Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

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

It’s un-fair and lovely!
Actresses like Nandita Das have been vocal about how Bollywood discriminates by not casting dark skinned women in lead roles. Of late, a campaign called #Unfair And Lovely has gone viral on social media.

A screen grab from their Instagram page
A screen grab from their Instagram page

Helmed by 21-year-old Pax Jones, a student of the University of Texas, the campaign celebrates dark-skinned women and stands against fairness creams and the mentality that comes with it. It started with pictures that Jones took of her Sri Lankan classmates, Mirusha Yogarajah and her sister Yanusha.

Post the photo shoot, the trio created the hashtag and it has been trending on Twitter since then. Many dark-skinned girls, including many Indians have shared their photos in response. The campaign has over 3,108 followers on Instagram while the Facebook page has 46,000 likes.

Shiny, happy people


Pic/Nimesh Dave

Musician Shankar Mahadevan and actress Anushka Rajan are all smiles with special kids at a music event to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day at St Andrew’s auditorium, Bandra earlier this week.

Bollywood’s Easter flashback
When it’s Easter, there must be eggs and... Amitabh Bachchan. With Easter Sunday just a few days away, the song, My name is Anthony Gonsalves from Amar Akbar Anthony tends to resurface into public memory.

A screen from the My Name is Anthony Gonsalves song in Amar Akbar Anthony
A screen from the My Name is Anthony Gonsalves song in Amar Akbar Anthony

It was also rewind time a news article published in this paper aptly titled ‘Egg-centric but still an anthem’, where Big B said, “When Manmohan Desai devised the song with me emerging from an egg to tease the character actor Zebisko (who passed away) about Jenny (the late of Parveen Babi), Kishore-da was the natural choice to sing the number. Then Manmohan suggested I do a spot of recitation in the beginning of the song. It was a time when there was no such thing as rap music. I just recited the gibberish that I remembered in a play Jonah & The Whale from school. Yashji (Yash Chopra) and I would play around with these tongue twisters. I incorporated them into the song.” Play it again, for the memories and the revelry.

Sweet dreams with Sunny Leone
We can almost hear loud cheers for this bit of news. Chiki Sarkar’s publishing venture, Juggernaut will release actress Sunny Leone’s book of short stories, Sweet Dreams next month.

Sunny Leone
Sunny Leone

From what we’ve heard so far, her stories will treat women as ‘sexual equals to men, and explore girls who do the seduction.’ Sweet, saucy, sensuous or erotica, we’re pretty sure this one will fly off the shelves for all the right reasons.

Dance to the period song
If it’s that time of the month and you’re craving cupcakes, The Period Song, will cheer you. It features on the YouTube channel Girliyapa, an online content platform launched by an all-women team to share experiences from a female perspective.

Sandhya Mridul in the track
Sandhya Mridul in the track

With quirky lyrics (read: red wedding in my pants) penned by Shruti Madan, the peppy number demystifies menstruation, with the hook that goes, Chaar din hue lekin period abhi baaki hai (a spin of a popular film track).

Also starring Sandhya Mridul, Sumeet Vyas and Nidhi Singh (lead actors from the Permanent Roommates web series), the video has garnered over 4 lakh views since it was uploaded two weeks ago. Now, if only we knew how many of these views were by men.

Nirupama Rao the singer
As India’s Foreign Secretary from 2009 to 2011, as well as India’s Ambassador to the United States, China and Sri Lanka, Nirupama Rao created an impression for her deft handling of delicate issues on foreign policy.

Nirupama Rao
Nirupama Rao

The former bureaucrat has also been known to have a keen ear and talent for music. Earlier this month, Rao wowed audiences in Lucknow at a concert where she performed Peace is my Dream, a poem written by her and set to music by two of her friends, Robert and Martha Han Rott.

She was accompanied by Soundarie David Rodrigo (Sri Lanka) on the piano. Rao told the audience that she was inspired to write this poem after reading the works of Vijayalakshmi Pandit. A refreshing departure this, from her otherwise boring ilk.

He’s a Johny good fellow


Pic/Suresh Karkera

Funnyman Johny Lever entertains the audience during the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) Sports Excellence awards while MSSA president Fr Jude Rodrigues looks on. The ceremony was held at Shanmukhananda Hall in Sion yesterday.

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