Wednesday, November 30, 2005

sudhir patwardhan, 'harry potter and the goblet of fire', 'shall we dance?', fashion show

after the udri meeting on monday where prachi, benita and me had a good bitching and gossiping session (though benita was left unsatisfied) mukul and me stepped into the museum art gallery for the opening of the new sudhir patwardhan and gieve patel show. patwardhans work can make my hair stand on end. there was this thing that i was thinking about just yesterday before i saw the show. to be a short story writer that does not care about the ‘event-narrative’- i guess is what you could call it. but rather the characterization- purely. i guess that means that the short story is the wrong form. i assume that no one would want to read a story where nothing happens- but where a time and place is captured. normal people in their ordinary surroundings. in patwardhans work i found landscapes where the people i know and could recognize.

the new harry potter, that we saw at sterling later with kuntals mother was a lot of very dark fun. either this is not a childrens movie- or kids have much more of a tolerance for scary things than even i do- at the grand old age of 34.

yesterday in between college ending and the evening fashion show, amit, mayuri and me decided to watch a fluffy piece of feel good hollywood. i had seen the original japanese version of ‘shall we dance?’ when i was in the us. i remember it very vaguely. a happily married man to (susan sarandon) takes ballroom dancing lessons with stone faced instructor jennifer lopez. typically, there is a dance competition at the end where we get to see some moves. nothing like the amazing ‘strictly ballroom’ but fluff was what we were looking for and we saw a kind of ok version of it yesterday.

fashion is such fun. amrita – amits sister- her college had its annual ‘alchemy’ fashion show at a beach house in juhu. amit, mayuri, amits mom and me had seats in the further reaches from the ramp from where we could see these models walk stone faced up and down the ramp in clothes that ranged form the outlandish to the (almost wearable)- if you have a body like that. the women were on the whole lovelier than the men. they at least seemed ot pretend to buy into the crap that was being spouted as ‘concepts’. the men on the other hand were trying very hard to let their inherent ‘masculinity’ not be compromised by the sequins, the fur and the frills of the clothes- or rather costumes. the weirder the clothes the more square their jaw lines seemed to get. i am thinking, that a fashion show must not be an event to see any clothes- really. i think it must be more like theater where a version of a world imagined is presented through a vision of the people that inhabit that world- their bodies becoming the medium for the message as they catwalk down to throbbing pointless music. the ‘theme’ as it was for the 11 finalists was ‘the east’, and in between the various contestants an old parsi woman was regaling us with the silly concepts of each of them through highly poetic badly written poetic descriptions in english elocution competition diction . ‘the west awakens and rises to the joys of the east.. they stare at the beauty and dignity of the rising sun over the mountains where the coral breaks open to reveal the stars in the ocean… here in the east, technology meets tradition in a smooth blend ,, modernity of the cut and the timeless textures of the bamboo leaves...’ all very entertaining for the first minute and thoroughly annoying immediately afterwards.

such a world away from sudhir patwardhans people- the people i know more intimately. they were the ones in the audience- the mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts and friends of the students- wearing their silk saris, and party shirts, made up to the tees; who had caught their trains past flyovers and concrete rcc buildings all the way from thane and borivili- to watch this strange new world perform its act.

and in between all of this a list of third grade celebrities was rattled on like each of them were trophies- one flop wonders from bollywood, tv stars from day time soaps, one time models and businessmen who want to be seen as tycoons.

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