Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Feb 19, 2017, 08:40 IST | Team mid-day

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

Neha and Kangana's little secret
Neha Dhupia, who has been in the news for her podcast, was recently seen bonding with Kangana Ranaut on the set of Chote Miyan Dhakad with Sohail Khan. Despite having known each other for a couple of years, it was only during this conversation that Neha and Kangana discovered common ground — they share the same nickname — chotu. A birdie tells us that both continue to be called this at home.

Alibaug is Lala land
The preferred weekend destination for Mumbaikars seems to have got another gallery, this time an offering from a former entertainment journalist.

Maleeka Lala
Maleeka Lala

Maleeka Lala has launched a gallery space within her home by Akshi Beach in Alibaug. The launch took place last evening with the opening of a group show by 21 artists. The coming days will tell us if Casa Lala Art will live up to the expectations of the demanding art frats. “If I thought of just profits, then I wouldn’t have been in this line,” says Lala, sounding excited over the phone.

Pic/Sneha Kharabe
Pic/Sneha Kharabe

Keeping a close watch
A resplendent Rekha and her manager, Farzana, enter the wedding reception venue of actor Neil Nitin Mukesh and Rukmini Sahay in Juhu on Saturday.

A plastic ban champion
After campaigning against the effect of mobile radiation, Juhi Chawla is now working spreading awareness about the harmful effects of plastic on human health. “I have been researching facts on plastic, and I just keep getting more and more shocked,” she told this diarist.

“It never decomposes! Things like toothbrush, pens... they all have toxic substances. We, and even our children, use it all the time. Drinking water, too, is exposed to it. These toxins cause liver problems and hormone dysfunction as well. We are turning blind, and using and abusing the earth with no thought.”

Along with giving talks on the issue, she is planning to launch a petition that advocates ban on plastic. “I will continue to spread awareness about the harmful effects of plastic, wherever possible. This is my mission now.”

In the interest of daughters
There is something about author Ratna Vira’s bitter feud with her mum, veteran journalist Nalini Singh, that continues to pique our interest.

Ratna Vira
Ratna Vira

While Vira hasn’t discussed why her relationship with Nalini soured, the fact that she had once fought a legal battle for a portion of the family estate has been the subject of many interesting stories, including her own novel, Daughter By Court Order.

So, when Vira recently put up a new blog post on her website lauding the Supreme Court of India’s progressive recent judgements “supporting the rights of women”, there were hardly any surprise about what or who the Gurgaon-based writer was referring to.

The court “struck blows against the feudal mentality and patriarchal mind-set of some members of society (who try and destroy the identity of their daughters and steal their property),” her post read. “…Patriarchal families who try and snatch the rights of their daughters pause and think,” she ended.

Now, that’s a prank call!
The ongoing Australia vs India ‘A’ match at the Brabourne Stadium reminded a veteran cricket reporter of an incident involving the late India and Mumbai batsman Ashok Mankad during a first-class match at the Brabourne Stadium.

Ashok Mankad at the Cricket Club of India in his younger days. Pic/mid-day archives
Ashok Mankad at the Cricket Club of India in his younger days. Pic/mid-day archives

When Mankad dropped a catch, a seasoned reporter exclaimed, “This is the 100th catch Mankad has dropped.” A rookie reporter sitting nearby couldn’t help overhear the remark. The ‘landmark’ 100th dropped catch ended up in the inexperienced journalists’ report the following day.

A stunned and stung Mankad landed up at the Cricket Club of India press box the next morning, enquiring who the writer was. When he found his man, he insisted on a break down of the remaining 99 catches. On remembers Mankad’s fine running catch that dismissed England’s Derek Underwood (off Bishan Singh Bedi) at the epic Oval Test victory in 1971.

Mankad wouldn’t have been sore for very long over the CCI incident caused by a prank because ‘Kaka’, as he was affectionately called since he idolised actor Rajesh Khanna, had a great sense of humour. He is one character dearly missed in Mumbai cricket.

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