Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Bandar lok in my balcony
A Shivaji Park resident is sufficiently engaged observing a couple of simian visitors. Pic/Atul Kamble
The parents are all right
A tiny Dabboo Soni's mother and father are nothing like his friends' parents. They dress up in candy-striped clothes, and his mother is taller than his father. My Parents Don't Fit, a short film about how he tries to fix his parents, only to realise that nothing matters more than the fact that they love each other and him has been winning hearts ever since it dropped on Children's Day. Director Neha Singh told this diarist that the idea behind the comical short came to her at a writer's residency in 2016. "My mentor sketched these little figures for it and it became a sketchbook. It remained with me. I have always wanted to address gender stereotyping and how it affects children. A few years later, my friends and I ended up with this," she said, adding that Humara Movie acquired the rights for it.
A woman of many hues
(From left) Prayer, oil on canvas, circa 1950; Bhanu Athaiya
It's not just the world of cinema that lost a shining star when Bhanu Athaiya passed away recently, but the world of art as well. That's because not only was Athaiya an Oscar-winning costume designer, but an accomplished — though underrated — modernist painter as well. An online auction of her works this month will showcase this latter facet, with paintings and a set of prints of sketches that she made for erstwhile magazine Eve's Weekly going under the hammer. "The two star pieces in the auction, oil-on-canvas paintings titled Prayer and Lady in Repose, show us an artist whose talent and courage to articulate a distinctive style embodied the spirit of Indian modernism," Indrajeet Chatterjee, founder of Prinseps, the auction house, told this diarist.
(From left) Ranveer Brar; Bjorn Shen
Here's a bit of news for those missing their annual Singapore sojourn. A collaboration between the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and BookMyShow (BMS) will have industry leaders from the worlds of film, music, food and entertainment from the two countries discuss their craft. The My Singapore Connect initiative will feature candid chats between chef Ranveer Brar and chef Bjorn Shen from Singapore; directors Zoya Akhtar and Boo Junfeng; Prateek Kuhad and DJ and music producer Manfred Lim (Myrne); and comedians Varun Thakur and Sharul Channa. GB Srithar, regional director, India, Middle East & South Asia from STB, shared, "It celebrates the camaraderie built on common passion for a craft." Keen folk can watch these interactions as a four-part web series on BMS Online from November 28.
Booked for non-fiction
The importance of literature rooted in reality grows every day and the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Book Prize strives to recognise these works by emerging writers, with a cash award of R15 lakh and a citation. The shortlist, described by the jury as demonstrating, "the range and quality of non-fiction writing about modern India," for this year has been announced. The shortlisted writers include Amit Ahuja, Arun Mohan Sukumar, Arupjyoti Saikia, former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh (in pic), Katherine Eban and Stephen Alter. The winner will be announced in early December, so watch this space.
Sai's patchwork of memories
Pic courtesy/The Author
While Padma Bhushan awardee Sai Paranjpye donned many hats, from that of a radio announcer to a director to a theatre maker, her mother would always tell her: "Ek na dhad bharabhar chindhya", Marathi for doing so many things, but not focusing on one activity. "Chindhya refers to rags and scraps. Now, I say, that all these tatters, rags and scraps [her experiences] I have lovingly nurtured over the years. I'm taking all these out and stitching the colourful scraps together to make a quilt which I hope will spread as much joy and warmth, as I'm having making it," shared the director-writer about her upcoming memoir, A Patchwork Quilt (HarperCollins). The memoir — a behind-the-scenes view of her journey — is a result of a series of articles she wrote about her creative processes and a memoir she subsequently authored in Marathi. "I always wanted to write it, but needed a push," she added.
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