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Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Dutch masterpieces from Rijksmuseum Netherlands by Arun Shanbhag

This gem is a must see for every art lover visiting The Netherlands. And plan to spend an entire day here.

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Venkateshwara Temple Coloring Pages

Nearly twenty years ago, I had picked up this free coloring book from the Sri Venkateshwara Temple in Pittsburgh, PA. It lay unused till I found it a few weeks ago. I am sharing here all the scanned pages, so you all can enjoy the sublime joy of coloring. Download the PDF of SVT Coloring […]

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Notes – Why does Anish Kapoor support delinquent NGOs

Saw an article in the Guardian by Anish Kapoor about “India being ruled by a Hindu Taliban.” In the article he mentions with great angst, Nine thousand NGOs have been “de-registered” in a concerted effort to force out these “nuisance” groups … (quotation marks are from the article) Every time I see a number being […]

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Meera at the Harvard Art Museum

pictures from the Harvard Art Museum Cambridge by Arun Shanbhag

For many years, Harvard’s Fogg Museum showcasing a beautiful collection of 19th century French and American art, was one of my favorite past-times in Boston. Harvard also hosted a unique Degas at Harvard exhibition – Degas: Of Dancers and Bathers. A few years ago, Harvard undertook a major renovation of the Fogg Museum, expanded it, […]

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Mehndi (or Henna) designs

photos of bridal Mehndi designs on hands and feet by Arun Shanbhag

Here are a few pics from my niece’s mehndi gathering before her shādi. The lady squeezes out the mehndi paste from a foil cone and uses it to draw intricate designs on hands and feet. As the paste dries, fresh lemon juice is squeezed on it to keep it moisten and intensify the color. Shādi […]

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Mumbai’s Terminal T2, more

pics of art and murals at Mumbai's Terminal T2 by Arun Shanbhag

After my earlier passage through Mumbai’s new T2 terminal, I knew what to expect. On arrival, as everyone else darted to Baggage Claim (and staring at flapping slats whizzing by), I strolled through the endlessly curved, glass-lined walkway. I paused at each exhibit and took it in. The breadth of art types on display was […]

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Zebra and Ohto Mechanical Pencils

pics of Zebra pencils and Ohto Sharp Pencils by Arun Shanbhag

I love writing with pencils and slowly weaned Meera away from markers and crayons – I just threw them all away ;-). Now she exclusively uses color pencils for her drawings and I see her focus and attention to detail has increased tremendously. That is also translating into her writing skills. As I walked her […]

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Tulip Season

sketch of Tulips by Arun Shanbhag

Usually, I take pics of tulips in my garden (see here, here and here). This year I have been impressed at how easy it was to draw them on the iPad with Paper. I use this app often at work to sketch key concepts.

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Ram Navami – battle against terror continues

Frieze of Shri Ram killing Ravana at the Khetapai Narayana Temple in Bhatkal by Arun Shanbhag

Wishing All A Wonderful Rām Navamī Bliss in Śri Rām’s Grace M&m and A The frieze above is from the outer wall of Khetapai Narayan Temple in Bhatkal, which I recently visited. This tiny stone temple was built ca 1546 when Konkani traders escaped Portuguese persecution in Goa and settled in Bhatkal. The Bhatkal port […]

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Murals by Mario at Madgaon Train Station

pictures of Murals by Mario at Madgaon Station, Goa by Arun Shanbhag

I am a creature of habit. On every visit to Goa, I follow a similar routine. First I commune with our kuldevata at the Shanteri Kamakshi Ramnath Devasthan in Ponda, then I may get a cup of Chai or two at the local canteen. Perhaps visit the nearby Mahalakshmi Devasthan and the Mangeshi Devasthan; and […]

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Meera Visits the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Pics from Meera visits the Harvard Museum of Natural History by Arun Shanbhag

A couple of weeks back, I took a day off and brought Meera to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. HMNH is quite small, but packed with an amazing collection of dinosaur skeletons, stuffed large animals, skeletons of whales and many other species, including a sizable bird and small animal grouping. I had been here […]

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The Earth is an Egg

Pics of The Earth is an Egg, Exhibit at the Shivaji Museum, Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag

During a visit to the Shivaji Museum in Mumbai, I captured this outdoor installation on the grounds of the Museum by Prashant Keluskar and Laxmi Narwekar. Very creative. The artists are trying to remind us that the earth is fragile. I think it better depicts the fragile and infantile nature of the human psyche. Perhaps […]

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Wedding Rangoli

Rangoli - Shubh Vivah (Congratulations on the Wedding) by Arun Shanbhag

Shubh Vivah = Congratulations for an auspicious Wedding! Saw this hand draw Rangoli outside a wedding hall in Pali, near Pune; approx. 6-7 ft across. The white is usually rice powder, which the birds and ants are expected to eat away. Spectacular, no?

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Heritage, Countee Cullen

Found many poems, scribbled on scraps of yellowing paper, squirreled away in drawers. Saving it here before Meera rips it to shreds. What is Africa to me: Copper sun or scarlet sea, Jungle star or jungle track, Strong bronzed men, or regal black Women from whose loins I sprang When the birds of Eden sang? […]

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Krishna Janmashtami: Celebrating Krishna

drawing of Radha krishna in Vrindavan celebrating Gokulashtami by Arun Shanbhag

Whenever there is a decay of dharma (righteousness), O Bharata and good people are persecuted, then I will manifest myself. ~ Shri Krishna to Arjuna in the Srimad Bhagvad Gita: 4:7 Wishing you all a Joyous Krishna Janmashtami! M&m&A

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Video: Jana Gana Mana, List of Performers

With democracy comes a serious responsibility. What are you doing with your democracy? Happy Independence Day!

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Video: Weaving Jaaii Flowers

pic of Puja for Naga Devata with Jaaii Juhi flowers in Kumta by Arun Shanbhag

During recent travels, I was visiting relatives in Honavar, Karnataka – a sleepy coastal town south of Kumta (see google map below). I had stopped by a family store to add money to my pre-paid cell phone. There, this older gentleman was weaving these delicate pink buds called jaaii-che kaLo. These buds only sprout after […]

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Meera Tames Wild Animals at Kala Ghoda Festival

Meera at the Kala Ghoda Festival 2010

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Charyl Weissbach: Balsam Poplars

Something about artists, they just blow me away. Look at this beautiful piece called Balsam Poplars! Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but as you dwell on the image, it draws you in. Did you notice the depth created by different media the artist uses? As I look carefully, I see more fascinating […]

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Spring in Boston

The days that used to lie curled up, numbed by penetrating frost, bit by bit stretch out their limbs now that winter’s past. ~ Sri Dharanidhara from Vidyadhara’s Subhaashita Ratnakosha Translated from the Sanskrit by Daniel HH Ingalls, Harvard University Press The original verses were composed between the 8th and 10th century. Vidyadhara probably compiled […]

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Shivaji and Mother; Meera at the Zoo

Photos from Jijabai and shivaji at Jijamata zoo Ranibaug in Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag

Just in time for Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti. In Mumbai, we had visited the Jijamata Gardens and Zoo (Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udhyan – PraNisangrahalay) named after Shivaji’s mother who had a positive and lasting influence on a young Shivaji. Mumbai’s premier Museum and International Airport are also named after Shivaji. We have all seen many […]