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First Published: Thu, Sep 18 2008. 11 26 PM IST

Radiant: A Samit Das exhibit at the Group Show.
Radiant: A Samit Das exhibit at the Group Show.
Updated: Fri, Oct 10 2008. 12 15 AM IST
DELHI
Art
Group Show
Till 27 September
Radiant: A Samit Das exhibit at the Group Show.
An exhibition showcasing photography and sculpture by Samit Das, recent paintings by Jayanta Roy and sculpture by Susanta Mandal.
11am-7pm. Sundays closed. Nature Morte, A-1, Neeti Bagh (41740215).
Film
Les chansons d’amour (love songs)
19 September
Paris, city of love—or so its reputation goes. That said, it’s hard to know precisely what is felt—or, indeed, how deeply—by Ismaël (Louis Garrel), Julie (Ludivine Sagnier) and Alice (Clotilde Hesme), bright young things caught up in what may seem from the outside to be a somewhat self-consciously Bohemian ménage à trois of drifting, shifting allegiances. Still, they’re apparently happy enough to break into song at the drop of a hat—until, that is, death strikes without warning and grief, guilt, recrimination, compassion and confusion take hold of the remaining pair, the family and various friends. And lovers, inevitably… French with subtitles; directed by Christophe Honoré. 1 hour 40 minutes.
5.30pm and 7.30pm. ML Bhartia auditorium, Alliance Française de Delhi, 72, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (43500200).
Music
Mathieu Gaudet
19 September
Piano recital by Mathieu Gaudet. The Canadian will perform works by Bach, Schumann, Beethoven, among others. The event is in collaboration with the Canadian high commission and the department of foreign affairs, Canada.
6.30pm. India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (24619431).
Madhumita Acharya Biswas
22 September
Tuned: Madhumita Biswas.
An evening of songs from classic Hindi films, composed by RD Burman, Salil Chowdhury and Bhupen Hazarika.
7pm. Habitat World, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road (43663333).
Theatre
Begum Jaan
19 September
Director, Nadira Zaheer Babbar; writer, Javed Siddiqui. Celebrated classical singer Begum Jaan (Nadira Zaheer Babbar) reminisces about her days of glory by reading bundles of letters sent to her by Jawaharlal Nehru and the scholarly Maulana Azad. This was after she lost her livelihood during partition. She is now an obscure figure and completely broke. 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.
7pm. Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts, 4, Safdar Hashmi Marg (23714307).
Dance
Russkaya Feeria
25 September
The Russian Centre for Culture and Science presents Russian Fairy Show – Folk and Modern Dance by Russkaya Feeria, a Russian variety dance group, in collaboration with the Moscow-based Mamontov Centre. This is part of the Year of Russia in India celebrations.
6pm. Russian Centre of Science and Culture, 24, Feroze Shah Road (23329100).
MUMBAI
Film
Welcome to Sajjanpur
From 19 September
Shreyas Talpade plays Mahadev, one of the few literate residents of Sajjanpur village in Bundelkand in Madhya Pradesh. He embodies the power of the pen. He writes letters for the villagers and embellishes their thoughts with his words, even making up things on their behalf. Shyam Benegal says the story idea came to him more than 30 years ago, while making ‘Bhumika’ in 1977. Among his office staff at the time was an unlettered migrant from Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, who would get professionals to write letters to his wife on his behalf. The problem was that the man’s wife was literate, and while his letters would be “Victorian and strait-laced”, her letters would tremble with passion and longing.
Across cinemas.
Hulla
From 19 September
Stockbroker Raj (Sushant Singh) and his marketing consultant wife Abha (Kartika Rane) think they’ve found their perfect home in the suburbs, but Raj is soon losing sleep because of the watchman’s nightly rounds. The watchman (Chandrachood Karnik, who played the liftman in MTV’s hilarious filler spot several years ago) has been instructed by the building secretary to whistle vigorously and bang his stick to ward off thieves. When Raj decides to complain, he is given an idea of how the average housing society functions. His neighbours think he’s hypersensitive. Society meetings are an exercise in aimlessness. Worse, the building secretary, trader Janardhan (Rajat Kapoor), has it in for Raj. Through the clash of wills that is set up between Raj and Janardhan, Jaideep Varma, the movie’s writer and director, hopes to reveal the cracks that lie beneath the city’s warm and accepting facade.
While the satire in ‘Hulla’ isn’t as heartless as it needs to be, it’s certainly dispiriting for anybody who believes that Mumbai is India’s urbs prima. Ultimately, ‘Hulla’ is a crucial addition to the collection of urban movies that is emerging as a counterpoint to Bollywood and that is looking at the city in a more honest and less escapist way.
Across cinemas.
