Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Beauty on duty
Actor Nora Fatehi catches the camera as she cleans Mahim beach on Saturday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Food without borders
It's one thing to start a food truck and quite another to sustain it. But restaurateur Ashish Sajnani has been successful on both fronts. And now, his venture The Bombay Food Truck has been featured in Lonely Planet's coffee table book on Around the World In 80 Food Trucks. The work features eight food trucks that serve delicious food on-the-go. "It is such an honour to get featured as the only truck from India and one of three from Asia. Lonely Planet does a lot of research before putting content out there," he told us.
Hustling her way to a success story
Author Sundari Venkatraman's story is straight out of a fairy tale. The Mumbai-based writer, who always dreamed of writing a novel, suffered rejections by 28 publishers, before she chanced upon Kindle Direct Publishing in 2014. That changed her life. Her eBooks went on to become so popular that she got featured among the Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, USA, UK, Canada and Australia in both romance as well as Asian drama categories. "With social media marketing and regular royalty income on a monthly basis, I felt motivated to write regularly. I have written and published 40+ books in varying lengths till date, and have sold over 1.5 lakh copies," she told this diarist. Thanks to her large fan base, Venkatraman's eBooks are now being published as actual books—the first of which comes out this weekend. "It was in October 2017 when Westland Publishers approached me. We signed the contract for three books [The Runaway Bridegroom, The Smitten Husband and The Drunken Wife] under the Marriages Made in India series. I am truly excited that the books are being released back to back in three months," she says.
Australia's then selector Greg Chappell (left) with coach Justin Langer at the Adelaide Oval on December 4, 2018. Pic/Getty Images
Guru Greg worked for Langer
Indian cricketers who played under coach Greg Chappell from 2005 to 2007, have not resisted—justifiably or unjustifiably, on the record or off the record —slamming the Australian's methods. However, current Australia coach Justin Langer, who spoke about Chappell in glowing terms in his book, The Power of Passion, would do well to pass on to his team the gems Chappell provided him when he faced up to cricketing adversity. Langer recalled the 1970s and 1980s batting great asking him one day in Adelaide whether he needed help during a Sheffield Shield game. Soon, Chappell and Langer were discussing batting at the Adelaide Oval nets where Chappell stressed on, "simplicity of thinking and a clear mind." Twenty-four hours later, according to Langer, he scored 150 for Western Australia against South Australia. Not only that, Langer revealed that the session with Chappell kicked off, "one of the most fruitful periods of my career." The Tim Paine-led Australians need to score big runs in the next Ashes Test at Old Trafford and the batsmen won't be able to do that without Chappell's much-prophesised clarity in thought process.
Hitting the right beats
Mumbai-girl Shruti Bhave is on a quest to rise to the top. A skilled Indian classical violinist and vocalist, Bhave has been picked by the US Consulate in Mumbai to participate in OneBeat this year. Now in its eighth year, OneBeat brings musicians from around the world to the US for one month to collaboratively write, produce, and perform original music, and develop strategies for arts-based social engagement. Bhave says, "I am just going with the flow right now. I am really excited and looking forward to it. We begin our tour on September 16."
Tughlaq makes a return
Fresh out of Drama School of Mumbai, theatre director Abhinav Grover is already placing big bets. Set to adapt Girish Karnad's classic Tughlaq this month, he says, "We are doing a classic but trying to do it in a new way. Like most of Karnad's work, Tughlaq lends itself as a mirror to think through some urgent social, political and philosophical questions." Set in a dystopian universe, the play will reflect our times more than Tughlaq's. For instance, "The newsroom debates have replaced the conversations in the Diwan-e-Aam," he says.
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