Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
When stars become parents
Parents Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan, along with Jaya Bachchan, make videos of daughter Aaradhya as she performs at a dance show at St Andrews, Bandra West, on Saturday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
For the love of an optical illusion
YouTuber Vishnu Kaushal had a reaction not unlike others when he saw actor Ezra Miller's look for the Met Gala, the theme for which this year was Camp. "I love taking challenges. So, When I saw Ezra slaying the Met Gala red carpet, I thought, "dude, this man's got ba**s of steel". So he decided to recreate Miller's look, who sported an optical illusion on his face. The 21-year-old from Chandigarh, says it's "not easy for a straight man to pull something like that off when the whole world is judging you. But I said why not?"
A boost for the 'rebel' story about public toilets
Mumbai-based author and theatre practitioner Neha Singh's story of a little girl trying to find a safe and clean public toilet for herself, has just won the 2019 South Asia Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. I Need To Pee (Puffin Books) was among nine books that received the award, instituted by The South Asia National Outreach Consortium (SANOC). "This award is a reinforcement that it's important and the need of the hour to talk about so-called taboo topics. It is a deeply feminist children's book and provides a voice to children, especially girls, to not be ashamed about basic biological needs. In that sense, it's a major boost for unique and rebellious subjects in children's literature in India. I feel Indian children's literature is growing leaps and bounds in terms of a feminist lens, and also engaging children with many themes that were considered not age appropriate," Singh said.
The Pipe Man watches a Test match between New Zealand and the West Indies played at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, in March 2006. Pic/Getty Images
Pipe Man won't be seen at Lord's
Lord's Cricket Ground regulars who will be at the London venue for the forthcoming World Cup will miss seeing a bearded West Indian gentleman with an unlit pipe in his mouth and a stick in his hand. Keith Anderson, 67, aka Pipe Man passed away earlier this week.
mid-day did not miss out on an opportunity to interview Anderson during the 2011 India v England Test at the spiritual home of cricket. And what we can never forget from that interaction was how he opened up on the rough times he endured in Guyana. While his parents went away to work in England, Anderson and his sister were raised by their grandmother, who had her share of struggles.
Anderson later migrated to England, did well for himself and became a Marylebone Cricket Club member. For years he watched Test matches from the fabled seats at the pavilion end of Lord's. But during breaks, he didn't fail to make it to the far end of the ground to meet his old mates.
Anderson visited Mumbai in 2006 and stayed at a five-star hotel. One day he went out for a walk and saw kids begging for food on the streets. This reminded him of his poverty. "I never begged, but I have picked up pieces of food from the road, washed and ate them," he told us.
The last time we saw him was at one of the dining halls of the Kensington Oval in London. He was sharing a meal with former WI captain Clive Lloyd. Anderson was right when he said, "I have experienced both ends of the road." Farewell, Pipe Man.
Old wine, new bottle
If, like us, you've been wondering about the fate of Churchgate's Salt Water Café after it shuttered in February, there's news. The space will be relaunched as a French bistro with Nick Harrison and Alexis Gielbaum of Slink and Bardot at the helm. "Unlike their Worli outpost, which is more of a dinner place, this one will be an all-day cafe. It was supposed to launch in June, but there has been a delay and we've pushed it to August," said a source. Better late than never.
It always helps to bounce off ideas with like-minded people. It's why Mumbai-based theatre actor and poet, Taranjit Kaur, decided to present her work to a select audience at the Cannes Film Festival. While the short film, Loving Myself, traces a woman's journey to explore her sexuality, Goga - A Journey of Love is a documentary based on the life of her grandaunt. The docu was shot in India and Canada over a period of 10 years. "Goga was a rebellious woman who lived life on her own terms. She was one of the first Indian women to get divorced. And here is a love story that begins at the age of 60, so I found it really interesting," says Kaur.
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