Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
News Dancers on the block?
Cricketer Harbhajan Singh and wife Geeta Basra were spotted on the set of a dance reality show yesterday. Rumours are rife that the two will appear on the show as guest performers.
Anuradha Menon and Kanan Gill
Mr Jaitley! Are you listening?
Dressed in Kanjeevaram saree, with gajra tucked in her greasy black hair, VJ Lola Kutty aka Anuradha Menon was an unforgettable television character. In a recent video that she tweeted, Menon is seen beseeching the finance minister to eliminate the taxes levied on sanitary napkins. Calling herself a woman of privilege, she throws light on statistics like 88 per cent of Indian women don't have access to sanitary napkins. Menon's clip is in support of an initiative that aims to end gender-based discrimination by engaging with the youth. The cause has also gained support from popular stand-up comedians like Rohan Joshi, Kenny Sebastian, Mallika Dua and Kanan Gill among others. Good to see Twitter being put to better use by promoting such causes rather than the regular bullying, ranting and trolling.
Fatima bats for education
It was a conclave that brought together the who's who of the city's education scene. And with a host like the charming educationist Fatima Agarkar, we didn't expect otherwise either. The educational management services company that she co-founded had a host of panel discussions lined up for the conclave, which saw speakers like Fatima's husband and former cricketer Ajit Agarkar, ex Mumbai sheriff Indu Shahani, principals and directors of various international schools, former India batsman Akash Chopra, surgeon Muffazal Lakdawala among others.
The conclave took place at a Santacruz five-star. With topics like how learning is not equivalent to a Google search, treating a sport as a career option for a girl child, whether a PhD can guarantee success, legal challenges faced by educators, etc, it made for a stimulating event.
Kartikeya Sarabhai, one of the panelists for the discussion, with (right) Sonam Wangchuk. Pic/Nipin Kokate
Greening Mumbai's schools
Sonam Wangchuk, the engineer-innovator from Ladakh, who inspired the character of Phunsukh Wangdu in the film 3 Idiots, was in town yesterday for a panel discussion on greening classrooms. How can green principles be applied in the hot and humid conditions of Mumbai, where several schools are taking the air-conditioned route, this diarist asked Wangchuk ahead of the discussion. "School buildings need to be constructed with the help of architects who have studied bioclimatic engineering. That said, the cooling will still not be like an AC's. We need to change our surroundings to the extent possible and then meet nature halfway by adapting," he said, adding, "Schools need to reflect reality and childhood is the best time to adapt to realities. If we keep our children like princes and princesses, we are only making them weak." What do heads of our swish city schools have to say?
Just wanna have fund
For the fifth year in a row, Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will be raising funds to hold the eighth edition of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer film festival scheduled in Mumbai from May 24 to 28, via crowdfunding. The global campaign to raise funds was launched on the crowdfunding portal, Wishberry. The initiative is not only to raise funds to organise the festival but also to create awareness about the need to support such causes. We need the financial support, but most importantly we need the love, say Kashish organisers.
(Left to right) Raveena Tandon, Harsh Meswani and Rahul Bose
For the love of music
Born in a business family, budding musician Harsh Meswani was exposed to Indian Classical music at an early age. A high school student, he has two music albums to his credit and has recently written the book, The Torchbearers, on Indian Classical music. Actors Raveena Tandon and Rahul Bose came forward in support of the book recently.