Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

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

35 years ago, a Sandy storm in Adelaide
Tomorrow is 35 years for chairman of cricket selectors Sandeep Patil’s memorable century against Australia at the Adelaide Oval in 1981.

India’s Sandeep Patil batting against Australia on the 1980-81 tour Down Under
India’s Sandeep Patil batting against Australia on the 1980-81 tour Down Under

Ending the day with an unbeaten 150, Patil went to score 174 the following day, a score which was the highest by an Indian batsman in Australia till Ravi Shasrti scored 206 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1992. Patil’s century effort in Adelaide came after he sustained a head injury in the previous Test at Sydney. And although he was helped by a good Adelaide pitch, it took a courageous man to tackle the likes of Dennis Lillee, Rodney Hogg and Len Pascoe. It was a memorable summer for India because Sunil Gavaskar’s team managed to draw the Adelaide Test and went on to win the final Test at Melbourne Test to end the series 1-1. Was the 174 Patil’s finest Test innings? No, said the man, who scored it as a 24-year-old middle order batsman in his fifth Test. “Every ball in Adelaide for me was about survival against Dennis, Rodney and Len. The injury in Sydney played in my mind too, but I would rate the 129 not out in Manchester in 1982 as my best knock because people felt I should prove myself in testing English conditions and remember, I was very down before that Old Trafford Test match. I wanted to give up the game,” recalled Patil. Dr Pratap Raut, Patil’s childhood friend, remembered January 25, 1981: “People at Shivaji Park were thrilled and proud that ‘our boy’ has scored a century in Australia. I remember a group of people including Shivaji Park Gymkhana members gathering around the radio, listening to commentary. There were no crackers but we were all so happy and proud of our Sandy.”

Rock band that teaches you manners
There is a new rock band in town and this one is exclusively for kids. Chikaraks is made up of former Viva member Pratichee Mohapatra (in pic), Band of Boys member Chintu Bhonsle (also Asha Bhonsle’s grandson), Manav Dhanda and Fiona D’Souza. Their aim is to educate and help children’s development through music. “It’s about performing songs that parents keep drilling into kids, but sometimes, do not know the right and most effective way of getting their point across,” says Mohapatra, adding, “We help bridge the gap. It could be small things like ‘don’t put anything dangerous in your mouth’, or manners like ‘cover your mouth when you sneeze’.” This is a cool lyrical lesson.

Chikaraks

The noodle maker
At the National Restaurant Summit last week, we bumped into Abhishek Dalvi from Andheri. The 37-year-old is in the midst of setting up a noodle factory in Goregaon. “In the next four months, we will make fresh steamed mee goreng and hakka noodles, as well as oven-dried variety of noodles. Last year, I set out to revive a defunct noodle factory in Pune and invested my savings into the project. Unfortunately, it was a partnership that didn’t work out. I returned to Mumbai with no money but a whole lot of knowledge,” says Dalvi.

Abhishek Dalvi
Abhishek Dalvi

In the current market, noodles available are without FSSAI certification and are made in the most unhygienic conditions, he claims. “My plan is to provide a better, safer, hygienic alternative,” says Dalvi, who will also launch a greenhouse system to grow bean sprouts.

“We have imported as well as locally sourced the seeds. There are plans to produce alfalfa sprouts and buckwheat, too.”

Way to go, noodle man.

Young Love
A toddler sizes up a pooch’s chin at a dog show that was held at the Radio Club in Colaba on Saturday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Art ambassador
Joining the Art Dubai family this year is curator Farah Siddiqui, who has just been feted as the fair’s official ambassador for India. This new role puts the elegant Siddiqui as the face of Art Dubai in India. Before the March commencement of the fair, she will round up some of the most important collectors from India, and guide them to the best of Art Dubai. “Super-honoured” is how Siddiqui describes her work ahead, adding, “Dubai is the cultural gateway to the Middle East, where collectors are growing exceptionally.” Working alongside her Iranian counterpart — the famed collector Mana Mobargha — Siddiqui is sure to work her discerning eye well on home turf.

Farah Siddiqui
Farah Siddiqui

JLF JAM — 2016: 'English language authors live in self-chosen isolation'
In a session that talked about the Ramcharitramanas and its relevance today, poet Ashok Vajpeyi told the audience that his learning of the text came from its repeated recitation by his grandmother and mother. “Today’s generation is impatient but shouldn’t deprive themselves of this rich cultural text,” said the poet.

Ashok Vajpeyi
Ashok Vajpeyi 

Talking about returning the Sahitya Akademi Award to protest growing intolerance, Vajpeyi said, “English language authors live in self chosen isolation. Quite a few of them including Nayantara Sahgal, Geeta Hariharan, Vikram Seth have protested. Authors have to talk about the issues that concern us, and intolerance is an extremely important issue. The President told me that he recognised this as a form of protest and said thank you for at least highlighting the issue of intolerance.” He also added, “I returned the D Litt degree from Hyderabad university because a Dalit student who wanted to be a writer fell prey to anti-Dalit policies and killed himself. That’s intolerant too! I returned the degree in protest. Thankfully, we are being heard now.”

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