Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Huzoor is kadar bhi na itra ke chaliye
Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi walk the talk at a film screening in Juhu on Friday. Pic/Satej Shinde
For the love of Urdu
The most hilarious piece of news that we read recently has to be the Modi government's decision to rope in actor Katrina Kaif to promote Urdu. Turns out, the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language is doing so in order to attract the younger generation. Granted she is popular, but not for her language skills and certainly not Urdu or even Hindi for that matter. The tragicomedy doesn't end here. The other actors shortlisted - Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan - incidentally happen to be Muslims, which has made Urdu aficionados worry about the language being identified with a religion. We'd say, love Urdu for Urdu's sake.
170 years on, a digital turn for The Examiner
In a world where 'print' is slowly being written off, it's heartening to hear of a few success stories. The Examiner, a Catholic newsweekly of the Archdiocese of Bombay, which is entering its 170th year (established 1850), and is the most popular magazine within the Christian community of Mumbai, is one such.
As part of its anniversary celebrations, the publication has taken a giant stride in the social media space, launching both on Facebook and Instagram. As its Easter project on Instagram, it is encouraging first-time voters to go out and vote during polling for the General Elections on April 29. "We are using the medium of social media to get our message out there to young people, since the social media is the language of communication of the i-Gen (the internet generation). Young people in general are very passionate about social and civic issues, but a certain hopelessness can creep in with the pace of the political system. We want to motivate them and tell them that their vote does make a difference. Every major social movement in history began with a lone voice," says Fr Joshan Rodrigues, who is on the editorial board of The Examiner.
The power of memes
AS the Lok Sabha elections go on, the three owners of Girgaum's Happy House Kitchen have come up with a unique idea to urge citizens to cast a vote. They have put up frames in a meme format inside their restaurant for this. One of the owners, Dev Sanghvi, said, "In today's time, it is important to think out of the box. We usually have monthly campaigns at the restaurant, and this time, we chose to use memes to create awareness on voting. Voting is very important this year, and only us voters can make a difference by using our right for a better future."
Old 3D vision will work for Rayudu
Cricketer Ambati Rayudu has put himself into contention to bag the best sarcastic cricketing tweet of the year with his "just ordered a new set of 3D glasses to watch the World Cup" jibe at chief selector MSK Prasad.
Rayudu's supporters found his response to Prasad calling all-rounder Vijay Shankar a three dimensional player at the post-selection media conference earlier this week, a brilliant one. Like former India batsman and current women's team coach WV Raman, who tweeted: "Disappointment expressed in a humorous way... well done Ambati. Way to go."
There were others who pointed to Rayudu's stunning retirement from first-cricket last year in the wake of his World Cup exclusion. But a gem of a response came from Hemant Kenkre, a popular former Mumbai club cricketer, who played for Bombay Under-22 in 1974. "The 3Ds as explained by cricket coaches during our time were: Determination, Dedication & Discipline. Maybe that's what Rayudu meant," tweeted Kenkre, who happens to be Sachin Tendulkar's first 'A' division club captain.
While Rayudu's pain will take a while to subside, the pressure on Vijay Shankar will pile on. But both players can always turn to the cricketing three Ds to weather any kind of storm. By the way, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar swore by the three Ds.
Director ka bhai grows up
In the last 18 years, Akvarious Productions had added several feathers to its cap, including turning six of its acclaimed plays into cineplays. The format seems to have worked so well that they are currently in the process of turning Kaand and Dhumrapaan, both written by Adhir Bhat, into cineplays as well, for a streaming service.
"I've been quite excited about the format of cineplays from the time they began," says Akarsh Khurana, director and producer. "Besides being a high-quality archive of our plays, there is a unique challenge that this hybrid format poses. It's not a film. It's not a play. It's somewhere in between, so there are no rules. We create them as we go along. But, it needs to be engaging nonetheless. So far, people have enjoyed what they have seen. And, I think we are upping the level with each subsequent shoot." Adhaar Khurana, who was known as 'director ka bhai' on set so far, has also turned the tables this time. He's debuting as a cineplay director with Dhumrapaan.
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