Monday, March 14, 2011

Parrots outside my windows

In Bandra parrots still squat outside the windows. That used to happen in my Kandivli house (very close to the National park:) till the building activity and traffic roar chased them away. But in Bandra despite the horns-from-hell, the parrots still come to the large sprawling mango tree outside my window. This tree is old, soothing to watch -- bees, tiny sunny sun birds, red-tipped bulbuls, bats  -- it is a home for a lot of life. Parrots love it too... The birds waited for that big mango to ripen patiently. it was hanging outside my window for several months  and I used to think it was spoilt. Seems not:) Here u can see the parrots feeding on it. A baby parrot -- its feather ruffled and messed, his head larger than his body yet -- also tentatively bites into it very often.

There is a huge clan of parrots here. They don't seem to mind being stared at. The guys who do the Sparrows Homes (u know,  they sell those Sparrow rests from which the birds can feed, the movement  was written about quite a bit in the media because the thought behind it was that sparrows which were relevant to the city'e ecosystem where being driven away by the larger scavengers and these Sparrow rests would allow them safe places to roost:) ( I myself  bought a sparrow rest for Rs 350 -- but no sparrow has not roosted there yet:(  well, they told me I should place red chillis outside the windows. But the parrots don't seem to want it.. why will they, when there are ripe mangoes to dig into.

I learnt something watching these parrots. Unlike pigeons which will flutter if u say boo even mentally, parrots never shriek or quake if there is a loud noise. They are truly brave! At the  construction site opposite, there used to be a huge bang each time the humongous  multi-storey column was pushed into the ground. But while pigeons squawked and ducked, the parrots will continue doing whatever they were doing, with nary a feather out of place, nor a flutter! Amazing. I want to be like that:)
But the parrots will be gone soon. The old building, in whose compound this tree grows, is now being pulled down. Another compact eco-system will be destroyed. And Mumbai will grow at the expense of its less fortunate inhabitants, as usual!

And even the building where I am living is going to be brought down. Will the mango tree survive all that work?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Arzan Khambhatta's microworld

At Arzan Khambhatta's show in the city: Micropolis and Microbilrium

I recall the first scrap sculpture I have seen in my life at Nariman Point. So, yes, I remembered the artist's name very well. So, when Arzan Khambhatta's show was announced, I wanted to wander in there too.. I like to see an artist's work if it throbs for me. Then I try to think of what he may have thought of when he created what he has.  In abstract and modern art work that is quite a puzzle:) But if it clicks for me, and I have a Aha moment, I feel good. I don't know if  my Aha moment coincides with that of the artist's moment of epiphany.  But I like to pause before a work and wonder at the layers beyond the asymmetry, or symmetry within the lack of it.  I like the connection that this gives me with the artist... It sounds too vague to be termed art appreciation... I recall how when the arty reviewers were let loose amongst us feature writers at Sunday Times we used to chuckle into our kerchiefs at how pompous some writers were.. They were only talking to themselves, excluding the rest of us crass humanity. That was something:)  Then these writers were eclipsed when Times decided that art appreciation was not necessary for a money-making paper.. So, now I miss those writers and their use of words like palimpsest, damn!!!

Any case, for me Khambhatta's work was something. His creations scaled down from the monster size they assume, like bejewelled men, shining with chrome, swinging from steel. Microbilirium -- swinging from a finger... flying high, let loose, free. Mmmm, seems like yoga of the mind to me:)
The micropolis had different stories -- sometimes  the man synergizing with the city, sometimes crushed by it, sometimes holding it back, sometimes being burdened by it. The disturbing one of one headless... ruthless control? Heavens, I was trying to guess, but it was great fun, to peek somewhere, into another mind, like unravelling a puzzle.
U can still catch that show at Museum Gallery, at Kala Ghoda, off Jehangir Art Gallery.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Visiting European art masters: did the city miss them or wat!!

                                    Rhapsody, by Michael Wilkinson

Typically, and shamefully enough, the media in Mumbai ignored this event, of contemporary European artists who also piggybacked on Auguste Rodin's statues for an exhibition at the Galleria at Trident, on till this week.

The reasoning behind such media blackout starts with the leader of the pack deciding to spend media ink only on events where the paper gets paid!! Thinking like a pauper, these sad sacks!

Since everybody copies the leader (he makes money, which helps him buy art, which he admires, but which he believes is not for the hoi polloi, that is u and I:) So that denies, me, the reader of a lot of things happening in the city.

Media is becoming a yawn -- between rapes, politicians, paid copies -- the reader's craving for something more -- art, science, events in the city, culture -- has to be buried. U can only hear the dirge between the sheets.

Barring Mid-day I don't know if others covered it, which just goes to how how sadly blind media is to their potential, but wasted, contribution towards a city's art consciousness. It is a collective shame that nothing happens in Mumbai -- or so the citizens believe - barring Bollywood and that trash consumes all over collective eyeballs...

Any case, it was a small exhibition... I recall in wonder Rhapsody by Michael Wilkinson, the hands that have become symbolic of Lorenzo Quinn's art (I am still reeling at the layers of love he got to portray with just two hands:), Auguste Rodin's statues, and Damien Hirst Butterflies and medical paraphernalia...

Quinn's art: depicting love -- from first love (bottom), trust (second last), eternum (third last)
Of the lot, I loved Wilkinson's rhapsody for its lyrical lines, the sense of fragility of love through the acrylic lit up cunningly from below. The Quinn hands still have me in thrall -- trust, eternum (lasting love), first love... so beautiful. Some images here are just representative since I wanted to convey some of the wonder, of what you may have missed, if u did not see this show:(

(Damien Hirst, butterflies, pills and medical paraphernalia)