Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Actor Kunal Kapoor seems mesmerised by the antics of a girl at a racing event at Mahalaxmi Race Course over the weekend. Pic/Bipin Kokate
LGBTQ films go on a queer trip
Faraz Ansari's Sisak is India's first silent LGBTQ love story; Physicality (Uttar Thaguthi) is Chennai filmmaker Ramanathan V's take on the subject; and Abhishek Verma's The Fish Curry (Maacher Jhol), which is about a 30-year-old Bengali man trying to come out to his father, has been nominated for the Iris Prize award, which is considered the Gay Oscars. These and more films that are now part of the ninth edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will be taking stories and experiences from the subcontinent to as far as the UK and the US under the KASHISH umbrella. Festival director Sridhar Rangayan says, "This is a big boost to filmmakers who have made these movies under severe challenges with limited resources." And we sure hope that efforts like this one start a much-needed conversation on the subject.
Tuning into fashion
Playback singer Kanika Kapoor, known for her peppy numbers like Baby Doll and Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan, is often seen feeding her other passion when she makes regular appearances at the Milan Fashion Week. The Lucknow girl, who worked closely with the fashion industry before making a foray into Bollywood, also owns a fashion label that celebrates the region's famous chikankari embroidery. We now hear that Kapoor has roped in a group of women weavers for her label. While keeping the art authentic was one goal, the singer says the main idea was to generate job opportunities for women artisans.
An album that's a capital idea
Even though we have reservations about using the term "fusion" when it comes to labelling music, it is difficult to avoid that nomenclature when it comes to the melodies that Pavitra Chari and Anindo Bose compose as an outfit called Shadow and Light. This is because they fuse jazz, blues, Hindustani classical and even electronica in the tracks they create, making it a blend of many different styles of music. Now, the Delhi-based duo is about to launch a new album, called Sabar, and promote it at a gig at a SoBo venue on March 15. Bose was the keyboardist for the indie band Advaita before he joined forces with Chari. Chari herself wears many hats, apart from that of a vocalist who has trained under the legendary Shubha Mudgal. Having graduated with a degree in psychology, she is also a UNESCO-certified creative movement and expressive arts therapist, and is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer to boot, who has performed at a number of events. This one promises to be an evening filled with crossover music, or world music, or just plain fusion, whatever you want to name it.
Macron takes the saatvik route
French President Emmanuel Macron is in the country, and one thing that the Indian authorities are ensuring that he won't complain about is the food he is being served. No wonder, then, that a grand dinner was arranged for him at a palace in Varanasi that has been converted into a luxury hotel. A host of government dignitaries, including the prime minister, attended the event. But something that caught our eye was the menu for the evening. It consisted of only saatvik dishes, meaning vegetarian food that is traditionally served at temples. So, Macron tucked into palak patta chaat, aloo dum Benarasi, Benarasi kadhi pakora, and baingan kalounji. The desserts included gajar ka halwa and kesariya rasmalai. And the meal ended, of course, with Benarasi paan, making us wonder what Macron made of it.
Horror filmmaker has reasons to smile
National Award-winning director Ashim Ahluwalia has a couple of reasons to celebrate. One is that Palace of Horrors, his short film, has been selected for inclusion in an international anthology of horror movies, The Field Guide To Evil. And the other is that the film will premiere at the prestigious South By South West festival in Texas, which will be held between March 9 and 18. Palace of Horrors is set in West Bengal, deep in the mangrove jungles of the Sunderbans. It stars Niharika Singh of Miss Lovely fame (in pic), Mark O'Gleby and Henry Throop, and is about how they find malformed, barely-human curiosities collected by a long-dead king.
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