Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

May 18, 2018, 07:15 IST | Team midday

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

Amitabh Bachchan

Billa number ...
Actor Amitabh Bachchan commands attention at the launch of a phone at NSCI, Worli, on Wednesday. Pic/Atul Kamble

The winner with his students
The winner with his students

Princi power
This diarist has learnt that the American School of Bombay (ASB) Elementary School's principal John Smithies has just been selected to receive the National Distinguished Principal Award. The award has been sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and is conferred by the United States Department of State, Office of Overseas Schools that recognises two principals from international schools across the globe and one principal from each of the US states. US Consul General Edgard Kagan said, "Global transformations in school systems and communities have greatly expanded the leadership role of principals, and they face the many challenges in leading for the 21st century. John has worked hard to create an elementary school that is developmentally responsive to young learners, while inspiring and challenging them." Smithies will now travel to the US for the ceremony scheduled for October, where he will be feted at a reception at the US Department of State's Harry S Truman Building. Congrats!

Pic/AFP
Pic/AFP

His final answers
For all those who mourned the passing of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking this March, this news might cheer you a bit. The final work of Hawking will be published as part of his last book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions (Hachette), and will be available in India in October. The book features a selection from his personal archive and will be divided into four segments: Why Are We Here? Will We Survive? Will Technology Save Us or Destroy Us? How Can We Thrive? These queries will include his discoveries and perspectives on subjects ranging from the creation of the universe, black holes, alien intelligence, the existence of God, the importance of space colonisation, and artificial intelligence.

Gary Kirsten at the Delhi talent scout for GKCI
Gary Kirsten at the Delhi talent scout for GKCI

Talent hop with Gary Kirsten
With IPL fever reaching its crescendo as the last leg draws close, cricketers — past and present — are the flavour of the season among the young and the not-so-young. From brand promotions across TV, print and the web to attaching themselves to causes, it's tough to miss them. Former South African batsman and India's World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten, who is also the coach of the Delhi team at the ongoing edition, took time off his hectic schedule to look at promising cricketers across the country in a talent hunt training programme. The last search is currently underway in Jaipur. "We have now completed four cities — Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Chennai. It's been amazing to witness the different skill levels across the age groups; I have seen some things even the IPL players would be proud of. It's also been fantastic, that above all, players have come down to have fun and I look forward to welcoming all players in Pune," said Kirsten. Post the first round, six players from each city will be invited to Pune for a weekend training programme in July. Following this, three players from the 36, will be awarded a scholarship for a two-month residential camp worth `2 lakh each. Here's hoping the next Tendulkar, or Kohli emerges from under Kirsten's keen eye.

Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Money is the root of art
The cognitive associations we attach to a currency note can sometimes be so powerful that we refuse to recognise it as anything else. That's the sort of mental shackle that artist Hetal Shukla (second from left) wants to break with his latest exhibition, titled Eye Didn't Note. For it, he asked 100 people, as an experiment, to recollect the images on a `100 note. But almost none of them could do so, because the only value they put to the piece of paper is monetary, not aesthetic, one. Shukla thus themed his exhibition around the subject, reimagining currency notes as more than just paper money. Pay a visit to Jehangir Art Gallery before May 21 to check them out.

Ms Rowling

More colour to JK Rowling
There's more to cheer for fans of Ms Rowling. Bloomsbury revealed news of the release of a full-colour illustrated edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard by the popular creator of the Harry Potter series. With illustrations by Chris Riddell, the cover brings together some of the main characters from the five wizarding fairy tales in the book, including Babbitty Rabbitty and incisive notes by Professor Dumbledore. Set to hit stands in October, this one is bound to impress wizards and muggles alike.

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