Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
SoBo on song
Life came full circle for city-based band Neeraj Arya's Kabir Café last weekend. The outfit was formed years ago at an event organised by Natural Streets for Performing Arts (NSPA), an organisation that promotes art and culture on the city's roads.
"Neeraj, our singer, met Mukund, our violinist, were both performing on the streets and decided to collaborate," says Raman Iyer, the mandolin player. So, the clock was turned back when they released their album, Kabir Café Live, at a recent event at the Royal Opera House, called Rhythm by the Bay, which NSPA had organised. "I can't put in words what that felt like," Iyer says.
"Liberal (noun): a person who understands and respects other people's opinions and behaviour, especially when they are different from their own" goes the dictionary meaning of the word, which until a few years ago, had no shades of grey to it. But in times when "liberal" has been transmogrified to "libtard", it's not surprising to see books that explain and reinforce liberal ideals, and their state in India.
First came Chidanand Rajghatta's Illiberal India: Gauri Lankesh and the Age of Unreason, and now, Sagarika Ghose is out with her latest title, Why I am a Liberal: A Manifesto for Indians Who Believe in Individual Freedom. It has been written in the form of a polemical essay, where the senior journalist and columnist argues why it is important to infuse the meaning of Indian liberalism with new energy. Often misunderstood as a western import, liberalism, Ghose argues, has been deeply enmeshed with Indian culture. Maybe that will help change some attitudes.
A thrilling gift for Dadlani
Last week, Michael Jackson's monumental album, Thriller, completed 36 years of being released. When it saw the light of day in 1982, it made an immediate impact on the music world with timeless hits like Billie Jean and Beat It. And the video for the title track was a game-changer as well, setting the stage for more such innovative efforts in the future. It's safe to say that the album has gone on to influence an innumerable number of musicians over the years, one of them being Vishal Dadlani.
How do we know? Well, Dadlani posted a video on social media accepting as much. "It's an album that changed my definition of music altogether, certainly of pop music," he says to his followers, adding that in celebration of the occasion, he has gone ahead and done something "daft" and "beautiful" at the same time. It turns out that the musician has gifted himself a copy of the Thriller LP signed by Michael Jackson himself. Now that's one object we are sure Dadlani will treasure forever.
Is something brewing at Ballard Estate?
We hear that The Bombay Canteen boys have been scouting for space in Ballard Estate, and we hope it's to open a branch of their Lower Parel resto-bar, or BKC's Goan eatery O Pedro. Or are we likely to hear of a new concept altogether?
When this diarist called Hunger Inc, the firm behind the eateries, the news was denied, but a little birdie tells us that their interest is focused on the southern side of Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Keep your fingers crossed for a delicious confirmation.
Chennai-based textile designer Kaveri Lalchand is back in the city with the launch of a design store in Bandra. "I've always wanted to open shop here. Bandraiites are stylish and open to new things," she told this diarist.
The theatre actor is a supporter of Indian textiles, and has been a crusader for body positivity and women's empowerment — a cause that she translates through talks, poetry-reading sessions, and her designs. How does she juggle so many roles? "Work isn't work for me," she chuckles.
His cover's blown
Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan struggles to keep his shawl in place on a windy Monday, ahead of a concert in Nariman Point. Pic/Ashish Raje
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