Kathakali Ramayana

Date:     Monday, October - 17, 2016
Time:    8.00 pm
Location:   Hillside Club
2286 Cedar St.
Berkeley, CA 94709

Three evenings of delightful Kathakali performances, presented by Kaladharan Vishwanath with special guest artists. Makeup & costumes by Kalamandalam Sukumaran. Introduced by Kaladharan Viswanath. Presented by Graeme & Eve Vanderstoel, and  co-sponsored with SACHI.

Monday October 17

Ravana reminisces about his childhood.
Kalamandalam Manoj as Ravana
A fascinating “monologue” by the powerful and demonic King Ravana remembering his early childhood, and his mother’s ambitions for him. This play, Ravanodbhava, was written in the mid 1700s.

Tuesday October 18

Ravana woos the abducted Sita.
Kalamandalam Manoj as Ravana, Roshni Pillai as Sita, Janhavi Pillai as Mandodari
The demonic Ravana kidnapped Rama’s wife Sita and has taken her to his kingdom in Lanka. When he mades advances to Sita, his wife Mandodari intervenes. The play Torana Yudha was written in the 16th century.

Wednesday October 19

Hanuman discovers Sita in Lanka.
Kalamandalam Manoj as Hanuman, Jan Zeitlin as Sita
Hanuman, the monkey general and alley of Rama, searches for Sita in Ravana’s kingdom of Lanka. He creates havoc before finding Sita in the palace garden. He gives Sita Rama’s ring to prove his identify. Also a scene from Torana Yudha.

For tickets please click on the link here and search for Kathakali  in “Find an Event”.



Subterranean Ghosts: India’s Vanishing Stepwells by Victoria Lautman

Date:     Friday, October - 07, 2016
Time:    7.00 pm
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA

SACHI, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India, in collaboration with Palo Alto Art Center is honored to present Chicago journalist and arts and culture specialist ,Victoria Lautman, in a discussion on her passionately researched theme  Subterranean Ghosts: India’s Vanishing Stepwells.

While Indian palaces, forts and temples receive much-deserved attention, one of the most significant architectural wonders, stepwells are often overlooked. Several stories deep, these primarily functioned to store water during the monsoons, but also served as civic retreats, respite for traveling caravans from the brutal heat, and spiritual destinations. Please join us to learn more about these fascinating structures that are rapidly disappearing.

The event is free and open to the public.

RSVP: info@sachi.org; Tel 650-918-6335


Devdutt Pattanaik in a Discussion of the Ramayana

Date:     Tuesday, October - 04, 2016
Time:    7 pm - 9 pm
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto

INK Talks and SACHI, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India, present Indian author and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik in A Discussion of the Ramayana.

Bringing his creative lens, Devdutt explores the beauty and timelessness of the ancient Ramayana epic through new and fresh perspectives. With his unique, contemporary take on myth, which he defines as subjective truth, he sheds new insights on the Ramayana’s enduring appeal across two millennia, and examines its particular relevance for contemporary society, breaking free of the traditional/non traditional ideological approach.  Join SACHI and INK as Devdutt brings into focus the epic’s immersive and harmonizing influence across generations and cultures.

Priority seating, $50; Open seating, $25; Members receive 20% discount

This Ramayana discussion precedes the Asian Art Museum Special Exhibition,

The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe which will be on display October 21, 2016 -January 15, 2017

Pattanaik’s books, published by Westland Ltd. ,will be available for sale at this event.

To learn more about Devdutt Pattanaik,  please visit www.devdutt.com

Image Credit: Illustration by Devdutt Pattanaik from his book Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana

Image 10

Depicting the Beloved: Exploring Text and Image in Sixteenth-Century Persian Painting

Date:     Sunday, September - 18, 2016
Time:    2 pm to 4 pm
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA

SACHI, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India and American Friends of SOAS, School of Oriental and African Studies (London), in collaboration with Palo Alto Art Center are pleased to present visiting Scholar Naciem Nikkhah, Ph.D.candidate at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on the relationship between text and image in sixteenth and seventeenth century Persian painting. She is particularly interested in understanding the selection process of verses of poetry that borders a painting on a single-folio, and the agency of text in comparison to painting. Her discussion focuses on Safavid and Mughal paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and argues for a direct relationship between text and image (in which the image demonstrates the outer allure and the text highlights the inner refinement). Please join us for this unique discussion.

Free and open to the public.

Hindustani Classical Music (2)

Indian Classical Music-The Next Generation in a Sarode, Sitar, and Tabla Recital

Date:     Sunday, August - 21, 2016
Time:    4.00 pm
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Road
Palo Alto, CA

SACHI (Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India) in collaboration with Palo Alto Art Center and SOHARA

brings on stage a new generation of excellent young musicians from the UK:

Arnab Chakrabarty | Sarode

Roopa Panesar | Sitar

Sanju Sahai | Tabla

Join us for an afternoon of instrumental music.



Portal to Sri Lankan Culture: The Architecture of Geoffrey Bawa, an Illustrated Presentation by Architect Thomas Soper, AIA

Date:     Sunday, June - 19, 2016
Time:    2 p.m.
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto

SACHI in collaboration with Palo Alto Art Center is delighted to present an illuminating discussion on Sri Lankan Architect Geoffrey Bawa by Thomas Soper.

Geoffrey Bawa (1919-2003) is Sri Lanka’s and one of Asia’s most celebrated and influential architects of the 20th century. Bawa received the Aga Khan Special Award for a Lifetime’s Achievement in Architecture in 2001. His life, work, and legacy have had a tremendous impact on emerging architects in the regions of Asia.

