Hunar Haat at Delhi

thumb_img_4950_1024

During month of  February Delhi weather gets pleasant with mellow sun and cool breeze, flower beds are blooming with new crop of winter seasonals and there is much improvement in air quality.If there is an opportunity for enjoying a tasty meal in warm sunshine and simultaneously appreciating some artworks there is a great temptation for going out and savouring the  great experience.The newly introduced Hunar Haat (Market of Artisans) at Connaught Place looked quite inviting with performing folk artists and lines of eateries offering cuisine prepared by master chefs from all over the country.

thumb_img_4957_1024

The Haat turned out to be an event organised by National Minorities Development and; Finance Corporation (NMDFC) under Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTTAD) scheme of the Minority Affairs Ministry. We were told that the  scheme aims to to encourage artists . For historical purposes -the first “Hunar Haat”,  was organised in November last year at Pragati Maidan, the one under progress at Baba Kharak Singh Marg  is the second edition .

                                               thumb_img_4947_1024 

The sidewalk at Baba Kharag Singh Marg has been converted into a mini market for display of these skills .The items on display have an amazing variety of art ware besides the eateries offering Kashmiri tea to Lucknowi Biryani besides Dilli Ki chat.The show is appropriately titled  “Craft Aur Cuisine Ka Sangam”.The performance by folk artists adds another colourful dimension  to the event.

thumb_IMG_4932_1024.jpg

As per the info provided to us  100 artisans and 30 culinary experts from about 24 states and union territories are participating at about 130 stalls .The highlight of the Haat is “Bawarchikhana” where various cuisines from different parts of the country are being showcased and the visitors can enjoy to their hearts content.

Delhiites were seen enjoying the great opportunity to savour the best of foods from all over the country which include Dal Bati Churma and Thali from Rajasthan, Sandesh and Rasogolla from West Bengal, Awadhi Mughlai foods from Lucknow, Malabari food from Kerala, Litti Chokha of Bihar, Dhokla and Jalebi from Gujarat, Kashmiri Wazwan from Jammu and Kashmir Puran Poli from Maharashtra, , Bhutte Ke Khees and Sabudana Kheer and Khichri from Madhya Pradesh.

IMG_4929.jpg

The Haat is expected to return to Delhi annually around this part of the winter.There appeared to be a promise that the  experiment will be a success and Delhiites  will continue to enjoy year after year.

*******************

Advertisements

Jab Jodhaa met Akbar

In every civilized society which cares for individual sentiments there is some law for protection of certain heritage sites and buildings since these are considered to be the collective property of the humanity and there is a recognition of the fact that every one has a right to share the unspoilt beauty of an architectural monument or a natural formation in an unaltered fashion. Unfortunately there is no legal protection in respect of an icon of history whose image cultivated over generations is mercilessly butchered by a buccaneering film producer unrepentantly and with the simple excuse that it is merely a work of fantasy and has no historical basis!

Aushutosh Gowrikar of Lagaan fame has done precisely that to the image of Jodha Bai a Rajput Queen of middle ages and the Mughal King Akbar who is remembered as one of the few benevolent despots who have given this country a symbol of administrative reforms and spirit of religious tolerance .

Having failed to meet success at the oscar nominations for his period film Lagan , Gowrikar has come out with a more calculated assault on the Oscar battlefield through Jodah Akbar romance which the film claims is not reported in history ( the name of the princess and her relation ship with Akbar is also doubted) but the expensive film with lavish squandering on objects of visual pleasure appears to be attempting to become a historical magnum opus. Nobody wishes to join the issue of historical credibility with Mr. Gowrikar but pray Mr. Gowrikar why did you thrust this plastic beauty of Indian screen to wipe out the memories of Jodha Bai so powerfully projected by the legendary Durga Khote. And your Akbar…although young , but can he ever be expected to adorn the throne occupied by powerful personae of Prithviraj Kapoor in Mughal-e-Azam which is etched in the memory of generations of cinegoers .

A good documentary for Rajasthan Tourism or chalu stuff for a good tear jerker TV serial to be watched by Saas Bahus in the afternoon , or a modern presentation of Vikram Betal stories is what you have produced Mr. Gowrikar with so much fanfare. Your bundle of mini stories of religious hysteria , Saas bahu tussle ,wimpish Rajpoot princes , plotting brother-in-law, fanatic ulemas and incognito visits of young emperor to see the status of his praja could have created a long running TV serial because each episode is a mini thriller but not the part of a story of any interesting substance. The only tears which come to the eyes of an intelligent cinegoer are due to strain of spending 200 minutes in the theatre for witnessing your mediocrity.

And there was a feeling of relief after coming out of the hall for one more reason. That was for the realization that the romantic excitement of Madhubala, Dilip Kumar pair in Mughl-e-Azam would remain beyond the reach of producers for all times and the movie would remain the true Moughal amongst the movies as tribute to the genius of it’s producer and Director.

Madam Ashwarya Rai may now try her luck with some other fake piece of history because this one again seems to have floundered like remake of Umrao Jaan…despite the hidden support of dad-in-law by way of unworthy praise of a dance sequence filmed on Hrithik Roshan. Cinegoers having seen the Mughal movies like Anarkali and Mughal-e-Azam will have to recall the emotional thrill of “Pyar kiya to darna kya “ dance number performed so tantalizingly by Madubala and the Quawalis of the films produced in sixties when they want to think of a piece of art which is highly entertaining and also intellectually satisfying , while the likes of Aishwarya and Aushotosh will fade away from the scene in no time.

And now last but not the least, the latest news  reports say that Mayawati Ji Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has chosen this occasion to garner some votes from Rajput community by placing a ban on the movie (just two days after the MP High Court quashed a ban of similar nature and under full realization that hers would also be a short lived ban). The scenario is a bit  comical in the sense that Akbar the great warrior of middle ages has come to the rescue of another damsel in distress in modern times by helping her recover some popularity in Rajput community .