Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
A penny for her thoughts
Alia Bhatt seems to be mulling her next answer at the trailer launch of her upcoming film, at a hotel in Juhu on Wednesday. Pic/Satej Shinde
A comic turn
Almost all of us will have childhood memories of leafing through Tinkle, laughing at the antics of the imbecilic Suppandi, the misadventures of Shikari Shambhu, and marvelling at the intelligence of Kaalia the Crow. The comic book series has a special place in the heart of the Indian middle-class, serving as a throwback to a simpler past.
But times have changed. And so has Tinkle. For, the latest edition features Ranveer Singh in it, since one of the stories in it features a cop protagonist who is modelled on a character that Singh plays in his last film. The issue even has an interview with the star, something we would have never seen back in the day. Clearly, editorial policies at this much-loved title are undergoing a change.
An arts space readies for its next move
In 2010, Zasha Colah and Sumesh Sharma founded the Clark House Initiative, a curatorial collaborative between Mumbai-based artists in the Clark House building that was once an office for pharmaceutical research. Since then, they have exhibited work that is deeply rooted in ideas of freedom. On Tuesday, it was announced that the initiative will be bidding farewell to this address, and moving towards a new phase. Aruna and the late Chaturbhu Sharma, the owners of the space, had hosted them for free, but now require it for other purposes.
"The new phase will be more inclusive. The kind of energy invested in Clark House Initiative will definitely not go waste. We don't have a concrete space at the moment, but it won't stop us from hosting more exhibitions," director Saviya Lopes told this diarist. But it all ends on a positive note. Their final month-long exhibition will open today with two artists showcasing their textile work. Quishile Charan, 22, will exhibit her work on the indentured labour from India to Fiji, while Chandrakant Chitara will display the 300-year-old painting tradition from Ahemdabad, Mata Ni Pachedi, whose history stems from a community that wasn't allowed entry into temples.
In a city that's as much of a concrete jungle as Mumbai is, you would be right in thinking that verdant trees don't stand much of a chance. Which is why we appreciate the efforts of the folks who run Tree Appreciation Walks.
They have been doing their best to familiarise people with species of trees in the more verdant areas of the city, taking them on trails that show the greener side of Mumbai. And the next one, at Byculla's Rani Baug, is going to be special, since it's the 100th such walk. Here's extending hearty congratulations.
Taking potshots at Bollywood clichés
Some people love to hate Bollywood. They will waste no opportunity to chastise the makers of Hindi films for portraying racist, classist or misogynistic characters. And many such people took to social media recently to point out the hypocrisy inherent in some movies.
Mehmood in Tamilian garb in an iconic song from Padosan
They were taking a viral thread forward started on a different subject. And soon, people began sharing hilarious posts, in which they described themselves in the first person as clichéd Bollywood characters. For example, one read, "Hello. I'm a South Indian in a Bollywood movie. I am so dark that I am invisible after sunset. I am also super hairy. I speak Hindi in an atrocious accent. And I have so much oil on my body and face that it can be used to cook food." Pretty much on point, we think.
When Gurtu gave it back
Castigate us all you want for saying this, but it's a fact that many Indian indie music fans have a mai-baap attitude about the West. Even if an obscure musician from abroad flies down for a show in the country, people flock to the gig simply because they are of the view that if it's a foreign artiste, the music must be great. And then after the gig, these fans will go up to the musician and congratulate him for a "stellar set" even if the music is nothing better than what many local outfits produce. Don't believe us? Then check out what master percussionist Trilok Gurtu recently shared with this diarist.
He revealed how he was once in the audience for a comparatively small-time musician's concert at the now-shuttered Blue Frog. "Once the gig was over, this guy was dropping names left, right and centre. I had played with most of the musicians he named. But he couldn't see me since I was standing at the back, listening quietly. And once he was done, I asked him, 'What's your name? So, you've played with all these people?' He said, 'Yeah man, I have.' And then I said, 'Well, I have too, but I've never seen you or heard your name. Oh, by the way, I'm Trilok Gurtu.' And you should have seen how his face fell."
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