Tag Archives: India

Hand Carved Ivory Chess Set From India

handcraved ivory chess set photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

19th century Bengali craftspeople found an export market in Britain for decorative chess sets carved from ivory.

handcraved ivory chess set photo by gail worley
handcraved ivory chess set photo by gail worley

The two sides were sometimes carved to represent opposing armies of local soldiers and Europeans. The example seen here, with relatively simple carving is unusual as signs of wear and repair suggest it was used for playing games rather than as a showpiece for display. Hand-carving has produced variation even between pawns of the same side.

Photographed in the British Galleries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

handcraved ivory chess set photo by gail worley

Help Create the Largest Flower Bouquet of Hope!

Bouquet of Hope
Image From The Original 25th Anniversary Present

While Covid Life keeps us physically apart, The Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) in India is working to bring us together — digitally. MAP Founder Abhishek Poddar requests your participation in a collaborative digital art project to create the world’s largest digital flower Bouquet of Hope.

Here’s  a bit of backstory on the inspiration for this engaging project. In honor of his parents 25th Wedding Anniversary back in 1989, Abhishek surprised them with an art installation made up of 25 flowers. Well-known artists from India created a single flower, one for each year of his parents married life together, in the artist’s own unique style; each image reminding them of a fond moment. “At times like these, we hold on to precious memories – of family times, of challenges we managed to overcome, of personal journeys we ventured on” said Abhishek. Flowers are a celebration of hope, love, and courage – something the world needs now more than ever!

Right now, anyone and everyone is invited to join MAP in creating this Bouquet of Hope. Paint, draw or sketch a flower, snap a picture from your garden or balcony, or even create a flower motif from objects or textiles in your home (food, toilet paper, shoes, pillows). The possibilities are endless.

peach colored orchids photo by gail wortley

Images can be submitted to, and viewed at www.bouquetofhope.in. I’ve already contributed a few images of Orchids that I took while visiting the NYBG Orchid Show in February. Remember to use #BouquetofHope and tag @MAPBangalore when posting on social media channels. Enjoy!

Product Review: Tava Ghee, Pure Spreadable Butter

Tava Ghee Packaging
This Photo Image Source, All Other Photos By Gail, Unless Noted.

Do you like Butter? I sure do. You know what I don’t like, though? Cold, hard butter that sometimes arrives at your table along with the bread at even the fanciest restaurants. What is up with that? Butter should be soft and spreadable, and hard butter destroys the bread! There is no need for butter to be hard unless you need to transport it through the desert on a refrigerated truck. Otherwise, no need!

Continue reading Product Review: Tava Ghee, Pure Spreadable Butter

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink City!


Hawa Mahal Palace built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawaj Pratap Singh (Image Source)

I have a friend at my day job named Darshan, who is from Mumbai, India. Darshan is a very fun and cool person who enjoys learning new American words and talking with me about delicious foods. Darshan rocks. Anyway, just yesterday, Darshan, who is only too happy to talk to me of life in India, told me that the city of Jaipur, which I have actually heard of before, is also called “The Pink City” because many of the city’s buildings are a shade of pink. This talk of a Pink City got my attention right away, of course, and I decided to make the Pink City of Jaipur India my Pink Thing of The Day! Yay! Find out more about Jaipur and why it is called the Pink City at This Link!

Ten Reasons to See The Darjeeling Limited

The Brothers
Jason Schwartzman, Adrian Brody and Owen Wilson Star in The Darjeeling Limited

Highway robbery at the ticket window be damned, I see a lot of movies in the theater. That’s probably one of the reasons why I can never seem to accumulate more than a dozen films in my Netflix queue at any one time. Because, you know, by the time anything I would want to see gets released on DVD, I’ve already seen it.

Earlier this week I took myself to see the latest Wes Anderson-directed film, The Darjeeling Limited, and it was just fantastic. I’ve been a big fan of Anderson’s work since Rushmore, and after hearing great things about The Darjeeling Limited from a couple of friends whose taste in movies I respect and trust, I knew I would love it. And what’s not to love? It’s got a great cast, a great script, beautiful cinematography and – gasp – an at least quasi-original story about the three Whitman brothers, who make a spiritual pilgrimage-slash-site-seeing trip across India – by train! – in an effort to reconnect after their father’s death. No CGI, no Mad Slasher chasing after Teenagers in their Underwear, no gunfight bloodbaths: just a subversively funny, sincerely touching, smartly made film that’s beautifully filmed, written and acted. Wow. Imagine that.

A lot of your average movie-going schmoes will not understand this movie, and will go off on their Myspace blogs about how the plot “goes nowhere.” And to those people, I ask, “What is your problem?” These are the same kinds of whiners who thought Clockwork Orange was “too violent,” or those who were bored by the pacing of Napoleon Dynamite. Jesus god. If your head is too thick to absorb the simple joys of a slightly arty film that isn’t a standard formula Hollywood comedy staring Adam Sandler or (gag) Jim Carrey, do us all a favor and stay home.

Jack and Rita

And because the obsessive compulsive in me loves to make lists, here is a list of the
Top Ten Things I Loved About The Darjeeling Limited

1. Jason Schwartzman as Jack. Schwartzman may be one of the most pedestrian rock drummers since Rikki Rocket (I mean, Phantom Planet – the fact that they completely suck being another matter entirely – was really lucky that Jason quit the band to join the cast of that acclaimed FOX TV sitcom that got cancelled after, like, 6 weeks) but he’s one of the best dry-witted comic actors since Woody Allen. He is completely awesome in this movie.

2. Adrian Brody as Peter. I’m sure he’s always been a very fine actor, but Adrian Brody generally makes films with premises so unappealing (see: The Pianist or The Jacket) that I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a hot poker than be forced to sit through them. So, my bad and everything because not only does he knock it out of the park with his performance as middle brother Peter Whitman but, man, he’s totally hot! Brody has that Ichabod Crane-meets-Howard Stern thing going on that I find just completely swoon worthy. I heart Adrian Brody.

3. Also, I think it was either a brilliant stroke of luck or truly inspired casting to have two actors with charmingly crooked noses (Brody and Owen Wilson) playing brothers. Who thinks of details like that?

4. Putting “This Time Tomorrow” by the Kinks on the soundtrack. Like Martin Scorcese, PT Anderson and Quentin Tarrantino, Wes Anderson is a director who chooses to soundtrack his films with classic rock songs that not only forward the action but also give new life to underappreciated musical gems. In a word: sublime.

5. India. More films need to be shot in India. Americans should be more familiar with the beauty and culture of exotic lands like India beyond what they can see during a season of The Amazing Race.

6. I liked that scene where the brothers try to get their dad’s sports car out of the garage en route to his funeral.

7. Bill Murray appears in a two-minute cameo where he runs after a train and has maybe one line, but every time I see Murray I reminded of how much he rocked in Lost In Translation. Bill Murray on screen is always a pleasure.

8. I liked the drug-swapping scene. I don’t want to spoil anything if you haven’t seen it yet, so that is all I am going to say. But that scene ruled.

9. “Are you going to give us back our snake?”

10. Bespoke Louis Vuitton Luggage!

Go see this movie now.