Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Are we already leaving?
Mira Rajput Kapoor's daughter Misha seems unwilling to leave Santa Cruz Food Hall on Saturday. Pic/Shadab Khan
A lesson in a circus act
Since 2009, educator Shaheen Mistri has been admirably leading Teach For India (TFI), a volunteer-driven programme to plug the gaps in our education system. And, the fruits of her labour are going to be showcased in a play at the Royal Opera House next month. TFI's The Greatest Show On Earth has been written, conceptualised and executed by in-house talent. It comments on the complexities of the Indian education system through the metaphor of a circus.
"The Greatest Show on Earth is a chance to listen to the painful yet powerful stories of the kids and to realise just what is needed to make a better world for them," says Mistri. "I believe that everyone who sees the show is going to walk out feeling inspired by what children can create when given opportunities to live up to their potential."
Wrong, right and right again for Kim?
Indian cricket fans won't forget Kim Hughes, the former Australian batsman, who led his team for a six-Test tour of India in 1979. Hughes, 65, is one of Channel Nine's experts for the Ashes series in England and he was aghast at the footwork of the English batsmen in the series. Hughes, a quick-footed batsman himself, reckons Australia will win the current series 3-0 and he has a history of predicting results.
He was probably the only current cricketer then who believed India could win the 1983 World Cup even before his team played their two games (won 1, lost 1) against Kapil Dev & Co in that competition. He turned out to be right.
But he also got it wrong when he told Sportsworld magazine that he couldn't see India beating Pakistan in the series that followed his 1979 tour of India. "I cannot visualise India beating Pakistan. On the other hand, your neighbours have a great advantage because they have Imran Khan whom I rate as among the top five opening bowlers in the game," said Hughes.
Imran claimed 19 wickets in five Tests but Pakistan lost 0-2. However, Hughes's latest prediction is all set to come true unless the Australians do what his side did in 1981—slump to a series defeat after winning the first Test.
Former home of Bungalow Eight gets a new tenant
The news of Bungalow Eight (B8), a concept store, rolling its curtains down in April wasn't without eyeballs and attention from fashion frat and its loyal patrons. "It's now about looking at the space as a white canvas," its curator and founder Maithili Ahluwalia tells this diarist. Wankhede Stadium, the former home of B8 has been converted into The STANDS, a 2,150 square foot gallery for retail and art exhibitions, rotating installations, pop-ups and design related events.
While B8 was a highly defined curatorial space, Ahluwalia has set different goals for her new enterprise. "The idea is to allow the new space to morph into any personality it pleases," says Ahluwalia, adding how she continues to get enquiries about B8. "People are still attached to the store, remember it fondly, which is heartening. Bungalow Eight had its own energy, quirks and lineage. Bungalow Eight has passed," is Ahluwalia's unembellished response to them.
Leaving on a jet plane
Canadian diplomat Tara Scheurwater senior trade commissioner for Western India, bid adieu to the Canada in Mumbai office after a three-year tenure here. She was living in Mumbai with her spouse and four children, and is leaving with a heavy heart.
This diarist found a tweet she posted, which reads: "As I prepare to say goodbye to India in a few weeks after three years in Mumbai I'm realising that it is the people I will miss the most and these are two of my favourites! Trips to Ahmedabad were always full of laughter with @joachimrocha and @jeenageorge9." This diarist is told that the entire office will immensely miss Scheurwater, who has had a terrific term.
Sardesai on Modi 2.0
It's no longer just daily journalism that's keeping Rajdeep Sardesai busy. The noted television journalist recently took to Twitter to announce that he's working on his next book, which will be a sequel to his previous work, 2014: The Election that Changed India (Penguin Random House). His new book titled, 2019: The Modi Election (HarperCollins India), will be releasing in November.
"As a young boy, I was deeply influenced by the elections of 1977, when Indira Gandhi was defeated, but I could never find a book that told me the entire story of the elections," Sardesai said. "I felt it was important to chronicle the elections, because we are living in such a momentous time in history. I want the present and future generations to try and understand what is happening around us, and how BJP rose to become the No. 1 party."
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Amrita Rao and Environmentalist Chinu Kwatra collect broken Ganesha idols