Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

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

Monochrome musings
This diarist was recently at Lower Parel's Cafe Haqq Se for dinner, and happened to find out that the interesting illustration that hangs on the restaurant's wall, is the longest of its kind in the city. Created by artist Kanak Nanda, the black and white linear intricate style of artwork, measures 52ft by 7ft and was made using black sketch pens on a white surface.

Kanak Nanda
Kanak Nanda

"It took me 25 days to make this," she tells us. Since the restaurant serves progressive Indian food from across India, Nanda was asked to create something that portrayed the country's multiculturalism. "The concept behind this drawing shows the culture of every state in India in such a way that a person who comes to eat feels that he has seen India in its true form," says the 25-year-old.

ZNMD in Kazakhstan
It's a holiday that took them 15 years to plan and three months to finally get down to executing. Childhood buddies Samir Kochhar and Cyrus Sahukar, left their better halves behind and took off, for the first time, on an all-boys trip. Joining them were three other friends and together, they took off to Kazakhstan, where they camped at Almaty, a skiing destination. It was five days of skiing, snow-mobile rides, bonfires — the works.

Photobombed: Samir Kochhar (left) and Cyrus Sahukar
Photobombed: Samir Kochhar (left) and Cyrus Sahukar

Recalling the trip, Kochhar tells this diarist, "We would always end up either in Goa or in the mountains up north with our families. I am glad this trip finally happened." And why Kazakhstan, of all places? "We wanted something that was unexplored and Kazakhstan ticked all the right boxes."

The Wall approves
Author Jaideep Varma is a happy man, and why not? Nearly eight years after he first unveiled Impact Index (II) — a statistical system analysing cricketing performances — his work finally seems to be getting its due. It was an unexpected invitation from 'the wall' Rahul Dravid, that had Varma over the moon.

Jaideep Varma
Jaideep Varma

"Full Circle. I don't say this easily, but if Impact Index had not found this man high impact, I would have abandoned it in 2009 itself. To be invited to his home, and to be able to give him a copy — am too old to feel this level of satisfaction."

50 years for Sir Frank Worrell's passing
"Gentlemen, tomorrow you will be facing a fast bowler called Charlie Griffith. He's dangerous and it's better to surrender your wicket than to stay on and get hurt." Which present-day captain will tell his opposition team this on the eve of a match? Not many, but Sir Frank Worrell uttered these words to Nari Contractor and his team the night before they took on Barbados on their 1962 tour to the West Indies.

Sir Frank and Lady Worrell celebrate the news of the cricket legend's knighthood at their Jamaica home in 1964.  Pic/mid-day archives
Sir Frank and Lady Worrell celebrate the news of the cricket legend's knighthood at their Jamaica home in 1964. Pic/mid-day archives

Not only was Worrell mindful of the fact that some Indian players could be seriously injured, he was also aware that several in Contractor's side were unfit and a growing casualty list would only prove disastrous for India.

Two days later, Contractor was knocked down by Griffith and suffered a skull fracture that ended his Test career. Worrell donated blood for Contractor's operation and while the then India captain survived, Worrell died of leukaemia in 1967 at the age of 42. Tomorrow, the cricketing world commemorates 50 years of this cricket saint's death.

In 2009, Contractor visited the West Indies for the first time since 1962 on the invitation by the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Committee to witness the formation of blood banks named after Worrell in the Caribbean islands. Contractor took along some reading material for the flight to Trinidad — Worrell's autobiography and a book
written on the great West Indian by Ernest Eytle. He learnt more about Worrell, but he knew enough already of the man's warmth, philosophy and impact on world cricket.

Worrell gave new impetus to West Indies cricket when he became West Indies' first black captain on an extended basis. He always entertained the crowd and as Contractor remembered, applauded a good effort from the opposition. In an age where cricket teams are at each other's throats, it's a good time to adopt the Sir Frank Worrell template of fair play.

Going heritage, going modern
We love to see our city's heritage structures, the austere and the modern, be given the makeover that they so deserve. Oh, but what about all our modernist architectural gems? What about the attention they need?

Anupam Sah
Anupam Sah

Anupam Sah, our conservation hero from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), is busy plotting a seminar titled, Conservation of Modern Art and Architecture. It is scheduled for September 2017 and will be held at CSMVS. "In the discourse of conservation of heritage, we sometimes sidestep or miss the fact that some contemporary creations may well be the heritage of tomorrow," says Sah. We are all ears.

 

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