Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

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

Take up Sid
Indian origin author and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University, Siddhartha Mukherjee made news last year by winning the Pulitzer Prize in non-fiction for his international bestseller on cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies.

Siddhartha Mukherjee
Siddhartha Mukherjee

The writer who makes the mysteries of the human body accessible, is now back with another title that explores the history of the gene.

The Gene: An Intimate History begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856, where a monk stumbles upon the idea of a unit of heredity and then traces the evolution of its study with a close look at mental illnesses in his family. We look forward to travel the inaccessible terrain of complex biology with Mukherjee’s lucid prose.

Cannes did moment
The hectic itinerary at the Cannes Film Festival nothwithstanding, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looked radiant as ever when she returned to the city along with daughter Aaradhya last night.

Pic/Shadab Khan

From Elie Saab to Rami Kadi and Rohit Bal, Ash’s gowns were the talking point at the glittering gathering that packed in the who’s who of the film industry from across the globe.

Bravo! You’re on TV

Pic/Shadab Khan

West Indian cricketer Dwayne Bravo and his girlfriend Regina were spotted on the sets of stand-up comic Kapil Sharma’s new show in Film City last evening. Going by his on-field histrionics and timing, we’re sure the show will be a laugh riot.

Guess who?
Have you spotted this ragged-looking, grey-haired man on Juhu’s streets, belting out popular Bollywood tracks with a harmonium? If you didn’t give him a second glance, you’ve missed the chance to hear Sonu Nigam live.

Sonu Nigam for Being Indian by Culture Machine
Sonu Nigam for Being Indian by Culture Machine

The singer donned the disguise for a five-minute video titled, The Social Experiment that launches today on Culture Machine’s Being Indian channel on YouTube. While most pedestrians were nonchalant, a few stopped to enjoy Nigam’s melodies and one of them recorded the tune on his phone and even gave him some money to get breakfast.

“It’s been 21 years since I last went unrecognised on Mumbai’s streets. But this time it was self-imposed. Strangely, no one bothers to take a second look at a destitute, old man. It’s only when I started playing the harmonium and singing did I start getting some attention, but it took me a couple of songs and around an hour of continuous singing to attract a few listeners.

I’ll still say Indians are less careless and inconsiderate to talent than their extra-busy counterparts around the globe,” Nigam admitted to this diarist.

Boulder moves
Two finalists Jeremy Bonder (right, France) and Katharina Saurwein (Australia) try to manouevre rock formations at the IFSC Climbing World Cup in bouldering hosted in India for the first time.


Pic/Sameer Markande

Held in Navi Mumbai, the event saw 150 participants and 4,000 visitors. Japan’s Kokoro Fujii and Miho Nonaka bagged the first rank in the men’s and women’s category, respectively.

Manjrekar honours Tony Cozier in DP
If you are a bit surprised to see the face of another person as Sanjay Manjrekar’s Display Picture (DP) on his Twitter account (@sanjaymanjrekar), you are not alone.

Tony Cozier. Pic/Getty Images and Sanjay Manjrekar
Tony Cozier. Pic/Getty Images and Sanjay Manjrekar

Manjrekar, the former Mumbai captain and India batsman, decided to place departed West Indies commentator Tony Cozier’s picture in that space in honour of a man who inspired him in his 17-year journey as a cricket commentator. Cozier (75), a mid-day columnist, passed away in Barbados last week.

“Whenever I talk to my friends, or anyone about my experiences as a commentator, I invariably mention Tony Cozier as one of the persons that I have been privileged to work with. He was a role model for all us commentators. What I liked about him was his simplicity. Tony Cozier just believed he was covering the game of cricket. It was never about himself, always about the game.” Nice way to honour a hero, Sanjay!

Fishing for the local
With the movement to promote local produce growing rapidly across the globe, this diarist stopped by for a second dekko to read this this tweet by The Bombay Canteen’s popular chef, Thomas Zacharias (inset).

Posting this collage of Mumbai’s favourite catch, he tweeted, “The spectrum of seafood available on our shores is incredible! Next time you eat out, please skip basa & choose local.” Now, that’s who we call a true son of the soil.

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