Tag: Art

Pearls of Wisdom

Pearls of Wisdom

In the era when western influences dominate, a degree in Indian classical dance is no mean feat indeed. But a post-graduate degree is considered to be an even greater achievement. No wonder Pune-based Nritya Visharad and Nritya Alankar, Asawari Rahalkar was invited to Thane on December 3, to share tips on learning classical dance and also to guide students who are taking dance exams. The session was organised by Shree Ganesh Nritya Kala Mandir, which is the official centre for the examination in Thane, for the benefit of students who are due for their exams in the next week.

During the session, Asawari, who is also a Sangeet Visharad, narrated some fascinating anecdotes from her life, like the time when she was troubled by her mother’s ruthless discipline in her childhood. Rahalkar began her informal dance training at a tender age of six, when mother Alaka Rahalkar, herself an accomplished Kathak dancer and trainer, began teaching her. So strict was her mother that nothing could sway her to excuse Asawari from the daily practice. At the time, Asawari used to fret, wondering why her mother wasn’t like other moms.

Many years later, Asawari was recovering from a bad bout of Yellow fever and was scheduled to give a stage performance in a week’s time. Not only did she go ahead with the performance in spite of the weakness, but it was one of her best performances. She could do it because, due to her mother’s early lessons in discipline, she had learned early in life that, with determination, she is capable of triumphing over any obstacle.

From the age of nine, Asawari found her first guru in Rohini Bhate, with whom she trained for eight years. She was the youngest in her batch and was also among the most cherished students of her Guru. Once, on the day of Guru Pournima, Bhate gave her students an assignment in which they were to choreograph their own steps on a tune of their choice. Asawari chose a tune composed by the Pt Ravi Shankar and her performance evoked the most unexpected response from her proud Guru who walked up to her to congratulate her. Then, as a mark of extreme joy, Bhate went out to a sweet shop, bought heaps of sweets and distributed them among the other

Asawari’s current Guru is Rajendra Gangani, who hails from the famous Jaipur gharana of Kathak. When a student asked her how she manages to interact with a Guru in Delhi when she herself is based in Pune, she replied, "My guru has taught me one thing. To be a good student, we have to be like a sponge, absorb everything and retain it for later use."

For the 50-odd students from various dance institutes in Thane, her tips were invaluable. For example, as an examiner, she often asks students to define a concept of dance and the students simply reply with a theoretical definition, straight from the book. According to her, a performance oriented art form like dance cannot be learned from books alone. She emphasised the importance of internalising the dance techniques rather than learning definitions from the book. To those who are born talented, she advised them to not let their good fortune get into their head and make them arrogant. Students should never take their talents for granted and never underestimate the importance of regular riyaz (practice), because there is always scope for growth and improvisation – even after they acquire degrees and achieve recognition.

The pearls of wisdom that Asawari shared with the anxious students acted like tonic. After the two-hour session, all those present in the audience felt not only wiser but also determined to succeed in the examination they will soon take.

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.

Eco Designs on Ganesha

Eco Designs on Ganesha

In Maharashtra, creative expression is at its peak during Ganpati festival. Such is the enthusiasm that surrounds the Big G’s arrival that year after year, devotees get transformed into artists as they decorate Ganpati’s ten-day habitat in the most beautiful and innovative manner with socially relevant themes. So we have had themes like modern medicine and AIDS awareness, evolution of humankind and the beginning of the Universe and evolution of religion. Pokhran Blasts, Kargil War, KBC, cricket match-fixing and 9/11 were prominently used themes due to their topicality. In the last few years, environment consciousness has also taken centre stage and many people are now putting together Ganesha’s dwelling out of eco-friendly stuff.

Let’s take the example of the Ganpati decoration at Prasad Birjee’s home at Ram Maruti Road, Thane. For two consecutive years, Birjee’s Ganpati decor won awards for the most eco-friendly Ganpati. Birjees have been celebrating Ganpati for the last 70 years, a tradition started by Prasad’s great grandfather.

