Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
Lata, the international performer
For nearly 23 years (1975-1998), Florida-based Mohan Deora co-organised veteran playback singer Lata Mangeshkar’s singing tours overseas. From her soul-stirring renditions along with Mukesh, Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar in Canada and America, to the starry events that saw the participation of Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar, and Waheeda Rehman, Deora has been privy to it all. Now, offering a rare insight into the artiste’s life outside the buffered-walls of the recording studio, Deora has joined hands with Mangeshkar’s niece Rachana Shah to trace her journey on international stage. Titled, On stage with Lata (HarperCollins India), the soon-to-release book will recount how Mangeshkar transformed the way the Indian film music concert was perceived in the West. She refused to be part of the low-key song-and-dance performances that were held earlier in community halls, schools and colleges, the book reveals. For fans, this is another chapter in the singer’s life they will now have access to.
A pansexual runway
"Why so serious?" asked Narendra Kumar through his Summer/Resort 2017 presentation titled, Millenials, at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week on Friday evening. At once questioning the strain of seriousness that is ailing fashion. While urging fashion to regain its sense of humour, the designer also made a cheeky commentary on gender identity.
The show opened with an AV featuring a strong-minded, dusky woman rollicking in bed with her fair-skinned, lithe male lover. And just like that, he switched conventional gender roles.
Pics/Satej Shinde and Yogen Shah
The designer chased the idea by dressing his no-make-up women models in ties and tailored suits, while male models wore lipstick and relaxed bomber jackets. He squeezed the rigidity out of the unthinkable by keeping the mood lighthearted, peppered with an up-tempo music playlist, and sincere showcasing of form and technique in clothes. Gender blurring is one of fashion’s biggest stories, with international giants Prada, Comme des Garcons and Rick Owens embracing clothes and, ignoring gender.
With love from Sikkim
The National Society of the Friends of the Trees is ready with its 56th vegetable, fruit and flower show. To be held at DG Ruparel College on February 11 and 12, the event will see a different governor attending the show each day.
On Saturday, Ch Vidyasagar Rao, governor of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, will grace the occasion. On Sunday, Shriniwas Patil, very much a Maharashtrian and the governor of Sikkim, will be touring the show. We hear that Patil has quite the green thumb, and will be accompanied by orchid farmers and a team from Sikkim’s horticulture department.
An airline is also flying in 250 cut flowers for the event, which Pheroza Godrej, culture maven and the president emirata of the society, wishes happened more often. Godrej says, “Back then, when there were fewer security restrictions, the lawns and the buildings at Raj Bhavan were devoted to the flower shows, with consulates arranging and airlines delivering flowers (pro bono).”
Not wearing my stardom
AT a recent award function held at a plush Juhu hotel, cricketer Ajinkya Rahane left onlookers pleasantly surprised. Ditching the VIP entrance for celebrities, the 28-year-old and his wife Radhika, chose to enter through the common entrance instead, where guests have to go through the mandatory security drill.
Ajinkya Rahane with wife Radhika
The cricketer was there to receive the most stylish cricketer award. Well earned, we say.
All set for a Wisden collection?
Our in-house cricket nut received a cricket books catalogue from Down Under the other day. He did his usual checks for those books missing in his collection and those which he needed to procure due to BLD. What’s BLD? “Borrowed but Later Denied,” he says, heaving a sigh of regret for the several books he lent only to be told by the borrower that they were not taken at all. This, say book lovers, is the most common way to lose books.
English cricketer Moeen Ali after being named as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year 2014 during the Wisden Cricketers' Almanac at Lords Cricket Ground on April 8, 2015, in London. Pic/Getty Images
Towards the end of the catalogue was an advertisement-like note on the availability of an entire collection of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanacs. It said: “A rare opportunity to obtain a complete set of the ‘Cricketer’s Bible’, the final arbitrator in any cricket dispute, which has outlasted all rivals. The first 15 volumes, 1864-1878 are facsimile reprints issued in 1960. The remainder are all original editions in very good condition, those from 1879 to 1940 re-bound, with the front and back covers preserved. All post-war copies are hardback editions. Offers above $25,000 (R13 lakh) invited by February 20th.”
So now, cricket pundits who reach out for their book collection as often as they grab their remote to watch a match, know how much a set of Wisdens cost. Rather, much is the minimum cost!
Despite the might she owns in the fashion retail industry, Tina Tahiliani-Parikh is still her brother's biggest fan. At Tarun Tahiliani's jam-packed fashion show with friend and model Mehr Jessia Rampal headlining the front row, Tina happily sat herself down on the floor, and cheered on her brother. Sweet!