Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

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The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

The Art Triangle
It’s a tale of three countries for Bangladeshi-born British artist, Rana Begum. Her second solo show in India opened on Wednesday to an impressed audience at Jhaveri Contemporary.

Priya Jhaveri with Rana Begum’s No. 278 (2011). Pic/Tushar Satam
Priya Jhaveri with Rana Begum’s No. 278 (2011). Pic/Tushar Satam

Clean lines and solid hues were winning points for Towards an Infinite Geometry (2015), shown alongside previous works from 2011. This darling of the Dhaka Art Summit 2014, had people twisting and turning as they took in the many angles to this series that plays with a triangle as building blocks.

The artist has recently completed an ambitious site-specific installation for the HCL headquarters in Noida, commissioned by Kiran Nadar and is working towards her first institutional solo exhibition at Parasol Unit in London. Over at the gallery, Priya Jhaveri could hardly contain her excitement as she introduced Rana’s works to visitors.

“Rana marries lessons from Minimalism with the aesthetics of Islamic art and architecture, drawing also from her childhood experiences of ritual practice in Bangladesh, to create a language that’s resolutely her own. Despite these layers of influence and thought, though, there’s an immediacy and timelessness to her art that’s tough to beat,” she said.

On top of Mount Kalam
Remember Arjun Vajpai, who in 2011, became the third youngest Indian to scale Mount Everest at 16? Now, the Noida-based mountaineer has added another feather to his cap. On October 14, along with friend Bhupesh Kumar, he scaled the summit of a virgin peak in Himachal Pradesh’s picture-perfect Spiti Valley.

Arjun Vajpai at the summit of a virgin peak in Himachal Pradesh’s Bara-Shigri Glacier
Arjun Vajpai at the summit of a virgin peak in Himachal Pradesh’s Bara-Shigri Glacier

Armed with 40-kilo backpacks and braving –22 degrees Celsius temperatures, the duo set out on an Alpine-style expedition (in a self-sufficient manner) to the 21-km long Bara-Shigri glacier, the largest in Himachal Pradesh and second longest in the Himalayan range, after Gangotri.

The view of the night sky from their camp
The view of the night sky from their camp

Starting from Batal, and setting up camps along the way over five days, they made it to the summit of one of an unexplored peak that stands at 6,180 metres. “We were just two people, tied to a rope with a distance of 15 metres between us, and faced many challenges during the journey.

My crampons (spikes attached to ice-climbing boots) broke and we even thought of returning but we improvised and tied a sling around them. They lasted, and we made it,” shares the young adventurer, who has named the peak after his inspiration, late Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

The Buddha for today’s viewer
What’s common to Buddha, Socrates and Confucius? In a rapidly changing world, they were the first to apply reason to crucial socio-political questions, which are still relevant. All three philosophers lived within 100 years of one another, between the 5th -6th century BC.

In a documentary titled Genius of the Ancient World to air on BBC World News every Saturday at 9.40 am and Sunday at 2.40 pm, starting October 24, historian Bettany Hughes will travel to China, Greece and India, following in the footsteps of the philosophers, revealing how their ideas continue to shape and provide solutions to our lives.

Get the Guetta fix and more
The Sunburn festival that will blitz through Vagator in Goa from December 27 to 30, will witness over 200 artists setting ten stages ablaze, with each stage catering to a diverse genre, ranging from Electronic Dance Music including Trap, Dubstep, Drum N Bass, Hardstyle, House, to Tech House, Deep House, Electro, Psy-Trance and Electronica.

A full house at Sunburn Goa 2014
A full house at Sunburn Goa 2014

The list of artistes to watch out for are a tempting one. There’s Martin Garrix, David Guetta and DJ Mag, Deadmau5, Bassjackers, Seth Troxler, Tube & Berger and Liquid Soul. The line-up also boasts of Indian talent like Shaan, Qwiver, Anish Sood, Sartek, Priyanjana, Arsh, Janux, Joshi and more.

David Guetta
David Guetta

David Guetta is thrilled to return to familiar territory. In a press release, he said, “India, its people and music have always had a special place in my heart. Not only does the dance music culture span thousands of years, I’ve witnessed an incredible growth of electronic music here since my first visit.” We can’t wait for Guetta to amp up the volume.

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