Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Let me know when done
Arjun Kapoor waits for the PDA between Kriti Sanon and RJ Archana to end at the promotion of their upcoming film at a multiplex in Andheri on Saturday. Pic/Satej Shinde
Tony Rinaudo, Walter Lindner and Volker Schlöndorff
Last week, German Ambassador to India, Walter Lindner, met German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff (winner of the Oscar for the literary film adaptation of The Tin Drum in 1980) and Australian agronomist Tony Rinaudo, winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize. When this diarist spoke to Lindner about the legendary meet, he said, "Rinaudo is down to earth and a bit shut; he is more into his work and agronomy than showing off. I also spoke to Schlöndorff, who has worked in both Hollywood and Paris. Very influential in my generation, the 80-year-old German filmmaker has come to India to attend a movie festival in Kolkata." We don't know who else was present in the room that day, but we sure believe that the trio must have owned the afternoon.
Will pink ball cricket become red-hot?
Sourav Ganguly reckons the pink ball Test hosted in his city of Kolkata and pushed by him as soon as he was backed as the new BCCI president, will change cricket in this part of the world. And the former India captain has walked the talk through a whole lot of promotional events in the City of Joy.
You can never tell what cricket fans lap up or reject so while we have to wait for the future to unfold, some facts need to be highlighted.
Let's rewind to the 1996-97 domestic season in which the Ranji Trophy final was played out at Gwalior under floodlights for the first time. Arch-rivals Mumbai and Delhi fought for honours and Sanjay Manjrekar's Mumbai team walked away with the silverware. While there was a lot of buzz around the innovation, that was also the last Ranji Trophy final held under lights.
More recently, the Duleep Trophy played under floodlights did not end up with we-want-more chants from the public.
So while the response to Kolkata's pink ball Test must be welcomed, a bright future cannot be guaranteed.
Groove to the Qamancha
Mannan Shah with Rasa-Lila Buniatyan
Bollywood composer Mannan Shah, known for pushing the envelope with his compositions, will be using the Qamancha, an ancient Armenian musical instrument, in the upcoming Commando 3. A bow-string instrument, it is made of wood from walnut, apricot and mulberry trees. "There's a certain melancholy to its sound, which I feel adds great depth to the song," said Shah. He has roped in Rasa-Lila Buniatyan, a talented Armenian musician to play the instrument for the track Akhiyaan Milavanga, sung by Arijit Singh and Sruthy Sasidharan.
A son's tribute
Long before veteran director Ramanand Sagar brought Ramayan to Indian television, making the series with a viewership of nearly 65 crore, a national phenomenon, he was also a successful film writer. But, Sagar, who wrote Raj Kapoor's Barsaat (1949), and was also the force behind many other hits, knew he was born to make Ramayana, said his son Prem Sagar. "Through his career, he received divine messages about this. He saw himself as a postman, retelling Ramayana in the electronic era." Prem has now penned the biography, An Epic Life: Ramanand Sagar, From Barsaat to Ramayan (Westland), celebrating his father's life. "My father had a tough childhood. His stepmother wasn't too kind, and when he came to Bombay too, he struggled. He worked as a peon and washed trucks. It was Barsaat that changed his fortunes as well as those of the RK Banner. The book is my putra dharma."
Of pretty boys and guitars
We discovered Delhi-based musician Moses Koul last week when Bobin James, music editor at Apple Music, shared a video. Once we got to Koul's Instagram, we were hooked. His videos, which have him playing groovy music, blew us away. We also love his funky fashion sense. In his videos, Koul usually wears interesting shirts—flowers, lace, Chinese collars—and dangling earrings, and sometimes even a feather. Ear and eye candy!
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