Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

Jun 20, 2017, 09:48 IST | Team Mid-Day

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


Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Here comes the head turner
A fit and toned Mandira Bedi spotted outside a gym in Bandra yesterday.

Fatima Bhutto's tweet pitch
Sunday's Champions Trophy final may not have gone in India's favour, but everyone was impressed by Virat Kohli's sportsmanship post the match. One such fan was Fatima Bhutto, Pakistani poet and writer, and the granddaughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. She tweeted to him, saying 'Credit to @imkohli for being gracious to PK and their fans — no greater team to play against'. We are fans of Bhutto's wit — recently, she tweeted a picture of cricketers Sarfraz Ahmed and Shadab Khan, with the caption True Detective 3. And, we loved her response to comedian Tanmay Bhat's post-match tweet, 'It's ok hamare paas democracy hai'. She replied with a succinct 'For now'. Well played, Fatima.

Seaplanes to see Tadoba's tigers
There's good news for Mumbai's wildlife lovers who frequent Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) has plans to start a seaplane service connection Nagpur with Tadoba where the seaplane will land near Erai Dam close to the reserve. At present, tourists fly to Nagpur and embark on a three-hour road trip to reach Tadoba. But if this service starts, tourists can reach Tadoba in under an hour after touching down at Nagpur. "We have invited Expression of Interests from parties to start these services at three proposed locations in Vidarbha," a senior MMB official confirmed to this diarist. Being one of India's most visited reserves to spot tigers, authorities are confident that this proposed service will see a rise in tourists. Apart from the dam, two more sites for the service have been identified at Koradi pond and Shegaon — both popular temple sites among pilgrims. While all of this sounds ambitious, we're hoping that unlike many plans floated by the state to promote tourism, this one doesn't meet a watery end even before take-off.

Calling all Bengali writers
Among the many book awards in the city, one of our favourites began last year. The Big Little Book Award honours the significant contributions of authors and illustrators of children's literature in Indian languages. Last year, author-illustrator Madhuri Purandare received the Author Award for her contribution to Marathi children's literature, while illustrator and cartoonist Atanu Roy bagged the Illustrator award. This year's theme for the awards is Bengali, and the call for nominations have begun. So, if you are an author writing extensively for children in Bengali, this is your chance to apply.

Pics courtesy/Annushka Hardikar's project on Behance.net
Pics courtesy/Annushka Hardikar's project on Behance.net

These women are epic
Ever wondered what would happen if Kunti, Gandhari and Draupadi, the three influential women from The Mahabharata were part of the millennial generation? Illustrator Annushka Hardikar, a graduate from Bengaluru's Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, sure has. She offers a satirical take on their stories in her latest zine, Oh Nari, So Sanskari! The stories draw parallels between stereotypes and challenges faced by women in the epic and those that surround Indian women today. Available on behance.net, it is packed with hand-drawn, original illustrations in form of a women's glossy replete with recreations of style guides and listicles. We love the fun hacks that the women offer, including the Virginity Restoration Kit with Hymenum Restorum Mantra and Panchapills that guarantee hardening of heart (like a stone) to suppress all sexual desires. It's totally lit.

Farewell, Friday Quiz
Former UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani has been hosting the Friday Quiz on Twitter for the last three years. Every Friday, he would post a picture showing a monument or scene, asking Twitter to identify what it was and where it was shot.

However, a few days ago, Nilekani announced that he would be retiring the quiz this week. Giving his reasons for this, he said: "... technology has upended the quiz. Since 2012, with the application of machine learning and deep neural networks to image recognition, the error rate for computers has fallen sharply. The current error rate is around 3%, which makes computer image recognition more accurate than human detection... A quiz where the answer can be found by a visual search algorithm is no challenge." We are possibly as sad as Nilekani to see this sweet, old-fashioned quiz go.

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