Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Did you just see that?
Neetu Singh appears to have something important to share with Rishi Kapoor at an awards function in Juhu yesterday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
When God dines at the table
We're not sure if the conversation veered more towards the cerviche on the menu or his cover drives, but cricketer Yuvraj Singh and Brit-Mauritian actor wife Hazel Keech seemed to be enjoying a fun, relaxed dinner with a friend at a Latino-South American restaurant in Bandra Kurla Complex last weekend. A man-bun sporting Yuvi was the last to arrive at the table; till then, the vibrant Hazel appeared engaged in a laughter-tinted chat with their dining companion. While this diarist wasn't able to play eavesdropper [the spacing between tables is spot on, we must add] we couldn't miss noticing the kitchen and waiting staff get all starry-eyed, and slip into superstar-tizzy mode as soon as Yuvi stepped in. An extra table was laid out beside theirs to accommodate some of the food and checks were made at regular intervals by different staff members to ensure Yuvi and company was well looked after. We did find that the service had slowed down a bit while all of this was unravelling. In fact, we spotted a chef even step out of the kitchen to check for a reaction from the cricketer as his creation made its way to the big-ticket table. Cricketers will always be treated like gods in this country.
A rap on the knuckles?
Compared to the touch-me-not vibes most celebs wear, rapper Hard Kaur's gregarious personality was a pleasant change when this diarist spotted her at London's Heathrow airport on Sunday. She was goofing around and was in chill mode and we made a mental note to catch her live gig in the city. But, by the end of the nine-hour flight to Mumbai, Ms Kaur (in first class) seemed to have irked passengers and crew alike. While she was loud (and we won't judge her on that), the singer of many hits used not-so-polite words to address others on the plane. While alighting, a few passengers revealed to the crew, "We're going to complain." And guess what the exasperated crew had to say in reply? "Please do."
Speak the word
For the last two years, Kommune, a popular artiste collective co-founded by Roshan Abbas, Gaurav Kapur and Ankur Tewari, has been hosting regular poetry and storytelling sessions across India. Now, the team will launch its own festival, Spoken, to be held on October 28 and 29 in BKC. The fest will witness 50 artistes, who will perform storytelling, poetry and songs in Hindi, English, Urdu and Kannada. The line-up includes actor Kalki Koechlin (in pic), writer-poet-actor Piyush Mishra, stand-up comedian Kautuk Srivastava and singer Raghu Dixit. "The full line-up will be out shortly. The idea is to bring spoken word artistes from various fields on the same stage," says collective member Shamir Reuben. Watch out for global acts like Grammy-nominated storyteller Diane Ferlatte and The HandleBards, an all-female troupe, said to be the world's first cycling theatre company that will perform Shakespeare's As You Like It.
What a sport!
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may have contrasting plans when it comes to their political strategies, but it was great to see a unification of sorts by members of the rival parties for a sporting cause recently. Congress MLA Aslam Sheikh and BJP Member of Parliament Gopal Shetty were invited as chief guests for the Uncle's Kitchen Sports Association-organised Mumbai Cup five-a-side football tournament at the Orlem Turf over the weekend, and both obliged. "Sports is a noble cause, so I had to be here," said Shaikh, whose constituency spans across Malad West. "Kids are glued to mobile phone games. Outdoor sports is a must, and that's what I'm here for," said Shetty, whose stronghold is the Borivli-Kandivli belt. Who says politics and sport don't mix?
Enter, the crowd-sourced story
Seven weeks, seven artists and a seven-sentence short story. The Saptan Story, an online crowd-sourced digital arts project by British Council and Oscar-winning Aardman Animations (the team behind Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run), has gained quite a following online. The project, now in its seventh and final week, has a new crowd-sourced storyline added to the story every week, chosen on the basis of public voting. Each line has been illustrated by each of the participating artists, including Indian artists Adrita Das, Janine Shroff, Priyesh Trivedi (of the popular Adarsh Balak series, artwork in pic) and Saloni Sinha. The result of this project (begun as part of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017) will be 49 contemporary artworks. If you're keen to read the story (a surreal scene of a man with a broken heart) and view the artworks, it's all on display on the Saptan Story website.
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