Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Last minute win
Mumbai-based progressive and alternative rock band, Last Minute are a step closer to settling a record. Vocalist cum bassist Sobodh Gupta and guitarist Bhumit Kaur originally formed the now five-piece group in 2013. They are currently part of a talent contest being held across nine cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Goa and Pune.
The winner will be chosen based on an online vote count. The band with the highest number of votes gets an opportunity to record an entire album in a professional studio. Additional perks to the press kit include a photo shoot and album artwork.
City chronicler turns 40
In the 1950s, the Bombay Historical Society was founded as a platform to encourage interest in history, archaeology, folklore and epigraphy of Bombay and Western India. Sadly, the society didn’t last beyond the decade and the local history of the city remained unexplored for a while. Decades later, in 1977,
The Heras Institute in St Xavier’s College launched its annual local history seminar hoping to rekindle the passion in Bombay of yore. This resulted in the formation of the Bombay Local History Society (BLHS). Since then, the group has been dedicated to increasing awareness about the city’s historic past through walks, talks and sessions.
The society also publishes a newsletter to give voice to its idealogy. While Fr John Correia-Afonso, SJ (inset), a renowned scholar, published the first newsletter in 1985, it was named The Bombay Explorer in 1986. Over the years, it has offered insight via articles and journals about the city’s urban history.
As part of St Xavier’s sesquicentennial celebrations, and to commemorate BLHS’s 40th anniversary, this year’s annual seminar surrounds the theme, My Reminiscences of St Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Scheduled for this Saturday, the session will see alumni arrive as speakers. Justice Gautam Patel of the Bombay High Court, Shankar Jadhav of Bombay Stock Exchange, Fr Learoy Rodriques, SJ involved in Jesuit formation and Tinaz Nooshian, executive editor of Mid-day, will speak at the seminar.
Will this be a cult classic?
Imagine building everything from nothing. Then think of Rajneeshpuram. This year, Netflix’s Wild Wild Country became the new ‘binge-worthy’ watch, detailing the tale of cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and the creation of the utopia — Rajneeshpuram.
With The Rajneesh Chronicles (Hachette), the inspiration behind the series, Win McCormack attempts to narrate the inside story behind the commune and the bizarre series of events that followed. The book outlines the shocking tale from beginning to end — the early life of the godman to the first act of bio-terrorism on US soil. Set to release on July 26, it also includes rare photographs.
Buff above the rest
Acting PM of New Zealand Winston Peters publicly criticised its national carrier for serving veggie burgers made with synthetic meat patties, arguing that it could affect national sales of beef — an integral product to its agricultural economy.
Nathan Guy, another MP echoed Winston’s views, calling the move a “slap in the face” to the country’s red meat sector, which FYI is worth $6 billion. We’re thinking Air New Zealand’s on-air kitchen has a better shot of surviving in one of Bandra’s just-turned-hip-n-vegan cafes.
It’s that time of the year when budding theatre artistes from across Mumbai and India congregate at Prithvi Theatre to sync with all that’s lined up in the lead up to Thespo, arguably India’s biggest youth theatre festival. But this year will be special as the festival, which was started by Quasar Thakore Padamsee, Toral Shah, Arghya Lahiri, Chris Samuel and Nadir Khan, is turning 20. And keeping up with the vision of reaching out to more of India, this edition brings Thrissur and Coimbatore under its fold, even as it strengthens its presence in Lucknow, Ahmednagar, Guwahati, Chandigarh and Jaipur.
“In the past 10 years, a part of our job has become easier since theatre has become a viable career option; people who have participated in Thespo have stayed on in theatre. It is also rewarding to see young people working not only as actors, directors and writers, but also in other areas like sound or light design,” Shah told this diarist, attributing the development to the increasing number of alternative performance spaces and training options in the city on the one hand, and large-scale productions that pay artistes a rehearsal fee and finance their travel when a play tours other cities, on the other.
Wait a minute, guys
Akshay Kumar fools around with Marathi teen actors Sangram Desai and Sahil Jadhav at a film promotion on Wednesday. Pic/Ashish Raje
Girl beats up eve teaser; video goes viral