Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce.
She is light-handed
A woman gets busy on her phone after a bout of Diwali shopping in Matunga on Friday. PIC/Bipin kokate
Cricket trivia buffs, rejoice
Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid
If you're a cricket buff, you probably know that CK Nayudu was India's first test team captain. But did you know that he initially wasn't meant to lead the side that toured England for its inaugural match in 1932? That honour was meant for the Maharaja of Porbandar, Natwarsinhji Bhavsinhji, whose brother-in-law, Ghyanshamsinhji Daulatsinghji was meant to be the deputy. But knowing that they are inferior cricketers, the two magnanimous royals dropped themselves from the matches, leaving Nayudu, a commoner, to captain the team.
These are some of the neglected tidbits about Indian cricket history that find a place in Cricket India: Tales Untold (Global Cricket School). "There are also accounts of my interactions with cricketers like Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Salim Durrani and others," ex-cricketer Raju Mukherji, the author (inset), told this diarist.
In-diya in London
If you still need proof that England says wake up and smell the curry, here it is. Amidst the plethora of Dhanteras messages lighting up phone screens and lives yesterday, there is a one-minute clip of Indian origin British politician and Chancellor to the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak. Sunak is seen lighting diyas or candles outside his Downing Street home for Diwali. The steady click, click, click of cameras is heard in the background with the commentary stating earthen lamps are lit at Downing Street. It was a little bit of India in London, during the lockdown. Or, should that read, In-diya?
May this Fido rest in peace
There was an outpouring of grief among members of the film fraternity when actor Asif Basra (in pic) died apparently by suicide recently. Many people recalled his roles in critically acclaimed films including Black Friday and Parzania, and in more mainstream ones like Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, apart from his work in the web series, Paatal Lok. But his work in the field of theatre deserves equal mention, as director-playwright Ramu Ramanathan pointed out in a tweet. He listed out his favourite plays featuring Basra, adding that C for Clown, directed by Rajat Kapoor, was the most popular one. Recalling his experience of working with Basra, Kapoor told this diarist, "It was 1999 and we were rehearsing for C for Clown. Ken Phillips, who was part of the rehearsals from the first day, got an offer to work with the Footsbarn theatre company in Germany. We were left with Vinay Pathak, Sheeba Chadha, Atul Kumar and Joy Fernandes, and were one clown short. That's when Joy introduced us to Asif Basra, and we opened the play with him playing Fido." Kapoor added, "Goodbye Fido. Rest in peace."
Kamra will not cow down
This have turned serious for funnyman Kunal Kamra after the Attorney General of India, KK Venugopal, gave his consent to two lawyers and a law student to initiate contempt proceedings against Kamra, based on a series of tweets he posted alleging that the Supreme Court was acting with vested interests in the case regarding a TV anchor getting bail. But instead of cowering down, Kamra has instead chosen to fight with all guns blazing, releasing a strongly worded statement that was dripping with sarcasm. Kamra made it clear in the letter that neither will he issue his apology, nor will he retract his tweet. "My view hasn't changed because the silence of the Supreme Court of India on matters of other [people's] personal liberty cannot go uncriticised," he said, adding that the time allotted to the hearing of the contempt petition against him should be utilised to hear petitions regarding demonetisation and the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status. He also said, "To slightly misquote senior advocate Harish Salve, 'Will the heavens fall if more salient matters are allotted my time."
Singing a different tune
There's no denying the fact that the past eight months have been harsh on performing artistes, especially those from the specially abled community. To ensure artistes continue to have a platform to stay relevant, the city-based Shantidevi Gupta Charities, which works in the education and healthcare sector, is organising a live virtual concert featuring a band of visually impaired musicians on November 25. "We have been working with these musicians for a long time. They are great musicians but don't get enough work. They will be performing along with singers Sanjay Sawant, Sanjeevani Bhelande, Alok Katdare and Nirupama Dey," shared managing trustee Niranjan G Gupta. Log on to Swarrange Official on YouTube to hear them in action.
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