Astronomies and Pleasures
Gouache and watercolours by American artist James McGarrell. The series claims to be a modern reinterpretation of a popular Indian painting form: the Ragamala. The Ragamala works illustrated various ragas in exquisite detail, translating the music into pictures, each characterized by a particular colour, time of day, night or year that the melody alluded to or was deemed to be associated with.
Colour coded: Watercolours by American artist James McGarrell from Astronomies and Pleasures
10am-11pm, daily. arts.i, 7, Atmaram Mansion, Level One, Scindia House, Kasturba Gandhi Marg (43727000).
From 22 November
Marigold Art Gallery’s inaugural exhibition features European artists Jorg Doring from Germany, the French duo Jean-Claude Mazel and Yann Jalix, David Krakow from the US and even Salvador Dali. Check out his sculpture ‘Profile of Time’, which features a clock melting over a tree branch.
11am-6pm, daily. Marigold Art Gallery, The Claridges, 12, Aurangzeb Road (41335058).
A Brief History of the Pantomimes
As it happens, this show is not a quickie history lesson on the theatrical form. Neither is it a modern-day celebration of the pantomime. It is a play based around a group of individuals who decide to live their lives sans speech. Directed by Neel Chaudhuri.
7pm. Akshara Theatre, 11B, Baba Kharak Singh Marg (9313009524). Tickets, Rs150.
Honor Heffernan and the Phil Ware Trio
Heffernan, who has been dubbed the ‘first lady of Irish jazz’, will be backed by the Phil Ware Trio, also based in Ireland. Heffernan will present tunes from the Great American Songbook, besides some covers of Joni Mitchell songs.
9pm. Haze, Blues and Jazz Bar, 8, Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar (41669008).
Lucas Niggli Zoom
Free form jazz by the trio led by Swiss drummer and percussionist Lucas Niggli. Nils Wogram on trumpet and guitarist Philipp Schaufelberger complete the line-up.
7.30pm. Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon (95124-2715000).
Senior danseuse Uma Sharma will present ‘Nritya Abhinaya’, based on the book ‘Krishna—The Playful Divine’ by Pavan K. Varma.
7pm. Auditorium, India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate (24619431).
Elemental, sweeping and often majestic, this is both an engaging drama and a labour of love, a tribute to the Buddhist, semi-nomadic people of the Dolpo, a remote region deep in the interiors of the North-West Himalayas. Italian with subtitles, directed by Eric Valli.
9pm. Tabula Rasa, C-2 Square One Designer Arcade, Fourth Floor, District Centre, Saket (29562666).
The Page Turner
Denis Dercourt’s stylish, subtle and highly assured film is a pleasingly suspenseful psychological drama in the style of Alfred Hitchcock or early Claude Chabrol. Déborah François plays Mélanie, the small town butcher’s daughter whose ambitions as a pianist were dashed during a childhood audition for the Conservatory when one of the jurors, famous concert pianist Ariane Fouchécourt (Catherine Frot), distracted her by signing an autograph. A decade after this unwitting but fateful slight, shy, quiet Mélanie happens to find herself working as an intern for the law firm owned by Fouchécourt’s husband Jean (Pascal Greggory). Her diligence and dependability lead him to hire her as a governess for his son, and soon enough she’s firmly ensconced in their home and helping out as Ariane’s page-turner as the pianist prepares for a big comeback concert. Is Mélanie plotting revenge? Nursing a crush? Or is she merely hoping to bask in some reflected glory?
Psychological drama: A scene from Denis Dercourt’s The Page Turner
Dercourt’s cool, extremely elegant and often witty film remains admirably ambiguous until the very final scenes, and even then, the script wisely forgoes tying up too many loose ends. It’s a meticulous piece of work, beautifully shot by Jérôme Peyrebrune, and assembled with a proper understanding of music and the important role it can play in people’s lives. In building both narrative tension and psychological resonance, Dercourt is helped no end by the excellent performances, most particularly that of young François, quite superb in only her second movie after an excellent (but very different) debut role in the Dardennes’ ‘The Child’.
To Be and To Have
This wonderful film by acclaimed French documentarist Nicolas Philibert charts half a year in the life of Georges Lopez and the infant and junior pupils he teaches at a tiny single-class school in the French province Auvergne. That may not sound so rewarding, but in following the fortunes of this small group as they face their trials and tribulations, Philibert attains an extraordinary intimacy with his subjects, creating a multilayered movie that sheds light on numerous aspects of human experience.
