Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

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

Look who's the bakra now!
The tables have turned and how. After playing pranks on thousands in the runway hit, MTV Bakra, Cyrus Broacha will be the butt of gags today, thanks to an online campaign launched by Twitter India and the youth video platform 101 India.

The funnyman will perform the dares tweeted by users (with TheAprilFool hashtag), which will be shown on the microblogging site’s live broadcast video tool and Periscope too. “This has been organised by my ex-colleagues of MTV.

I am worried, frankly. They should ask me to do nice things like pat a doggy or sit on a bench,” Broacha told this diarist. That seems unlikely as the team plans to invite user dares during his visit to a restaurant, a beauty parlour, a barber’s shop and maybe, a lingerie shop too.

Meanwhile, when we asked Broacha to recall the funniest prank from his Bakra days, he said, “The one with the dead body in the car. I had to really struggle not to laugh. I was acting as a chauffeur with a body in the back covered with a white cloth.

I was supposed to convince a passerby to hop in the car and show me directions. The one who sat in the car got uncomfortable when I told him there was a dead body next him. After a point, the body got up. That man jumped out of the moving car, tumbled on the road and just ran away!”

Big B’s Re‘Gayle’ moment
As the India-West Indies T20 semi-final was being played out, Amitabh Bachchan was engaged in a chat with author Mayank Shekhar at the latter’s book release at a Juhu five-star last evening.


Pic/Nimesh Dave

Curious to track West Indies’ score, he asked the group, “Score kya hua?”, to which someone replied, “Gayle gela!” Much to the joy of the crowd, an elated Bachchan added that he had treated the West Indian blaster at his home a few days back, which is possibly why he didn’t score in the match!

India shines in Commonwealth shortlist
The shortlist for the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize is out. Considering it attracted nearly 4000 entries from 47 countries, choosing the shortlist of 26 “fresh and unexpected” stories by writers from eleven countries must have been quite a task.

This time, four of the 26 entries are Indian, one better than last year. Cow and Company by Parashar Kulkarni, Dirty White Strings by Kritika Pandey, Girdhar’s Mansion by Sumit Ray and Instant Karma by Vinayak Varma made it the shortlist.

A fifth Indian, Arunava Sinha is also in the running for having translated Niroporadh Ghum (Innocent Sleep) by Sumon Rahman (Bangladesh). Incidentally, this title is also the first translated entry to make it the shortlist. A healthy sign for short story writing in India, this.

Mommy mia!
Top model Carol Gracias is pregnant with her first child with French man Samuel Ziza. She was already signed on to walk for designer Gaurang’s show for an ongoing fashion week, so when she informed him that she was pregnant, and if he’ like to replace her, he said, “No way”. And so, yesterday, Carol walked with a baby bump as confidently as she always has. “We thought this would inspire more pregnant ladies to wear saris.

Carol Gracias was the cynosure on the ramp with her baby bump
Carol Gracias was the cynosure on the ramp with her baby bump

We also thought that since she was in the early stages [of pregnancy], her tummy wouldn’t be that big. When she arrived, I realised that her tummy was as big as mine!” the designer told this diarist. The day before Gaurang’s show, Carol hung around the venue in a maxi that didn’t let out her secret.

By design or not, this was a small step towards inclusivity — if CEOs, doctors and politicians can work through pregnancies, why not models? India’s population doesn’t grow because of unclothed women birthing all over the place. Pregnant ramp models are an opportunity for clothing companies to show that their clothes can be worn in all stages. We are evolving towards sustainable fashion, no?

Reverse call
Dial A for admission, but before that, dial D for donation. Or, that’s how it goes, often. Dishing out lakhs ‘voluntarily’ has become so common, it has almost become part of the admission experience.

The advertisement
The advertisement

So it was with surprise that we noticed this board outside a Matunga school, which said: “NO DONATION” in big bold letters right under the poster advertising the many facilities of the institution. On the flip side, the sign also made us wonder how long before we start seeing boards saying ‘No bribes’,

‘No hafta’, etc. And if you’re a parent in the area interested in checking out the school’s claim, we can guide you to a location near the stretch that has DP’s, Ruia College and Matunga Gymkhana.

I've got eyes only for India!


Pic/Bipin Kokate

Our photographer spotted this diehard India fan outside the Wankhede who took things a bit too far with these tricoloured lens. A bit freakish, we think. Well, with such levels of fandom, it’s a surprise we didn’t win.

Itna drama karte the, yaar
Those who thought that all the theatrics were restricted last evening at the Wankhede, were mistaken. Last evening saw the Asiatic Society of Mumbai’s Durbar Hall hosting at least 60 people, who were listening keenly to a lecture on, Theatre in Bombay in the Fifties.

Shanta Gokhale and Ramdas Bhatkal. Pic/Ajinkya Sawant
Shanta Gokhale and Ramdas Bhatkal. Pic/Ajinkya Sawant

This was the 18th Gulestan and Rustom Billimoria Endowment Lecture by author, researcher, founder and Managing Director (whew! Titles) of Popular Prakashan, Dr Ramdas Bhatkal. At the session presided over by author and critic Shanta Gokhale, Dr Bhatkal joked that the talk was an opportunity for him to get publicly nostalgic about his adolescent years.

The mic seemed to have a problem when Gokhale was talking, and when a sound technician offered to replace it, she joked that since she’s soft spoken, the mike suited her. Those who witnessed theatre in the 50s seemed to agree with everything the two said.

“Those were the plays and theatre of our youth,” Colaba resident Daisy David, 78, told this diarist. “You all missed a great time for theatre,” said Boney Malik, an 88-year-old Marine Lines resident.

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