Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Circle of influence
Anupam Kher and Mahesh Bhatt match their hairstyle and clothes at the launch of the former's autobiography at a Juhu bookstore on Friday. Pic/Satej Shinde
Where's the humour here?
For two people who are supposed to be among the country's most popular comedians, the ongoing feud between Kunal Kamra and Vir Das seriously lacks humour. Last month, Kamra had taken a dig at Das saying his jokes lacked quality, leading to furore among stand-up community. Now, he's at it again. Here's what happened. Das put out a tweet yesterday saying there were only 100 tickets left for his show at Town Hall in New York, and urged people to spread the word so the he could become "the first Indian to sell out that legendary room". Kamra retorted to this with a sarcastic tweet that read, "Congratulations Zakir Khan for being the second Indian to sell out that prestigious room last year," and adding a pic of Khan's show for good measure. This led to a further round of below-the-belt jabs that Das and Kamra took at each other. Our question is, what's the point of sharing all this animosity, guys? Why not share a laugh instead?
Dream come true
When this diarist reached out to musician Imaad Shah yesterday, he was about to board a flight from Prague to Amsterdam. It was no ordinary journey. He was on his way to Utrecht in The Netherlands to perform at the Le Guess Who? festival as a backing musician for none other than the legendary Asha Puthli, a Mumbai artiste who created a stir in the global disco world in the 1970s. Shah makes no bones about how he idolises Puthli. "I have been in Prague for the past five days rehearsing day and night with Asha and her band, and after the festival, we are going to record a song we have co-written. It will also feature Saba [Azad, the other half of the musical act he's part of called Madboy Mink]." Now that must be a dream come true for a self-confessed fan boy.
The story of a super cop with a golden heart
Maharashtra's former Director General of Police, Arvind Inamdar, passed away yesterday in a Mumbai hospital. Regarded as one of the most honest officers in the force, who resigned from his post due to alleged political interference, he had helmed the investigations for the infamous 1994 Jalgaon sex scandal among other tricky cases. But not many know that he also had a heart of gold. Former photo editor of mid-day, Mukesh Parpiani (inset), told this diarist of an incident when Inamdar helped save his life. "I had undergone a gall bladder operation in Navi Mumbai two years ago, and was almost in a coma. Mr Inamdar enquired after me since I had missed a police event he had invited me to. On being told about my condition by my daughter, he asked her to admit me in Sir HN Hospital under the care of Dr Rustam Davar, saying he'd have a word with him. And in 24 hours, I got better," Parpiani said, recounting how he owes his life to the departed cop.
A second coming
Bhupen Khakhar's Tiger and Stag, which will also be auctioned
Indian collectors have for many years been a staple of our sales around the world, and, in turn, it is important to us that we are a truly active participant in the ever-growing Indian art scene," said Yamini Mehta, deputy chairman of Sotheby's India, which is all set to hold its second auction here. Titled Boundless: India, some of the more intriguing works that will go under the hammer include a painting by VS Gaitonde and a monumental reinterpretation of Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper by FN Souza.
A celebrated author breathes her last
This is a terrible loss to the literary world. Celebrated poet, novelist and author Nabaneeta Dev Sen passed away aged 81 in her native Kolkata yesterday. A prolific writer, Dev Sen had been battling ill health for a while. That's why the launch of the translations of her trilogy — I, Anupam; In a Foreign Land, By Chance; and The Parrot Green Saree — had to be postponed in September. Trisha de Niyogi of Niyogi books, her publisher, told this diarist, "We had booked dates and venues for the launch two months ago, when she fell ill. She said that though she wanted to come for it, she wouldn't be able to at that point in time, and was really excited about the postponed date in November. But that wasn't to be." Meanwhile, publicist Amrita Talwar also shared how, when she had called her recently, Dev Sen — even though she was bed-ridden and coughing incessantly — had picked up the phone to pass on her best wishes to fellow author Manoranjan Byapari. Our condolences to her loved ones.
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