Having tied up with art consultancy Nirvana, Choko-la now has display space for contemporary art. Currently on view are works by Vidhan, who tries to capture the precocity of the modern child; Vinita Dasgupta, who explores the female form; Mintu Malik, who paints angelic women; Ranjan Paul, who paints textured portraits and landscapes; and Frenny Billimoria, who presents Zoroastrian poems on teachings of good and evil. Daily, 10am-11pm. Choko-la, 36, Khan Market, Middle Lane (41757570).
Hindol Deb will take part in an Indian classical sitar recital. 7.30pm. Epicentre, Apparel House, sector 44, Gurgaon (95124-2715000).
Itihaas Club Walk
The Itihaas Club meets to walk through Anangpur—one of Delhi’s oldest villages—which was set up by Anang Pal, a Tomar king. Children will see the village waking up, meet with the panchayat and also visit the Archaeological Survey of India’s excavation site. This is a very early morning walk, and kids must carry water and snacks. It is necessary to register with the club in advance. Age 6+. For further information, contact D-7, Defence Colony (email@example.com) or visit ‘www.itihaas.net’. Rs 1,550 annual fees, for monthly walks or other activities. Meeting point: Mc Donald’s, B Block, Connaught Place, Inner Circle, 5.30am.
Fah Talai Jone (Tears of the Black Tiger)
Wisit Sasanatieng, the screenwriter of ‘Dang Bireley’s and Young Gangsters’ and ‘Nang Nak’, turns director to make a gleefully excessive homage to Thai movies of the 1960s, framed as a Thai Western. Most of the references are generic enough to work for non-Thai viewers, and some of the gags (an action replay in slow motion of a ricocheting bullet) are killers. Innocent country boy Dum and city girl Rumpoey meet as children and fall in love as students, but he turns bandit to avenge his murdered father, while she finds herself forced to marry the uptight Captain Kumjorn, who pledges to rid Supanburi of bandits. Earnest performances, bold artifice and ripe melodrama maintain a state of continuous combustion. With its over-saturated, clashing colours (it was retouched shot-by-shot in post-production), Sasanatieng’s amazing film goes so far beyond kitsch that it enters Powell and Pressburger territory. The “export version” has been cut by some 13 minutes, though not by the director. (Review by Tony Rayns) Thai, with subtitles, directed by Wisit Sasanatieng. 1 hour 50 minutes. 7.30pm. Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon (95124-2715000).
From male Rekha imitators to gay executives, director Sridhar Rangayan has depicted a range of homosexual experiences in his feature films. ‘68 Pages’ is his third movie after ‘Gulabi Aaina’, about drag queens, and ‘Yours Emotionally!’, about a gay love affair between a British tourist and an Indian he meets at a party. Rangayan’s new 92-minute feature, ‘68 Pages’, is about the lives of five HIV-positive individuals as told through the diary of a counsellor (Mouli Ganguly). The stories are of corporate employee Nishit (Zafar Karachiwala), prostitute Payal (Jayati Bhatia), transsexual bar dancer Umrao (Uday Sonawane), gay researcher Kiran (Joy Sengupta) and municipal sweeper Nathu (Abhay Kulkarni). Through each of these stories, Rangayan aims to create awareness about, and compassion for, HIV-positive people. 6.30pm. India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (24624044). Free.
The Yale Whiffenpoofs
The US’ oldest collegiate a cappella group attempt to drown out dinner conversation with their powerful pipes. They will be followed by alternative pop-rock singer-songwriter Mascarenhas, who will have a band to assist him. 9.30pm. Hard Rock Café, Bombay Dyeing Mills Compound, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Worli (24382888). Entry, Rs 100.
Dubai is usually in the news for its mammoth housing projects, its mega malls and, most recently, its “unfair” labour practices. But, for the past five years, it has also been nurturing a small but growing jazz music scene, of which Jordanian guitarist and composer Kamal Musallam has been at the forefront. Musallam, and his regular band mates, drummer Rony Arif and bassist Elie Arif from Lebanon, will perform tracks from his recently released second album ‘Out Of My City’ at Blue Frog. The record features 11 guest artists, whose music and heritage span the globe. They include ‘mridangam’ player Krishna and percussionist Ashish Banerjee from India, Latin percussionist Denisson Vanegas from Colombia, and flute player Daria Tykhonova from Ukraine (all of them are based in Dubai), as well as Italian saxophonist Ada Rovatti from New York and singer Mounir Troudi from Tunisia. 10.30pm. Blue Frog, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel (40332300). Tickets, Rs300.
