On Saturday night at Dusk (time AND place) a curious combination events unfolded over the launch of Sangeeta Wadhwani’s debut novel “Bollywood on the Bend.” Described as a bit of a pot-boiler from what I gathered the story revolves around the inner workings of Bollywood delivered with Daniel Steel-esque raunchiness and some heavy-duty (and somewhat pretentious) references to Goddesses and scripture. Enter renowned Bharat Natyam dancer, Shanta Rati Mishra who acted out portions of the text through “interpretive dance” – apparently on the fly (clearly not someone you should challenge to a game of dumb charades.)
Preeti Jhangiani put in a token (sort of) celebrity appearance (turns out she’s also on the cover) and Simi Garewal launched the book (clearly they were going for gold with filmy cliches here.) The evening also featured cinema’s leading photographers Vikram Bawa, Avinash Gowarikar and Daboo Ratnani’s as yet “unseen” collection of Bollywood pictures and a few manequins with original costumes from the movies Jodha Akbar, Devdas, Drona and Krish while the likes of Neeta Lulla, Gary Richarson and Fahad Samar did their best to look impressed.
But coming back to the interpretive dance. While clearly Shanta Rati Mishra is a very talented performer, putting a fictional novel of this nature to dance is kind of like putting Sex in the City to song (i.e. heavy on the cheese-factor.)