Welcome to the Expert Hour brought to you by Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation and its principal patron John Delano. We work to preserve Indian history, heritage, art, artists and culture. This series of talks deals with subjects that are light, interesting, inspiring and invigorating. To borrow Mahatma Gandhi’s words: “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” So join us as we take you through the exciting world of art and artists, delve into the inquisitive mind of authors and scholars, peer through the lens of photographers to capture magical moments, and explore the vibrant melting pot of cultures that defines India and what makes up the Expert Hour.
Expert Hour with Rupika Chawla - Episode 2 (The Ajanta Caves)
While she is an expert on the life and work of Raja Ravi Varma, Rupika Chawla is also extremely well versed with other forms of Indian art and artists. Her soon to be released book on the art in the Ajanta Caves will be testament to that fact. We speak to this prolific author and scholar on what she found fascinating about the Ajanta Caves and try and gather more information from her on the focus area of her book.
Expert Hour with Rupika Chawla - Episode 1 (Raja Ravi Varma)
Raja Ravi Varma & His Contemporary Artists
Rupika Chawla is an expert on the art of Raja Ravi Varma. She has written the most comprehensive volume on his life and his work titled 'Raja Ravi Varma: Painter of Colonial India'. She is also one of India's finest conservators and restoration specialists. Her forte includes restoring the works of Raja Ravi Varma and other classic paintings done on canvas, board and paper.
Her knowledge on Ravi Varma, his style, technique, subjects and life is incomparable for she has more than two decades worth of research on the artist to her credit.
Expert Hour with Aditya Sondhi
In this episode we speak to Aditya Sindhi, senior advocate Karnataka High Court and Supreme Court of India, on copyright laws around art. Mr Sondhi is also an art enthusiast and loves to spend his time learning more about new art and artists.
Expert Hour with Dr. Caleb Simmons
Dr. Caleb Simmons specializes in religion in South Asia, especially Hinduism. His research specialties span religion and state-formation in medieval and colonial India to contemporary transnational aspects of Hinduism. His book Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India (Oxford University Press, 2020), examines how the late early modern/early colonial court of Mysore reenvisioned notions of kingship, territory, and religion, especially its articulations through devotion. He teaches courses on Hinduism, Indian religions, and method and theory of Religious Studies at the University of Arizona. Dr Simmons has also published several other books and papers and is an expert on Mysore, its history and culture.
Expert Hour with Manu S. Pillai
Prolific author and historian Manu S. Pillai releases his fourth book in five years, 'False Allies: India's Maharaja's in the age of Ravi Varma'. After having closely examined his growth and success over the years, Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation was delighted to give the author a research grant for this new book.
We speak to him about this new twist that he has given an often jaded narrative, his favourite Ravi Varma painting and what his plans are for his next book.
Expert Hour with Shoba Narayan
She’s dabbled in it all - art, food, wine, fashion, travel, culture, spirituality and writing. Shoba Narayan wears many hats, but what she’s known for most are her eclectic written works - more specifically non-fiction memoirs. Her varied experiences reflect brilliantly in the words she pens, her thoughts are deep, yet easy to grasp.
Shoba Narayan is the author of five books. She has been a journalist and columnist for 30 years, writing for national and international publications. She has won a James Beard Award and a Pulitzer Fellowship. She has taught and lectured at universities in India and abroad. She is interested in Indian aesthetics– and has researched its influence on jewellery, music, textiles and scents. She is a birdwatcher, wine-drinker and gadget geek.
Her lifelong mission is to get fit without exercising and lose weight without dieting.