tkramachandranias@hotmail.com; 99406-41144
S. Kannan: Bank of Baroda - 2498 5836
S. Swaminathan: Marg Constructions - sswami99@gmail.com; 2467 1501
R. Gopu, writergopu@yahoo.com, 98417-24641
T. Sivasubramanian, siva.durasoft@gmail.com, 98842-94494

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Two-day culture summer camp

On 27th and 28th May, Tamil Heritage Trust organized a summer camp for children in Chennai - ages ranging from 7 to 14. 25 children participated. There were six sessions in all: interactive sessions on scripts of the world, on coins of India, Mamallapuram as well as few Science experiments, Math, Tangrams and drawing and photography. There was a mini exhibition of how cameras evolved over the last 100 years with models displayed. Here are some photos: (ignore the background talking about மராட்டியர் கல்யாண மாலை!:-) More photos and possibly some videos will appear later.

All the participants

Prof. Swaminathan interacting with the children
Siva on 'Coins of the empires of India'
Chiselling a granite and a soap stone - which is easier?
Children attentive and ready to dive into Tangrams
A bird?
An inquiring mind
A delighted child or a future politician?
A section of the cameras on display

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Subjugation of Nalagiri (Ajanta) - Prof. Sivaramakrishnan

Subjugation of Nalagiri

This is an episode from the life of the Buddha, one of the miracles he performed. This has been depicted in several locations in India in the form of painting or sculpture. Here, Prof. Sivaramakrishnan takes up the Ajanta painting in cave number 17. Devadutta, a cousin of the Buddha is jealous of the popularity of the Buddha and plans to kill him. His various attempts fail and finally he conspires with Ajatachatru, the crown prince of the kingdom. First he convinces Ajatachatry to jail his father and the current emperor Bimbisara. Once Ajatachatru captures power, the two plan to kill the Buddha. They feed the palace elephant Nalagiri with intoxicants and set the elephant in the path of the Buddha.

Nalagiri comes out of the palace and runs amok through the shops, tramples people on its way and grans and throws innocent passers-by with its trunk. People run helter skelter in fear. Finally, as the elephant sees the master - the Buddha - it quietens down and bows in front of him like a pet dog. The master blesses the elephant.

From the plotting to the subjugation, the scenes are depicted by a series of panels in Ajanta. Sivaramakrishnan explains the artistic nuances and the quality of painting in detail. The lecture is in Tamil.

நளகிரியை அடக்குதல்

புத்தரின் வாழ்வில் நடந்ததாகச் சொல்லப்படும் இந்தச் சம்பவம், இந்தியாவில் பல இடங்களில் ஓவியங்களாகவும் சிற்பங்களாகவும் உருவாக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. அஜந்தாவின் 17-வது குகையில் தீட்டப்பட்டிருக்கும் இந்த ஓவியத்தொகுப்பை பேரா. சிவராமகிருஷ்ணன் விவரிக்கிறார்.

புத்தரின் ஒன்றுவிட்ட சகோதரன் தேவதத்தனுக்கு புத்தர்மீது பொறாமை. அவரைக் கொல்லப் பலமுறை திட்டம் தீட்டி அதில் தோல்வியுறுகிறான். அப்போது பட்டத்து இளவரசராக இருக்கும் அஜாதசத்ருவை, அவருடைய தந்தையும் பேரரசருமான பிம்பிசாரரைக் கைது செய்து ஆட்சியைத் தானே ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளுமாறு தூண்டுகிறான். அஜாதசத்ரு ஆட்சியைப் பிடித்தவுடன், இருவரும் சேர்ந்து திட்டம் தீட்டி புத்தரைக் கொல்ல முற்படுகின்றனர்.

நளகிரி என்ற அரண்மனை யானைக்கு போதை மருந்தை ஊட்டி, அதனை புத்தர் இருக்கும் இடத்தை நோக்கி அனுப்புகிறார்கள். போகும் வழியில் அது கடைத்தெருவில் கண்ணில் தென்பட்டவர்களையெல்லாம் மிதித்து, அடித்து, நொறுக்கி முன்னேறுகிறது. ஆனால் புத்தரைக் கண்டதும் அப்படியே அவர்முன் மண்டியிட்டு வழிபடுகிறது. புத்தர் யானையை ஆசீர்வதிக்கிறார்.

திட்டம் தீட்டுவதிலிருந்து யானை அடக்கப்படுவதுவரை வரையப்பட்டுள்ள படக் காட்சிகளையும் இந்தப் படங்களில் தெரியும் ஓவிய நுட்பங்களையும் சிவராமகிருஷ்ணன் அழகாக விளக்குகிறார்.

Monday, May 2, 2011

BHARATANATYAM: CONTINUITY, CONFORMITY AND CHANGE (PART 2 of 2)

தமிழ் பாரம்பரியம்
(Tamil Heritage)
invite you and your friends to a lecture on
BHARATANATYAM: CONTINUITY, CONFORMITY AND CHANGE (PART 2 of 2 - Final Part)
by
SWARNAMALYA
at 5.30pm on Saturday, 7th, May, 2011
at Vinobha Hall, Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, T Nagar.

Abstract:

The history of Bharatanatyam is an engaging narrative of the configuration and reconfiguration of this art from multiple sources. The historiography of what we call Bharatanatyam includes everything from myths, puranic lore, legends, treatises, temple sculptures and epigraphs, cultural artefacts, role of kings and patrons, the hereditary community dancers and courtesans, the colonial and post-colonial documentations, western traveller’s accounts and European enlightenment, also personal journeys and journals of the high caste “elite” and institutionalisation and globalisation of this art.
In an attempt to essay this vast historical journey of Bharatanatyam I intend to trace it, using the canvas of texts and traditions, practices and politics that has always shrouded its historicization. It will be a two-part lecture. The first part will analyse texts that have allowed us to reconstruct and recognise the various traditions of Bharatanatyam. The second part of the lecture will trace the practice patterns historically and finally in the segment “politics” we will travel through the colonial and post colonial eras trying to find the missing links that piece together the recent history of Bharatanatyam and its claim to fame.
Speaker Profile:
Swarnamalya Ganesh is a professional classical Bharatanatyam dancer with over 25 years of learning and experience. She is a senior disciple of Kalaimamani K.J.Sarasa who is an exponent guru from the hereditary dancing family. Apart from training with some more of the devadasi gurus and nattuvanars she is also involved in documenting their repertoire. She is a trained classical singer. She holds a masters degree in Bharatanatyam from the University of Madras and is currently a Ph.D scholar in dance and a visiting faculty for the Department of Indian music, University of Madras.
She travels extensively on concert tours both within India and outside. She has performed in several prestigious dance festivals around the world. She has been involved in dance history research and presents lecture demonstrations and writes papers for various forums. She is a member of the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS) U.K. Ranga Mandira was started by her ten years ago with the guidance of her mentor T.S.Parthasarathy (Past secretary Music Academy and fellow Sangeet Natak Akademi) which functions on two levels; one as a trust which promotes research and production of various dance and musical works, another as a centre for dance and music teaching.


RSVP:
A. Annamalai: Gandhi Study Centre - gandhicentre@gmail.com; 94441-83198
Badri Seshadri: Kizhakku-p-padippakam - badri@nhm.in; 98840-66566
TK Ramachandran, IAS - tkramachandranias@hotmail.com; 99406-41144
S. Kannan: Bank of Baroda - 2498 5836
S. Swaminathan: Marg Constructions - sswami99@gmail.com; 2467 1501
R. Gopu, writergopu@yahoo.com, 98417-24641
T. Sivasubramanian, siva.durasoft@gmail.com, 98842-94494