Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city, through its homes
Senior journalist and writer Chandrima Pal returned to Mumbai, a city she worked, and rediscovered herself in, before returning to Kolkata two years ago, to release her second book. At Home in Mumbai was launched on Saturday evening, with celebrity architect Ashiesh Shah in attendance.
"You will recognise some of the people in here," she had told this diarist thanks to a shared journey at a city tabloid, and of course, because like she once was, we are Mumbaikars. What does it mean to be at home in this city, and how does where you live define who you are, is at the centre of the book's idea. Speaking about one of the downsides of mushrooming gated colonies, Shah said the city of seven islands will soon become one of 700 islands.
"As a child, I grew up with kids from all walks of life," Shah said. "But the next generation will not know anything else but their own kind. They go to the same skiing holidays and their children go to the same camps." Among the stories ranging from the chawls of Central Mumbai to the Sindhi buildings in SoBo, our dearest story - although there are too many to play favourites - is Amit Khosla's.
It's not the quintessential Mumbai-made-my-dream-come-true tale. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The struggle of young, middle-class parents moving here in the hope of giving their special child greater opportunities, is played out through Amit's search for a home. He has one now, but is waiting for something else.
Actor Malaika Arora opts for a bicycle as her mode of transport, in Bandra yesterday.
Punjabi all the way
A new production called Balle Balle staged over the weekend was, as described, a recreation of a big fat Punjabi wedding complete with Bollywood frills. It was a comedy of errors, but nothing you've not already seen on the big screen.
The production values, costumes and creativity behind every song sequence were indeed breathtaking. Also, constant interaction with the audience during the musical definitely earned the cast brownie points. We caught known faces like Poonam Sinha and Jayaa Bhattacharrya enjoying the musical.
Gursimran Khamba attended the do with a female friend. It was also interesting to see the cast and crew join the audience in the last dance number. Some members from the crowd even joined the performers on stage to shake a leg. However, when you talk about Broadway musicals, one expects the singing to be at par with the level of performances.
Sadly, they missed the mark on that despite practising for eight months. The one song-and-dance performance that truly stood out was Tadap Tadap Ke (originally sung by KK) from the film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Almost all the dance sequences were choreographed flawlessly, but we can't say the same about the acting or singing prowess on offer.
The show goes on
This diarist happened to attend a show of 07/07/07, based on the prison accounts of a young Irani girl, Reyhaneh Jabbari.
Directed by Faezeh Jalali, the play was the winner of the Best Ensemble Cast at the META awards in 2016, and a small hiccup during the performance - which this diarist learnt of only when a fellow audience member told her about a post-show chat he had with one of the actors - proved why it deserved the award.
Actor Suruchi Aulakh, while waiting backstage, suffered a minor injury and couldn't make her entry as planned. The play went on uninterrupted, while she took some time to gather herself before making her way back into the play again, seamlessly. The show, as they say, must go on. And it did.
Carnival for a cause
It's been a year since restaurateur Keenan Tham's wife Neha launched a fashion store in Bandra in partnership with Neha Modi, who leads a top export house. To celebrate its first anniversary, the co-founders launched a kids' line and hosted a carnival featuring candy carts and cutesy shoes recently.
While most of the sales were donated to Angel Xpress Foundation, which works for underprivileged kids, they also invited seven girls from the non-profit to celebrate an early Children's Day, engaging them in making cards and treating them to cupcakes. "It has been a fabulous year and this was our way of giving back," she shared with this diarist.
Rally for classic cars rolls back the years
If you are a fan of vintage cars, then Mahalaxmi Race Course was the place for you to be at yesterday.
It was where the Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Rally 2017 was flagged off from yesterday, with models from as far back as the 1930s and '50s on show for aficionados to drool at.