Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

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

Even Chappelli wouldn’t play with cheats
Just the other day, we read about Pakistan’s limited overs cricket stars Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali having no truck with spot fixer Mohammad Amir to the point that they refused to train with Amir in a camp.

While cricket lovers can debate whether this intolerance bodes well for the willow game or not, Daily Dossier recalls another incident of one player not willing to be in the same team as another because the latter had indulged in something that went against the spirit of the game.

The former in the above controversy happened to be our cricket columnist Ian Chappell, who told his captain Bill Lawry before the fourth Test against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 1970 that he wouldn’t be part of the team if a certain player, who was a reserve on the tour, was picked in the XI.

Chappell reasoned that this particular player had cheated India off-spinner Erapalli Prasanna out during a game on the 1969-70 tour of India never mind if Prasanna was a tail-end batsman.
In short, Chappell was making the point that he didn’t play with cheats and even urged Lawry to drop him (Chappell) if he wanted to hand that player a Test cap. Lawry of course, dropped plans of ‘resting’ his off-form player and Chappell had his way.

Age no bar
Sandip Soparrkar

Tao Porchon Lynch, the world’s oldest dancer at 97, does the Cha Cha Cha with Sandip Soparrkar as actor Sharbani Mukherjee looks on. Lynch was in Mumbai for the launch of The Dancing Light by Alyque Padamsee and Kamini Kaushal, a book that chronicles her journey. The event was held last evening at a mall in Kurla.

When the actor turned audience
When we walk into a flat in Rustom Baug, Byculla, little do we expect it to be Dinyar Contractor’s residence, where Bigbang Productions, who are one of five finalist groups in the Draame Bawaas hunt, are rehearsing.

Dinyar Contractor. PIC/ATUL KAMBLE
Dinyar Contractor. Pic/Atul Kamble

He is sitting at the centre of the room on a chair. “You will be in the frame if you sit here,” director Huzan Wadia tells him. He happily shifts to the corner of the room, where he gets a bird’s eye view of the goings on. “I am Huzan’s uncle, so I have opened my home to her group to rehearse. I am happy when I am watching theatre. I have been acting for 55 years. Watching these young actors fills my heart with hope for Parsi theatre.”

Contractor got his first break in Burjor Patel’s play Tirangi Temul, an adaptation of the British comedy Boeing Boeing, in 1966. “Dinyar Contractor had a small role, but he was hilarious. The play went on to do 40-odd shows,” says Patel.

Painting her love
Bengaluru-based artist Shilo Suleman seems to inspire wherever she goes. The 26-year-old recently painted a wall on Alsisar Mahal, Rajasthan, for the Magnetic Fields festival. The wall, we are told, is near the left entrance of the mahal and now sports an image of Radha dancing with a peacock. The image holds a special significance for the village and its erstwhile royals, all devotees of Radha and Krishna. Organiser of the fest, Abhimanyu Alsisar posted on a social networking site saying: “Thank you so much for this lovely gift guys the villagers love you and have started repairing their walls for u to come back.” In fact, even artiste Monica Dogra said on the site: “She helped me overcome my fears of inadequacy as she praised and chastised me to paint with pride and love. Thank you.”

Guys, listen up
That men can be uncouth, clumsy and lazy is known. But instead of wringing his hands in resignation, Vir Das has decided to play saviour to his breed, in the best way known to him — through DIY videos on YouTube. In the two-minute videos, he sings ditties (not in his voice) on typical male problems like how to cook on your own, ways to cool your drink, and of course, the season’s quandary — dealing with smelly socks. While poking fun, he also offers simple solutions to hapless souls in the video. Effective or not, is for the men to decide.

Vir Das

Homecoming
Arshiya Lokhandwala

After the acclaim that the show received in New York last spring, Arshiya Lokhandwala is bringing After Midnight to Mumbai. The exhibition, which spans Indian modern and contemporary art from 1947 to the present, made waves when it went up at Queens Museum in NYC, with the international paparazzi crowning it as a veritable survey of post-Independence renaissance. It brought together names like VS Gaitonde, Atul Dodiya, Dayanita Singh and MF Husain. Lokhandwala, whose doctoral thesis is on this very subject, is tweaking the show — re-curating it and making it site-specific — to suit the Mumbai audience and keep it relevant. After Midnight is set to open as the Bhau Daji Lad Museum’s first exhibition of 2016, and we have stardust in our eyes.

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