Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Like a knife through cake
Effortless actor Kangana Ranaut celebrates turning 32, with the media at her Khar residence. Pic/Shadab Khan
Who needs a century to win?
With so much emphasis on centuries these days, it is rare that a Test innings or a 300-plus ODI innings does not have a three-figure score. And there will be plenty of centuries in the forthcoming World Cup as well. However, our in-house cricket nut doesn't believe that a century should enjoy more significance than a match-winning 80, for example.
He points to an India v West Indies Test held at Barbados towards the end of March in 1962. While replying to India's measly 258 at the Kensington Oval, Frank Worrell's West Indians amassed 475 in their first and only innings of the Test. This huge score did not have a centurion and the closest a WI batsman got to three figures was Joe Solomon, who was dismissed by Salim Durani for 96. Rohan Kanhai was run out for 89 while skipper Worrell was cleaned up by Polly Umrigar for 77. The Indians were also tormented by opener Conrad Hunte's half century and tailender David Allan's unbeaten 40 before being bowled out for 187 to hand the hosts an innings victory with tall off-spinner Lance Gibbs claiming 8 for 38.
Interestingly, in the previous Test at Kingston, the West Indians had three centurions in their total of 631 - Easton McMorris, Kanhai and Garfield Sobers. And in the April 4-9 Trinidad Test of that series, century efforts of Durani (104) and Umrigar (172 not out) on following on, went in vain.
In awe of Surpanakha
Music producer Akshay Rajpurohit aka Aqua Dominatrix is back with a new album called Flesh - this time gaining inspiration from the much-maligned character of Surpanakha. After a trip to Sri Lanka in 2015, Rajpurohit was struck by the woman who he feels "began one the greatest mythological wars ever put to paper".
"I think from the start, I've wanted to base my concepts on women who have inspired or demanded awe from people. I read up a lot on her and saw a very multidimensional antagonist. I had been reading Drew Kashyap's Darth series and wanted to do something with a non-hero character," says the artist of the dark techno album, as he embarks on a tour.
It's Berfrois again
March might well be the month of poetry for writer Sumana Roy (in pic). After recently publishing her first poetry collection, Out Of Syllabus (Speaking Tiger), Roy's verse will also be featured in Berfrois, a popular literary-intellectual online magazine that publishes out of London. The eponymously titled anthology, edited by Russell Bennetts, will be available online.
This is, however, not the first time that Roy has contributed to the magazine. "I first sent my poems to Berfrois when I was ill - I'd written the poems in hospital. As anyone used to the blind submission process knows, the mind chooses to forget about the submission. And then I received a lovely acceptance email from editor Russell Bennetts. I submitted work again, after a couple of years," Roy recalls. "The webzine, which is one of my favourite reading places on the Internet, had a poetry editor then - Daniel Bosch - who gave me the most sophisticated feedback I've ever received on a poem I've had published. My poem Root Vegetables owes so much to him. Since then, I've been fortunate to have another poem, a story and an essay published in Berfrois. Russell wrote to me about the anthology he was planning last year, and asked to send a new poem - I sent him a few from which he chose Potato for the website and Jackfruit for the anthology," Roy told this diarist.
Having a ball with not-so terrible Tara
Canine trainer and behaviourist, Shirin Merchant, is out with a video series on YouTube that will melt your heart. Titled Tara and I, it aims to educate people on the daunting, but fun task of raising a puppy. "Many people bring home a pup without realising that it takes a lot of patience and effort," said Merchant. Tara is a cross breed born on her farm in Lonavla. Naturally, shooting with a pup is never predictable. "When you want her to sit, she will run in the opposite direction. But that is the fun of working with dogs. We haven't tried to make the video look perfect," she said.
A film festival for 25 people
Chaitanya Tamhane, director of Court, is keeping himself busy these days with a film festival. He is curating a three-day documentary film festival to be held this week at Himalayan Village Sonapani, in Uttarakhand, a venue that can host only 25 people. Special invites have gone to artists Anju and Atul Dodiya, who are also going to give a talk at the venue. "My neighbour of 23 years, Gurpal Singh, is one of the founders of the festival," says Tamhane. "And the people who own the place also became very good friends, as I started going there just to unwind. I have wanted to curate a selection of documentaries that I have loved, for a while." Though, he won't reveal the titles. "I had some rules, such as they should not be easily accessible, and that the subject should be set in India." Another reason to travel this far for a festival is: "There's no Internet, just a view of the Himalayas."
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