Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce.
Ratna ke do anmol ratan
Makarand Deshpande tries getting Ratna Pathak Shah's attention, leaving Naseeruddin amused. Theatre veterans gathered on the first day of the Prithvi Festival at Prithvi Theatre in Juhu on Saturday. Pic/Satej Shinde
Click for compassion
When was the last time you posted something on Twitter without fearing that you'll be trolled? That long right? Well, here's a breather. We were happy to discover that a handle called Goodness Bot (@GoodnessBot) can "drown out mean and negative tweets with positivity, and help fight the epidemic of cyberbullying." What the bot—though we really think it's run by kind humans—does is that once it's tagged on a negative tweet, it responds on your timeline in a compassionate tone. Someone did try to check how smart the bot is with the tweet "Can someone reply some mean stuff to me so I can try out this goodness bot thing?", Goodness Bot responded with, "I think that bot is smart? #ClickWithCompassion". The handle has been endorsed by one of Twitter's most vocal anti-bullying voices, Monica Lewinsky. Follow both!
Of musical Indians in LA
If LA-based Mumbai girl Natania Lalwani's Instagram stories are anything to go by, she is making music with Bollywood favourite Armaan Malik right now. They are in session at the Paramount Recording Studios in Los Angeles, and we wonder what's cooking. Is Armaan trying his hand at some international pop? Or is Natania getting ready to dabble in Bollywood?
Armaan's Instagram just revealed that he is now making eggs for breakfast, all by himself. Oh, the lessons travelling teaches you. As for the music news, watch this space for more.
Engineer still deserves that award!
What kind of a shot did Farokh Engineer play on Thursday when he was reported as saying that he saw the national selectors serving tea to Virat Kohli's wife and actress Anushka Sharma at the World Cup? Was it a mistimed drive that the mid-off fielder caught easily; an agricultural heave which was a sitter for the fine leg fielder? Or was it a nothing shot which found the slip fielder? It could be all of these, an ugly one which will make history. That he was apologetic shouldn't be hailed because he had to be, and his justification for saying what he did, seemed a poor attempt at being convincing. All said and done, this is no way for Engineer to be remembered, for he was a fine player who served India well in the 1960s and 1970s. There will be some who feel that he has blown his chance of getting the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award. We just wish he hasn't. He's been more than just a naughty 81-year-old and the outrage, in a way, is his punishment.
Known for being notoriously private, Juhu's Soho House is a den for celebrities who wish to spend time away from the public eye. The members-only club for artsy and creative people has a strict no-photo policy across its 22 houses globally. But a few celebs in Mumbai believe they are exceptions to the rule. This diarist found a sneaky picture taken by a friend of Section 375 actor Meera Chopra on Instagram. While the young actor called it a candid impromptu click, her caption continued pointing out how it was taken at a place where "it was not allowed". A few weeks ago, Sona Mohapatra, too, shared a picture at Soho, not giving two hoots about the norm.
Exhibiting personal histories
Back in 2017, just before our 70th Independence Day anniversary, a young bunch of documentarians started an extensive oral and material memory project, The Citizens' Archive of India (CAI), to preserve personal histories of ordinary people who had transitioned from the British Raj to a young, independent India. Today, the CAI, which operates out of Mumbai, houses more than 200 eyewitness accounts of life in the subcontinent before and after Independence. The digital archive has 350 hours of audio-video recordings and over 1,300 digitised photographs and items of memorabilia. These archives will now be available for all to see and experience at their first exhibition, Life As They Knew It, at Chemould Prescott Road on November 14 and 15.
A photograph to be displayed at the exhibition
"When I tell people about CAI, the question I am asked is, 'We learn all about political events like the World Wars and the Freedom Movement, but how can we relate to something that happened over 70 years ago?' Eyewitness accounts tell us about how people experienced such events. We want to show our audience that even personal histories reflect a part of India's past. These facets are rarely recorded in books, but are just as important to preserve in order to understand how we came to be who we are today," says archive director, Malvika Bhatia.
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