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Obsessions… playing with piano keys

My partner suffers from the occasional bout of artistic obsession…

For some time, it wasn’t a new film, play or even music. It was piano keys!

No it wasn’t playing piano… it was creating art installations out of piano keys from one of first pianos in Bandra… as in over 100 years old!

The keys laid out on the kitchen table just after manic cleaning

The keys laid out after manic cleaning

What happened to the piano that came with these keys? Well… it was transformed into a bar some time ago. I recently met its owner and saw photos of its transformation – remarkable!

What happened to the piano keys? Here are a few of the pieces my partner created.

One project in process…

One project in progress...

Wait…. wait… wait….

And the finished product:


There are also very practical “Keys for keys”

Key for Keys

He also created a “Leaning tower of keys” and the final project was the “Key Lamp” which had a few iterations before finally becoming what you see here…

Key lamp

I’ve often been the beneficiary of his obsessions. When he says, “Let’s not get rid of it. I have an idea…” Chances are something quite interesting will be the result.

Anyone have an obsessive quality? Any interesting outcomes?

Related posts:


India Memory Project – Partner’s Story

Once upon a time there was a little boy growing up in India.

His father was a very talented man and toured the world with the Paranjoti Choir. One such trip took his father to France where he met another little boy.

Who became pen pals with his son. Writing to each other for many years…

His son even shared the news of his father’s death when he only eleven.

Fast forward forty years and the two finally meet when the little boy has grown up and tours France with a musical.

This is their story captured in:

India Memory Project: 105 – “A friend from my childhood I had never met” (more…)

Fringes of fame aka star selfie ‘autograph’

A few months ago on my trip back from Kolkata, I was sitting in the lounge hunkered over my laptop furiously dashing off a few ideas and responding to emails… I heard the dulcet tones of a vaguely familiar voice however ignored, absorbed instead with processing the packed three days spent with my client and team.

As I boarded, our eyes met and she exclaimed “Hey! I know you!” Even I took a second to make the connect via mutual friends’ of my partner… Sweetly she commented “Such a different context! So sorry I didn’t recognise you earlier!”

Honestly, I looked quite different from when we last met and while we certainly socially connected several times, we don’t really know each other so well. Both of us can be forgiven for not immediately recognising.

But here is the kicker – there are a lot of people out there that think they know her.

As I walked out of the airport, there was a full bank of paparazzi. Egads?! Was that for her? Could that be possible??

And it struck me how we’ve always met within the closed ranks of an ‘inner circle’ of our mutual friends’ homes, in relaxed known environments where you can simply be yourself.

Flashing Fahad at Flash Point

Paparazzi at the Flash Point book launch

I’m lucky. My partner is known but primarily within certain circles and environments. He has a chameleon like quality… many roles he does are so completely contrasting that recognition doesn’t get in the way of every day life.

Not so for some folks we know. With a few, I’ve learned to pick certain restaurants or places to meet where there will be less of the “Sir! Can I just have a photo with you?” In most cases, socialising happens either in homes or closed events.

Because selfies with someone famous is the new ‘autograph’. And I’ve unfortunately witnessed the mobbing that can take place with demands for brushes with fame.

Circa 2004

Saif Ali Khan + Carissa Hickling, circa 2004

So do I fall prey to this malady? Generally no… at least not with folks I genuinely know.

However, don’t laugh, I will confess to one ‘star pose’ taken more than a decade ago when we both were dashing late for the Mumbai – Delhi flight, sharing the bus across the tarmac together…. Emboldened by the fact I knew folks that worked in New York and India on his recent (then) hit film (Kal Ho Naa Ho), asked for a pic together. My little annoying ‘fan’ moment was never to be revisited. I assumed.

Except a funny little thing happened a couple months back. We met again… He was chatting with my partner as they were in a film together and we spent a most enjoyable evening at the opening of the Prithvi Festival. This time, I took the photo and spared us both a repeat of a star-struck selfie!

Lilette, Denzil & Saif at the Prithvi Festival opening

Lilette, Denzil & Saif at the 2015 Prithvi Festival

Clearly this isn’t just an Indian phenomenon. When Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada, all over Facebook popped pics with the new PM to the extent that it seemed that practically everyone I know in Canada has ‘met’ him!

What do you think? Is the ‘star selfie’ the new ‘autograph’?

Related posts:

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

What fun! This weekend was the ‘Indian Premier’ of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with a special viewing for cast n crew. (more…)

Bleeping ‘Bombay’?

My partner’s play Bombay Jazz is on Sunday and the press is paying attention!

But I noticed a funny little caveat at the end of an article “When Jazz Hit Mumbai” that came out yesterday in Mid-Day

Note: Mumbai has been referred to as Bombay to retain flow of historic events.

Then proceeded to pepper throughout the article:

… Mumbai (Bombay, then) …

To someone from outside India, it seems rather schizophrenic – Mumbai vs Bombay!? (more…)

Avehi Abacus at Mumbai Marathon

Yesterday all over Mumbai folks woke up with extra aches and pains but satisfied smiles despite feeling stiff all over!

Sunday was the 12th annual Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM). One of the largest marathons in Asia and India’s largest non-profit fundraiser platform.

Clearly I’m not currently marathon material at the moment, however my partner volunteered to support the Avehi Abacus Project by participating in the 6 km “Dream Walk”. (more…)

Theatre III – Celebrate Bandra + Jazz

While I was off gallivanting around Europe, my partner was busy with myriad of activities… including organising the theatre section of Celebrate Bandra.

While there is a whole host of fabulous music, dance, theatre and more to see and do, I’m naturally completely biased and planned my flight in time to return to see his performance in “Bombay JAZZ”. (more…)

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