On The Radar: Who & What You Should Be Checking Out This Month
Sapna Pabbi is talented, beautiful and definitely has one of the hottest Instagrams in the country. But let’s talk about all the exciting new projects that she is a part of, shall we? Pabbi will be seen next in Bombers, an upcoming Zee5 original web series, in which she plays a pivotal role. She also features in the much-hyped Drive alongside Jacqueline Fernandez and Sushant Singh Rajput, directed by Tarun Mansukhani. And to top it all, Pabbi’s also stars in the wildly successful Inside Edge 2. This is going to be a busy year for this actress, and we couldn’t wish for anything better.
Mukherjee’s @thekuttekabaccha is a surrealist and absurdist take on consumption, ego, millennial entitlement, and social media frenzy. A pup’s head is used in various satirical situations to describe the “Raja Beta” syndrome that today’s generation suffers from — the constant need to be pampered, for demands to be met and for the ego to be mollycoddled. Striking artworks that shock you first, and then become an insightful experience, this handle is definitely a must-follow-right-now.
It’s a delight to see so many artists dabbling with visual satire on Instagram. Rohan More’s @goat_horn_ recently was on everybody’s radar after he put up a striking art piece of a fisherwoman selling fish in slim shades and Supreme and LV clothing. A powerful jibe at brand obsession and hype culture, More’s Vilayati Shauk series is definitely a kickass attempt at saying it like it is.
Part-quirky, part-commentary, Antony Vincent’s sketches draw from pop culture figures and contemporary Indian commentaries. His pieces are conversation-starters and definitely leave quite a lasting impact. Check out his artworks (he also dabbles in automotive design) at @_antiexe_. The man is also setting up a comic series based on the daily discussions – and misfortunes – in his middle-class Malayali home. I am specifically in love with his Malayali renditions of the Stranger Things characters.
Nothing’s more fun than modern Indian grub. They pair really well with alcohol, is conversation-friendly, and does not fill you up as much as their traditional versions would. Shor’s menu is a winner in that area. Serving contemporary adaptations of Goan, Maharashtrian and Malayali dishes with global elements thrown in, this restaurant is doing the regional food trend good service. For those who find hummus a boring appetizer, try Shor’s Tadka twist. Munch on Koliwada Prawns and Chicken Chettinad (really pretty presentation), the Truffle Oil, Cheese, Chicken Garlic Naan Bombs are, well, da bomb (killing it with the millennial lingo, amirite?) and definitely try out the flatbreads.
THE BADAMTAM HERITAGE MOONLIGHT SPRING WHITE TEA BY TEABOX
Priced at 2,00,000 INR a kilogram, Teabox has launched India’s most expensive tea. Yeah, read that once again. The Badamtam Heritage Moonlight Spring White tea is controlled-grown at an altitude of 4,800 ft and definitely promises to be a mind-blowing experience for tea connoisseurs. But what’s the big deal, right? For starters, the tea is extremely rare and does not pop up everywhere. Secondly, it can be easily steeped up to five times, with each steep representing a different flavour and mouthfeel. For example, the first steep, while being intensely floral, quickly changes into fruity liquor at the second steep. The third time round is more vegetal while the latter two are strong floral experiences. A-different-taste-with-every-sip is really not something teas promise. A perfect gifting option, Teabox has also designed gifting boxes in colonial colours for this exquisite tea.
Definitely my biggest obsession right now, VR gaming has finally arrived in India, people. Zero Latency in Mumbai is a spacious new VR gaming zone, stocked with guns and backpacks, allows you to play with your gang of friends (up to 8 people at a time) and maintains a common scoreboard for you to take up as challenges and defeat. The quality of VR is commendable and the visual and audio experience is an absolute delight. Choose from a bunch of games – spatial dynamics, zombie fighting and singularity – but, trust me, go for the zombie fighting one. You get to blast some undeads with four different kinds of shotguns and snipers. What’s not to love? It’s interactive, fun and is a great way to burn calories (okay, maybe not the last bit).
THE GREAT INDIAN FANDOM CONFERENCE
Hosted by the Godrej India Culture Lab, The Great Indian Fandom Conference is a two-day conference (20-21 September) in Mumbai that will bring together experts and artists to discuss fandom. From Bollywood fan universes to Tik Tokers, football clubs to the BTS ARMY, South Indian cinema to global transcultural fandoms – the conference is a great concept to discuss a social and pop-culture trend that is part-sensational, part-shocking. Trying to distance itself from sweeping simplistic notions of “brainwashing”, this conference plans to engage in conversations. The line up features masterclasses, panel discussions, book launches, and film screenings, with names like Paromita Vohra, Samreen Farooqui, Fawzia Mirza and Rukmini Pande headlining the event.
ARTISAN LAB CAFÉ, DELHI
Part-restaurant, part-laboratory, Artisan Lab Cafe is a dynamic lounge concept which serves as a relaxation and rejuvenating space along with serving a highly-curated, primarily plant-based menu that is meant to nourish and heal. The keywords that run this space are “organic”, “nutritious” and “fresh local produce”. Trust them also to be completely plastic-free and have a variety of gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan options. Having said all that, the food’s delicious too. Try the Panzanella, Baked Brie, the Cacio e pepe and the Pastel del Tres Leches.
COW AND COMPANY BY PRASHAR KULKARNI
A brave and hilarious debut set in colonial India, Cow and Company begins with the British Chewing Gum Company setting up shop in Bombay with the mission of introducing chewing gum in the colonies. They declare paan, which is in all mouths at all times, as their enemy. A cow is chosen as the mascot. It is up on all the posters. Religious sentiments are hurt. What begins as a search for a cow ends up in a catastrophe. With laugh-out-loud moments, ingenious use of language, and a spellbinding interplay of fantasy and myth, Cow and Company uses satire to take stock of the state of the nation, religion and capital, back then and what’s happening today. The author, Prashar Kulkarni, teaches at Yale-NUS College and has received several awards including the British Academy Brian Barry Prize and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.