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Auction Alert: The Surabhi Foundation's Passionately Indian Sale

  By   Apr 4th 2013 at 6:00AM Lifestyle RATED

Auction Alert: The Surabhi Foundation's Passionately Indian Sale
Passionately Indian by Revati Sharma


Siddharth Kak became a household name in the 90s thanks to the Doordarshan hit, Surabhi. The success of the cultural show prompted Kak to launch the Surabhi Foundation for Research & Cultural Exchange, a platform that would digitize and archive the 15,000 hours of footage the show had accumulated. Kak says the initial aim is to create a virtual world - an encyclopedia of sorts - for younger generations to access. "We want to create a model that offers the essence of India to you, wherever you are. Did you know Hampi has musical pillars? Can you imagine listening to that on your phone? We also want to create a 360 degree environment; a heritage theme park, a performance space and learning centre," he adds.

In order to realise its dream, the Surabhi Foundation will hold the Passionately Indian auction at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. The auction, curated by Sapna Kar, is supported by Shobhaa De, Prasoon Joshi and Sangita Jindal. "[The lots] represent all that Surabhi stood for; for all that we have to be proud of as Indians. We have 5000 years of heritage to celebrate," says Sapna.

Being Passionately Indian

Auction Alert: The Surabhi Foundation's Passionately Indian Sale
The Golden Book of Tagore, Raza pendant by Orra


The Foundation has got Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to summit Everest, to donate her oxygen mask to the auction. "She was buried under an avalanche during her climb, and this mask saved her," says Kak, while Sapna describes it as 'priceless'.

Also up for auction are a limited edition gold and diamond pendent, an original Raza artwork, that is being presented by Orra jewellers, a luxury trip to Hampi by private jet and a rare copy of The Golden Book of Tagore. "The book has been compiled by people like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Albert Einstein, to name a few. It was published in 1931 to commemorate Tagore's birthday. Only 1500 books were published and this is No 993," says Sapna. 

raja ravi varma
Raja Ravi Varma litho stone


Works by Satish Gujral, Samir Mondal and Revati Sharma, a half kilo of saffron donated by the Government of Kashmir, a limited edition wall carpet by Manjit Bawa, saris by Sabyasachi and Naju Daver are also up for auction. Also keep an eye out for litho stone of Ganesh with two women seated on his lap by National Art Treasure Raja Ravi Varma. "He is one of only nine National Art Treasure artists in India. And in fact, it was he who helped us conceive how our gods looked," adds Sapna.

"We can't tell every story, but we've tried to give a full flavour of India through this auction," she says.

The Passionately Indian auction will take place at the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai on Friday, April 12, 2013.

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