The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay - an interesting beginning to my summer in Bombay
After a long year in Boston, I found myself finally back in Bombay with 3 months ahead of me and my head bursting with ideas on how to spend all my free time. Among other things on my list, was - READ. And so I began with Agatha Christie’s “Cards on the Table”, a Hercule Poirot mystery, the detective I’d come to know and love over years of reading. It was only then that I began to ruminate on my obsession with western authors. I’d read books by the hundred set all the way from California to North Carolina to London. And so I picked up “The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay”, not expecting much, just slightly proud of how Indian I was being reading a book by a man with a name as “desi”(local, Indian) as Siddharth Dhavant Shanghvi. It was about a photographer in Bombay, so I figured I may relate being as that was exactly me.
And then I began reading. My first thought was “Why the flaming hell have I never done this before.”. And by this I mean, read a book so personally intertwined with all the places I’d grown up in. A book that not just portrayed the enigmatic Human Condition, but captured the essence of Bombay- how the air itself was somehow always buzzing with some kind of mysterious life. A book that made me fall even more in love with my own home. Sanghvi began my summer with uplifting early morning jogs on Juhu beach, heady afternoon adventures to Chor Bazaar, and deep evening conversations on Marine Drive. I discovered the joy of reading a book that was set in a place I knew like the back of my hand, and wondered if this was how someone from North Carolina felt when reading one of Nicholas Spark’s novels. Were they as intensely, deeply moved? Or was that a charm singular to the thronging city of Bombay?
And so I look forward to 3 months filled with Indian authors, before I get back to Boston. Next in line? “Battle for Bittoria”, and “Those Pricey Thakur Girls” both by Anuja Chauhan.
Arzaan Khambatta - Scrap Metal Sculptor
Over my summer, I spent a lot of time at the amazing artist Arzaan Khambatta’s workshop. I learnt how to weld, cut and conceptualise in terms of scrap metal. I found that as I walked around his studio, his work inspired me a lot as did the scraps of metal lying around waiting to be made into something beautiful.
Mr. Khambatta’s work is innovative and involves a lot of use of the human figure, emphasising the muscle structure. One piece that really got my attention was that of a large hybrid of dragonfly and scorpion and human. The body was made from a motorcycle body, and was engraved beautifully by the artist.
“I gravitate towards places where humans have been and are no more, to the edge of man’s influence, where the elements are taking over or covering man’s traces.”
Kenna photographs in black and white, and his subject matter consists mostly of landscapes. He has brought an unprecedented view to photography, a unique and completely unusual mystery. Known primarily for his long-exposure night photography, he enjoys the unpredictability of night photography. He sometimes photographs in such a way that night appears to be day, creating an eerie feeling. I wrote my IB Extended Essay on this intriguing photographer, and found that most of his work rings of loneliness, desolation, seclusion. He creates spacial cues with solitary objects in large spaces and is a stickler for minimalism.
Aelita Andre : Child Prodigy
Aelita Andre, is 5 years old. And her paintings have sold for $24,000. What draws people to them? Is it knowing that she’s only 5 years old? Or is it the paintings themselves?
“If I wanted to stay in the fine art field, I knew I had to join my contemporaries and make ‘contemporary’ art. I knew that it was time to let go of all the finely-tuned skills I had acquired over the years, and just trust in the process of making art. The art world was telling me I had to break down my foundation, let my walls crumble, expose myself completely, and from there I will find the true essence of what I needed to say.”
PAIGE BRADLEY, SCULPTOR