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Soak inculture

columns Updated: Aug 25, 2010 18:33 IST
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Emperor's new clothes

A group show of six young artists, Jignasha Ojha, Kartik Sood, Meghansh Thapa, Sonam Jain, Uma Shankar Pathak and Vipul Prajapati, cut across a variety of themes and issues that make us the urban Indian question the certainties of our lives.

Says Sunaina Anand, director, Art Alive Gallery, where the exhibition is on August 12 -28: "The artists look at the interstices of urban-rural, modernity-tradition dualities in the face of rapid urbanisation."

Here's how: Sonam Jain and Jignasha Ojha's paintings of medieval royals include young men and woman in t-shirts and sharp business suits playing a game of chess and cards as symbols of power games.

Vipul Prajapati employs the poster culture of the Soviet-era to give a behind-the-scenes picture of the urban metropolis as an ecological dystopia. The migrant labourer is at the heart of Uma Shankar Pathak's compositions. Meghansh Thapa and Kartik Sood continue the anonymous-in the-city theme.

Catch the exhibition. You just might recognise yourself in it.
Turn the Tables' is on during August 12-28, 11 am to 7 pm at Art Alive Gallery, S-221, Panchsheel Park.

Good people on stage

Ramkali, actor, dancer and social activist Mallika Sarabhai's new production, is an adaptation of German playwright Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Schezwan.

In the original, the core question confronting a young prostitute, the protagonist, was how to stay straight in a crooked society. Scripted in the 1940s, the question is as pertinent in the India of today, says Sarabhai.

"The difficulty of being good is a poignant dilemma. As an activist taking on the state government in Gujarat, I face it every day. Brecht couldn't have envisioned the play would have so much resonance today."

"Another attraction of the play are songs penned by Piyush Mishra and music by Sangeeta Gaur," says Sarabhai.

The dialogue, says director Arvind Gaur, lampoons modern-day corruption. "We draw upon the ills plaguing our political system and the society."

And then there's the Commonwealth conundrum. "More inspiration for improvisations will come from tomorrow's newspaper, when the central government provides us more fodder with the latest scandal." Kalmadi and Co, take a bow.

Today 7.15 pm at the India Habitat Centre Amphitheatre. For tickets call 9313702251.

Not quite cricket

Before the cheergirls, body armour and corrupt administrators came in, cricket epitomised a certain spirit of etiquette and fair-play. Purists still balk at the commercialisation of the sport and hanker for an era where the gentleman's game was played at a languid pace.
Which is why the choice of panelists for a discussion at the India Habitat Centre on Turning Point in Cricket: Gentlemen to Pirates has one stumped.

'Haryana Hurricane' Kapil Dev, the only Indian to lift the World Cup and Ajay Jadeja, arguably one of the gutsiest players to represent the country, were never short on flamboyance. Both, incidentally, are regulars on Delhi's golf circuit.

The duo will discuss the way the game has lost its gentlemanly sheen, particularly after the Indian Premier League overkill.

"They would touch upon the changing character of the game in the light of packed schedules, fitness problems and the money that rides upon milking contracted players," says seasoned cricket writer and Hindustan Times sports advisor Pradeep Magazine, who will moderate the discussion.
August 9, 7 pm, India Habitat Centre. For details, call 43663333.