Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

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

Thai high for Leicester Club fans
English Premier League champions Leicester City's open bus victory parade in Bangkok on Thursday afternoon had a bunch of fans from aamchi Mumbai in attendance too. Malad-based restaurateur Sunny D’Souza, his family and friends cheered on as the champion outfit owned by King Power boss and Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha rode atop a blue bus through a sea of thousands of fans to celebrate their 5000-1 odds victory in the world’s richest football league.

Sunny D’Souza and family friend Joel Frois pose in front of the EPL champion outfit’s open top bus ride in Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday
Sunny D’Souza and family friend Joel Frois pose in front of the EPL champion outfit’s open top bus ride in Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday 

It was no coincidence though that the D’Souzas were in Bangkok around the same time as Leicester City’s celebratory tour. In fact, it was the culmination of a meticulously planned itinerary by Sunny, who along with his brother Ronnie, co-own a fairly successful rink football team, Uncle’s Kitchen United FC, in the city. “The moment I knew that Leicester were planning this tour, I planned our family holiday to coincide with it. I'm a huge fan of Leicester City because they have been the underdogs in a tournament that has been dominated by some of the world’s richest and biggest football clubs,” Sunny (46) told this diarist yesterday.

Leicester City wristbands that were distributed free to thousands of fans who thronged Bangkok’s streets
Leicester City wristbands that were distributed free to thousands of fans who thronged Bangkok’s streets

To add to their memorable experience, the hardcore football lovers didn’t return empty-handed. “They distributed wrist bands with the words ‘Fearless Forever,’ the club’s name, logo and the full list of players inscribed on it. I managed to push my way through the crowd and get a couple of bands. These bands are probably worth a few dollars, but for us, they are precious,” added an excited Sunny.

Let’s start a revolution
Jacqueline Fernandez

To launch Food Revolution Day, a global campaign initiated by British chef Jamie Oliver, in India, Jacqueline Fernandez and chef Kunal Kapur participated in a cooking session at Bandra’s Pali Village Café. They made sattu ka paratha and omelette to highlight how simple, healthy recipes can help eradicate the nutrition crisis. Pic/Tehniyat Fatima

Big names fight Big C
We told you about two-time cancer survivor Neelam Kumar’s comic-on-cancer project in mid-day earlier this year. To Cancer, With Love — My Journey of Joy is a moving but hilarious account of the Andheri resident’s battle with breast cancer.

A panel from Neelam Kumar's graphic novel, To Cancer With Love
A panel from Neelam Kumar's graphic novel, To Cancer With Love

Her dream of launching a graphic comic sequel to the book had hit a wall due to the lack of funds. Kumar’s challenge was to crowdsource Rs 13 lakh in 60 days. “I was nowhere close to reaching my target,” she tells the diarist, “when I wrote to Amitabh Bachchan. I knew he’d respond if the mail reached him, and he did!” While Bachchan has pitched in with Rs 3 lakh, industrialist and philanthropist Ratan Tata has opened up his heart with a kitty of Rs 10 lakh. Canadian animation firm Moovix can now begin illustrating the 64-pager, which Kumar hopes to release in September.

Ratan Tata; Amitabh Bachchan; Neelam Kumar
Ratan Tata; Amitabh Bachchan; Neelam Kumar

Fashion face-off of another kind
The ongoing Cannes Film Festival is known for fashionistas bringing their A game on to centrestage. And this photograph is the perfect example of why celebrities go all out to make a mark.

Sonam Kapoor

What one usually notices during coverage is a known face showing off their best, most camera-friendly profile to the cameras and owning the carpet; what one does not see is the crowd of big names splitting red carpet space and the attention of shutterbugs. Here is actress Sonam Kapoor sharing red carpet space with supermodel Kate Moss. Kapoor is all elan and ease in her Ralph & Russo gown. pic/getty images

Backhanded PR
Choreographer-dancer Sandip Soparrkar, who is at Cannes, happened to bump into Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg after the premier of his latest, The BFG.

Sandip Soparrkar; Steven Spielberg
Sandip Soparrkar; Steven Spielberg

According to Soparrkar’s publicist, Spielberg called out to him with the words, ‘Indian dancer’. And the dancer was “thrilled” at being recognised by the Oscar-winner. The diarist is puzzled. Shouldn’t Soparrkar have felt slighted? Not very different from him calling out to Spielberg with, “Hollywood legend!” isn’t it? Wonder how that would’ve been received. Time to change your publicist, Sandip?

Dance towards your dreams
Mayank Podar from the Podar group and Niralii Somaiyaa have taken up a novel cause to support talent in the city. The duo have started an organisation, Dreamz Unparallel to scout for talent among children and further nurture it by offering them experts to train with.

Children at the Kids Dance League show off their moves at the finale held last night at Parel’s Damodar Hall. PIC/ATUL KAMBLE
Children at the Kids Dance League show off their moves at the finale held last night at Parel’s Damodar Hall. PIC/ATUL KAMBLE

Somaiyaa says that the two decided dance was the talent they’d first focus on, and auditioned 3,000 kids from across the city. “India is full of talent but there are hardly any platforms to showcase it or acquire personal and professional guidance. Which is why we thought of starting Dreamz Unparallel. We chose dance for the first round of activities because anybody can dance, and we knew we would get a large number of entries as compared to picking a niche section. We narrowed it down to 26 kids for the finale,” Somaiyaa said. And we hear, it was one big young talent shindig.

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