Gulf Monsoon Rally
Imagine 40 men, aged 18-65, starting off from Parel on a Sunday morning, taking a pit stop at Vashi, and then speeding across a gravelly 35km dirt track across Navi Mumbai as they race for trophies, cash prizes and congratulatory backslaps. Now, imagine them all doing it on scooters. The annual Gulf Monsoon Scooter Rally is a test of time and distance. Participants depart from Dadar at intervals of a minute each and finish the first round by obeying all the traffic rules before they reach Vashi. In the second phase, the scooters again dash off 1 minute apart and are clocked separately to see who makes the most of the full speeds and slushy terrain. Cheer the participants as they leave from Our Lady’s Home in Dadar. Race flags off from Our Lady’s Home, 205, Dr Ambedkar Road Parel. 8.30am.
Paris—A Love Affair
Till 31 July
Amit Mehra, who went to Paris on an artist exchange programme in 2005, shot images of Paris daily life in black and white. His pictures pay tribute to Henri Cartier-Bresson as he captures the city at work, at play and on the move. Frames show bow-tied commuters in public transport, bundled up toddlers skipping along side streets, nudes in shop windows and blurs of rush-hour walkers treading cobbled roads. Most have been shot with his wide angle lens camera at chest level, with Mehra composing shots in his head, looking the other way, and clicking surreptitiously, so as not to offend the locals. 10am-5.30pm. Alliance Française auditorium. Theosophy Hall, 40, New Marine Lines (2203-5993).
A celebrated classical singer in her prime, Begum Jaan reminisces about her heyday by reading bundles of letters sent to her by Jawaharlal Nehru and the scholarly freedom fighter Maulana Azad. She lost her livelihood during partition, and is now an obscure figure, and broke. In an emotional scene, she encapsulates the condition of Muslims in India: “Na ghar ke rahe, na ghat ke (neither here, nor there).” But, while the play is a comment on modern India, its primary focus is the tenuous relationship between Begum Jaan, her granddaughter Zarina and journalist Sanjay Pande. Nadira Zaheer Babbar delivers unflinchingly—from her hunchbacked waddle to her expressive facial gestures. Audacious, curmudgeon-like and hopelessly romantic, Babbar captures the fascinating, multifaceted Begum Jaan with ease. Juhi Babbar plays a vulnerable, albeit obstinate, Zarina awkwardly, but manages to win over audiences with her understated performance. Sanjay Pande’s role, however, is unclear. His presence seems to suggest a contrast between old-world values and the self-interest that drives the modern Indian, but is left mostly to the imagination. Directed by Nadira Zaheer Babbar.
9pm. Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Juhu, Vile Parle (W) (26149546). Tickets, Rs100.
One of the country’s pre-eminent ghazal singers, Jagjit Singh, will perform in the city this weekend. Singh is credited with simplifying the Urdu language for audiences and after four decades of performances, continues to draw crowds by the thousands. This weekend’s performance will run for a marathon 4 hours. 7pm. Gayatri Vihar, Palace Grounds, Freeway 19, Bellary Road (39895050). Tickets, Rs2,400, Rs1,200, Rs600.
Mudrika Foundation for Performing Arts and Shruti Laya dance school, Singapore, have come together to train senior students in the Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam and, as a culmination of this effort, will be hosting a dance recital. The performance will showcase the Bharatanatyam ‘margam’ (the entire repertoire) but, instead of the ‘varnam’ (the second piece in a traditional performance), they will perform a sequence on the 10 avatars of Vishnu. The ‘margam’ will be performed by the group as an ensemble sequence. There will also be a solo performance of the ‘pushpanjali’ (where offerings are made to a deity) and a ‘devaranama’ (a religious song) called ‘Adahovalle Makkalu’, written by Purandaradasa, which will performed by Tanvi Bhaskar in the traditional Kalakshetra style. 6pm. Seva Sadan, 14th Cross, West Park Road, opposite MLA College, Malleswaram (23347830).
Gallery Sumukha presents the interactive works of Raheema Begum, which began with a request from the artist for people to log in to her blog, titled ‘Trafficking Labels… Kiska Jism/Whose Body?’, and play a game “where narratives about identity are played out”. In her request—sent out a few weeks before the show—Begum asks viewers to “follow the narrative pattern of the game” and explore the blog’s sections, titled The Grid, Zone of Pure Choice, Trafficking Labels, and Puncturing Labels. Begum’s intentions are clearly stated in her request for “long-term involvement…especially towards making collaborative stories and performances”.
At the end of the game on the blog, Begum invites you to “see if you can fit your life into it in any way”. 10.30am-6pm. Gallery Sumukha, 24/10, BTS Depot Road, Wilson Garden (22292230).
