Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

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

Dilip Doshi dabbles in luxury
“Happy New Year,” Dilip Doshi’s crisp voice on the other end of the phone greets us. The former Indian cricketer-turned-entrepreneur has ventured into the new luxury segment with Kahla, a porcelain company and Greggio, a family-run business in Italy that produces sterling silver products.

The store launched opposite Sterling cinema, last week. He is a fan of the Rolling Stones and good friends with the band members, especially Mick Jagger. “It was last year in Stockholm, and hopefully I will attend one soon,” he says of his last attendance at their concert. He nurtures his passion by collecting band memorabilia. “My most prized possession is a gold disk. But most of all, I value their friendship.”

Firing up
The last time Priyanka Choudhary, well-known for her performance pieces, exhibited her works in the city, we saw some pretty strong responses on war and violence.

Think Priyanka lying in a pool of mock-blood in the Flora Fountain neighbourhood. The Delhi-based artist is making a re-appearance in Mumbai next month, with a new set of works, and we hear that they are going to be ceramic pieces themed around the body.

Priyanka says she is not one to restrict herself, and for the last three months, her mantra has been to make, burn, repeat. “I have just been putting things into the kiln and firing them up, while keeping my fingers crossed that they come out well,” she says.

Does this mean that we don’t get to see some performative pieces this time? “Well, while I haven’t planned anything right now, but knowing me, I am sure I will do something on the spur of the moment.”

Papon to sing an English tune
Assamese singer Papon, known for his Coke Studio folksy tunes, has quite a few things up his sleeve. He will recently begin work on a Nagesh Kukunoor movie, called Magic Men for now, where he plays a loser musician.

But the most exciting thing in his kitty could be that he is working hard on his new album. And surprise, this one could be entirely in English. It’s because he thinks that by singing in English, he could reach out to a lot more people.

“I may make a lot of singles, and then if I have enough of them, will combine them into an album. I have grown up listeing to English music, but never sang in the language. I promise it will be very different and unique.” We can hardly wait.

Johnson, Lillee and an old yarn
The Australian Associated Press reported the other day how current Aussie pace terror Mitchell Johnson met all-time great Dennis Lillee recently and enjoyed a cup of coffee with the past master.

Dennis Lillee
Dennis Lillee

Many years ago, Lillee watched Johnson bowl just three balls in the nets at Brisbane and recommended him to lifelong mate Rod Marsh who was running the Australian Cricket Academy.

Mitchell Johnson. Pics/Getty Images
Mitchell Johnson. Pics/Getty Images

Now, Johnson has played two more Tests than Lillee’s 70 but he is still 45 shy of Lillee’s 355-wicket mark. The Western Australia (WA) great was delighted to meet Johnson but what surprised Lillee the most was Johnson saying to him, “I wanted to ask if you mind if I break your record?”

Lillee was struck by the respect shown to him, the same kind of admiration he had for erstwhile greats throughout his career. Daily Dossier gives you an example: When Lillee broke Richie Benaud’s Australian record wicket mark of 248 by dismissing India’s Chetan Chauhan in the 1981 Melbourne Test, he enjoyed the moment with his teammates and then turned to the Channel Nine commentary box where he knew Benaud would be present and gave him the victory sign.

Lillee won’t be in any commentary box when Johnson crosses his 355-wicket tally but Johnson will surely find time to call Perth. Dennis Keith Lillee is nothing short of a legend and an inspiration. After all, he went on to become his country’s highest wicket-taker in Tests despite his doctor telling him he will never play Test cricket again when he broke his back in 1973.

Boney M hitmaker is here
It was 1976 when Daddy Cool first hit the charts. Almost four decades later, Liz Mitchell, lead singer of Boney M along with her troupe, is set to enthrall the city with iconic songs like Ma Baker, Rivers of Babylon, and the disco stomper Ra-Ra-Rasputin at a Kurla mall this week.

This will be Mitchell’s first visit to Mumbai and she already has her plans chalked out. “A three-wheeler public ride to start with and some spicy indian food. We’ve heard a lot about it,” says the feisty 63-year-old, referring to the rickshaw. Although she’ll be belting out most of their chartbusters, she does have a favourite. “Oh, it’s definitely got to be Brown Girl in the Ring.”

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