The Friday List: From a lecture series on travel and stillness to Netflix's Lupin Part 2, your weekly calendar of virtual events

·9 min read

Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe

The ebb of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is slowing steadily and as lockdown norms give way to strict social distancing, there is a sense of finding a new footing and discovering a new normal after this crisis. Amidst it all, the need to curb the number of COVID-19 cases has led to an indefinite closing of public spaces and cultural centres making our leisure time a largely virtual experience. So, even as we gradually ease out of the more stringent of restrictions, the landscape of our engagements and weekly dosages of entertainment continues to be moderated digitally, through the screen.

Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences €" performances, talks, tours, screenings €" to mark on your weekly calendar. On this week's #FridayList: a conversation on the history of Bollywood, a lecture on public education around the pandemic and ZEE5's comic thriller, Sunflower.

€" Talks and panel discussions

An upcoming panel discussion brought about by the Jaipur Literature Festival will unpack the dramatic history of Hindi cinema to trace how it grew into a thriving industry. In >Bollywood Before Bollywood, award-winning author Kishwar Desai, known for her works on Hindi cinema's early decades, will be joined by movie studio executive Maharsh Shah and film critic Bhawana Somaaya to take a trip down history and unpack the development of Hindi movies. The conversation promises to be filled with interesting anecdotes, some forgotten narratives as well as amusing stories about some of the actors that dazzled the screen and the productions that made powerful cinema while the industry was still in its nascent stages. For film buffs, this session is definitely a must attend.

To register and attend the talk, click here.

When: 11 June (8.30 pm)

In collaboration with the International Music and Arts Society, the Bangalore International Centre has brought forth the discussion, >The Lost Fragrance of Infinity around author Moin Mir's book by the same name. A historical novel rooted in Sufism, it tells the story of a young craftsman from 1739 who witnesses the destruction of his world amidst the twilight of the Mughal Empire and a turbulent Central Asia. Traversing through these conflicting lands and exploring the sacred geometry of the Sufis, his story soon takes him on a path towards redemption, acceptance and compassion. In conversation with historian Rana Safvi the author will shed light on the forgotten voice of Sufism and its contributions to humanity, art and science.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 17 June (6.30 pm)

€" Virtual recital

This Saturday, Royal Opera House will be streaming The Royal Ballet's Balanchine and Robbins, to celebrate the classic works of two stellar 20th century choreographers. George Balanchine's stirring pas de deux breathes new life into the long-lost movement of Tchaikovsky's original score for Swan Lake, a technical challenge that continues to be enjoyed by performers to this day. His contemporary, Jerome Robbins played a crucial role in the development of American ballet and was a noteworthy figure on Broadway. The recital this weekend will bring to the fore the extraordinary works created by these exponents that have become masterpieces of neoclassicism, resurrected in a way that exudes a feeling of community in these times of isolation and loneliness.

To know more and get a ticket for this show, click here.

When: 12 June

€" Virtual poetry reading

Cultural anthropologist and writer Claus Ankersen is the next in >Poetry with Prakriti's line-up of poets that are invited for the first three Saturdays of every month by Prakriti Foundation to present and discuss their works. With a literary career spanning several decades, Ankersen has to his name a number of works of prose, poetry and translations with his most recent work being the collection of poems, River of Man. Ankersen's literature has often explored themes around spirituality, language and system-critique which he continues to explore through performances in several cultural spaces. In this virtual poetry reading, the author and poet will be diving into some of his most prolific work to discuss the inspirations and creative processes behind his writing.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 12 June (7 pm)

€" Attend a virtual concert

BTS will be bringing to the virtual stage a special two-day concert to celebrate its eighth anniversary along with its fandom, ARMY. For >BTS 2021 Muster SOWOOZOO, the band will perform a selection of its foreign language songs along with hosting an intimate fan event called Festa. BTS organises a Muster every year to mark the band's anniversary. While the event was dropped in 2020 owing to the pandemic, this time around, the K-pop troupe will live stream the entire event for its followers around the globe. For K-pop fans who wish to catch the band performing live, this concert is a must attend.

When: 13 June and 14 June (3 pm)

To know more and get your tickets, visit BTS's Twitter page.

€" An online workshop

A new workshop brought forth by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai will take children on a tour of some of the most interesting animal species that are found in forests and in their surroundings through the course, >Animal Chronicles: Fantastical Animals of the world. During the session, kids will be introduced to varied species and their ways of life along with the habitats that they survive in and what makes these fantastical animals stand out in nature. This course is definitely a must attend for children at home who wish to learn more about the natural world.

