Deep Ki Bela’ Diwali Concert with Vidya Shah

Date:     Sunday, November - 11, 2012
Time:    5:00 p.m.
Location:   Home of Vinati Mishra
2190 Broadway, Apt. 9W
San Francisco, CA 94115

A festive musical evening over tea, wine, and refreshments.

SACHI, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India and Mrs. Sarla Mishra and Ms. Vinati Mishra invite you to a special Diwali Celebration. The Hindu Festival of Deepavali–the dazzling Festival of Lights, is a season of prosperity, abundance and well being, signifying the joyous and victorious return of Lord Rama as King of Ayodhya. The Gods rejoice with their devotees.Vidya Shah presents traditional verses from the ancient temple tradition in celebration of Deepavali. The songs will be steeped in the ragas of Indian classical music, and endowed with the grandeur of celebration.


SACHI Celebrates 15 Years

Date:     Saturday, November - 03, 2012
Time:    2 p.m.
Location:   Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

Join us for a Special Event at the Asian Art Museum
An Indian Way of Seeing: The Art of Raja Ravi Varma
A lecture presentation by Robert J. Del Bontà

Image: Ravi Varma, Kadambari, chromolithograph. Ravi Varma Press, ca. 1900. Robert J. Del Bontà collection


Lasya Kavya The World of Alarmel Valli

Date:     Saturday, November - 03, 2012
Time:    11am
Location:   Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

Free after museum admission
A Film by Sankalp Meshram

This National award winning film by director Sankalp Meshram attempts to portray the freshness, dynamism, and contemporary quality of a classical dance form like Bharatanatyam. It explores the artistic and aesthetic world of Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Alarmel Valli. Internationally acclaimed for her distinctive dance style, Alarmel Valli described as “classical and yet contemporary, precise and poetic”, is a Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee conferred by the President of India. She is also a recipient of the Chevalier of Arts & Letters award from the Government of France, and the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademy award in India.

This program is co-sponsored by SACHI and the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco


A Royal Legacy: Conversation with jewelry artist designer Jyosna Singh Chawla

Date:     Thursday, October - 25, 2012
Time:    3-5 p.m.
Location:   Home of Anna Spudich, 3035 Country Club Court, Palo Alto, CA 94304

Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India invites you to

A Royal Legacy: Conversation with jewelry artist designer Jyosna Singh Chawla

Thursday, October 25, 3-5 p.m.
Home of Anna Spudich, 3035 Country Club Court, Palo Alto, CA 94304

RSVP required,;
510.583.1403; limited seating; Admission Free

Seventy-five years ago Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala created history when he unveiled the renowned Patiala Necklace inside a Cartier showroom in Paris for the first time. Now his granddaughter unveils Manjusha, a line of jewelry inspired by the beauty of royal designs. Jyotsna Singh has inherited her grandfather’s passion for jewelry. Her love for stones and inventive approach characterize Jyotsna’s collection of fusion jewelry. She combines the use of semi-precious stones like amethyst, ruby, emerald with “Kundan” or “Jadau”, blending ethnic designs with very contemporary styling.

Join SACHI friends and Bay Area jewelry designer Jyotsna Singh over tea to discuss how her royal lineage led her to jewelry design. A small selection of Manjusha jewels will be on display.


Asian Art Museum celebrates the Royal Family of Travancore

Date:     Sunday, February - 26, 2012
Time:    2:00 - 3:30 p.m
Location:   Samsung Hall

Asian Art Museum celebrates the Royal Family of Travancore
Saturday February 25, 2012, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., Samsung Hall

Free after museum admission

Her Highness Princess Gouri Parvathi Bayi of the Travancore Royal Family will introduce the history of her family–an illustrious dynasty that governed, using a sacred concept of trusteeship, one of the most progressive princely states of pre-Independence India. She will give a first-hand account of the impact of this thoughtful royal family and how they address the continuity of tradition with the changing role of royals in present-day India.

Her Highness is the niece of the late Maharaja Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma and the current Maharaja, 90-year old Sri Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma. The Travancore family descends through the female line. Her Highness will share the history of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Hindu Temple with close associations to the royal family and recently much in the news as India’s “wealthiest temple.” She will also talk about the Padmanabhapuram Palace, a beautiful 450 year monument that was renovated by Maharaja Marthanda Varma in the 1750s, and other palaces associated with her family.

Arun Kumar, a Travancorean and Bay Area resident of thirty years, will serve as moderator. Kumar, a senior partner with KPMG LLP, is the author of Plain Truths, a book of poetry.


