Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Apun hi bhagwan hai
Showrunner Vikramaditya Motwane seems to remind Nawazuddin Siddiqui who is the real God at the screening of their latest web show on Thursday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
What's in a name?
Monikers have a way of sticking. Often, we know someone by their pseudonyms so well that their birth names disappear from our memories. It was similar with YouTuber and comedian Lilly Singh, who for most of us was Superwoman for nine years straight.
But on Wednesday, Singh put up a moving post explaining how she came to be called by that name inadvertently, and that while she was grateful for everything she had accomplished in these years, it was time to put the name to rest. "...at this time, it feels right to give thanks to the moniker Superwoman and to lay the cape to rest. Today my biggest and best super powers lay within Lilly and thus Lilly I shall be," she wrote, even as she changed her handle ID. Well, cheers to that and here's to new beginnings!
Cricket in a Vidya Sinha film!
Our in-house cricket nut, who will continue to be a Vidya-Sinha fan despite her demise, informs us that there were a couple of cricket elements in one of her movies with Amol Palekar.
In a scene in Chhoti Si Baat, Arun Pradeep (played by Palekar) enters his Jackson Tolaram Pvt Ltd office only to find the peon Pandurang holding a transistor to his ear, listening to commentary. Arun then goes to his seat and can hear the radio from which his colleagues are savouring the commentary of a Test between India and England (then called MCC while on tour) in Chennai in early January 1973.
The commentator mentions how Salim Durani is batting on a testing pitch against England seamer Chris Old. The mercurial all-rounder then breaks the shackles with an exquisite drive through extra cover, past Barry Wood. The commentary is for real, no make-believe. But the only mystery is that, if this match was played in January 1973, why did the film take so long to release — in 1976.
While Anuvab Pal and Andy Zaltzman's collaborative project for The Bugle, a satirical podcast that covers politics, sports and comedy, has fans across continents, the duo are rarely seen together.
But now, the ongoing Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a Mecca of sorts for comedians where Pal was performing, has managed to bring the partners together. As it happens, Pal, Zaltzman and the entire Bugle team performed at the Stand Comedy Club in the UK, leaving us wishing we were there, too.
It is a gender-neutral world out there as it should be. Vaastav, a Mumbai-based men's rights organisation (yeah, men have rights too) marked a Raksha Bandhan with a difference on August 15. In this celebration, sisters like they did everywhere, tied rakhis to their brothers but the men in turn also tied rakhis on the wrists of their sisters.
Amit Deshpande, founder, Vaastav, said, "Men tied rakhis to women too because it was our attempt at telling a gender stereotypical world, where boys are taught not to show their vulnerabilities, that asking for help is not a sign of weakness." Deshpande himself has been tying a rakhi on his sister's wrist for the past two years. The tables seem to have turned but in a topsy-turvy world, where gender roles and dynamics are so much more fluid, it is the way to go. We like the new rakhi.
A message in a bottle
If you don't already know this, let us tell you that flair bartender and juggler Ami Shroff is pretty cool. She's witty, talented and speaks her mind. It's no wonder then, that a women's clothing company — which has tied up with a reputed youth channel for a series that tells tales of inspiring women — roped her in for the third season of their show. But when she shared the teaser video on her Instagram, instead of a typical influencer post, Shroff used her social media to comment on a current and burning issue in the county.
"The episode is now live all across India; except for Kashmir, because the government of India has blocked all communications there," she wrote. Explaining her thoughts, Shroff told this diarist, "I visited Kashmir a few months earlier and it's absolutely crazy what's happening there. I feel worried for the people I formed bonds with in that short time, so I can't imagine what I would be going through if my family lived there. Governments have always used their power against the people. But this time, it's different. It's a little eerie."
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