On the agenda

Delhi weekend cultural calendar: A handicrafts bazaar, French blues-rock gig, and more

There's a lot happening in the nation's capital over the next three days.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
PHOTOGRAPHY Prabuddha Dasgupta: A Journey at the National Gallery of Modern Art
An exhibition of images by the late photographer. Tickets are priced at Rs 20 of Indians above the age of 18 and Rs 500 for adult foreign nationals. There is no entry fee for students and visitors below the age of 18.
When: Until Sunday, November 22. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm; Monday, closed.
Where: National Gallery of Modern Art, Jaipur House, India Gate. Tel: 011 2338 4640.

PHOTOGRAPHY Paraxdox (on the poetry by Pilar Paz Pasamar) at Instituto Cervantes
Photographer Ajay Sharma’s exhibition is his response to the work of the Spanish poet. See here for more information.
When: Until Saturday, October 3. Open Tuesday to Friday, from 11 am to 7 pm; Saturday, Sunday and Monday, closed.
Where: Instituto Cervantes, 48 Hanuman Road, Connaught Place. Tel: 011 4368 1907.

SHOPPING & STYLE Crossing Boundaries at Nature Bazaar
This crafts bazaar will have a range of handicrafts on offer. There is an entry fee of Rs 20. See here for more information.
When: Until Monday, September 28, from 11 am to 7.30 pm.
Where: Nature Bazaar, Kisan Haat, Andheria Modh. Tel: 011 2680 8633.

ART Sunil Padwal + Abit Karmakar + Unnikrishnan C at Galleryske
Sunil Padwal’s Intertwined Plasticity is a set of drawings on the theme of memory. Abir Karmakar’s Follow Piece is a series of paintings on voyeurism in the age of the internet. And Unnikrishnan C’s Brick Wall Diary is an actual wall constructed of bricks made in his hometown Pezhumpara in Kerala. The artist has painted and carved urban scenes on the wall. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Until Saturday, October 10. Open Wednesday to Monday, from noon to 8 pm; Tuesday, closed.
Where: Galleryske, First Floor, Shivam House, F-14 Middle Circle, Connaught Place. Tel: 011 6565 2724.

BOOKS Long Night of Literatures at Instituto Cervantes
Nine authors from across Europe and India will read from their published works for 20 minutes each. India-born Barcelona-based television presenter and documentary filmmaker Asha Miro and Raj Kamal Jha, chief editor of The Indian Express newspaper are among the participating authors in this event organised by the Goethe Institut. To reserve a spot, email longnightlit@gmail.com. See here for the complete list of authors.
When: Friday, September 25 at 5.30 pm.
Where: Instituto Cervantes, 48 Hanuman Road, Connaught Place. Tel: 011 4368 1907.

DANCE MUSIC Parampara Series at Kamani Auditorium
An annual three-day festival organised by kuchipudi duo Radha and Raja Reddy. On Friday, September 25, the Reddys will perform followed by Hindustani classical vocalist Sanjeev Abhayankar. On Saturday, September 26, Manipuri dancer Preeti Patel will take the stage followed by tabla player Anuradha Pal. On Sunday, September 27, actor Suhasini Maniratnam, mohiniattam dancer Gopika Varma, kuchipudi artist Yamini Reddy and bharatanatyam dancer Krithika Subramanium will present a dance-theatre performance followed by a Carnatic classical recital by singer Sudha Raghuraman and flautist G Raghuraman. To register for free passes, visit Eventbrite.com.
When: Friday, September 25 to Sunday, September 27 at 7 pm.
Where: Kamani Auditorium, 1 Copernicus Marg, Mandi House, near Doordarshan Kendra, Connaught Place. Tel: 011 4350 3352.

COMEDY Jeeveshu Ahluwalia + Sumit Anand + Naveen Richard at Striker Pub and Kitchen
The stand-up comics will each present a set at this event organised by Canvas Laugh Club. Tickets priced at Rs 600 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Friday, September 25 at 7.30 pm.
Where: Striker Pub and Kitchen, Third Floor, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj. Tel: 011 4087 0040.

