Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
SRK's hat-ke fans
Shah Rukh Khan completed 26 years in the industry recently, and the revelries haven't stopped. Apart from the usual cake-cutting and movie-screening ceremonies organised by his fan clubs across the country, this is one celebration that caught this diarist's eye. SRK's fans in Berhampur, Odisha, organised an event at an NGO for differently abled children yesterday, where they were treated to a hearty meal. The fans also sang and danced to their idol's hit numbers with the kids. Sweet!
Sounds like the future
Music purists, look away now. Mumbai-based producer Tejas Nair aka Spryk has dropped Strange Movements, a new album that is as far removed from straight-up band music as heavy metal is from Indian classical. The genre might well be described as minimalist bass, and the tracks are full of soft industrial sounds that would sit well at a somewhat sober warehouse party.
His influences seem to include the French electronic giant, Air, since the track Inward Lake starts on similar lines to Venus, from the latter's album Walkie Talkie. Spryk has collaborated with audio-visual artist Aniruddh Mehta, who goes by the stage name of bigfatminimalist, to create a truly sensory experience. But, again, this album isn't everybody's cup of tea. It's only for listeners willing to accept the evolving nature of 21st century music, and not for people who get their fix from retro tunes.
As the city braces up for relentless rains, we spotted something that might unleash a torrential bombardment of online trolls. A recently launched channel on YouTube called SKEP has begun posting docu-features on the idea of India and being Indian.
The series, titled Decoding India, has already posted videos of journalist and anchor Ravish Kumar, stand-up artiste and actor Sanjay Rajoura and activist Kanhaiya Kumar, discussing the myriad issues plaguing India. They are the undisputed favourites for Bhakt-bashing and we can only guess what's coming.
Adulting with comics
On January 1 this year, Bharath Murthy, filmmaker, artist and co-founder of Comix India, a comics publishing label, announced his new project — a magazine called Vérité.
The first issue of the comics anthology is out now, and apart from being a platform for Indian independent comic artists, it is also an ode to the pioneers of Japanese alternative manga for adults. "It is a two-sided book with manga at the back because the format is read from right to left.
The idea is to also introduce Indian readers to other forms of storytelling from around the world," says Murthy, who is also the editor of the anthology. He adds that the magazine will come out every quarter, and the plan is to make it a monthly. "The themes take a detour from caricature-like comics and present an unflinching portrait of life," he says. Murthy had also organised an indie comics fest in Mumbai last month. Together with graphic novels, this is one burgeoning genre of literature that we are keeping a close watch on.
A new chapter for Pandit Nehru's fave publisher
Established back in 1958, Hind Pocket Groups went on to publish some of the most popular literary fiction to have been written in Hindi and Urdu in the Indian Subcontinent. Founded by DN Malhotra, the publishing house had represented some of the most iconic names in literature, including Amrita Pritam, Khushwant Singh, RK Narayan, Dr Radhakrishnan, Dominique Lapierre and Osho.
In fact, such was its popularity that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, remarked, "I am very happy at the success of Hind Pocket Books because not only are the books economical to buy but have been published very nicely and in attractive formats." Now we hear that Penguin Random House India has acquired the publishing house. "In 1956, my father, DN Malhotra, met with Sir Allen Lane [founder, Penguin Books], the year Penguin was celebrating its 21st anniversary, and here began a great association between two imminent visionaries," says Shekhar Malhotra. With an engaging author list, we'd love to see their regional titles reach more readers in India.
Girls just want to have fun
Actor Neetu Singh steps out of a Juhu café with what looks like a stylish girl gang on Friday. Pic/Sameer Markande
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