Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Aug 13, 2017, 11:03 IST | Team Mid-day

The 'item' also needs a break
Actor Sunny Leone fixes her outfit during a breather as she shoots for an item song in a Mira-Bhayandar studio on Saturday. Pic/Nimish Dave

More than a history lesson
This Independence Day, Major General Gagandeep Bakshi (in pic), a retired Indian army officer from the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, will see his life play out on screen. A new documentary titled Air Battle of Srinagar based on the Indo-Pak war of 1971, that Bakshi was part of, showcases the valour of the men behind the victory. "Memories of the war that haunt you the most are of comrades that you've lost. On the first day of the war many from our batch were injured. I can't forget 2/Lt Mahendra Pratap Singh Chaudhry who was captured by the enemy and tortured to death," says Bakshi. According to him, the documentary is important because it serves to inform the public of the little-known details. "The lessons of military history hold value and relevance even today," he says.

Catch it on EPIC channel at 3 pm on August 15.

When the haiku launched a book
One day last year, film writer Dinesh Raheja (in pic) wrote a three-line poem which he showed it to a friend. On presenting it on Facebook he says he got an overwhelming response. "Then, they just started coming to me. I'd have to keep a pen and paper or laptop to jot them down. Like this, I got 125, after which the flow just stopped," he says. He whittled it down to 101 and planned to self-publish it as a gift for himself when a publisher spotted the manuscript and offered to publish it.

The best part, of course, is when big Bollywood names such as Vidya Balan (who has written a foreword) and Varun Grover agreed to read the book and write about it, even though they haven't met Raheja.

The Jimmy way of losing it
Jimmy Neesham, the New Zealand cricket all-rounder happened to see a video on one of his Indian friend's Facebook account. The video was about a fitness trainer telling people how they can lose seven kilos in 21 days by consuming a syrup mixture of tumeric, cinnamon, pepper and ginger.

Neesham, who plays for the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, couldn't exactly figure out what the fitness trainer was suggesting since he spoke in Hindi. He assumed the mixture was some kind of tea.

"I can't even tell what this guy is saying, but eating well and exercising consistently is the key to losing weight mate! Tea doesn't do anything," Neesham wrote.

His Indian friend was convinced. "Yes mate, I will go by your practical experience," he said.

Neesham by the way is a tough cookie and is known never to show the bowler that he is hurt, just like he did when Australian pace Mitchell Starc struck him on his right arm in a limited overs game last December. An impressed reporter wrote: "Just what, then, is Neesham made of? Granite? Titanium? Undiluted testosterone wrapped in a steel casing? Actually, he is just made up of good old common sense and grit. Time for all of us to follow Jimmy's health plan?

Run for others
Running, despite what most people say, is quite an expensive sport. Think of the shoes, registration fees for races and then the travel expenses. However, to ensure that money doesn't hold back talent, Mumbai Road Runners (MRR) has decided to raise funds for six underprivileged runners, even paying for their registration fees. While various drives will be held through the year — currently a shoe donation is on for the IDBI Federal Mumbai Marathon later this month — MRR has also organised a run in Aarey Milk Colony aimed to raise funds for its elite team. The registration fee, which extends to Rs 650 for a 10K run, can be paid on a link available of their Facebook page.

A piece from the Elephant Parade,  London, 2010
A piece from the Elephant Parade, London, 2010

Parade the jumbos
With the distinction of being London's biggest public art exhibition, Elephant Parade is set to hit the streets of Mumbai later this year. As part of the 2017 UK India Year of Culture, the international project has engaged leading Indian artists, fashion designers, tribal painters and design institutes to turn 101 elephant sculptures into unique masterpieces. The painted sculptures will be displayed in herds at prominent cities in India to be photographed — or even hugged or kissed — by the public. With an audience of 25 million and 21 parades till date, the campaign has raised over £4 million for the endangered Asian elephant. After the public displays across the cities, the elephants will then be sold at two high profile auctions in Mumbai and London to raise funds for their endangered wild cousins and their forest homes. Final dates are yet to be announced, but we are keeping our jumbo ears to the ground.

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