Archive for January, 2009

23 Western Art Masterpieces That You Must Know

I recently started exploring art through wikipedia tours. Each art piece listed below is linked to its original wikipedia article. I found this list very interesting and decided to reproduce the list on Visceral Observations.  🙂

1.Venus Di Milo


The Aphrodite of Milos, better known as the Venus de Milo, is an ancient Greek statue and one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture. It is believed to depict Aphrodite (called Venus by the Romans), the Greek goddess of love and beauty. It is a marble sculpture, slightly larger than life size at 203 cm (6.7 ft) high. Its arms and original plinth have been lost.

From an inscription that was on its plinth, it is thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch; it was earlier mistakenly attributed to the master sculptor Praxiteles.

It is at present on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The story of its discovery and fame is worth reading at wikipedia page.

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Link Diary: January 2009

Admist so much furure about accustations of perverse ‘slum tourism’ of the West in Slumdog Millionaire and Adiga’s The White Tiger, I couldn’t have escaped unscathed. Dev aka former lallopallo 😀 posed this question “Did West take advantage of India’s slums?’ to veteran filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and wrote a complete post about it. Hop over and oblige Dev with your views. He,  as an apiring filmmaker, is very keen to know what you think.

While we are at the subject, do not miss this Mumbai’s other side (read slumdog) presentation at Telegraph. Note the title: Mumbai’s real slumdogs Do you find it offensive? Slideshow also has a picture of child labourers making carved belts in appalling conditions.

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Book Review: The White Tiger



Finally, I read this book. The book was interesting to read. First the interesting background story of the book:

This book’s author Aravind Adiga was very much in news before the book came out for receiving the one-of-the-highest-advances- Indian-authors-have ever-received-for- a-book in an auction at London Book Fair. $30, 000 USD (14lakhs). Remember advance is the not the total money an author makes, its amount of money that is given to cover the time it will take the writer to write the book. And then when the book got published, it would not sell, pubishers were worried. Situation, of course, changed when The White Tiger was awarded  Man Booker Prize. Book sales soared. Then Adiga, dropped another newsy bomb, by firing his agent who had got him a big fat advance.

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Robbed on A Busy Street

jobless_robbedIt was this bit of local news that prompted me to write this post.  Do not dismiss this news story as just another crime. Crime sometimes walks right into you, your home. As it happened to me. In our Capital City, Delhi. Yes, here you go with my story. How I was robbed recently.

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Book Review: Bitter Chocolate

bitter_chocolateBitter Chocolate is book by a journalist Pinki Virani, who has also authored a critically acclaimed novel Aruna’s Story. Bitter Chocolate is a book about Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) in India, interspersed with facts, figures and several real-life accounts. Pinki candidly informs that she herself has been the victim of child abuse. Throughout the book, the focus of the book remains the child who is victim of CSA.

The book discusses what CSA entails, and its socio-cultural-legal aspects. It can be distressing to read the book at times, given the nature of subject and the fact. In fact, Smita wrote in her comments on this blog that for this reason she has not been able to bring herself to read the book. I completely understand, but we can’t refuse to face the reality because it is starkly dark.

CSA is not new to World at large. Maya Angelou, the author of her award-winning autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a CSA victim was so traumatised that she stopped talking till she became an adult. Virginia Woolf is no stranger to CSA, having been sexually abused in her childhood by her two stepbrothers, Gerald and George Duckworth. Singer Carlos Santana, mystery writer Edgar Allan Poe and filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock also have one thing in common: they have suffered from CSA. Just because they tasted success in the end, doesn’t mean all CSA victims turn out right without repercussions. Author has accounted for this with help of real-life cases and experiences that I will not repeat here.

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The Alphabet Tag – R and G

I had been voluntarily tagged ages ago by museditions to write 10 things I love with letter ‘R’.

Racket/Racquet: This is significant, for it marks my brief sporting career in badminton. Who knows, I could have been named next after Prakash Padukone if I had continued. 😉

Raconteur: You bet, I would say this, I love stories, so I have to love story-tellers. I appreciate all the local, amateur talent as well.  Mark Twain and Ruskin Bond and are few of my favorite raconteurs.
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January 2009