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Finding Homi

“I love this new crop of youngsters in the industry!” quipped our friend, the hunky, deep-sea diving, retrosexual director, Homi Adajania, about this picture with his arms around his two Finding Fanny stars, Pankaj Kapur and Naseeruddin Shah (who happen to be brothers-in-law in real life). Monday saw a flurry of activity around the soon-to-be released film starring Dimple Kapadia, Arjun Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, who make up the rest of the acting ensemble for the quirky English language film releasing at the end of the month.

(From left) Pankaj Kapur, Homi Adajania and Naseeruddin Shah
(From left) Pankaj Kapur, Homi Adajania and Naseeruddin Shah

“We released the first song of the film, ‘Fanny Re’, at the Novotel hotel yesterday,” says Adajania. “Shooting it was a hoot! I got Shiamak Davar to choreograph the song and showed him a few scenes from the film, so that he’d understand its vibe. He laughed, saying that he wouldn’t have to do anything and he’d keep all the actors true to character,” recalls Adajania. “It was a great reunion of sorts for the cast,” says the delighted director, “I still can’t get over Dimple’s frenzied ‘prosthetic’ bum-shake move!”

(From left) Arjun Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Homi Adajania
(From left) Arjun Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Homi Adajania

Interestingly, Adajania describes the picture of Ranveer Singh, who makes a cameo appearance in the film as ‘Lamb-in-Denial to the slaughter on the sets of Finding Fanny’.

“Arjun is saying ‘Baba he’s going to kill you off in the next scene,’ and Ranveer replies ‘Arre lasoon men! Wohahahahaaa!’,” says the director, drawing word balloons over his characters.

Incidentally, we do not know what ‘arre lasoon men’ means.

The good doctor Kapoor
The first family of Bollywood, the Kapoors, gathered over the weekend to felicitate Mumbai’s Dr O P Kapoor on completing 60 years of teaching medical students and doctors in the city. The renowned doctor has been personal physician to four generations of the family, starting with ‘Papaji’, Prithviraj Kapoor, who was his first patient.

(From left) Ranbir Kapoor, Dr O P Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor
(From left) Ranbir Kapoor, Dr O P Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor

“Three generations of the First Family of the Kapoor clan were there,” says the good doctor. And such is the regard that he is held in by the family, that not only was the occasion graced by actors Randhir, Rishi and Ranbir, but Neela Devi, Shammi Kapoor’s wife, and her daughter Kanchan Desai and son Aditya Raj, and Raj Kapoor’s daughter Rima Jain were also present. “Ranbir Kapoor also released my book ‘Family Heath Guide’,” says the good doctor.

Incidentally, it appears that the relationship between the doctor and his famous patients has been reciprocal: as much as they prospered under his medical care, he appears to have been influenced by their sartorial splendour, as his striking red ensemble worn for the occasion so amply demonstrates.

Revisiting the Masters
“I was gratified to see the wonderful back-to-back films,” said the artist, writer and curator Sharmistha Ray who lives between Mumbai and New York. She was referring to the films on M F Husain and Akbar Padamsee made by Laurent Bregeat , which the Lalit Kala Akademi screened recently at the NGMA. “We can never gather in the present how iconoclastic these painters were in their time, how much heart and soul was poured into their art at the risk of all else,” she says. “Both films also took time to ponder the iconographies of both artists despite their birth religion/faith. They wanted an art that grew out of Indian soil, that was an ode to, and lament of, it, and create they did, a new visual language for a free and modern India,” she says.

Akbar Padamsee
Akbar Padamsee

“Lamentably, both artists faced obscenity cases in their lifetime, Padamsee, in 1954, for depicting naked lovers at the Jehangir Art Gallery, for his painting Lovers done in 1952 and Husain for depicting naked goddesses. A great contradiction, this Motherland of ours,” says the artist whose own drawings from her Nude series will be published for the first time in India next month in a Mumbai-based magazine, and exhibited in a group show at The Loft in Mumbai at the end of August. “These are the first nudes I’ve shown in India; they’ve all been shown in New York.”

M F Husain
M F Husain

Incidentally, Ray’s vivid recount of the films on the two masters resulted in a fascinating dialogue between her and Delhi-based photographer and critic Ram Rahman. “These films can change the impression that the masses have, especially of Husain,” said Ray “He’s been so vilified; there needs to be a huge correction in perception to welcome home a hero, even if posthumously.”

Sharmistha Ray
Sharmistha Ray

“You cannot read Husain as a gallery artist; he is in the tradition of the Patua painters or the Pad painter minstrels from Rajasthan,” responded Rahman. “He is basically a teller of tales. I see him as the first Sufi painter of the subcontinent; the others have been poets.”

Gaggan comes to town
When the famously buoyant Gaggan Anand, the Kolkata-born, internationally recognised chef of the Bangkok-based Gaggan Restaurant, says he’s ‘feeling too much anxiety’, you can be sure something special’s cooking.

Gaggan Anand
Gaggan Anand

And, sure enough, it’s the eight dinners he is preparing to present in India next month, four each in Delhi and Mumbai, which has the celebrated molecular cuisine chef cooking up a storm for some lucky foodies.

And, with a source confirming that the Delhi dinners (September 4-7) will be held at the ITC Maurya, and that the last day’s in both cities have already been sold out, all that’s left is to book our table at the Mumbai lap of this masterly chef’s culinary tour. Unconfirmed rumours have the Mumbai (September 9-12) dinners at the Olive so far.

Er no, we don’t know how much a table costs.

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