Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

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

Lara’s 1994 feat in the Thicknesse of things
Today marks the 22nd anniversary of Brian Lara’s unbelievable 501 not out for English county Warwickshire against Durham in 1994 and we discovered a fascinating story about two English journalists — John Thicknesse and Jack Bannister (both deceased) — driving down from Nottingham where England beat New Zealand in a Test match, to Birmingham.

Brian Lara. Pic/Getty Images
Brian Lara. Pic/Getty Images

They reached Birmingham when Lara had reached 371 and saw him going past the 500-mark. The shot Thicknesse remembered in ESPN Cricinfo was an extra cover drive which got Lara to 400, but the West Indian genius had to run four because the ball fell 18 inches short of the boundary. Thicknesse was delighted to experience history, just as he did a few months earlier in Antigua where Lara scored 375 which made him the then highest individual scorer in Test cricket.

The other example of a journalist reporting on two similar historic cricket events is Dicky Rutnagur. Rutnagur, a Mumbai-born Parsi, was at Swansea in 1968 when Nottinghamshire’s Garfield Sobers hit Glamorgan’s Malcolm Nash for six sixes in an over, and, was also at the Wankhede Stadium to report on Ravi Shastri’s six sixes in an over off Tilak Raj in a Bombay vs Baroda Ranji Trophy game in 1985.

Anxiety ‘n’ Ash in the age of air kissing
It was air kissing, Aishwarya and anxiety in that alliterative order, at the Karma Lounge, near Sukh Sagar on a Sunday morning. SoBo’s yummy mummies and Daddy Cools were in attendance at the book launch of Dr Zirak Marker’s, ‘Parenting in the Age of Anxiety’.

Neerja Birla (l), Dr Zirak Marker and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the launch of Parenting in the Age of Anxiety, by Dr Marker at a South Mumbai venue last morning. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Neerja Birla (l), Dr Zirak Marker and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the launch of Parenting in the Age of Anxiety, by Dr Marker at a South Mumbai venue last morning. Pic/Bipin Kokate

The celebrity quotient came in the form of Neerja Birla and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who read excerpts from the book. The audience comprised young parents, grey haired ladies looking a trifle amused that one needs books to parent these days, kids today lead complicated lives, while in earlier times, gran’s wisdom would do and Marker’s medical fraternity friends.

Ash read first, and had the audience laughing when she said she would skip the, “gory details” in the excerpt, which was about a teenage girl and boy, and “doing it” self-worth, peer pressure, and self-esteem issues. “Skip, skip, skip,” said Ash as the audience laughed.

Neerja too read and stated at the end, “seek help and don’t feel the stigma...” Ash, who was dressed for the season in a cool white shirt and floor length skirt, said that though Marker says statistics point to the increasing incidence of mental health niggles children suffer, “there is a positive, that figures show people are reaching out and opening up.”

Post launch, a cake was cut in the shape of the book cover. Celebratory cake slices notwithstanding, the book excerpts reading showed parenting is kaafi tough, far from a cake walk these days.

Anuvab Pal and Kunal Roy Kapoor at the live version of their podcast
Anuvab Pal and Kunal Roy Kapoor at the live version of their podcast

We are like this only
The weekend ended on a cheery note for Mumbaikars who were treated to the three-day Cheer Comedy Festival that brought back smiles and chuckles to its ilk and fans, particularly after the Tanmay Bhatt-Snapchat video controversy that hit national headlines in the early part of last week.

Sorabh Pant at his entertaining best
Sorabh Pant at his entertaining best

Aam achar afternoons
The weekend witnessed a group of pickle-loving folk assemble for a workshop at Mulund resident and pickle queen, Nandini Chapalgaonkar’s home. She revealed the chatpata tricks that go into making homemade pickle.

TV actress Shubhangi Gokhale seems to be enjoying the sour high during the tastings. Pic/Datta KumbharTV actress Shubhangi Gokhale seems to be enjoying the sour high during the tastings. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

The women had a hearty lunch, and then, could also take home a kilo of these lip-smacking goodies. Aren’t lessons of the delicious kind the easiest to remember?

Beery good news!
The next time you are at one of Beer Cafe’s outlets across the city, don’t forget to try the Blippar app. The app, we are told, has started a new service that allows users to get detailed info on a beer, from its make to the ingredients used to create the beer.

We also hear that the app can recognise and give details about 56 different beer brands, by simply pointing their phone’s camera to the label in the bottle. Now that’s what we call looking at the lager picture.

Saina roots for Nita bhabhi
Looks like amidst the buzz and negative press on social media about her nomination to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Nita Ambani found support from Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal.

Nita Ambani and Saina Nehwal
Nita Ambani and Saina Nehwal

Last weekend, she tweeted: ‘Nita Ambani being nominated for the IOC is a great achievement! It's great news for all sports persons to have an Indian on the council.’ We’ll rest our judgment on this one and wait a bit to check what good comes for Indian sport from this nomination.

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