Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Have a look in the mirror
His Holiness the Dalai Lama holds up a caricature gifted to him by a student of a city college where he had attended an event on Thursday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Sabyasachi Mukherjee with Edinburgh College of Art Principal Stuart Bennett
A salute from Edinburgh
Recently, Sabyasachi Mukherjee director general of CSMVS was honoured by the University of Edinburgh with a degree of Doctor honoris causa at its winter graduation convocation. He received the award in recognition of CSMVS's transformation to an engaging cultural catalyst in Mumbai. Taking forward the intent of the city landmark, he told this diarist, "A museum helps the society to create an environment where diverse communities accept commonalities and differences as an integral part of our cultural legacy and allows people to learn, reflect and assimilate."
Listen to legends
Even before electronic music became cool, Indian percussionist Talvin Singh had played the tabla to music playing out of a laptop at a venue in Kolkata in the early 2000s. Known for his musical chops, and particularly for combining Indian classical with drums and bass, the maestro also went on to collaborate with artistes like Madonna and Massive Attack. Now, the legend is scheduled to play in the city with sarod player Arnab Chakrabarty at an event organised by the G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture, which sounds like a promising event, if you can ditch the DJ on a Saturday night.
Getting catty with Shaaz Jung
Photographer and top cat tracker Shaaz Jung has royal roots. But somehow, his ancestry veered him towards jungles and big cats, rather than resplendent ballrooms. "Hailing from the royal families of Bhopal and Pataudi, my deep connection with the forests of India goes long back.
I have spent the last decade in the jungles of South India and East Africa," he told this diarist, ahead of his first exhibition in the city tonight, where the likes of Dia Mirza, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu and Dino Morea, are expected to be present. "My exhibition is an embodiment of the philosophy that has shaped my vision as a photographer and artist. I love capturing raw beauty and accentuating it with the play of shadows and light," the photographer said.
Pablo Naranjo Agular (left) and Carlos Jaime Velasco
Food, science and the senses
A dinner themed around changing tasting menus became Table Number 13, a project started by chefs Pooja Dhingra and Pablo Naranjo Agular in 2016. And on Wednesday night, the meal took an intriguing turn as Naranjo revealed a scientific twist to his guests. In a bid to understand the correlation between our sensory experiences and food, the chef roped in assistant professor of experimental psychology from Oxford University, Carlos Jaime Velasco. Together with several games and experiments that included music, blindfolds and of course, grub, the evening turned out to be fun. "I've grown up with Carlos. We wanted to create a unique experience with food and psychology. Through the meal, we played on how our brain processes realities based on different sensory experiences," Naranjo told this diarist.
Aarna Kangale, eight, performs a jete at the competition
Mumbai ballerinas win big
The city played host to its first pan-India ballet competition recently. And in some heartening news, it was Mumbai ballerinas who walked away with most of the accolades. Organised by a city-based academy that specialises in Russian-style ballet, The Great Indian Ballet Competition saw over 75 participants, from Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune and Mumbai, showcase their moves. While four- to six-year-olds from Delhi won the first prize in both styles under the kids category, seven- to 10-year-olds from Mumbai held sway over the top prizes in the junior and senior categories. To ensure fairness and give participants an exposure to international standards, two professional artistes from Japan and Serbia were invited to judge the participants, one of whom also conducted a masterclass. The lack of interest in the dance form has often been cited as the reason why India doesn't have a ballet company yet. But if these results are anything to go by, we'd say things are definitely changing.
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