In praise of fruit tarts

February 9, 2008

What is art? Whatever it is at Kala Ghoda, wine helps it go down well.

Yesterday, visitors to the area would have seen a large Ferris wheel with bicycles for seats, a sculpture of a gigantic man doing something with himself on a ball, and other installations. Perhaps they would have felt underwhelmed, or been oblivious to the charms of these works. Would they have felt angry at this dishonesty? More’s the pity there was no wine around to make this criminal waste of metal look attractive. Apart from the very funny installation of a massive bee with a television for a head, nothing worked. 

Over at Jehangir, the annual RPG exhibition of art was numbing. First up, symbolism: a wall covered with movie posters surrounding a window with a mirror for a view. Then there were statues of Buddha – very worthy for the crafting – with socialites preening and inquiring: “Artist kidhar hai? Achcha, bataiye, kitne ka hai?

Then there was the fruit tart. It came by at the right time. Just as things couldn’t get any worse, Chandrahas recommended one, and took one for himself. The cream hits the roof of the mouth, and stays there. The thick crust crackles on your tongue before dissolving. Its juices pour out with every bite, and you figure it’s more liquid than solid. But that comes later, because there are just too many things going on inside. There’s a rich strawberry flavour, a bit tangy, a bit sugary, oh there’s definitely sugar, and there’s the crispy bread feeling as well. It feels like a lot like love.

And since there was wine it felt like being high and in love. Suddenly Bombay’s art scene looked a whole lot better. But this morning the effects are off and we have perspective again.

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