Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Actors Hrithik Roshan and Mrunal Thakur get ready to promote their new movie, Super 30, in Juhu on Saturday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Critics will be critics
International teams no longer swallow the bitter pill of criticism, stay quiet and wait for their turn to prove their slammers wrong. If team members are upset about something, they come out and say so. Pakistan's South African coach Mickey Arthur has already questioned journalists over so much negativity. On Friday, England's opening batsman Johnny Bairstow took exception to ex-captain and fellow Yorkshireman Michael Vaughan's criticism of the team after the loss to Australia. Bairstow reckoned some pundits are waiting for England to fail so that they, "can jump on your throat."
Players are human enough to be sensitive to criticism, but sometimes critics are not willing to back down if they believe their criticism has merit. We know of a former international captain (let's call him Captain 2), who attacked a team's skipper (we'll call him Captain 1) for their not-so-flash start to the 1999 World Cup. Here's how the conversation went when both met at breakfast during that tournament in the UK:Captain 1: I'm not happy with what you've written about us. We need to talk it over. Captain 2: Fine.
A little later, Captain 2 arrives with a sheet of paper. Captain 2 to Captain 1: Here's my schedule and a list of hotels I will be staying in during the World Cup. Let me know when we can chat. Captain 1 chose not to pursue the matter. End of story!
An ode to Mirabai
Drawing inspiration from Mirabai — a woman of perseverance and fearlessness who embodied love and devotion, designer Payal Khandwala launched a new collection of handwoven saris as an ode to the women who courageously dream and undertake all risks that come with it.
When this diarist asked Payal why Mirabai left her awestruck, she said, "I've always found Mirabai's legend to be one that is not just poetic, but also relevant. She embodies both heart and courage so effortlessly, that we chose to name our daughter Mira. She's 10 years old now, so, I suppose it's safe to say Mirabai's story has been with me for at least a decade, if not longer!"
What's up, Moshe?
Recently, this diarist happened to learn that Moshe Shek, one of the city's most prominent restaurateurs, is hunting for a spot in Kala Ghoda to open his next venture. We reached out to Shek who, although out of the country, was kind enough to quell our curiosity over a text.
"I can say with utmost certainty that I'm not opening a restaurant," he said, cheekily. When we probed further, he said, "You're smart. Let's just say it's a thought at the moment." Watch this space.
The making of a novel
While it's commonplace for writers to have their newspaper columns compiled into books, it's not every day that you get to hear of fiction that follows a similar trajectory, especially in India. But Devapriya Roy's new novel, Friends From College (Westland), seems to have had that unconventional start. The novel, which is a story about a group of friends who studied at Presidency College around the same time, was actually written as a set of serialised chapters, which appeared in a magazine supplement of a leading Kolkata newspaper for 42 weeks — June 10, 2018 to March 31, 2019.
"In Bengal, there is a very robust tradition of the serial novel, and even now leading Bengali newspapers carry it on Sundays," says Roy, who has previously collaborated with artist Priya Kuriyan for the graphic novel, Indira. "Karthika VK [publisher, Westland], who I worked with for Indira, was very intrigued by the idea. And when I shared the first three chapters with her, she liked it very much. It was a leap of faith on her part because I didn't know where the novel
Not an act
Theatre veteran Akash Khurana seems to be celebrating several milestones this week. Along with enjoying a nearly 40-year run with the theatre company Motley, his own theatre company, Akvarious Productions, is going to host its first acting workshop. "Something I have observed in a number of new productions is that actors are putting in a lot of effort in shaping their performances," he says.
"But often, they haven't built a strong foundation in handling the text itself. To mean what you say, you have to know what the words mean and why they are uttered. My son Akarsh, who runs Akvarious, complains about the same often, and he came to me with the idea of this workshop. Even actors from our existing productions are attending to work on the most fundamental things. The greatest design and craft can't save a play if the actors don't have a sense of what they are saying." We agree.
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