Mumbai Diary: Wednesday whispers

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

No dressing down
Well over a year ago, this paper had reported how a visitor to the Bombay High Court was barred from entering the exhibition inside the premises, as she was inappropriately dressed in a sleeveless top, to be a precise.

This journalist, while on a recent heritage tour inside the hallowed corridors, was witness to rather amusing, near-repeat of this episode. At the security check, one of the co-participants of the tour, who was dressed in a short dress, seemed to be having a safe passage until one of the women cops shrieked out to her colleagues, “Aaho! Tyana kahi tari sanga na...tya mulgichya dress madhe problem aahe.

(Tell her something - there is a problem with her dress.)” Unperturbed, the girl carried on to join the group inside. The hapless cop’s pleas seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as nobody seemed to be in the mood to stop her and give her a “dressing down”. Clearly, as in many places of worship, it would help all concerned, if signage about appropriate dress code were displayed prominently at the entrance.

Spice up your Sundays
Visitors to Thane, just outside Mumbai city limits, are often advised not to miss the city’s famous Mamledar Misal so called because the little eatery serving the misal is just next to the Mamlatdar’s office in Thane.

The misal is legendary, probably as much for its fire component as for the taste. And sadly, it has traditionally remained shut on Sundays. But perhaps because of the demand, we recently saw a little notice at the joint saying that misal is now available on Sundays for takeaway only.

In any case, those in the know advise that you don’t eat the misal at the eatery but take it home and consume it in peace and with plenty of tissues at hand, as eyes and nose demand it! The misal comes in three “levels” light, medium, and tikhat (fiery hot). We recommend the light version, which itself packs a punch.

Canine is fine for Shirin
We call it putting the wow into the bow. Well known dog trainer, Mumbai’s Shirin Merchant has just won the International Commendation by the Kennel Club Accredited Instructor (KCAI) Trainer of the Year award. Merchant was recognized as one of the best dog trainers in the world and Asia’s top canine behaviourist at the Crufts 2015, recently.

Shirin Merchant (fourth from left) along with the KCAI jury panel after winning the award
Shirin Merchant (fourth from left) along with the KCAI jury panel after winning the award

The award, given in London, was based on the recommendations received from people who have worked with KCAI members. An expert jury then assessed the nominees and short-listed Merchant for the award. For those who are wondering what the significance of the award is, the KCAI is a program for animal behaviourists who have made a difference for dogs.

Shirin’s recognition comes as a natural progression in a career graph. In 2013, Merchant became one of the select nine people in the world to have achieved a behavioural accreditation in Companion Dog Training and Behavioural Training by KCAI.

Dadar gal Shirin simply said at receiving the award, “It is such a proud moment for me, it’s surreal. My hands are still trembling!” When those hands stop trembling, a round of congratulatory handshakes and raising a toast are in order.

Poster power to the rainbow cause
ACE fashion designer Wendell Rodricks, who incidentally is out of the closet (and by that we mean openly gay), has picked the poster by Delhi art director Niharika Rastogi as the winner of the Kashish 2015 International Poster contest.

The poster for Kashish 2015
The poster for Kashish 2015

Along with winning a cash prize of Rs 20,000, instituted by Rodricks, Niharika’s poster will also be the look of the sixth edition of the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, scheduled to be held between May 27 and 31 this year.

Kashish is South Asia’s biggest and India’s only mainstream Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) film fest and held at two venues, Mumbai’s iconic art deco Liberty theatre and Alliance Française de Bombay.


Rodricks remarks that the “winning poster was very cinematic in its visualization, a calm without the shrill in terms of excessive colour”. Rastogi’s design came out all colours flying, make that the colours of the rainbow in a keenly contested poster fight, as the contest received 122 entries from 38 countries across the world.

The theme of the festival is: Reaching Out, Touching Hearts. Rastogi explains, “In this poster, a hand is trying to touch hearts of the society without any barriers and boundaries. Also, the butterflies symbolise freedom.’’ she said. That is the creator’s interpretation. The beauty of art lies in the fact that you can have your own.

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