DANCE Swaraah at Epicentre
A performance by dancers from the Rachana Yadav Kathak Studio to music by guitarist Susmit Sen and vocalist Samiullah Khan. Tickets priced at Rs 300 and Rs 500 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com. See here for more information.
When: Friday, September 25 at 7.30 pm.
Where: Epicentre, Apparel House, opposite Power Grid Residential Complex, Sector 44, Gurgaon. Tel: 0124 271 5000.

MUSIC Matteo Fraboni Trio at Depot 29
The jazz band fronted by the Italian drummer and composer will perform. Call the venue for details of the entry fee, if any. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, September 25 at 8.45 pm.
Where: Depot 29, Levels 2 & 3, B6/2 Commercial Complex, Humayunpur, Safdarjung Enclave. Tel: 97174 50029.

MUSIC Echo with Compa at AntiSocial
British dubstep DJ and producer Compa aka William Brown will headline this edition of the recently-launched monthly gig series dedicated to the culture of the sound system. There is a cover charge of Rs 300 per head. See the Facekbook event page for more information.
When: Friday, September 25 at 9 pm.
Where: AntiSocial, 9A & 12, Third Floor, Hauz Khas Village. Tel: 78386 52814.

MUSIC Lucas & Steve at Kitty Su
The Dutch house music duo of Lucas de Wert and Steven Jansen will man the decks. The entry fee is Rs 500 per head for single women and Rs 750 for couples. Book a spot here.
When: Friday, September 25 at 9 pm.
Where: Kitty Su, The Lalit, Barakhamba Lane, Connaught Place. Tel: 1800 11 6777.

MUSIC Midival Punditz at Raasta
The veteran electro-folk fusion duo made up of composer-producers Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj will play a DJ set. Call the venue for details of the entry fee, if any. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, September 25 at 9 pm.
Where: Raasta, 30-A, First Floor, Hauz Khas Village. Tel: 011 4062 3028.

MUSIC Vinayak^A at Summer House Café
The Bangalore-based electronic music DJ-producer will take over the console. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, September 25 at 9 pm.
Where: Summer House Café, First Floor, DDA Shopping Complex, Aurbindo Place Market, Hauz Khas. Tel: 93509 27000.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
DANCE Pandit Durgalal Festival at Sangeet Natak Akademi
Organised by kathak dancer Uma Dogra and the Sam Ved Society for Performing Arts, the 25th anniversary of the festival is a day-long event with performances by Dogra, bharatanatyam dancer Janaki Rangarajan and Odissi artist Ranjana Gauhar. The event is free.
When: Saturday, September 26 at 6.30 pm.
Where: Meghdoot Theatre, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, 35, Ferozeshah Road. Tel: 011 2300 9200.

THEATRE Aruna’s Story at India Habitat Centre
Directed by Arvind Gaur and enacted by Lushin Dubey, this monologue is based on Pinki Virani’s eponymous book about Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse at KEM Hospital in Mumbai who was brutally sexually assaulted by a ward boy in 1973. She remained in a vegetative state till May this year, when she died. Tickets priced at Rs 350 and Rs 500 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27 at 7 pm.
Where: The Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road. Tel: 011 2468 2002.

MUSIC Mame Khan at Qla
The Rajasthani folk music vocalist will launch and sing tracks from his new album Desert Sessions. Call the venue for details of the entry fee, if any. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Saturday, September 26 at 8 pm.
Where: Qla, Kila, Seven Style Mile, 4A Kalka Das Marg, next to Qutub Minar, Mehrauli. Tel: 011 3231 8233.

COMEDY The Humour Showdown at Club Rhino
A stand-up set by comedians Appurv Gupta and Abhijit Ganguly. Comedian Kishore Dayani will present the opening act. Tickets priced at Rs 500 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Saturday, September 26 at 8.15 pm.
Where: Club Rhino, 312, DLF South Point Mall, DLF Phase 5, DLF Golf Course Road, Gurgaon. Tel: 82873 21878.

