Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Jeeb we met
Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has trouble keeping his tongue in check at an event to promote his upcoming biopic with Rasika Dugal, and again when he meets Sacred Games co-stars Kubbra Sait and Rajashri Deshpande. Pics/Sameer Markande, Satej Shinde
When family and theatre cross roads
Jennifer Kendal's passing on September 7, 1984, when the actor and co-founder of Prithvi Theatre was just 51, shattered many. Husband Shashi Kapoor, it is said, never recovered from the loss. But a fact that we didn't know of, until daughter Sanjna Kapoor shared it in a post yesterday, is that Kendal died on the birthday of her father Geoffrey Kendal.
As Kapoor remembered them both, we too were reminded of the first few chapters of Naseeruddin Shah's autobiography, And Then One Day, where the actor writes about his initiation into theatre. Kendal senior ran a travelling theatre company, Shakespeareana, with wife Laura Liddell. And it was when the couple brought the bard's plays to Shah's boarding school in Nainital that he fell in love with the magic of the stage. Little did Shah know then that Prithvi was to become his second home!
Stars before they shone
Here's a fun fact about the Big B's life that you probably weren't aware of. One of the people who was instrumental in getting him his first break was none other than then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It so happened that Gandhi was friends with Amitabh Bachchan's mother, Teji Bachchan. So when he faced his first rejection in Bollywood, the PM, on Teji's request, made a call to actor Nargis, asking her to help the youngster out. Nargis did so and the rest, of course, is history.
How do we know this nugget, though? It's after flipping through a new book called The Legends of Bollywood (Jaico). In it, longtime production hand Raaj Grover sheds light on what Bollywood superstars' lives were like before they attained fame in the industry. And here's another gem of a story. A man had once driven his truck all the way from Ludhiana to Dharmendra's house in Mumbai. And he stayed there for a week, with the actor under the impression that this person was his father's friend, and his father thinking he was his!
A page turner
We salute Sonali Bendre for maintaining a happy disposition despite battling cancer. And a further pat on her back for spending her time constructively on promoting the habit of reading, while getting treatment in the US. For, Bendre started a digital initiative called Sonali's Book Club last year, which received a public thumbs-up from her friends Dia Mirza, Suzanne Khan and Gayatri Oberoi recently. And on Read a Book Day earlier this week, she posted a gutsy pic of her holding up the latest title she is recommending, Amor Towles's A Gentleman in Moscow. The tweet received an appreciative reply from the author, and a nod from us in Bendre's direction.
Riding a rainbow
In the euphoria surrounding the scrapping of Section 377, many corporate players have done their bit to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community. One that caught our eye was a taxi aggregator that changed the usual blue route of its driver's path to a rainbow-coloured one. Nice touch.
Bappa to ride on the Rajdhani?
Ganpati Bappa seems to be going places. And this time, the elephant god looks all set to board the Rajdhani to Delhi. A source close to this diarist and Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal, has revealed that the minister is keen to take Ganesha for a ride on the prestigious train to Delhi this year. If the minister's wish prevails, the Indian Railways will do everything possible in their power to transport bappa on the hi-profile train a day or two before the festival begins next week, our source adds.
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