A-singing and a-dancing

Let it be not said that there was no singing and dancing during their days in the wilderness. Hardly had we recovered from the distressing sight of erudite and suave Congress leader, and former law minister Salman Khurshid, running around Delhi's trees, lip synching to 'Kal Ho Na Ho' and attempting to tango with the wife of a German diplomat, when his compatriot, the even more erudite and suave Shashi Tharoor, has made sure that it's not safe to come out of the water just yet.

Shashi Tharoor, Salman Khurshid and P Chidambaram
Shashi Tharoor, Salman Khurshid and P Chidambaram

At Monday's Firstpost Salon, dressed in a buttercup yellow bandhi, his famous cowlick flopping over his handsome forehead, the former HRD minister broke in to a rousing rendition of 'Lily the Pink' the late 60's anthem of high spirited car journeys, and that too with little persuasion from interlocutor Sandip Roy.

What's more, even as the audience shifted uncomfortably in its seat or stared at its feet, Tharoor plunged in to an animated version of its chorus 'and so we'll drink and drink and drink...' It must be said though, that the terribly posh, former Under Secretary General of the UN managed to keep his celebrated accent intact throughout the performance. And no, it's not true that P Chidambaram is now planning a bhangra performance.

Bombay Boy's Club
"Interesting to note that it's the third from the 'Bombay Boy's Club' to curate the biennale "said a noted gallerist on the news that Sudarshan Shetty will do the honours at next year's edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale as its artistic director and curator.

Sudarshan Shetty, Jitesh Kallat and Bose Krishnamachari
Sudarshan Shetty, Jitesh Kallat and Bose Krishnamachari

Whereas the official announcement was made yesterday at Thiruvananthapuram, by the State Minister for Culture, K C Joseph, the grapevine had already begun buzzing with Shetty's name much earlier. Shetty, who follows in the footsteps of Jitesh Kallat and Bose Krishnamachari, is known for his sculptural installations, and has been regarded as one of his generation's most innovative artists.

Incidentally, many art world insiders had hoped that the choice this year for artistic director would be a female artist (the Biennial's unique edge is that it's curated by artists and not "curators"), but it was not to be so!

More interestingly, given the prevalence of the Mumbai- Delhi regional see-saw, with Delhi claiming intellectual snobbery over Mumbai, (it hosts the Art Summit remember?) all three curators have hailed from Mumbai so far, for what has become the most talked about and awaited (and probably the most significant) art event in the Indian calendar. Advantage Mumbai!

The Unkindest Cut of All
And whereas his recent fallout with the Aman resorts, his much acclaimed home away from home, and the scene from which he gave the famous interview to Rajdeep Sardesai in Montenegro recently doesn't surprise us, coming as it does after a long line of high profile brawls and blows, what does is the irony of it.

Rajdeep Sardesai and Lalit Modi
Rajdeep Sardesai and Lalit Modi

Because following the issuing of a letter this week to the general managers of all group properties, by CEO of Aman Resorts Olivier Jolivet, banning Lalit Modi from its properties, here's what an insider who knew the bon vivant had to say. "Given the amount of money Lalit has spent at the resorts known to be the go-to place for the international Glamoratti over the years, forget booking he could have bought the beleaguered chain by now!"

The insider also said that despite all his recent set backs and strife, this debarring from his favoured habitat, would be regarded by the feisty IPL founder architect turned whistleblower as the unkindest cut of all.

For art smarts sake
Mumbai's Delhi Art Gallery, housed in a well-appointed building in Kala Ghoda, which now passes, by the acronym DAG, is championing the work of Bengali artist Rabin Mondal with a new retrospective, a handsome catalogue and much fanfare as 'the next Souza'.

Mondal’s painting, A victim of society
Mondal's painting, A victim of society

Mondal, a gentle and refined soul who we recall meeting many times in the past at the Jehangir Art Gallery, however might not be the beneficiary of this initiative. "The gallery bought his entire collection when he was in penury for as little as Rs 3,000 a canvas, when he was in dire straits a few years ago," said an art insider.

"Now they will ratchet up the prices astronomically and use their marketing muscle and skills to hype him as a 'modern master' and a great discovery to make a killing from the city's gullible collectors (read wives of investment bankers and industrialists) who have no art knowledge of their own whatsoever, and are only too willing to jump on to the latest bandwagon. The artist meanwhile watches all this not knowing whether to laugh or cry," said the insider. Art smart and then some.

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