The multifaceted and acclaimed screenwriter, photographer and director, Sooni Taraporevala’s second solo exhibition ‘Home in the City’ was hosted by Chemould Art Gallery at SoBo, till 1st November, 2017. Aptly subtitled ‘Bombay 1977 to Mumbai 2017’, the black-and-white photographs exhibited an eclectic mix of culture and communities, the elite and the populace – roadside barbers and sex-workers of Kamathipura jostling for space, along with Rishi and elder brother Randhir Kapoor at a Bombay Times party (2002) or dad Rajji at the premiere of Feroz Khan’s Janbaaz (1986) at the then single-screen Metro – the Navy Band welcoming Bollywood’s top brass.
In an anteroom in the gallery, one witnessed photographs which would have titillated the cockles of any Zoroastrian’s heart. A candid photo of Adi Godrej with a four-legged friend at a dog-show, Sooni’s hubby Firdaus with son Jehan, her parents cosily nestling at home, solemn photos of guests at the Doongerwadi or an elderly gentleman gazing contemplatively at Palmer bakery being demolished to make way for the adjacent Om Chambers.
Cutting through caste lines are photos of a Sardarji dancing, almost letting his hair, err… turban down and Catholics jiving in their bell-bottoms! But the most intriguing was a 1986 photo of the interior of film critic Rashid Irani’s iconic, Brabourne (defunct since 2008), full-length mirror-panelled paintings of Christ and Zoroaster signifying the restaurant’s main patrons, Catholics and Parsees. Those who missed out on this nostalgic exhibition, all the photos are chronicled in a book at Kitab Khana and other leading bookstores.
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