Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Gaal ban gayi
Dharmendra dotes on grandson Karan Deol at the trailer launch of his debut film, at a Juhu multiplex on Thursday. Pic /Shadab Khan
Some unexpected lessons
Teacher's Day is an occasion for many of us to express gratitude in public for the people who have shaped our formative years. It could be a person who taught you in school. It could be someone who gave you music lessons. Or it could also be someone who taught you to deal with the ups and downs of life as a sportsman. The third scenario applies to Sachin Tendulkar and Ramakant Achrekar. The latter was instrumental in making Tendulkar the master batsman he became. Sample the legendary story of Achrekar keeping a Rs1 coin on the middle stump during Tendulkar's net practice sessions, and the young batsman getting to keep it if he managed to keep his wicket. No wonder, then, that Tendulkar paid tribute to Achrekar by posting this throwback photo of the two of them. But of all the tributes that poured in, including from Bollywood celebs, our favourite one came from Rahul Gandhi, who wrote, "On #TeachersDay, I thank all those from whom I've learnt, over the years. That includes the army of social media trolls, some journalists-with-an-agenda and my political adversaries, whose vicious barbs, false propaganda and anger has taught me a lot and made me much stronger." Talk about sarcasm.
When life's a drag
On the first anniversary of the Supreme Court verdict that announced the reading down of Section 377, which criminalised consensual sex between same-sex adults, the city will witness yet another first. Mumbai's well-known equal rights activist, Harish Iyer, will make his debut in a drag avatar as Miz Guddi TwoShoes. Iyer said that Guddi will be different because she is a kind-hearted drag queen who stands up for causes, unlike the seductress drag-queen stereotype. She is in complete touch with her feminine side, dances to '90s numbers and, in the same breath, speaks about the destruction of the Amazon rainforests, the Save Aarey campaign, and animal rights. Guddi is fun, chirpy and also sensitive to issues. She and other drag queens will perform at a nightclub in Andheri tonight. So, all those who celebrate diversity, put on your dancing Guddi Twoshoes, we say.
This is how Varun will get a kick
Varun Dhawan is one actor who doesn't hesitate to associate himself with offbeat events. He has earlier been the face of one of the country's biggest breakdancing competitions, which isn't really a surprise given the fact that he's built a reputation for himself as a nimble dancer. But he's now off to Abu Dhabi as a special guest at one of the biggest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) matches of the year, between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier. For the uninitiated, UFC is an American company that promotes mixed martial arts, one of the most brutal combat sports in the world. It's thus going to be a no-holds-barred match, and Dhawan will be in the Emirate tomorrow to attend it. Our bet is that he'll also study the moves of the two fighters, since it's not just the reputation of being a dancer that he has. The actor is considered quite an action hero, too.
A Modi-fied meal
Chef Hemant Oberoi recently returned from Abu Dhabi with another feather in his cap. This time, it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had dinner at his restaurant in the UAE, called Martabaan. Modi was in the country to receive the Order of Zayed, Abu Dhabi's highest civilian honour. On the menu, Oberoi tells us, were light appetisers like kursi chaat, with farsan-like mini dhokalas and khandvi rolled in a fruit ratatouille. The only instruction the PM's office had given him was that Modi is vegetarian. "So we served chutney in a pipette, and bhel in edible paper," Oberoi says, adding, "Soup was a kombucha and kaafir lime shorba. And the main course, among other dishes, had palak and our special chhole."
They have your back, rain or shine
This diarist, like everyone else who ventured out in Wednesday's torrential rain, had to deal with an auto driver asking for Rs 250 for a ride that normally costs one-fifth that amount. So, a social media trend that surfaced the next day warmed our heart. #MumbaisRealHero involved people posting photos of honest auto drivers (in pic) who helped everyone they could despite flooding, and didn't charge an extra penny while at it. Our salute to the everyday champions.
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No more trees to be axed in Aarey until October 21, says Supreme Court