The prize-winning decorations are put together by Prasad with the help of his family members, especially his mother and wife. Although an engineer by profession, 35-year-old Prasad is extremely creative when it comes to decorating the abode of Lord Ganesha. Prasad got started with this idea of innovative decoration in 1986 when he was made in-charge of decorating the pandal by his sports club Hanuman Vyayamshala, a 75-year old sports club that celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi with vigour. That year he made a miniature model of the Dadoji Kondeo Stadium, which was appreciated by everyone. It was then that he realised that he could be very creative when it came to decorating Ganesh pandals.
What’s impressive is that as a mark of respect for the environment, they stopped immersing their Ganpati idol 14 years ago, when they brought in an idol made out of fibre, and which they now install every year. "As a symbolic farewell, we immerse Beetle leaves and Supaari (Beetle nuts), which are equally revered according to tradition," says Prasad. Now, since the last four years, Prasad uses only paper for decorations. A couple of years ago, he made a banyan tree out of paper, complete with roots hanging out of its trunks. It won him the first prize in "the most eco-friendly Ganpati decoration contest" organised by the Jidnyasa Trust.

Last year, the family spent two full months making more than 200 Hibiscus paper flowers of different colours and six large flower pots, also made of paper. This year the theme is the significance Satyanarayan Puja in Hindu tradition. Lord Ganesha is sitting blissfully in the midst of Banana Trees acting like pillars. Once again, the five-feet-or-so tall banana trees and the big banana leaves have been made entirely out of paper. The rest of the stuff used in decoration is mostly made from items found at home. This makes the decoration not only eco-friendly but also low cost.  

There is no better way to please the Lord than to care for His creation and preserve this environment. Blessed are those who use Ganesh Chaturthi as an opportunity to celebrate the ecosystem we inhabit.

Visual Appeal

Visual Appeal

Art lives forever. And thereby makes artists immortal. One such immortal artist is Dinanath Dalal, who lives among us even after three decades of his demise. Dalal is probably not as familiar as some of the leading Marathi litterateurs, yet it is difficult to find any literate Maharashtrian who has never come across the works of the talented artist from Goa. Dalal’s career spanned over three and half decades and during this period, his paintings appeared in various Marathi textbooks, magazines and literature of varied kinds. That his work was so fine can be gauged from the fact that it influences many new generation artists of today. In his lifetime, Dalal had become a legend – he was the most sought-after artist for magazines covers and book jackets. The versatile artist used his artistic talent to depict various aspects of literature including mythology, history, social issues, human feelings and politics. Like most true artists, Dalal always found some time to pursue his interest in pure art, in spite of his busy schedule. He passed away at 54, leaving behind a legacy of a work that has few parallels.
This week, art lovers in Thane will have a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of the works of Dalal. Between May 13 and 16, Akshar Rang, an city-based association engaged in promoting art, has arranged an exhibition of some exclusive works of Dalal – the exhibition will showcase over 300 pictures, cartoons and landscapes – it promised to be a visual treat. The exhibition will be inaugurated on May 16 at 6 pm by well-known cartoonist Vasant Sarawate. Vasudev Kamat, eminent artist, will be the chief guest for the function. For the benefit of the audience, Kamat will also conduct live demonstration of Portrait Painting.   Art Students and lovers of arts can flock to the exhibition which will be free to attend and will remain open for public during 10 am and 8.30 pm.

A workshop on Calligraphy by Achyut Palav and two other exhibitions have also been planned, one on paintings by Palav and the other on ancient manuscripts, published during the period 1600 to1900 AD.

The exhibitions will be held at the Shiv Daulat Hall of Shiv Samarth Vidyalaya, Opp. Gadkari Rangaytan. For more information, call Sanjiv Hajare 98206 18645  

Unadulterated Fun
Children’s minds are free of corruption, and their souls are pure. They do not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed or status. All they want is to have pure, "unadulterated" fun – with no interference from adults.   And their values are genuine, as was reflected by students of Garden School recently.  

On Monday, 20 students of Garden School joined 20 tribal children from Yeoor for a trip to Lonavala. The Garden School children mixed with the tribal children very easily and spent a full day sightseeing, playing antakshari and throw-ball and generally having fun. They even shared their tiffin boxes – in fact, the students of Garden School were requested to bring in two tiffin boxes with exactly the same contents – one for themselves and one to share with a child from the tribal group. Later, the children visited a tribal area called Kune near Khandala and learnt how the people there live their lives.