Art
Porous Walls
From 19 September
What do you do when you see leftover food in your refrigerator? Most of us throw it away, but Prajakta Potnis finds herself inspired by the unsightly sights of domesticity. “My concern resides within the four walls of a household where life grows/decays,” said Potnis while describing what moved her to create ‘Porous Walls’. “These concerns are tackled similar to ‘a still life’ within an interior space.” Walls for Potnis act like veils—obscuring the interior from the outside gaze but also letting in unexpected little bits of the outer world. For her, the walls inside a home symbolize “the margins that develop within communities in a city.”
Monday-Saturday, 11am-7pm. The Guild, 02/32, Kamal Mansion, second floor, Arthur Bunder Road,Colaba (22880116).
Desmond Lazaro’s recent works
25 September
Desmond Lazaro sticks to old pichhvai techniques and uses paints made from stones and minerals. Then he uses them to paint rusty rickshaws and other bits of urban life.
Monday-Saturday, 11am-7pm. Chemould Prescott Road, Queen’s Mansion, third floor, Ghanashyam Talwalkar Marg, Fort (22000212).
Music
Sanjay Divecha
24 September
In his 21 years as a professional musician, Sanjay Divecha has delved deep into a variety of genres. He started off singing and playing classic rock in college as part of Crosswinds, a band that also featured guitarist Ehsaan Noorani and drummer Mark Menezes. He then graduated to playing jazz fusion and progressive rock in the short-lived acts ‘Ultimatum’ and ‘Mickey’s New Home’. When he moved to the US in 1987, he studied jazz at the Guitar Institute of Technology and then spent the next 15 years dabbling in everything from Afro-Cuban music to gospel and funk, briefly becoming a part of African-jazz band Dumazz and Latin group SambaGuru in the late 1990s and doing sessions work for the likes of Angelique Kidjo and Dave Weckl.
But it wasn’t until he returned to Mumbai in 2002 that Divecha believes he started developing a musical identity. “As an Indian musician living in Los Angeles, the one question I (often) got asked was, ‘Where’s the India in your sound?’ The fact is there wasn’t one because I grew up Westernized and I grew up playing Western music,” said Divecha. “Back in Bombay, I found the perfect opportunity to start exploring the sounds, colours, and languages of India.” Divecha, who learnt the sitar as a child, will play music from his latest album ‘Full Circle’ at Blue Frog.
10.30pm. Blue Frog Todi and Co., Mathuradas Mills Compound, opposite Empire Mills, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel. Tickets, Rs300 (40332300).
BANGALORE
Art
Parables of Life: The Infallible Nuance of Human Spirit
19-27 September
In Kiran Moghe’s new collection of paintings, one piece, primarily in red, yellow and blue, is titled ‘Pains of Antop Hill’. In an accompanying note, Moghe, a sculptor and painter born in 1955, explains that the piece is about the “grit and struggle for survival” of the people living in the area of that name in Mumbai, “where the atmosphere is always tense” and inhabitants “cling to life at the edge of the hill”, especially “during the rainy season, when there are frequent landslides”. In the painting, the hill is in red. What appears to be a building or a sort of structure on the hill, and could be one of two mausoleums—the Sheikh Mishari Dargah, or the Barkat Ali Dargah—but seems more like the Walchand bungalows or the Dosti Acres, given the impression of residents, is in blue. The rest of the painting—the sky, a large part of the land that ought to be the Sangam Nagar slum with gullies of sewage flowing through—is in shades of yellow. If it seemed like the title of his show—’Parables of Life: The Infallible Nuance of Human Spirit’—seemed straight out of a scriptural text on evangelical theology, ‘Pains of Antop Hill’ ought to give you a clearer idea of Moghe’s perspective.
9am-7pm, Saturday, 10am-5pm. Alliance Française de Bangalore, 108, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanth Nagar (41231345).
Bar1
20-21 September
Bengaluru Artist Residency One, supported by India Foundation for the Arts, presents its final exhibition of the India residency programme. Over the last few months, seven artists—Nilanjan Bhattacharya, Banita Bhau, Malvika Mankotia and Atul B. Mahajan, Chandrakala M.N., Shreyas K. Karle and Rahee Dahake—lived, worked and interacted with audiences at the residency programme. All seven artists demonstrated techniques ranging from “visual-audio performances” to “visual narratives” at Bar1. Christoph Storz, one among a group of artists based in Bangalore and driving the programme, spoke of how they decided to host Indian artists for the first time this year, while describing the art scene in the city as one that’s “in a peculiar situation”, mostly because of its growth, and because of “the newness of a larger international exposure”. The Bar1 programme, however, has no “official outlook”, said Storz. “It’s only a baby, the common baby of a bunch of artists.”
11am-7pm. 5, Ahmed Sait Road, Frazer Town (9880336916).
