Saptapadi: Scenes from Marriage (Regardless)
From March 2
Atul Dodiya’s show of paintings from 2003-06 takes a cheeky look at the institution of marriage. His enamel paint works on laminate combine graphic elements, portraits and writing to examine the concept, “regardless” of the various cultural contexts he draws on. Saptapadi is a return to Dodiya’s billboard-style paintings, which reveal a dark humour. In Devi and the Sink Sridevi gets her cheeks squeezed by Anil Kapoor. An advertisement for “India’s No. 1 Sink” runs down the right side of the painting. The other works are just as full of allusions to popular culture, historical figures and political personalities, presenting a mixed view of a mixed social institution.
Vadehra Art Gallery, D-178 Phase I, Okhla (5547-4005). Mon-Sat 11am-7pm.
Free Bhakti Utsav
Dedicated to the memory of Pandit Kumar Gandharva, the Bhakti Utsav celebrates our pluralistic heritage of devotional music. The three-day festival features Sanskrit chants, bhajans in folk and popular traditions, qawwalis, Dhrupad, verses of Kabir, Surdas, Tulsidas and Meera and Carnatic devotional compositions. In the four years since its inception, the festival has seen performances by the Wadali Brothers, Pandit Channulal Mishra, Madhup Mudgal and Gundecha Bandhu, among others. This year’s edition is headlined by Manna Dey and will host musicians from Chennai, Jalandhar, Pune, Mumbai, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. For details, contact Seher, Second Floor, 59 Jor Bagh (4162-8600). Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri. Thu-Sat 6.30pm.
Out & About
If the thought of breaking out in hives and looking like a macaw weeks after Holi is enough to send you running to the hills, perhaps you should shop for your colours at the Holi Festival this year. This festival at Dilli Haat will feature organisations like Navdanya that sell organic colours. Sweets specially eaten at festival time will be on sale. There will, of course, be a series of cultural programmes celebrating the festival. Dilli Haat, Opposite INA Market (2467-8817). Fri-Sat 11am-10pm.
The Wind Will Carry Us
Abbas Kiarostami’s Venice prizewinner opens on a long shot of a car negotiating a mountain road, with driver and passengers arguing about where they are. Once the car reaches the Kurdistan village of Siaf Dareh, the ambiguities and mysteries proliferate and interweave. Are the men in the village treasure-hunters, as they tell a boy, the telecom engineers as the villagers assume to be, or something more sinister? Why is their apparent leader curious about the boy’s dying grandma? The Attic, 36 Regal Building, Connaught Place (2374-6050). 6.30pm.
Mahindra Theatre Festival
Catch some of the most interesting Indian plays produced between September 2005 and January 2007 in this five-day festival organised by the Mahindra group. These plays have all been nominated for the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards. Watch out for Sunil Shanbag’s Cotton 56 Polyester 84, about Mumbai’s mill-workers, and Atul Kumar’s Numbers in the Dark, based on stories by Italian writer Italo Calvino. There’s also V Arumugham’s Mirage, here all the way from Pondicherry, and Mohit Takalkar’s Tu, a Marathi production. Interesting offerings from Delhi-based groups include Ranjit Kapur’s brilliantly-acted Chekhov Ki Duniya and Amal Allana’s Nati Binodini, a thought-provoking play about the nineteenth-century Bengali theatre actress.
Shri Ram Centre for the Performing Arts, 4 Safdar Hashmi Marg (2371-4307), 4.30pm. Kamani Auditorium, 1 Copernicus Marg (2338-8084), 7.30pm. Tickets Rs100 available from Teksons’ Bookshop, South Extension-I.
Out & About
Until March 10
Puppetry exhibitions are rare, making the Putul Yatra exhibition a must-see (the dates of this exhibition of Indian puppets have been extended by a month). The exhibition will present the Akademi’s collection of figures, as well as feature performances, video showings and lecture-demonstrations on Indian puppetry. Sangeet Natak Akademi, Meghdoot Complex, Rabindra Bhavan, Copernicus Marg (2338-7246). Daily 10am-5pm.
