SRK's cosmic shrug

>> Let us close our eyes for a moment and meditate on the phenomenon that is Shah Rukh Khan; last spotted, the superstar was delighting a select crowd of Mumbai’s ‘people who can read without moving their lips’ at Shashi Tharoor’s book launch with his easy wit; before that cocky hat slung low he was checking out Farrah Khan’s abs and showing off his own, and before that attempting to fly off a railing when his team won the final match of the IPL. Articulate, urbane, secular, sexy, intelligent self-deprecating and garrulous this motor mouth has brought wit and a certain cosmic shrug in to the national narrative. “This is who I am,” it appears SRK has been trying to tell anyone who will listen, “Good, bad, ugly, charming, disgusting, dimpled or obnoxious. Deal with it.”

Shah Rukh Khan
Illustration/Amit Bandre

We have been SRK watchers for a long time now. We have met him at his home Mannat, on the roof of a shack in Goa, at a palace in Jaipur amongst many other meetings and much of what he said to us (‘even when I’m in bed I’m on stage’) has passed in to the public domain. And we can see this is Shah Rukh’s most interesting phase — an intense period of self-actualisation. So our question is — what will SRK do as a second act? Already he appears to have transcended the limits of Bollywood, he goes through the motions but appears to be phoning it in. His face has acquired a certain haggard vulnerability and his stringy lean boy-man body resembles those of the two other Peter Pan epochal stars in our constellation: Jagger and Jackson. Never has SRK looked handsomer or more intriguing: So what will he do for a second act? This one appears too easy for the Badshah of Bollywood.

International artist showing
>> The international artist, curator, and academic Avantika Bawa returns to Mumbai after her successful show last year at the Gallery Maskara. This time the artist who has been trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda brings another solo show titled Another Documentation to the same venue. “Through the choice and placement of works, Bawa presents the gallery as a ‘construction-site’ where notions of the everyday that may otherwise go unnoticed are put into creative order,” says the flyer.

Avantika Bawa
Avantika Bawa with her art installation

“I am interested in the conversations between drawing, sculpture and architecture,” says Bawa, an assistant professor of Fine Arts at Washington State University, Vancouver.

“This show is giving me a stage for these conversations to occur in different ways... the expected and unexpected, the functional and the futile playful, yet paired down. The rich landscape of Mumbai is loaded and constantly growing. The city really can trigger one sense and evoke various responses in a multitude of ways,” she says.

Emperor has no clothes?
>> Amidst all the hype and hoopla of LFW it takes the likes of a Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal to declare the emperor has no clothes. Recently, the feisty actress who is chipping away at the urban Indian narrative on sexuality with her production of The Vagina Monologues posted a comment on FB dissing one of the shows.

“Had an incredible experience at a fashion show! Need an antidepressant,” she wrote. “A bunch of terribly dressed people watching even more terribly dressed models strutting about to horrible music. The models were walking as if they were wearing shoes with broken heels and desperately trying to keep their shoes on,” adding, “Don’t get me wrong. The models were not wearing skimpy clothes these were just tacky, ill-fitting and looked like my local darzi does in a hurry!” No, we’re not telling who the designer was.

Super model, super mom
>> OK. So, she married an Italian ice cream magnate, lives in Italy and has had a baby (a beautiful daughter named Indira) but for those who still miss the presence of India’s first super model Madhu Sapre, here’s an update: a gorgeous picture of the earthy model that could give Sophia Loren a run for her money. Mama Mia was never more appropriate.

Madhu Sapre

LFW Gripes
>>  Who is the designer who seems to have riled a couple of top models at LFW with her unprofessional maneuvering to try and get them to walk her ramp for free? As one leggy beauty puts it, “Look, we do a lot of shows pro bono to encourage new and up and coming designers, but this lady is not only an old hand but also reportedly loaded!” Tch Tch. We don’t like!

Foodie talk
>> Camellia Panjabi, who knows more about the restaurant business and food than arguably anyone else on the planet (she’s the lady who launched some of the Taj hotels’ most successful F&B outlets and now runs over 10 of her own in London) is celebrating her birthday today — with what else —dinner at a Mumbai restaurant.

Camellia Panjabi

About Mumbai’s booming restaurant scene, the best-selling author of Great Curries of India says, “A few specialty Indian restaurants like Urban Tadka and Soam are really celebrating and innovating Indian food.” We’d put them on our list immediately.  

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