Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

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

A brush with meditation
Legendary singer Asha Bhosle seems lost in thought as her make-up gets touched up on the sets of a singing reality show in Goregaon yesterday. Pic/Satej Shinde


South African mountaineer Cathy O'Dowd with the kids during the interaction. Pic/Shadab Khan

Talking mountains with kids
"How did you walk on the ice? What food did you carry?" Over 150 curious children bombarded Cathy O'Dowd with questions at a session in Santacruz, last weekend. The South African mountaineer became the first woman to climb Mount Everest from its North and South sides in the late 1990s. She is also an author and motivational speaker.

The hour-long interaction was organised by Angel Xpress Foundation, a non-profit run by Beenaa Advani and Anubha Sharma that aims to educate the underprivileged. "I was impressed. I imagined that the kids would have less of a grasp of the idea of mountain climbing but they were interested and asked some thoughtful questions," said the mountaineer.

A cartoonist's prescience
With their combined gifts of writing and sketching, they say cartoonists are extraordinarily intelligent. Usha Laxman, Mumbai-based daughter-in-law of the late cartoonist RK Laxman, found this cartoon by the legend when she was cleaning out a shelf space in their Pune home. She calls it especially prescient now that Narendra Modi has registered a thumping win in UP. She says Dad had, "a sixth sense about politics, he was so intuitive.

Every now and then we find some unpublished work while cleaning out stuff from his home. This one is especially apt post the recent win." The common man who remembers his cartoons for their talent as much as trenchant wit, agrees.

Shashi Tharoor for PM in 2019?
Given how charisma increasingly seems to be at play when it comes to winning elections, who could possibly be the face of the UPA for the next general elections? While the Congress doesn't seem to know that yet, the online world has a suggestion. A petition floated recently on the Internet is already rooting for Congress MP-author Shashi Tharoor as UPA's Prime Ministerial candidate for 2019.

The petition makes a case for Tharoor by listing out his UN career, his choice to be elected instead of a Rajya Sabha entry, among other factors. With over 7,000 signatures, the man who started the petition hopes to give it to the Congress president.

Fatima wants to read for refugees
We love how the online world unites in no time to support causes that need numbers. Read 4 Refugees is a campaign that urges people to donate what they would spend on a night-out by staying in with a book. The campaign has earned support from authors like Fatima Bhutto, Margaret Atwood, Julie Berry, Allison Carmen among others.

On till March 31, proceeds from the campaign will go to a non-profit that provides lasting solutions to the world's most at-risk refugees. More power to the cause, we say.

When Neena held stage
Over the weekend, a Mumbai Local session conducted by Junoon theatre saw film and television actor Neena Kulkarni talk about building characters on screen and on stage. The audience listened intently as the actress known for her stellar roles in films like Mirch Masala admitted to never having shared her process with people before the session. "All my characters are in my head.

I don't 'unlearn' any of them. And I don't ever liken any of them. There's a bit of schizophrenic in me," she admitted. The veteran actor went on to shower praise on theatre icon Satyadev Dubey, and recall how Educating Rita was one of her biggest learnings. At the end of the session, she received a wonderful surprise in the form of a sketch of hers that was created by one of the members in the audience. Now, that's what we call rapt attention.

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