Mumbai Diary: Monday musings
The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Shastri’s real story
Ravi Shastri made banner headlines on a certain television channel last week for his forthcoming delayed arrival in Sri Lanka. The Indian cricket team’s director will not be with the team during their August 6 warm-up game in the Emerald Isles due to his media commitments with Sky Sports in England.
Centre of the action: Ravi Shastri. Pic/Getty Images
For both, Shastri bashers and backers, we have some news. Firstly, Shastri informed the Indian cricket board of his Ashes-related media work and they agreed to him joining the team after the tour began. Secondly, he will be with Virat Kohli and Co on either August 7 or 8, well before the first Test match that kicks off in Galle on August 12.
And for those who want to know what exactly Shastri is doing in England, he is part of a panel comprising former England captain Bob Willis, commentator Charles Colville and ex-Australia all-rounder Tom Moody which analyses the day’s play for a show called Verdict. His appointment as a neutral view for an Ashes programme on Sky is unprecedented.
We also hear that the channel was very keen to have around for the entire five-match England vs Australia series. But Sri Lanka beckons and he must leave. This is no sacrifice since Shastri is well paid for his Team India Director post as well (reportedly R7 crore a year) but the record on this controversy ought to be set right.
Apte is the new BNHS director
As of August 1, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) appointed a new director, Dr Deepak Apte. He will succeed Dr Asad R Rahmani who retired after 18 years of service. Apte, who has been working with BNHS since 1993, has an MSc in Zoology and PhD in Marine Ecology and worked as the Chief Operating Officer before being made director.
Dr Deepak Apte
We’re sure that his impeccable credentials, along with having established a full-fledged Marine Conservation Programme in BNHS, as well as his research-heavy background (he’s published four books including ‘Sea Shells of India’ and ‘Field Guide to the Marine Life of India’) will hold him in good stead to head the revered society. Big luck to this green warrior in challenging times!
Bombay Rose heads to Sarajevo
Animator Gitanjali Rao’s Bombay Rose was chosen as one among six finalists of NFDC India Screenwriters’ Lab Film Bazaar 2015. Screenwriters’ Lab this time, will be held in collaboration with the Sarajevo Film Festival. Six projects were selected from close to 280 applications.
Gitanjali Rao director, Bombay Rose
Earlier, the Lab was held in Toronto, Locarno and Venice film festivals, while this time around, it will be held in collaboration with the Sarajevo Film Festival. The six projects will travel to Sarajevo in August for the first part of the Lab and later, to Goa in November for the second, before being presented at Film Bazaar, the annual international film market, held alongside the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Not until he was 18...
Today, Indian born Sunjeev Sahota is the toast of the United Kingdom, after making it to the Man Booker Prize 2015 Longlist. Back in April 2013, when this diarist had interviewed him after being picked as a Granta Best Young British Novelist, he had admitted how the journey from reader to writer had felt much longer than it actually had been.
He had mentioned how it wasn’t until he was 18 when he picked up reading a book; he chose Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children at an airport lounge en route to visit family in India. At the time of his interview, he admitted, “The writing part isn’t fun, though it does get better once I’ve got that first draft down.”
The Year of the Runaways
As a review copy of The Year of the Runaways (Picador India), slotted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize nomination reached us, we couldn’t help but smile on reading Rushdie’s words of praise printed on the book jacket ‘All you can do is surrender, happily, to its power.’