Mumbai Diary: Saturday scene

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

Drawn, not written, with grains
The Shobha Yatra held in Dombivili on the occasion of Gudi Padwa was an occasion for viewing folk art and culture in various forms.

Prahlad Thak working on the grain portraits of Baba and Sadhanatai Amte. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
Prahlad Thak working on the grain portraits of Baba and Sadhanatai Amte. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

One of the artistes who presented his work on the occasion was Prahlad Thak, an artist from Anandvan, who creates portraits using foodgrains. For the Shobha Yatra, Thak created portraits of Baba Amte and his wife Sadhanatai Amte, at the Ganesh Mandir Sansthan in Dombivili. It took him about six hours to finish each portrait.

Thak teaches drawing to hearing and speech impaired students at the Anandvan School in Chandrapur district, and has made grain portraits before. In 2008 he had made a rangoli of 1,00,000 sq ft, which had taken him 70 hours and earned him a place in the Limca Book of Records.

Culture Vultures fly here
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai is collaborating with JB Petit High School for Girls for an exhibition named ‘Treasures of the Native Americans’. The exhibition is ongoing at the museum lawns till Sunday, March 29.

The students explain the art on display. Pics/Suresh KK
The students explain the art on display. Pics/Suresh KK

Originally a history project, made by class VII students of the school, the exhibition displays crafted arts from the different native tribes of North America. The exhibition inspired by Native American art displays kachina dolls, pueblo pottery, uktena pots, false face masks, dentalium jewellery, aleut hats and carvings, petroglyphs, parfleches, Mandan shields, sand paintings and totem poles.

Bilwa Kulkarni, the museum’s education officer, said she had been impressed by the students’ depth of research into the subject. “The students too, would gain confidence interacting with the visitors to the museum,” stated Kulkarni and added that the exhibition is, “one more in the initiative in the museum’s efforts to showcase world cultures.”

For those who want to see a little bit of Native America in Mumbai, the CSMVS is the place for you, get a little culture into your life, this weekend.

PR recipe gone wrong
Just the other day, we wrote on this page about how a PR agency had tried to publicise the “kitchen” side of Amruta Fadnavis, the chief minister’s wife, by photographing her with a paneer dish that she had cooked, and then displaying that picture (later to be removed) on Facebook.

Amruta Fadnavis
Amruta Fadnavis

We received a call from Fadnavis, who is a senior executive at Axis Bank, saying she had never hired any agency, and that Hallway, the PR outfit in question, had been asking her to “do something for us”. She had agreed in good faith, she told us, but had said it would only happen at a later date.

“They jumped the gun and I don’t know why they published the photo on Facebook. I am not their client at all.” So there you go. Like we said, it seems to be the PR agency that needs handling, not Mrs CM.

Last hurrah at the market
This Sunday will be the last Farmer’s Market of Season VI, at the Maharashtra Nature Park in Mahim, from 10am to 3pm. In addition to picking up organic vegetables and fruits, products as well as munchies and goodies, this Sunday there will be a performance by the tribal Bhopi dancers, who can communicate messages and even names to one another through their dance. The Bhopi dancers have been instrumental in bringing about social progress through their music and dance, and have come a long way, so do swing by and watch them.

Tears from heaven
With many long faces seen in the city following India’s loss in the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup, it seemed almost apt that dark clouds were seen in the north of the city, and even scattered raindrops were felt in some parts yesterday. One doleful cricket fan in Thane remarked to this diarist, “Even the sky is crying for the Indian team.”

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