Art: Noise Life by Desire Machine Collective

It’s been a while since I wrote about an art show and while writing a review of DMC’s Noise Life had me tearing my hair for a bit, I have missed writing about art. The review was first published on Mumbai Boss. Here’s an excerpt: Beyond the sonic force field created by the projection, the video and the floor installation (made of speakers), Noise Life has two objects: a table and a cabinet. The well-used and unremarkable table emits the rhythmic clicking of a typewriter at work. From the cabinet, you hear the high-pitched squeal of a dot matrix printer from … Continue reading Art: Noise Life by Desire Machine Collective

Links: When Hari Got Married, The Strife of Love in A Dream

When Hari Got Married is a sweet little documentary about a taxi driver named Hari, who lives and works in Himachal Pradesh, and is about to get married: It’s the stuff of a romantic comedy, made all the more poignant because it’s real. In Hari, a Pahadi taxi driver from Dharamsala, documentary filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam have a shuddh desi hero. He’s the little guy that you can’t help but warm up to because he’s just so utterly adorable. Pocket-sized and a motor-mouth, Hari chatters his way through When Hari Got Married. As he candidly talks about everything … Continue reading Links: When Hari Got Married, The Strife of Love in A Dream

Wallpaper: On Reena Kallat’s ZegnArt installation at Bhau Daji Lad Museum

In the May issue of Wallpaper*, there’s a piece I’d written a while back about artist Reena Kallat and the installation that she’s put up at Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai. This public art piece is actually commissioned by ZegnArt, which is the fashion brand Ermenegildo Zegna’s cultural activity arm. When I met Reena to talk about the work, she was in frantic mode. The installation was going to be rigged up on the facade of the museum in a couple of days, would they need cranes, what are the measurements, should we have noodles for lunch… the questions … Continue reading Wallpaper: On Reena Kallat’s ZegnArt installation at Bhau Daji Lad Museum

Links: Funny terror, art and homelands, The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Here beginneth Part Two of Updates. 1. Review of Anees Salim’s new novel,  Vanity Bagh This book is a really wonderful read. It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s sharp and it will hold your attention till the very end. Without getting on a soapbox, Salim observes how violence becomes normal and an accepted part of our street culture. The novel also looks at youth unemployment and the difficulty of finding your place within the adult world of jobs and expectations. All of these come together to create the world of Vanity Bagh, which is terrifying and yet hilarious because Salim doesn’t … Continue reading Links: Funny terror, art and homelands, The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Links: Films, booze, books, art and caste

‘Tis the time to update. Here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks. 1. A long interview with S. Anand, founder of Navayana publishing. The first part is all about publishing and among other things, he makes the rather pertinent point that books are not FMCG products so expecting to churn out the same kind of profits is absurd. In part two, he really sinks his teeth into the privileged Hindu. If you haven’t heard of Navayana, click here. Conservative Hindus who believe the caste system is a wonderful thing, Navayana’s books are not going to be … Continue reading Links: Films, booze, books, art and caste