Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce.
A topsy-turvy world
Two girls practise yoga on Friday near Shivaji Park in Dadar. Pic /Pradeep Dhivar
Ma's the word
A still from Wild Wild Country. pic cOURTESY/YOUTUBE
It was only a matter of time. The sort of controversial life that Ma Anand Sheela has led warranted a biography that spills further beans after the documentary Wild Wild Country on her and Osho Rajneesh created waves. And it's now arriving on October 5 in the form of Nothing to Lose, an authorised biography that Manbeena Sandhu has penned. HarperCollins India is launching it, and the publishing house's CEO Ananth Padmanabhan shared in his post on social media, "It is a no-holds-barred account of Sheela's life, her intense relationship with Bhagwan, and the riveting story of what actually happened behind the closed doors of the cult's ashram." Sounds fascinating.
A virtual stage
City-based Sahitya Akademi award-winning author Anju Makhija is all set for the release of her next book Mumbai Traps: Plays — a collection of six plays — by the end of this year. But a glimpse of it will be revealed this evening via a virtual performance of the first play in the book, titled If Wishes Were Horses. The story unfolds as Pushpa Vaswani bequeaths her plush SoBo flat to Chandrika Kamble, a street flower vendor, leaving her materialistic family behind. The bilingual piece directed by Sonu Anand and performed on Zoom will be followed by a live discussion with Makhija. "The online medium has become a suitable platform to present plays, though it's not really theatrical in the true sense. They [the production company] are planning to do other plays from the book, too," Makhija revealed.
BNHS makes a natural choice
The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has a new director, and it's Dr Bivash Pandav, formerly a professor at the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun. Pandav has been in the field of natural history for over 30 years, and his achievements include discovering a mass nesting beach for sea turtles near the mouth of the Rushikulya river in Odisha, which is now India's second-largest nesting beach for Olive Ridley sea turtles. The discovery was made in 1994, and for five years after, Pandav tagged nearly 17,000 sea turtles in the area and documented the deaths of over 46,000 adult turtles. These findings were instrumental in highlighting the plight of Olive Ridley turtles, earning him the Sanctuary Millennium Wildlife Service Award in 2000. Speaking about why he is eager to work with Pandav, BNHS secretary Debi Goenka told this diarist, "I am looking forward to more conservation action based on research, and more importantly, projects that result in positive change at the grassroots level."
Our best wishes to the new director.
It's an unusual time for two people to fall in love. Yet, a survey that a dating app has conducted reveals that first-time couples are willing to ride this period out, with 30 per cent of the respondents saying that they are happy to grow their relationship online, meeting for the first time only when the pandemic is over. That's a mature step, as is the fact that 50 per cent of the female respondents feel disinclined to meet their existing partners given the situation. Speaking about the need for such surveys, Ravi Mittal, CEO of QuackQuack, the dating app concerned, said, "We conduct them regularly since it not only gives us raw data, but we also stay aware of the changing requirements and dating habits of users." Things are indeed changing rapidly even when it comes to matters of the heart.
No one's asking
"She was asking for it," is an unfortunately common phrase that people use to comment on why they feel women who have been sexually harassed "deserved' it because of the clothes they were wearing. A new video that's gone viral dissects that sentence in a hilarious manner. It shows how, if we follow this logic, women can simply wear certain clothes to get their point across. Want a vacation? Wear beach clothes. Need a promotion? Put on a business suit. The point hits home, and the BBC video has earned plaudits from actors including Nakuul Mehta and Richa Chadda (in pic).
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