The picnic was a part of the once-a-week course on value based personality growth and development conducted by Garden School. The project was jointly organised by NGO Sevadham and Garden School – the idea being to promote empathy among children and also to help them learn about life first-hand. What’s heartening is that parents of these children encourage such initiatives, revealed one of the teachers of Garden School.



Studies suggest that drawing is an important part of literacy development. Drawing can serve as a powerful means for developing children’s perception and thought. And when these children are given the appropriate environment, time and access to materials, it is not uncommon for them to spend hours on their drawings, expressing their thoughts, observations and imaginations as vividly as they can. Evidence of this was seen at an inter-school drawing competition held in the Thane city last month.

Organised by the Rotary Club of Thane Mid Town in association with Shiv Samarth Vidyalaya, the drawing competition saw over 200 students from 18 city schools participating. The winners were declared on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 at a function presided by renowned muralist Aarti Sanjeev

The participating students were divided into two main groups. The first group (class five to seven) were given themes like "Unity in Diversity," "Ganpati Decoration" and "Life in rainy season". Themes for second group, for class eight to ten, were more profound – "Bomb explosions in Mumbai," "Seven Wonders of the World" and "Cartoons depicting current affairs (a la R K Laxman)."

There were eight winners in all – three of each group and two consolation prizes. The winners were selected by a panel of judges headed by Vasanti Gokani, who teaches drawing at SES English School, Panch Pakhadi.

Architect Ulhas Pradhan who was also on the panel of judges said that the drawings were selected on the basis of many criteria. He said, "We looked for the human figures, which are rather difficult to draw. We also measured the depth of concept covered, the colour schemes used – but most importantly we tried to judge the visualising power of the child." Indeed, for imagine a child trying to illustrate the scene of a bomb blast and capturing the commotion after the explosion, in spite of not witnessing anything of the sort with his or her own eyes.

First come, First Served
Talk about enthusiasm among culture-crazy Maharashtrian people who will do anything to reserve a seat for the annual "Pandit Ram Marathe Sangeet Samaroh" show. This year, the plans opened on November 16 for the four-day show beginning on November 21. As usual, the booking windows of Gadkari Rangayatan, where the programme is to be held, had queues from the evening of November 15. The first person to arrive at the booking counter was Gunendra Phansalkar, a 65-year-man from Kalyan.

Many others soon appended the queue and spent the night at Rangayatan, waiting for the ticket sales to begin the next morning. Begin they did, only to stop three hours later, when the tickets were sold out.

Phasalkar will be honoured by chief guest Mohan Joshi – it has become customary for the organisers to felicitate the first purchaser of the ticket every year.

A Literary Flock

A Literary Flock

There are booklovers, film freaks and theatre enthusiasts. And then there are literary buffs, aficionados if you will, who simply thrive on books, theatre and the like. Thane has a rich tradition that values literary culture and boasts of having produced many well-known artists and writers. The residents of the city are also ardent enthusiasts and lap up half an opportunity for participating in art and related events.

Come March 30, 2003 and the city will witness a highly charged literature conference. Marathi Sahitya Parishad (Thane District) is organising the seventh Vibhagiya Sahitya Sammelan, a district level literary forum, which will see the coming together of eminent personalities from the world of Marathi literature.

The forum is an annual affair, which began in 1992 and since then has been held at various locations in Thane district including Kalyan, Ambernath and Ulhasnagar. This year it is scheduled to be held on Sunday March 30, 2003. at Marathi Granth Sangralaya, a well-known library located in Thane city. It would be an all-day event starting at 9 in the morning and concluding at 6:30 pm.

Makrand Joshi, secretary of Marathi Granth Sangralaya, likes to think of this event as a miniature version of Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, which is a National Event held across the country. He says, "It’s an opportunity for literature lovers to interact with celebrated writers, directors and stage artists and they can gain valuable insights into the world of literature."

In the past, prominent personalities like Girija Kir, Shankar Vaidya, Subhash Bhende, Anand Yadav, Aruna Dheer have presided over the symposium. This year, the president is Dr. Arun Tikekar.

The highlight of the forum is an interview with renowned Marathi writer and former editor of Lok Prabha, H M Marathe, whose recent biography has found him many fans. The interview will be conducted by Neelima Palwankar, a college professor from the city.

