Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Jul 08, 2018, 08:52 IST | SMD Team

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
Australian cricket captain Don Bradman (left) with teammates Lindsay Hassett and Ernie Toshak (right) at Worcester on April 28, 1948. Pic/Getty Images

Don Bradman, the don of sportsmanship too!
VIRAT Kohli's Indians could well win the Test series against England who appear beatable this summer. But there is one feat that Kohli & Co will not achieve after Friday's T20 loss to England at Cardiff — to end the tour without losing a match. That was achieved by Don Bradman's Australians on their April to September 1948 tour of England. That's how and why they were christened The Invincibles.

This year marks 70 years for Bradman's fine English summer and the third Test of that series began this very day in Manchester. England totalled 363 and bowled out Australia for 221. Bradman who was in decent form, was trapped leg before wicket by paceman Dick Pollard for seven and the crowd went berserk.

Bradman was unbeaten on 30 in the second innings as Australia drew the game. But the first innings dismissal to Pollard must have tickled Bradman. Just before the Test, he was having a conversation with his English friend Walter Robins, then an England selector and according to iconic cricket writer Jack Fingleton (also Bradman's ex-trammate), Bradman asked Robins why was Pollard not being picked because no bowler worried him more than the burly bowler in the tour game against Lancashire. Robins may or may have not conveyed The Don's view to his selection committee, but Pollard played and scalped the great man in the Test. Bradman amazed fans with his batting. He also stunned people with his sportsmanship.

Weight a minute
Last week, this diarist was pleasantly surprised to see Anand Mahindra tweeting a snippet regarding Madhukar Talwalkar's heirloom dumbbells, about which this diarist wrote a piece in the July 1 edition. Turns out, the businessman's connection with the chain of gyms goes back a long way.

Anand Mahindra
Anand Mahindra

"What a blast from the past. I first started working out at Madhukarji's new south mumbai gym (in what is now Jindal HQ on Pedder Road) when I was 16 and he was 38! I haven't seen you in decades, Madhukarji, but thank you for helping build the self-confidence of a scrawny teenager!" he wrote. More power to both.

Back to the roots
Art historian and researcher Aditya Ruia has something exciting planned for the city in the coming weeks to coincide with Independence Day. Ruia is curating an exhibition of broadsides sourced from Shekhawati, in Rajasthan, where his great-grandfather Ramnarain Ruia hailed from.

Aditya Ruia
Aditya Ruia

Broadsides were printed posters and announcements from those days, and Ruia tells us that he has been on their pursuit because of his interest in the Nathdwara painting tradition. These broadsides in Ruia's curation use Nathdwara in their backgrounds and are from the time of the Independence Movement. If they appear innocuous, that's only a first impression, he says, who has sought out private collections for this exhibition. Look out for the show at Chatterjee and Lal.

Letters from a daughter to dad
Back in 2004, filmmaker Meghna Gulzar had penned an ode to her illustrious lyricist father, Gulzar, titled, Because He is. The biography saw the director, whom Gulzar lovingly calls Bosky, revisit her father's life and career, and her relationship with him. Switch to 14 years later, HarperCollins India is set to release an updated version of the book, which will release next month.

Meghna Gulzar with father Gulzar
Meghna Gulzar with father Gulzar

So much water has flown under the bridge since the first book that Meghna felt the need to write another one, a source told this diarist. This time, Meghna will speak about her extensive collaborations with her father in several films, including the latest, Raazi; how papa Gulzar is a doting grandfather to her son, Samay; and his slow and steady shift from making movies, to once again, engaging with his writing. Apart from containing substantial new text, the new edition, will also see many, never-before-seen photographs from the family's album.

Shoutout to the Bombay of the 90s
There's something incredibly romantic about old Bombay, and hotelier Ashish Sajnani of Opa Hospitality knows it all too well. Which is why his upcoming restaurant, Via Bombay, is an ode to the good ol' days. "We have paid tribute to the communities that migrated to Bombay, and brought in their own culinary traditions," says Sajnani.

Ashish Sajnani
Ashish Sajnani

For instance, he says when the Sikhs came to Bombay and settled in Sion Koliwada, the area eventually became a hub for north Indian cuisine, and till date is known for samosa chole, chole bhatura, tandoori chicken, paya soup, prawns koliwada. "We'll include the best of these cuisines," he adds. Meanwhile, his 14-year-old Chembur restaurant, Le Cafe, is set for an expansion, and will be double its size. Tipplers can rejoice as there'll be a bar, too.

Here's the way to a happier world
An Instagram page titled @to.a.happier.world is trying to do its bit for people suffering from depression. The page, launched 21 days ago, helps people cope with depression through a chat service. The therapy, that plays out largely through conversations, goes on for a month or two. While the team follows up with the people in question, the chats are deleted. The whole process is done free of charge, and 100 people have already availed its services.

This diarist reached out to the founder, a young woman who did not wish to be named. "I realised no matter how big or trivial a problem is, what people miss the most is having conversations, someone to talk to. One doesn't need to be clinically qualified to actually listen to people. There have been people who have told us that it has helped them more than a doctor's visit or pills." It's all anonymous, too. Good going.

Buh Bye Swachh Bharat
Devendra Fadnavis and Tina Ambani

Tina Ambani throws her chewing gum on the pathway as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis looks on at a hospital opening in Navi Mumbai on Saturday. Are laws only meant for the masses? Pic/Sameer Markande

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