Script Peoples Theatre, in association with Christ College, presents a new instalment of its annual production ‘Vision 2020’, a theatrical exploration of the challenges and opportunities that face the Indian dream of achieving first-world status. ‘Alexander’ is a quasi-historical reconstruction of the life and times of Alexander. It traces notions of victory, power and success in an epoch and culture as seemingly distant as ancient Greece, and reassesses their relevance to an India on the cusp of global significance. Developed under the guidance of Sahitya Akademi Award winning playwright K.Y. Narayanswamy, ‘Alexander’ throws itself into the age-old question of whether life’s true victory lies in dominating the outer world or mastering the inner one, and allegorically reshapes it to ponder on whether true national development is a matter of attaining internal stability and growth or of establishing influence on the world stage. 7pm. Christ College auditorium, Hosur Road (6450-4665). Invites available at Landmark, Gangaram’s, Koshy’s and Alliance Française.
Written and directed by S. Surendranath, ‘Sankramana’ is a humorous appraisal of the conflicts and ironies that arise between a father and son who are separated by vastly differing generational values, attitudes and aspirations. When time eventually reverses roles on the son, he finds himself on the other side of the zeitgeist and all his earlier arguments. Interestingly, the characters never meet each other on stage. Though ‘Sankramana’ describes a quotidian problem, it attempts to reshape its treatment through imaginative storytelling. The play will bring the notable talents of Kannada TV and stage artistes Sihikahi Chandru, Kalpana Nagnath and Manjunath Hegde.
3.30pm and 7.30pm. Ranga Shankara, 36/2, 8th Cross, JP Nagar, 2nd Phase (9886998550). Tickets, Rs70.
Talk on Indian economy
Columbia University professor of economics Arvind Panagariya talks about his book ‘India: The Emerging Giant’, which analyses India’s changing economic growth path. Apart from his career as an academic, Panagariya has also worked at the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In his critique of India’s socialist experiments in the 1950s and 1960s, Panagariya says that India made a “course correction with liberalization”. 6-8pm. Bangalore International Centre, Teri Complex, 4th Main, 2nd Cross, Domlur 2nd Cross (25359680).
Death and the Deity
Sri Lankan publishing house Vijitha Yapa Publications will release ‘The Return of the Voyager’, based on the Vamana avatar of Vishnu, apart from a selection of poems, titled ‘Death and the Deity’, inspired by an ancient Vishnu temple on the south coast of Sri Lanka, by Hema Ramakrishna. 5.30pm. Alliance Française de Bangalore, 108, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanth Nagar (41231340).
Krosswindz + Hypnosis
The veteran rockers from Kolkata, now turned into purveyors of world music, team up with local heroes Hypnosis, who play a mix of funk, blues and rock. The gig is part of the Kingfisher Pubrockfest. 8pm. Opus, 47, Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar. (65691265). Tickets, Rs150.
Mumbai has been hearing about M. Sayeed Alam’s ‘KL Saigal’, a musical on the life of the eponymous playback singer, ever since it opened three years ago in Delhi. Now, ‘KL Saigal’ comes to Mumbai, courtesy Swar Aalap, an organization of fans of old Hindi film songs. A singing sensation of the 1930s and 1940s, Saigal had a peculiarly nasal voice that enchanted as many people as it put off. The show charts his life from working as a salesman in Delhi to becoming the toast of Hindi cinema. 7.30pm. Nehru Centre, Dr Annie Besant Road, near Shiv Sagar Estate, Worli (24964680). Donor passes of Rs100, Rs250, Rs400, available at the venue.
Kynkyny Kaleidoscope 2008
Till 19 July
Kynkyny Art is hosting a group show of 13 artists from across India as part of its stated intent “to bring together artists from different generations, geographies, styles, thoughts, and schools” at Kaleidoscope 2008. The show includes works by Basuki Dasgupta, Beena Pradhan, M.G. Doddamani, Shashidhar Lohar, G. Subramanian, Sujata Achrekar, Tikendra Sahu, Arpita Chandra, Shankar Kendale, Jasu Rawal, H.R. Das, Appanna Pujari and Hochimin. Chandra, Das, Dasgupta and Pradhan are from Bengal. Das hails from Itla, Burdwan; Dasgupta studied art at Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan; Pradhan, a critically acclaimed Bengali artist, was conferred the Best Oil Painting Award at the Academy of Fine Arts, 2004, and has shown her works in London and New York. Kendale was a student at Abhinav Kala Vidyalaya, Pune. Achrekar is from Mumbai; she graduated from the Raheja School of Art in 1992 and teaches at the JJ School of Art. Rawal was born in 1939 in Halvad, Gujarat, studied in Vadodara, has held solo shows in London and at Le Havre, in France, and won the Karnataka Lalit Kala Akademi Award in 1972 and 1980. Sahu is from Chhattisgarh, and studied art at home before moving to Bangalore. Pujari, born in 1977, studied at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath (2003-2004). 10am-7pm. Kynkyny Art, 33/200, NS Iyengar Street, Nehru Nagar, Kumara Park (32914700).