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A culture hub opens in Andheri

Suburb culture buffs can rejoice as Andheri Base, cousin of Bandra Base, opens its doors to upcoming artistes, musicians, filmmakers, dancers and more. Kanika Sharma chats with Subhash Ghai, D Wood and Meghna Ghai Puri who are behind this space

In less than two years since its opening, the alternative cultural hub, Bandra Base, has garnered a fan following for its intimate setting and stellar gigs without any frills. Taking that forward, the idea will make its debut at Andheri, in a spacious and multifaceted avatar on Saturday. Walking into the basement set-up in the Hard Rock Café space, we were greeted with the three forces behind the place — filmmaker Subhash Ghai, his daughter Meghna Ghai Puri and music artiste D Wood.

Meghna Ghai Puri, D Wood and Subhash Ghai
Meghna Ghai Puri, D Wood and Subhash Ghai take the stage at Andheri Base

Double the size of its Bandra cousin, the place has mirrors on two of the walls and a small platform with frames of famous artistes as backdrop. Lit in fairy lights and a drum set in the corner, Andheri Base seems to be off to a good start.

The demographic of young professionals will be a huge plus point for the place says Ghai Puri while introducing the second edition of the Base to us. An excited D Wood further says, “We would be able to work at a much larger scale for several reasons — one is that we can make a lot more noise here because there are no neighbours... and Hard Rock itself is pretty well known for making noise. Also, later we can be more ambitious in scale and scope of programming.”

The Andheri Base is expansive, opening the possibility to host all kinds of events
The idea of the ‘base’ in the title suggests ground zero from which young artistes can aspire towards soaring heights. Pics/Satyajit Desai

Speaking of which, we asked the duo on their plans when it comes to their reputed roster, “We wanted to do more of the same. We want a range of musical styles — especially Indie and Classical to be available to people.” An average day at Andheri Base will include healing arts/yoga in the morning, rehearsals throughout the day and entertaining acts such as gigs, book readings, play readings, film screenings and stand-up comic acts in the night.


The Andheri Base is expansive, opening the possibility to host all kinds of events

“Andheri is hugely different,” believes D Wood. He calls Bandra “family-based while Andheri has many more single professionals, especially from films”. Reasoning that besides several go-to places when it comes to eating and drinking, Andheri has had a gaping hole as no place yet caters to the area’s cultural needs.

Turn on the projector
Ghai Puri asserts that the film club will be a big highlight here for the interactions with big directors will be easier to do as may of them are here. The musician supplements, “We are planning parallel film festivals for the upcoming season too. When there is Venice or Cannes Film Festival and like, we will try to feature some of the films that are being shown at these venues.”

Ghai Puri continues, “I personally want to encourage screening of short films and have directors who makes such films discuss their work. It’s the future as there is a change in media. Now people are watching films on the Internet and their phones; thus, there’s huge scope for short films. Also, a lot of institute students do well in the short film space. We want to open the mindset of the people to appreciate Indian and international cinema.”

Exciting things ahead
Highlighting how the Base acts as a creative outlet, D Wood has jamming sessions called The House Band where he “calls whoever is around to come and play”. He feels that young talent today is interested in Indian Classical music and is endeavouring to interact across traditions.

On that note, he is working towards tying up with the Brooklyn Raga Massive who in his words includes, “Indian musicians who moved to the US and are very involved in fusing Indian Classical and Western music. We hope to have a Bombay Raga Massive so that a lot of Brooklyn activity will be mirrored here.”

The veteran filmmaker declares that in the future he would also like the Base to have a library where “aspirants can read on and watch cinema”.

At: Audeus, A-18, off Link Road, Andheri (W).
Call: 30916003

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