There will also be a Group Discussion on the subject of "Biographical Dramas in Marathi Stage". The past few years have seen a surge in comedies, whereas biographical dramas are not as popular as they used be. This issue will be discussed by a panel comprising of the different sections of the society. Santosh Pawar (writer-cum-director), Kedar Shinde (writer-cum-director), Kumar Sohani (director) and Chandrakant Kulkarni (director) will represent Marathi stage. Suresh Magarkar will represent the audience and columnist Jayant Pawar from Maharashtra Times will also participate. Ashok Sathe, legendary actor/director will moderate the discussion.

An eighteenth century German playwright, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, "The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation."    

Such forums are a great boost to world of literature, especially in times when shallow quality has come to dominate its every sphere – books, stage, films and music. When important issues are brought to the forefront by public figures, we can rest assured that the decline in quality of literary works can be stopped or even reversed.

Readers may contact 25386928 or 25400318 for more information.

The Winning Click

The Winning Click

Photography has come a long way since the word was made popular by Sir John Herschel in 1839. From optical-chemical processes of the 19th century to the digital imaging of the 21st century, photography has successfully captured moments that are lived and relived.

Thane based Foto Circle Society is an organisation that promotes the purpose of photography by providing a platform to professionals and amateurs. Created four years ago, the society has a singular aim: To encourage photographers of all kinds and to enable them to develop their photographing skills. To achieve this, the society regularly organises seminars, workshops, public exhibitions and competitions.

Each year, the society organises an annual exhibition cum competition that brings together photographers from around the Thane district and allows them to present their skills. Primarily there are two categories: Amateur and Professional. To facilitate the process of judgement, the participants are given themes to choose from. President Sanjog Hate says proudly, "We always settle on themes that are topical and relevant to the society we live in. The first year, we decided on Clean City Thane as one of the themes. The next year it was child labour. Last year, the theme was women at work."

One of the Winning Shots: an old village lady cooking food, blowing air into chula, a rather primitive form of stoveThis year, professionals could pick from four themes viz. wedding moments, water, senior citizens and stage (performing arts), while the amateurs were given two themes: child and landscape.

Judging from the response, the annual event is quite a hit. The society received 600 entries from Thane and neighbouring towns of Kalyan, Dombivli, Virar, Vasai and Bhayander. Yet, it’s not the quantity but the quality of entries that has left the organisers overwhelmed. The competition was tight and prominent photographers Shyam Manchekar and Vinay Parelkar, who judged the event, obviously had a tough time selecting the first among equals. Finally the judges followed the advice of Irving Penn, one of the World’s 10 Greatest Photographers, who believed that, "A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective".

The winning entries certainly deserve all the praise. For instance, one of the winning photos (in the professional category) captured the problem of water scarcity in an interesting scene: A thirsty sparrow with it’s beak inside the tap, trying to search water. Another winner shows an old village lady cooking food, blowing air into chula, a rather primitive form of stove.

There’s little use trying to explain the intensity that these photographs capture. One has to see it to believe it. In the words of master photographer Ansel Adams, "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words". Fortunately, residents of Thane city have the opportunity to see these photographs as they are being displayed at the photo exhibition being held between October 25 and October 27, 2002 at the Gadkari Rangayatan.

The winners will be honoured on October 27, 2002 at Gadkari Ranayatan by Advocate Adhik Shirodkar, a nature and wildlife photographer.

All work and no play makes…

All work and no play makes…

Extra-curricular activities provide school students an opportunity to break away from the monotony of academic exertions. Several studies suggest that participation in such activities help students perform better in school and beyond. Better grades, lower absenteeism and success in later life are some of benefits associated with extra-curricular pursuits. (See Box)

City-based student group Jidnyasa has been endeavouring to cultivate the interest of students in non-school activities. Surendra Dighe who founded Jidnyasa in 1991, discloses, "Jidnyasa stands for curiosity – curiosity of new experiences. The name is derived from three words: ‘Jiddh’ or determination, ‘Gyan’ or knowledge and ‘Sahas’ or adventure. So Jidnyasa is an organisation that strives to encourage and develop the spirit of determination, knowledge and adventure among the students."

