Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Playing prince charming
Actor Vicky Kaushal gives Radhika Apte and her billowing dress a hand at an award show in Lower Parel on Friday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
We have this thing with floors
Colaba space Chatterjee & Lal, along with the iconic Mumbai tile manufacturer Bharat Tiles, is getting ready to host Paving the Way, an exhibition to showcase the role tiles played while designing a space. "The past few years have been witness to a plethora of conversations and exhibitions around the architectural diversity of Mumbai," says Sanghamitra Chatterjee, founder of Past Perfect Heritage Management and curator of the show. "This narrative, unfortunately, is incomplete and excludes another, less-documented area: the interiors of the city's iconic buildings, which were as stylised as the exterior. Flooring and tiles, whether industrial or hand-crafted, have added to the character, heritage and utility of the structures they were laid down for. Curated from archival material from Bharat Tiles, this exhibition sparks a discussion around the floors we walk on every single day, and expose audiences to the nuances of the tiling industry."
Making malls inclusive
To mark International Transgender Day of Visibility, which falls today, Sharanya Ruia, daughter of Atul Ruia, MD, The Phoenix Mills Limited, will organise sensitisation workshops at retail and corporate establishments. The 16-year-old will begin by training the staff and security personnel across the malls the family runs. "Last year, while I was at a mall in Pune, I noticed that a transgender person was not able to gain entry as neither the male nor female security guards were willing to engage with them. I realised that there was no right or wrong here, but a great lack of awareness. My initiative is to sensitise as many people as possible to the social stigma that the community faces," she told this diarist. Ruia plans to use audio-visual aides, Q&As and even first-hand experiences of volunteers from the community to make the 70-minute-long workshop immersive and authentic.
Hanumant Singh featured in an Esso card
Remembering Hanumant and Esso
It was Hanumant Singh's birth anniversary earlier this week. He would have celebrated his 80th birthday on Friday and our in-house cricket nut decided to mark the occasion by pulling out a souvenir card featuring the former India cricketer (who passed away in 2006) which was lapped up by fans on social media. Cards featuring individual India and England players of the 1963-64 series in India were published by Esso, the petroleum giants in the 1960s. Each time a cricket enthusiast filled petrol, he would avail of cards. A completed Esso album (Rs 3) would then be checked by an officer at the service station and endorsed with a rubber stamp. Apart from being a proud owner of a near complete album (Vijay Mehra card is proving elusive), our cricket nut rejoices in the fact that the BCCI, under the leadership of Fatehsinhrao Gaekwad, endorsed this and encouraged this activity in his introduction to the album. That's how BCCI chiefs should recognise that fans can play a key role in popularising the game, he reckons. Meanwhile, Esso cards have attracted a good amount of interest and demand among collectors the world over. But this album is not going anywhere.
It's show time for this opera
Author Shreya Sen-Handley is just one step away from making a splash in the UK's operatic scene. Handley who will be releasing her new collection of short stories, Strange, with HarperCollins India this year, has also just finished writing an opera for the Welsh National Opera, which is known to be one of the biggest theatrical organisations in the world and headed by Prince Charles. Confirming the development, Handley told this diarist, "Not long after my first book, Memoirs of My Body, was published [in 2017], I was approached, completely out of the blue, by the Welsh National Opera. I was utterly taken aback to find they wanted me to write a libretto for them. Not only have very few Indian/Asian writers had such an opportunity; not coming from an operatic/theatrical background myself, it was not something I ever expected. Plus, an opera is essentially an epic poem and I don't write poetry. But they reassured me that I had been highly recommended, and that, on reading my writing, they thought it a perfect fit. The rest, as they say, is history." The opera, we are told, will be performed at some of the biggest theatres across the UK next year.
Demarginalising Indian Muslims
Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Abdur Rahman launched his second book, Denial and Deprivation: Indian Muslims after the Sachar Committee and Rangnath Mishra Commission Report, in the city on Friday. When our diarist asked him why he chose this subject for his book, the 46-year-old officer said, "Indian Muslims, comprising 15 per cent of the country's total population, are educationally, socially and economically backwards. They are not in the mainstream anymore. And somewhere, this is causing a problem, not just to them, but the entire country. If India wants to become a superpower, every individual needs to be empowered. The aim is to convey this message to Indians and governing authorities through my book."
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