Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Actor Tusshar Kapoor's son Laksshya seems to be getting a taste of what life in Tinseltown is like, as he is chaperoned on Juhu Beach over the weekend. Pic/Shadab Khan
A hug, a story and a stage
QTP's production, Every Brilliant Thing, which premiered in Mumbai in March, has since travelled across India, earning the love of the audience and critics alike for the heartwarming story of a seven-year-old on a mission to make his depressed mother happy. The play, a solo performance by Bengaluru-based artiste Vivek Madan, progresses with participation from the audience members, with Madan roping them in to play small roles at various junctures. The play is now back in town for another run, and as is the case with performances of this kind, every show is different.
Vivek Madan and Mr Tyeb in the play, Every Brilliant Thing
At a staging held in Bandra over the weekend, when Madan requested a man in the audience to play his father, it turned out to be one Mr Tyeb, whom every theatrewallah in Mumbai knows. "Hard core theatre supporter and renter of furniture to numerous groups," is how director Quasar Thakore Padamsee described him, adding, "While Vivek hugged him in character, it was also a hug from all of us, who are thankful to him for being such a friend of the live performing arts." Madan, however, knew of him but had never met him, so asking him to play the role was a mere coincidence. "That's the beauty of performing in a city that's not home," he said. He went on to recall how the last time he had invited someone on stage, he learnt later that it was theatre artiste and dancer Faredoon Bhujwala.
A quartet of debutants
What do former India cricketers Vikram Rathour, Paras Mhambrey, Venkatesh Prasad and Sunil Joshi have in common? All of them recently applied for a position on Team India's support staff. However, only Rathour managed to get a post — Team India batting coach — subject to conflict of interest, of course.
Vikram Rathour, Paras Mhambrey, Venkatesh Prasad and Sunil Joshi
Prasad and Joshi, both Bangalore-based, were vying for the bowling coach job along with Mumbai man Mhambrey, but B Arun retained his position. There was another common factor in the quartet: All four made their Test debut for India in the 1996 Test against England at Birmingham where Joshi was not called on to bowl his left-arm spin.
Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly made their debut in the next Test at Lord's where Joshi was omitted. Joshi must be the only Test player to be dropped for his second Test without bowling in his first. Strange are the ways of the willow game, indeed.
The right tune
"Some experiences are worth a lot more than the money you make," musician Uday Benegal of the rock band Indus Creed told this diarist ahead of their gig at a little-known festival called Where Have All the Flowers Gone on the outskirts of Imphal. Helmed by Rohid Chingangbam, former member of the band called Imphal Talkies, this festival tries to raise ecological awareness.
"It so pristine. Locals set-up stalls to sell smoked pork and rice beer. It's just a great atmosphere," Benegal said, explaining why two-and-half years after discovering the festival and playing a solo set there, he is returning to play with the rest of his band mates.
Of off-screen heroes
Behind the star you admire, adore or worship is an army of people who work tirelessly, knowing that they would remain behind the scenes all their lives. One of them was Pradeep Kalgutkar, Deepti Naval's make-up artist for the last 35 years, who passed away recently.
"The loss of Pradeep Kalgutkar...my brother, will not be easy to live with...He's the one who looked after me since the time I started back in the 80s. I can't imagine being on the set without Pradeep next to me! He was God's good man! There will be no replacing him," said Naval in a post on Instagram over the weekend, in which she shared this happy photograph from the shoot for a web show at a vineyard in Nashik.
The irony of it all
"Dear Mumbaikars, Always approach @mybmc to fix the potholes. It is the legal and correct way. Avoid filling any potholes on your own using debris..." and with this appeal that the BMC made on its Twitter handle, we got our dose of irony for the weekend.
While the request was made in earnest — given that incorrect methods of filling potholes may lead to accidents — what the civic authorities seem to have turned a blind eye to is that such reactions stem from the lack of timely action on their part in the first place. Also, is it too much to ask for roads that don't kill in the 21st century in what is not just the capital of Maharashtra but also the country's financial capital?
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No more trees to be axed in Aarey until October 21, says Supreme Court