Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Her Own Person
“Shekhar [Kapur] and I have had so many differences over the years, but one thing we both completely agree on is Kaveri’s exceptional song-writing talent,” says singer, artist and actress Suchitra Krishnamoorthi about her daughter Kaveri Kapur’s new single, ‘Smell of the rain’, which went live at the stroke of midnight (the official lingo, if you must know, is that “it dropped”).
The 18-year-old, currently a student of Berklee College of Music, Boston, who had her first chart hit with a song she wrote when she was 11 years old, happens to be the first Indian artist to be signed directly by an international label, the Stockholm and Los Angeles-based label Snafu Records. Last night’s single is the first result of that collaboration with Reminisces, on which she worked with AR Rahman, releasing in March.
“She is the most hardworking and sincere musician/person I know. Kaveri lives, breathes and eats music. There are times when I have been woken up at 3am because she is practicing her scales or working on a new melody,” says the proud mum, a successful singer in her own right, who compares their two singing styles as “musically and personally quite different”. “She likes to keep it simple and stick to the music and steers clear of my propensity to drama,” she says.
Drama aside, the one thing Krishnamoorthi is certain about is the solid commitment that both she and erstwhile husband Shekhar have towards their talented offspring. “Where Kaveri is concerned, we stand rock solid as parents. I never had that as a kid and I know how important that support is. I am glad to have been able to provide that for my baccha. My friends call me Mother India — and I love it,” she says.
Meanwhile, the BAFTA and Academy Awards-winning Shekhar, who directed the video for ‘Smell of the rain’, took to social media to share that directing his daughter’s video made him “creatively more vulnerable than anything else [he’d] ever done”.
One of the best things I enjoy doing with mom is visiting temples. It does not matter which god you believe in, what matters is honesty & humility in front of the almighty and the realization how small & insignificant we are when you look at the big picture.
-Actress Preity Zinta
Of Grapes and Gripes
While the latest edition of India’s foremost wine and music festival Sula Fest took place last weekend in Nashik to a large response with performances from Indian and international acts such as Salim Sulaiman, Hot Chip and Kohra amongst others, a social media post accusing the organisers of plagiarism and copying seems to have left a case of bitter grapes. “I am very sad to see how close Sula Festival/ Sula Vineyards, Mumbai, have copied my temple of Agape from 2014 for their 2020 festival. That has just happened. There is no excuse for this,” shared Morag Myerscough, a UK-based artist.
The Instapost, which included side by side images that revealed the similarities between the two, was widely shared. But responding with commendable alacrity, we are informed that Sula’s senior management, led by founder Rajeev Samant jumped in, to address the issue via email; because soon Myerscough followed up with a second post sharing bits of the email she had received from them. “We take responsibility for it not happening in the future and ensuring that original artworks are put up and the artists get their due. We will go ahead and donate to an art charity in India, and support artists and their talent as we would love to do!” it read. Sometimes it is always better to admit mistakes, apologise and move on. To err is human…
“She had been to Hollywood studios when she went for Miss Universe in 1953, I think. This must have been shot in the mid to later 60s, in India,” said acclaimed Delhi-based photographer and activist Ram Rahman, about this glamorous throwback picture featuring his mum, the legendary Indian classical dancer Indrani Rahman, with Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas, who died yesterday at the ripe old age of 103.
Indrani, the daughter of an Indian father and an American mother, who had converted to Hinduism and become a pioneer of classical Indian dance forms herself, had been a rare beauty, “brought up to be uninhibited and independent by her American mother”, who had been crowned the country’s first Miss India. Although married, and with a child at that time, had then gone on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, held at Long Beach, California. Celebrated as much for her intelligence as her beauty, the dancer had gone on to perform for a galaxy of world leaders, including US president John F Kennedy, Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, Queen Elizabeth II, Mao Zedong, and Fidel Castro, along with teaching at universities like Harvard.
Her son Ram often reminisces on social media about those heady days. “She had met Danny Kaye when she’d visited Hollywood on that trip,” he said yesterday, adding, “Later I had met Kaye in her company in New York with Zubin Mehta. Ravi Shankar was at that dinner too. I think it had been Zubin’s birthday…”