Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce


Pic/Shadab Khan

Sachin, a billion shades
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar at the trailer launch of his much awaited biopic at a Juhu multiplex yesterday.

A 1986 untitled oil on canvas by VS Gaitonde was the top selling lot of the Pundole's sale
A 1986 untitled oil on canvas by VS Gaitonde was the top selling lot of the Pundole's sale

Auction highs
On Wednesday evening, auctioneer Mallika Advani brought down the hammer with much gusto and choice witticisms at Pundole's fine art sale. This was easily one of the heartiest sales we have seen since demonetisation sent wary ripples across the auction market. There was much hustle and bustle towards the far back of the room, which, as Advani pointed out, with a dashing smile, "It's like a mafia back there!" The highest selling lot of the evening was an untitled VS Gaitonde oil on canvas, which went for the hammer price of Rs 12 crore.

Jim Sarbh
Jim Sarbh

Second in line was a gilt bronze Buddha from the Nasli Heeramaneck collection, which sold for Rs 3 crore. With 81 out of 84 lots sold, Pundole's made a total sale value (hammer price) of about Rs 33 crore. We were happy to see Akbar Padamsee make a brief appearance, considering Wednesday was his 89th birthday, which he shares with the late FN Souza. Oh, and we should add that it's always a delight to spot the charming Jim Sarbh, grandson of Pundole's founder and actor, manning phone bids at auctions.

Iconic mudras
Classical dancer Sonal Mansingh is nothing short of an icon, having established herself across three dance forms - Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Chhau - over the last few decades. So, we were excited to learn about author Sujata Prasad's new book on Mansingh's life. The title, which claims to step aside from the glamour and strives to understand the woman behind the persona, is as much a look at the contemporary history of India's Classical arts as it is a biography. Considering the book has been three years in the making, we're expecting this to be a deeply personal account.


Pic/Getty Images

Bradman was curious about Shiv Sena
Sir Donald Bradman was more than just a cricket great. He was an institution who did not want to be ignorant or less informed about anything. An example of his thirst for knowledge came to the fore recently at the Cricket Club of India where Sunil Gavaskar spoke at a function to commemorate the birth centenary of legendary Indian all-rounder Vinoo Mankad. Gavaskar revealed that Bradman, on the dinner table in Adelaide 1978, wanted to know something about the Shiv Sena party.

There are other examples of Bradman's curiosity. When a Kolkata-based journalist managed to get a few words off him during the 1991-92 tour of Australia, Bradman expressed his delight that Sachin Tendulkar was doing well for India, but he also enquired about Vinod Kambli since Bradman had heard about the duo's record 664-run partnership in school cricket. Bradman was glad to know that Kambli had made the 1992 World Cup squad.

Back to Gavaskar. The little master mimicked his 1977-78 team manager Polly Umrigar speaking in Gujarati and that Umrigar, as was his habit, spoke to Bradman in the same language at the start of the tour when the tour former greats met to discuss the playing conditions.

Mapping Goa
Trust our neighbours to speed ahead of us in the race. Recently, Goa Tourism partnered with an automobile company and organised a two-day task hunt for a team of 18 bloggers and journalists. The organisers had scattered tasks across Goa for participants to discover the undiscovered. From church-hopping to learning to make your own watermelon feni, this hunt covered touristy spots like Anjuna beach and lesser-known sites like Mae De Deus Church. The hunt was a showreel of Goa's culture, its Portuguese architecture, local markets and food. We found this to be a novel way to explore and showcase the state using a digital imprint. Is our state's tourism board listening?

Fan calling for Kalki
It's usually fans who are keen on knowing more about their favourite stars and their lifestyles. So, we found it interesting when Kalki Koechlin posted a survey on Twitter, urging her fans to take time out to fill it. With questions like their favourite dress code, brands, shopping preferences and the kind of travellers they are, we wonder what the actress is up to. For now, she says she'd like to understand her fan base better. A new brand in the making? She keeps us guessing.

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