Shop and get wise, Kutch style

Why you shouldn't read the Bhagwad Gita to buffaloes and other Kutch sayings, now on bags, cushion covers and wall hangings

Early this year in May, the Kala Raksha Trust, a Kutch-based enterprise dedicated to the preservation of traditional arts, held a brainstorming session on the theme of their September show in Mumbai. Nilesh Priyadarshi, the marketing executive of the Trust, says, "We wanted something light, yet reflective of the region. One artisan suggested Kutchi Kahevat (famous Kutch sayings), and almost all of us agreed."

Reading the Bhagwad Gita to a buffalo on a cushion cover.

Since then, 50 artisans started work and produced a total of 70 pieces based on those many sayings. These works will now be exhibited in the city from September 19 to 25 under the title Women Wise: Fabricated Sayings of Kutch.

The items include wall hangings, laptop bags, quilts, cushion covers, runners and tea cozies, among others. The illustrations of the sayings are on cloth, embroidered and appliqu �d with delightful details, recounting universal truths and reflections on human folly. Apart from illustrations, many of the products also have English translations written on them. For instance, one pillow cushion has the illustration of a buffalo and a man reading. On its sides is written, 'Reading the Bhagwad to a buffalo'.

According to Priyadarshi, this is a saying often used in Kutch households when a person is unwilling to listen. Another item is a wall hanging with the saying, 'You can harvest only if you plough' while yet another piece says 'You can only extend your legs the size of the chadar', referring to how people should live within their means. 

The prices of products range from Rs 500 (cushion covers) to Rs 10,000 (60 by 90 metre wall hanging). And apart from Priyadarshi, there will be three artisans, willing to guide you with the meaning behind the sayings.
At:  Sept 19-25, The Artists' Centre, Ador House, Kala Ghoda
Call: 22845939

Become a bartender
Art Loft on Sunday is organising a crash course in the art of mixology. Here, using simple ingredients readily available at a local grocery store, one will learn how to make great cocktails. Students will learn how to design a cocktail menu based on the occasion and make cocktails with three basic spirits: vodka, rum and whisky. They will also learn about pairing cocktails with food. Arina Suchde, who holds a Diploma in Bartending from the Johnnie Walker Bartending Academy, will conduct the workshop.
At: The Art Loft, 1st Floor, Valentino Restaurant, Bandra
Call: 9930483966

Restaurant Week
After an event in February this year, Restaurant Week returns to Mumbai from September 19 to 25. A similar event will also take place in Bengaluru and New Delhi simultaneously. Here, participating restaurants which include Olive Bar & Kitchen in Bandra and Mahalaxmi, The Table and Indigo in Colaba, The Great Wall in The Leela, Mezzo Mezzo and Spices of JW Marriott Hotel, apart from many others, will offer a three-course menu for only Rs 1,000 per person (excluding taxes). Other events include Kitchen Party, where attendees can access part or whole of the kitchen and interact with the head chef.


A forgotten movement
The most well-known contribution to modern Indian art may have been made by the famed Progressive Artist's Movement, but a long-forgotten, yet equally important contribution was made by the Revivalists. From 1939 to 1956, Sir JJ School of Arts was the epicentre of this movement. An ongoing exhibition traces the movement by showcasing paintings made in the school during that period.
At: Chatterjee & Lal Gallery, 01/18 Kamal Mansion, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba
Call: 22023787 

Art for art's sake
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Hacienda Art Gallery is  hosting a sculpture show titled Agape from September 19 to 30. According to the show organisers, the sense of marvel is lost in today's art as activism and intervention. So through 'Agape', they seek to bring back the idea of viewing a work of art for itself, not as a 'politicised spectacle'. The show will feature works of well-known contemporary sculptors like Arzan Khambatta, Abir Patwardhan, B Vithal and Dhruva Mistry, among others.
At: Hacienda Gallery, Great Western Building, Ground Floor, Kala Ghoda
Call: 22837232


Master of the classic
On September 24, US pianist Stephen Kovacevich, considered to be one of the best pianists in the world, with play Beethoven's 4th. According to him, "It's the most interesting of Beethoven's concertos because it is moderate in expression and that's more difficult than drama." Kovacevich last performed in Mumbai in July last year. He says this about his experience, "Last time I played in Mumbai, I was touched by the public response � there were even very young people."
At: 7 pm, September 24, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point 
Call: 66223737 

Timing it correctly
On Sunday, NCPA will present 'Chaturprahar -- An experience of dawn to dusk ragas'. The concert will be based on the relationship of ragas with diurnal time-cycles. Three well-known vocalists, Kaushiki Chakrabarty Desikan, Ulhas Kashalkaron and Devaki Pandit, will perform ragas appropriate to their time cycles in two sessions. The first session will last from 8.30 to 11.30 am and the second from 12.30 to 3.30 pm.
At: Tata Theatre, 8.30 am and 12.30 pm, NCPA Marg, NCPA, Nariman Point

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