Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Googly Woogly WookSH
Actors Sikander Kher and Harshwardhan Kapoor share an affectionate moment at the launch of a menswear studio in Juhu. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
There's a kind of flush in Perth
The ongoing Perth Test match contested between England and Australia will be the last Ashes game at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) ground. The new Optus Stadium will be used for next month's one-day international involving the same association. There's more than a month for the January 28 international but guess what was checked thoroughly the other day – the sewage capacity of the stadium's toilets. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, "Staff this week spread out and conducted a ceremonial, simultaneous flushing of all the stadium's toilets." All doubts were flushed out!
Focus on the female gaze
Last year, Danish photographer Sarah Hoilund created ripples with her international travelling exhibition, Photographing the Female, that aimed to showcase the diverse experience of being a woman. On Wednesday, Hoilund will reveal the project's backstory at Ecole Intuit Lab, Prabhadevi, while talking about its future. "It's important to tell stories about female lives from all over the world through a variety of channels," says Hoilund, who is now working with women of Alsisar village in Rajasthan. The reason she chooses to photograph marginalised groups, especially women, is to create more tolerance, openness and awareness. "New visual storytellers everywhere need to understand that they hold a massive responsibility when it comes to identity formation in different groups, nations and cultures. I want to see more grassroots platforms and initiatives," she says.
On living as a Hindu
Call it spirit of inquiry or curiosity, politician and writer Shashi Tharoor, loves a good subject. And, while we all know of his ability to discuss anything and everything under the sun with great ease and charm, it's his soon-to-release work that has piqued our interest. After writing over 16 works of fiction and non-fiction, including the path-breaking satire, The Great Indian Novel (1989), we've learnt that Tharoor's next is going to be about religion, Hinduism to be specific. The book, titled Why I Am a Hindu (Aleph Book Company), is slated to release early next year and will see him closely examine his own belief in Hinduism, while looking at the great saints associated with it, and the myriad manifestations of political Hinduism in the modern era. We are looking forward to this one, especially what Tharoor has to say about the extremist 'bhakts'.
The new store
Taking forward the Laura legacy
After reigning the corridors of the Taj Mahal Palace in Colaba for 50 years, premium fashion and lifestyle boutique, Studio Malabar is poised to launch at a brand new address at Girgaum Chowpatty, this Wednesday. And this occasion, we hear, is going to be special, as it will also double up as a Christmas party, in true Laura Hamilton style. For the uninitiated, Hamilton, was the founder of the original store at the Taj. A Canadian, she travelled to Mumbai during World War II and, to use a cliché, fell in love with the city and never left. During her first visit, Hamilton, who was a soprano, performed at the Taj and won the Tatas over. Since then, she has been referred to as the toast of South Mumbai. She passed away at 93, in 2012, but her associates want to keep the tradition going.
Laura Hamilton at the boutique circa early '90s
Guests at Wednesday's party will see the same Christmas tree that has been put up over the past 30 years. Says the boutique's creative director Dimple S Ahuja, "Our Christmas tree is one that carries Laura's legacy; it is dismantled every year to be reassembled again on the day of the party. Every ornament on that tree has been collected by her. In fact, Miss Hamilton lives on in every object displayed here."
Let boys be boys in sport
The age-fudging menace in Mumbai cricket is being taken seriously by the powers that be as well as the city's cricketing fraternity. The Mumbai Cricket Association has done well to curb this malaise and their zero-tolerance policy does give fair play a good name. Now, cricketers who play according to age rules, are not taking things lying down. According to an avid follower of school cricket in Mumbai, the over-age offenders who walk into bat at matches are greeted with sledging by the opposition players. One of the popular taunts is, "here comes uncle." In most cases, the sledging doesn't end and 'uncle' invariably loses concentration and loses his wicket. Sledging which is considered part of the game now is fine as long as it is not abusive and over-done. However, the sort of sledging which will cause over-aged cricketers to back off from the competition is not such a bad thing after all.
Mumbai to run out of water soon?