Mumbai Diary: Saturday dossier

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

Twinkle, Twinkle, eco star
Twinkle Khanna

This diarist came across a worthy initiative that was brought to our attention by Mrs FunnyBones (Twinkle Khanna) on her Twitter account, urging junta to support their noble, green cause. When we checked out the Twitter account @rastaachaap, we spotted some pretty cool work done by the group. Their aim is to protect and plant trees in urban areas and create awareness about the environment by turning dead trees into works of art. With placards and signage on trees in portions of the Western suburbs, it was good to see the cause get solid, stardust-ey support. Double thumbs up.

Rastaa

Sachin's still got the moves
Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar shares a few batting tips with young aspirants during a mentorship programme in the city yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande

Bollywood, Bajirao and a boost for tourism
On a recent visit to Shaniwar Wada in Pune, this diarist was pleasantly surprised to spot hordes of tourists flock to the once glorious home of the Peshwas, built by Bajirao Peshwa 1, (prime minister to Chhatrapati Shahu, then king of the Maratha empire), in 1732. The fort that has always been open to the public, charges R5 for Indian tourists and Rs 100 for international visitors. While walking past a fountain in the premises, we overheard at least three tourists discussing scenes from the Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone-starrer, Bajiaro Mastani that presented an account of the Peshwa's love affair with a Muslim princess. Curious, we asked the attendant at the ticket counter, |if the tourist spot is always packed. “People drop by on weekends but ever since the movie was released, the numbers have doubled,” he smiled.

Shaniwar Wada
Shaniwar Wada

Pune's Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum houses the collection of Dr Dinkar G Kelkar, including sculptures dating back to the 14th century, ornaments made of ivory, silver and gold, musical instruments, lamps, war weapons and vessels but it also has a replica of the Mastani Mahal. Bajirao I is known to have built a palace for his beloved Mastani at Kothrud near Pune city in 1734 AD.

The replica of Mastani Mahal at Raja Kelkar Museum in Pune

Since she was Muslim and he a Hindu, Bajirao's family and locals opposed the match and refused to let her stay at Shaniwar Wada. Various items from the palace can be found at the museum today. It houses a recreated section of the Mastani Mahal that displays all the items that were once a part of the original palace, including paintings, chandeliers, musical instruments and lamps. “Most visitors to the museum now ask specifically for the Mastani Mahal section. “We sell mugs with 18th century artist impressions of Bajirao and Mastani, created by artists from the Mughal School of Art. When the film released, magnetic badges, with the same images also became very popular, especially with college kids,” an attendant told this diarist. So, why exactly were the Peshwa descendents protesting?

The girls are back!
The Powerpuff Girls

Of the many things that have been going viral recently, one video took us down memory lane, and how! The video is titled Dont Call Me Princess and it's a peek into the reboot of popular '90s cartoon series, The Powerpuff Girls. The trio of Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup will be back to fight crime and save the world, especially, the city of Townsville, this April on Cartoon Network after a break of 11 years.

Breezy music notes
Devaki Pandit, Satish Vyas and Ashwini Bhide Deshpande

Devaki Pandit, Satish Vyas and Ashwini Bhide Deshpande unwind at Dadar Chowpatty before a day-long music concert where the trio will join 16 other musicians. Pic/Sameer Markande

Chef says, eat your greens
Irfan Pabaney

Chef Irfan Pabaney talks shop at an event where influencers from the food industry came together to exchange ideas in Vikhroli last evening. Pic/Swarali Purohit

Columbia University support for JNU
After Pakistani students showed solidarity with counterparts at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and condemnation from international scholars like Noam Chomsky, now, an American university has stepped in to show support.

JNU students agitating for the release of the Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi on Tuesday. PIC/PTI
JNU students agitating for the release of the Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi on Tuesday. PIC/PTI

This diarist spotted a post on social media about students from Columbia University, New York, planning to stand publicly in solidarity with the Delhi university today, to remind all about their democratic right to dissent. It will be be followed by a teach-in with students and professors from the Tri-State Area. Some of the speakers expected at the gathering included Partha Chatterjee and Anupama Rao (both Columbia University) and Rohit De (Yale University). Clearly, the fire seems to be spreading.

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