Since the last eight years, Jidnyasa has been bringing out a unique magazine called Shaleya Jidnyasa. This magazine is produced entirely by students. Everything, from editing and article contributions to page layout and cover design, is conceived and executed by students who from various city schools. The magazine is published in English and Marathi and is circulated among students in the city.

The next issue of the magazine is due in the month of November, to coincide with Diwali. To create excitement and also generate content for the issue, an essay competition has been organised. Students from across Thane district are being invited to participate in the competition. There are three topics from which students can choose:

  • "What would be your promise to the President of India?" (300 words)
  • "Which successful individual do you admire the most? Choose from the fields of education, social service, sports, science and literature" (300 words)
  • "Cricket is a national obsession. Do you like cricket. Why/Why not?" Write in 400 words

Students are also encouraged to contribute stories, poems, drawings and other interesting material suitable for publication. Entries may be sent to: SHALEYA JIDNYASA, 14 Suyash Society, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Naupada, Thane – 400602

Benefits of Extra-Curricular Activities to Students

  1. Broadens horizons
  2. Promotes physical development
  3. Encourages team spirit and social skills
  4. Teaches time management
  5. uilds confidence
  6. Provides outlet for stress
  7. Teaches commitment and decision-making

Remembering an eternal soul
Noted writer and academician Shyam Phadke was one of those rare individuals who achieve immortality through their work. Though no more among us, his writings make his presence felt even today.

Last week, Phadke’s eleventh death anniversary was observed in a special manner. Unlike previous years, when famous personalities were called in to give speeches, this year his wife Sumati decided to honour her late husband by staging portions of the popular plays written by him.

The programme was held at Naupada Hindu Bhagani Mandal and the show was hosted by Makrand Joshi, son of stage actor Shashi Joshi. Portions of six different plays were staged. These mini-plays were directed by Prabodh Kulkarni, well-known stage and TV actor. Performers included stage actors Yatin Thakur, Satish Agashe, Jyotsna Karkhanis, Asha Khari and Arun Vaidya. Child-artist Vedashri Agashe captivated the audience by her solo act.

According to one of spectators, Phadke’s plays can be considered as classics. The evening was nostalgic for many who were associated with Phadke during his lifetime. Shyam Phadke, who was fondly called Bapu, was rated as one of the only two great Marathi writers who scripted truly humorous plays, the other being Baban Prabhu. He also wrote plays for children, among others.

In addition to being an accomplished writer, Phadke served as the principal of Dnyansadhana College and is still remembered fondly by all students and teachers who were associated with him. Show-host Joshi, who was one of the many students trained by Phadke said, "Phadke Sir would get so involved with his students, that they often forgot they had a teacher among them. His dedication to whatever he did was extraordinary."

Towards the end of the evening Sumati Phadke felicitated all those who contributed to the programme. As the people were leaving the venue, there was one feeling shared by most…that Shyam Phadke lives on.

Circle of Friends

Circle of Friends

In my opinion, friends are like diamonds, because just like diamonds, friends are forever too. Take for instance friends of Ashok Sathe, the well known Marathi stage, TV and film artist. Sathe turned sixty on March 10, 2002 and his friends (most of who started their career with him) celebrated the occasion in an unusual style.

Sathe’s friends wanted to use the occasion for a meaningful activity. So they organized a public programme at Sahyog Mandir wherein they held a discussion forum on the topic "Spardhechya Disha aani Dasha". S.N. Navare (another well-known Marathi celebrity) presided as Chief Guest. The other panelists were Kamlakar Sontake, Vishwas Mehandale, Bappu Limaye, Ramesh Choudhary, all of who represent the Marathi Entertainment Industry at various levels.

It was a particularly interesting discussion as it revealed the darker shades of state-level theatre competition. There was universal agreement on the suggestion that competitions cause most artists, directors and producers to become extremely result-oriented with just one objective in mind when conceiving a play or performing a role – that of impressing the judges. Critical factors such as a good script, proper lighting effects etc. are ignored in the quest for awards. As a result of these developments, the scope for experimentation with uncommon ideas and concepts is greatly narrowed down.

The panel of senior artists appealed to the Maharashtra Government to address the situation and pledged support to the steps initiated in this direction.

Thanks to Sathe’s friends, the audience, comprising of some two hundred theatre enthusiasts, enjoyed what was perhaps one of the most unusual birthday celebrations.

