Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
It happens only in India
Is new bride Priyanka Chopra explaining the sindoor-chooda meets disco gown logic to Amreecan husband Nick Jonas? The couple were seen at the launch of a dating app on Friday night, that Chopra has also invested in. Pic/Satej Shinde
Dod, the all-round genius
Our in-house book scavenger had no luck with cricket books on a recent trip to roadside booksellers. But he was coaxed into buying The Guinness Book of Tennis Facts & Feats. Through this 1983 publication, he learnt about a genuine all-rounder in the world of women's tennis — Lottie Dod — born in Cheshire in 1871 and lived till 88. During Dod's active sporting years, she became the youngest player to win the Wimbledon singles crown (at 15 in 1887).
Lottie Dod, who won the Wimbledon ladies singles championships five times and also excelled in hockey, golf and archery. Pic/Getty Images
She also won it the following year before her hat-trick of triumphs in 1891, 1892 and 1893. While she never lost at Wimbledon, the book states that Dod played hockey for England in 1899 and 1900. Four years later, she won the British women's golf championship and claimed an archery silver medal in the 1908 Olympic Games London.
According to Wikipedia, Dod was unmarried and enjoyed nursing as a profession. She received a Service Medal from the Red Cross for attending to several patients in World War I. She passed away in a nursing home while listening to commentary during Wimbledon 1960.
One last controversy before the curtain raises
Last week, a newspaper carried a report on how board members of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), which include forensic experts and former RAW agents, are trying to uncover the identities of those behind the Instagram handle @herdsceneand, who had posted survivor stories against KMB co-founder Riyas Komu. The handle called KMB out on it and even received support from Rose McGowan, who commented, "I stand with you all." The comments section soon filled with artists calling for a boycott.
Riyas Komu stepped down from his position at KMB
However, except visual artist Chinar Shah from Bengaluru, who started a petition condemning the biennale, no one did anything about it. "When I asked for the boycott, it was the day I heard this, and I was really angry," says Shah. "But, when I was trying to draft the letter, I realised that what we need is for them to reflect on their actions. This should come from the participating artists. The letter is not meant to attack, but for them to [understand] the gravity of what they're doing. The biennale is behaving like the victim, as if [the survivors] are masterminding a plot against them. People have better things to do."
The treasured local Indian darji finally goes international
In 2019, the 38th World Federation of Master Tailors, held in Verona, Italy, would have an Indian contingent participating. For the very first time in 76 years, our trusted darjis would be touted as skilled professionals on a global platform. An initiative undertaken by Raymond, the participants would be chosen through a competition held on a national level, called Kaun Banega Master Stylist.
Raymond spokesperson Ajit Patnaik told this diarist, "One of our most important objectives was to get back the lost glamour, glory and prosperity of the tailoring community in India. For the past three years, we have been celebrating World Tailor's Day, despite it not being that popular. The agenda is to make sure they get due recognition. And for the youngsters, we will have another edition in February."
India's answer to the Planet of the Apes?
Author Anand Neelakantan is not just riding high on the success of his novels, but also the screen adaptations of the same. While his 2017 title, Rise of Sivagami (Amazon Westland) is being made into a mega Neflix series, the author's latest book, Vanara: The Legend of Baali, Sugreeva and Tara (Penguin Random House) is now being adapted into a multilingual film by Dar Motion Pictures.
The book rights were sold within two days of the release of the book, Neelakantan said. The book is a love triangle between Baali, Tara and Sugreeva from the monkey kingdom. "It is like India's answer to the Planet of the Apes, but based on our own epics. The movie will be released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu," he says.
When mid-day starred at the Cirque
To quote a cliché, a picture speaks a thousand words. On Friday, artistes from Cirque du Soleil Bazzar recreated an image that was carried on the cover of Sunday mid-day's features section last week and put it up on their social feed. The photograph, clicked by Nick Steward, has us performing a cartwheel too (in our minds that is).
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Mumbai protests against the Pulwama terror attack