Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

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

Hockey champ's screen moment
Ashok Kumar, former India hockey captain and son of legendary hockey wizard, Dhyan Chand, was over the moon recently when mid-day sent across a CD of a documentary on him by the Films Division of India.

Ashok KumarAshok Kumar

The black-and-white documentary, shot in the early 1980s and telecast on Doordarshan, contains footage of Ashok Kumar’s winning goal against Pakistan in the 1975 final in Malaysia that gave the country its only World Cup triumph.

There are also some training shots of the mercurial striker, besides footage of him at home, interacting with his family. Surprisingly, Ashok Kumar had never seen it before he received the CD at his Bhopal residence.

“I had a Punjabi friend in Doordarshan, and he had arranged for this shoot. But later, we lost touch and I did not know when and where this film was released. I had almost forgotten about it, so this comes as a very, very pleasant surprise for me and my family,” Ashok Kumar told Daily Dossier.

The video is particularly special to Kumar, given the rare family footage it contains. “I was a bit sceptical when the cameraman said he wanted to come home and shoot my family. I recall having to pose in the kitchen, pretending to cut a few veggies with my wife beside me.

It was really awkward because sportsmen are not used to acting. But now that I’ve seen the footage, I think I did a decent job,” admitted the Munich 1972 Munich Olympics bronze medalist, who also won a bronze and a silver medal at the 1971 and 1973 World Cups respectively.

Romance in the books
Just a few days before Valntine’s Day, Amar Chitra Katha has come out with their second novel, A Kingdom For His Love authored by Vani Mahesh and Shinie Antony.

The novel is based on Swapnavasavadattam, a Sanskrit play written by Bhasa, one of the earliest and most celebrated Indian playwrights. The story revolves around King Udayana and Princess Vasavadatta. Author Vani Mahesh is confident that the book will be taken well by young readers.

“Though the original is a classic, our take on the story has a contemporary appeal, with sharp and witty dialogue and descriptions. This is our attempt to make classics accessible to today’s readers,” she says.

Drum it up for Banks@75
Louiz Banks’ 75th birthday celebration was a joyous affair as friends from the world of music and advertising gathered to wish the Jazz maestro.

Zakir Hussain and Shankar Mahadevan live it up at Jazz maestro Louiz Banks’ 75th birthday celebrations at a Bandra eatery. Pic/Mid-day Photo
Zakir Hussain and Shankar Mahadevan live it up at Jazz maestro Louiz Banks’ 75th birthday celebrations at a Bandra eatery. Pic/Mid-day Photo

A galaxy of musical stars were ready to let their hair down, says his son and percussionist Gino. “There was Alyque Padamsee and Mahesh Mathai from the ad world. Musicians who have worked with my father since the 80s like Sivamani and Taufiq Qureshi and younger friends like Niladri Kumar.”

Louiz Banks with wife Lorraine and Babu Sivamani (centre)
Louiz Banks with wife Lorraine and Babu Sivamani (centre)

With that sort of a guest list, a jam session couldn’t be too far behind and at one point Ehsaan, Loy and Taufiq Qureshi were playing together for the crowd.

Fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani interacts with guests at the preview of his revamped design store at Apollo Bunder on Thursday. Pic/Shadab Khan

Bestsellers, beans, et al
It’s the kind of news that will invite cheer from bookworms starved for spaces to pore over their favourite reads.

Yesterday, HarperCollins tied up with a leading coffee chain to launch Beans n’ Books, an initiative that will create cosy book spaces across 200 cafes.

HarperCollins India CEO Ananth Padmanabhan posted on social media. And from what a little birdie tells us, plans are afloat for small events to be held across the country, including in aamchi Mumbai. Watch this space.

Morning with Begum Sultana
Legendary classical singer Begum Parveen Sultana who will be performing at an early morning concert at the Gateway of India on Valentine’s Day, seems to be a die-hard romantic.

Begum Parveen Sultana
Begum Parveen Sultana

“For me, every day is Valentine’s day,” enthuses the acclaimed thumri-khayaal-bhajan gaayika whose complimentary open-air show convened by Pancham Nishad is titled Spiritual Morning.

“Classical music is a divine connect and it’s after a long time that I will be singing morning raagas,” she told this diarst after finishing her riyaaz.

Whether the Begum sings her award-winning filmy gem, Humey Tumse Pyaar (Kudrat), to go with the romantic occasion, besides her traditionally rich repertoire, remains to be seen.

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