Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

Paws for a prayer

Father Joe D’Souza continues his 39-year-old ritual of blessing pets in remembrance of St Francis of Assisi, whose feast day falls on October 4. Being a week day, this practice took place on the second Sunday of October at the Church of Our Lady of Health, Cavel.

All fun and comics

Participants live-doodle at the event

Last Sunday, a Bandra venue witnessed over 250 people from different walks of life tied together by one common, unbreakable string — comics. In an attempt to gather comic lovers in the city, The Comic Store collaborated with The Revolver Club to bring alive the inaugural edition of The Indian Comics Festival. “It was an exceptional event,” said Hamza Sayed, founder of the Bandra-based comic store and one of the six exhibitors at the day-long gathering. “Many in the crowd were live-doodling their favourite artists who were on the stage. This gave them an opportunity to connect with their heroes and share their work with the community,” he told us. Among the artists were Santanu Hazarika, Anand Radhakrishnan, and Rohan Joshi. “This was Radhakrishnan’s first social event. He is an idol for many, and those who attended were very happy to have met him in such an intimate setting. As for me, I felt like a rockstar,” he laughed, adding that he was overwhelmed by the acknowledgement he received for his work. He even signed up a few independent artists to showcase their works at 
his store. 

Hamza Sayed

Weaving love 

A two-day fest, that aims at promoting six diverse handloom clusters across India, began yesterday at Kala Ghoda. Named Crafts Confluence: Antaran X Ensemble, this exhibition features silk sarees, cotton jamdani sarees, cushion covers and fashion accessories from Nagaland and Andhra Pradesh, among other states. “The intervention aims to benefit 3,000 households involved in pre-loom, on-loom and post-loom processes, while also impacting the livelihood of thousands of weavers,” said Mridula Tangirala, head of tourism, Tata Trusts, which overseas Antaran, the craft-based livelihood programme.

Cut-and-keep memories

Hansie Cronje and Sachin Tendulkar in the collection; (right) Jayasuriya, Jack Rusell and Brian McMillan

With cricket World Cup season in full flow, this diarist, like fellow ’90s kids, recalls spending hours and some hard-earned pocket money, to get their hands on cricket cards and magazines and cut out their favourite stars during the tournament. So, it was a touch of personal nostalgia to learn of city-rapper Dhaval Parab AKA D’Evil’s personal cricket diary. “I have been collecting [cut outs] since the 1996 Cricket World Cup. The most exciting part was to find your favourite cricketer’s poster or pictures because back then, we had no Internet or printers. So, I would collect the free stickers with candies and newspaper cut-outs,” shared the rapper, who hopes India wins the tournament this time around.

Rapper D’Evil 

Rainbows and cine dreams

The film revolves around coming to terms with one’s sexuality

Goregaon’s 28-year-old Sourav Yadav’s directorial debut, Malwa Khushan, co-directed by Preeti Kanungo and produced by Kashish Arts Foundation and Lotus Visual Productions, has been nominated for the 2023 Iris Prize of the Iris Prize LGBTQiA+ Film Festival, where the film will be presented by Kanungo. “We are the lone Indians to be nominated for this festival. We stand a chance to receive over Rs 30 lakh [30K pounds] if we win. It’s a great opportunity for our next film,” Yadav shared. The film is set in rural Madhya Pradesh, where younger sibling Khushan falls in love with a classmate of the same sex, and her elder sibling Malwa finds this difficult to accept. “It is a beautiful journey about [family] acceptance and the value it holds,” he said. This film was also simultaneously selected by the Tasveer Film Festival, and will be screened in Seattle on October 14.

Sourav Yadav

High on horror

Neil D’Silva and friend with (right) Tim Paxton

At a recent meet-up, Mumbai-based horror author Neil D’Silva exchanged conversations about films and books of the genre, with Indian horror buff Tim Paxton, who flew down from the USA to India. “We had connected over Facebook back in 2015. Tim had invited me to review horror films for his magazine Monster! in 2016, and we have been good friends ever since. Whenever we meet, we talk primarily about horror. This time, we met in a mall over coffee, and I gave him my latest release Sapna’s Bad Connection,” D’Silva said, and Paxton, who is currently in Delhi, added, “The book is the creepiest by far. I am reading a chapter per night as I travel across India. I have been a frequent visitor here for the past five years, and am back to research for my next book.” Paxton said that before he first arrived in the country, he had already written reviews and articles on roughly 300 Indian films.

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