Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
The bald and the beautiful
Akshay Kumar gets showered with love by co-actors Pooja Hegde, Kriti Sanon, Kriti Kharbanda, Riteish Deshmukh and Bobby Deol during a trailer launch. Pic/Satej Shinde
Young thespians take the stage
MS Sathyu and Dolly Thakore inaugurate the event finale
The 48th edition of Indian People's Theatre Association's Inter-collegiate Drama Competition (ICDC) concluded recently, and going by the kind of themes that budding artistes from colleges across the city dealt with in these student productions, it seems like Mumbai's theatre scene will continue to remain a vibrant one. While the Prithvraj Kapoor Trophy for Best Production was bagged by DG Ruparel College for the play Benefit of Doubt, the KA Abbas Trophy for Best Script was shared by Deviprasad Goenka Management College of Media Studies for the play Instant Einstein, which discusses instant gratification.
Winners with actor and judge Akhilendra Mishra
After three days of elimination, the finale took place in the presence of veteran artistes MS Sathyu and Dolly Thakore and ICDC convenor Ramesh Talwar. "The best bit about this competition, which has given us actors like Aamir Khan, Deven Bhojani, Neha Sharad and Kunal Khemu, is that it also brings out hidden gems with respect to the colleges that nurture drama as a discipline," IPTA committee member Ranjana Srivastav told this diarist.
Picture this victory
It is possible to touch and feel the seismic changes we have gone through as a people. Just look at something seemingly redundant like wedding photographs, which at one time, in India at least, would feature jolly grooms beside brides with lowered eyes. Today, of course, it's a huge thing, what with all the drone-taken shots and swirling lehenga candids. Artists like Monisha Ajgaonkar make such visuals possible. But she's much more. Recently, Ajgaonkar, who is also an LGBTQIA+ activist, received two prominent awards for her work both as activist and a photographer. These included her being felicitated at the International Fame Awards, 2019, which was held in Thailand and where Kangana Ranaut awarded Ajgaonkar as the Best Candid Photographer in Mumbai. She was also felicitated by wrestling champ Geeta Phogat and actor-dancer Sudha Chandran at India's Most Prominent Women Empowerment Award, held in Delhi.
The spotlight is on electronica
There is a near complete takeover of electronic music in the Indian indie space. Head to any gig in Mumbai and chances are that you'll find a DJ or producer spinning tracks instead of, say, a bunch of rock musicians. And this has caught the attention of the international community, since a global music discovery channel called Street Player has now shifted its attention to India. Street Player has collaborated with British Council to produce a series of online videos featuring dancers grooving in scenic locales to the beats of some of the country's finest electronica talent. The first one features Troja, a beatmaker who recently shifted to Goa from Mumbai. Here's raising a toast to him, and all the others who have made the country such a thriving market for the genre.
Art across borders
Since it was established in 2013, the Jaipur Art Summit has been an open platform for "cross-border art connect" by facilitating exchange of art and artists, which not only promotes traditional and contemporary art but also shares attitudes, values and beliefs in the art scene. Now with the intent of curating artworks across borders not only in terms of geographical locations but also valuable perspectives, they are coming up with a Mumbai edition starting October 1, giving the city's art lovers a preview of 150 art pieces by 150 artists at The Bombay Art Society in Bandra. There will also be paintings made by families of jawans from the Indian Army on sale, besides paintings, artworks, installations and sculptures from 15 countries.
Not so funny
An 18-second video that surfaced on Twitter recently shows stand-up comic Urooj Ashfaq take on the different ways in which cab/auto drivers in the city respond to passenger requests. "The first way is very enthusiastic. Haan Madam, jaayega na...And I'm like Sir, you are too enthusiastic. Aap mera rape karne wale ho," she says in the clip. The punchline didn't go down well some followers, and when one of them responded saying, "If you make rape jokes and laugh at rape jokes then you empower rape. There's nothing funny about it," he found himself blocked by Ashfaq. While we aren't sure if she had been trolled by the user in the past which led to the step, we do feel he had a point — no rape jokes can be funny. When this diarist reached out to Ashfaq for a comment, she refused, saying she "didn't want to be a part of the conver-sation."
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