IAWRT Film Festival
The International Association of Women in Radio and Television, a non-profit organisation of women in the electronic media, has put together a two-day documentary film festival to mark International Women’s Day. Films like Moustaches Unlimited, which examines masculinity and femininity through moustaches, and Q2P, which looks at toilets and gender politics, are part of the fare. This is also a rare chance to catch documentaries from countries like Taiwan, Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka. India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg (2461-9431). Wed & Thu 10am-8.30pm.
March 3 onwards
On a screen, seven Shilpa Guptas stand before you. Dressed in camouflage gear, they bend, jog and aim as though to kill. You just need to start them off with one click of a mouse. If you, as the viewer at Shilpa Gupta’s exhibition of installations, which opens this fortnight at Sakshi Gallery, begin clicking with a smile and ultimately walk away from the video projection feeling unsettled, then the real woman behind the seven projected ones will be happy. If you notice the morbidity behind camouflage gear turning into high fashion or the suggestion of brainwashing in the repeated exercises, she has scored. Sakshi Gallery, Tanna House, 11 A Nathalal Parekh Marg, near Regal Cinema, Colaba (6610-3424). Mon-Sat 11am-7pm.
The Last King of Scotland
Releases on March 5
Forest Whitaker, who’s usually seen playing the role of an intelligence agent or twisted villain, won an Oscar for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Director Kevin Macdonald’s debut feature follows the fictional character Nicholas Garrigan, a young Scottish med-school grad who travels to Uganda on an impulse just as Amin is assuming power in 1971. Garrigan is first swept by Amin’s charisma and later repulsed by the ruler’s brutality. All major cinemas.
The Bombay Chamber Orchestra
Surrender yourself to Liszt and Puccini. The first of a series of concerts hosted by the Bombay Chamber Orchestra Society to celebrate 45 years of continuous activity features guest conductor Walter-Michael Vollhardt and soloists Irina Chkourindina and Christine Matovich. Chkourindina will play Liszt’s “Piano Concerto No 1 in E flat major” and Matovich will sing operatic arias by Puccini and others at the concert, which will include performances of works by Beethoven and Berlioz. Tata Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point (2283-3838), 6.30pm. Tickets Rs300, Rs260, Rs200, Rs160, Rs100.
Out & About
FREE World Press Cartoon Exhibition
Organised by the Portugal-based World Press Cartoon, this annual exhibition of cartoons and caricatures comes to India for the first time. The collection of over 200 cartoons from around the world is being brought to India by Fundaçao Oriente India, a Panjim-based cultural foundation, in association with Time Out Mumbai. Time Out Mumbai cartoonist Hemant Morparia will conduct a walking tour of the exhibition on Sat Mar 3 at 5pm. The cartoonists on display will be sticking their pens into some familiar targets, with George W Bush beating Osama bin Laden in the satire stakes. Jehangir KS Nicholson Gallery of Modern Art, NCPA, Nariman Point (2283-3838). Daily 10am-6pm.
Those mojitos and golden-fried prawns at breezy Salt Water Grill might not go down too well on March 8 as British-Jamaican performance poet Benjamin Zephanaiah flays the crowd with his sharp, political rhymes. Known for his energetic performance style, Zephanaiah reads from his latest collection of poems Too Black, Too Strong, which condemns racism. Salt Water Grill, Girgaum Chowpatty, next to H2O Water Sports Complex (98925-78494). 7pm.
Last September, Canadian-Indian stand-up comic Russell Peters raised our hopes of watching him before backing out at the last minute. His performance this time is almost certain, so get ready to watch what Peters loves doing most: making fun of Indians. Here’s a teaser: “Arranged marriages are like going to a car show. Your dad lets you look at, and compare all the cars. ‘Oh that one is nice. You like that one?’ You say, ‘Don’t I get to test drive it?’ ‘No, not now, wait until you are married, then you can test drive it all you want.’” St Andrew’s Autitorium, St Dominic Road, Bandra (W) (2645-9667) Tickets Rs500, Rs1,000, Rs1,500. For timings, call St Andrew’s or see www.dnanetworks.com. Fri-Sat.