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Mumbai Diary: Thursday theme

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

Mountain or molehill?
At 19, Mumbai girl Krushnaa Patil became the youngest Indian woman to climb Everest in 2009. But filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker’s television debut about the world’s highest mountain has left the peak-conqueror piqued.
Patil says, “Our films and art have to be a reflection of society. That father in Everest should be publicly shamed. If the writers had just looked around, spoken to some people who have actually scaled Everest, the truth would be out.


Top of the world: Krushnaa Patil

All of our parents (both moms and dads) have been our pillars of strength when we attempted to conquer Everest.

The serial misrepresents the entire family dynamics as well as the thought process behind climbing Everest.”

Patil, who has also scaled Mt Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mt Vincent Massif (Antarctica), Mt Kosciuszko (Australia), Mt McKinley (Alaska) and Mt Aconcagua (Argentina), among others, goes on to say, “When I climbed Everest I had made a list of directors whom I would approach with a film on mountaineering, Ashutosh Gowariker was in the top five. But, sad to say, I’m hugely disappointed after seeing this serial.”

Talking about the serial, Patil says, “That moment when the mother in the show says ‘Your dad loves you as much as a girl should be loved’ is an amazing low. It is exactly everything wrong with our society today. If you want to inspire Indians, tell them the stories of the parents who did everything to make their children’s dreams true. If you are showing the lives of mountaineers, then please be realistic — that is my appeal to Ashutosh Gowariker, who is known for his realistic filmmaking.”

Master sculptor no more
India's rich, seamless art fraternity lost a stalwart on November 9, with the passing away of master Gadhwakam sculptor Jaidev Baghel. A diabetic, Baghel was on dialysis for a while, and was uncomfortable in the end. The 64-year-old traditional sculptor hailed from Chhatisgarh’s Bastar district and belonged to the aboriginal artisan community of Gadhwas. He learnt this art of lost-wax casting from his father as an eight-year-old. This National Award-winner in 1977 had many films made on him and the BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geographic have featured his work.

His work will live on: Jaidev Baghel RIP

Baghel had set up a centre for Gadhwa artists in his hometown, Kondagaon, to teach this art to keep it alive. His masterpiece, The Tree of Life, survived the terrorist attacks on Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel in November 26, 2008.

Jamaat Art Gallery in Mumbai was where Baghel’s last solo show was on display. Gallery owner Pravina Mecklai was saddened at the news: “We feel blessed that his last solo show was with us. He was so happy with the critical acclaim, and the show’s success. Those who have acquired works from this show are privileged to get his last works, which will always be special.” We couldn’t agree any more. 

Pet on the back 
It is pet pooja (in another context) or pet service with a difference. The  Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (CEMS) in collaboration with the Sanjeevan Trust has invited Mumbaikars to  participate in a ‘Pet Day’ on Sunday, November 16.

Pet owners need to bring their pets to the Health Centre Building of the University of Mumbai at Vidyanagari Campus, Santacruz (E).  A team of veterinary doctors under the leadership of Dr Umesh Karkare will be available from 10am to 4pm at the venue. Pets will get free health check-ups and their owners will get veterinary advice. The offer comes with a disclaimer, though: Only legally allowed pets, ie exotic birds, animals which do not come under CITES and cats and dogs will be treated. If you think this could not get better, the organisers say that the owners should also bring along their kids, as children appreciate the man-animal relationship. Call Sanjeevan’s Subodh Gore at 9820413489 to confirm  participation, or call CEMS numbers 26543011/26530266. 

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