Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
BMC Spares No One
Atul Kasbekar helps Vidya Balan navigate her way on a dug up street near Kala Ghoda, as she arrives to launch a saree collection inspired by her latest film. pic/suresh karkera
On stage for the first time
It was their on-screen chemistry that led to a happily-ever-after life off screen. But actors Varun Badola and Rajeshwari Sachdev, who have worked together on several projects, hadn't shared space on stage until Ila Arun roped them for Shabd Leela, a dramatised reading of iconic Hindi writer, poet and playwright Dr Dharamvir Bharati's works. Directed by KKâÂÂRaina, and adapted by Arun, the play will premiere at a festival to be held next week. "We are reading from Bharati ji's Kanupriya, Andha Yug as well as letters he had written to his wife. Such is the language of the letters that he has set major couple's goals for us!" Sachdev told this diarist. What is it like to be on the stage with Varun? "Such creative pursuits add a new, exciting dimension to the relationship," she says.
What's your Hindi word of the year?
After more than a decade of their much-anticipated English Word of the Year, the Oxford Dictionaries are launching their first ever Hindi Word of the Year. The initiative is calling on Hindi speakers from across the country to help choose a word or expression that has attracted interest over the last 12 months and reflects the mood, or preoccupations of the year, The word needn't be a new one. A panel of language experts including Namita Gokhale, Kritika Agrawal, Saurabh Dwivedi, Malika Ghosh, and Poonam Nigam Sahay will choose the winner from public suggestions, and announce it in January. Given that 'fake news' (Collins Word of the Year 2017) and 'post truth' have been the favourites recently, we wonder if 'jumla' has a chance.
An artist's homecoming
In the early 1960s, Gujarat-born artist Natvar Bhavsar moved to the US for further studies and ended up making New York his home, developing a distinct abstract style of painting, influenced by the colour-field artists of that time. In the last five decades, the feted artist's works have been widely collected by international art connoisseurs and museums, including Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Next week, the octogenarian will host his first retrospective in India, aptly titled Homecoming, presented by DAG Modern. It features smoky, layered compositions created by Bhavsar by sifting powdered pigments on canvas and allowing air currents, his breath and body movements to determine where they fall.
Natvar Bhavsar with his works. Pic courtesy/Janet Brosious Bhavsar
Eat this colour
An Italian research scholar in India has, quite literally, given us food for thought. Chiara Colombi (in pic) is in Thane at present, carrying out a project on chromotherapy called Eat Your Colour. It involves her organising seven lunches, each based on a different colour, over one week. Once the lunch is done, all the participants will use the leftovers from their plates as well as the kitchen to create a shape that embodies what they felt about the colour of the day. "I will then put the collective creation in a lunchbox and then display it in a public space," Colombi says, adding, "The idea is to explore how colours can be used in a therapeutic way through the process of creation."
Clinton junior, the author
Now, here's one family that's keeping publishers happy all year through. Close on the heels of mum and former Democratic presidential candidate Hilary's tell-all about her loss to eventual winner, Donald Trump in What Happened, daughter Chelsea Clinton's title, She Persisted Around The World is already creating a buzz in literary circles. The book, packed with delightful illustrations by Alexandra Bolger, and expected in March 2018, is the companion to her earlier New York Times bestseller, She Persisted. Publishers Penguin took to social media to make the announcement.
The follow-up, like the first title, will salute little activists, feminists and kid influencers who dared to dream big. Armed with Bolger's art, and featuring icons like JK Rowling and Malala Yousafzai, we can expect this one to top the bestselling list too.