Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Tyeb Mehta sets another record of Rs9.63 crore in auction

The 1988 oil on canvas 'Falling figure with Bird' is the fourth highest price achieved amongst Tyeb Mehta's other paintings sold across the world

Mumbai: Modernist painter Tyeb Mehta notched up another record when his oil painting fetched Rs9.63 crore ($1.8 million) at the recent online Saffronart Autumn art auction, becoming the most expensive artwork to be sold this season, reports PTI.
The 1988 oil on canvas "Falling figure with Bird" is the fourth highest price achieved amongst Mehta's other paintings sold across the world.
The late master's work was among 53 sold works out of a total of 75 works in Saffronart's annual online Autumn auction that featured 35 modern and contemporary Indian artists and raked up a total sales of Rs21.04 crores ($3.9 million).
Said to be one of the most important ones from Mehta's suite of falling figures, the painting draws on both Indian and Western myths and legends depicting an androgynous human figure entangled with that of a bird.
The figures, locked together in endless free fall, convey not only the anxiety and disquiet that the Mumbai -born Mehta carried with him following his experiences of the horrors of Partition and war, but also his engagement with modernist concepts like existentialism and "Universal Man".
Before the sale Saffronart had said they expected the work to fetch between Rs8.1 crores- Rs10.8 crores.
Mehta who died in 2009 was the first Indian artist to break the Rs1 crore barrier. In the year 2002 at a Christie's auction Mehta's "Celebration" fetched Rs1.5 crore. In the year 2005 his work "Mahishasura" again crossed the $1 million mark. In 2008 one of his paintings sold for $2 million. 
In December 2005, Mehta's painting "Gesture" was sold for Rs3.1 crores at the Osian's auction.
Previously, in the 2011 Saffronart Autumn Art auction, Tyeb Mehta's "Untitled" was the top lot and sold for Rs7.19 crores.
Another top attraction in the recently concluded Saffronart auction was a rare work by Amrita Sher Gill.
The rare 1931 painting "Untitled (Zebegeny Landscape)" fetched Rs3.24 crore falling within the estimated Rs3.24 -Rs4.32 crores. The canvas was one of only five paintings by the artist to have ever come up for public auction.
The landscape portrays a grassy path meandering along a thatched wall. While the light in the foreground is dappled, passing through a stand of tall trees on the right, the sky beyond them is a bright, clear blue.
Meanwhile acclaimed modernist painter M F Husain's "That Obscure Object of Desire Eight" fetched Rs1.17 crores. One untitled work of his went under the hammer for Rs71.64 lakhs while another was sold at Rs31.59 lakhs.
Francis Newton Souza's "Figure on Red & Green Background fetched Rs65.19 lakhs, NS Bendre's "Untitled" won the bid at Rs51.6 lakhs.
An untitled Ramkumar work fetched Rs48.72 lakhs while another of his untitled works went for Rs27.03 lakhs.
Contemporary artist Bharti Kher's "Indra's Net(6)" fetched Rs47.7 lakhs.


Dirty dealing: The Air India aircraft purchase could also unravel-Supreme Court issues notices to Centre

A petition refers to several of Praful Patel’s decisions, including ‘massive’ purchase of 111 aircraft for the national airline costing about Rs70,000 crore, taking a large number of planes on lease, giving up profit-making routes and timings in favour of private airlines and the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines

The Supreme Court of India Friday issued notices to the Centre and Air India on a plea seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into a raft of alleged irregularities at Air India during Praful Patel's tenure as civil aviation minister, allegedly to benefit private airlines. 
A bench comprising justices HL Dattu and CK Prasad sought a response from the government and Air India on a petition filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) a non-governmental organisation (NGO). The NGO has alleged that these decisions and irregularities had caused huge loss to Air India. Specifically, CPIL's petition refers to the 'massive' purchase of 111 aircraft for the national airline at a cost of over Rs70,000 crore, leasing a large number of planes, giving up several profit-making routes and timings to private airlines and the disastrous merger of Air India and Indian Airlines.
The NGO approached the apex court after the Delhi High Court refused to pass any order on CPIL's petition saying that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament is already looking into it.
"A responsible committee like PAC is looking into the matter and we are not giving any direction at this stage but expect for PAC to look into the matter from all angles..." the high court had said.
In its petition before the apex court, the NGO has alleged that the actions and decisions of the then civil aviation minister "ruined our national carriers, cost the national exchequer tens of thousands of crore and the only beneficiary of the above decisions were foreign aircraft manufacturers, private and foreign airlines".
"Thus the above actions were clearly made on extraneous considerations and resulted in pecuniary benefits to private companies, which is an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act".
The NGO has also referred to a CAG report which had stated that the decisions of the ministry do not "withstand audit scrutiny" and that the entire exercise was "a recipe for disaster ab initio" and "should have raised alarm signals in the government".
Following the SC notices, there is renewed hope that the findings of the CAG report as well as the alarm that had been sounded by Sunil Arora, former chairman and managing director (CMD) of Indian Airlines will finally see light of day. It is believed that Mr Arora, who is credited with turning around Indian Airlines during his tenure of 2002 to 2005 and making it profitable, was hounded out because he would not fall in line with Mr Patel's machinations.
Mr Arora had then written a detailed letter to the cabinet secretary BK Chaturvedi on 2 June 2005, documenting all that was wrong in the decisions which escalated the losses dramatically. Interestingly, existence of such a document came to light with the release of Delhi lobbyist Niira Radia's taped conversations with Mr Arora. 
Right to Information (RTI) activists who had written to the government seeking this document may like to know that the letter was denied to them because it was not written on 28 May 2005 as is wrongly believed but on 2 June 2005. We learn that Mr Arora wrote a second letter to the cabinet secretary on 10th June in which he documented his meeting with Mr Chaturvedi and elaborated on why it as wrong to force Indian Airlines to give up its bilaterals. 
While Praful Patel has got away with causing grave losses to the national carriers and a plan is afoot to bail them out through a massive infusion of funds by the exchequer, Sunil Arora continues to be punished for his remarkable work in having restored IA to its glory days for a brief period and for daring to speak against the minister. In August, the appointment's committee had approved the appointment of this Rajasthan cadre IAS officer as Development Commissioner (Handlooms) under the ministry of textiles, but it was promptly cancelled with the state claiming that it was unwilling to let him go to the Centre. 




