Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

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

Ride to freedom
Leading up to Mumbai's Queer Azaadi March, Humsafar Trust and Wings Travel are set to launch the county’s first and only LGBT Community Powered Radio Cab service, called Wings Rainbow.

Humsafar Trust’s Pallav Patankar. Pic/Sameer Markande
Humsafar Trust’s Pallav Patankar. Pic/Sameer Markande

After the NALSA judgment where the Supreme Court has affirmed the constitutional rights and freedoms of transgender persons, including those who identify as third gender and those who identify in a gender opposite to their biological sex, corporates now can come forward to offer employment to them.

This first batch of drivers has five members of which tow are from the hijra community. They will undergo training and secure commercial licenses. Twenty members for Humsafar Trust had volunteered while two were chosen to operate as drivers for this service.

“Humsafar Trust was approached by Wings Travel for this programme; we hope that more members of the hijra and transgender community come forward to take advantage of this,” shares Pallav Patankar, Director — Programs, The Humsafar Trust. “Wings has undertaken several community-based initiatives, including Wings Sakhi in Pune, which employs women cab drivers for women passengers, and Wings Jai Jawan in Chandigarh where the drivers are ex-armed forces personnel,” says Arun Kharat, MD & CEO, Wings Travels Management (India) Pvt. Ltd.

“We have identified a few communities that we feel are marginalized and are hoping to give them a means to earn a livelihood with dignity. Not all members of the LGBT community wish to work in the fashion and beauty industry, but what are their other options?” he asks. The service will be launched today at the Press Club, Mumbai.

Djokovic’s special moments
He’s hitting aces by the dozen at the ongoing Australian Open but now fans will get a glimpse of another side of the tennis superstar.

Novak and Jelena Djokovic
Novak and Jelena Djokovic

His personal life will now be shared in a new film series. A leading Australian wine brand has released two films called Made By Moments where tennis star Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena Djokovic talk about their homely bliss.

The series has been shot in Monte Carlo. Djoko also shares his childhood memories and family dinners in these films.

Drumming it up for Mumbai

Pic/Bipin Kokate
Pic/Bipin Kokate

Percussionists and drummers including Ranjit Barot, Gino Banks, Vinayak Pol, Jai Row Kavi, Adrian D’Souza, Andrew Kanga and a few drummer students have an impromptu jam session on Marine Drive on the eve of Mumbai Drum Day last evening.

Art at the Taj
On Thursday, Mumbai’s art community will rally around for the re-launch of the Taj Art Gallery, which will reopen its doors in the historic Heritage Wing of the grand hotel. The hotel, which boasts of a treasure trove of collections, has invited Uttara Parikh and Laxman Shreshtha, who have had a long-standing association with the hotel’s collection.

Parikh was the gallery’s former manager, before taking up a job with Air India; Shreshtha, collaborated with Ratan Tata once for a painting that now adorns the Heritage Wing. Badly battered in the 2008 terror attacks, the revamped gallery is bound to bring cheer to the art fraternity.

Not without my daughter

Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Celebrated author and socialite Shobhaa De with her daughter Anandita at the launch of Sangeeta Wadhwani’s book, Encounters with the Rich and Famous at a five-star in Lower Parel on Monday night.

Rahul on his mind
Any discussion on the post-Independence political history of India can’t avoid a discussion on the country’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. Thus, among the few criticisms that Dr Ramachandra Guha saved for Nehru while delivering the 11th Godrej Archive Lecture at CSMVS on Tuesday evening, was Nehru’s decision to put off his retirement.

Dr Ramachandra Guha (right) with Rahul Bose. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Dr Ramachandra Guha (right) with Rahul Bose. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Nehru’s descendants however, were not spared Dr Guha;s wit once again. Quoting a historian (we can’t recall the name), Dr Guha said the Bible says that the ‘actions of a man visit seven future generations’.

“However, in Nehru’s case, the actions of his future generations are visiting him.” He later added that one should not speculate much on how the country would have shaped had Gandhi, Bose or Bhagat Singh lived on.

“However, I’ll say this, had Lal Bahadur Shastri lived for five more years, Rajiv Gandhi would have still been alive today, Sonia would have been a housewife and Rahul would have been a manager at a company somewhere, maybe even Godrej,” he said, rehashing an old wisecrack.

Seen among the audience, was the other Rahul (Bose) and of course, the relentlessly elegant Pheroza Godrej.

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