In Jojo and the smallest kids, we see minds develop at breathtaking speed; with the older pupils Julien and Olivier, a grasp of ethics is starting to come into play, while shy Natalie is a reminder of how painful the onset of teenage sensibility can be. Then there are the families which have children help out on the farm even as they ask them to solve math equations they themselves barely understand.
Lopez is a reminder that the personal touch is essential, but too often lacking, in education. He’s rather like a pastor, shrink, guru and uncle all rolled into one. A witty, hugely moving study of dedication, intelligence and downright goodness leaving the desired mark, this gem covers all this and more.
7pm and 9.30pm. Prithvi House, opposite Prithvi Theatre, First Floor Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Juhu (26149546).
Girish Sanzgiri and Jayashree Patnekar
Kirana ‘gharana’ vocalist Girish Sanzgiri is known in the Hindustani classical music world as Phiroze Dastur’s most devoted student. The pair was so close that Sanzgiri performed Dastur’s last rites when he died in May. Sanzgiri, who studied the Kirana style of singing with Dastur at the University of Mumbai, said his teacher had the patience of a saint. “He would first repeat the wrong or imperfect phrase sung by me and then sing the right phrase,” says Sanzgiri. “Very few teachers do that.”
Sanzgiri is glad he paid attention in class. The 49-year-old singer bas been considered an authentic representative of the Kirana ‘gharana’ ever since he performed at the prestigious Sawai Gandharva Festival in Pune in 2004. His rendition of ‘raga’ Multani won the appreciation of the city’s discerning classical music fans, who closely associate his ‘gharana’ with the legendary Bhimsen Joshi.
We last heard Sanzgiri perform in Mumbai in July, when his exposition of ‘raga’ Kalavati stood out for his sensitive treatment of the note ‘komal ni’. At his concert, he is likely to sing ‘ragas’ Lalit and Bibhas. He will be accompanied on the harmonium by Shrinivas Acharya and on the tabla by Girish Nalavade.
10am. Karnataka Sangha CHM Marg, Matunga (W) (24377022).
Thermal and a Quarter
Mumbai’s most popular girl-with-a-guitar, Alisha Batth, opens for Bangalore’s most popular rock band at a concert organized by Alliance Française as part of its Five Senses Week.
9.30pm. Hard Rock Café, Bombay Dyeing Mills Compound, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Worli (24382888). Tickets, Rs 100.
Five Senses Week
24 November–1 December
Don your beret, queue Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s newest album on your playlist and do your best imitation of Inspector Closeau: A little bit of France is coming to Mumbai this month. The Alliance Française’s Five Senses Week kicks off on 24 November and celebrates the European nation’s most popular cultural exports.
Five Senses Week features escargot and rabbit on the menu, graffiti on cars, a swing band at dinner time, and models wearing chocolate and sugar on the runway. A limited edition of an Evian water bottle created by designer Christian Lacroix, one of only 99, will be auctioned to raise funds for charity. Somewhere in the middle of it all, they’ll also find time to bake an enormous cake, with the help of Cordon Bleu and local chefs, to mark Alliance Française’s 125th year in Paris and send it across the globe.
For details and complete schedule, call Alliance Française on 22035993. To book a table at the gala dinners at Four Seasons Hotel, call the F&B department on 24818000.
From 26 November
Fresh from what they have announced as a very successful photography exhibition, the good people from the Welfare of Stray Dogs are holding another jumble sale of home ware and artefacts. Buy a guitar, a Chancellor drum set or some paintings today and your proceeds will help a stray dog tomorrow.
10am-6pm. Garage of Surya Darshan, opposite Shital Baug bus stop, Walkeshwar. Prices start at Rs 10.
Until 29 November
Mahua Gallery’s got another group show lined up which will feature works of some of the artists who also exhibited at the last show there, titled ‘Different Strokes’. The new show, ‘Divergent Horizons’, will present paintings by artists such as Amit Bhar, Dipak Banerjee, Rajib Chowdhury, Sharmi Chowdhury, Sohini Dhar, Mani JMS, Seema Kohli, Shyamal Mukherjee, Anjali Sapra and Karma Tenrab. The show includes sculptures by Subrata Biswas, Dimpy Menon and Gopinath S.
