Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

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


Pic/Satej Shinde

Am on top of the world
Varun Dhawan was spotted seated atop a car during a shoot for an upcoming movie, at Filmcity in Goregaon yesterday.

Spot the rainbow in BKC
If you are passing by the spiffy office enclave of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), look out for the rainbow, not in the sky, but on a building. The US Consulate General Mumbai at BKC has lit up the Consulate façade in rainbow colours of the Pride flag as part of the Pride Month celebrations in honour of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) communities in the United States and around the world. Over the past several years, US embassies and consulates worldwide have recognised the month of June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, a celebration aimed at eliminating prejudice and honouring the great diversity of the American people. "When all persons are protected on the basis of equality and dignity, global stability is strengthened. We will continue to support the human rights of LGBTI persons together with like-minded governments, businesses, and civil society organisations globally," said US Secretary of State Rex W Tillerson.

Toying around with a cause
In the tiny village of Naggar in Himachal Pradesh, a group of artisans spend hours knitting dinosaurs, caterpillars, hedgehogs, and owls using woollen yarn. If you're keen to introduce your kid to these animals, and support the livelihood of these craftswomen at the same time, order the toys via a crowdfunding campaign live on Ketto.org. It's an initiative by Delhi-based responsible travel enterprise Little Local in collaboration with The Color Caravan. You're required to buy the toys in pairs. While one piece reaches you, the other toy will be sent to an NGO that works with at-risk children and uses art to empower them.

Meena Menon with Bachi Karkaria and Kumar Ketkar at the launch of her book at Mumbai  Press Club yesterday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Meena Menon with Bachi Karkaria and Kumar Ketkar at the launch of her book at Mumbai  Press Club yesterday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Stories from the other Pakistan
A host of media stalwarts gathered at the Mumbai Press Club to release journalist Meena Menon's book, Reporting Pakistan. Menon was a correspondent in the country till she was expelled by Pakistani authorities in May 2014. While it covers protests and interviews of Partition survivors, this diarist found the account on the Parsi family-owned Murree brewery particularly fascinating. Read it, and you'll know why.

(Left to right) Sanjay Rajouria, Varun Grover and Rahul Ram. Pic Courtesy/ Aisi Taisi Democracy on Facebook
(Left to right) Sanjay Rajouria, Varun Grover and Rahul Ram. Pic Courtesy/ Aisi Taisi Democracy on Facebook

Three years of music and satire
It was three years ago that Aisi Taisi Democracy (ATD) performed for the first time in Gurgaon as part of a two-show deal. Yesterday, Varun Grover took to Facebook to share his thoughts on the group completing three years. In it, he mentions that he hadn't met Rahul Ram before that day, and had never performed with Sanjay Rajoura. But those two shows were responsible for the birth of the comedy collective, which entered our lives, bringing their unique brand of social commentary and political satire. In their first year, they did seven shows. Today, that number stands at 37. The group took to Twitter too, to announce the milestone, saying, 'we feel like a failure because we can't even buy newspaper space to announce our three years'. While many missed the satire in this, there was no mistaking the meaning of Grover's closing comment: 'the only real struggle for an Indian comedian right now is to write jokes that are funnier than the actual events taking place around us.'

Hear it from Gaurav Kapur
Tired of tuning into dreary pre-match analyses that you wished would cut straight to the coin toss? Gaurav Kapur has sorted it for you. The cricket presenter and producer has come up with under 100-second preview shows of all key Champions Trophy matches in an online series called A Little More GK. Crisp and snappy, the videos feature Kapur at his funny best as he weighs the chances of the two teams battling it out on the day. He throws in some interesting animation and props to make his point, and even ropes in experts for a big match. His pick for the India-South Africa game? Gary Kirsten. Now, that's what we call a scoop!

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