Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Let me show you how it's done!
Actor Riteish Deshmukh and wife Genelia D'souza get a styling lesson from their son in Lokhandwala on Friday. Pic/Sameer Markande
Finding a Dharavi connect
Kiran Ambwani, based in Montreal, featured her latest project, Full Circle, during the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. This particular photo series shows Mumbai's Dharavi through the eyes of its youth. Ambwani told us, "Fifteen years ago, I had gone out to explore Dharavi. Last year, I returned with digital cameras to document it.
Through an NGO, I had the pleasure of teaching nine kids the basics of photography and explored Dharavi with them. The resulting images were first presented in Montreal, and now the project comes a full circle in Mumbai. The project features pictures taken by these kids as they investigate their own neighbourhood."
When Bholi charmed the jury
She wasn't the first choice for the role, but Maanya Varma, who plays Bholi in the eponymous short film, has proved lucky for Mumbai director Amitabh S Verma and producer Shruti Anindita Vermaa. The 14-year-old has received the best actor award at the International Shorts Film Festival, and Top Shorts, a leading online film festival. Set in Bihar and Mumbai, the 13-minute short deals with child trafficking.
"The makers had cast somebody else, who backed out at the last moment. Initially, I wasn't sure if I would be able to pull it off, but when we started shooting, I got into the skin of the character and felt in sync. I also learnt that I was the only Indian to have received this award."
Feminist mom prayed for a baby girl
Author, journalist and speaker, Meghna Pant has worn many hats in her professional life. But Pant's latest joy is of a personal nature. She gave birth to her second daughter, Aria, and posted about it on her Facebook page. Her post read, "As a feminist mother, I asked. God answered."
As she told us, "I want the opportunity to raise my girls to enjoy the equal world we are fighting for, as feminists. I want to raise my daughters to change the conversation around what it means to be a girl."
A new podcast about books is always welcome. Another one to hit the block soon is Books and Beyond, run by Tara Khandelwal and Michelle D'Costa, who are also part of the core team of the skill-building literary company, Bound. While a release date is yet to be announced, the podcast has already recorded episodes with the big names in the literary scene, including Lisa Ray, Manu S Pillai, and Avni Doshi.
Michelle D'Costa and Tara Khandelwal with Lisa Ray
"We love talking to writers and finding out about their creative process—how they do it, what makes them tick. Speaking to some of the authors we admire in person, through our podcast, was a dream come true," Khandelwal said.
Prank and file in press boxes
Dressing rooms are not the only places at cricket grounds where pranks are played. Press boxes, too. Last week, we read about a rib-tickling one involving British sports writer Charles Randall, 71, who passed away suddenly due to pneumonia in the United Kingdom.
Cricket writer Ivo Tennant wrote a moving tribute to his friend in which he mentioned how Randall was at the receiving end of a prank played by Yorkshire journalist John Callaghan, who informed him in 1989 that future England fast bowler's father was a rat catcher. Randall trusted his 'source' and the rodent-related 'occupation' erroneously made it in the Gough piece Randall wrote after the young fast bowler claimed some key Middlesex wickets on his Yorkshire debut at Lord's.
Many years ago, at the Brabourne Stadium press box, a rookie journalist witnessed Ashok Mankad dropping a catch. The next thing he heard was a senior journalist exclaiming, "That's the 100th catch Mankad has dropped." The young reporter included this bit of information in his report and thought nothing about it until he was accosted by Mankad before play resumed the following day, demanding a list of the remaining 99 catches.
Considering Mankad had a good sense of humour, he took it well, we hear. Hopefully, Randall and Mankad can relate their respective incidents to each other in Elysian Fields.
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