To attend the course, register on the enguru kids app or write to

When: 12 June (10 am)

€" Online lectures

As part of its ongoing virtual exhibit, CONTAGION, Science Gallery Bengaluru has set up a number of lectures and workshops to complement the themes around transmission of emotions, behaviours and diseases that the event attempts to cover. In the upcoming lecture, >Working Together For Public Education On Pandemic Risks: The Scientific Collaboration Of The Smithsonian's Outbreak Exhibit, curator of this ongoing exhibition, Sabrina Sholts will talk about how she and her team worked with numerous experts from infectious disease physicians to wildlife veterinarians in creating a set-up which helps people to understand how epidemics work in the contemporary age. Sholts, a biological anthropologist, will also share her insight into the process of science communication that began before the COVID-19 pandemic to explain the threats of new diseases that might spread in the future.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 11 June (6.30 pm)

A three-part lecture series brought about by Atlas Obscura will attempt to reflect on travel and stillness to find out how to best engage these contrary ideas in the post pandemic world. Travelling for vacations or holidays came to an utter standstill following the coronavirus crisis which led to a forced exploration of calmness and clarity found in remaining stationary. >On Travel & Stillness: Lessons & Hopes for the Post-Pandemic World With Pico Iyer is a lecture series that will highlight how to find the balance between the two extremes of continued travel and prolonged stillness by weaving together the speaker's personal experiences of travelling incessantly for nearly five decades. From talking about a film studio in North Korea to discussing working at the same desk for years in Japan, Iyer's journey will bring participants to the deepest corners within themselves while also shedding light on how best to organise the everyday so as to not get overwhelmed in an accelerated world.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 16 June

€" Virtual storytelling

Listening to a ghost story in the dead of the night, with the rains crashing on window panes and lightening making a terrifying noise never gets old. With the monsoon setting in, a ghost stories session is the perfect way to spend a spine tingling evening spruced up by a healthy amount of fear. In >Late Night Horror Stories, the storyteller Deepesh Chandran will narrate four tales of four frightening spirits this Saturday night inducing just the perfect kind of horror and terror in the audiences making it a must attend for everyone with a penchant for ghost stories.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 12 June (10 pm)

€" Streaming this week

Coming up on Netflix this Friday is the much-anticipated Part Two of the Netflix series, >Lupin, inspired from the works of Maurice Leblanc and his character of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar. The series set in contemporary Paris follows the story of Assane Diop, whose father is framed for a crime he did not commit. Diop sets out to avenge this injustice, using the tricks of the suave, gentleman burglar and master of disguise. The first part of the series ended on a cliffhanger in which the chain of events that Diop set in motion thrust his family into grave danger. In the upcoming five-episode conclusion, with everything on the line, Diop must dodge the police and secure justice for his father even as he tries to protect his family from harm.

When: 11 June

Where: Netflix

This weekend MUBI will be screening the 2020 film, >Shiva Baby, directed by Emma Seligman, which explores a millennial, Jewish angst in a rather thrilling manner, almost creating a sense of dread akin to a horror story. The film which unravels during a day-long shiva, a time of mourning for the Jews, tells the story of a college student Danielle who undergoes a series of awkward encounters at this sombre occasion. The appearance of her ex-girlfriend amidst the throng of relatives rattles her, and before she can come to grips with this, her secret sugar daddy arrives at the shiva with his family in tow. At once a social commentary and a hilarious comedy, Shiva Baby promises to be an exciting watch on a quiet night at home.

When: 11 June

Where: MUBI

A new series coming up on ZEE5 is simultaneously a thrilling and comic murder mystery created by Vikas Bahl. Featuring Sunil Grover, Ranvir Shorey, Girish Kulkarni and Sonal Jha among others in the lead, the series follows a murder investigation in a middle-class housing society in Mumbai and the lives of the many colourful residents of this building. Titled >Sunflower after the name of the society in which this gruesome incident occurs, the series peeks into the lives of the middle classes and the secrets that lurk within the seemingly innocent apartments in which so many families have built their homes and lives.

When: 11 June

Where: ZEE5

Coming up on Disney+Hotstar is the film >Shaadisthan which tells the story of three women from three different generations whose paths cross on a journey that they take together. Featuring Kirti Kulhari as an unapologetic singer of a nonconformist band, Nivedita Bhattacharya as the mother of a teenage daughter essayed by Medha Shankar, the film explores the clash of beliefs and ideologies that this encounter leads to and how the teenager, running away from her home and family, finds a helpful companion in the quirky musician.

When: 11 June

Where: Disney+Hotstar

Also See: The Friday List: From a podcast on masculinity to a workshop on interpreting mutations, your weekly calendar of virtual events

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