Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

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

Art Basel HK calling
Shireen Gandhy’s stellar gallery, Chemould Prescott Road, goes to Art Basel Hong Kong this weekend with its stable of artists including Mithu Sen, Aditi Singh, and Desmond Lazaro. “The gallery’s programme for Art Basel is veering more and more towards materiality,” says Gandhy, referring to the works she will present at the prestigious fair. We are excited to learn that architect and artist, Bijoy Jain, is part of the gallery’s representation this time.

Shireen Gandhy
Shireen Gandhy

Earlier this year, Jain was part of the roster at Chemould’s participation at the India Art Fair as well, where he made structures using cowdung and lime. This time round, the reputable architect will use karvi leaves as well. But, ask him what the main ingredient of his works is, and he is likely to answer “water”, says Gandhy, who is busy planning an exhibition of his works in the future.

More drama for Vashisht
Even as she has been enjoying her latest turn on television on a finite series, Mita Vashisht seems to be wanting more as actress. She’ll be seen taking centre stage next week in a play titled Agnipankh.

Mita Vashisht
Mita Vashisht

Vashisht, who is known for essaying some of the most resilient female characters on screen, will play the role of Durgeshwari, in the historical drama set in newly independent India. She’s hopeful that the play will be taken in the right spirit.

“I am excited that it’s finally seeing the light of day. And my role as Durgeshwari, shows not only the struggle of a woman with societal obligations, but also portrays her struggle with the family.”

When Emma Watson sang in Hindi
Like many of us, lyricist Prashant Ingole grew up on a diet of Hollywood action films and cartoons. Sometimes, he would chance upon a dubbed Hindi version, and hold back a laugh.

Prashant Ingole
Prashant Ingole

“I don’t know if they were poorly made, but the actors would end up looking comical,” says the Dil Ye Ziddi Hain (Mary Kom) writer, adding that he secretly hoped to some day change the industry’s approach towards dubbing. The opportunity finally came knocking on his doors this January, when he was asked to write the lyrics for three tracks in the Hindi version of the Beauty and the Beast. “It almost felt surreal… like I was living a dream,” he says.

“When writing the new lyrics, I had to transcreate in order to ensure that I did not deviate from the original plot and theme. The idea was to keep it as real and truthful to the soul of the film.” From the rave reviews, Ingole seems to have strung it together beautifully.

All that Razz
Mohsin Kacchi aka Twisted Bass was only 17 when he first stepped into Razzberry Rhinoceros as the assistant resident DJ in 1994. Today, he is back on board as the Resident DJ at the iconic space of the ’90s that reopened last week.

DJ Twisted Bass
DJ Twisted Bass

“Razz was never just a nightclub. It was a social hub and community space. It also hosted some of the wildest parties,” he tells this diarist. His job meant he could hobnob with the who’s who of the music world. “I remember seeing a well-built guy with dreadlocks staring at me while I played Boom-Shaka-Lak, and all of a sudden he comes by the console with a bottle of beer and hands it to me, and thanks me for playing his tune. It was Apache Indian,” he smiles.

Broken bats and a hurt ego
Having stayed unbeaten with 82 the previous evening, Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell expected to reach his maiden hundred in the first session of Day Two in the third Test against India at Ranchi on Friday. What he didn’t expect to do was, break his Kookaburra bat into two while playing a defensive shot off India pacer Umesh Yadav.

George Brown
George Brown

Maxwell being left with only the bat handle and a small bit of willow caused a lot of chuckles. Bat-breaks have happened before, but our in-house cricket nut recalled legendary English broadcaster John Arlott describing a similar incident that attracted shock rather than laughter. In the 1920s, Lord Lionel Tennyson’s Hampshire clashed with Warwickshire at Southampton in the County Championships and George Brown, who had opened the batting for England, was having a running feud with his county captain Tennyson.

Brown was demoted to No. 10 in the batting order and to express his protest over this embarrassment, he went into the groundsman’s room, picked up, in Arlott’s words, “an ancient bat, trailing tape and twine” and “thumped the first ball straight to mid-off and the bat split with an echoing crack.”

Brown handed over the broken piece of the willow to the umpire and continued batting with only a third of the bat. “If his Lordship wants to send me at No 10, I ain’t going to bat with a full bat,” he told the other players on the field. Brown scored 18. He made his point.

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