Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Mani Ratnam's date with Mumbai
We continue to get teary eyed when we watch Anjali, the 1990-Tamil dub on a terminally ill child, and the trauma that family undergoes along the way.
Mani Ratnam in deep conversation with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Well, that’s the magic of Mani Ratnam, a director whose oeuvre includes cult films like Roja, Bombay and Dil Se. However, it’s been five years since we watched a Mani Ratnam film in cinema halls, considering his last Hindi directorial venture was Raavan (2010).
Wondering what the director has been up to? Find out at Juhu’s ISKCON where the reclusive filmmaker will host a master class today (3.30 pm onwards). Invited by the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA), the event marks his first master class in Mumbai, which will be moderated by Tigmanshu Dhulia, who worked with Ratnam on Dil Se as screenplay writer. We suggest you get there early enough since the session offers limited seating.
Meet the dancing divas
In an attempt to bring to light the aspirations, lives and struggles of India’s transgender community, Godrej Culture Lab will host Dancing Queens, the city’s premiere transgender-led professional dance contingent, in a collaborative performance curated by filmmaker, musician, and scholar, Jeff Roy.
(Left) Urmi Jadhav and Madhuri Sarode
The performance will weave dance with short films made by and for the transgender community. In this presentation, the Dancing Queens will highlight what it means to be transgender in India, the obstacles faced by them, and solutions.
Headed by Abhina Aher, Urmi Jadhav and Madhuri Sarode, the performances will look at personal freedom, family acceptance, and address ways in which a change in perception can be made. Catch the dancing divas on November 18 (5 pm) at auditorium, Godrej ONE, Vikhroli (East).
An Italian in India
Pier Paolo Pasolini was an Italian film director, poet, writer and intellectual whose works have been acclaimed worldwide. Appunti Per Un Film Sull’India (Notes For A Film In India) is a short documentary by Pasolini where he visits India in search of a king who could give up his body to feed a starving tiger.
A screen grab from Pasolini’s (left) documentary on his time in India
The film was shot around post-Independent India, when it was facing grave challenges of poverty, population and caste. The 33-minute documentary is composed of short interviews of people discussing their take on matters such as family planning.
It also runs interviews of journalists and a politician who speak about the challenges of modernising India without becoming Westernised or losing its identity. This film will be screened at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum on November 20 (6 pm), along with Phantom India (The Impossible Camera) by French director Louis Malle.
This will be followed by a discussion with Girish Shahane, an independent writer and art critic on the challenges of framing India by a Western filmmaker without falling back on Orientalism. Go watch.
Enter the gaming universe
Over 20,000 visitors thronged India’s largest video games showcase, IGX (Indian Games Expo) over the weekend at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon. It gave geeks and gizmo buffs a chance to play the latest games, compete for cool prizes, and take home delectable merchandise.
Just Heard: New all-day eatery in Kurla
Residents in Mumbai’s eastern suburbs have reason to cheer. The bustling Phoenix Marketcity mall at Kurla is set to welcome another entrant, Craft Deli. Bistro. Bar. Owned by Bellona Hospitality (of 212 All Day Cafe & Bar and Sichuan House fame), the soon-to-launch, all-day eatery will serve classic European bistro fare in a modern avatar.
The menu, helmed by chef Paul Kinny, includes Kale and Artichoke Pizza, small plates of Panko Crusted Artisanal Brie and Savoury Baklava as well as Beet and Ricotta Ravioli. We particularly like the sound of Spiced Apple Grog, one of their crafted cocktails, and an in-house blend of coffee brought in from Chikmaglur in Karnataka.