Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

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

Nitin Sawhney takes the mic
One of our favourite musicians will be in town. Not for a gig but as a speaker. Yes, global music guru, producer, songwriter, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, and orchestral composer, Nitin Sawhney will be in Mumbai to participate in TEDx Gateway which flags off next week.

Nitin Sawhney. Pic courtesy/Justin SutcliffeNitin Sawhney. Pic courtesy/Justin Sutcliffe

Having worked closely with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Sting, The London Symphony Orchestra, AR Rahman, Sinead O’Connor, Anoushka Shankar and Shakira, it will be interesting to hear about his exploits and the inspiration that makes him a latter-day Renaissance man in the worlds of music, film, video games, dance and theatre.

Fancy a date with Mr Holmes?
Move over, Mr Darcy. Sherlock Holmes remains the most desirable date fantasy for Indian women, according to a recent survey conducted by a city litfest to gauge India’s literature preferences.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in a TV adaptation of the classic. Pic courtesy/Hartswood films
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in a TV adaptation of the classic. Pic courtesy/Hartswood films

Out of 2,500 literary enthusiasts interviewed for the survey, 53.14% said they would like to date the savvy sleuth (maybe Benedict Cumberbatch had something to do with it?) while 21.99% voted for Gone With The Wind’s Rhett Butler.

Meanwhile, 30.98% of men found Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice as the most desirable date. Well, the millennials (20 to 25 and 26 to 35) rooted for Game Of Thrones’ Jon Snow and The Mother Of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen. Surprised? We don’t think so.

Art finds a new canvas
Dr Swati Piramal and Ajay Piramal at the launch of the Piramal Museum of Art at Lower Parel last evening.

The 7,000-square ft museum will showcase close to 50 artworks, including works by artists Akbar Padamsee and Jehangir Sabavala, and will also display installations and paintings. Pic/Satej Shinde

Souza back in city
FN Souza got much deserved recognition with the record breaking sale of his work in New York this September. On December, 10, as a part of India Art Week, Saffronart will hold a live auction, celebrating Souza’s works on paper.

Francis Newton Souza, 1957, photographed by Ida Kar
Francis Newton Souza, 1957, photographed by Ida Kar

This collection includes many themes like religion, nudes and his portraits of heads, rendered in a frenzied distortion of form. The paper works reflect Souza’s unrestrained and graphic style creating thought provoking images. Souza’s paintings express defiance and impatience with convention and with the banality of everyday life.

FN Souza’s work
FN Souza’s work

The sale also offers some important rare pieces, including pages from Souza’s personal scrapbook lending a touching insight into the artist’s personal life, an early painting from the 1940s, and photographic portraits of artist taken by the Armenian photographer Ida Kar.

It was ‘Easy Listening’ at Rhythm House
So, another Kala Ghoda landmark bites the dust. And with it, one more chapter of the city’s modern history will get phased out. This diarist decided to dig deeper to find the extent to which it had left an imprint beyond Mumbai.

In this search, an interesting find emerged, with some help from Google Books. Sylvie Simmons’ I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, carries a mention of Rhythm House. On page 400, you can read about Cohen’s time in Mumbai.

Despite having little interest in sightseeing, the book mentions that the musician strolled past Kala Ghoda, including the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue. After visiting the holy sanctuary, he stepped into a ‘large bustling store, Rhythm House.’

He asked if they stocked any of his albums, and they did. He was informed by the staff to find them under the ‘Easy Listening’ section. News of its shutting down isn’t easy listening, however.

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