Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
All hail the real cop
When Ranveer Singh visited a Bandra theatre on Friday to gauge audience reaction for his just-released cop masala movie, here's how he chose to greet Bandra police station PSI Sachin Chaudhary. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Fort gallery changes address, character
In its 14 years of existence, Gallery Beyond is known to have utilised its sprawling space as a platform for emerging artists and experimental exhibitions. But come December 31, the Fort gallery will shift lock, stock and barrel to Antop Hill.
The new space will house founder Vibhuraj Kapoor's office and stock, which means artworks can still be purchased, but they will not be exhibited anymore.
"When I first started Gallery Beyond, it used to take me 45 minutes to reach Fort. Today, it takes me around two hours. I want my life back," Kapoor, who lives in Powai, told this diarist.
"Things slowing down" in the contemporary art world is among other reasons he cited. Kapoor, however, will continue to host exhibitions to showcase up-and-coming talent by collaborating with other galleries in the city.
This is the best time of the year to walk around Mumbai, not only because you aren't getting reduced to a puddle of sweat, but also because the entire city is decked up for Christmas.
And while it's not uncommon to find cribs and nativity scenes in Bandra, this interactive installation of sorts is definitely one of a kind. The fairy lights and moss-covered auto at the suburb's Shirley Rajan Road seems to be how Santa moves around in aamchi Mumbai!
Gino goes on his knee
Mumbai-based drummer Gino Banks made his Insta followers go 'aww' when he put up stories of him proposing to his girlfriend Kesang Alexander at the Mumbai airport. Banks met Alexander, a vocalist, at a music festival in Bhopal. "Though we spent only a couple of days together, we knew that this was it," says Banks, adding that he went to pick up Alexander, who works with a British airline after she landed on Wednesday evening.
"I wanted to surprise her and though she was expecting it at some point, she had no idea it was going to be that very night." Banks even made his friends hide and film the moment, and they only started walking towards the couple when Banks got on his knee. "I didn't prepare a speech, but I'm an improvising musician, so it came naturally," Banks quips. He tells us that a wedding is on the cards within a year.
Women to the fore
If there is one movement that defined conversations in 2018, it would have to be #MeToo. It opened up a can of worms about how powerful people thought that they could get away with inappropriate advances towards women.
But what's most important right now is to keep this conversation going. Which is why we were enthused about a panel discussion that Laadli, an advocacy group for women, organised recently.
It featured feisty women like Vinta Nanda, who had outed Alok Nath and actor Renuka Shahane, along with filmmaker Onir and advertising guru KV Sridhar. Let's keep this subject alive, shall we?
Tracking time in Colaba
Colaba's contrasting mix of street kitsch and centuries-old landmarks makes for an automatic entry into itineraries of most first-time travellers to Mumbai. It's common knowledge that it was one of the original seven islands of undivided Bombay. What few might be aware of is that Colaba railway terminus served Mumbai from 1896 to 1930. On the night of December 31, 1930, the last train left Colaba. On January 1 of 1931, the Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway (today's Western Railway) track terminated at Churchgate instead, and Colaba station was formally closed down.
Pic/Western Railway Archives
A key event that it was witness to was the inaugural run of the Frontier Mail in September 1928. It stood on land taken up by the Bombay Development Directorate for the first phase of reclamation of the Backbay where Art Deco buildings stand today. The land of the station was later used for a railway colony named after the first railway board chairman Fateh Chand Badhwar and is still known as Badhwar Park.
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