Mixing it up

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By In Mumbai, a well-known Bollywood stylist shared his vision for the season while a book launch had everyone talking about the river of the gods. Meanwhile in the Capital, art and craft was the order of the day
  • Published 30.04.05

Blast of style

It was a much-awaited fashion preview from one of the country?s hottest designing talents. And considering that Manish Malhotra is a big player in Bollywood circles too, several tinseltown stars dropped in to be a part of the event. The designer?s Spring-Summer 2005 collection is is titled Explosion and an explosive evening it was! The fashion preview was held at Kimaya, Juhu and the affair continued late into the night.

Manish?s friends and well-wishers all turned up to congratulate him and no one, it seemed, could resist the clothes. From actor Bobby Deol and wife Tanya to other admirers like Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukerjee, Kajol, Vivek Oberoi, Milind Soman, Diya Mirza and Ayesha Takia, all trooped in for a look of Manish?s latest. Fellow designer and a Manish Malhotra prot?g? herself, Surily Goel also came to check out the collection as did designer Shabina Khan .

Manish was his usual bundle of energy ? never tiring, always smiling and taking everyone around the store personally. The new collection displays Manish Malhotra?s characteristic flair and talent for colour, amalgamating comfort with innovative cuts and silhouettes. His clothes are in bright, vibrant colours in keeping with the season. There are sequins and tassels on sheer, free-flowing silhouettes, boho-chic kurtis and kaftans, textured skirts with a dash of sparkle and embroidered shirts for men with unusual embellishments that immediately catch the eye.

The river runs through it

As the title suggests, Along the Ganga: To the Inner Shores of India by travel writer Ilija Trojanow (translated from German along with Ranjit Hoskote) is a book that details a fascinating journey along the Ganges. It was launched at Crossword in Kemps Corner, Mumbai recently and the special guest of the evening was noted theatre personality Rehan Engineer who read excerpts from the book.

Born in Bulgaria, Trojanow grew up in Kenya and studied in Germany. Between 1998 and 2003, he lived in Bombay and travelled the length and breadth of the country. From icy Gaumukh, the source of the Ganga, Trojanow began a remarkable two-month journey down the Himalayas, and also visited places like Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna and Gangasagar. Travelling by inflatable boat, on foot, by bus and overcrowded trains, Trojanow moved through landscapes where the past and the future come together. Along the Ganga recounts the stories that he heard and his many experiences during the journey.

As he observes and investigates in the book, Trojanow also offers prayers to his ancestors, meets Naga sadhus at the Kumbh Mela, witnesses death ceremonies, and talks to engineers and activists. A travel book that is an unusual mix of reportage and story-telling, Along the Ganga is a vivid portrait not only of the mighty, sacred river but also of a deeply traditional as well as vibrantly modern India.

Heritage calls

As Delhi spills over into Gurgaon, the cultural czars of INTACH (Indian National Trust Chapter for Art and Cultural Heritage) are swinging into action. Last fortnight they organised a folk mela ? complete with stilt-walkers, fire-eaters, folk dancers and craftspeople ? to raise money needed to save a cluster of monuments in the suburb.

INTACH has identified a cluster of monuments in Tauru and Farrukh Nagar in Gurgaon and it would like to transform the latter into a tourist village. ?The Sheesh Mahal and a baoli in Farrukh Nagar are our initial projects and we intend to turn Farrukh Nagar into an attractive village. The funds from the ticket sales of the Baisakhi mela are going to be used for these monument restoration projects,? said Nandita Lahiri of the INTACH Gurgaon Chapter.

The Dastkari Haat Samiti which was involved in the programme along with INTACH had members such as Zohrabi (one of the oldest members whose wrinkled hands still recreate the magic of zardosi), Rehana (Zohrabi?s peer who makes parandis with a dexterous use of threadwork) and Buddhiram Prajapati (who makes terracotta lanterns, hookahs, kettles and bowls) present at the mela.

The mela, held along the lines of Dilli Haat (Delhi) and Swabhumi (Calcutta), was held on the lawns of 32nd Milestone, the multi-cuisine, multi-entertainment hotel complex. On sale were the works of local craftsmen ranging from bone jewellery, ceramics, pottery and terracotta to marble crafts, Madhubani paintings, miniatures, zardosi and leather products.

Art talk

Manifestations III, the third in the series of Delhi Art Gallery?s (DAG) bi-annual exhibitions, is showcasing the work of 100 artists including a handful of new names. In this comprehensive survey of Indian Art in the 20th century, the exposition, on till May 14, offers glimpses into the agony and rapture experienced by artists in their quest for modernism in the Indian context. For art students and the larger art community, the show relays the unlimited possibilities that the practice of art offers in its search for creative communication.

Renowned figures from the world of art, such as J P Gangooly, Chittaprosad, L Taskar, M V Dhurandhar, K Ramanujam, F Souza, Walter Langhammer, Himmat Shah, Ambadas, Arpita Singh, Viswanadhan, G R Santosh, Sultan Ali, Devayani Krishna, Gogi Saroj Pal, Krishen Khanna, Rabin Mondal and Amitava Das are just some of the artists featured at the exhibition.

DAG received an overwhelming response for Manifestations III in Mumbai at the Nehru Centre, the first venue for the exhibition. And at the Delhi Art Gallery too, the paintings unfold into thematic groupings, emphasising the varied manifestations by artists under every category whether figural narration, portraiture, cityscapes, landscapes or abstract.

Photograph of the Manish Malhotra event by Gajanan Dudhalkar