A cool pop culture guide to help you trounce the summer heat.
To paraphrase T S Eliot, May is the cruellest month. The big ball of fire that had been beaten backwards in spring launches a swift and sudden assault in May, bringing in its wake a trail of intense heat and dust. With temperatures crossing 40 degrees in some parts of the country, the only way out is to escape into the hills, or take the earliest flight out to the exotic getaway on your bucket list.
But if you, like us, are amongst the unlucky few who have no vacation planned for the month, fret not. We’ve hunted out the best happenings from the world of pop culture to help you stay smiling and serene this May. So here are the movies to watch, books to read and events to plunge into – Happy Summers!
Movies and Television
The biggest release of May – sorry, 2014 – is obviously Kochadaiiyaan, which showcases the Thalaiva in three leading roles, with stars like Deepika Padukone & Jackie Shroff supporting him. No surprise that the movie is already expected to break all box office records – it is the superstar’s first major release post his hospitalization in 2011. If you don’t believe us, just ask Twitter – it just joined Rajini Sir.
Releasing May 9, in both Tamil & Hindi (The latest update is that the release may get postponed, yet again).
Million Dollar Arm
When has it happened that a Hollywood movie is shown in India before its worldwide release? This can happen only if there is cricket in the script and baseball on the pitch . Since we are officially boycotting the IPL, we’ll satisfy our cricket cravings by watching this tale of a baseball coach who recruits Indian cricketers for his Major League team. With Jon Hamm in the lead, how bad can it be?
Releasing May 9.
Hansal Mehta , whose debut film Shahid swept the National Awards (best film, best actor for Rajkumar Rao) returns with City Lights. The film, starring Rajkumar Rao again and débutante Patralekha, is the tale of a Rajasthani family that comes to Mumbai in search of a new life. While migration to the city of dreams is Bollywood’s favourite trope, we are positive Mehta & Rao will bring something new to the table. Then there is also the lilting Muskarane by Arijit Singh.
Releasing May 23.
It’s hard to find a relatively privileged young man who lived, and died, for his values – and harder still to find a director who staked his life’s savings to make a movie on this man. For that alone, we can’t wait to see Manjunath – and we hope from the bottom of our hearts that the movie inspires the youth of this country to demand honesty and integrity – from themselves and from their elected representatives.
Releasing May 9.
Also releasing this month is Tiger Shroff’s Heropanti, whose trailer we reviewed last month. We like Jackie’s young boy, but are we fast, furious and flexible enough to venture out on May 23? Let’s just say that it will need a lot of motivation (or a huge power cut).
Great Indian Elections
The biggest show on telly will take place on May 16, when counting of votes takes place to decide the fate of the country. Cross you fingers and stay glued to the telly, or Twitter!
The Snow Leopard
It’s been on our reading list for ages, but it was Peter Matthiessen’s recent death that prompted us to pick up The Snow Leopard for our May reading. Matthiessen’s trek into the Himalayas in search of blue sheep and the snow leopard, a year after his wife’s death, is as much a tale of mental grit as of physical courage.
This is a fantastic month for theatre lovers, especially those living in Delhi & Mumbai.
Delhi will witness two highly anticipated performances on May 10 – Gulzar’s play Pansa premiers at the Srifort Auditorium, accompanied by recitation of his poetry. On the same day, the highly successful Ghalib In New Delhi will also be staged in Delhi.
The highlight of the Mumbai theatre calendar is the NCPA Summer Fiesta, a month long carnival for children of all ages to sing, dance, write, act and engage in several other creative activities. Starting May 2, the festival will witness 10 plays culminating in a grand finale on June 1.
Also on our radar in Mumbai is Blame it on Yashraj on 18 May – a wicked satire on the Bollywood-ization of Indian weddings.
Meanwhile, Rangashankara, Bangalore’s favourite theatre venue, kicks off its week long Kannada Theatre Festival on May 20.
Delhi’s National Museum is possibly the richest custodian of our cultural heritage, but for years it was plagued with forbidding personnel and a bewildering layout – the bane of Indian museums everywhere. All that seems to have changed, and there are two events that we are most excited about – The Body In Indian Art Exhibition which brings together 220+ works on India (on till June 7) and a three day workshop on Tanjore painting for school children (May 18 – 21).
American rapper duo LMFAO give their first live performance in India, with shows in Gurgaon’s Kingdom of Dreams on May 10 and Mumbai’s Blu Frog on May 11. It’s time for Party Rock Anthem!
For lovers of classical music, the Bombay Chamber Orchestra is celebrating its Golden Jubliee Year with a performance at the NCPA on May 11, with with guest musicians from none other than the famous London Philharmonic Orchestra.
And finally, Delhi’s music lovers can rejoice at the re-opening of Blu Frog!
Food walks are becoming increasingly popular in Indian, but the Bangalore Eats Food Walk comes with a twist – there is a clue that you need to crack to proceed to each foodie destination. The second edition of these Walks will kick off at Only Place, our favourite Bangalore haunt, on May 11.
Lovers of stand up comedy have much to laugh about this May, with shows by the Canvas Laugh Factory in Mumbai, Laugh Shaff in NCR and Family Tandoncies in Bangalore.
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Photo Credit: Ibnlive