Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Actor Boman Irani salutes the bust of businessman Shapoorji B Broacha at BSE on Saturday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Rupi Kaur. Pic/Instagram
Rupi's novel idea of success
We were taken in by Rupi Kaur's perception of success when we met the hugely popular Instapoet this week. Kaur, who has over 2.4 million followers on Instagram, and who is known for her biting, yet heartfelt poems, on love and gender, said, "I used to think I'd be happy when I became a NYT best-selling writer, or get two million followers. But, I have realised success is about waking up every day and looking in the mirror and liking what you see, and expressing gratitude that you are living your best life." As we chatted about breaking the clutter on social media and getting yourself noticed, she spoke about the need to write every day, "People think that fame happens overnight. It didn't. I had been writing for nine years before all this happened."
The 25-year-old is now headed to the UK, after sold- out performances in the US and India. "Indian audiences give so much love. I have never felt so connected to an audience ever before — I think in the end, it's about the sense of belonging. I may have lived in Canada, but my home was more Indian than most Indians. So when I am here, I feel that." Ask her if we can look forward to a full-length book soon and she says, "For now, no. I want to take some time to write a proper book, as poetry is a very different medium. But yes, another poetry book for sure. Right now, I want to finish the tour, and just take time off, and let it all sink in."
Sparkling in Frankfurt
Every two years, architects, planners and engineers make a beeline for Frankfurt's Light + Building, the world's leading trade fair for lighting and design. This time, it'll feature Vibhor Sogani, who specialises in sculptural chandeliers, and has designed several trophies for the Indian cricket team. Incidentally, he's the first Indian designer to exhibit in hall 1.1, meant to showcase high-end modern lighting. "I connect with steel in a personal vein. The complexity of crafting steel throws up a challenge because it requires intelligent amalgamation of new technology and hand skills," he says.
Being Parsi in Saudi Arabia
WHAT are the challenges a young Parsi girl could face, when living in a conservative set-up. Mumbai-girl Tanaz Bhathena, who was raised in Saudi Arabia, before moving to Canada, revisits the experience in her new debut novel, A Girl Like That (Penguin Books). The book narrates the tale of a 16-year-old Parsi girl, Zarin Wadia, a bright student in Jeddah, who ends up dying in a car crash. Through her story, the novel also tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion. "I was raised in Riyadh and in Jeddah, so the setting and culture described in the book comes from memory. Zarin being questioned about her religion as a child came out of my own experiences of being asked about Zoroastrianism and facing someone else's disbelief about it being a real religion. You'll also find me in Mishal [another character] and her anger at the double standards with which boys and girls are treated in society," Tanaz says.
Over the years, we have come to admire Sameer Kulavoor's caricatures and murals. Now, Kulavoor, famed for his digital work, is set to have his first solo of paintings that he has made over the last two years. Opening at Tarq in Colaba this week, the exhibition, titled A Man of the Crowd, continues on the lines of Kulavoor's interest areas. And, he says, there is a subconscious influence of another artist who is synonymous with Mumbai — Sudhir Patwardhan. "I used to travel past Lower Parel, and Patwardhan's painting would often come to mind," he tells us, alluding to the senior artist's painting of the vanishing mills and the emergent malls. Can Mumbai ever grow too old to be a muse? We think not.
Sunny's sister Nutan bats for grass-roots development
Did you know batting legend Sunil Gavaskar's sister was a cricketer too? Not Kavita, who married batting stylist Gundappa Viswanath, but her elder sibling Nutan Gavaskar Natu. We met Nutan recently at the MIG Cricket Club in Bandra during a Twenty20 tournament (Women's Premier League) for which she was part of the organising committee. Early into the conversation we got to know of her keenness on the development of women cricketers at the grass-roots level.
"BCCI takes care of only the cream of women's cricket, but there are many who play at the grass-roots level. They never get a chance to play tournaments. When somebody asked me why we don't have a tournament for women in Mumbai, we came up with this idea of having a Twenty20 league for them," said Nutan. She sure did her bit to make Women's Day more meaningful to those enthusiastic girls who stretched every sinew on the MIG CC turf.
"I am glad we were able to give those girls a platform to perform and I am content working at the grass-roots for now," she said. We are glad, too, Nutan, and let the girls know what it was like growing up with a legend. We'd want to be a fly on the wall for that session.
Also Read: Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
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Mumbai protests against the Pulwama terror attack