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The Magic Painting

The Magic Painting

Once upon a time there was a person who loved to paint. His name was Ankit. One day he made a painting. He loved it so much that he made it his masterpiece. That night when he slept, an angel came and blessed his painting that it should come alive. He was always lonely. He always wanted a companion to talk to and share his work and secrets. Next morning when he woke up he heard some sounds near his painting....

Babolito

Babolito

Mohanty ma’am was teaching the class five students of Arya Wonderland about similes. “As beautiful as?” she asked, looking at the students. “The rose, the Taj Mahal, Aishwarya Rai….” There were several shouts. “And now, as ugly as?” Mohanty ma’am questioned. There was a pause then a girl said in a loud and clear voice: “As ugly as Sarita.” There were a few giggles, a couple of sniggers and then laughter. Sarita felt herself burning with shame and pain as all eyes turned towards her, bored into her, making her feel exposed....

Madhubani Magic of Gangadevi

Aditi De of the ‘Women’s Feature Service’ writes about a meeting she had in the 1980s, with Gangadevi, the gifted painter of Mithila. Gangadevi is largely responsible for placing an ancient art, practiced for centuries by the women of her village, in the artistic map of the world. Face to face, Gangadevi, seemed shy at first glance. She drew the pallav (the border of the sari) of her brightly coloured cotton sari over her head, and pushed her black-rimmed spectacles firmly onto the bridge of her nose....

Alpana

Alpana

Thousands of years ago when humans did not know how to read and write he communicated by means of drawing pictures. The walls of caves where early man lived, whether it was in India or France, have been found to be full with primitive drawings. The art of alpana, practised by Indian women for centuries, is one such form of visual expression. Alpana has different names in different parts of India. In Bengal, it is Alpana, it is Kolam in south India, Rangoli in Maharashtra, Osa in Orissa, Aripana in Bihar, Sonarakha in Uttar Pradesh, Sathiya in Gujarat, Aripona in other regions of north India and Apna in western Himalayas....

The Day the Bomb Fell

The Day the Bomb Fell

Near the centre of the explosion, people were instantaneously vapourised by the seeing heat, leaving only their shadows scorched into the stonework of walls or roads. Thousands more were killed by being blown to bits, more commonly being hurled against solid subjects, crushed beneath falling buildings. Others were simply cremated into charred corpses or hideously burned with great patches of skin stipped from their bodies and hanging in flaps around them. In Hiroshima, 13 square kilometres of area was devastated and 92 per cent of its buildings were destryed....

Pablo the Pigeon Painter

Pablo the Pigeon Painter

Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano Santisma Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso. Phew! A mouthful, but a name reckoned to be among the greatest artists of the 20th century. His paintings are worth millions and millions have seen and admired his work. A handful is fortunate to own some of his paintings. He’s better known to the world as just Pablo Picasso. To his family he is simply known as – Pablito!...

The Colour of China is Red — Henna Red

The Colour of China is Red — Henna Red

July 31: Madonna, the international pop star, was among the first to use henna as an international fashion. But young people around the world are using more and more of it to beautify their bodies or their hair. And now even the Chinese have adopted it in a big way. The Colour of China is Red — Henna Red [Illustration by Sudheer Nath] Call it henna or call it ‘mehndi’, that coffee-coloured extract from the henna plant, which has been used down the ages in India as a beauty aid....

A World for Children

A World for Children

July 31: K Shankar Pillai (1902-1989) or Shankar as he was called, was one of India’s best-known and best-loved cartoonists. Besides cartooning, he had one other love – children. He was especially interested in encouraging a child’s creativity. It was lucky for children that he thought this way, and from Delhi, where he was settled he wove an amazing web of dreams for children. He began the Shankar’s International Children’s Writing and Painting Competition in 1949 or 51 years ago....

Artist of the Free Spirit

Artist of the Free Spirit

‘My heart is beating, keeps on repeating. . .’ remember the memorable lines from the 1970s Hindi movie ‘Julie’? Remember the Satyajit Ray directed film ‘Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne’ in Bengali and the mischievous Merlin-like magician Borfi? The tale of two simple village boys Goopy the singer and Bagha the drummer, who by a curious turn of fate, find themselves in the possession of boons by kindly ghosts. Artist of the Free Spirit [Illustration by Shiju George] Teeming with interesting, ‘other-worldly’ characters and the toothless Borfi in his pointy hat and glasses, a wizened creature who cast naughty spells on all and sundry....

The Emperor who Hated Schooling

The Emperor who Hated Schooling

Emperors too were children once. Even Mughal emperor Akbar, who has been given the title of Akbar the Great. He was more interested in bunking lessons rather than learn from his tutor. Being his own master from a young age, one day he decided that he did not want to study. He made the highest minister in his father Humayun’s court tell his teacher that it was to be an off day! Later in life, he went out of his way to tell people that he was illiterate....

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