The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Come Slide with me
Two children find a new way to play on a slide in a children’s park in Mankhurd.
Makarand’s heart beats for mid-day
Makarand Deshpande at the Mid-Day office. Pic/Nimesh Dave
It was just another day in the newsroom, of chasing deadlines, checking bylines, and reviewing timelines. Then we learnt that theatrewallah Makarand Deshpande was in the building for a radio gig to talk about his upcoming play, Balatkar Please Stop It! We heard that he was keen to catch up with us, the newspaperwallahs. It turned out that he’s a fan of this newspaper and expressed his wish to have a copy so that he could browse an article that had appeared on his play. “Now I feel as if I have read the story,” he grinned when we met him in the newsroom, adding that he has been a supporter of the brand for decades. “Kuch alag feeling hai...to read a paper, holding it in your hand, in the mornings,” he told us.
Deshpande was his usual humble self, as he patiently chatted with a few of us, and shared how glad he was that live theatre was back in the city post-pandemic. Talk also, and quite naturally, veered to his lifelong connection with Prithvi Theatre, “Usme [Prithvi] kuch special hai...I am thrilled that people are back at the theatre.” By now, quite a few heads were listening intently to his words.
The visit was just the kind of boost we needed in the middle of a manic day when the mood among the journos was soured by a fractured verdict on marital rape. Keep coming back, Makarand.
Go, go flamingos
In the last year, Thane has seen a rise in the arrival of certain guests. The BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) recently revealed that the population of migrating Greater flamingos has increased drastically in the Thane Creek sanctuary. From 25,000s in 2019, it has grown to over 50,000 between December 2021 and March 2022. The reason is still a mystery, Rahul Khot, deputy director, BNHS told us. “It could be due to a population increase or the fact that their foraging grounds have reduced,” Khot explained, adding that it is usually the Lesser flamingo that dominates the region. For now, the visitors are adding a happy change of pink to the Mumbai scenery.
Artists no longer have to be poor. The technology of NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens has provided them with a rare opportunity to profit from art. The key, of course, is learning the tricks of the trade. Ice Factory Ballard Estate, Method Art Gallery and Avid Learning’s next session on the explosion of NFTs in the world of art and design will explore this very subject. For artist Jay Kila, a panellist, NFTs are the key to help independent artists expand. “NFTs are presenting powerful new opportunities for artists and creators across the globe,” he told us. The artist believes technology is the most art-friendly tool to emerge in this century. “I look forward to discussing the impact that Web 3 is having on the music industry and how independent artists can use NFTs to sustain and grow their careers.” Perhaps, it is time the artists got back their share of the riches from the merchants.
Jokes from Soho
Stand-up comedy fans who have had attending shows at London’s Soho Theatre on their wishlist — we have good news. The Mahalaxmi-based G5A Foundation For Contemporary Culture, a frequent collaborator of Soho Theatre, is bringing the latter’s comedy culture to amchi Mumbai. May will witness three comedy shows streamed online, and will end with two live performances by British comedian Nina Conti (inset) on her India debut tour. “This is the right time to introduce comedy as a consistent engagement to our calendar, as it enables commentary on issues that are not only current and vital, but also uncomfortable, sometimes controversial, and often rendered invisible,” shared Anuradha Parikh, founder and artistic director, G5A, while Mark Godfrey, executive director, Soho Theatre, added, “The new role of Comedy Producer [Soho Theatre] working from G5A will enable us to present more comedy in Mumbai and Indian performers in London.”
The passing of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma earlier this week was a devastating blow for Indian music. For patrons of NCPA, the blow will feel more personal. A regular performer at the Mumbai venue, Panditji was a star on the stage. To pay tribute, the venue put out a musical tribute video that outlined his versatile talent. Khushroo N Santook, chairman, said, “In our long-standing association with the santoor maestro, we have had his presence on our stages in various capacities — a testament to his complete devotion to music.” A similar emotion was echoed by Suvarnalata Rao, programming head – Indian music, reminisced of the legend’s last performance at the NCPA, and added, “Personally, I have the highest regard for Panditji as a musician par excellence. He is among those rare musicians who are synonymous with their instruments.”