MUSIC Anushka and Agent at Bunmanchi
The DJ duo of Anushka Menon and Smita Singh aka Agent will spin a set that’s likely to include everything from funk, disco and R&B to hip hop, house and trap. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Saturday, September 26 at 9 pm.
Where: Bunmachi, Building M 20, M Block Market, Greater Kailash II. Tel: 011 465 7867.

MUSIC Miguel Bastida at I-Kandy
The Spanish tech-house and techno DJ and producer will perform a gig as part of this ongoing tour of India. There is an entry fee of Rs 500 per head. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Saturday, September 26 at 10 pm.
Where: I-Kandy, Le Meridien, MG Road, Sector 26, Delhi-Gurgaon Border, Gurgaon. Tel: 0124 499 2000.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
WALKS Chandni Chowk
Tour company Seek Sherpa will take participants on a guided walk around the Chandni Chowk area, covering places such as Mirza Ghalib’s haveli, the wholesale market Chawri Bazaar and Jama Masjid. The walk will end with snacks and sweets at some of the area’s popular eateries. The walk will begin at the Chandni Chowk McDonald’s. Tickets priced at Rs 700 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com. The ticket includes two desserts.
When: Sunday, September 27 at 4.30 pm.
Where: McDonald’s, Commercial Complex, Kumar Theatre, Chandni Chowk.

MUSIC Neuromotor at I-Kandy
The French trance music DJ and producer born Frederic Talaa will perform. There is an entry fee of Rs 500 per head until 9 pmand of Rs 750 per head after 9 pm. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Sunday, September 27 at 6 pm.
Where: I-Kandy, Le Meridien, M. G. Road, Sector 26, Delhi-Gurgaon Border, Gurgaon. Tel: 0124 499 2000.

COMEDY Things They Wouldn’t Let Me Say at Alliance Francaise
Stand-up comic Aditi Mittal from Mumbai will riff on issues plaguing the modern Indian woman in this show. Tickets priced at Rs 500 and Rs 700 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, September 27 at 6.30 pm and 8 pm.
Where: Alliance Francaise, 72 Lodhi Estate, Lodhi Road. Tel: 011 4350 0200.

MUSIC Lil Red and the Roosters at Qla
The blues-rock band from France, which features vocalist Jennifer Milligan, guitarist Pascal Fouquet and harmonica player Thomas Troussier, will play the Delhi leg of their ongoing tour of the country. Call the venue for details of the entry fee, if any. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Saturday, September 26 at 7 pm.
Where: Qla, Kila, Seven Style Mile, 4A Kalka Das Marg, next to Qutub Minar, Mehrauli. Tel: 011 3231 8233.

THEATRE The Mahabharata of Women at Epicenter
Directed by KS Rajendran, this play is based on an old Tamil legend about a young woman, a victim of honour killing at the hands of her brothers, who uses her dying breath to curse the descendants of her clan. The story is told from the clanswomen’s point of view and through surreal interactions with female characters of the Mahabharata such as Kunti and Draupadi. Tickets priced at Rs 300 and Rs 400 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, September 27 at 7.30 pm.
Where: Epicentre, Apparel House, opposite Power Grid Residential Complex, Sector 44, Gurgaon. Tel: 0124 271 5000.

MUSIC Taba Chake at Depot 29
The guitarist  and composer from Arunachal Pradesh will present a set. Call the venue for details of the entry fee, if any. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Sunday, September 27 at 8 pm.
Where: Depot 29, Levels 2 & 3, B6/2 Commercial Complex, Humayunpur, Safdarjung Enclave. Tel: 97174 50029.

ONGOING
ART Cosmology to Cartography: A Cultural Journey of Indian Maps at the National Museum
An exhibition of vintage Indian maps sourced from the Kalakriti Archives in Hyderabad that includes both cosmological representations of the universe and cartographic depictions of the country. Tickets are priced at Rs 20 per head for Indians and Rs 650 per head (inclusive of the audio tour) for foreigners. See here for more information.
When: Until Sunday, October 11. Open daily, from 10 am to 5 pm.
Where: Special Exhibition Hall-I, National Museum, Janpath, Rajpath Road Area, Central Secretariat. Tel: 011 2379 2775.

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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.