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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Chalo Venice

mumbai Updated: May 20, 2019 08:35 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,malavika's mumbaistan,venice

(From left) Tahira Chawla, Shalini Passi, Devika Kapur , Radhika Chopra , Roshini Vadehra and Kalyani Chawla.

As expected, the long overdue India pavilion at the ongoing Venice Biennale is attracting many visitors. “It was my first time in Venice. I was saving it to go with someone special and who better than my favourite travel companion, my daughter Tahira Tara who is a student of art history. Of course, the proudest moment was to see the India pavilion!” says fashionista and art maven, the Delhi-based Kalyani Chawla, who was in Venice over the weekend. Besides a whirlwind tour of all the major museums, galleries and stalls along with fellow members of FICA (The Foundation of Indian Contemporary Art) Chawla and her daughter attended The Kiran Nadar Museum’s glamorous party at the Palazzo Pisani Moretta. Kiran, the bridge champion wife of tech billionaire, Shiv Nadar, had played a major role in supporting the India pavilion and getting it to see the light of day and her party was one of the best attended, according to sources. “It was here that the name of Sir David Adjaye was announced as the architect selected for the new Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) which will be built in Noida,” informed Chawla. “He was selected amongst five incredible architecture firms and the jury included Glenn D Lowry from the MoMa, which is amazing by itself!” As for experiencing Venice for the first time, especially during its Biennale, that too when India had a pavilion representing it, Chawla says it was overwhelming. “Two days was just too short, but I’m glad I did race through most of it as well as visited the spectacular museums that house some of the most important works,” she said, adding, “The Biennale is a must see, as it’s on till November and should be a stopover for all, this summer!”

New York Calling

Sapna Bhavnani and Aseem Chhabra.

Aseem Chhabra, author, film buff and one of the people behind the recently-concluded New York Indian Film Festival, was a happy man indeed when we spoke to him yesterday, on a balmy New York morning. The 19th instalment of the festival had been a success with 33 features (19 of them regional films in non-Hindi language) being screened over six days, to ever-increasing and enthusiastic audiences. “This year, the emphasis was on new Bengali cinema, plus a spotlight on Tamil and Assamese films,” said Chhabra. Some of the festival’s highlights had been the New York premiere of Gurinder Chadha’s film ‘Blinded by the Light’, a tribute to Bruce Springsteen’s music and how it inspires a young Pakistani immigrant in the UK; and the screening of Chef Vikas Khanna’s debut directorial venture, The Last Color. Two Mumbaiites had made their presence felt there too, according to Chhabra. “Actor Boman Irani dropped in to introduce ‘Jhalki’, a film dealing with child labour, in which he plays the Nobel Peace Prize awardee Kailash Satyarthi, and artiste, hair stylist and activist Sapna Moti Bhavnani, whose documentary Sindhustan had sold out won the best documentary award,” said Chhabra, adding, “She has the entire story tattooed on her legs, which became a part of the film conversation.”

Tweet Talk
“Sometimes I think that the only reason people vote is so that they can put one photo of their finger and tell others to vote.”
- Tweeted by Ramesh Srivats

A Candle For Nazir

Faredoon Bhujwala with the late Nazir Hoosein at Liberty Cinema.

“We used to watch special screenings of great English films in the adorable, and last word in plushness, Art Deco-fantasy-like mini theatre upstairs. Occasionally, we would sit in a box downstairs and watch the daily films on the main screen!” says motivational coach and environmental activist Faredoon (Dodo) Bhujwala, about the passing of his uncle Nazir Hoosein this week. The genteel and soft-spoken owner of the jewel-like Liberty Theatre at Dhobhi Talao had also distinguished himself as a motorsports buff. “It was a matter of such pride to see Uncle Nazir Hoosein race in a Formula One car, which he had made himself, on the race tracks of Madras and Juhu,” said an emotional Bhujwala. “And equally heartwarming to see the passion and dedication with which he refurbished Liberty Cinema to its original Art Deco glory, while the rest of Bombay slipped into characterless commercial constructs.” Indeed, Mumbai has lost a person of great style and character. RIP Mr Hoosein. May you sit in the plushest Art Deco boxes and the most spectacular of race cars now.

First Published: May 16, 2019 01:06 IST