Menon, who lives and sculpts in Bangalore, and has worked on bronze sculptures for about 18 years, says she will present works from a series titled ‘Performers’ based on street theatre and public performers.
11am-7pm, Monday-Saturday. Mahua Art Gallery, 344/8, First Floor, 4th Main Road, Sadashivanagar (23616971).
50 years of the Gnat
The Pakistan air force learnt just how hard it was to swat the Gnat in 1965 and 1971. “It is believed that PAF pilots were told to keep away from Gnats, though they did shoot down at least two—one in each war,” says retired group captain Kapil Bhargava of the fighter jet. “But the ratio of kills was well in favour of the Gnat.” The tiny fighter craft first arrived in India from the UK in January 1958, just in time for the Republic Day flypast, says Bhargava, who has set up a website dedicated to the Gnat (www.gnat50years.in). HAL celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Gnat with a reunion of its pilots and engineers.
9am onwards. Dr Ghatage Convention Centre, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. For details, call Ananthakrishnan (22868629).
V. Ashok Kumar
A fusion concert ‘Shoonya—Music of the World’ by daring and experienced musicians playing unusual instruments from different parts of the globe. Featured musicians are Prakash Sontakke (Hawaiian guitar/vocal), Shridhar Sagar (saxophone), Michael Sorensen (didgeridoo/ harmonica), Manoj George (violin), V. Ashok Kumar (djembe/darbuka).
7.30pm. Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanth Nagar (41231340). Tickets, Rs 99.
Music director Vishal Dadlani (of Vishal-Shekhar fame) is the frontman for the popular electro-rock outfit Pentagram. The band will be the headlining act at the music competition/festival organized by the National Law School University. The event, titled ‘Strawberry Fields’, will have a day-long competition among amateur bands vying for the coveted title of Best Rock Band. Twenty or more acts will compete, and going by past records, most will play thrash and metal.
Gayathri Vihar, Palace Grounds, Ramana Maharishi Road, Sadashivanagar (23611329).
Fitness and wellness
How to Feel Good for no Reason
Martial arts expert Ashwin Mohan uses demonstrations and practical exercises to show people how to take control of their emotions and shed the crummy attitude that burdens them. “The automatic part of our minds, the unconscious part, can hold us back and create negative feelings,” explains Mohan. This workshop is intended to equip participants with the tools to choose how they feel at each moment. Mohan guarantees a “30-day no-questions-asked refund” if people don’t feel good after this workshop.
2-5pm, Doodle Den, 3, Curley Street, Richmond Town (41240090). Rs 2,500, payment by cheque or credit card. For details, call 9845396360.
18 ans après
Marie (and her three fathers) are taking A-levels. Marie passes. She spends the summer in the country with her mother, Sylvia, who has returned from America with her Californian husband, who has two sons. Marie falls in and out of love for the first time in front of her alarmed fathers, who see Marie’s innocence slipping away at frightening speed, and their relationships with the two women become even more complicated. Directed by Coline Serreau.
6pm. Alliance Française de Bangalore, 108, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanth Nagar (41231345).
Vannadil Pudiyaveettil Dhananjayan and Shanta Dhananjayan, who are popularly referred to as the Dhananjayans, will perform with their students as part of the Iskcon Dance Festival, organized by the section in Iskcon called Sri Krishna Shringar. They will perform a dance ballet in Tamil titled ‘Rama Natakam’, which re-enacts the life of Rama from the beginning of his exile to the onset of Ram Rajya.
6.30pm. Iskcon Temple Auditorium, Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Road (23471956).
Schedules are subject to change.
The noted classical singer will take part in a special performance on the occasion of 20 years of Sahmat. She will present works by various poets that she has set to tune specially for Sahmat over the years. She will also sing some songs written by her husband Aneesh Pradhan (see ‘A Song For You’ ).
5.30pm. Vithalbhai Patel House lawns, Rafi Marg (23711276).
The Ploctones’ new album ‘050’ will be the first international release on Blue Frog Records. The album’s songs draw from a diversity of genres and geographic locations. The quartet was formed in 2001 by renowned jazz guitarist Anton Goudsmit when he was commissioned to create a series of compositions by Dutch public broadcasting company NPS. He picked for the project bass player Jeroen Vierdag, saxophonist Efraim Trujillo and drummer Martijn Vink, who has performed with legends such as Pat Metheny and John Scofield.
