Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Is this it?
Actor Lara Dutta makes an animated gesture as husband Mahesh Bhupati follows her at a cultural festival at NCPA on Friday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Director Rai turns novelist
Television writer-director Ravi Rai, known for serials like Sailaab and Thoda Hai Thode Ki Zaroorat Hai, is making a foray into publishing with the novel, The Tattoo On My Breast (Bloomsbury India). Set against the backdrop of World War II and the beginning of the Quit India Movement in 1942, Rai's historical romance novel tells the story of Sadhana and Rehman.
"I was always a writer, and became a director only to ensure that the lines I wrote were translated perfectly on screen," says Rai. He says writing for television is similar to "a fake orgasm". Fatigue saw him move away from mainstream TV, and the novel, he says, came to his rescue. Heavily researched, the book makes a mention of every major event that took place during Partition, he says. "It's a routine love story, but it's the history that makes it unique," adds Rai, who hopes to turn it into a web series eventually.
Kicking malnutrition's butt
Padma Shri Sudharak Olwe recently travelled across Chhattisgarh, Assam and Maharashtra to see firsthand the challenges that authorities were facing to implement the central and state government initiatives to tackle malnourishment. The Mumbai-based photographer says he was surprised at encountering quite a few severely malnourished children. He documented every story he found.
The photographs will be showcased at an exhibition starting December 10 at The Art Gallery of Bikaner House in New Delhi. "Malnutrition and hunger are plaguing the future generation and we have to work 24/7 to change the state of affairs. I hope this exhibition creates awareness," he told this diarist.
Not referring to RCB, right Chris?
Chris Gayle or Universal Boss as he likes to call himself, is an unhappy man. And that's a rarity. Gregarious Gayle bid goodbye to the Mzansi Super League earlier this week, saying he doesn't get the respect he deserves. He played for the Jozi Stars who didn't enjoy great success in the Twenty20 championship. "I am not talking for this team [Jozi Stars] only. This is something I have analysed over the years playing franchise cricket."
The list of franchisees who have benefited from Gayle's big hitting is long—Barisal Burners, Chittagong Vikings, Dhaka Gladiators, Jamaica Tallawahs, Karachi Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, Lions, Matabeleland Tuskers, Melbourne Renegades, Rangpur Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Somerset, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Sydney Thunder and Vancouver Knights.
Wonder whether Royal Challengers Bangalore, a franchise he served with distinction in the IPL is among those teams he wasn't happy in. But going by his 2016 book, Six Machine, the perky Jamaican had a great time. Team meetings were fun too. He wrote: "I used to love the five-minute meetings of Ray Jennings, the South African coach who was in charge of Royal Challengers Bangalore when I first went there. Most of the times it wasn't really about your opponents, or your tactics. It was a video clip of a kid in the stands, and a simple question: How are you going to put a smile on another's face today." Right or wrong, Gayle's strokeplay did cause a lot of smiles. He also earned a lot of respect among his fans and that's what counts.
More than just music
For this first time since its launch, the NH7 Weekender, Pune, will have a quick response team on ground to ensure the music festival is an inclusive one. The initiative is a collaboration between OML, Humsafar Trust and 6 Degrees, a queer networking group.
"We have a full house with 50 plus staff members, including restroom attendants. They have received special training to handle security lanes for all genders," says 6 Degrees co-founder Praful Baweja. The team has also set up a 'safe space' tent with counsellors.
Like father, like son
Did you know that photographer and film producer Atul Kasbekar is a pretty cool dad, and doesn't shy away from expressing affection on social media? While daughter, Naomi has a private account, son Arnav (a looker like the father), who is studying at the New York Film Academy, posts vignettes from everyday life. What's lovely to see is the camaraderie they share.
Kasbekar Sr, who can't stop the photographer in him, leaves a heartfelt comment, "Nice shot Ari, on a great day. For a change, you can't see the air you breathe in LA". Junior usually replies with a "missed you". Don't stop, you two.
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