Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Aug 20, 2017, 09:42 IST | Team Mid-day

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

This is how we do it
A frazzled Preity Zinta and Farah Khan whip their hair back as they escape the media frenzy at fashion week on Friday night. Pic/Satej Shinde

Shilpa Gupta
Shilpa Gupta

A slab of art
Busy as ever, we wonder how Shilpa Gupta does it. The contemporary artist is looking at participating in two biennales , starting early September. At the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA) in Sweden, Gupta is presenting her 2012 work, Wheredo-Iendandyoubegin. Furthermore, Nav Haq, the biennial's curator, has chosen to christen this edition of GIBCA after Gupta's work. "The work celebrates continuities between two individuals. It looks at the interconnected-ness between thoughts," says Gupta. Over at the Jeju Biennale in Korea, Gupta will present a new work made of a locally sourced stone. The large slab will be ingrained with the phrase "We change each other" in multiple languages, including Korean and Japanese. Alluding to the political tensions in that part of Asia, Gupta says that the slab will be broken and visitors are free to take a piece of it home. Jeju, here we come.

PIC COURTESY/Tamillegend via Facebook
PIC COURTESY/Tamillegend via Facebook

Sujatha re-loaded
There is nothing as delicious as being exposed to the greatness of good, regional writing. So, when we learnt of Tamil screenplay writer and author S. Rangarajan's books, Anita: A Trophy Wife and Nylon Rope, being translated into English by Westland nearly 10 years after his death, we were glad that the veteran's work was finally getting its due. Rangarajan (1935-2008), who wrote under the pseudonym Sujatha, is one of the most popular authors in Tamil literature and cinema with a literary career spanning four decades. Meera Ravishankar, who translated one of his books, recalls relishing them as a teen. "He wrote across genres and made a tremendous impact with his contemporary and racy writing," she says of the writer. The challenge, says Ravishankar, was to capture the regional flavour of his writing for the English audience.

Sanjay Garg takes a bow at the end of the show. Pic/Atul Kamble
Sanjay Garg takes a bow at the end of the show. Pic/Atul Kamble

The saree missed him
Sanjay Garg's show began an hour after it had ended.

Canto, an Opera House bar that's unlikely to have seen as much action as it did on Wednesday night, was where the Delhi designer's friends, clients and colleagues trickled in right after he had wrapped up the first day of an ongoing fashion week with a collection that saw him experiment for the first time with Chikankari.

Right across the road from it stood the 106-year-old Royal Opera House where Garg's reimagining of Lucknow's oldest embroidery art to feature angelic motifs on Bengali mul had been hailed some time ago. AD and Sabina Singh, Avantika Malik, Mini Mathur and Kiran Rao (dancing to Chinamma Chilkamma) spent a happy hour as the DJ stuck to a playlist we imagined was inspired by the music that plays at his Angoori Badi house parties. "You should come to Delhi," said the man credited with making modern Indian women fall in love with the saree all over again, above the din. "The party hasn't started until someone gets atop a table."

Garg's sister, Prerna, in a white silk sharara; the manager of his Apollo Bunder store in a sooti saree hiked slightly to flaunt the ankles; his close friend and gifted textile designer Rashmi Verma (her jersey sarees are to die for, we hear) in a white saree that we suspect was worn in Jhabua drape style, danced all night to both, Bieber and Sukhwinder, without a care about pleat or pallu. It was a scene that a Mumbai bar doesn't witness easily. In that moment of abandon, we thought, lay Garg's most valuable contribution to Indian fashion. A compelling argument, we think, for renewing his vows with the six-yard, which might we admit, we missed in a sea of matching separates at his grand showcase.

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
Shivendra Singh Dungarpur

Awakening the South
Film archivists and enthusiasts can rejoice, for this October, the Film Heritage Foundation (FHF), founded by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur (in pic) will hold its annual workshop film preservation and restoration workshop in Chennai. Building awareness around India's cinematic heritage across genres, FHF trains a pool of film archivists and restorers from India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. With previous editions in Mumbai and Pune, this year, the workshop is in Chennai to awaken the southern Indian film industry to the need for preservation. The workshop will see the participation of 10 leading international institutions, including The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Imperial War Museums, Kodak and National Film Archive. What's more, there will be five restored films that will be showcased, including An American in Madras by Karan Bali, The Fireman's Ball by Miloš Forman and Blood Simple by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen.

What's in a face?
The only time this diarist has cared about the shape of her face is while getting a haircut. But, turns out, there's more to it than what meets the eye. We recently received an email about a global hunt for well-proportioned faces by a pharma group, which has panned out to 10 Asian countries in the pursuit. The 12 best proportioned faces from India will be up for public voting on the brand's Facebook page. Apparently, if you have an upside down triangle or an oval shape, you're likely to look more attractive, and if you have a round face, well, you can still apply (registrations open till September 30). They even suggest how to figure which category you fall into: Pull your hair back in a headband or ponytail and analyse what you see in the mirror. Pfft.

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