Magic from the studio floor
Of all the messages of wild praise and celebratory congratulations that have come in for artist Sunil Padwal’s Room for Lies, said to be the high point of the recently launched Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016, the one from fellow artist, sculptor Arzan Khambatta caught our eye for its warmth
Sunil Padwal with his new collection
Of all the messages of wild praise and celebratory congratulations that have come in for artist Sunil Padwal’s Room for Lies, said to be the high point of the recently launched Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016, the one from fellow artist, sculptor Arzan Khambatta caught our eye for its warmth.
“My dearest, dearest friend and a most fabulous & versatile fine artist makes us so proud by his debut at the prestigious Kochi Biennale, which opened today. Kicking myself for not being able to be with him. Wishing you the very best Sunil Padwal. More strength to your arm,” he posted about the 600 or so frames of objects described by Vyjayanthi Venuturupalli Rao as — ‘found and collected through innumerable forays into the streets and markets of the city, captured in photographs, covered in fine lines painstakingly drawn by hand.’
Other plaudits were more succinct: ‘brilliant’ ‘outstanding’ and’ magical’ followed the exhibit that takes its name from Le Corbusier’s “I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster and leaves less room for lies.” And when you consider that we had the privilege of seeing it in its nascent stage as a set of frames on the floor of the artist’s studio in Lower Parel not too long ago, it is magical all round.
A Mumbai welcome for Gupta?
He’s been vilified as much as he’d been lionised. Which is why when sources swore that Rajat Gupta, a former managing partner of McKinsey & CoâÂÂ— whose fall from grace following indictment and incarceration in a high-profile insider trading case in America — had visited Mumbai recently, and had been the subject of some pretty serious wining and dining by the city’s power lobby, we could not help marvel at the strange snakes and ladder saga of the dapper corporate Samurai.
Is Gupta ready for a welcome back into the folds? After all his credibility as a first rate international business brain did not take as much of a beating back home where matters of corporate governance and rectitude are well... laxer. Is Mumbai gearing up to welcome Gupta into its hospitable fold as he dusts off his rumoured tome? Watch this space.
Ever so often, Delhi tugs at our hearts. Not the Delhi of power politics and cloak and dagger subterfuge of coteries and caucuses, but that of the early sunsets in winter, the bleak lights of cars obscured by smog and fog, and the crackle of fireplaces at elegant drawing rooms belonging to formidable hostesses.
(From left) Madhu Trehan, Mira Nair and Pavitra RajaramâÂÂwith Anita Lal and Simran Lal
And word comes in that during what looks like director Mira Nair’s annual visit to her native place, it was this Delhi that coalesced around the auteur all set to embark on what could be a whole new genre: a musical based on Monsoon Wedding.
“I met Mira through Bim Bissell when they’d dropped in for breakfast,” said Anita Lal, who along with husband industrialist Vikram Lal, had hosted a dinner for the director. “She was looking for backers for Wedding and of course, I loved the film and loved the idea, so I hosted a small dinner for her to meet others who would want to,” she said.
Bored in Dubai
Life in Dubai is not a breeze for all those NRI high flyers who migrated there during the first flush of the Modi regime, believing that it’s best to keep one foot out. According to the Oolong tea serving hostess friend, “All those millionaires and billionaires who thought they’d hedge their bets while lunching daily at Le Petit Maison, followed by dinner at Zuma are bored out off their skulls.”
“They are like the early pioneers who retired to Goa in the eighties, and after the first year of shopping for the daily catch at Mapusa market and decorating their own Christmas tree, went senile with boredom…” We shot the OTSHF a glance to say you’re rambling, so she, of course, corrected herself.
“After the first three months of socialising and shopping in Dubai, they start looking around for something that keeps them ‘occupied’, like investing in a restaurant, a new nightclub, a lifestyle app... something that gives them that all important social cache when their friends from India, UK and Lagos come visiting,” she said.
Like a conversation piece? We asked the OTSHF. “Yes just like a conversation piece, only much costlier, of course though, not as costly as marrying a local lady,” she said and shuddered. “But that’s another story for another day,” she added.And then she tinkled her little bell to ask for more hot water.
A hug by any other name
One could say Suhel Seth is a very brave man. This week, the ubiquitous high priest of the sound byte engaged with not one, but both of the senior Bachchans.
Suhel with the Bachchans
First, he moderated a discussion for FICCI with MP and actress Jaya Bachchan on Saturday night in Delhi, and then flew straight into one with Amitabh Bachchan (and Anil Kapoor) the next afternoon in Lucknow. “You could say this has been my weekend with the Bachchans,” said Seth from Delhi.
And what was it like engaging with the celebrated couple, we asked. Who was more articulate, quicker on the uptake, more unguarded? “Both are brilliant conversationalists,” said Seth. “Jaya is from the heart, Big B today was also from the heart.” And what was that warm bear hug between the two about?
“The hug was because they were seeing each other after a month because Jaya was attending Parliament,” said Seth. Perhaps he will interview Abhishek and Aishwarya while in Mumbai, we wanted to ask. But Seth was already on to the next thing.
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day