Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

Oct 18, 2017, 12:02 IST | Team mid-day

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

Anoushka's tribute to the Taj
Even as a BJP politician called the Taj Mahal a Mughal blot on Indian culture on Monday, the monument still symbolises love for the rest of the world. Earlier this week, sitarist-composer Anoushka Shankar presented her specially commissioned score for the recently restored silent film, Shiraz, at its world premiere at the 61st London Film Festival.

The 1928 film, which tells the love story of the 17th-century princess who inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal, has been restored by the British Film Institute National Archive. And now the archive, together with The British Council, has announced that Shiraz: A Romance of India, as it's now called, will tour four Indian cities: Hyderabad, Kolkata, New Delhi and Mumbai. Music truly is the biggest healer.

Pic/Shadab Khan
Pic/Shadab Khan

Star meets superstar
At the screening of actor Aamir Khan's soon-to-release film on Tuesday, it seems Rekha was playing host.

Shubh Halloween!
The icing on the cake around a new PR wave was when this diarist received a press release yesterday that announced a weekend camp to celebrate the spirit (how very apt) of both Diwali and Halloween at a lakeside venue.

This year has been particularly amusing, and may we add, eye-opening too. While mithai and F&B deals around Diwali still occupy the top spot in this diarist's inbox as far as PR mails go, we were surprised to note that Hallowen gave the festival of lights a robust challenge when it came to offers, contests and cool deals.

In fact, one such mail won our vote for Indo-US relations with the words, 'Shubh Halloween' affixed to their mail. Well, now that's a phrase that is sure to make it into an urban fusion dictionary, if there is one out there.

When art played its part
There is a storm brewing on Twitter with the trend, #SouthAsianArtists. It's attracting painters, illustrators, graphic designers and the like from all corners of the region, who are using the platform to introduce themselves and share their work.

Twitter is thus getting flooded with all sorts of fan art from the region, apart from paintings that have a flavour of each country that the contributor is from. So, given that one of the platform's purposes is to instil a sense of community in members, we tip our hat to this initiative.

A contemporary sculpture park in a royal setting
Given India's bustling art scene, it almost comes as a surprise that there is no sculpture park in the country dedicated to contemporary artworks by Indian and international artists. Well, now we have one and the setting seems to have made for the delay.

Huma Bhabha, God of Some Things, 2011, courtesy Salon 94, New York
Huma Bhabha, God of Some Things, 2011, courtesy Salon 94, New York

The Sculpture Park, a collaboration between The Government of Rajasthan and Saat Saath Arts, will be formally launched at Madhavendra Palace, Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur in December this year. The palace will don the look of an art gallery with artworks displayed both indoors and outdoors, The exhibition is planned to be an annual fixture and the first edition has been curated by Peter Nagy, director of Delhi's Nature Morte Art.

Jitish Kallat, Annexation, 2009, courtesy Nature Morte, New Delhi
Jitish Kallat, Annexation, 2009, courtesy Nature Morte, New Delhi

"For most of my career as a gallerist and curator I have been trying to break away from the white-box exhibition space. With this project, I am able to indulge my passions for art, architecture and decor, into a marvellous synthesis of the past and the present," says Nagy.

For 2017, artworks by 13 Indian and six international artists have selected as of now, while the list is still a work in progress. The names include Huma Bhabha, James Brown, Vibha Galhotra, Subodh Gupta, Evan Holloway, Jitish Kallat (inset), Bharti Kher, and Mrinalini Mukherjee among others.

Bombay boy does his bit
Many fans of Floyd Cardoz's culinary skills might be unaware that the Goan chef is also an advocate for suicide prevention among young adults. To marry the cause with his passion, Cardoz - who owns multiple restaurants in the US and is also the culinary director of a popular Mumbai restaurant - developed the idea of a charity dinner.

To be held at a restaurant in Verona next month, the dinner will feature a diverse menu put together by the chef and his well-known friends from the community, Ariane Duarte, Amanda Freitag, and Carmen Quagliata. Cardoz's contributions to the menu? Slow-cooked Halibut with Crispy Rice Flakes, and Sun-dried Ginger Broth. Yum.

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