Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

Aug 29, 2017, 11:00 IST | Team mid-day

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

Kiku Sharda is popular for portraying female characters; (right) Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Pic/AFP
Kiku Sharda is popular for portraying female characters; (right) Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Pic/AFP

No Singh-ing this song
Kiku Sharda's arrest early last year for mimicking Dera Sacha Sauda's chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and hurting the sentiments of followers hit the headlines and set the mills churning about space narrowing for creative artistes. The comedian was granted bail but obviously, one year later too Sharda does not want to replay that episode.

A call to the comedian asking him to speak about that phase of his life, now that the self-styled godman is in the news for a rape conviction, evinced a cryptic 'no comments' from Sharda, who later put up a tongue-in-cheek tweet: 'Enjoying a peaceful Chinese meal with no monosodium glutamate.'

A VIP, who was on the sets of both MSG movies by Singh, "preferred to speak after a few weeks!" And the code of silence extended to the managing committee of a top gurudwara in the city, who said mum's the word. Followers of the controversy will recall that Sikh leaders and the Singh of Bling have often fought pitched verbal battles. Silence may not be golden but it is certainly the safest recourse here.

Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Combing operation
Actor Tiger Shroff gets his hair done during the shoot of a kids' television show at a Mahalaxmi studio yesterday.

Pandals with a message
For 10 days of Ganeshostav, pandals across the city draw some of the largest crowds that few festivals can match up to. But it's usually advertising campaigns that capitalise on the massive numbers. This year, Salaam Bombay Foundation is using the platform to send out an anti-tobacco message. As part of the initiative, children from BMC and government-aided schools will reach out to 400 pandals across Mumbai to spread awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco. To make the process interesting, huge mats featuring the snakes and ladders game with an anti-tobacco theme will be placed at Lower Parel Cha Raja, Hindu Utsav Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, Bandra East, Kannamvarcha Raja Ganesh Mandal, Vikhroli, Ganesh Nagar, Jogeshwari, and Chintamani Ganeshotsav Mandal, Jogeshwari. No Bollywood music blaring from loudspeakers, and pandals with a message - the winds of change, ever so slightly, are blowing.

Divine inspiration for nature
We Indians have an uncanny skill of spotting divine figures in the most unlikely of places. But we have to give it to the keen eye that saw this beautiful Ganesha in a tree trunk. Posted on Save Aarey's Twitter page, it was captioned: 'Dear ganpati bappa ... protect our trees, rivers, animals, birds and insects from all harm.' When authorities turn a blind eye to the plight of the city's green lungs, we guess it's all right to seek divine intervention.

Talking about the why generation
The more indie music in India expands, the more it seems to shrink. After it went through an upward graph over the course of this decade, stalwarts like The Raghu Dixit Project and Nucleya have now taken over the domain, with newer acts finding it increasingly tough to take their tracks to a wider audience outside of their garages and bedrooms.

Generation WHY is a series of gigs aimed at changing that. It features only young artists who are still struggling to find a firm footing in the business, irrespective of their genre. Started earlier this year, there have already been three editions of it in Mumbai and now, we hear that the organisers are taking a trip to Pune, to inaugurate things there on September 3.

So if you happen to be around, head to High Spirits to listen to what singer-songwriter Aarifah Rebello (in pic), dream pop band Lawntuba and electronic collective Jwala have up their sleeve.

Grape wine jury
When he isn't sharing reccos on the perfect wine-and-food pairings, sommelier Nikhil Agarwal is busy judging wine competitions on the international stage. After judging a wine event in Frankfurt early this year, Agarwal will be off to Hong Kong next week, where he is part of a global jury panel for the sixth edition of Decanter Asia Wine Awards.

Considered the continent's leading wine competition, it invites over 2,500 entries, including Indian labels. All go through a rigorous blind tasting by the jury. "Indian wines have done well in the past at this competition. However, I have no clue about the list this year. I'm looking forward to catching up with my colleagues in the wine industry from all over the world and trying a large number of wines in a blind tasting," he shared.

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