5 years ago

Jay Ramdev Baba ki.

Ranbir Kapoor to play Kishore Kumar in Anurag Basu's biopic

After 'Barfi', Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Basu are coming together to make a biopic on Kishor Kumar, the most versatile singer, actor, director from Bollywood

Mumbai: Legendary singer-actor Kishore Kumar has become a source of inspiration for director Anurag Basu, who is making a "colourful and entertaining" biopic on him with Ranbir Kapoor in the lead, reports PTI.


"Ranbir, UTV and I, all three of us are committed to make this film. Ranbir is busy; he is doing two films in between. After 'Barfi', Ranbir and I will come together again for this movie," Basu told PTI.


Born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly, Kishore Kumar was a popular film playback singer and crooned in various languages including Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam and Oriya, apart from acting in a number of movies.


Being the youngest of four siblings, with elder brothers like Ashok Kumar and Anoop Kumar, Kishore was more interested in becoming a singer. He was not keen on acting, but Ashok Kumar wanted him to be an actor like himself.


For Basu, penning the story of the film is not an easy task, considering that Kishore Kumar was a legend.


"I have started writing it. It is a very tough job to write this, as the whole world will be looking at my work. I should be happy and sure of this film before I jump into shooting it," he said.


The legendary singer changed his name to Kishore Kumar and started his career as a chorus singer at Bombay Talkies.


Apart from singing many melodious and popular songs like 'Maana Janaab Ne Pukara Nahin', 'Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke', 'Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si', 'Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka', 'Chhod Do Aanchal', 'Mere Saamne Wali Khidki Mein' and others, Kishore acted in films and was known for his comic timing in 'Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi', 'Dilli Ka Thug', 'Half Ticket', 'Padosan' and others.


"The film will have madness of Kishoreda. I am lucky that this came to me, UTV was planning this movie, Shomit had written a script. I am a big fan of him. I think he was the most colourful person, so full of life. That's why we thought of making a biopic on his life. It will be a very entertaining film," Basu promised.


"I had locked this film with Ranbir when 'Barfi' was only one schedule old. I had offered it to him and he liked the idea very much and consented to do it," Basu added.


Ranbir will have to change his look to get into the boots of the stalwart singer.


"We did some look test of young Kishore Kumarji on him (Ranbir). We have gone through several such processes before zeroing in on him to play Kishoreda on screen," Basu said.


The film will bring back the black and white era where Kishore Kumar reigned as a comic star and trace his rise in Bollywood's playback scene.


"It is a biopic so we are not taking the liberty to make our own story. There are a lot of things that people don't know about him," Basu said.


Kishore Kumar's son Amit Kumar is involved at every stage to provide inputs for the film, Basu revealed.


"The family does not have a problem with the film. They have already given the green signal. They are helping us out a lot with his personal things, secrets, which the people are not aware of," he said.


Kishore Kumar had married four times. His first wife was Bengali singer and actress Ruma Ghosh. Their marriage lasted from 1950 to 1958.


He later married actress Madhubala, who had worked with him in many films including his home production "Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi" (1958) and "Jhumroo" (1961). They got married when she was sick with a heart ailment. However, the marriage was also strained and lasted nine years, ending with Madhubala's death in 1969.


Later, Kishore married Yogeeta Bali in 1976, but separated in 1978. Then he was married to actress Leena Chandavarkar from 1980 until his death. He has two sons, Amit Kumar (playback singer) with Ruma, and Sumit Kumar with Leena.


Meanwhile, speculations are rife that Katrina Kaif might be signed to play Madhubala in the film.


"We have not thought of anyone as a leading lady yet. As of now only the three of us (Basu, UTV and Ranbir) are final," he said.


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