Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

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

We won't forget Aarushi
After the first podcast of Trial By Error: The Aarushi Files, based on Avirook’s Sen’s Aarushi, narrated by journalist Nishita Jha and produced by Ayesha Sood and Udayan Baijal of Jamun, reactions have been coming in.

The team behind Trial By Error: The Aarushi Files, (from left) Udayan Baijal, Avirook Sen, Nishita Jha and Ayesha Sood
The team behind Trial By Error: The Aarushi Files, (from left) Udayan Baijal, Avirook Sen, Nishita Jha and Ayesha Sood

One of the most interesting feedbacks has come on Twitter where the makers have been inundated with messages from handles that exclusively tweet about the Aarushi case.

“There are some accounts that only Tweet about the case around the clock, and they have been big supporters,” says Jha. They even got a sweet surprise when Rabia Chaudry, the lawyer who took on the case of Adnan Masud Syed, who was convicted of murdering American student Hae Min Lee, tweeted to them.

She is the one who later convinced Sarah Koenig, who told the story of Adnan on her podcast, Serial. “I think people are amazed that so much evidence was ignored; that’s why it’s so hard to get over this,” says Jha. Maybe, we all still have a lesson to learn.

Mickey not mouse-like, but how about a chat with Immy?
Mickey Arthur is not Pakistan’s first foreign cricket coach and he won’t be the first to encounter his share of cultural issues during his stint either.

Mickey Arthur and Imran Khan
Mickey Arthur and Imran Khan

With the coach becoming such an important part of a cricketing entourage, Arthur, the South African, who coached the Proteas and Australia’s national team, will be viewed even more closely than some of Pakistan’s biggest stars. In short, his job is not an enviable one.

Going by what happened when he coached Australia, whose players were asked to put pen to paper in an exercise of ‘homework’ in 2013, after which Arthur was sacked just before that year's Ashes series in England, Arthur may opt to be hard on his latest lot of players unlike his strategy for the Australians.

“A lot of the time I sweetened the message, and that’s a criticism I could look back on and say maybe it should have just been hardcore, straight and direct and leave it at that. Perhaps there was a cultural disconnect there, and I realise that in hindsight. That’s fair enough criticism,” he admitted in Daniel Brettig’s Whitewash to Whitewash which focussed on those tough times.

Watch out Pakistan, but Arthur must watch his back too. We suggest he chats with Imran Khan before he takes over simply because no one could weld a Pakistan cricket together save the great Khan.

Tales of a working mom
From being a hard-nosed, award-winning foreign correspondent and author, to now scripting a humourous parenting memoir Babies and Bylines, Pallavi Aiyar seems to enjoy breaking away from the conventional.

Pallavi Aiyar
Pallavi Aiyar

“But, it comes at the risk of not being taken very seriously,” Aiyar tells this diarist — thanks to the not-so-serious nature of her new book, which is a far cry from her last, Punjabi Parmesan: Dispatches from a Europe in Crisis. Here, the Jakarta-based journalist reports on the battles she must fight with herself, and the world, as she strives to keep up with her babies and bylines (of course).

“It’s a conversation on motherhood and parenting. And how at some point, we end up being faced with the false choices of whether to work or not (for the sake of your child)…and all of it because our role as carers is not recognised by employers and the government,” she argues.

Instead of working mothers (and fathers) being asked to pick their battles, Aiyar hopes that her personal story helps raise the need for a more considerate environment for them. “It’s difficult to be best at both,” she says. But nothing is worse than being forced to make a choice.

There’s now a luxe P-Tracker
What do women really need during their periods? For starters, an alarm that reminds us that the date is due (you know, incase you don’t suffer PMS and pre-emptive acne, therefore, letting the world know a week before). Secondly, a bit of TLC. Make it lots, actually. And, add chocolates, and some wine.

And, where there is a need, there is a business idea, it seems. This week, we were informed of the launch of Cosset — a period subscription box service. Initially, we scratched our heads. And then, we were told that the box will contain sanitary napkins of our choice and goodies such as comfort foods (read chocolates and green tea bags), pampering items and intimate essentials to help us get through those five days.

With a price ranging from a monthly payment of R260 (for the basic box) to R785 (for the indulgence box), however, we thinks sticking to ordering it monthly from the kirana store might be a cheaper idea. But, you know, maybe it's a fun way to introduce your young daughter/sister/niece to the joys of puberty.

First at Frieze
We love it when our city’s favourite gallerists go places, and the stories they have to tell us of their travels. We are eager to know more, especially from Jhaveri Contemporary, which debuted this week at Frieze New York with eight works by Zahoor ul Akhlaq, the father of contemporary art from Pakistan.

Priya Jhaveri tells us that she has had a terrific response to the works, which have been out of circulation since the artist’s untimely death in 1999. Jhaveri Contemporary’s booth got some pretty rave reviews at the fair known for its edginess. Jhaveri says, “It is a privilege to be here but it’s not easy to get into the fair. If we have the right project, we would consider applying next time.” We so hope you do!

Mommies-to-be

(Left) Model Carol Gracias and actor Shveta Salve walk the ramp sporting their baby bumps to celebrate Mother’s Day at a five-star in Lower Parel. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

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