Mumbai Diary page: Saturday Scene

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

Voices behind bars
His memoirs of 18 months that he spent in jail, most of them in solitary confinement, are now a book. We are talking about Arun Ferreira, who released his book Colours of the Cage: A Prison Memoir at the Press Club in the city on Friday evening.

Prof Varavara Rao (left) and Arun Ferreira at the release of Ferreira’s book yesterday. Pic/Varun Singh
Prof Varavara Rao (left) and Arun Ferreira at the release of Ferreira’s book yesterday. Pic/Varun Singh

Also present was writer, poet and activist Professor Varavara Rao. The event included a discussion with Ferreira, Rao and playwright-director Ramu Ramanathan, moderated by journalist and writer Naresh Fernandes.

Ferreira, who is now free, said that there is need for a better understanding of human rights of prisoners. Among other things he mentioned how catching insects, sun-drying them or roasting them and eating them was a delicacy in the pure vegetarian prisons of Maharashtra.

For the love of art
Yesterday, 19-year-old Nadeem Shaikh was spotted giving an exam at Jogeshwari’s Bal Vikas Vidhya Mandir. What makes Shaikh special is that he doesn’t have hands and uses his feet to paint.

Nadeem Shaikh paints as he gives his exam. Pic/Uday Devrukhkar
Nadeem Shaikh paints as he gives his exam. Pic/Uday Devrukhkar

Shaikh was giving the Maharashtra State Intermediate drawing grade examination which he is hoping to ace in order to secure admission to JJ School of Art.

A well-known mouth and foot painter, Shaikh’s works have earned him national and international recognition. But this exam is an important hurdle for him, as he will be competing with people who are not disabled for a good grade, here as well as when he seeks admission to JJ School.

Shaikh has given his Standard 10th and 12th exams where he wrote his own paper with his feet and managed to clear both with flying colours.

Sena-sational rumours
On Friday afternoon, after messages from a certain section of the MNS started coming in that Uddhav Thackeray had called up Raj Thackeray, the rumour mills began to churn out the story that the cousins were reuniting.

However, the Sena immediately clarified that Uddhav hadn’t done any such thing. It’s said that Uddhav was trying to garner support for the Sena after the BJP had ditched the alliance.

Meanwhile, a section from the Sena claimed that Uddhav had called when Raj was unwell. Some were also saying that Uddhav’s son Aaditya had gone and met Raj, but this too was denied by the Sena.

We overheard a Mumbaikar wondering what Delhi Zoo would do with the tiger which had mauled a youth to death recently. His companion said, “Why punish the tiger? He is already undergoing life imprisonment behind bars in the zoo!”

Let’s hear it for Ugam
You know it is the latter half of the year when the rains dry up and instead, it starts raining classical musical concerts. Today, keep yours ears out for Pandit Shivkumar Sharma who will be performing at the Ugam Music Festival at the Nehru Centre in the evening. The festival begins at 6.30 pm and is extra special as it marks 10 years of Ugam.

The festival itself was started by Padam Sancheti from Ugam Trust, who had a dream of nurturing classical music in India. Pandit Sharma, who had inaugurated the first-ever Ugam fest, is back for the tenth.

The evening culminates with a concert by Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Vijay Ghate on tabla, Pandit Bhawani Shankar on the pakhawaj and Takahiro Arai on the tanpura. Arai, who is Japanese, is also a santoor player, and a disciple of Pt Sharma. Perhaps most heartening of all is that entry passes are free.

Venue: Nehru Centre, Worli. Time: 6.30 pm
For passes call: 23619510 and 23634378

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