Monday 24 January 2011

They All Came Calling Me in Delhi - Picasso, Rodin, Chagall, Dalí

The wonder of wonders - Picasso, Rodin, Chagall, Dali and others came calling me in Delhi recently! Normally Delhiites are starved of artist shows but I was completely taken by surprise when I read somewhere that such great artists' works would be on display. The works were on display only for four days from 20 to 23 January 2011 at Hall 18 of Pragati Maidan.

Picasso Portrait de Francoise a la resille
The above portrait was made by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) in the year 1953.

Rodin Eternal Spring
Among the greatest sculptors Auguste Rodin's (1840-1917) name would always be counted. Conceived in 1884 this model was cast in 1910. There was one more sculpture made in Rodin at the exhibition - The Thinker which is also considered a masterpiece.

I could locate only one art work made in 1980 by Marc Chagall (1887-1985) at the India Art Summit in Delhi.

Dalí Le Yunk et  les Yank

The above work is from the great Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) which he made in 1974-75

It would be a good idea to have such works of art displayed at more regular intervals as I remember the last time Picasso's works were displayed in Delhi almost a decade back.

Sunday 2 January 2011

Puran Singh Da Dhaba

Recently while driving back from Chandigarh to Delhi I decided to halt at Ambala for lunch and I thought what better place to stop than the Puran Singh Da Dhaba (Puran Singh's restaurant). I knew the location to be near the Ambala Cantonement Bus Stand but when I reached there I saw at least more than ten restaurants claiming to be Puran Singh Da Dhaba. And they all beckoned to come to their place but I ignored them as they looked too swanky.

Puran Singh Da Dhaba

I was aware that the original one that is very famous does not have a great external appearance. Also I started looking for the lady whose son now runs the place (as I had recently seen her on a news channel). I finally found her in the back lane. She was chatting with me and told me that everyone wants to use her (husband's) restaurant's name to make a quick buck. This dhaba is located on the back side of the main road and has a rustic look. The dhaba was established in the late nineteen forties by a Punjabi refugee family from the erstwhile west Punjab (now in Pakistan).

VIshal Khatri with Mother (Wife of Puran Singh)

The Dhaba serves only three non-vegetarian dishes - keema kaleji (minced meat with liver), mutton curry and chicken curry. I ordered the first two with tandoori rotis (Indian bread). I found the two dishes absolutely delicious and good in quantity. It was a better fare than any restaurant food that I have eaten in Delhi and the price was may be one-third of what one has to pay in Delhi. In fact the waiter came and served another round of gravy without any further charge!

Mutton Curry and Keema Kaelji at Puran Singh

You can watch the full video of the show of the famous food critic and Indian film actor and director Kunal Vijaykar on how to cook Keema Kaleji at Puran Singh Da Dhaba.

According to Mrs Puran Singh several celebrities are regular visitors to her Dhaba.

All non vegetarian eaters must visit this place if they cross Ambala on the way.