Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Industrialist Adi Godrej, space scientist K Radhakrishnan and art historian Pheroza Godrej attend an award ceremony in Worli on Friday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Legendary footballer George Best (1946 — 2005) with his then girlfriend, Swedish actress and model Mary Stavin, at Heathrow Airport on August 31, 1973. (Pic/Getty Images)
One of the Best stories about George Best
Celebrated British broadcaster Michael Parkinson is not only a cricket buff, who played the game at club level in Yorkshire with legendary umpire Dickie Bird, he is also a football fan and has written a book on the late great George Best, known as much for his sublime football skills as for his excessive drinking and womanising.
In a recent interview with belfasttelegraph.co.uk, Parkinson who has had the finest sporting luminaries on his show (but not cricket icon Sir Don Bradman, who couldn't be convinced to come), revealed that Best could be the kindest of men. Once, Parkinson and Best were in a cab heading to Belfast airport and the driver asked Parkinson why was he in town. The talk show host said he was there to meet Best, who the driver had not noticed as the man sitting next to Parkinson. "He [the driver] launched into a diatribe about him [Best], calling him everything under the sun for his drinking and lots more. George didn't say a word," revealed Parkinson. When it was time to get off, Best paid the fare and let the driver keep the change. Now that's one of the best anecdotes we've heard about Best and surely there'd be more in Parkinson's book.
Stories of courage
One of the world's oldest cars - a Morris 8 from 1937 - is set to feature in an auction hosted by Astaguru. India's first vintage car auction will be held on November 21 and 22 and will be headlined by a magnificent Rolls-Royce Wraith from the year 1947.
Astaguru's CEO, Tushar Sethi, said, "Our tryst with automobiles goes back to the era of Indian aristocracy and royalty, and therefore reflects our rich past and history."
(From left) Vikhyat Gulati, Srishti Gautam, Mukti Mohan and Taaruk Raina
From a poem to a 9-song long production
Brijmohan Sharma, apart from being proud dad to talented daughters (dancer Shakti Mohan, singer Neeti Mohan, theatre artiste Mutkti Mohan), has also fathered Mumbai's newest production house, Mukti Manch. To be helmed by his daughter, Mutki, and three of her comrades, Taaruk Raina, Vikhyat Gulati and Srishti Gautam, the company launched its first production, Bagiya Mein Bagaavat, on Children's Day. What began as a four-page poem, being performed Mukti and Gautam, turned into a nine-song musical when the quartet got involved. "The process of Bagiya Mein Bagaavat was tough since it involved children," says Gautam. "We ourselves learnt a lot through the process." With group mentor Akarsh Khurana, of Akvarious Productions, agreeing to collaborate with them on future projects, exciting new productions will soon grace Mumbai's stages.
The one-crore screenwriter
It's one thing for a Bollywood actor to enter the covetous crore club, and quite another for a writer. So, when a source revealed that Amitosh Nagal, dialogue writer of Hindi Medium and Gulaab Gang, has been roped in for a crore by a leading production house, we reached out to Nagpal to know more. He laughed and confirmed the news. "I'm happy to be a part of the change, because if actors get their due, then so should writers," he said. Turns out, it's a family drama with real-life inspiration. Writers, take note.
Celebrating 40 with a film
Veteran publisher Pramod Kapoor is in celebratory mode. His publishing house, Roli, just turned 40. And while the anniversary celebrations at Bikaner House in New Delhi, were a starry affair with eminent authors, journalists and diplomats coming together to cheer for Kapoor, the publisher was elated about a short film on his journey by US-based documentary filmmaker Christina MacGillivray. The movie, which he later shared on social media, covered the trajectory of his career - from leaving Benaras in 1975 to work at PanMacmillan to starting Roli three years later - and the many path-breaking books and imprints by Roli. "I feel blessed being in this beautiful business of acquiring and disseminating knowledge and publishing books. It's an important milestone, but the journey races ahead," he told this diarist.
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Mumbai protests against the Pulwama terror attack