See and Smile

See and Smile

It’s not just students who heave a sigh of relief during summertime. As the financial year of most Indian companies ends in March, even business executives and working professionals look forward to a time off from their gruelling work schedules. Most pack their bags and head to a holiday destination. Those who stay back participate in the various activities and events organised in and around the city. One such summertime event that the city residents look forward to is the Art Exhibition organised by AksharRang Kala Academy.

That the art exhibition is hugely popular among art lovers can be gauged from the fact that last year the exhibition had almost 20,000 visitors, not just from Thane and Mumbai but also from Goa, Bangalore and Nagpur. Last year, it was collection of paintings by the Late Deenanath Dalal that pulled the crowd, while the year before it was world-renowned Calligrapher Achyut Palav’s that attracted people. This year, the job’s being done by cartoonist Shivram Phadnis, fondly known as Shi Da. Known for his amazing sense of humour, more than 120 of his original works will be on display for everyone to see and smile.

Phadnis, who work was exhibited for the first time at Jahangir Art Gallery way back in 1965, has regularly contributed to the covers of several Marathi magazines. His illustrations and cartoons are also found in books on various subjects including banking, medicine, mathematics, science, law and even philosophy. Phadnis has received several awards in recognition of his art. In 1954, Phadnis was awarded the "Outstanding Editorial Art Award" by Commercial Artist’s Guild (CAG) Mumbai. University Grants commission (UGC) aired Phadnis’s programmes on national television in 1987. In 2001 he received the Lifetime Achievements Award by the Indian Institute of Cartoonists, Bangalore. The Marmik weekly also honoured him with a Life time Achievement Award. Many of his cartoons have been exhibited and published by the International Salon of Cartoons, Montreal, Canada and also in periodicals of USA and Germany.

Free of comments or political punches, Phadnis’s cartoon’s have a unique style and grace that reflect simplicity. The humour’s gentle, yet effective – it does a job of bringing a smile to your face. And best of all it’s free! Nicknamed "Laughing Gallery", the exhibition is open from April 27 to May 02 at Town hall in Tembhi Naka.

Food for thought
Speaking about summertime events, this one’s sure to whet your appetite. The annual food festival, being organised between May 06 and 08 at Ghantali Maidan, promises to be as enticing as the previous ones. This year’s theme being "Family Nutrition", visitors will be able to learn about nutritional aspects of every family member, from the youngest to the oldest. The event kicks off at 6 pm on May 01 with a session of "dietary tips" for senior citizens of Thane at the Nana-Nani park near Rangayatan. Many such mini-events (curtain-raisers) have been planned across the city.

Indian cuisine is considered by many as the best in the world, both taste- and health-wise. Yet, nutritional requirements differ from person to person, depending on such factors as age, professional, lifestyle, and individual constitution. Especially in the modern-day, fast-food culture, when nutritionally empty foods have become the order of the day, family nutrition is a relevant theme. "The three-day programme, which is free to attend, will offer a wealth of wisdom to its visitors", claims Tushar Pitale, who is organising the event. The event aims to address many nutritional issues via informative sessions by experts. Games, competitions, cookery events, poster exhibition and lucky draws will ensure that the whole family is entertained.

It is said that a family that eats together, stays together. And if the food they eat is nutritious, such families live longer together.

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