Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Does the plot thicken, saeed saab?
Saeed Akhtar Mirza is all ears for Mahesh Bhatt during the release of the former's memoirs at a SoBo bookstore over the weekend. Other industrywallahs like (left) Makarand Deshpande, (second, left) Sudhir Mishra and Ashutosh Gowariker (not in frame) also showed up to support the veteran filmmaker. Pic/Suresh Karkera
A still from the film
A stick in time
Sports movies require a fair amount of preparation. The experience of shooting for Soorma - based on the inspiring story of former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh - was no different for Diljit Dosanjh. But the actor was in for a pleasant surprise when he was at the shoot location in Singh's hometown in Shahabad.
Sandeep Singh. Pic/AFP
The hockey legend sent him his favourite stick, with which he has made many records in international tournaments, for practice. The gift and Singh's ready availability to train Dosanjh, kept the latter on the field for three hours every day, we hear. The cherry on the cake? Singh is considering gifting Dosanjh the stick for good.
Then showing, at Watson's on Esplanade
Sometimes, even this city, despite its cine-themed alternate name - can miss an opportunity to salute one of the most important dates in its rich, cinematic history. Turns out, most of us did. Last Saturday marked the 122nd anniversary of the first ever film screening to have happened in undivided India. The screening at the then swank Watson's on Esplanade was possible via a cinematographe that Marius Sestier brought down to India. It combined a camera, printer and bioscope. The screening included six short films by the Lumiere cameraman. Press at the time had hailed the event as a "miracle of the century". Interestingly, according to the book, Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film, the footage that Sestier had shot and screened in Bombay didn't get the nod from Lumiere's office in Lyon, deeming them as unusable to the extent that it didn't even make it to their catalogue of films!
Mumbai's sweetish fetish
Here's some sweet news. A popular food delivery service has recently released data on the chocolate-consuming habits across major Indian metros, based on the orders it gets. Mumbaikars, it seems, are crazy about chocolate waffles, since that's what they have ordered the most. No wonder, then, that joints that specialise in waffles seem to do brisk business in the city. The dish, in fact, has become so popular that it's entered the list of top three items ordered across the country. And the data also reveals that the time of day that people prefer eating chocolate is after dinner. Khaane ke baad kuchh meetha ho jaye?
Bond. Repeat. Again
When popular and engaging authors decide to pen their memoirs, more often than not, the content makes for absorbing reads. Remember A Moveable Feast, Hemingway's recollections of his twenties spent in Paris? A little birdie that flew all the way from Ruskin Bond's home in Landour tells us that one of India's most loved storyteller is ready with his second memoir; the first being Lone Fox Dancing. The second, to be titled The Beauty of All My Days, will be different from the earlier one. Watch this space for more on what we're pretty sure, will make for another delightful title from the writing desk of the octogenarian.
About the other Ravi
This diarist's trip to New York not only opened her eyes musically, but gave her an insight into how well respected Indian artists are internationally. After watching U2 at Madison Square Garden, and being overwhelmed by the powerhouse that Bono is, we ended up at Birdland, one of New York's best jazz clubs. A paltry entry of $30 got us front row seats to watch Ravi Coltrane perform.
As we watched the legendary John Coltrane's son play the saxophone, we wondered about the origins of his name - Ravi. A thought flashed, "Perhaps, he is named after Pandit Ravi Shankar." A Google search later, we realised that the hunch was right. John was a big fan of Ravi Shankar, and always wanted to collaborate with him. Well, it seems that bearing his father's genes and Shankar's name seems to have served Ravi in good stead. His smooth and tight set with some world-class musicians, like harpist Brandee Younger (Check her out on YouTube; you won't regret it), was spellbinding. Ravi and John both must surely be proud.
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Did you know Narendra Modi once wanted to become a monk?