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Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

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

Rewind Entebbe
July 4 marked 40 years since the daring hostage-rescue operation called Operation Entebbe that was carried out by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

An aircraft crew that landed at Entebbe after the mission
An aircraft crew that landed at Entebbe after the mission

While it is outside the purview of this page to recount the entire operation that has spawned books and films, to explain in a nutshell, it was a day of great pride for Israel. Its commandos rescued hostages (mostly Jews) who were held at the Entebbe airport, after an Air France plane was hijacked.

They did this by hoodwinking dictator Idi Amin’s soldiers and killing Palestinian terrorists, who had taken the Jews hostage. While the day was marked in Israel, in Mumbai too, there was a mix of pride at the memory and 40th anniversary of the landmark event, which took place on July 4, 1976.

Recalling the time, Richard Kazn Young, a Mumbai-based Jewish filmmaker spoke for the community: “Yesterday was certainly special as it was the 40th anniversary of the escape from Entebbe. In my Mumbai home, I still felt the stirring of pride. I do not think of the Israelis as the IDF.

I think of them as family, the Mishpacha. It is so surprising that you have thought of this,” he told this diarist before continuing, “Entebbe stirs me, and suffuses me with pride. Remember that the Israeli commandos taught Idi Amin a lesson. Indians will smile at this because so many Gujaratis will remember how they fled Uganda during Amin’s reign of terror.”

Sona’s got the shakti


Pic/Satej Shinde

Sonakshi Sinha flexes her muscles during the trailer launch of an upcoming film.

When chef Terence cooked for Madhuri
For decades now, Terence Lewis has wowed TV and film audiences with his dance moves. While he rules the dancefloor, few know that the star dancer and choreographer is an ace in the kitchen too.

This diarist learnt that on Sunday, the dance guru had invited Madhuri Dixit and Bosco Martis, his co-judges on So You Think You Can Dance, home for dinner. The host and chef of the night tossed up Jeera Rice, Kali Dal, Fish Curry (Malwani style), Mutton Sukka, Chicken Curry, Tendli Chana Bhaji, Palak Paneer accompanied by Lime Pickle.

Madhuri was blown over by the Tendli and Mutton Sukka and asked Terence for the recipes. While complimenting the fare, she said, “I feel proud of your achievements, and may you stay blessed forever.” A joke at the dinner table, we heard, was that Terence being an early sleeper, declares lights out at 12 am sharp. So when the clock struck 12, Madhuri jokingly, asked, “Ab humein jana padega?”

Mind it! Toilets matter
It is, after all, blasphemous to ask what Rajnikant can’t do, but not often does one think of toilets when thinking of his super powers. Perhaps, because he does a few things, like addressing social causes, even when he is not doing anything. But as the situation stands, the people of Puducherry may benefit.

In an effort to make people follow the Swachh Bharat campaign, the Puducherry Government has announced free tickets to Kabali, his much awaited big release, for all who build toilets in their homes. Lt Governor Kiran Bedi has also requested Rajnikanth to be brand ambassador of the scheme in the Union Territory. A flushing good idea, we say.

The sporting hug
A recent picture of two women tennis players hugging each other after their third round match said a thousand words.

Pic courtesy/Sloane Stephens’ Twitter account
Pic courtesy/Sloane Stephens’ Twitter account

On Middle Sunday at Wimbledon, Sloane Stephens (right) lost a close encounter to Svetlana Kuznetsova. It made for gritty, edge-of-the-seat viewing.

Post the game, the warm embrace left social media abuzz with their sportsmanship. Post match, Stephens tweeted: ‘this note even in defeat you can be reminded why you love what you do. Today was a brilliant reminder’. We agree.

Simon says, well done!
Remember how Simon Cowell’s acerbic tongue made the bravest participants tear up on American Idol? Then, you know that getting a standing ovation from the celebrity judge is a huge deal.

Shantanu Maheshwari (on top) with the Desi Hoppers
Shantanu Maheshwari (on top) with the Desi Hoppers

Well, that's what TV actor Shantanu Maheshwari, from Dil Dosti Dance, did while performing with his crew, Desi Hoppers on the 11th season of America’s Got Talent (Cowell is part of the panel), that aired a week ago in the US.

The troupe, who was invited to perform on the show considering the edition also allows participation from non-US citizens, shared, “We performed Tukur Tukur from Dilwale and Turn Down For What by Lil Jon and DJ Snake. We had heard that pleasing Simon Cowell was toughest; fortunately, he liked our act.

We got a standing ovation and a thumbs up from all the judges. Simon also mentioned that he liked how we had stuck to our roots and that overall, our coordination was good, and our performance, expressive.” While technically selected for the next level, we hear, the team may not make it back to the US since flying to and from the country will be expensive.

We hope to catch the episode when the new season hits Indian screens.

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