Posts Tagged ‘review’

Chidiyon ka pinjra, Ranga Shankara, 151114: Theatre review

November 17, 2014

found that

this review

has said it all equally well!

The only thing I have to add is that I am sorry that there was no brochure, and no introduction of the cast and crew…two things that always add to my enjoyment of a play.


Bade Miyaan Deewane: Play Review, 080614

June 9, 2014


is my review of the Hindustani play that I went to watch at Ranga Shankara yesterday.

Another excellent review is


The story of the play, as given by Ranga Shankara:

The play is essentially about a rich and eccentric octogenarian, who is used to a luxurious and flamboyant lifestyle. He is swept off his feet by a beautiful young girl in his neighborhood, who also happens to be the love interest of his son.

Meer Sahab falls for his neighbour’s young daughter. His son, Tabish, is also in love with the same girl and wants to marry her. Sheikh Sahab, on the other hand, wants his daughter to marry a dynamic man. Shaukat, a charming young writer, is an acquaintance of both Meer Sahab and Sheikh Sahab. Shaukat is a genuine well-wisher of Meer Sahab, who wants him to stop splurging his wealth on his tawaif (Heera & Gulab) and return to his good old days. Meer Sahab wants Shaukat to convince Sheikh that he is a great prospect for his daughter and at the same time, Sheikh wants Shaukat to counter Mir Sahab’s advances and teach him a lesson.

An enjoyable evening of folklore and children’s theatre, 230314

March 23, 2014





Click here

to see my review of the evening (which was more than just the play), by Bangalore Little Theatre.

I’m glad I could show KTB a bit of children’s theatre in India!

2013….looking back

December 31, 2013

A fairly eventful, momentous year.
Some moments brought a
Many brought a smile.
Each phase lasted a little while.

There was the end of my ailing marriage.
The horse separated from the straying carriage.
There was the birth of my dear grandson.
I took care of him …and the elder one.

Grandchildren are one of life’s great joys…
Whether they are girls or boys.
I enjoyed the love of my daughter
And the joys that her life brought her.

I spent a lot of time in another home.
The baby kept me there…I didn’t roam.
I managed, through it all to click and write.
I was happy, I seemed to be doing something right.

I fought major issues in my mind, and life.
It was a time of very great strife.
Meditation and medication are seeing me through.
I still dip occasionally..and am blue.

I’m nowhere near where I want to be.
In the mirror I want to see
A much better person than I am now.
I will keep trying…that’s what I vow.

Here are my wishes to all of you, too.
I hope this year brings happiness to you.
I must say it gives me pleasure
To wish my friends…my greatest treasure.


Theatre…nature….Citizen Matters…forests, snakes, and frogs…

September 17, 2012

A review of “An Evening with Anton Chekhov” by rafiki and TFA:

click here for the CitMat review

and about what I did last Sunday,

click here for the CitMat report

I do live a GREAT life, doing all the things I want to! Will post photos from my Goa trip soon…I hereby announce with great glee, that almost everyone in my group, except me, slipped and fell at various times during the trip!

You want a sneak preview of a Green Vine Snake eating a frog? Here’s my photo, the first on my FB album (will post the videos here later)

click here

“Stories in a Song”: Play Review

March 13, 2012

click here

to read the review of the play in Citizen Matters

After a long time, a book review…

November 25, 2011

I used to review books for the Indian Review of Books, long ago, in Chennai. Then I gave it up, for what reason, I still do not know…but after a very long time, another book review of mine, which I had put up in Citizen Matters, earlier,made it into print in the Deccan Herald,


Sadhana’s book is a very handy guide for those who want to know the names of common urban trees…and all that surrounds them!

“Crisis of Civilization: A Journey with Tagore”: Play Review

May 18, 2011

You can read it


“Just Look Up…” Book Review

May 11, 2011

It’s rare to find a book written for one city, that can be used as a ready reckoner for several others! But that’s the case with “Just Look Up….to see the magic in the trees around you”, a very handy booklet written by Sadhana Ramchander, and published by Blue Pencil Creative.

The book may be aimed at children…but it is very useful for adults, too, who’d like to look around them at the common trees in the cities.

Many “handbooks” or field guides are rather unwieldy to take along with one on one’s outings; especially if they are hardbound. Sadhana’s book is a slim volume…and it lists the common trees that can be found, not only in Hyderabad, where she lives, but in almost any Indian city or metro.

The book starts with a foreword by Bittu Sahgal, the editor of Sanctuary Asia, which makes the very important point that trees are not “things” but a form of life.

An introduction suggests that apart from the usual children’s occupation of going on the internet or using cellphones, they could also look at the trees around them…and segues neatly into introducing the first tree on Sadhana’s list, the Kadamba.

A list of twenty-two trees….with scientific names, and lovely, clear photographs, not only of the trees themselves, but of the leaves, the flowers, and sometimes, objects and jewellery made from them (as, for example, ear drops made with the seeds of the Coral Bead tree)..makes very interesting reading indeed.

