Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

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

Filmmaker earns global gay pride
Sridhar Rangayan, festival director of Kashish film festival (the city’s international queer film festival), has added two feathers to his hat. Firstly, his film, Purple Skies (2014) will be screened at the Aks Film and Dialogue Festival in Lahore, Pakistan, on April 10. To add to that, his name features on the British Council (UK) global list of 33 inspiring people who are changing social perceptions about LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) communities. This list includes 22 men and 11 women from 23 countries who are challenging laws and beliefs, and bringing about change.

Sridhar Rangayan

“I hope this amplifies the work one is doing for the LGBT community, and garners larger support for the cause,” he said. Purple Skies, made for the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, was first screened at Kashish in 2014. “Usually, the films around lesbians in India, carried blurred faces, and voices by anonymous people. This movie was an attempt to come out of the shadow, identify victims of abuse and harassment. It’s about young people coming out of the closet, finding partners,” says the 52-year-old Malad resident.

Stay stylish, says JP Dutta's girls
Director JP Dutta’s daughters, Nidhi and Siddhi, are now trying their luck in the fickle world of fashion. Nidhi, 25, who is also making her Bollywood debut this year in a romcom produced by her dad, says their website, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, is all about fulfilling your fashion needs. “Siddhi and I have been thinking about this. She has done a short fashion course in London too. But this is basically about using our knowledge to get you what your heart desires,” says Nidhi. Their “know-how” comes from traveling and shopping all over the country and world, thanks to their father’s profession. “Be it Kolkata or Lucknow, I can tell you what to get where. And if you want clothes that look like designerwear, but can’t afford them, I will find you a cheaper option and even customise it for you. Or if you want an affordable but expensive looking bag, I can tell you where in London we can source it from. It’s all about using our contacts.” We call this making the most of your pedigree.

Nidhi Dutta

We are a couple
Actors Sonal Chauhan and Sonu Sood play ‘house-house’ during an advertisement shoot at Poonawala Bungalow, Madh Island on Saturday. Pic/Satej Sjinde

Sonal Chauhan and Sonu Sood

Flirting with fitness
We all know that Industrialist wife and artist Nawaz Modi Singhania breathes fitness. Which is why for the silver jubilee celebrations of her Marine Drive studio, the lithe wellness mentor has organised a series of lifestyle workshops and high tea for long-time members. “These 25 years have been one amazing ride. Fitness to me means self-esteem,” she told this diarist. To celebrate, she has invited friends and familiar faces from society circles. Falguni and Shane Peacock will conduct a class on camouflaging your ‘problem areas’; and Leela Hotel group heiress, Aishwarya Matthew, will helm the next session on healthy gourmet cooking and eating. A little exercise in making lovely ladies look lovelier harmed no one,right?

Nawaz Modi Singhania

Gond art in Auckland
The people of Auckland are in for some exciting times, as Auckland is getting treated to Gond art. Prominent artist Venkat Shyam (in pic), who specialises in the tribal art form, has been in the Kiwi city to paint an elaborate mural at The Old Fort Bar and Eatery since March 17. We hear that after he landed in Auckland, dinner was organised with the New Zealand High Commissioner to India, Grahame Morton, and talk at the table revolved around bridging the cultural gap between both countries. The restaurant draws heavily from Indian folk and fine art traditions, and customers are periodically invited to interact with Shyam, who continues building upon his mural, which depicts a tree and bovine creatures.

Venkat Shyam

Agarkar at the greens
We hear that former Indian fast bowler Ajit Agarkar has picked up the club and a love for golf. Agarkar has been spotted practicing the game across courses in the country.

Ajit Agarkar

Considering he’s new to golf, he now spends at least three hours a day perfecting his skills. “I love the serenity and silence of golf. Although it’s a technical game, it is also relaxing and therapeutic,” says the 38-year-old, who got interested in the game over the last one year. While it is still in the realm of a hobby, it remains to be seen if the cricketer will swipe the golf stick professionally.

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