raja ravi verma and 'desantification'
it is fascinating to see where ravi verma generates his iconography. the imagery that has tricled down to the indian bourgeoise today. the models who posed for him for his religious paintings in the late 19th century were parsi theatre actresses (of little repute) and whores. so it really boils down to the fact that the religious icons painted by him are quintessentially that of whores. the shakutala series, the sita, etc. purists, go take a jump!
in her brilliant essays 'When was Modernism', Dr.Geeta Kapur propounds various theories which hint at a larger purpose to his work. the civilization project (not always a humanist manifesto) is worked on by ravi verma and is a prime example of the role of an 'aesthete' in the nationalist realm too. his depictions of ideal beauty, of idealic settings (albeit borrowed heavily from pastoral oils of european masters) and ethnographs - all play a very important role in the socio-political scheme of the late 19th century. truly modern.
my favorite new word: Bhadralok (for exampple: that is sooo bhodro. implies: so decadent, so affected, so up market, so snooty, so vain).
Brookback Mountain: poignant, mature, dark, heart wrenching, over-hyped