Editor’s Letter — December 20, 2022

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Priya Pathiyan

Deputy Editor

Across India, there’s an uprising of sorts taking place. It’s as though the pandemic was the equivalent of farmland left fallow, after which the soil, which has had a chance to regenerate over a period, is yielding a rich crop. In the current climate of revival, a number of new cultural hubs are sprouting everywhere.

The newest is in Secunderabad, the centuries old Bansilalpet Step Well from the times of the Nizams. Just unveiled with a grand ceremony replete with a dance performance and music recital, the lovingly restored structure now also boasts an interpretation centre, a tourism plaza, and an amphitheatre. A cafe is in the works.


Delhi has always had more than its fair share of such spaces, from India Habitat Centre to Siri Fort Auditorium, and more recently, places such as Bikaner House. Jaipur has the Jawahar Kala Kendra, with its distinctive building designed by the late Charles Correa. Chennai has Dakshina Chitra, which has reinvented itself from a museum to an interactive space which hosts interesting workshops and events. Goa, one of the biggest magnets for the country’s creatives, has Sunaparanta and Moda Goa.

In Mumbai, an ice factory dating back almost a century and a half has been resurrected as IF.BE, a space that celebrates architecture, design, art, music, food, and more. It was here that Hermès, the French label, recently hosted a glorious exhibition around its love affair with travel down the decades, from early Hermès saddles to trunks to horse carriage accessories to portable portmanteaux and much, much more. The heritage mile at Khotachi Wadi has the studio called 47-G, while in Bandra, the new Art and Charlie is creating waves among the culture-crazy set.


The Kochi-Muziris Biennale which starts on December 12 will soon see the culturati descending on Kerala in droves. One of the main spaces among the many that the biennale spreads over in Fort Kochi is the 19th century Aspinwall House, which they’re hoping to convert into a permanent cultural hub in future.

This cultural upheaval everywhere is uplifting. Look around your own city, find the pulse of creativity, and follow it to the heart of a similar hub. And, when you travel, make sure you make time to do the same at the local lifeline too. For, what is travel if not a way to imbibe and be impressed by the visual and performing arts, the music, the very soul of the destination?