Masala, mehndi, masti at Toronto's desi festival

Gurmukh Singh

Toronto, Aug 12 (IANS) Masala! Mehndi! Masti!, the largest South Asian music, cultural and cuisine festival in Canada will stage an adult play 'Dirty Pakistani Lingerie' as well as Rabindra Tagore's drama 'Sacrifice' (Visarjan) here this year.

The three-day festival from Aug 19, which draws thousands of people, will have theatre, comedy, art, photography, cooking demos, talks on the stigma of HIV and various interactive workshops this year.

India's leading choral group, the Shillong Chamber Choir (SCC), and Bollywood actor Abhay Deol will also perform at the mega-show.

'Sacrifice' is being staged as a special tribute to Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore on his 150th birth anniversary, according to organisers.

It is one of the two South Asian dramas being staged this year.

'The other drama is 'Dirty Pakistani Lingerie', an adult play by Aizzah Fatima about six American Pakistani females struggling to find their place at the chaotic juncture of two extremely different cultures,' according to Lachman Balani of the M!M!M! committee.

'Komic Sutra', an hour of no-holds barred adult comedy by Nitin Mirani and Crystal Ferrier, will test the limits of your humour, according to Balani.

The festival will hear three Canadian Indophiles - Mariellen Ward, Sylvia Fraser and Katherine Matthews - narrate their love affair with India.

The Royal Ontario Museum will showcase craftsmanship and craft traditions of South Asia's many culturally diverse regions.

'A Rhythm of Rajasthan Workshop' will feature dance and craft from Rajasthan.

The festival will also have a midnight yoga session by Yogapalooza, a 'bachcha party' and a Seniors' Desi Idol contest.

To be held at the Harbour Front, the Indian cultural extravaganza will have food stalls, vendor kiosks and mehndi (henna) parlours to cater to the visitors.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at