Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Ray takes a turn for the verse
Isn't it nice when our actors show a flair for words? While many attempt the same now and again, only once in a while does someone get it right. Lisa Ray could well fall in the latter category. A model, actress, activist, and a covert writer, as we now find out, has just published her poems in a web magazine.
Back in 2009, when Ray was diagnosed with blood cancer, she chose to document her experiences in a blog called The Yellow Diaries. That blog has now been made into a book, her first, that will be out later this year. Her poetry, though, meanders through several subjects — there's identity, existence, memories and sometimes, burning issues even. "...why a ten per cent surcharge?...while a tree outside quietly grows," she writes in a poem called The Gift. In another, she calls herself "a crooked girl, with a patchy pedigree..." If these fragments are anything to go by, she sure has our attention and interest piqued.
Prize moment for Braille
The founder of White Print, India's first Braille magazine, Upasana Makati, is now a proud recipient of the First Lady Award. She received the honour from the Ministry of Women and Child Development at the Rashtrapati Bhawan earlier this week.
Speaking of this milestone moment, Makati says, "For a small startup like ours, it's a big moment. We are hoping the award helps us reach more visually impaired readers, and now that we have started Braille advertising, we hope to get corporates come on board too." There have been many learnings since 2013 when the magazine was launched. "I realise a lot more needs to be done with respect to inclusion in our country," she says.
Mumbai readies for India Art Fair
Our eyes are trained on the India Art Fair, set to start in early February, where several of our Mumbai galleries, such as Art Musings, Akara Art and Galerie Isa, are set to take part.
From Jhaveri Contemporary, there are works by seven artists, including Monika Correa, Lubna Chowdhary and Rana Begum. We love that there is a sisterhood of sorts in their participation, perhaps an incidental one, for six of these artists are women. Chatterjee and Lal will showcase works by Nasreen Mohamedi, Kaushik Mukhopadhyay and VS Gaitonde, among others. We are specially kicked about the gallery's association with a design space in Chattarpur, where ace exhibition designer and artist Mark Prime will have a week-long solo show starting on February 11.
Titled Chroma, the exhibition will highlight Prime's fascination with the interaction between sound and colour. We are told that Chroma will play with rhythmic cycles and hypnotic repetition, a theme that Prime often returns to. Let's hope Prime brings it to Mumbai, too.
Following Bachchan's footsteps
After being inspired by actor Amitabh Bachchan's humanitarian activities, Bollywood producer Anand Pandit launched an initiative last October to provide hearing aid kits to the disabled through the NGO Yuvak Pratishthan Trust. In three months' time, Pandit has managed to reach out to at least 1,000 children. And, to mark the occasion, he has organised an event where Bachchan will meet the kids on Sunday in Juhu.
Anand Pandit and Amitabh Bachchan
"I'm happy that we've been able to provide these kits, free of cost, to at least hundreds of children and people of various age groups. We are in the process of providing the kits to 10,000 people. I felt it's time to make Amitabhji meet the beneficiaries. There are very few people like him who inspire you to do good," he says.
Lawry was worse off, Sayers!
Cricket has changed to such an extent that players now expect to be told by selectors why they have not been picked for a series. Earlier this week, South Australian fast bowler Chadd Sayers he deserved a seat on the plane to South Africa for the forthcoming Proteas vs Australia Test series and told the media that he was disappointed that Australia's chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns did not answer his call after Sayers learnt his exclusion through social media.
Sayers was part of Australia's Ashes squad for two of the five Tests and had the performance (79 wickets across one and a half season) to back his claims. Doubtless, he would have relished the opportunity to bowl on the pace-friendly wickets of South Africa. And, while he licks his wounds, we wonder whether Sayers, 30, has heard about how former Australia batsman Bill Lawry and current television commentator was dumped as captain in the middle of the 1970-71 Ashes series. The selectors headed by Sir Donald Bradman appointed mid-day columnist Ian Chappell as captain and didn't feel the need to inform Lawry of his sacking the morning after the drawn Adelaide Test. Lawry learnt about it from teammate Keith Stackpole who had been on the line with a journalist a few minutes before.
Lawry returned home and drowned his sorrows by playing with his pigeons while Chappell, who was congratulated by his then wife Kay, responded by saying, "They'll [selectors] never get me like they got Bill." And they didn't because Chappell quit as captain after winning the 1975 Ashes.
That's the way to do it!
Actress Sushmita Sen gave the young ones something to smile about at an art camp held on Republic Day in Bandra West on Friday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
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Arun Jaitley passes away at 66