Music & Dance from the Courts of North India in a Thumri-Kathak Performance by vocalist Dhanashree Pandit Rai and Kathak dancer Keka Sinha

Date:     Thursday, January - 19, 2012
Time:    7 – 9 p.m.
Location:   Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

Music & Dance from the Courts of North India in a Thumri-Kathak Performance by vocalist Dhanashree Pandit Rai and Kathak dancer Keka Sinha

Accompanied by artists Arshad Syed on the tabla and Vivek Datar on the harmonium

Thursday, January 19, 2012
7 – 9 p.m.
Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

$75 per person, prority seating SOLD OUT
$50 per person, priority seating
Limited priority seating includes museum admission and Maharaja exhibition viewing.
Rsvp,; 650.349.1247

$20 per person, open seating, Asian Art Museum non-members
$10 per person, open seating, Asian Art Museum members
General seating may be purchased online. For tickets, please click Asian Art Museum.
For information contact; tel 415.581.3660

Re-live the splendour of the Nawabs in a unique concert of Thumri & Kathak, tracing the hand in hand journey of two great art forms through time.

Listen to immortal traditional Thumris brought to life in Kathak dance expression, re-creating the glory that was Lucknow in the early to mid-19th century.

Thumri, a light vocal classical music genre in North India, popularly ascribed to the 19th century court of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow, arose as a song accompaniment to Kathak dance. Kathak, one of the 8 major classical dance forms of India, is the art of storytelling in dance. It originated as religious storytelling in the temples of India and later gained prominence in the princely courts in mid-19th century.

A program depicting the close interaction between the two art forms, Thumri and Kathak, presented by artists Dhanashree Pandit Rai and Keka Sinha will evoke the court ambience of 19th and early 20th century India in a fully choreographed performance of dance, music, and storytelling.


Merchant Ivory’s India

Date:     Sunday, November - 13, 2011
Time:    11:30 a.m to 4
Location:   Asian Art Museum, Samsung Hall
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

Free after museum admission and open to the public. Light refreshments.

SACHI Annual Meeting will be held 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. in the Education Classrooms, Ground Floor, Asian Art Museum

Hullabaloo over Georgie and Bonnie’s Pictures (1978)
Run time: 85 minutes (cover image)
Victor Bannerjee plays a young Maharaja named George, while Aparna Sen portrays his sister, Bonnie. Brother and sister are the proud possessors of a priceless collection of miniature paintings, which makes them the target of every critic, appraiser, and huckster in the art world. Lady Gee (Peggy Ashcroft) is a museum curator–part of a group that descends upon a palace in India for a valuable collection of paintings. Merchant Ivory production

Autobiography of a Princess (1975)
Run time: 59 minutes
Indian princess Madhur Jaffrey divorced and living in self-enforced exile in London invites family friend James Mason to an annual tea party and persuades him to write a biography of her father. The two watch footage of Royal India, and the king’s privileged lifestyle only convinces the Englishman to write about those who struggled amid poverty.
Merchant Ivory production

Merchant Ivory Film Productions:
American director James Ivory (born 1928) enjoyed a successful partnership with Indian producer Ismail Merchant, in their independent film company, Merchant Ivory Productions. James Ivory’s fascination with exotic places led him to India, where he teamed up with Ismail Merchant, and German-born writer, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. The trio’s first films were set in India. Concerned with questions of cultural interplay and identity, “The trio express the difficulty of connecting through a number of metaphors: past/present, Hindu/Muslim, England/India, America/Europe, homosexual/heterosexual, man/woman”, noted film critic Jeffrey Gantz. Since 1961 Ivory, Merchant, and Jhabvala collaborated on more than 20 movies and television productions in India, the US and Europe. The films of Merchant Ivory Productions have evolved into a genre of their own.

About the Speaker:
Nalini Ghuman is Associate Professor of Music and an Asian Studies scholar at Mills College. She recently inaugurated a special one of a kind course on the music of India. An authority on British music and imperialism during the Raj, Dr. Ghuman publishes and presents her research internationally, including programs on BBC Radio and essays for Western Music and Race (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and for Elgar and His World (Princeton University Press, 2007). Her most recent book is titled, Resonances of the Raj: India in the English Musical Imagination, 1897-1947. Dr. Ghuman graduated from Oxford University and King’s College, London, completing her PhD at University of California, Berkeley in musicology and ethnomusicology. In 2004 she co-directed a fully staged performance of Gustav Holst’s chamber opera Savitri at Mills College.

