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Mumbai Diary page: Friday Frolics

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

When masala dosa meets falafel
Talk about an Indo-Israeli collaboration with a difference. Israeli youngsters who have returned from army service are in the city, doing social service at Santacruz.

Israeli youngsters teach action songs to Santacruz municipal school children. Pic/Abhishek Rane
Israeli youngsters teach action songs to Santacruz municipal school children. Pic/Abhishek Rane

Teaching students of a municipal school self-defence, art, health and hygiene, these 20 somethings are enjoying the Indian experience. The group of 25 is in the city for two weeks and interacts with the 200 children teaching them life skills.

Mumbai to them is much like Tel Aviv back home but more crowded. Gili Cohen who is part of the group says, “The people are warm like Israelis back home. We eat masala dosa for lunch and falafel for dinner, as we try to balance our day with a mix of Indian and Israeli food.”

“Everyday as we teach, we are also learning, a lot about India as well as ourselves. The India we thought of and the country that we are discovering is very different. But I must say, that it is great to see, it is incredible,” says Silvan Kellar who was in the Israeli Army for two years.

A brush with mystery
Cameras whirred and clicked, journalists scribbled fast and furious, TV mikes also called ‘boom’ stood ready to be ‘thrown’ at speakers and lights from the chandeliers above, twinkled in the mirrors on the walls.

(from L) Areef Patel, Yasmin  M Y and Farukh Wadia at the press conference at the ITC Grand Central in Parel, yesterday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
(from L) Areef Patel, Yasmin  M Y and Farukh Wadia at the press conference at the ITC Grand Central in Parel, yesterday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Sheetal Mafatlal’s friend Areef Patel and Areef’s friends, Farukh Wadia and Yasmin M Y revealed in a press conference yesterday morning, how they had been ‘framed’ by Mumbai socialite Sheetal Mafatlal.

Sheetal connived to make fakes of priceless paintings and then tried to put the blame on Areef, Farukh and Yasmin, they said. There was plenty of mystery, intrigue and stuff for a thriller novel.

Paintings worth crores, tempos moving out with originals and moving in with fakes, paintings stored in a city mall, police filing panchnamas and secretaries and servants all admitting to following dubious orders… who needs Agatha Christie?

Areef when asked if he thought his friend would try to frame him, said, “Would you ever think that of your friend?” while Farukh answered that he “regretted” getting involved in the matter. They claimed Sheetal must return to Mumbai, as she has not responded to several summons.

Mallakhamb in Sweden
Mallakhamb, the indigenous sport of yoga or gymnastics on a rope or pole, goes to Sweden. Swedish filmmaker Filip Nilsson, is set to release a music video on Mallakhamb. The shooting for the video took place in Mumbai in the last few months and the short film is being edited currently.

Filip Nilsson, the director
Filip Nilsson, the director

Artist John De Sohn’s song You only love me will feature in the music video, which is set to be released in the next few weeks. Explaining why he chose Mallakhamb Nilsson says, “I’m very interested in subcultures, especially within sport. I read an article about Mallakhamb and found a clip on YouTube, which was amazing.

A still from the Mallakhamb music video which will be released, soon
A still from the Mallakhamb music video which will be released, soon

I felt strongly that I needed to visit India and take a closer look at this sport.” Talking about the Indian experience while shooting the video, Nilsson says, “It was a very good experience, though I must say that Mumbai during the monsoon was tough for a Nordic team like ours.

We had a lot of help from our local friend and producer Shonali Sarda from Highlight Films, though.” Via the video, Nilsson is hoping to entertain and get more people interested in the sport, both in India as well as internationally. Looks like Mallakhamb is headed west with a lot of zest.

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