Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray makes a point as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis listens in at a programme to commemorate late Sena lead Bal Thackeray’s fifth death anniversary at Shivaji Park.
A contemporary turn
Many would associate a museum with a treasure trove of relics from the past. While Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, the city’s oldest museum, does live up to that definition, it has also engaged with contemporary artworks as part of a regular exhibition series that invites artists to respond to its collection, history and archives.
Over time, the museum has acquired works by well-known artists including Archana Hande, Atul Dodiya (in pic), Jitish Kallat, LN Tallur, Nalini Malani, Praneet Soi, Ranjani Shettar, Reena Kallat, Rohini Devasher, Sheba Chhachhi and CAMP studio.
Starting this Sunday, Mumbaikars can gaze at these contemporary acquisitions, which the museum is exhibiting together for the first time.
Ram Jethmalani is back on home turf
Tomorrow, the gates of Mahalaxmi racecourse will open for the first day of the Mumbai racing season. The historic turf club will hold a race in the name of Janak Ram Jethmalani.
(From left) Vivek Jain, former RWITCC chairman, Ram Jethmalani, and family friend Gitanjali Gurbaxani giving away the trophy to the winners last year
Giving away the trophy will be legal eagle, recently retired, Ram Jethmalani, the late Janak’s father, who is coming to Mahalaxmi for the race. This is the second edition of the race, and like the first, we think Janak will be looking on from above at the green bowl of SoBo, which he cherished.
Time for a comedy fest?
The Bengaluru Comedy Festival started yesterday, and the line-up, with a dominating presence of comics from Mumbai, left this diarist wondering why the city doesn’t have its own festival.
“We did have something called the Pajama festival, but it couldn’t be sustained,” recalls comedian-screenwriter Varun Grover, who will perform at the Bengaluru fest, adding that Mumbai has a thriving comedy scene, but Bengaluru has fewer venues where it’s usually the local comics who perform. So, a festival offers greater exposure. “But a fest goes beyond live shows, so Mumbai, and other cities could definitely do with such initiatives.”
And Baba does it again
We are still reeling from his Hindi cover of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, but Baba Sehgal seems unstoppable. The prolific rapper is back, this time with an original called Google Ka Zamaana Hai. The single opens with Sehgal sitting in the back of a car as the familiar voice on the search engine’s map app guides the driver to take a left.
He then launches into his signature wacky lyrics - “Info le lo kisi ki, baby, Google apna saga hai”. Sehgal, who was a popular face on the indie pop scene of the ’90s, made a comeback in 2016 with his music videos ranging from Trump Ka Mania to Going to the Gym. In a chat with this newspaper, he had said that he didn’t want to be a has-been. A year later, we think, it’s safe to say he has been successful on that front.
City life through cinema
Come December, and the Godrej India Culture Lab will play host to the fourth edition of the Urban Lens Film Festival, held in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Human Settlements. After successful runs in New Delhi and Bengaluru, the festival will make its debut in Mumbai.
The edition will showcase a series of short films, documentaries and feature-length fiction films that explore what it means to live in an Indian city. Catch screenings of Mira Nair’s (in pic) India Cabaret, Hardik Mehta’s Amdavad ma Famous, and Avijit Mukul Kishore’s Vertical City, and a slew of international films. The festival will also include conversations with directors and exhibitions.
It would make for an interesting experience for Mumbaikars to take a step back and re-examine the city and the lives they lead here through the lens of cinema.
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