Three highly-anticipated books of the month:
Fool Me Twice
Nona Uppal's Fool Me Twice unfolds in the backdrop of New Delhi, offering readers an unconventional narrative that defies traditional romance tropes. In this captivating tale, we are introduced to a young couple eagerly planning their futures together, only to have life abruptly seize control of the steering wheel. The story delves into the intricate ways a twenty-year-old grapples with grief and the aftermath of a loss that would shatter individuals twice their age.
Under the Night Jasmine
Alternating between the realms of poetry and prose, Under the Night Jasmine is a multi-faceted world that invites readers to question not only its content but also the very act of writing itself. This literary creation unfolds as a coming-of-age novel, providing a micro-level examination of a man's world—one that simultaneously resists and captivates. As the narrative unfolds, the protagonist, Rohit, accustomed to a life of constant travel, finds himself compelled to embark on an introspective journey during the pandemic-induced lockdown.
Lorenzo Searches for the Meaning of Life
On a summer morning in 1977, the quiet town of Aquilina, Italy, witnesses a fateful collision when nineteen-year-old Lorenzo Senesi, riding his Vespa motorscooter, meets a speeding Fiat, resulting in a broken forearm that confines him to bed for a month. During this enforced hiatus, Lorenzo's contemplative mind is stirred by unfamiliar thoughts: questions about his origins, his destination, and the quest to unravel the path he should tread. Upamanyu Chatterjee's latest novel is a profound exploration of the extraordinary experiences within the life of an ordinary man.
Notes on a Marriage
Selma's second novel, Notes on a Marriage, unfolds the story of a couple bound by twenty years of matrimony, tethered together by middle-class sensibilities and a clandestine secret simmering beneath the facade. Taking place in Horton, London, the protagonist, Anju, embodies a mixed heritage, with a father who is a disillusioned Indian Marxist and a mother who is a submissive English woman. Anju finds herself wedded to Freddo, a serial philanderer. As she grapples with navigating his numerous infidelities, Anju eventually embarks on an affair of her own, setting in motion a transformative journey that reshapes the trajectory of their marriage.
In the expansive backdrop of the north-east of India, this novel unfurls as a lyrical exploration of male friendships and love. It delves into a man's multifaceted affection — one for a woman, and another, a more militant love for community and nation. The narrative spans across vibrant locales, from Guwahati to Dhaka, Bhutan, and London. The ebb and flow of action surge and quieten as we encounter characters and situations so intimately rendered that it becomes challenging to disengage until the final word has been read.
Three highly-anticipated movies and shows releasing soon:
Bhumi Pednekar makes a compelling return to a deglamorized role in Bhakshak, produced by Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment. Scheduled for release on February 9 on Netflix, this film draws inspiration from true events and unfolds the poignant journey of an unwavering woman, Vaishali Singh, portrayed by Bhumi Pednekar, on a relentless quest for justice. As an investigative journalist, Vaishali is determined to expose a heinous crime, shedding light on the harsh realities of crimes against women.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui unleashes his acting brilliance in Rashik Khan's upcoming film, Section 108, where he shares the screen with Regina Cassandra. The narrative unfolds as an insurance agent, Shika, portrayed by Regina Cassandra, discovers that a missing billionaire poses a potential threat to bankrupt her agency. Suspecting foul play, Shika joins forces with a formidable lawyer, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Together, they embark on a journey to connect the dots between the missing billionaire and his nominee, unraveling a complex web of intrigue and suspense.
Argylle stands out as one of the most highly anticipated films of the year, boasting a star-studded ensemble featuring Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Cena. The plot revolves around Elly Conway, a reclusive spy novelist whose quiet life takes an unexpected turn when the events of her literary creations align with the sinister activities of a malevolent organization. As Aiden, an undercover agent, strives to rescue Elly from the imminent threats of abduction or murder, the story unfolds into a high-stakes espionage adventure.
All India Rank
Steeped in the pop culture of liberalised India in the 1990s, multi-hyphenate Varun Grover’s semi-autobiographical debut feature All India Rank is a smart, bittersweet portrait of a nascent national hallucination. Leaning on Grover’s characteristically acerbic wit and eloquent lines, the film diagnoses the malaise of a society where children squander their best years living their parents’ dreams and parents let their self-worth repose on their children’s achievements.
In a departure from the usual genre, Madame Web unfolds as a standalone origin story, shedding light on one of Marvel publishing's most enigmatic heroines. This suspense-driven thriller features Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb, a paramedic in Manhattan who undergoes a transformative experience, gaining the power to foresee the future. As she grapples with this newfound ability, Cassandra realizes she has the potential to alter the course of events. Forced to confront revelations about her own past, she forms a unique bond with three young women, each destined for great power, provided they can navigate the challenges of a perilous present.
Three events that you should attend:
Hosted by the dynamic Nikhil Chinapa, VH1 Supersonic is set to take place in the Mahalaxmi Lawns, Pune, with a three-day extravaganza. The anticipation is already building as the first phase of the lineup promises an exciting array of performances. Featuring heavyweights like Major Lazer Soundsystem delivering dance beats, techno maestro Adam Beyer and the homegrown sensation King with his dynamic singer-rapper flow, the lineup also includes Dennis Horvat, Yotto, The Midnight, Arjun Vagale, Taba Chake, Kohra, and more.