Dance
Mohiniattam
19 September
Anita Peter performs Mohiniattam in its traditional format. Her recital starts with Gam Ganaapathi, an invocation piece, and is followed by a Jatiswaram (a “pure dance” piece), a Padam (an ‘abhinaya’ piece) written by Irayaman Thambi titled ‘Entha Ho Vallabha’, and a Varnam (the central piece) titled Kumudhini Sakhi that recounts the story of Radha and Krishna. The ‘ashtapadi’ will be the penultimate piece called Lalitha Lavanagala which narrates the story of the erotically charged Vrindavan through the metaphor of the cinnamon creeper. The last piece will be Omanathingal Kidavo, a lullaby written by Irayaman Thambi, the maternal uncle of Swathithirunal, the king of Travancore.
6pm. Yavanika, YMCA, Nrupathunga Road (22214911).
Music
Raagaanuraaga
19 September
Noted vocalist Nagavalli Nagaraj will present a lecture-demonstration titled ‘Raagaanuraaga’, with commentary by
R. Nataraj.
6pm. Gokhale Institute for Public Affairs, Bull temple Road, NR Colony.
Zansam
20 September
Zansam, a group of seven cousins presents the ‘Pancham–A Celebration of Music’ concert in tribute to film music legend R.D. Burman. Proceeds from the concert, which features a band of Goan musicians, will go to the Society’s Care for Indigent, a group which works with children of convicts sentenced for life. Tickets will be available at the venue and also at ‘www.indianstage.in’.
6pm. Good Shepherd auditorium, Residency Road. Tickets, Rs100.
Theatre
Death
19-20 September
Director, Avinash Daniel; writer, Woody Allen; cast, Avinash Daniel, Dhanasekharan S., Naveen Kumar, Ritika Bhargava, Ashish Mukundan. 1 hour 20 minutes.
This one-act comedy revolves around 2 hours in the life of its protagonist Kleinman, who finds himself woken at 2.30 in the night by a vigilante mob on the hunt for a serial killer. Enlisted to help with trapping the murderer, he is stationed on a lonely street. But a bizarre series of events unravel and propel Kleinman into darkly comic interactions with a rabble of characters such as a trapeze artist, a doctor, a cop and a prostitute, as death stalks the night about them, chalking kill on kill. Invested with Woody Allen’s trademark sauciness and veiled philosophizing, ‘Death’ gravely mulls life’s absurdities while laughing at the many ways we fight the end.
Friday, 7.30pm, and Saturday, 3.30pm, 7.30pm. Alliance Francaise, 108, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanth Nagar. Tickets, Rs99 (41231340).
Around town
Film-making course
21 September
Script for breakfast, shoot for lunch and edit while you eat dinner. FilmCamp.tv organizes a crash course in film-making where you can learn it all in a day and have a finished product in the form of a film to show.
8am-8pm. Alliance Francaise, 108, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanth Nagar. Fee, Rs1,500. (41231340). For details, call Sanjay Nambiar on 9741596739 or visit ‘www.filmcamp.tv’.
Film
Léon
25 September
Luc Besson’s first American movie begins promisingly with a stylish action sequence, but goes off the rails. Hitman Leon (Jean Reno) lives in isolation in his starkly appointed New York apartment, but when a neighbouring family is massacred by corrupt cop Stansfield (Gary Oldman) and his thugs, he becomes reluctant protector of 12-year-old Mathilda (Natalie Portman), who asks him to instruct her in the art of killing. Initial wariness between the two turns to something warmer, mutually affecting and sentimental. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s so reminiscent of (but nowhere near as good as) ‘Gloria’. Leaving aside the question of paedophilia, the film is devoid of subtlety. Reno brings a likeably naive, quiet panache to his role; Portman is overbearingly cute and sassy; and Oldman is hammy. Besson fails to make much of New York’s visual potential, and lazily asks that Leon’s expertize be taken on trust. The shallowness was to be expected; the slackness is surprising. 1 hour 50 minutes.
9am-7pm. Saturday, 10am-5pm. Alliance Française, 108, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanth Nagar (41231345).
RECOMMENDED
DELHI
Nightlife
Anil Chawla
25 September
The large contingent that went to the Sunburn festival in Goa last year came back brimming with stories. These were all electronica junkies, so talk for many months after centred on which performers were good, not so good or just plain brilliant. Anil Chawla, the DJ from London, apparently, was brilliant, moving the sound and energy to the next level. This fortnight, you can make up your own mind when he plays in our city. Chawla says he’ll be playing a bit of everything from deep house to ambient sounds to heavy techno.
Manré, MGF Metropolitan Mall, fourth floor, A Wing, Saket (40668888). Call venue for cover charges and timing.
