Mumbai Diary: Sunday dossier

Nov 12, 2017, 10:23 IST | Team mid day

The child is the father of man
Indian classical legend Pandit Jasraj seems to be kissing a baby's feet for good luck before he gets on stage at Shanmukhananda Auditorium in Matunga on Saturday. Pic/Shadab Khan

When a 'Tiny' bit of advice helped
Domestic and international cricket teams cannot avail of wisdom beyond coaches, assistant coaches and video analysts when a match is in progress. The ICC's anti-corruption regulations don't allow a guest into the dressing room. It was very different in the pre-match fixing era when a former player could enter the change room and pass on a tip or two. Sudhir Naik, Mumbai's Ranji Trophy captain in 1970-71, revealed at Mumbai's 500th match commemoration function how Mumbai turned the corner when Maharashtra were dominating on the third day of the final at Brabourne Stadium. When Naik sat in the dressing room during the tea interval, thinking about the dismissal Maharashtra's Nicky Saldanha, the late Ramakant 'TIny' Desai came and sat next to the confused captain. "Sudhir, you forgot Nicky's weakness? It's the bouncer. Bowl him a bouncer and keep one or two fielders in the deep. I've got him out twice in this fashion," the former India fast bowler said. Naik did what he was told and Saldanha was soon on his way back to the pavilion - caught Naik bowled Abdul Ismail for 50. Mumbai ended up winning one of the more memorable Ranji finals.

Listen to a sher in Pench
This November 17, the Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, will hear sounds of a different kind - that of lyrical verse and prose. For the first time, a literary festival is being organised in the forest that inspired Rudyard Kipling to write The Jungle Book in 1893. Helming the event is Sanjay Nagar, a former banker from Mumbai and director of The Kohka Foundation. "The idea to host such a literary event was with us for more than two years. Recently, we received a call from the local education department asking if we would be interested in organising a litfest. We jumped at the opportunity," he says. The fest has received over 20 entries so far, and will be a three-hour open mic event with 10 minutes for each recitation. Nagar hopes to host more smaller events, before organising a large-scale one at some point. "I believe the fest will not only enthuse and encourage budding regional writers, but also help revive Hindi literature."

Dancesport duo bag gold in Taiwan
Representing India at the Taipei Dancesport Federation Championship, Rajeshwari Vaidyanathan and her dance partner Shannon Benjamin left behind strong contenders from across Asia to bag the gold medal. Vaidyanathan, a pioneer of the concept of competitive ballroom dancing in India, battled against 20 countries along with Benjamin. Speaking to this diarist, she said, "We were nervous and excited before the competition, as there were contestants from Japan, China and Thailand. Just to see the Tricolour being hoisted at a world tournament was overwhelming." They had to perform rounds of jive, cha cha cha, rumba and samba in ascending order of difficulty. Way
to go!

Back to verse
After a hiatus of nearly 11 years, poet and senior journalist CP Surendran is back with a collection of over 360 of his new and old poems, titled Available Light (Speaking Tiger), which will be launched this week. The title poem, the author says, is from a 30-poem sequence called, David Don't Be Sad That Was a Dream. In real life, Surendran encountered David, a Jewish man, in a dream. David in this sequence relives the holocaust experience. "Part of the collection is at one point imagination," says the writer, adding, "But, because it brings together all my past works too, it also reflects my trajectory as a writer, and the switch in emphasis from the earlier, personalised experiences of my poems, into something of a more outward journey." For those, who want to catch the writer in conversation, drop in for his reading session at Prithvi Theatre.

Mehroo Jeejeebhoy
Mehroo Jeejeebhoy

The Steinway comes home
In September 2016, this paper was the first to tell you about a unique fundraiser called the Steinway 88 Keys Programme, which was launched for the first time in the country by the noted Mehli Mehta Music Foundation (MMMF). The programme held the promise of arts and cultural patrons coming together for the love of music and spreading classical music education. It involved raising money for the smallest model of grand pianos by Steinway, which costs a whopping R71 lakh, but on offer at R68 lakh by Furtados. Sponsors could crowdfund by buying each key at R76,000; some keys cost more than a lakh. The piano is intended for the school and its students. Now, after waiting patiently for over a year, MMMF tells us that the crowdfunding is nearly over and Furtados is bringing their new Steinway piano to be inaugurated this evening at the Royal Opera House, alongside a performance by pianist Luka Okros. Mehroo Jeejeebhoy, the founder trustee of MMMF, says that she is grateful to the many people who have contributed towards the programme, but also the parents of the children enrolled in the school, for they too came forth with their support. Among the sponsors are Cyrus Guzder, Pheroza Godrej, Zia Mody, Bernhard Steinruecke, Furtados Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. The students will be able to use the piano in the coming months, and we can't wait to hear the music play on.

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