Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Ladies who Laugh
Pooja Bedi, Manisha Koirala and Priya Dutt are in splits over a comment at the release of a book on sex education for kids in Bandra yesterday. Pic/Nimesh Dave
When music is the answer
Sometimes, music is the best way to lift emotional burden. That was reaffirmed when this diarist interacted with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Beth Hart, who's in the city to play at a blues festival. Hart is no stranger to personal turmoil. Her father left the family when she was really young, and she later struggled with addiction and bi-polar tendencies. "The whole reason I started playing is because I was really sensitive as a kid. The stuff that went down in my family was so bad that I was like, 'Oh my god, I have to find a way out of here.' And I remember hearing this song that was just piano. In that moment, I felt that someone else shares my pain. There is something about the piano that is not judgmental. So when I go to it, I feel like something out there is letting me know that I am not alone," she told this diarist, about the healing power of musical notes.'
Sabya with Richard, George and Raghu
The gracious host, who thinks he isn't
"Welcome to my home. I must admit I am not a very good host, though; intimate dinners I can manage but a large party makes me nervous." Sabyasachi Mukherjee was throwing open the doors of his home on Raja Santosh Road to 25 fashion editors.
The Kolkata designer was celebrating two decades in the business, and chose a crisp Thursday afternoon to host us over brunch. The building used to house the German Embassy, and the first thing he did after acquiring the 7,250 square-foot bungalow was to bathe the pale white exteriors in his favourite brick red. "It has two bedrooms, and lots of sofas all around for anybody to crash if they feel like," he laughed.
The waiting staff mirrored the sartorial theme he was sporting - poplin kurta-pyjama paired with a Nehru jacket and Kolhapuri chappals. Perfumed in heady notes of jasmine and pampered with Afghan and Turkish carpets, the walls gilded with Pichhwai paintings, the home opens up to a sprawling garden. It was here that his family - cocker spaniels Richard, George and Raghu - was waiting.
The recluse was in the mood to indulge in conversation, as he treated the guests to live Jazz music and delicious eats, courtesy Kolkata's beloved Kookie Jar. Sabya showed off his witty compering skills with a game of Tambola, where the winners took home prizes from his Curiosity, Art & Antiquity project.
A lesson in Urdu on social media
Recently, when Urdu language theatre director-actor Danish Husain put up a post on Instagram recommending Manu S Pillai's Rebel Sultans, the literary discussion in the comments section was interrupted by an unsolicited visitor. "Let me know if you or your friends would like to boost your social media following to 100k," proposed the spammer. Husain chose to respond to the spammer, but not without a touch of shayari. "Jo khareed ke shauhrat mili to kya mili? Pal bhar mein fanaa ho jaayegi aisi ishrat, mere dost [What use is the fame that has been bought? The reputation will be destroyed before you know it, my friend]," the artiste wrote back. Touche!
For any kid who read the children's magazine, Tinkle, it was easy to aspire to be like Shikari Shambu - a hunter afraid of animals, who intentionally never did anything heroic but still ended up the hero. And at the The Story 'xpress Storytelling Festival that concluded earlier this week at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, art director of the magazine Savio Mascarenhas gave children a fitting introduction by singing a Shambu song along with playing a guitar. "I spoke of how one should care for our wildlife... they left with a song on their lips and a tune in their hearts, and also learnt how to draw using simple shapes," he told this diarist.
If you can't play cricket to save your life, imagine doing that blindfolded. But former Australian test cricketer Michael Kasprowicz made it look easy when he swung his arm during a demo in Tardeo yesterday. The former speedster hosted a special cricket clinic for students from Victoria Memorial School for the Blind and was hosted by the Australian Consulate General. He gave a short tutorial to students and ended the session by playing a match with them, blindfolded. "Michael has a 20-year-long love affair with India - and continues to come back four times a year as part of his role in the Australia India Council and in private business. We brought Michael to help promote the Australian Alumni Association in India and Australian sport ecosystem expertise. We also wanted to highlight our commitment to disability inclusion through community outreach. It was wonderful to see the students learning from Michael's cricket and post-cricket career experience. It's also a once-in-a-lifetime experience to hit some runs off a former international test bowler," Tony Huber, Australian Consul General, Mumbai, told this diarist.
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Mumbai protests against the Pulwama terror attack