Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

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

(Right) Parthiv Patel; (inset) Kiran Ashar
(Right) Parthiv Patel; (inset) Kiran Ashar

The rewards of 'keeping' at it
Parthiv Patel’s return to the Test team after eight years has been a talking point in Indian cricket. Fans of the cherubic 31-year-old wicketkeeper couldn’t have been more delighted, just as they were when he made his Test debut as a 17-year-old kid in the English summer of 2002.

One wonders whether there has been an Indian wicketkeeper to have earned a recall after such a long time in first-class cricket. However, there is the case of Kiran Ashar (21 years old then) who was selected for Bombay to play in the 1968-69 Irani Cup match against Rest of India at Brabourne Stadium 48 Novembers ago.

Ashar endured a forgettable debut, when a delivery from ace spinner Padmakar Shivalkar hit the wicketkeeper-opening batsman on the groin, an injury which ruled him out of the match on Day One itself. Ashar’s next first-class game for Bombay was the 1976-77 Ranji Trophy semi-final against Tamil Nadu at Wankhede Stadium where he kept brilliantly and also scored 86 while opening the innings with his captain Sunil Gavaskar.

Ashar recalled yesterday how Gavaskar, who he played alongside for Associated Cement Companies and later Nirlon, encouraged him to keep at it by continuing to perform at the local level. Eventually, Gavaskar was instrumental in his Ranji recall.

For the love of tiny tales
As we bumped into Terribly Tiny Tales co-founder Chintan Ruparel last week at the NFDC Film Bazaar in Goa, he ended up telling us about the multiple parody accounts of the micro-fiction initiative. TTT, which has over four lakh followers on Instagram, tells heartwarming tales in less than 1,400 characters, and has gathered young fans all over India.

Chintan Ruparel
Chintan Ruparel

“They crop up every day, but you can easily know what is TTT and what is not,” he told us. He even has a favourite! “I love Terribly Tatti Tales; they are quite funny sometimes.” When someone asked him if he would be averse to reposting the tales of any of the parody accounts, he just said, “If good, sure, why not.” Sign of true success, we think.

Tribute to indigo
We Mumbaikars love to make the best of the city’s brief winter and the chance to indulge in Dr Swati Piramal’s annual flower show. This time round, the Vaikunth Flower Show will celebrate the spirit of freedom as historicised by Mahatma Gandhi in Champaran. Dr Piramal has chosen the overarching theme of Blue Gold – The Flower of Freedom.

Dr Swati Piramal
Dr Swati Piramal

We hear that the show plans to commemorate the revival of natural indigo in Indian textiles, medicines and across various mediums, bringing to memory Gandhiji’s fight for the rights of indigo farmers. Who said flowers can’t make a strong statement?

Pets astray

Pic/Satej Shinde
Pic/Satej Shinde

Actor Alia Bhatt seems to be caught up with emotion as she pets a dog at an adoptathon in Bandra on Saturday.

The stage is set, in the US
Padmini Kolhapure’s hit play, Baap Ka Baap, is all set to travel to the US early next year. The Naween Bawa directed drama stars veteran actor Asrani in the lead, and is a comic caper with a social message at its core.

Padmini Kolhapure
Padmini Kolhapure

Kolhapure is thrilled with the response the play has received. “A live medium has an appeal of its own and I am excited to perform in the US. This play has had a unique journey. We opened in Dubai and then came to Mumbai, followed by other cities in India. And now we have been invited to perform in the US by Tech Asia.

We’ll be touring the country over six weeks between February and April next year,” she says. New Jersey, Chicago, Los Angeles are among the few cities they’ll be performing IN, besides smaller towns like Charlotte and Cincinnati.” Indians everywhere!

Cabbage patch
DO you remember the time your mum panicked over the junk food you ate? Or how you didn’t eat your greens? Nutritionist Pooja Makhija remembers having those moments with her girls. Her new book for kids, Eat Delete Junior, out next year, hopes to help parents strike the right balance.

Pooja Makhija
Pooja Makhija

“I’ve seen some mothers get really worried about their children’s diet and also some who struggle to nail that healthy plate,” says Makhija. This book will teach parents how to inculcate correct eating habits so that a ailment is nipped in the bud.

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