Paintings by the colonial era Company artist: SitaRam

During the late 18th century as the East India Company expanded its control over Bengal and parts of  northern India, Indian painting technique and style underwent revolutionary changes. The Mughal style of painting using natural pigments and minerals were abandoned for the newly learned watercolour technique, and old painting themes that were based on historical…

Exploring the history of tea

Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things ~ Chaim Pot. “I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky Where did the culture of tea drinking start? No, the habit of drinking tea as regular beverage did not originate in…

Traversing the Ganges, from Old Times to New – Part I

A lifeline that has defined human civilisation. A river that holds a cosmos in itself,  a fascinating  world of flora and fauna, unseen from above, yet pulsating below, under tranquil waters. (Pic – Yamuna in Agra. Yamuna is the largest tributary of the river Ganges) In a land where infrequent monsoons are held as the main season,…

Durga Puja : A Daughter’s Homecoming

Durga Puja. The very name sounds musical to the ears of any Bengali. The festival, which celebrates the worship of the devi Durga, is synonymous with clear blue autumnal skies, white fluffy clouds, bright sunshine, and fields full of kash phool. The festival also signifies a long holiday: to the Bengalis that stay in Kolkata,…

The Journey of Kalighat Patachitra

“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” as Plato had once said and it holds true for Kalighat patachitra. With their lack of symmetry in human figures and sense of proportions, they often fail to impress the eyes of a realist. However, these paintings appeal to many art lovers with their bright colours, bold…

Calcutta- The Colonial City

Calcutta, once the city of palaces, so beloved of the British, has various  interesting theories regarding its name and origin. The name Kolikata first appeared in the 15th century writings of the Bengali poet, Bipradas Pipilai, and later in the 16th century, on the payroll list maintained by Akbar’s court. Some contend that it is this name…