Set in at intervals in the list, is the “Poetry and craft” section. Children do love to create things with their own hands, and suggestions as diverse as little models made from Gulmohar buds and broomsticks, or a mustard-sprout “smiley”, are given with clear instructions on “how to”.

Towards the end of the book is yet another unusual page, which says, “Before you look up, you actually look down”…and shows photographs of the petals of various flowers from the trees, that spread out in a carpet on the ground, prompting you to look up into the trees themselves. And in addition, are some illustrations of the other interesting things one sees when one looks down, a and here, and there…and observes!

The illustrations and artwork by Kobita Das Kohli, Aiman Eshana, Malini, Poojitha, and Rahel are delightful and add value to the book.

There is a very good bibliography and “further reading” and “things to do” section, too, for those who would like to take their interest further.

The book ends with a graphic “calendar” of the flowering of the trees. This particularly resonated with me, as I live in Banglaore, where the “serial flowering” of the trees, planted with forethought by the Dewan of Mysore State, Sir Mirza Ismail, and a team of eminent horticulturists (including
Gustav Krumbiegel and Marigowda) is a great feature of the city.

What I liked about the book was the fact that it is printed on such good quality paper. This will ensure that though taken on frequent outings, the book will last. The typeface and fonts chosen,too, and clear and easy to read. The proof-reading of the book has been excellent.

This kind of quality of publication, of course, comes at a cost, and the book is priced at Rs. 175. But I feel that this is a small price to pay, to give into a child’s, or adult’s hands, a book that they will find very useful indeed, and will awaken their interest in the wonderful beings who are, as Sadhana says, ” give us something or the other all the time, but ask for nothing in return.”

Another thing I particularly liked was the author’s freely-given permission to reproduce any part of the book for non-profit educational purposes as long as the author is properly credited.

I would strongly recommend that all Bangaloreans buy this book for their children…and for themselves! Perhaps, with more awareness, the present Bangalore craze to cut down trees in their thousands to create broader roads for more polluting traffic to go through, will ease off….!

“Just Look Up…to see the magic in the trees around you “

By Sadhana Ramchander

with a foreword by Bittu Sahgal.

Photographs, unless otherwise credited, by the author.

Published by Bluepencil Infodesign

Price: Rs.175, 60 pages.
Printed at Pragati Offset, Hyderabad

Available online


(though it says the book is out of stock, it is available)

Magnum ke Tasveer: Exhibition of Hollywood Photographs

December 23, 2010

My friend Vishwas and I went to see an exhibition of Hollywood photographs at

Tasveer Art Gallery

I enjoyed the photographs on several levels. The first reaction, of course, was to the technical excellence of the photographs themselves. In the era of black-and-white photography, when photography was a cumbersome and tedious process, these photographers have yet produced such gems! Portraiture, to me, is one area where black-and-white photography still holds its own against colour.

Portraying people noted for their looks, as well as their talent, can hold its own challenges. Which aspect would you highlight as a photographer? Some photographs, such as that of Ingrid Bergman, focus on the beautiful lines of her face and neck; it’s the physical beauty that is captured. Others, such as the photograph of Alfred Hitchcock, with a bird settling on his trade-mark cigar, touch with a sense of sardonic humour on the film, or the talent, of the subject. There was one very memorable photograph of

Satyajit Ray

his kurta soaked in the perspiration of a humid Kolkata afternoon, directing his cameraman, the equally famous

Subrata Mitra

I was also impressed by the range and scope of the collection itself, and the hard work that must have gone into gathering the various negatives. Perhaps this is what justifies the astronomical prices (ranging from Rs. One to Two Lakhs, and above!) that are being charged. Well, thankfully for impecunious visitors like me, we can see the photographs for free, at least for a while!

Seeing the photographs also set in train many thoughts about the nature of physical beauty. The camera captures what will be lost later; that smooth skin will wrinkle, that thick mane of hair will wither away….Anno Domini will take its toll, and the beauty of the photograph will be the hagged crone of today’s reality. Why, I wonder, are the most fleeting things the most satisfactory? In some things we respect the majesty that longevity brings, but not when it comes to human beauty. We worship youth…we don’t accord enough respect to Age, it seems.

This was exemplified by one photograph of a white-haired Charlie Chaplin, directing a movie….I would never have recognized him, which means that only the photographs of his younger days are familiar ones.

Another aspect of the photographs was the bulk of the photographic equipment in them. In that photo of Charlie Chaplin, the giant dimensions of the movie camera bring out, starkly, how much miniaturization has occured in a short period of time. The ordinary photographer, taking a quick video of a street scene on his mobile camera, cannot imagine the kind of clunky equipment it took to make a silent movie of the 20′s! The march of technology for the common man is truly amazing.

Nice to visit an exhibition which elicits so many reactions! Thank you, Tasveer!