Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Sep 02, 2017, 09:20 IST | Team mid-day

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Mumbai Police gets the Iron Throne
It's no secret that Mumbai Police has a fantastic social media team, uploading posts that are witty and on trend. Just yesterday, they put up this illustration on Twitter, warning burglars that they will be caught thanks to CCTV cameras installed across the city.

However, instead of making it a boring PSA, the post carried the following words: "STARK evidence catches up just when you think we are in complete dark #GOTyou." We loved the Game of Thrones word play, right from references to the Stark family to the punny use of GOT (the acronym by which Game of Thrones is referred to by fans).

A prescription for disaster
This diarist recently came across a 10-year-old installation by Sanjeev Khandekar, which left her wondering about the prescient quality of art. Called Rx, it comprises a series of canvases where the Chembur-based artist has placed the names of megapolises of the world, including Mumbai, against solid-coloured backdrops, with a faucet and pipe.

Sanjeev Khandekar
Sanjeev Khandekar

"I made these in 2007, when the Maharashtra government had come up with a prescription for Mumbai - to turn it into Shanghai. It was a scary proposition because this kind of development was going to kill all of us. Through rampant privatisation, the city continued to grow vertically, with 20,000 people occupying a space meant for 200, and no infrastructural upgrade.

July 26 [2005], and now, August 29 are symptoms of a bigger disaster in the making," said Khandekar. What do the faucet and the semi-transparent shape symbolise? "The faucet portrays the highly skewed access to water in Mumbai, while the latter is a secretion of lust and desire ruining the city."

Pic/Satej Shinde
Pic/Satej Shinde

On a fishy wicket
Dinesh Karthik (left) and Abhishek Nayar do not believe in wasting food. We spotted them leaving a seafood restaurant last afternoon, doggy bag in hand.

Little Sari wonder
"I've been collecting hand-woven sarees for two decades. As a student [in New York in the '90s] I had no access to local tailors, so in a sense, necessity was the mother of invention. I teamed them with sweaters/jackets in the winter, and tanks, shirts or even a tube top in the summers.

I wore them to Broadway plays, concerts, art galleries and openings, including my own. It made me so proud to wear what was special to our country and it always turned heads because it was elegant but also unpredictable, in an otherwise expected, sea of black," shares fashion designer and artist Payal Khandwala.

The designer has continued to present the saree in unusual formats at her fashion presentations. And to do away with the cumbersome process of pleating, Khandwala has launched The Little Sari, a shortened version of the conventional saree, that can paired with pants, shirts, jackets or other separates. Her inspiration for the season are Barnett Newman's oil paintings.

Cambodia loves Ganesha
As the city venerates and celebrates its favourite deity, this diarist's mind jogged back to a few years ago, to a visit to Angkor, Cambodia.

During the week-long trip to the South Asian country where Hinduism had spread to, we stumbled upon fascinating references to Ganesha, within the UNESCO World Heritage Site complex as well as in an artisan's centre in Siem Reap, the closest town that is a popular tourist base.

The shape and form of both versions (see pics) amazed us. Curious, we enquired with the makers at the centre about the origins of idol's shape. He replied in broken English, "Hindu God; we like a lot." We like too.

American dream
It warms the cockles of our hearts when an indie movie makes the right noises. Now we hear that Shreelancer, a film that released on August 18, is set to have two screenings in the US this month.

The title of the movie is simple enough - it follows the journey of Shreepad Naik, a freelancer, and hence the name. The journey of the movie itself looks promising, with one award in the bag already for Arjun Radhakrishnan, the lead character.

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