Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
You don't say!
Karisma Kapoor cracks Amrita Arora Ladak up with some tittle-tattle at the launch of a yoga studio for women in Bandra on Friday. Pic/Ashish Raje
The 1971 issues of Sportsweek. Pic/Clayton Murzello
Sportsweek would have been 50 today
The sporting fraternity of the city would have been celebrating a glorious half century of their beloved Sportsweek magazine, whose first issue hit the stands this day in 1968. In the 20 years it survived, Sportsweek provided sports lovers their weekly supply of analysis, interviews and behind-the-scene stories from some of the best names in Indian and international sport. The evergreen Khalid A-H Ansari fathered the magazine and the late Sharad Kotnis mothered it. Behram Contractor, also deceased, wrote his Buzzing Around column even before he joined the mid-day group and his pranks became legendary within the newsroom, including once when he sent a cricket enthusiast looking for Test match tickets to Kotnis, known to have been in a bad mood on Tuesdays, the day the magazine was put to bed. An angry and flustered Kotnis demanded to know who had sent the fan to him, but Contractor disappeared before the identity of the prankster could be revealed. A lot of blood, sweat and tears were shed while producing the magazine, but those behind it also had a lot of fun under the tin roof at Tardeo. No one seems to have the first issue, but we know what the magazine looked like before it turned three. Have a look!
Standing in solidarity
In a country like ours that is teeming with people, and with a female population standing roughly at 66 crore, one in every 22 women adds up to lakhs of women. And that's how many of them are battling breast cancer. The issue is a grave one, but the awareness about it is scarce. Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) has undertaken an initiative, Short-cut October, that aims to spread awareness, as well as raise funds hoping to help those who are ailing but have to opt out of treatment, due to financial concerns. The initiative has drawn support from all corners, such as Mithibai College, that is organising a cultural event and raising awareness through social media; SRK Universe, a fan-club for Shah Rukh Khan which campaigned for the cause online; and sports commentator Harsha Bhogle. "Around 2.5 million people in India suffer from cancer. Among women, breast cancer is the most commonly occurring form of cancer and for every two women diagnosed, one succumbs to the disease," Bhogle said, pointing to the urgency of the problem.
Pankaj Kapoor (left); Shoojit Sircar
Work meets play for Sircar
Shoojit Sircar, ace feature and ad filmmaker, recently completed a dream shoot in Shimla. He shot for a commercial with two men that he absolutely loves. Shooting in the beautiful landscape and relaxing climes of Shimla was special for the prolific Sircar for two reasons. Firstly, he has admired Pankaj Kapoor and his work for long. And because talking cricket with MS Dhoni was one of the perks that came with his job. The two legends acted together for the first time for the ad film.
"This was a lot of fun. I have always wanted to work with Pankaj ji and finally got the chance to. This is the second time that I have shot with Dhoni. Each time we get together, we talk about sports. The three of us enjoyed every bit of the ambience and work," Sircar told this diarist.
The colonial hangover
Veteran comedians Anuvab Pal and Andy Zaltzman have come together once again, this time for a radio show on the British channel BBC 4. Empire-cal Evidence, which was recorded both in London and Kolkata, delves into the remains of the British Empire in the two cities with the first episode already on air in London. Speaking of how the novel show came to be, Pal told this diarist, "I was struck by how similar the buildings were in Indian cities, like Bombay and Kolkata, to London.
And I took the idea to Zaltsman [of the famed Bugle podcast] to see if we could trace the history of these buildings and the people in it, as a way to understand how the British came and built in India, and especially in Kolkata. So, the show traces the history of the British empire from the places that remain, starting with the docks in London from where the ships sailed to Victoria memorial in Calcutta."
Get read-y for a new book
Novelist, professor and musician Amit Chaudhuri's new book is set to hit bookshelves, and this time in the form of a collection of essays that look into the way in which writers engage with their own work as an antithesis to the works and movements that came before them. Not only does the paperback include unpublished lectures by the Sahitya Akademi Award-winning writer but also chapters on Western art, Asian cinema, Indian regional writing, Asian poetry, Rabindranath Tagore, and Rudyard Kipling.
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