Curating cultural experiences,exhibiting Cultures and interpreting Heritagescapes is an extremely complex art or should I say, it is a choreography. This month I am presenting an intricate trajectory in and of Western Uttar Pradesh. The themes are Ethnography of Mangoes and the Christian Heritage of a Courtesan. In this day and age all three themes could perhaps be debatable and provocative
i) Theme of the Courtesan – Disrespected woman- yet exotic – Tawa’if (on whom I have researched for over 30 years)
ii) Mango orchard as part of the idea of Islamic idea of Garden of Paradise
iii) Christian Heritage
The academic theatrical exhibit curated as a one day tour will cover the Heritage of Farzana a courtesan from the by-lanes of Old Delhi who became Begum Samru when she married a mercenary. Yes, this country has fascinating narratives on adventurous Europeans mercenaries. The Begum who raised private armies, asserted her power through architecture, lived like a fashion diva and was no less than a Imelda Marcos. A spicy, tangent flavour to her character will be captured in the narrative when presenting her heritage in her principality Sardhana.
This will be followed by a visit to a Mango Orchard. An exotic aspect of the Garden of paradise, the Mango of North India acquires a unique character by the way varieties are developed, named. How the identity of mango evolves as a symbol in art, songs, rituals and imagination in poetry. The life of a Man who grows and cultivate Mangoes, historical anecdotes related to Mangoes and not to forget creation of a cuisine map.
One Day Tour (9 th July) on Ethnography of Mangoes & Christian Heritage of a Courtesan in Western UP with Dr. Navina Jafa. Register by email on website : http://www.navinajafa.com/index.php Few Seats Left