The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Arty party in the park
Senior citizens add a fresh lick of paint to the canvas at the Hamari Kahani workshop in Girgaum’s Nana Nani Park
Abhi Meer creating music at Method, Kala Ghoda, in August, 2020
Two years ago, on a day when a storm was uprooting trees in SoBo, musicologist Abhi Meer was tucked away in isolation in a gallery. This was Meer’s bid to seek the lengths that a mind can travel. “I recreated my bedroom inside Method, Kala Ghoda, and went about my day for six consecutive days. At 4 pm, the cameras would come on with audio equipment and people could see me create music. The CCTV-view was decided on for a voyeuristic angle, and the process culminated into 24 hours of live recorded music,” Next week, Meer will release Screen Dream, an album of 10 live music passages from 2020, and a listening session on this pursuit.
Paresh Maity with Sussanne Khan
Since early November, artist and sculptor Paresh Maity has been travelling across India with his monumental show, Infinite Light. The city’s art aficionados already know it as the largest solo exhibition of the country, featuring Maity’s entire body of work over the past 40 years. The show encapsulates a mish-mash of space and time — elements that have adapted to the artist’s varied skills and styles. The Mumbai chapter of the exhibition welcomed interior designer Sussanne Khan, among a host of other celebrities, on Monday. Khan, who is a long-time admirer of Maity’s work, was taken around Snowball Studios for a walkthrough of the exhibits by the painter. “The Mumbai edition of Infinite Light is incredible. I would encourage anyone interested in art to come and visit this immersive exhibition; the sheer size and variety of talent on display is breathtaking,” Khan told this diarist.
Alibaug se aaya hai, kya?
Like many from Mumbai, does Alibaug feature in your itinerary only as a weekend getaway? A guided tour organised by the Mumbai Research Centre of the Asiatic Society hopes to tweak this idea. Scheduled on December 19, the event will see resident historian Yogiraj Sapre introduce walkers to the lesser-known sites of the coastal town and its surroundings. “We will traverse areas such as Varsoli, Thal, Awas and Sasawane. From temples and inscriptions to myriad stories, the walk will allow people to know the coastal town beyond its overdone tourist sights,” Sapre said.
Drawing attention to the oft-used sentence, ‘Alibaug se aaya hai, kya?’ that’s used as an insult, Sapre narrated how it was previously used to embody the spirit of a community. “The local fisherfolk would wear matching clothes just to be identified as one group. They got their clothes stitched from the same roll of cloth. And if they fell short of the fabric, they would carry a sample to the shopkeeper and get more fabric. This sample piece often nudged a fabric seller to ask if their client is from Alibaug,” the historian recounted. His walk will be peppered with such nuggets.
Let’s fool around in Wada
Are you an aspiring actor in Mumbai looking to upskill yourself? Actor and physical comic Rupesh Tillu feels that actors who come to the city bring along individual sets of talents, but once they start working, they rarely get a breather to learn additional skills. “That’s how we get stuck in the rut,” he shared with this diarist. In response to the situation and in need of an artistes’ residency dedicated to humour and clowning in India, Tillu has turned his acre of land in Wada into Fool’s Paradise. His upcoming workshop, Discover Your Clown, invites participants to this training school for fools. Tillu hopes that more teachers will join him and give master classes at this space.
Memories of friendship
In the 1980s, Kundan Shah (right) and Saeed Mirza (left) captured the zeitgeist of Mumbai’s middle-class. Now, Mirza has launched his latest title, I Know The Psychology Of Rats (Tulika Books), based on the anecdotes shared with his late friend. The title, Mirza told us, is based on a quote from Shah that mirrors his sharp humour. The filmmaker has been working on the book for the last year, and said, “It tells of two unlikely people who got together and their journey through film school, cinema, television, politics and history. The conversations also reflect our times and what we were going through.” Speaking of Shah, Mirza recalled, “He was a conscious citizen and wanted to use cinema as a means of reflecting the world he inherited.” The film connection continues with the book carrying illustrations by another artist-filmmaker, Nachiket Patwardhan. The book is slated for release next week.