SACHI Annual Event sponsors: Louise Russell, Mary-Ann Milford-Lutzker and SOAS, University of London

In Conversation with Contemporary Artist Sanjay Patel

Date:     Saturday, November - 12, 2011
Time:    12, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Location:   Asian Art Museum, Samsung Hall, 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

SACHI, Society for Art and Cultural Heritage of India, invites Members and Friends to join an unforgettable afternoon at the Asian Art Museum with creative artist Sanjay Patel. His imagery, inspired by Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts, enlivens the exhibition on view at the Asian Art Museum. Patel will also unveil a magical kingdom of mythic Indian characters in a show called Deities, Demons, and Dudes With ‘Staches, opening Nov. 11, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Asian Art Museum, Samsung Hall, 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco
FREE with museum admission and open to the public

Join Pixar animator and storyboard artist Sanjay Patel and Qamar Adamjee, the Asian Art Museum’s Associate Curator of South Asian art, for a discussion on Sanjay’s artistic process and a dialogue on Indian art and culture.

You are invited to a book signing and reception with the Artist following the conversation event.
SACHI Reception, Peterson Lounge: RSVP; tel. 650.918.6335.

Sanjay Patel is an animator and storyboard artist for Pixar Animation Studios. He is the author and illustrator of The Little Book of Hindu Deities and Ramayana: Divine Loophole. The latter presents a contemporary vision of the epic story, Ramayana, like no other, with more than 100 vibrant illustrations, sketches of work in progress, maps, and cast of characters–demons, gods, animals, and humans. He lives in Oakland, Ca.

Progam sponsored by the Asian Art Museum with a SACHI hosted reception.
Reception hosts Manish Kothari & Carmen Saura, and Meena Vashee.

The Magic of India’s Jewels

Date:     Saturday, October - 22, 2011
Time:    3 – 5 p.m.
Location:   2619 Baker Street, San Francisco

In celebration of the Maharaja exhibition launch
at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco,
SACHI, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India,
cordially invites you to attend an illustrated presentation on Indian jewelry.
The Magic of India’s Jewels
An Introduction to Mughal Jewels from Royal Households
and unique Gold Dowry and Temple Jewelry Traditions in South India
Saturday, October, 22, 2011, 3 – 5 p.m.
Home of Margy Boyd
2619 Baker Street, San Francisco

Free Admission; Limited seating
RSVP to or 650.624.8888

Muslim rulers in the Mughal courts introduced a new jewelry tradition in India which reflected their love of precious stones and passion for exquisite enameled works. Their use of abundant jewelry was tempered by the restrained elegance of each piece of adornment. Vast quantities of jewels stored in court treasuries were lavished on the Princes of India.

In contrast to Mughal traditions in North India, the South, including the Deccan, which escaped Mughal rule, preserved a much older tradition of gold dowry and temple jewelry. Both reinforced the storing and inheritance of vast quantities of gold passed on as family wealth and temple treasures. Jewelry pieces fashioned in pure gold and decorated with a pantheon of Hindu deities characterized women’s adornment and votive pieces stored in South Indian temples.

About the speaker:
Sue Ollemans, a visiting scholar from London, specializes in Oriental works of art focusing mainly on Indian jewelry, Indian miniature paintings, and also Chinese ceramics. Her latest catalogue is titled, Indian Jewellery. She trained at the Percival David Foundation and SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) London University, and has been working with collectors and museum institutions around the world since 1979.

Saving the River Ganga in an Age of Pollution: Can India’s River Goddess be restored to health?

Date:     Sunday, September - 18, 2011
Time:    11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location:   Braun Hall, Chemistry Bldg Stanford campus

Sunday, Sep. 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Braun Hall, Chemistry Bldg
Stanford campus

Free Admission and Open to the Public.
Q & A will follow the two presentations.
For questions please email or

Considered the holiest–and yet most polluted, the threatened Ganga River brings a crisis. On the one hand, it is seen as a goddess that can carry away impurities, both spiritual and physical. On the other, people mindlessly continue to defile the river with human, industrial and toxic wastes. Can we assume the river is purifying if it is polluted? The condition of the river is so dire and the effects of the river’s pollution on human and environmental health considered so dangerous, that there is an urgency to address hazards posed by dangerously unsafe water quality.

The struggle to clean the river has a long history. Ironically, the powerful environmental movement was fuelled by spiritual motivation in concern for the river, revered as a Mother. The Varanasi based Sankat Mochan Foundation led by Dr. Veer Bhadra Mishra, a head priest cum hydraulic engineer, and the Friends of the Ganges, USA have been battling for over 30 years to implement scientifically researched clean water regulations, aimed at restoring the river to health.

Panel discussants Dr. Bailey Green, President, GO2 Water, an East Bay water solutions company invited to implement an innovative AIWPS technology, and Catherine Porter, Executive President, Friends of the Ganges, USA, both actively involved in the Varanasi Ganges clean up efforts, will discuss how science, technology, religion, and environmentalism intersect in an ongoing challenge to bring hope to India’s millions who look to the river as a lifeline and a source of spiritual nourishment.