Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Nazar na lage
Sarod legend Amjad Ali Khan's wife Subhalakhmi Khan applies a kala tikka on actor Abhishek Bachchan at an event in Juhu as his mother, Jaya, looks on. The event saw the launch of an album by Khan's sons, Aman and Ayan Ali Bangash. Pic/Sneha Kharabe
Sunny giving back to cricket at alma mater
What are you doing in Rajkot, we ask Yajurvindra Singh, the Mumbai-based former India cricketer albeit being well aware of his Rajkot connection. He was born there and played for Saurashtra from 1979 to 1982 after a rewarding first-class innings with Maharashtra. Sunny, as he is known to friends, tells us he is indulging in a bit of coaching and promoting cricket at Rajkumar College in Rajkot where KS Ranjitsinhji and KS Duleepsinhji studied before heading to England where they made a mark. Sunny, also a Rajkumar College alumni, doesn't think it's a big deal but come to think of, it's pretty noble to spend time and give back to the game at a place close to one's heart. The history of the game is never lost on Sunny in almost every conversation with him and he tells us that India's first captain Maharaja of Porbandar and KSG Limbdi, who also led India on their 1932 tour of England, were students of Rajkumar College. The one aspect that Sunny won't compromise on during his coaching sessions at Rajkot is close-in catching. Not because he once held a record number of catches in a Test—seven against MCC at Bangalore in 1976-77—but because it's his pet subject.
A baithak to promote #NaiWaliHindi
For those who read their last Hindi short story or novel while in school, here's something we feel will help expand your reading vocabulary. Publishing house Westland's imprint Eka, is launching a baithak of young Hindi writers across the country, in an attempt to promote new Hindi writing, or what they'd like to call #NaiWaliHindi. The first of this baithak, which will see writers Nikhil Sachan, Divya Prakash Dubey, Anu Singh Choudhury and Shashank Bhartiya, will be held in Mumbai at Aram Nagar's Bungalow No. 75 on September 24. "There is a new crop of writers who are bringing real, everyday stories to readers in a language that is simple, young and zany. Hindi is a vibrant language, which has always been accepting of changes. It borrows words and lends words. Eka and [publishing house] Hind Yugm writers do just that and make literature accessible to all," Minakshi Thakur, publisher, Eka Westland told this diarist.
India's own Aquaman
Rajamanohar Somasundaram is a serial technology entrepreneur with extensive experience in building the internet- and mobile technology-driven businesses. His venture, Aquaconnect, uses artificial intelligence technologies to assist shrimp and fish farmers to predict the diseases well in advance, improve their farm efficiency and revenue. This year, Aquaconnect became the only Indian startup to win an innovator award in Indonesia. When this diarist spoke to him, the young entrepreneur said, "In 2012, World Economic Forum named me among the 'young Global Leader' in recognition of the leadership and contribution in the field of mobile communication services innovation. My company is now set to expand to Vietnam, Thailand and Ecuador."
Come rain or floods
When the rains come down, Mumbai's road runners have only one thing on their mind—lace up and enjoy the weather. But, last week threw off our homegrown Ironman's
plans. As the Mithi took over the streets on Wednesday, Milind Soman tweeted, saying all his favourite running routes were under water. Of course, the responses he got were hilarious. While some suggested he use the opportunity to swim—not a bad one, considering Soman was a swimmer before he was a runner—we loved Indigo airlines' response. They tweeted to Soman suggesting he take a flight out to a drier city. Soman's deal was "I'll fly with you, if you run with me". Soman tells us that he flew to Delhi the next day for the Pinkathon and managed to get his run.
Here's to Irani chai
In 2013, Professor Dr Mansoor Showghi Yezdi made Cafe Irani Chai, a 28-minute documentary, as an ode to enterprising Iranian emigrants who set up these eateries in the country. The film has now created a record for the most number of awards won by a Hindi documentary film—45 in the last six years. "My grandfather was one of the many Iranians who walked all the way from Yazd to Mumbai due to a famine in the region. It took them around seven months to reach here. When I decided to make a film on Indo-Iranian relationship, I realised what better subject than the culinary legacy of the Irani chaiwalas famous for their bun maska and chai," he says. The film was screened at New York University, and a copy is now kept in its library.
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