Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Pinto to get his own multi-lingual murder mystery
Considering writer Jerry Pinto has been instrumental in translating path-breaking Marathi books this year, including Baburao Bagul's Why I Hid My Caste and Eknath Awad's Strike A Blow To Change The World, we were wondering when he'd expose his own work to Marathi readers. That time is near.
Kanishka Gupta of literary agency, Writer's Side, has confirmed that the Marathi translation of Pinto's 2017 critically-acclaimed mystery and psychological thriller, Murder In Mahim, which is set in the dark underbelly of Mumbai, has been acquired by Manjul Publishing. and will most likely be released next year.
"The book will also be translated into Odiya, and talks of translating it into Bangla, Tamil, and Malayalam are currently underway," Gupta told this diarist. And, for fans of the novel, who'd like to see Pinto's vision translate on to the big screen, we hear movie rights are being discussed too.
In October, JNU professor and prominent linguist Anvita Abbi, had submitted a letter to the chief secretary of the Union Territory, requesting him to give indigenous names to the three Andaman islands that the government was planning to rename. Despite her efforts, Ross, Neil and Havelock islands will soon be rechristened Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep respectively. When we reached out Abbi, she expressed disappointment at the decision.
"Rather than naming these islands on our rich heritage of 70,000 years, the government is trying to push names which have neither any relevance to the islands nor to the local population of the Andaman. Netaji, being part of the Japanese army, was hated by the locals as he was seen as one of the oppressors," she said.
Timeless tales go digital
In order to revive legendary cartoonist RK Laxman's Servants of India, filmmaker Vishesh Bhatt will produce a web series based on the book. On this occasion, this diarist spoke with the Common Man creator's daughter-in-law Usha Laxman, who said, "We met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he asked us to get all of dad's works digitised.
The point is to make his [RK Laxman] work available for the next generation." When asked about the illustrator, she added, "When I was to marry his son, he introduced me to the world saying his daughter happened to have married his son. That shows the kind of person he was."
Devising something new
Patchworks Ensemble's Ila, which was one of our favourite plays from 2014, is getting a makeover. The devised piece, inspired by mid-day columnist Devdutt Pattanaik's The Pregnant King, was set in the ladies' local, where men are allowed after 11 pm, and was an allegory for a king who turns into a woman at midnight. Co-created by Sheena Khalid and Puja Sarup, the duo is going back to the drawing board in February-March this year.
Khalid tells us, "There is a script, but we're exploring more because it was a layered story. We're quite keen on going back to it, and doing some devising sessions with the actors and build on it. [We want to] focus more on the questions that we had with the story." They are also going to open a new play in the middle of 2019. "The play is still in the development phase. With our devised work, the point from where we start could be very different from the final outcome. We have the story, but we're going to create a script and build on that."
Gauti, you don't know this about Ravi
Gautam Gambhir, the India batsman, who decided to call it a day recently, had a lot of things to say in his post-announcement interactions with the media. Apart from certain aspects that bothered him when he was an India player, Gambhir slammed current coach Ravi Shastri for saying that his team was the best travelled team in the last 15 years.
Gautam Gambhir and Ravi Shastri
Delhi-based Gambhir questioned Shastri's role in overseas wins as a player and said he didn't remember Shastri being part of an away triumph apart from the World Championship of Cricket in Australia where India triumphed under Sunil Gavaskar in 1985. Not quite, Gauti. Shastri was part of the Indian team which beat England 2-0 in 1986. He was also in Kapil Dev's squad that won the World Cup in 1983 although he didn't figure in the final at Lord's.
The Taming of the mane
Santoor legend Pandit Shivkumar Sharma tries to control his flying afro as he sits alongside percussionist Taufiq Qureshi, and tabla genuius Aditya Kalyanpur (centre). The maestros announced an upcoming three-day classical music festival at Worli on Saturday. Pic/Ashish Raje
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Amrita Rao and Environmentalist Chinu Kwatra collect broken Ganesha idols