Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

Updated: Dec 05, 2016, 10:19 IST | Team mid-day |

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

Sakshi's got style
Sakshi Malik has been breaking barriers for a while. The wrestler, who won a silver in Rio, has caught the nation’s imagination since that historic day in August.

Apart from being the toast of sports and women’s publications, the pint-sized champion will now be the cover girl of a fashion and lifestyle magazine, in a refreshing departure. Great to see another barrier being broken for gamechangers with a never-say-die attitude.

Wilson, weed, misinformation and ATMs
Youngsters who grew up on the DVD of Woodstock ’69 lived their dreams at the NH7 Weekender in Pune. The venue is a lush green field accommodating four colossal stages for the musicians.

The Pimpri-Chinchwad area is usually known as an IT hub but on Saturday, it was flooded with leather jackets, plunging necklines and swanky bags. They all came to hear Steven Wilson but when this diarist prodded a few to name his songs beyond Lazarus, they drew a blank. Some even got his name wrong.

“I have come to check out Mark Wilson, he plays for Porcupine Tree,” said a lass from Mumbai. Unfortunately, Wilson isn’t associated with Porcupine Tree at present. A Delhi girl reckoned, “I love Wilson because I have roots in the US.” He is a British singer-songwriter, FYI.

Probably Wilson’s only hope lay among sections who sported tees with Blackfield on it (the name of one his earlier bands). However, Wilson is more of a solo artiste now; though he still performs classics like Lazarus and Sound of Muzak. Security was beefed up on the second day after rumours of people smoking weed within the premises surfaced.

People were frisked till their shoes and socks, but cigarettes were allowed. In the age of demonetisation, the organisers installed an ATM that had a short queue (surprise, surprise). Food and bar counters accepted cards, though. Stellar gigs by Skyharbor, F-16s (who broke their guitar on stage by the end of the set), Mosko and Rhythm Shaw wowed the crowds as the sun set on a music-happy weekend.

Coterie ka kamaal

Pic/Suresh Karkera

Romanian actress Iulia Vantur, who has been rumoured to be Salman Khan’s girlfriend for some time now, at the launch of her track, which is a part of Himesh Reshammiya’s (right) album. Pays to be a part of bhai’s coterie, we guess.

Clean-up champ
When the rest of Mumbai revels in Ganpati celebrations, Afroz Shah gathers an army of volunteers and gets down to cleaning Versova Beach, after every visarjan day.

Afroz Shah (centre) at the award function
Afroz Shah (centre) at the award function

But festivities aren’t the only time when Shah, a lawyer by profession, takes on this mammoth task. Since October last year, miffed with mountains of rubbish on the beach, Shah (who was then accompanied by his late neighbour Harbansh Mathur) has been organising cleanliness drives every weekend, and has become synonymous with the world’s largest beach clean-up project.

In recognition of his work, the UN recently conferred the Champions of Earth award on Shah. “I am an ocean lover and feel that we owe a duty to our ocean to make it free of plastic. I hope this is the beginning for coastal communities across India and the world,” Shah said at the event. So far, the volunteers have collected over 4,000 tons of trash from the 2.5 kilometre beach stretch. More power to the worthy citizen.

Winning tales from the jungles
Behind every successful project are faceless people who devote time, energy and their lives. The same is true for the efforts to conserve wildlife and the environment.

The first runner-up of the wildlife photography category, Pinal Shah (left) with environmentalist and author Bittu Sahgal at the Press Club. Pic/Poonam Bathija
The first runner-up of the wildlife photography category, Pinal Shah (left) with environmentalist and author Bittu Sahgal at the Press Club. Pic/Poonam Bathija

Last week was a rare occasion when these unsung heroes got some recognition for their unrelenting efforts at The Sanctuary Wildlife Awards. The stories of forest officers, guards and committed journalists came to be shared through this platform.

Booked or cooked?
In a recent post, popular twitterati Shashi Tharoor posted a cartoon depicting a bunch of people poking a book to understand what the object is.

Tharoor captioned this image, ‘The fate of the book a generation from now?!’ We wonder what triggered this post from the author-politician, who is a regular on the literary festival circuit and interacts with young readers all the time.

Did the sales of his recently published works have anything to do with this outburst? Just saying.

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