Anubandh - Connectedness
Malavika Sarukkai, a recipient of the Padma Shri award, is renowned for her choreographies that encapsulate originality, intelligence, and a mastery of technique. Her dances breathe life into a dynamic movement vocabulary, ingeniously bridging the realms of dance and the world that surrounds us. In this solo recital, curated and choreographed by the eminent danseuse herself, Malavika Sarukkai delves into the profound concept of 'anubandh'—the interconnectedness between nature and life.
Synapse Conclave is a distinctive conference celebrating human ingenuity with some of the most exciting boundary-shifters of our time. More than just a showcase of breakthrough inventions, this conference explores the fascinating intersections between science, technology, and society. Their distinguished lineup includes a Nobel Laureate, a three-time Pulitzer winner, an AI pioneer, a biohacker, the father of solar tech, a Vedanta master, scientists, superstars, and many more.
India Art Fair
The India Art Fair stands as the flagship event in India's cultural calendar, featuring more than 90 pioneering galleries and institutions showcasing the works of some of the world's most iconic artists. This premier destination for South Asian creativity goes beyond the traditional art exhibition, offering a diverse range of activities such as talks, workshops, and artist projects, including film screenings and live performances. Explore the realm of modern and contemporary art from South Asia at this extraordinary event, scheduled to take place from February 1 to 4, 2024, in the vibrant city of New Delhi.
The eagerly awaited 2024 edition of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival is poised to enchant audiences from February 1st to 5th, 2024, at the prestigious Hotel Clarks Amer in Jaipur. A beacon of innovation and cultural enrichment, the Festival has carved its niche as a dynamic platform where art, literature, and heritage seamlessly converge. The upcoming edition promises a curated selection of diverse sessions, each thoughtfully designed to spotlight various facets of art and culture. Attendees can anticipate an immersive experience that exults in the profound richness and diversity of creative expressions.
Spoken, a multi-stage performing arts festival, is a two-day celebration of emotions. Prepare to experience a spectrum ranging from laughter and tears to awe, thoughtfulness, and, most importantly, a sense of togetherness. Encompassing music, theatre, poetry, and stories, this festival is a vibrant tapestry of human expression. Its purpose is to guide everyone on a journey of self-discovery and unlock their latent creativity. The fest is going to be held at Jio World Garden Mumbai from Feb 3rd - 4th.
Goa Open Arts
Immerse yourself in the diverse creativity of Goa at the second edition of the Goa Open Arts Festival, taking place from February 23-28, 2024, at the historic Old GMC complex in the heart of Panjim. This dynamic event celebrates Goa as a melting pot of global creativity, showcasing the region's artistic talent across a rich tapestry of visual arts, music, spoken word, performance, theatre, and film. In addition to captivating artistic expressions, the festival offers a delightful array of food, drinks, live sessions, and workshops, making it a gathering place for friends and families, the young and young at heart, as well as for art lovers and pleasure seekers.
The Gin Explorers Club: Retroverse Edition
Prepare to unlock a weekend-long cocktail party that's a veritable cheat code for fun! The Gin Explorers Club proudly presents a joystick-worthy selection of International and Homegrown Gins, accompanied by artists who'll keep that disco vibe going strong. As you sip on your favorite gin creations, indulge in the delights from pop-up food joints that serve up power-ups for your taste buds. Get ready for a retro-futuristic celebration that blends the best of global and local flavors with a dash of disco magic!
Music albums to tune into:
Zara Larsson's forthcoming album, Venus, signals a significant evolution, almost like a re-introduction to her audience. In an interview with Billboard, Larsson emphasizes that Venus represents a robust body of work of which she is immensely proud. What sets this album apart is her refusal to be confined to a single genre, showcasing her artistic versatility and growth. Additionally, vulnerability emerges as a common thread throughout the project, with Larsson confidently embracing her inner goddess. Through introspection and a genuine exploration of self, Venus promises to be a testament to Larsson's artistic maturity and a celebration of her authentic identity.
This Is Me…Now
This Is Me…Now marks Jennifer Lopez's highly anticipated return to the studio album scene after nearly a decade, commemorating the anniversary of its sister album, This is Me…Then. Accompanying the album release is a film of the same name, offering fans a multi-dimensional experience. Described as an "intimate, fantastical, and narrative-driven reflection," the movie intimately explores Jennifer Lopez's personal journey of self-healing and self-love. Through a blend of fantasy and reality, both the album and the film promise to captivate audiences and provide a unique insight into the artist's evolving narrative and musical expression.
Band on the Run
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Paul McCartney & Wings' iconic 1973 album, Band on the Run, three special physical editions are set to be reissued. Among them, two editions will feature previously unheard early mixes without overdubs. Originally met with enormous critical and commercial success, the album dominated charts in both the UK and America, giving rise to multiple hit singles. Band on the Run became the benchmark against which all future Wings and McCartney albums would be judged, with the phrase "his best album since Band on the Run becoming a frequently heard accolade.
Djesse Vol. 4
Conceived in the renowned studio adjacent to his London bedroom and crafted in various corners of the globe, Djesse has been the exploration of Jacob Collier's most audacious dreams. The fourth volume brings this musical series to a dramatic and thrilling conclusion. Collier, proud of his music's unclassifiable nature, leads listeners into distinct sonic universes with each installment, likening them to the different phases of a day. With Vol. 4, the saga culminates at the incandescent light of dawn, transmuting a full spectrum of emotion into a monumental, joyous moment of awakening and human potential.