There are two sparkling young ladies in the art space that i like extending support to - Punita, who runs 'Hacienda' , and Priyashri Patodia who has set up a foundation that bears her name. Punita is a true bohemian who can be found serving masala chai to visitors at her gallery tucked into a narrow gully close to Lion's Gate at Fort. Her enthusiasm is highly infectious and I love her passion for plants ( I'm forever stealing hers). She is currently hosting a 'Postcards' show that is bound to find several takers. Never mind that Sunil Paudwal is selling his for 20,000. I've liked whatever I've seen, especially the charming postcards painted by young artists from Baroda. These are affordable and attractive, priced at a reasonable 5,000. Next up is 'Devis and Diyas' of Gujarat - a case of perfect timing, with Navratri round the corner. Over the years, I have bought some really great art from Punita - not big names, but big talents.
Priyashri is also hosting a worthwhile auction this friday. It's offering works created by under- privileged (class 8 and 9 ) children from a government school. The effort deserves to be lauded and supported since these children rarely receive this kind of exposure and encouragement. The idea is to raise enough money to set up scholarships for deserving kids to pursue their dreams later. Priyashri is another bubbly, vivacious art promoter with a good eye and an even better heart.
I just loved Arun Shourie's Humpty Dumpty comment. He is the master of repartee and it is great to see him back to his old feisty self - not sparing anybody and slicing through opponents effortlessly. We meet rarely since I avoid Delhi and I guess, he avoids Mumbai. But whenever we do run into each other, he invariably announces me as the person who got him sacked as the editor of the Indian Express!! We have a good laugh over this. But looking back at that candid interview with Shourie that I'd conducted for my magazine, I can see how it must have jolted his then boss, the indomitable Ramnath Goenka ( supreme maalik of the Express Group), into summarily dismissing his high profile editor.
Woh din hi alag theh.... tum rahey na tum.... hum rahe na hum....