Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

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

Laadli's gender gala
The diarist had the opportunity of chatting with the spirited Dolly Thakore after long, but she was displeased with a little something that Daily Dossier had run.

Dolly Thakore
Dolly Thakore

"Jeannie Naoroji's Lifetime Achievement Award for Fashion Design and Choreography is a Mumbai's Population First project, and not by Delhi's Laadli Foundation," she clarified.

Thakore, who is national coordinator for the Laadli National Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity slated for April 13, says the initiative is in its seventh year.

Population First is a communication and advocacy initiative working towards eliminating the falling sex ratio in our population while sensitising the youth and media to gender issues. The diarist stands corrected, Ms Thakore, and happily so when it's Mumbai over Delhi.

A sign of Sobers
To find a book written on cricket legend Sir Garry Sobers is rare, simply because all his books are out of print. It's all the more rare to get hold of autographed copies of his books because one of the great all-rounder's pet hates nowadays is signing autographs.

Sir Garry Sobers
Sir Garry Sobers

That's why our in-house book scavenger was amazed when Dharmesh Mansukhlal of Sheetal Book Centre, Matunga (East) showed him an autographed copy of Sobers' Twenty Years at the Top. Not only did Mansukhlal reserve it for this diarist, he also didn't demand a price. More than money, it was important that a deserving collector got the book.

Both parties were happy. More so, this diarist because Sobers' collaborator for the book, Brian Scovell is a fine writer apart from a friend. It's also a book which Sachin Tendulkar read as he took his first steps in international cricket. And Tendulkar, like Sobers, spent two decades 'at the top.'

By the way, an autographed copy of the same book costs 50 pounds (R4700 approx), R4200 more than what was handed to the Matunga bookseller.

When art meets poetry
There was art on the walls and poetry in the air when an exhibition of the famed Indian Modernist SH Raza's works opened last week at Art Musings. Nirantar, which was originally set to open on February 22 — ailing Raza's birthday — was postponed in the hope that he would recover. But his poor health kept him in New Delhi, and he was sorely missed at the opening.

SH Raza and Ashok Vajpeyi
SH Raza and Ashok Vajpeyi

His friend of 40 years, poet Ashok Vajpeyi, did his best to make up for Raza's absence, as he fished out many an anecdote from their lives. We also learnt that Vajpeyi names many of Raza's shows (Nirantar, meaning incessant, is one such example), and discussions about these happen between the two quite often.

What's more, Vajpeyi is going to launch his book of poems in translation, A Name for Every Leaf, this month, and the cover bears a Raza work. As we read through one of his poems — Raza's Time — we agreed that Nirantar was a fitting name.

Tie-dye me too
Fashion Week is a time to snap up new trends. It's also a time for designers to check who has been snapping up their trends. Like Paromita Banerjee, who was delighted that a client walked into her stall wearing an indigo tie-dyed kurta from her AW 2010 collection. Only, the client informed her that this was from a lifestyle chain backed by an industrial giant.

Paromita's AW 2010 design; (inset) A rip-off of the original, claims the designer
Paromita's AW 2010 design; (inset) A rip-off of the original, claims the designer

It would have been a simple case of trends trickling down from ramp to high street, had the department store not been in talks with the designer around 2010-11 to do a capsule line, Banerjee says.

"It didn't work out because I did not want to lose the hand-made touch of our brand and couldn't agree to their abominable terms," she says. The designer is now contemplating what to do next, but rest assured, she is not happy.

Zaha Hadid for Mumbai
As the world, especially the architectural fraternity, comes to terms with the death of the dynamic British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, few might be aware that the Pritzker Architecture-Prize winner had a city connect. Well, almost.

Zaha Hadid. Pic courtesy: Facebook
Zaha Hadid. Pic courtesy: Facebook

In late 2014, the city was abuzz with news of a new building wing that was to be added to the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Byculla. The competition to design this wing attracted 104 submissions; of this, eight architects were selected for the final leg. The Baghdad-born Hadid's firm had made it to the final eight.

The impression of the design submitted by Zaha Hadid’s firm for the new wing. Pic courtesy: Bhau DajiLad Mumbai City Museum
The impression of the design submitted by Zaha Hadid’s firm for the new wing. Pic courtesy: Bhau DajiLad Mumbai City Museum

American architect Steven Holl was picked as the eventual winner. Museum honorary director and trustee, Tasneem Zakaria Mehta recalls the connect, "I had interacted with her team. Hadid was a brilliant designer. It's a great loss to contemporary architecture."


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