Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Jul 01, 2017, 09:36 IST | Team mid day

Musical minister?
Kailash Kher's rustic voice has a certain honesty to it, which makes him a loved figure in the music sphere. So, whenever he announces an update about his work, it receives love and curiosity. Recently, the 43-year-old singer visited the residence of Kiren Rijiju, the Union minister of state for home affairs, and thanked the minister for being a part of his next project. Rijiju's cultural forte came to light when he participated in his younger days in the Festival of India in the USSR, 1987, but the singing talent is not known. "I can't reveal much about this now," Kher told this diarist. Watch this space for more.

India in the pound
The opening of Textile India 2017 in Gandhinagar, which is being publicised as India's first mega textiles trade fair, was a melting pot where designers shared space with politicos including union minister for textiles Smriti Irani, draped predictably in a Patan Patola.

Designer Manish Malhotra shoots a selfie in the exhibition area
Designer Manish Malhotra shoots a selfie in the exhibition area

Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu was all praise for Irani's initiative and referred to PM Modi as the personal ambassador of textiles, someone who actively promotes khadi. Dressed in a crisp, short-sleeved kurta, Modi did a quick round of the exhibition area before taking the podium where KM Birla, Gautam Singhania and Sanjay Lalbhai were waiting.

Switching between Hindi and English, he discussed apparel growth while quoting Kabir. And then there was a sweet revelation. That India is the second largest exporter of cotton is known. But did you know the British pound note is made from 100 per cent cotton sourced from India? Richard Heald of UK India Business Council flicked a £50 note from his pocket to announce this. Nice.

The queen roots for young guns
All of 22, Suhani Jalota already has extensive experience in social entrepreneurship. In 2015, she joined hands with three women involved in social work from Mumbai's slums and set up Myna Mahila Foundation, while she was still a student.

The Govandi-based organisation works in the field of health, sanitation and other initiatives that enable women to be independent. Up north, 25-year-old Ankit Kawatra gave up a cushy corporate job to found Feeding India in Delhi that helps redistribute extra food to those in need. It came as heartening news that the efforts of these driven youths have not gone unnoticed.

Both Jalota and Kawatra won the Queen's Young Leader Award for 2017, held in London on June 29. The award recognises people aged 18 to 29 from across the Commonwealth, using their skills to transform lives. "We're being trained to adapt the best practices from Commonwealth countries. I will be returning to India in December," Jalota told his diarist about the Cambridge University course she is taking as part of the programme. More power to the young guns.

Run, Mumbai run
Here's some good news for fitness enthusiasts eager to discover the city. Mumbai Road Runners, a non-profit that organises monthly half-marathon runs, has organised a 10K run tomorrow that starts from NCPA up to Babulnath and back. The organisation is involved in various initiatives for the city's running community, and has launched a fundraising campaign for the family of a runner who lost his life while returning from a race. They've also launched an awards night for amateur runners, usually held two weeks after the Mumbai marathon in January-end.

Nidhi's got a view
It looks like the chroniclers of society are increasingly taking to writing their own chronicles. Joining a host of journalists who have recently released their books is senior television journalist, Nidhi Razdan.

Left, Right and Centre: The Idea of India, drawing from her debate show, is a title that marks 70 years of India's Independence. With contributors from all political standpoints, including Yashwant Sinha, Chandan Mitra, Derek O'Brien, Mukul Kesavan, Aruna Roy, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Shabana Azmi (inset), grappling with the idea of India, this would make for one interesting read.

Pic/Sneha KharabePic/Sneha Kharabe

Jasoosi on the jasoos
A mid-day photographer snapped Ranbir Kapoor step out of a shoot location in Bandra, last afternoon, where he was most likely shooting for the Sanjay Dutt biopic.

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