Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
In saif hands
Saif Ali Khan carries son Taimur in his lap as wife Kareena Kapoor Khan has something to say, in Bandra on Monday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Lit Live comes clean
Yesterday, this diarist spoke of author Kiran Nagarkar, one of the writers outed in India's #MeToo movement, being a nominee at the upcoming Tata Literature Live festival for his novel, Jasoda. Now, the shortlist is out, and Nagarkar isn't in. Founder-director of the festival, Anil Dharker, said, "Every year, publishers send us their nominations. A thorough selection process is followed and the jury start their evaluation as early as July by reading through the longlisted books. By the time the #MeToo movement hit India, our shortlist was locked." Dharker admitted however, that had Nagarkar made it as a winner, "it would have caused a problem. We would have addressed the issue [in that case]." On October 11, Nagarkar had issued a statement denying the sexual harassment allegations.
After 80 years
The Little Girl in Blue, which Amrita Sher-Gil painted in 1934 at the age of 21, became part of the iconic avant garde artist's first solo show in 1937. A bohemian combination of East and West, the painting — believed to depict Babit, Sher-Gil's second cousin — and her other works in the exhibition changed the perception of Indians towards contemporary art forever. Eighty years after The Little Girl in Blue was last seen in public (it was acquired by Charles Fabri and continued to remain with the family), the painting will be offered at Sotheby's inaugural sale in Mumbai. Before that, it will be part of a public exhibition in Delhi and Mumbai.
Dhol tasha musicians perform at the inauguration of the Prithvi Festival
Drumming up a storm
The Prithvi Festival is one of the most awaited fixtures in the city's theatre calendar. This year, it started on November 3, almost literally with a bang. That's because the organisers made the interesting decision of inviting Swaradhish Dholtaasha Pathak, a group of traditional dhol players from Maharashtra, for the opening of the festival at The Royal Opera House. The dhol group also featured in the trailer for the festival, which starred actor Vrijesh Hirjee. It's a nice touch to promote the regional talent of Maharashtra, we feel, but to end on a more somber note, this is also the first time that the festival will not witness the presence of Shashi Kapoor, who passed away in December last year.
Raj Bhavan employees with Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao (centre, in all black) at the book launch
A heart-warming chapter
Raj Bhavan, the Governor's residence at Walkeshwar, got its major Diwali moment yesterday. In a pleasing deviation from the tradition of dignitaries releasing books, Governor CH. Vidyasagar Rao got his new coffee table book released by Raj Bhavan's class IV employees. This book, Journeying Towards Newer Milestones, highlights initiatives by the Governor in the education and environment sectors, and is brought out by the Governor's Secretariat. One is used to seeing a host of dignitaries from business, the cine world or elsewhere dotting the lawns of the Guv's residence during book releases. This time, though, it was Raj Bhavan's very own for their very own. Nice.
Kim and her sister have a jumbo problem
Trust the Kardashians to court controversy. Kim, Khloe and Kourtney had recently gone on a trip to Bali with their children. There, they posed for photographs while riding baby elephants at a sanctuary, after arriving there on their private helicopter. This got the goat of animal rights activists across the world, including Peta. And now, the Agra-based Wildlife SOS has joined in, in the condemnation of the reality TV stars, issuing a statement that slams their "joy ride". It reads, "It comes as no surprise that this isn't the first time the Kardashians have come under fire from various animal welfare groups and animal rights activists for promoting the exploitation of wild animals in captivity. Earlier this year, Kim and Kourtney posted photos and videos on Instagram, where they were seen cuddling marmoset monkeys. What is most concerning is that despite the backlash, they continue to promote such exploitative and unethical industries, indicating that maybe it's time we stopped 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians!'" That's pretty blunt, we must say.
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