Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Baby's day out
Sunny Leone and Daniel Weber's daughter Nisha seems to be getting a hang of flashing a smile for the media as Weber picks her up from school in Juhu. Pic/Sneha Kharabe
When two thespians met
Earlier this week, this newspaper had carried the news of New York-based actor-director Daniel Irizarry's two week-long visit to India, as part of which he conducted a workshop for city-based actors that resulted in a production of the classic play, The Inspector General. Watching plays being made in Mumbai, and meeting those who create them was on his itinerary, too. And so, Raghav Aggarwal of Actor's Craft, who had invited Irizarry to Mumbai, and Sneha Maloo of the National Academy of Media & Events, arranged for him to watch plays by Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah's Motley, which is celebrating 40 years, and meet senior theatre artiste and Rage Productions co-founder Rajit Kapur.
(From left) Daniel Irizarry, Rajit Kapur, Raghav Aggarwal and Sneha Maloo
The duo spoke about the difference between the international and Indian theatre scenes, and how actors here need to open up about the kind of risks they are willing to take with their performance. While Kapur couldn't make it to the final show as he was acting in a play that evening, he did drop by for a rehearsal, where he silently observed, left quietly and shared his thoughts later. Fellow thespian Makarand Deshpande, we hear, was scheduled to come for the show, too, but couldn't make it because of an extended shoot schedule.
In step with life
When noted Odissi dancer Shubhada Varadkar was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 40, she took to writing down her experience in the form of poetry in her mother tongue, Marathi. "These were personal ruminations I couldn't share with anyone because if news went out, I would not get opportunities to perform," recalled the Mumbai-based artiste.
It was when she was cured of the disease and she happened to share her battle with cancer with another survivor — who told her that her story had inspired her — that Varadkar felt that it was perhaps time to pen her story in an autobiography. While Varadkar first published her memoir in Marathi, she has now written one in English. The Celestial Plume (The Write Place) will release today. "While writing the book, I realised that when you surrender to your emotions, your ego takes a back seat," she said.
Bonding in BKC
It looks like the forever-in-love Reteish and Genelia Deshmukh can't get enough of the food hub that Bandra Kurla Complex is turning out to be. Earlier this week, the couple was out for brunch at an Asian fine-dine in the business district, where Mrs Sunshine posed for the paps.
And yesterday, this diarist spotted them lunching at a popular Goan restaurant in the neighbourhood, which was so full for a weekday afternoon that it made us wonder if that's where all BKC suits have their working lunch. Talking about business lunches (and given that they were joined by a third person), we also wonder if the two are working together on something. We'll keep you posted.
The pan-Indian problem of anxiety
That anxiety is now a bigger mental health concern in India than depression was a known fact among therapists, but we got an idea of its scale when we saw that city-based clinical psychologist Sonali Gupta's YouTube video on anxiety has received one million views.
"There are so many people writing in after watching the video that it's becoming difficult to respond to them," Gupta told this diarist, adding, "For five years or so, 80 per cent of my work has been anxiety-related. And it isn't just people from the metros who are battling panic attacks. Those from tier II cities, with limited access to mental health care have been writing in." Gupta attributes the development to our fast-paced lives, where technology never gives us a break.
Get well soon, Sarah
It was only last week that celebrity chef Sarah Todd was over the moon after she found out that she would be cooking Indian food as part of a female line-up of food icons for the AO Chef Series at the Australian Open 2020. But now, we hear, that she has injured herself. Five weeks ago, she was playing a sport with her son when she twisted her ankle.
It is quite severe, and Todd wrote on social media, "Reminiscing back to days not so long ago that I could wear heels like this. Won't be doing this for a long time. Stitches are now out and I'm in a moonboot...still on crutches...counting down." We hear, however, that Todd is recovering and is expected to be up and about in another two weeks, thankfully, well in time for the grand culinary showcase.
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