Cut out capers
It is amusing to see the images of Radha and Krishna on snow-clad peaks and Shiva in the foreground of mid-20th-century European-style architecture. These images are visible in works known as Shekhawati collages, a term rendered by art historian Jyotindra Jain to describe a rare art form.
The collages were created by local framers of Shekhawati, a region in Rajasthan, and patronised by local Marwari business families.
The backgrounds of all these collages are European landscapes, the foregrounds feature superimposed images of Hindu deities, mainly Radha and Krishna, Indian prints cut from calendars and magazines, says Mortimer Chatterjee, founder of gallery Chatterjee & Lal, where 28 such works acquired by art gallerist Aditya Ruia will be on display till June 29.
The landscapes prints were mainly imported from Germany by the local framers. Some of the works have been merged so well that the elements of the prints and paintings do not appear as separate entities.
One such work shows Radha and Krishna on the banks of a lake, with an oarsman seated in a boat very close to the central figures, along with a peacock. On careful scrutiny, you see that the legs of the peacock are actually those of a man in the background print. He is sitting on the boat, but is carefully hidden behind the image of the peacock.
— Riddhi Doshi
There are scores of restaurants around Parel that have subsisted thanks to the working population around them.
Just like New Sardar and Ladoo Samrat offered cheap and cheerful homestyle treats to mill workers for generations, now DP’s Wok Hei and Pronto offer multicuisine meals for employees of corporate parks.
The latest of these is Meal Box Cafe (MBC), which opened last month with a menu serving ‘European, Thai and Chinese cuisine’.
The place is not much to look at, and it is tiny. Service is spotty — we asked how the lamb florentine is prepared, and were told “it’s lamb”. But none of this matters, because MBC’s business is clearly centred on delivery for people dining al desko.
Our spiced lamb burger and a fairly large ‘good old double decker chutney’ sandwich surprisingly fit in the sort of boxes used for Chinese takeaway in the US. Both sandwiches would make a satisfying lunch.
The grilled veg salad would not — it had just five broccoli florets in a sea of iceberg. The fish and chips, a giant hunk of buttery basa in a crunchy tempura-like shell, would please fans of the fish, even if the French fries alongside were limp.
The sauce in ‘five spice’ vegetables was fragrant with fennel seeds, but needed crisp veggies. A brownie arrived in a mess of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce — just the thing to have after a tough call with a client.
— Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi
Dubstep gurus in the house
South London boys Skream & Benga (above), who have individually and together pioneered the dubstep scene in the UK early on in the millennium, will perform in Mumbai on Sunday as part of their Asia tour, offering dance, dubstep and drum ’n’ bass fans a unique opportunity to witness the legendary duo live in the city. The duo is known for its bass-centric brand of sci-fi sonic, old-school UK dubstep and overall unique bass-heavy sound, which has broken through the underground scene and caught on with dance lovers around the world.
Sunday’s event, called Escalate, will be held at Dadar’s Sitara Studios. It is likely to resemble a London nightclub, full of enthusiastic party people dancing to a super-charged build-up by dance acts Nucleya, Sound Avtar and Algorhythm followed by the performance by Skream & Benga. If you are worried about not following the dubstep scene, don’t be. This one is a great first gig to get initiated to the genre — as dance fans say, this one’s going to be ‘full-on’.
The duo is also part of dubstep supergroup Magnetic Man along with UK producer Artwork, and the group is currently working on their second album following their eponymous debut album in 2010.
Skream and Benga are now looking beyond dubstep and experimenting outside of the genre to create a new genre that plays in every club from Delhi to Berlin to New York — they are looking to bring the next wave of music.
Benga also just released his new album, Chapter II on May 6. In Mumbai, the tour is supported by Oji, a new music event production company founded by Mikhail Mehra. Escalate is the first of a series of underground music events Oji plans to organise in the city.
— Bhairavi Jhaveri
Curators of kitsch
Buy or browse through doodhwallah planters, write-and-wipe mugs, digital prints and more this weekend at a two-day design fiesta showcasing a range of home décor accessories by independent Indian product designers who otherwise only sell online.
Growing greens in a hanging polka-dotted kadhai or a doodhwala planter, sharing what’s on your mind on a neon orange terracotta teacup that comes with an inbuilt patch of write-and-wipe blackboard and chalks — these are some of the innovative design ideas that designers from across the country are displaying at Quirkshop, being organised by a design company of the same name at the World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade.
Through the event, Quirkshop founder Sukrit Sharma aims to create awareness about the participating e-brands — including Poppadum Art, Designerds, Crude Area, Kini Merch, Red Tag and Keylow — all under one roof.
“We exhibit our personalities in different ways, through our home’s interiors, the clothes we wear and the gadgets we use,” says Sharma. “And today’s youngsters don’t shy away from their quirky personalities.”
Quirkshop, says Sharma, is an attempt to create a direct link between artistic creators and consumers with an appetite for vibrant and fun accessories.
Done browsing, you can pick up finger foods at a row of stalls and head to free screenings of classic shorts such as The Butterfly Circus and The Kinematograph, organised by film club Shamiana as part of the design fair.
— Nisha Shroff