Mr. Soper’s objective is to present Geoffrey Bawa’s inspiring vision as a world architect. He will elaborate on some of Bawa’s key projects to demonstrate his mastery of regional splendor, providing insight into Sri Lankan culture via his art form. Mr. Soper traveled to Sri Lanka in 2007, and continues to explore Bawa’s architecture with great fascination.During the recent Sri Lanka trip, Tom led a small museum group to visit some of Architect Geoffrey Bawa’s key projects, which he will focus on in this lecture.

Thomas Soper is a practicing architect working in and from the Bay Area for the past four decades. While the majority of his architectural projects are California and US based, his work has taken him as far away as Bangladesh where he designed a school for the American International School system. Tom is a member of the American Institute of Architects. He has traveled extensively to Asia including Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Korea, Myanmar and Iran.

Suggested Fee: $10, collected at the door.

Image: Kandalma Hotel, Dambulla. Geoffrey Bawa, 1991-4.

Photograph, courtesy, Thomas Soper.


Healing through Art with Esther Gokhale

Date:     Saturday, May - 21, 2016
Time:    12 pm - 2 pm
Location:   200 Larkin Street, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Human beings are natural mimics. We copy what we see around us and unfortunately, posture in modern cultures has been deteriorating over the last 100 years. We can overcome this obstacle toward living our best lives by learning to treat our bodies as the natural wonders that they are. Join Esther Gokhale at the Asian Art Museum as we uplift ourselves, both physically and figuratively, by identifying patterns and mimicking the posture of ancient art and sculpture throughout the gallery collection. SACHI invites you  to explore Hindu, Buddhist and Jain artworks in the Asian Art Museum galleries for a novel posture and wellness workshop.

Fees:  $25.00 plus museum admission;  Limited to 20 participants

RSVP:  info@sachi.org;  650-918-6335


Buddha Amitayus
China, possibly, Chengde
Qing dynasty, Reign of the Qianlong emperor (1736-1795)
Lacquered and gilt wood
The Avery Brundage Collection, B60S16+
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Behind The Man Who Knew Infinity: Panel Discussion with Film Excerpts

Date:     Thursday, April - 21, 2016
Time:    7.30 pm
Location:   Cubberly Auditorium, Stanford University

Prior to the SF Film Festival Opening April 22-24, 2016, and the theater film release on April 29, 2016, SACHI (Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India) and Department of Mathematics, Stanford University invite you to an introduction and excerpts from the film, The Man Who Knew Infinity , on the life and legacy of Srinivas Ramanujan, featuring film Director Matthew Brown,  and a distinguished panel of mathematicians Manjul Bhargava (Princeton University), Ken Ono (Emory University), and Kannan Soundararajan (Stanford University). Please join us for this special conversation discussing the extraordinary genius of Ramanujan and the artistic inspiration for the film in Cubberly Auditorium at Stanford University.

For the film preview please watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP0lUqNAw3k

For pictures of this extremely well received, house-full event please click here.

A letter from Ramanujan in 1913 to Cambridge Professor G.H. Hardy, reproduced
for the film, The Man Who Knew Infinity. 
Image Credit:   Liz Colbert

The Poets of Partition

Date:     Sunday, March - 20, 2016
Time:    4 pm
Location:   87 Nora Way, Atherton, CA. 94027

In this talk, Prof. Satia will explore the experience and thoughts of Urdu poets who lived through the Partition of India in 1947. The story of Partition is typically told through the lens of high politics; here we will learn of the alternative political visions of an influential set of cultural actors. Through their lives and poetry we can excavate what other visions of the subcontinent’s future were on the table from the 1920s to 1950s.

The talk will range over the work and lives of many poets, but key figures include Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Makhdoom Mohiuddin, Hasrat Mohani, Ram Prasad Bismil, Mohamed Ali Jauhar, Allama Iqbal, Jigar Moradabadi, and Jagannath Azad. Dr. Satia will invoke earlier names like Ghalib and Daagh as well. Some will be Punjabi poets like Amrita Pritam and Shiv Kumar Batalvi.

The talk will also explore what, if anything, the poets’ lost causes can tell us about future possibilities.

Here is a link to Dr. Satia’s essay on her work:http://www.tanqeed.org/2016/01/poets-of-partition/



“Mom, You’re Not Normal”: Yasmen Mehta in conversation with Kamini Ramani

Date:     Saturday, March - 05, 2016
Time:    4 pm to 6 pm
Location:   70 Tobin Clark Drive, Hillsborough, CA

Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India (SACHI) is delighted to present Yasmen S. Mehta, a dynamic and creative San Francisco dance artist and choreographer, in conversation with Kamini Ramani,  a storyteller and fan of artistic and entrepreneurial talent.

When Yasmen Mehta’s daughter tells her, “Mom, you’re not normal,” she takes it as a compliment. It has taken her many years to achieve sublime nuttiness, and she has relished every wacky experience that brought her closer to her goal. In her memoir, Mehta shares her hilarious and fascinating life story and the many lessons she has learned along the way. After twenty years of pirouettes and pliés, her decision to embrace her inner jock through speed skating further cemented popular opinion: Yasmen Mehta is not normal. Mehta currently teaches CrossFit, Pilates, and Yoga Tune Up®. In telling her life story, she explores the power, beauty and grace of the human body while encouraging others to experience that for themselves.

Kamini Ramani is a Bombay native turned San Francisco resident for over 25 years. Her love for literature began in the dark halls of Elphinstone College where she was taught and inspired by a phalanx of legendary Parsi professors. She pursued this interest with a degree in English Literature at Yale University, followed by a second degree at Stanford University. She is an avid reader of fiction (South Asian & beyond). As the marketing partner at venture capital firm Mayfield, Kamini enjoys amplifying the stories of passionate entrepreneurs.

Q & A, and Book Signing will follow the conversation.

Free Admission; Light Refreshments will be served.