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Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

Updated on: 27 February,2024 06:45 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Team mid-day |

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

Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

Pic/Shadab Khan

The metropolitan Superhero

A Maharashtra State Security guard looks at the mural of a traffic constable on the wall of JJ Hospital in Mumbai Central. 

No chance with dance

Vithya Arasu performs against the temple complex of Gangai Konda Cholapuram in Tamil Nadu; (right) A dancer shares the guidelines to exit the plane using Kathak expressions. Pics Courtesy/YouTubeVithya Arasu performs against the temple complex of Gangai Konda Cholapuram in Tamil Nadu; (right) A dancer shares the guidelines to exit the plane using Kathak expressions. Pics Courtesy/YouTube

This diarist, who was a student of Bharatnatyam for 15 years, was reminded of a shloka from Nandikeswara’s epic Abhinaya Darpana, when she watched Air India’s latest inflight safety video. Yetho hasta tatho drishti, yetho drishti tatho manah, yetho manah tatho bhaava, yetho bhaava tatho rasa (Wherever the hand goes, the eyes follow; Wherever the eyes go, the mind follows; When the mind is engaged, expression results; Where there is expression, there is beauty). It’s what her guru would remind her each time her eyes, and perhaps the mind, wandered away from the mudra she was trying to master with her hands.

Puducherry-based Bharatnatyam-Odissi exponent Vithya Arasu pulls off buckling-unbuckling a seatbelt with immense bhava, her fingers the epitome of clean lines. When she does the Sundari, the left-to-right neck movement typical of the form, her lush eyebrows raised in approval, you know she is pleased with the attention the prospective flier has given her thus far.

Odissi for “back upright, tray table closed”, Kathakali for no electronic gadgets during take-off; Kathak for emergency exit points and oxygen mask use; the Ghoomar for following floor lights, Bihu for life jacket wear and the Gidda to read the manual — the film’s makers give India’s resplendent dance forms, both classical and folk, the respect they deserve.

Pop culture has done enough damage to the classical arts (no, Rekha ma’am, what you pulled off in Salaam-e-ishq meri jaan is not kathak). It’s refreshing then to see the folks at McCann Worldgroup and Bharatbala Productions stay close to our roots.

Back to business

Balram VishwakarmaBalram Vishwakarma

The Gokhale bridge in Andheri is not the only one to make a return this February. After shutting the page AndheriWestShitPosting in 2023, Balram Vishwakarma and his friends surprised fans by reposting their first take on the bridge last weekend. “When it was announced that the Gokhale bridge would reopen, it was almost like a muscle memory kicked in for all of us. We decided we had to post about it. This time, we will focus just on posts about civic and suburban issues,” he told this diarist. 

A happy ending

The interiors of Yogisattva cafeThe interiors of Yogisattva cafe

Nearly a decade since it began as a cloud kitchen and four years since it first opened its plant-based cafe and cooking school in Khar, Yogisattva Cafe will close down on March 5. “This is not the end of us,” shared chef and founder Raveena Taurani. “We will continue to host weekend pop-up menus and online classes. Yogisattva will never cease to exist.” Citing problems with some facilities in the building where the café is located, and her desire to go back to spending more time learning, cooking and working on a recipe book, she added, “I am grateful to have run a profitable eatery in this cut-throat industry. Rest assured; we are closing at the right time and with a full heart.”

Raveena TauraniRaveena Taurani

Play of light and shadows

(From left) Ramya Palavjjhala, Sugandh Lamba, Kriti Chordia and Sneha Masurkar perform during the showcase(From left) Ramya Palavjjhala, Sugandh Lamba, Kriti Chordia and Sneha Masurkar perform during the showcase

Can one truly shape movement to visual art? It was the curiosity of watching such an experiment unfold that led this diarist to Harkat Studios last Sunday. Suffice to say, we were not disappointed. A novel experiment, Sugandh Lamba’s Lemme Dance You A Picture saw quite a gathering at the studio in Versova. While the choreography and improvised performance was good, it was the sight of the Russian abstractionist Wassily Kandinsky’s works on the large background screen that made an effect. The only dampener, perhaps, was the occasional distortion that was relayed through the audio system of the usually on point production. Thankfully, it faded by the third act, and wasn’t a major mood-downer for the audience. Having tested the waters, Lamba now plans to take this forward. “I hope to take this to different locations, but I also plan to experiment on similar performances with other artists as well,” she told this diarist.  

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