Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

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

What a shot, of the camera and cricket kinds
It was just another day in the life of a photographer. mid day’s principal photographer Sayyed Sameer Abedi, always on the lookout for an offbeat frame, had just wrapped up an assignment in Chembur.

Boys beside the Eastern Freeway in Mumbai find their pitch plays rather like a road. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Boys beside the Eastern Freeway in Mumbai find their pitch plays rather like a road. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

The heat and dust of the Eastern Express Highway rose in great swirls, and there on that eventful day in March 2015, Abedi knew he had his photograph. A group of boys were playing cricket in the shadow of the flyover on the Highway. His camera whirred, and, when the time came, he sent this picture to cricket’s bible, The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, for the competition The Wisden-MCC Cricket Photograph of 2015.

Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2016
Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2016

Now, Abedi’s picture has made it to the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2016, and what greater tribute than to find a place amidst the yellow covered book sacred to cricket aficionados? Abedi is laconic about the honour, simply saying, “unbelievable” when asked about how he feels to be featured.

His sign-off message to photographers? “Always keep your eyes peeled for the offbeat.” Heed those words of Wisdom, or should that be Wisden?

Commonwealth prize for Indian
The prestigious Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2016 has been won by Indian academic, Parashar Kulkarni for his story, Cow and Company.

With this, the assistant professor in social sciences at Yale NUS College, Singapore, becomes the first Indian to win the prize, beating 4,000 entries from 47 countries. His story is about the hunt for a cow to feature in a chewing gum advertisement in 1905.

After all, what could be better for the marketing prospects of the company than get the approval from the cud-chewing holy cow? Those keen to read this story along with the rest can check out the Granta website.

Burning cinders in Colaba
Last week’s Metro House fire threw up several interesting stories, like all accidents do. One of them surrounded an iconic café and an equally popular bookstall. A mid-day reporter returned with a tip off, heavy on insaniyat.

Cafe Mondegar and Shankar Book Stall after last week’s fire. Pic/Shadab KhanCafe Mondegar and Shankar Book Stall after last week’s fire. Pic/Shadab Khan

He said that the men behind Colaba’s Shankar Book Stall had recollected the frantic afternoon of the fire, and how they had dived into the kitchen of Café Mondegar, which the stall skirts, to unplug the gas supply to cylinders in an attempt to avoid a disaster.

We found this particularly interesting because the two establishments are involved in a long-drawn legal tussle over space. When Mondegar's managing partner, Hoshang Yezdegardi received a call from us, he rubbished the news, saying it was his own staff that had followed standard emergency protocol.

Pity, it isn’t true. If it were, it would make the perfect enmity-melts-in-the-face-of-a-smoky-tragedy story, emotional enough to rival a scene from a Manmohan Desai film.

V for Victoria
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India marked the one-year anniversary of the June 8, 2015 Bombay High Court ruling that horse carriages must be phased out of Mumbai within a year, yesterday.

Standing in front of a large clock with a banner that read, ‘Time Is Running Out: Relegate Victorias to History’, the protesters were led by actor Adah Sharma at Bandra’s Carter Road Amphitheatre.

Cut above the rest

Pic/Nimesh Dave
Pic/Nimesh Dave

Ronnie Screwvala, owner of U Mumba, Season 3 finalists of the Pro-Kabaddi League, checks out the new look of sported by big-ticket player Rakesh Kumar at a salon last evening.

A web series on Sacred Games
While we’re still wondering why no one thought of adapting Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games for the big screen in the first place, it’s a case of better late than never.

Vikram Chandra
Vikram Chandra

The critically-acclaimed bestseller, published almost a decade ago, will now be the subject of an original series on Netflix. To be produced in partnership with Anurag Kashyap’s Phantom Films, the project marks the first original series from India.

Sacred Games
Sacred Games

It will be shot on location in the country. The Hindi-English series will be available to Netflix members globally. Delving into the city’s intricate web of organised crime, corruption, politics and espionage, the book has all the trappings of a pacy thriller.

We’ve already made a list of actors who will make a perfect detective Sartaj Singh or gangster Ganesh Gaitonde. Let the games begin.

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