Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Remembering a genius
Kishore Kumar had such a magical voice that songs seemed to get a life of their own with his treatment. The impact that he’s had on the Hindi film industry is almost unparalleled, delivering hit after hit for over three decades. So it was no surprise when people showered the late singer with tributes on the occasion of his birthday, which fell over the weekend. Many people shared an iconic interview of his with Pritish Nandy in the process, which was published in a magazine in 1986.
It is an absolute laugh riot, although we are not sure whether Kumar intended any humour in his answers. But what else do you but laugh when you learn about how, when a director had once paid him only half his share of money, he arrived at the set with half his head and half of his moustache shaved off, saying he would grow them back only when he got the full amount. Or, when you hear about the bemusement of a suited-booted interior decorator when he heard Kumar telling him how he wanted floating boats in a pool of water, in his living room! What a hoot the man was, and one the world definitely needs more of.
Why Winnie isn’t winning Xi’s heart
There’s a movie that’s just been released, called Christopher Robin. It’s based on AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, and follows the story of the boy in the book after he’s grown up and lost his childhood imagination, but is later reunited with his teddy bear friend.
The film is expected to make a solid impact in American theatres, where it opened over the weekend. But one place where it won’t make any direct impact at all is China. The movie has been banned there. Why? Because Winnie the Pooh has become a symbol of resistance against Premier Xi Jinping, after this meme surfaced likening him to the character. Not that we are saying politicians always know how to take a joke on themselves anyway.
Indian on top
It seems like the Obamas are one couple who are making the most of life after The White House. For, a web series channel announced in May that they have approached the former first couple of America to produce a bunch of shows for them.
The details of the deal are still tightly under wraps, but the Obamas have already started the hiring process. And we hear that one person who’s made the cut is Priya Swaminathan, who is of Indian origin. Swaminathan is a director and Hollywood executive who is known to have supported various causes, such as combating sexual harassment. She also produced and co-directed Very Young Girls, a 2007 documentary on the subject of prostitution on New York’s streets. Here’s hoping her worth rises even further after her new appointment.
These kids have booked Bajpai
Manoj Bajpai is one actor who is known for doing meaningful cinema, starting all the way from Satya to more recent films like Aligarh, which chronicled the life of a homosexual professor stifled by society.
Bajpai at Bandra's MCubed Library
So, it came as little surprise to us when we heard that the star spent a day doing something other than acting, but equally meaningful — interacting with children at a city library. The actor held forth on the diversity of languages, a subject close to his heart. And the entire initiative gets two thumbs-up from us, because few things make us happier than encouraging the habit of reading in children.
Love when you least expect it
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of interactions on social media platforms such as Twitter? “Trolls,” sadly, might well be the answer. And it wouldn’t be unjustified in an era when people are even paid to spew venom at others, especially political opponents, to change public perception around them. So, it was heartwarming to see an opposite trend on Twitter last weekend.
It started after a particular user posted, “Quote this tweet with one thing your partner does that’s not necessarily romantic but makes you love them a bit more.” And it made many people open up about those little details in their relationships that strengthens the bond in uncalculated ways. One person revealed, for instance, “Puts ABBA on when I’m sad.” Another said, “He leaves the blinds on one of the windows slightly open so I can see my favourite solar powered fairy lights outside.” And if that isn’t cute, we don’t know what is.
Aaj ke liye itna hi kaafi hai
John Abraham leaves a hotel in Juhu over the weekend, after ending a press meet ahead of his upcoming film. Pic/Satej Shinde
Man falls off Mumbai local train while getting down at Dadar