Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Labour of Love

Some of the city’s noted connoisseurs of art and culture gathered last week at the Royal Opera House for the premiere of ‘His Father’s Voice’, the 105- minute, English romantic-drama feature film
Ashwini Pawar (second from right) and Kaarthikeyan Kirubhakaran with Ashutosh Gowariker and his wife at the premeire of ‘His Father’s Voice’ at Royal Opera House.
Ashwini Pawar (second from right) and Kaarthikeyan Kirubhakaran with Ashutosh Gowariker and his wife at the premeire of ‘His Father’s Voice’ at Royal Opera House.
Updated on Feb 10, 2020 12:39 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByMalavika Sangghvi

Some of the city’s noted connoisseurs of art and culture gathered last week at the Royal Opera House for the premiere of ‘His Father’s Voice’, the 105- minute, English romantic-drama feature film, produced and acted in by Ashwini Pratap Pawar and her husband – writer, director and cinematographer Kaarthikeyan Kirubhakaran – who has also directed the film.

Pawar – a younger cousin of NCP MP Supriya Sule, (their fathers are brothers) is a classical dancer and artiste, who taught at the prestigious Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, before settling in Pondicherry – described the venture as a labour of love, when we spoke over the weekend about the warm reception the film had elicited.

“It’s the poignant story of a gifted male dancer, separated from his musician father in childhood, who must return to him, to be able to dance again. But interwoven in its theme are questions of race, gender, traditional wisdoms from the Ramayana, and the heartache of fathers separated from their offspring,” she said.

According to the artiste – described by many as a ‘free spirit, steeped in culture’ – ‘His Fathers Voice’ grew almost organically in to a film on the three-acre garden that she and her husband had lovingly nurtured around their home in Pondicherry.

“Since the story was about an American couple deeply inspired by Indian Classical Music, who along with their son Kris, live inside a music and dance school in Tamil Nadu, we needed many foreign actors to essay the main roles, and finding them within the Auroville community was easy. Also, many of my paintings are used in the film to enhance its theme, and in fact, Kaarthikeyan wrote the story out of much personal wisdoms and experiences that we have jointly shared, in our personal journies,” she said.

With four premieres already under their belt and the positive reception from Mumbai, the couple is looking forward to enter their labour of love into many festivals in India and abroad, as well as for more mainstream releases.

“More than anything else, the film underlines the healing power of the arts and nature,” Pawar signed off.

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TRUE LIES

According to insiders, this much-awaited wedding of the Mumbai-based scion of a leading clan of industrialists is going to push the envelope as far as big fat destination weddings go.

Not only will it fly 600 of chosen guests from across the world to an oil-rich Middle Eastern country – which until now has been regarded as off bounds for such celebrations (including alcohol etc) – but what’s more, the festivities which will be hosted by a member of the country’s ruling family itself and will be held in the middle of a desert far from civilisation, and feature every conceivable luxury and entertainment known to man, to make it one of the most memorable and OTT wedding parties the world has ever witnessed.

Of course, the fact that the country has long been condemned by international watch bodies for its human rights violations and regressive policies is neither here nor there. When you have the rulers themselves as your hosts – anything goes…

Husains, Gaitondes and Birkins!

An artwork from Nirav Modi’s collections, which will be auctioned later this month.
An artwork from Nirav Modi’s collections, which will be auctioned later this month.

He may be incarcerated in a high-security UK prison, but fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi and his expensive tastes still continue to make news back home in India. Later this month, collectors of luxury goods and art will have the opportunity to bid for some of Nirav’s prized possessions, when Saffron Art, on behalf of the deputy director, Directorate of Enforcement, Mumbai, will be auctioning pieces of his estate. Some of the works attracting interest are MF Husain’s ‘Battle of Ganga and Jamuna,’ from his Mahabharata series, which is going for 12 crore-18 crore; a portrait of a lady (untitled) by Raja Ravi Varma, going for 2 crore-3 crore; Amrita Sher-Gil’s iconic boys with lemons (12 crore-18 crore) which is a non-exportable treasure; and VS Gaitonde’s Zen-inspired oil on canvas abstract for 7 crore-9 crore.

But what is said to have caught the fancy of many women are the half-a-dozen or so versions of the Hermes Birkin bag in its various colours and skins (no, none of Ostrich skin though, unfortunately) and a dozen or so luxury watches, which point to an Imelda Marcos-like fixation with material goods.

But of course, the pièce de résistance of the Modi estate is none other than a breath-taking jubilee silver Rolls-Royce Ghost (registration year: 2010), for which the asking price is 75 lakh-95 lakh. Known as the most successful Rolls Royce ever created, the liner notes say that the successful bidder will have to pick up the car on and ‘as is basis from the auction house’ itself. Will someone actually buy a used Rolls from a government-sanctioned auction? That too from the estate of a man who is up to his neck in alleged financial irregularities? Stranger things have been known to happen …

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