April  2003




APRIL 2003 



 Bhabesh Sanyal
 A 101 year journey

 Anjolie Ela Menon's
 Glass Art



 Rahul Sharma

 Tawang Monastery


 Pakistan's IT Markets 
 & Telecom 
 - A Special Report


 Shashi Kapoor


 Letter from Pakistan


 Celebrity Offsprings
 on their own tracks

 Meet the 3 Finalists of
 Miss India contest
 Nikita Anand

 Ami Vashi

 Shweta Vijay


 Serialisation of  'Knock at every alien 
 door' - Joseph Harris



 the craft shop

 Lehngas - a limited collection

 the print gallery


 Silk Road on Wheels

 The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

 Parsis-Zoroastrians of

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in










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- A journey from Lahore to Delhi


Vijay Kowshik

Sanyal - photograph by KT Ravindran 2.jpg (29425 bytes)
Bhabesh Chandra Sanyal, the father of Modern Art in India (1902-2003)

Bhabesh Chandra Sanyal, known lovingly as Baba Sanyal, passed on in January this year. He was 101 and the senior-most contemporary artist of India who had been involved in the evolution of the Indian art scene from the early twentieth century to the present twenty first century. His contribution in the field of visual art and its promotion, nurturing and encouragement was phenomenal. His passionate involvement, spirit of search and perseverant thrust towards widening the outlook and attitude to the arts, his in depth understanding of the life and times of the century and his own self understanding was also immense.

Born in Assam at Dibrugarh on the 22nd April 1902, B.C. Sanyal was, and is still lovingly called Bhabeshda by his colleagues and Sanyal Saab by his students. Anyone who met him felt inadvertently drawn to his humane persona.

After studying under Percy Brown and J.P. Ganguly at the Government College of Arts, Calcuttta, he came out and went to various places in India looking, observing and absorbing the environment, trying to see where he would ultimately like to settle down.

sanyal -woman by bcS.jpg (18771 bytes)
A Woman by B C Sanyal

In 1929, he happened to go to Lahore to do a statue of Lala Lajpat Rai at the AICC session and thought the place was interesting and decided to try and stay on. He offered to make a portrait of Lionel Heath, the then Principal of Mayo School of Arts, Lahore. Heath was impressed by his work, his sincerity and perseverance, and appointed him at the College. He taught at the school from 1929 to 1936. In 1936 Bhabesh Da, a handsome and jovial young man (at the time) left the school as the principal’s daughter fell in love with him and this was creating much complications. This is the time when he founded the Lahore School of Fine Arts, a studio-cum-teaching workshop for experiments in informal art education. The studio was set up initially at the premises of the former Christian College, at the invitation of its first Indian principal, Dr. S.K. Dutta. Later it was formally inaugurated in a basement at the Dayal Singh Mansions with an exhibition which included works from artists who were at Lahore during the period, like A.R. Chugtai, Alla Bux, Roop and Mary Krishna, Hall Bevan Petman, A. Hallet, Ram Lal, Siriniwas and B.P. Singlu, apart from his own.

Due to difficulties in keeping the venues because of tenancy problems, the School had to shift a number of times. For some time the School was at the premises of the Punjab Literary League’s club house. This became an extremely lively place with interactions between the creative fields of literature and fine arts. The school in 1938-39 shifted from the clubhouse to the BallRoom of the Regal Cinema building on the Mall. This was a big and central place and Sanyal’s studio bloomed here with a lot of interdisciplinary interactions of the creatives of the time. There were meetings of the progressive writers and discussions attended by A.S. Bukhari, Sajjad Zuheer and Khwaja Ahmed Abbas. There were talks by luminaries like O.C. Ganguly (on Indian miniatures), Rajani Palme Dutt (on Shakespeare), Uday Shankar, Ram Gopal and Hafeez Jallundhari among others who graced the studio. During the last few years at Lahore, Bhabesh Chandra Sanyal was elected as the Secretary of the Punjab Fine Arts Society.




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