Whether you’re looking for virtuosity or whimsy, The Ploctones should impress you with the electric energy that left audiences spellbound at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam and the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival in Aruba.
10.30pm. Blue Frog, Todi & Co, Mathuradas Mills Compound, opposite Kamala Mills, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel (40332300). Tickets, Rs300 (Friday), Rs 500 (Saturday and Sunday).
Until 10 January
GallerySke’s new show features recent works by four artists: Zakkir Hussain, Srinivasa Prasad, Sudarshan Shetty and Navin Thomas. A photographic series (set of 42, 23”x15” prints) titled ‘The History of Loss’ by Shetty features images of crashed, cast aluminium Volkswagen Beetle car replicas that are deliberately rough and not to scale, and were painstakingly cast for the express purpose of being destroyed.
Hussain, who’s based in Kerala, will show seven etchings on paper, made between 1997 and 2005. Hussain’s visual vocabulary draws much from his immediate sociocultural contexts. In his solo show of drawings and paintings in 2006-07, ‘Emerging from the Womb of a Scapegoat’, Hussain refers to speaking in a broken tongue as he “searches futilely for the existence of words, meanings and relationships”. Images like that of hospital equipment (especially stretchers) and animal forms conjoined with human forms are leitmotifs in his work.
In his three inkjet prints on aluminium, Thomas speaks about his generation as one that witnessed the birth of colour television, growing up alongside “the expanding hydra of cable TV in this country”. “I usually wake up trying to make a connection between two entirely different films—rather like reading across newspaper columns,” he says.
Prasad’s piece is from the series titled ‘Payana’ (journey in Kannada), comprising a miscellaneous collection of household chattel and clothes made from recycled gunny-sack material. Other pieces in ‘Payana’ were made using ‘kamblis’ or local handwoven blankets.
11am-8pm, Wednesday-Monday. 82, Presidency, St Mark’s Road (65951972). On Sundays by appointment only.
We’re great supporters of shows hosted by Delhi-based puppeteers such as Anurupa Roy and Varun Narain. But a visit to Kathputli Colony in west Delhi left us very excited. You don’t have to trek to Shadipur anymore to see the shows. Throw a party and call them home! “All we need are some planks and bamboo poles and we’ll fix up the stage,” says fourth-generation puppeteer Rajendra Bhatt . “Give us a theme the day before, and you’ll have a puppet show ready!”
R.K. Bhatt & Party, 2151/17, CA/3A, Shadipur Colony, opposite Shadipur Depot, Delhi (9899948667). (Ishanee Sarkar)
Take your tots to the Children’s Traffic Training Park near Connaught Place. Opened in 1964, this little park opposite the emporia complex on Baba Kharak Singh Marg is meant for children between the ages of eight and 14. The miniature roads, cycle tracks, traffic lights, fake banks and other ‘sights’ make it a mini city. Stadium-style seating overlooks the whole set-up. There are four similar traffic parks in Delhi in Punjabi Bagh, Pragati Maidan, Bal Bhavan and Roshanara Bagh.
Summer, 8-11am and 4-7pm; winter, 10am-5pm. Traffic Training Park, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi.
This 100-year-old wrestling school in Shivajinagar, Bangalore, isn’t very easy to spot: Ask the people at Elgin Theatre to point you to this narrow door. Inside, past a dim corridor, in a kitchen next to an open courtyard alongside the wrestling pit, Mohammed Malik practises the other art this place is known for: cooking. Friday is the best day to visit for fragrant, after-’namaaz’ biryani, but make sure you reach early (before 1pm). The mutton biryani is served in generous portions. The place is not for vegetarians.
Ustad Kale Pehelwan ki Gardi, Shivaji Lane near Elgin Theatre, Shivajinagar, Bangalore (9886666795). No credit cards accepted.
Track the Western Railway’s origins as the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI) at the Heritage Gallery, a quasi-museum at the WR’s headquarters in Churchgate, Mumbai. On display with dainty dinnerware and other memorabilia bearing the BB&CI stamp are model trains, lithographs, pressure gauges, medals and telephones. Look out for a model of a 1920s third-class compartment and a sketch of the just-built Bandra station.
Ground floor, HQ building, Churchgate, Mumbai .