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I have been to Dakshina Chitra a few times, mostly accompanying my clients  (Yes, I know, it sounds like a cliché) who visit from abroad as a pit stop on the way to Mahabalipuram. It is a living museum of art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India, presented in an enjoyable way – They certainly have succeeded in that mission. The place is convenient to visit from the city, well maintained – even the toilets here are super clean (Swachh Bharat!), a rarity in tourist places in India. It takes about an hour to reach from the…

Airports around the world tend to be unloving places – people of multi-ethnicity crisscrossing, not stopping for a smile – staff running around like machines – inhuman announcements calling names – food that taste lifeless and so on. There are few airports that make you feel warm and cheer you up after a tiring day. Many airport authorities are realising this, and, try to light up and add a soul to their properties. Chennai Airport, certainly not famous for being efficient or comfortable, has been working with Tamil Nadu state’s Handicraft company “Poompuhar”.  Today during a trip I noticed Mumbai’s T2 Terminal…

Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd. through its brand Poompuhar has been promoting artisans around Tamil Nadu state and showcasing their works for sale. In cooperation with Ministry of Textiles, they are conducting an exhibition and sale, called Craft Bazaar. The exhibition is open until 15th March at Kalaivanar Arangam, Wallajah Road, Chepauk. Handicrafts and cotton textiles made by artisans are on display. Today I went to the exhibition with my wife – the items were so attractive and beautiful, that we bought over a dozen items.  Don’t miss it, encourage our artisans. தவறாமல் சென்று பாருங்கள் – சென்னை கலைவாணர் அரங்கத்தில் வரும் 15ஆம்…

Seeing online the colourful photographs of Theyyam festival that happens during winter months in Kerala, a few of my friends and I decided to travel there. Called “Dance of Gods”, the Theyyam celebrations mainly happen in the Northern Malabar regions of Kerala (Kasargod, Kannur Districts) across thousands of Temple in the area and beyond. The folk culture of Theyyam is believed to be over 800 years old. The musical dance act is performed with elaborate Headdresses, make-up, masks and accompanied by musical instruments include Chenda – parade celebrations bringing their offerings to the Goddess – and barefoot ritual fire walking.…

Tamil Nadu Government’s Department of Museum has been celebrating UNESCO’s recognition of Chennai as ‘a Creative City for Music” with a series of events. For last two days, an edutainment series is happening at the Museum Theatre, titled aptly as “Iyal Isai Museum”. I attended the morning session today, which had brilliant talks by experts – got to learn so much about fields I had no knowledge. Dr Swanamalya Ganesh talked about Visual and Performing Arts (~ Dance) of 17th Century Tamil Nadu. She explained how the art form has developed over the centuries in Tamil Nadu with ample examples…