Mumbai Diary page: Wednesday Whispers

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

Sure shot for selfies
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) often uses celebrity names and faces to reinforce their anti-cruelty to animals message.

This time they have zeroed in on shooter Heena Sidhu, who incidentally, is taking part in the Commonwealth Games beginning in Glasgow today. PETA says Heena Sidhu, will never use her record-setting pistol skills for: to hunt and kill animals. The PETA campaign shows Sidhu telling people to shoot selfies instead of animals.

One thinks this is quite a telling advertisement and a little different from PETA’s host of glamour ambassadors who often show a lot of skin though, we’re not judging here. So no to animals, but one hopes Heena finds the mark at the shooting ranges in Glasgow.

Loss to the music world
One OF our most well-known Hindustani musicologists, Mumbaikar Mohan Nadkarni, passed away yesterday in Auckland, New Zealand, where he lived with his wife Suniti and son, cartoonist and journalist Dev Nadkarni (known for his creation, the minister Fekuchand Garibdas).

Mohan Nadkarni, circa 1980, busy at the typewriter and, below, with Pandit Ravi Shankar in 1967. Pics courtesy/Dev Nadkarni
Mohan Nadkarni, circa 1980, busy at the typewriter and, below, with Pandit Ravi Shankar in 1967. Pics courtesy/Dev Nadkarni

Nadkarni, who was exactly two months short of turning 92, was a mid-day columnist and the music critic of The Times of India for more than 50 years, and has been instrumental in shaping the musical knowledge and sensibilities of countless people, readers and music-lovers alike.

A prolific writer on Hindustani music, Marathi and Sanskrit theatre as well as other cultural topics, Nadkarni has interviewed luminaries such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustads Ali Akbar Khan and Alla Rakha, and of course Pandit Bhimsen Joshi he was Joshi's official biographer, and the book continues to be a hot seller.

Before migrating to New Zealand eight years ago, he donated his entire musical library comprising thousands of articles and rare photographs, about 1,200 rare LP and 78RPM records, and thousands of cassettes to the music department of the SNDT University in Pune, where a music library has been set up in his name. We hope he is peacefully enjoying many more concerts in music heaven.

Fitness mantra
Actor John Abraham, brand ambassador for the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, which incidentally completes a dashing dozen (12 marathons in Mumbai) in January 2015, was ensnared in a web of TV cameras and press persons at a press conference yesterday at the Trident, Nariman Point. John’s message to the audience was that one must follow fitness like a religion.

John Abraham exhorted runners to go for the gruelling 42-km. Pic/Bipin Kokate
John Abraham exhorted runners to go for the gruelling 42-km. Pic/Bipin Kokate

“Make it your religion, worship fitness like we worship gods and we will transform as a society. I am pretty much an agnostic, so I think we should worship fitness,” said John, evoking some laughs, even as he acknowledged that we have become aware as a society of what we eat and about overall fitness.

The actor also pushed more people to run the punishing full marathon distance of 42 km. “I think it is a mental block against the 42-km.” He added, “Maybe in a few months, a year maybe, I will start training and attempt the 42-km” he said. Move away running hordes, or John’s formidable biceps will simply swat you away on the course.

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