Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Updated: Nov 19, 2017, 08:24 IST | SMD Team

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

Like mother, like son
We all know how our B-Town star kids have been painting the town red — thanks to their Instagram handles. But, one kid, a source told this diarist, is yet to warm up to the rich-life shenanigans and instead, has decided to pen a young adult novel. Despite sharing the good looks of his superstar dad, this boy, we hear, has taken after his mum, who’s made waves with her columns and books.

Akshay Kumar with wife Twinkle and son Aarav
Akshay Kumar with wife Twinkle and son Aarav

No prizes for guessing that we are talking about Aarav, the teenage son of Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna. We can’t help but be curious about the subject of Aarav’s novel. Would it be based on his life, or that of his peers, who can’t get enough of the camera yet?

Laughing all the way to the bank
Cancer survivor and author Neelam Kumar has enough reason to rejoice. Her books, To Cancer With Love: A Graphic Novel and I am a Sea of Possibilities: A Personal Growth Coloring Workbook, published by Embassy Books, are finally out in print. The books were funded by actor Amitabh Bachchan and industrialist Ratan Tata. “In India, we have a lot of grimness attached to the word cancer. I was horrified to find that there are no ‘happy books’ on the disease in our country.

Neelam KumarNeelam Kumar

So, while going through my own pain of chemotherapy, I decided to simply write one to cheer myself up. And here they are!” she says. It turns out, the ride wasn’t easy with many publishers rejecting the idea, but Kumar never lost hope. “Readers will enjoy, feel empowered and look at their adversities in a positive light.” Her aim now is to reach out to maximum households. “Writers are poor marketers. So I pray that any organisation with a big heart can bulk buy these books and distribute them to hospitals and homes," she says.

By the junta, for the junta
Those who follow the very popular Insta handle, Mumbai Paused, could not have missed the #aamartistgallery hash-tag. It features pieces of street art spotted in the most unassuming corners of the city. Think, a faded motif next to a saloon sign. Over 300 such images have now been compiled into a digi book titled Aam Artist Gallery, that will be out on November 30. “Had it been a physical book, it would have weighed a lot, that much I can tell you,” laughs Gopal MS, the man behind it all.

Aam Artist Gallery

“I wanted to celebrate the art in the streets of India, created by unsung artists who don’t even call themselves artists. When you look at them closely, there is a certain madness to the clutter that adds colour to our country.” But, why a book at all? “Because of the nature and the sheer range of art found on our streets. But, also because I want it to be a collection for artists and the general junta to use as reference.”

Of old photographic gems in a new book
Cricket photographers have served the game dedicatedly with distinction, but scarcely get written about. Australia’s award-winning cricket author Christian Ryan seems to have done some justice to photographers through his new book, Feeling Is The Thing That Happens in 1,000th of a Second. It’s a book about Patrick Eagar (world cricket’s most famous photographer) and his fellow lensmen.

Christian Ryan
Christian Ryan

One of the gems that Ryan throws up is about Ken Kelly who covered county cricket with the same enthusiasm as Test cricket for over five decades. In 1970, Kelly, for “no remote rhyme or reason” clicked a photograph of umpire Syd Buller returning to the pavilion at Birmingham when rain interrupted a Warwickshire vs Nottinghamshire game. Buller went to the toilet and collapsed to his death and Kelly had the last picture of him. He kept wondering what may have inspired him to shoot that photograph. Instinct, but there’s a lesson here as well - when you see ‘em, shoot them!

Solo time coming up
One of our favourite art patrons around town, Brinda Miller brings us the news that she is nearly ready to unveil her new exhibition. Miller, who was festival director of the Kala Ghoda Arts Fest until this year, has been working on her series, that she has titled Vanishing Point.

Brinda Miller
Brinda Miller

While she continues to work in the capacity of an executive committee member of the Kala Ghoda Association, Miller says that she wanted to take time off to focus on this solo. The last show she had was five years ago at Tao. We have had a sneak peek of some of her works from Vanishing Point, and, needless to say, Miller has piqued our curiosity. More from us when her show opens in January.

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