Free Public Tours

Explore the Museum with the
curatorial team every weekend.

Time: Saturday and Sunday
11:30 am English Tour
12:30 pm Hindi/Marathi Tour
Open to all.
Museum ticket applicable.
Closed on Wednesdays.


The Museum’s extensive outreach includes theatre, performance, public lectures and film as well as programmes in collaboration with other organizations.

What’s On

Mumbai Local with Junoon

At the Education Centre in the Museum Plaza

Get involved in this interactive session where artists and scientists share their stories with the public.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Men Performing Women: Bin Baykancha Tamaasha
With Bishakha Datta in conversation with lavani artists Anil Hankare & Anand Satam

5:00 pm

Since the stage was not deemed a place for women - certainly not 'decent' women - the history of theatre is also the history of men playing female characters. Men playing women as it were.

Lavani, begun as dance interludes in Tamaasha, also used to be danced by men performing women. Today however, lavani is known, enjoyed and celebrated as a women's performance form. Lavani, with ample help from Bollywood, brings to mind a fabulous woman in a fabulous nauvari saree, dancing and singing her way into your being. It is in the year 2000, in such a scenario, Bin Baykancha Tamasha - performance without Women - took stage.

We are delighted to invite lavani dancers Anil Hankare and Anand Satam to Mumbai Local, for an engaged conversation with filmmaker and activist Bishakha Datta, who is fascinated by the art of men performing women. She is curious to know how and why Anil and Anand got into lavani performance, the social negotiations they and their group members may have had to make when making it a life choice, how they view gender and the act of performing women, how they negotiate the stigma of lavani, and so much more. And Anil and Anand have graciously agreed to share their journey as Lavani performers with us.

The session is curated by Bishakha Datta.

Venue: Education Centre

Entry free with Museum ticket

RSVP via BookMyShow


About the Speaker

Bishakha Datta

Bishakha Datta works at the cusp of gender, sexuality, digital tech and activism and runs the non-profit Point of View. Much of her work is around the intersections of gender and sexuality in digital and physical spaces. Much of her work explores marginal, invisible, and silenced points of view - or those that are stigmatized or considered illegitimate.

Bishakha's film work includes In The Flesh, a film on the lives of three sex workers, and Taza Khabar, which delves into a unique women-run rural newspaper. Books she edited include Nine Degrees of Justice, a collection of essays on the struggle against violence on women in India, and And Who Will Make the Chapatis?, an anthology on rural women's political participation. She is the co-founder of the online zine, Deep Dives, which publishes long-form narratives on 'the way we live now'. Bishakha, who started her working life as a journalist, is currently writing #Selling Sex, a book on the lives and realities of sex workers in India.

Anil Hankare & Anand Satam

Anil stared dancing when he was 16 at Ustangkar Ballet Company. Once he started dancing in female getup he realized that he got more payment and tips and that's when he decided that he will focus on this. He used to dance in hindi orchestra.

Anand also started dancing at a very young age under the guidance of Arun Chandivale sir. He used to dance in a male attire. But would do female getup sometimes. He specialises in ghada dance also, where he dances on nails, with fire matkas on head.

In 2000, Anil Vasudevan, conceptualised this idea of Bin Baykancha Tamasha which is an all male cast lavani banner and he formed the group consisting of Anil, Anand and 2 other dancers. This was the core group. They stared dancing in female get up and that created a milestone in the history of lavani banner shows.

About Junoon

The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is glad to partner with Junoon, co-founded by Sanjana Kapoor and Sameera Iyengar, to present Mumbai Local - a community arts initiative. Mumbai Local dream is to build generous and inclusive communities of people across Mumbai by embedding the arts into our collective neighbourhood experience.

Live Music

With the Natural Streets for the Performing Arts (NSPA)

Visitors can be a part of this exciting outdoor experience. NSPA performances are held at the Museum Plaza through the year on the first Sunday of every month.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Covers of International Music
Pemi Rumthao
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Percussion Music
Varun Zinje
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Instrumental Violin
Susan Coelho
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Indie Music
Shubhashish Upadhyay & Maheshwar Sharma
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


The Natural Streets for Performing Arts (NSPA) is a non-profit initiative to revive a culture of public performances and support the livelihoods of artists. Launched in October 2012, NSPA hosts musical performances for a total of 37 hours every week across 6 major railway stations on the Western and Central Rail Networks, and the Horniman Circle Gardens at Fort, Mumbai.

NSPA seeks to reclaim public spaces for the arts encouraging greater interaction between artists and the community, creating vibrant spaces of cultural interaction and energising the very city and its people with greater art consciousness. They work towards securing the livelihoods of independent artists across diverse art forms, thus, enabling them to follow their passion and take their art to new and larger audiences.

Dramatic reading of Dilip Chitre’s poetry

In collaboration with Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd

Presented by Prajakt Deshmukh, Sachin Shinde, Shipad Deshpande and Pranav Prabhakar

Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:00 pm

In memory of eminent poet, critic and playwright Dilip Chitre, join us for an evening of dramatic readings of selected verses! Directed by Prajakt Deshmukh. This performance will be in Marathi

About Dilip Chitre: Dilip Purushottam Chitre (1938-2009) was one of the foremost Indian writers and critics to emerge in post-Independence India. Apart from being a very important bilingual writer, writing in Marathi and English, he was also a painter and filmmaker.

He was born in Baroda on 17 September 1938. His father Purushottam Chitre used to publish a periodical named Abhiruchi which was highly treasured for its high, uncompromising quality. Dilip Chitre's family moved to Mumbai in 1951 and he published his first collection of poems in 1960. He was one of the earliest and the most important influences behind the famous "little magazine movement" of the sixties in Marathi. He started Shabda with Arun Kolatkar and Ramesh Samarth. In 1975, he was awarded a visiting fellowship by the International Writing Programme of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa in the United States. He has also worked as a director of the Indian Poetry Library, archive, and translation centre at Bharat Bhavan, a multi-arts foundation, Bhopal. He also convened a world poetry festival in New Delhi followed by an international symposium of poets in Bhopal.

His Ekun Kavita or Collected Poems were published in the nineteen-nineties in three volumes. 'As Is, Where Is' selected English poems (1964-2007) and "Shesha" English translation of selected Marathi poems both published by Poetrywala are among his last books published in 2007. He has also edited An Anthology of Marathi Poetry (1945–1965). He is also an accomplished translator and has prolifically translated prose and poetry. His most famous translation is of the celebrated 17th-century Marathi bhakti poet Tukaram (published as Says Tuka). He has also translated Anubhavamrut by the twelfth-century bhakti poet Dnyaneshwar.

Free and open to all.

Click HERE to register

Limited seating on first come, first serves basis.


About the Popular Publications:

Popular Prakashan is an 89-year-old publishing house that pioneered high-quality publishing in India. Popular has published works by renowned authors including sociologist G S Ghurye, historians D D Kosambi and Romila Thapar, and the political thinker Jayaprakash Narayan.

Popular is also the leading publisher for Marathi publications, many of which are regarded as the "Most important Marathi literature of the past fifty years". Popular has carved a unique position for itself by publishing major poets like Dilip Chitre, N.D.Mahanor, Vasant Bapat, Mangesh Padgaonkar; playwrights like Vijay Tendulkar, Vasant Kanetkar; novelists like Kiran Nagarkar, Bhalchandra Nemade among numerous other literary stalwarts.