Cultural Designs
Thane’s Milind Kulkarni has introduced an exclusive range of tee-shirts, which are available not at garment outlets, but at bookstores. A graphic designer by profession, Kulkarni feels that the uniqueness of his tee-shirts would be lost if they were displayed along with other garments – which is why he wants to avoid selling them through the regular channel.

And what makes Kulkarni’s tee-shirts unique? It is his vision of spreading the richness of Marathi culture and literature through his tee-shirts, which are sold under the brand name of Paridhaan. Each tee-shirt is painted with unique words from the world of Marathi culture – famous film dialogues, nursery rhymes, names of popular plays etc.

For instance, one design carries the words "ye re ye re pavasa", the favourite Marathi nursery rhyme while another one displays the words "preeye paha", from the popular Marathi play "Sanget Saubhadra". According to Kulkarni, "a true lover of Marathi literature and culture will take pride in sporting one of his tee-shirts."

Kulkarni’s efforts have already begun showing encouraging results. His concept of Marathi designer tee-shirts has been appreciated by prominent Marathi personalities such as Vasundhara Pendse Naik (President of Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Parishad) and renowned Marathi writer Ratnakar Matkari.

Kulkarni’s target is not restricted to only Marathi-speaking public. In fact his ultimate objective is to sell his tee-shirts to foreigners. According to him, the art of fashion carries a universal appeal and this means that all fashion-conscious individuals are his prospects. To substantiate this, he gives an example, "Many Indians wear tee-shirts that sport messages in various foreign languages like German, French and even Japanese. They may not comprehend the message, but they pick up the tee-shirt for its aesthetic value."

Food Fete

Food Fete

Food recipes are meant to be shared. And that’s exactly what they do at food festivals where people prepare variety of dishes and put them on display. In this respect, chefs and cooks can be easily compared with artists. Dione Lucas, cooking school teacher, television chef and cookbook author says, "The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living."

January 11, 2002 was a joyful day for food lovers in Thane, when the 22nd Food Festival cum Cooking Competition was organised at CKP Hall. Over 500 people visited the exhibition which was organised by "Snehada" woman’s association, C.K.P Mahila Branch.

The event had over hundred and fifty items competing in four major categories. These four categories were Pungent, Non-vegetarian, Desserts and decoration. But the competition wasn’t as easy as it seems. There were rules to be followed. Like the desserts had to be prepared using only potatoes as the main ingredient. And the pungent category required contestants to prepare "khichdi" using only sprouted vegetables and rice.

So we had Potato cakes, Potato Gulab Jamun and Potato Sheera on display! The first prize winner of the desserts category was Shailaja Kulkarni for her extremely delicious Potato Gulab Jamuns. Smita Lanjkar, Sadhana Phadnse and Geeta Ravte were the winners in other categories.

Smt. Pramod Gupte, the president of Snehada says, "The items were judged on various aspects like taste, presentation, written recipe and spontaneity. So it is important that besides being delectable, the dish should look tempting and the recipe should be authentic and original."

Harriet Van Horne, a famous American writer once said, "Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all." Now we now that the secret behind the potato desserts is that all important ingredient – love.

Colorful Memories
At yet another function held recently, a different form of art was discussed. The function was held in appreciation and salutation of a book written by renowned painter L. R. Patole. Originally from Sholapur, Patole is based in New York since the last 30 years.

The function was jointly organized by Marathi Granth Sangralaya, a 108-year old library located behind Prabhat Talkies and Swarang Nirmiti, a publication project. The main speakers were eminent painter of Thane Jyotsna Kadam and Principal of Thane School of Art, Mrs. Neelima Kadhe.

The book is called "Athavancha Rangresha" or Colorful Memories. According to Makarand Joshi, secretary of Marathi Granth Sangralaya, "This book assumes significance as it is an extremely valuable and rare addition to the world of Marathi Literature. There are very few books written about Marathi painters and their art."

The book is autobiographical in nature (first-person narration) wherein the author relates various phases of his life, his paintings, the persons he met and the events that were responsible to lead him to the world of painting.

Pablo Picasso, one of the most celebrated artists of the twentieth century said, "Painting is just another way of keeping a diary". In other words, Patole’s book is actually based on his diary – his paintings.