Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts

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

Signal to dance
If you are going to be around Mithibai College in Vile Parle around 5 pm on Thursday, keep your eyes peeled.

Dancers at Prithvi Theatre Signal during the first edition of Stop Look Go. Pic Courtesy/Ranjana Dave
Dancers at Prithvi Theatre Signal during the first edition of Stop Look Go. Pic Courtesy/Ranjana Dave

Dancer Avantika Bahl and Odissi exponent Ranjana Dave, who runs Dance Dialogues, to promote dancing, are about to conduct a social experiment that will drag movement performance out into the world of pedestrians.

The first episode that unfolded last month saw dancers cover the 600-metre stretch from Novotel Hotel to the Prithvi Theatre, taking cues from the signal nearby, watching it go red, orange and green to ‘stop’, ‘look’ and ‘move’.

The mob is expected to improvise and respond to bystanders. Call it a pop-up dance performance if you wish, but no one’s going to judge you if you decide to do the Dirty Dancing lift.

Serving nostalgia
The warm thing about Wimbledon is the memories it brings back. Like reading a report about eugenie Bouchard asked whether she was taken to task for wearing a black bra underneath a white tee during a match.

Incidentally, Bouchard said she was not in trouble for the colour of her lingerie. In 1994, when this diarist was at Wimbledon to report on the Championships for this newspaper, she remembers a post-match PC featuring Navratilova.

This was way before the cell phone and Internet ambushed our lives. It was also a time when gay sports icons were rare, and reactions included the usual nudge-nudge-wink-wink.

A reporter asked Navratilova about Canadian singer and celebrity, KD Lang, who was in the spectator stands watching her play. What the hack was asking was whether the two lesbians were an item.

The reporter’s courage though, failed her. All she could utter was, “Martina, there was KD Lang watching you play…” to which Navratilova shot back a frosty glare and said, “So? One cannot have a friend in the stands watch you play?”

A few nervous giggles scattered across the press room, and a male journalist tried turning a snort into a cough with some success before the conversation veered back to tennis.

All this happened such a ‘lang’ time ago, but it comes to mind every time the thwack of the ball meets the sweet spot of the racket on grass.

Forced traveller
Come fam trip season, and request mails flood a journalist’s inbox. Some are fun; others, run-on-the-mill. And then, some are plain corny, like the most recent one we received. This one invited the diarist and a photographer to a grand trip to Hong Kong.

It read fine, what with detailed descriptions about the island’s attractions. Until, we reached the part (in bold) about having to travel with a ‘popular Indian author’ and his family! Known for his masala paperback bestsellers that regale the urban middle-class, he, not the island, was the highlight of the trip. Thank you, but we’ll pass.

Bar bar dekho
Colaba, you are being spoilt silly, and we know Soboites are loving it. Cheval, Woodside Inn, Gokul (on a broke day), Cafe Mondegar and Leopold are about to get nocturnal company.

TBSE’s Mihir Desai
TBSE’s Mihir Desai

Mihir Desai and Amit Singh, the guy who used stock market principles to govern Jägermeister shots, is ready to breach Colaba’s bar scene with the first South Mumbai branch of The Bar Stock exchange (TBSe).

Likely to open doors mid-October, it’s going to span 6,000 sq ft across the ground floor and rooftop areas of Apollo Hotel, a stone’s throw from both, Mondy’s and Social.

While the idea of drink prices changing based on real time demand and supply is the crux of his establishment’s philosophy, Desai tells us to watch out for the food menu designed by TBSe kitchens’ drill sergeant and chef with imagination, Kshama Prabhu.

The experienced might of veterans isn’t terrorizing Desai, neither is the new location’s jinxed reputation. The ground floor once housed Raja Dhody-Rishi Acharya’s Oba, and later, Sancho’s. “We prefer properties that carry promise and a challenge,” Desai claims, which gets us eager to watch how this David and Goliath will pan out.

Turn to Ashes
This diarist, who moonlights as in-house book scavenger, found something to go with the Ashes fever gripping international cricket. The opening Test between old enemies england and Australia begins at Cardiff on Wednesday.

It’s an Ashes souvenir in magazine size published for the 1954-55 Ashes series (yes, 61 years ago) in Australia where english pace terror Frank Tyson demolished the hosts with 28 wickets in five Tests.

The publishers of this souvenir displayed a certain degree of vision by putting Tyson on the cover when there were other stars in Len Hutton’s england line-up. But then, a rampaging fast bowler always lends himself to a bit a glamour. Like in every Ashes series, there are no shortage of anecdotes or ‘yarns’ as the Aussies call them.

Australia were set 240 runs to win the third Test at Melbourne and at the end of the fourth day were 75 for two. But Tyson demolished them for 111, taking seven for 27 and the match got over much earlier than scheduled. The Australian fans and confectionery stall owners at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) were not happy.

Tyson said the fans went to the MCG with their “sandwiches neatly cut and their thermoses, expecting an easy Australian victory.” But some Australian fans and the confectionery stall owners were not so happy. They told Tyson, “You b**tard Tyson… you bowled them out and we had to have our lunch at the Fitzroy Gardens and 60,000 meat pies went waste.”

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