MUMBAI
Dance
And Then They Came to India
19 September
Mallika Sarabhai and members of the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts will present their latest production, ‘And Then They Came to India’.
The piece moves from the birth of Zarathustra and the prosperity of Zoroastrianism to the journey of the Parsis to India. Visit ‘www.avesthagen.com/program/dance_invite_mailable.pdf’ to print a copy of the invitation for two.
6.30pm. Nehru Centre auditorium, Dr Annie Besant Road, near Shiv Sagar Estate, Worli (24964680).
BANGALORE
Art
Crime Fiction
Till 27 October
At the show titled ‘Crime Fiction’, the installation you’ll find most intriguing is a piece in which knotted ropes of hair of varying lengths dangle from the ceiling all the way to the floor like tresses falling off a woman’s shoulder. The ropes are made of human hair, confirmed Sheela Gowda.
“The kind that’s wrapped around the bumpers of cars to prevent an evil eye,” she says.
While the activist in Gowda seems evident in her works, that isn’t how she’d like to be perceived. “It’s not about sloganeering or topicality,” says Gowda, who was born in Bhadravati in 1957, studied at Santiniketan (1982) and later at the Royal College of Art in London (1984-86). “It’s about bringing in a level of subtlety. As an artist, it is my biggest challenge to talk about an issue and address it in a larger sense.”
In her notes accompanying the works at the show, Gowda narrates the story of her assistant, Rehmat, and her attempt to help him build a stable construction in place of his 20-year-old shack, which was jeopardized by a gang of local youth. A suite of six works titled ‘Loss’ ridicules the idea of regular press coverage of protests and demonstrations as Gowda recalls a bandh (strike) called on 3 July.
‘Crime Fiction’—a diptych—is about Kashmir, inspired by photographs by Abdul Lone, a Kashmiri, who would record funeral processions of every youngster killed in his village by taking pictures of everyday roadside life around the march.
Wednesday-Monday, 11am-8pm. Sundays, by appointment only. 82, Presidency, St Mark’s Road (65951972).
****************
CONNECT
From food to music, BoL presents a mini guide on what’s on in town
Eat
Though Ramanlal Vithaldas and Co. Mewawala is known for spices, mithais and snacks, the company’s name gives us a clue about its original business. Vithaldas Sanghvi, who opened the first 150 sq. ft Kalbadevi, Mumbai, store in 1947, sold dried fruit (‘mewa’) sourced from Afghanistan, Iran and within the country. The dried chikoo packs a sweet wallop. The candied, frosted ginger, however, is definitely a grown-up snack. The thin slices may look dry, but bite into one and you’ll find the spicy, palate-refreshing ginger bites right back.
Ramanlal Vithaldas and Co. Mewawala, Sheikh Memon Street, Mumbai (23425416). Branches also at Breach Candy, Ghatkopar, Goregaon, Malad and Santa Cruz. Prices, Rs25-40 for 100g. (Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi)
Treat
Dilliwallas love doorstep deliveries. If a burger and your groceries can be delivered, why not a massage? Mobile spas in Delhi now provide efficient, spa-like services, with almost all the pampering of a regular spa, without the trouble of driving through traffic to get there. The trained masseuse arrives early and sets up the spa room to create the right ambience (with music, massage table and aromatherapy).
LSA Homecare, P5, Green Park Extn, Delhi (9910397429). Spa Transformations Ruhdra Farm, A-7, Green Avenue Street, next to D-3, Vasant Kunj, Delhi (32950190). (Radhika Arora)
Listen
According to Saira Hussain, the frontwoman of British-Asian band Trickbaby, she was inspired to call their latest album ‘Chor Bazaar’ after her cellphone was stolen during a visit to Mumbai. A friend advised Hussain to visit Chor Bazaar, where she found the missing mobile the same afternoon. The obviously imaginative Hussain thought the name ‘Chor Bazaar’ was perfect for the group’s new album because Trickbaby, whose sound borrows from a wide range of genres, are “musical thieves of sorts”.
Chor Bazaar, SaReGaMa, Rs199.
Try
Every Sunday, at 7am, a group of around 10 men gather at the Jayanagar Shopping Complex, Bangalore. Led by Ashwin Mohan, the group breaks into a sprint and in a few seconds, reaches the first stairwell in the building. Mohan leaps over balustrades, scales walls that are at least 10ft high, and rolls, vaults, twirls, trundles and barrels with feline grace across concrete surfaces, wood-panelled walls, metal barricades and reinforced parapets. He is Bangalore’s only practitioner and tutor of ‘parkour’, the French sport of urban running.
3, Curley Street, Richmond Town, Bangalore (9845396360, shoot.fighter@hotmail.com).
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First Published: Thu, Sep 18 2008. 11 26 PM IST
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