Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
Rawal Junior stands up for the Queen
Aditya, Paresh Rawal and Swaroop Sampat's younger son, is a busy lad in New York. The 24-year-old is working on the production of his first play, a historical drama titled The Queen, which he wrote last year. "Additionally, a few short films that I wrote or directed are in various stages of production. Also, I am going to graduate in a couple of weeks, so that's keeping me pretty busy," says the student of the Dramatic Writing Graduate Program at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU.
The play is set in 16th century India, at the peak of the Mughal era. The Queen is the story of Durga, who is consigned to the west wing of the palace after her husband, a Rajput king, marries a younger woman. "She battles the loss of power and relevance as she resolves to burn the palace down and avenge her husband's betrayal," says Aditya. The show opens at Theater for the New City, an iconic landmark in the East Village on June 2. Pop by if you're around.
Today, photographer Dayanita Singh's Museum Bhavan will move out of its temporary home at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi and rest awhile at Singh's residence.
Singh calls her photo-installation a travelling family and says it needs a break from its hectic schedule, especially since in May 2017, the exhibit is slated at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. In the meanwhile, interested folk can check with Singh for an appointment at her home to see the photo-museum.
With mixed feelings, Singh tells us that she hasn't been content with the lack of critical thought surrounding museums. "It is a sad situation with art in the country and everyone realises it," she says.
And the music never stops...
The music festival mania doesn't seem to end, and Don't Let Daddy Know is the latest entrant on the scene. If the name isn't enough to entice you, there's Steve Angello, former member of Swedish House Mafia, who will be there to make you scream on May 27 at Mumbai's NSCI.
You can also listen to homegrown talent Anish Sood. Why India? "Because we have been watching it, and it's known to be a dance music heaven," says DLDK co-founder Alex Hes.
Real deal of cricket flicker books
IN 1983, a few months after Kapil Dev's Indian team shocked the world by winning the World Cup, young cricket fans in Mumbai were preoccupied collecting inners of Thums Up bottle tops which had images of Indian and West Indies cricketers.
The more you collected, the more you got in exchange — miniature Thums Up bottles, mini bats. Probably, the most sought-after among collectibles were the flicker books featuring the batting actions of Kapil Dev (also bowling) apart from Sunil Gavaskar, Sandeep Patil, Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd.
For those who are wondering what the Thums Up flicker books were all about, flicking the pages with your left thumb at one go would show you the batsman completing the full stroke. Flicking the pages slowly would help you watch the stroke in slow motion.
Flicking the pages with your right thumb would show you the cricketer having a swig of the beverage. The 1983 flickers are very hard to find with the most enterprising of antique dealers.
Daily Dossier discovered recently that flicker books were also published (by The Bombay Chronicle Press) when the West Indians were here for a Test series in the 1958-59 season. They featured Garfield Sobers (book pictured) and Wesley Hall.
JW McKenzie, the specialist cricket booksellers in United Kingdom, have made them available for £200 and £250 pounds (R19,400 and R24,250). Why is Hall costlier than the legendary Sobers? We don't have an answer to that. What we do know is that cricket flickers books are as rare as they come.
Fighting homophobia on Instagram
When 23-year-old Shubham Mehrotra started the @50shadesofgay (FSoG) campaign on Instagram in February this year, she claims to have found it difficult to convince the LGBT community about her cause. The photo series aims at telling stories of struggle and acceptance faced by LGBT members in India.
"The government and masses are so indifferent to their rights that they are often forced to become their own spokespersons. And here I was, someone, who wasn't part of their community, trying to reach out to them," says Mehrotra, who worked as a journalist in China and Malaysia, before returning to Mumbai six months ago. They were obviously happy, but slightly wary, she recalls.
Three months on, her campaign is growing from strength to strength. Despite a certain section uncomfortable with making their stories public, Mehrotra and her team of volunteers have managed to gather over 60 narratives — 15 of them have already been published on the Instagram handle.
This week, FSoG launched a similar page on Facebook. "Some of the stories of abuse and harassment are heart-breaking. Through the campaign, we hope to do our bit to ensure equal human rights for all Indians," says Mehrotra. Here's more hope for humanity.