Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

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

Chitpur to Colaba
Artist Sumona Chakravarty (in pic) with exhibits at Mumbai Art Room in Colaba where the two-month exhibition, Chitpur (dis) Local, traces an ongoing social art project, Chitpur Local, initiated in November 2013 by a Kolkata-based artist collective, Hamdasti.


Pic/Shadab Khan

The experimental street project, which led to a public art festival in early 2015, was initiated by four artists from Hamdasti — Manas Acharya, Nilanjan Das, Varshita Khaitan and Chakravarty — in collaboration with more than 30 people from the local community, including shop owners, students and residents of Battola (or Jatrapara) neighbourhood on Chitpur Road, one of the oldest in Kolkata.

On board with Nick Smith
British pro-skater Nick Smith was in town over the weekend as part of a skateboarding event in Khar to educate youth about the popular street sport.


Pic/Bipin Kokate

Every month, a day-long skate meet is held by the organisers for registered skateboarders to participate in a series of games and events.

Even the local barber loves tennis
This diarist is used to viewing such videos for cricket. Small town set-up, junta of all ages and shapes hooked on to the telly, watching a nail-biter, and a smart punch line that will resonate with all.

Rafa Nadal in action. Pic/Getty Images
Rafa Nadal in action. Pic/Getty Images

So, this video, centred on the French Open that starts today, had us smiling. Picturised with typical desi characters — in a barbershop — it projects the ‘naiee’ as a diehard tennis fan who’s happy to feed his customers with live telecasts of the red clay tennis action at the year’s second Grand Slam, while he gives them cool haircuts. We like the move to a different surface.

Scene and overheard
The rainbow will cast its differently coloured arc over Mumbai, with Kashish, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) film festival scheduled for May 25 to 29. Which reminds of another LGBT event from last week held at Mumbai’s Press Club.

Sushant Divgikar (left) at the Queers against Quacks press conference held last week. Pic/Bipin KokateSushant Divgikar (left) at the Queers against Quacks press conference held last week. Pic/Bipin Kokate

After a short film and address about how gays were forced to undergo various treatments and therapies to ‘convert’ to heterosexuality later, the speakers invited questions from the press.

One journalist kept asking the panel ‘how’ same-sex attraction comes about. When told it was innate, he needled them further saying man-to-man was okay but what stirred attraction between women? While they were civil in their replies, it was evident this was getting their goat.

Gay actor (of Bigg Boss fame) Sushant Divgikar had even explained to the journo that he was attracted to a shirtless Hrithik Roshan, and not a bikini-clad Ameesha Patel, years ago and it was innate; there was no explanation to why Hrithik and not Ameesha.

Post the interaction, this diarist overheard them discussing the senseless volley. One remarked, “I think this man was here, just to eat the Press Club sandwiches…” another stated, “Probably, just seen lesbian porn.” And so it continued, the amusement mixed with anger and a smattering of X-rated stuff, all in the defence of diversity. Chatter over, let the curtains rise for the real deal, now.

Nursery crimes, anyone?
Clearly, Mumbai funnyman Sorabh Pant wasn’t a fan of nursery rhymes when growing up.

Childhood memories or not, he’s out with a video called Nursery Crimes, where he is seen dissecting the logic behind rhymes like ‘Wheels of the Bus’. If you’re in the mood for some oddball nursery rhyme nostalgia, do give it a watch.

Chessboard mantras by Vishy
World-renowned chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand was in the city over the weekend for an event, and from what we heard, his inspirational speech on What it Takes to Be a World Champion, had the audience all ears. He shared his journey from getting introduced to chess when he was six, until becoming a Grandmaster.

“I had to wait for three years to achieve my goal. I kept missing winning the Grandmaster title consecutively for two years but I was determined about my game; and then I managed to bag the title with sheer patience and tenacity. Similarly, you’ll have many quiet years during your struggle, but there will be a day when you will see your efforts paying off well.” Well played.

Laugh at the Indian wedding
Indian-American comedian Rajiv Satyal and Culture Machine’s digital channel, Being Indian has been making waves with some of their hilarious videos with their different take on all things India.

A grab from the video
A grab from the video

In a country where weddings are a vibrant social affair not a ceremony for the bride and groom, the couple has little opportunity to enjoy themselves in the midst of social gatherings. So what do you do when your wedding is drawing close? A just released video titled, A Guide To Indian Weddings, shows you how to have fun while at it.

The video takes the viewer into all sorts of situations, from living in the moment and spending quality time with everyone, to ensuring that everyone has a blast. Friends, drunk relatives, not-so-close relatives, foodies, and everyone else — Satyal tells you how to handle everything (including your cell phone)!

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