Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Updated: Feb 16, 2020, 07:39 IST | Team SMD | Mumbai

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Pic/Satej Shinde
Pic/Satej Shinde

Fit hai boss

Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan has trouble with a tight sleeve perhaps... Pic/Satej Shinde

When Alyssa Healy went missing

Has Australian star Ellyse Perry experienced a happier time on the cricket front? Probably not, considering she claimed her second Belinda Clark Award at the Australian cricket awards night on Monday, a day after being given the honour of bowling an over to Sachin Tendulkar during the innings break of the bushfire charity game. On Wednesday, she was part of the team that beat India in the tri-series final on Wednesday.

Alyssa Healy poses with the Australian Women's ODI Player of the Year and Women's T20 Player of the Year awards at Crown Palladium in Melbourne on Monday. Pic/Getty Images
Alyssa Healy poses with the Australian Women's ODI Player of the Year and Women's T20 Player of the Year awards at Crown Palladium in Melbourne on Monday. Pic/Getty Images

Perry was the toast of Australian women's cricket on awards night, but the function witnessed an oddity. She was announced as the third nominee for the Clark award after Jess Jonassen (the spinner whose 5 for 12 wrecked India on Wednesday) and Alyssa Healy, the niece of ex-Test stumper Ian and wife of current pace ace Mitchell Starc. But Healy was not on her seat when her name was announced and the absence caused some chuckles in the room including from Mitchell.

Many presumed Healy was on a toilet break, but the fact is that she was being interviewed by Laura Jolly, the Women's Cricket Editor of cricket.com.au. "Had a great night at #AusCricketAwards last night with this fella! Ps just to clarify...... I wasn't on the loo - @JollyLauz18 was chewing my ear off out the back!!" she tweeted alongside an image of Starc and her.

Conducting an interview backstage during an important announcement even for Cricket Australia's website is not worthy of emulation, but it serves as a reminder that when it comes to feeding the cricket-loving public information, no one does it better than the Australians.

Sikh, queer and proud

Sukhdeep Singh, a 31-year old openly gay, Sikh man and the founder of Gaylaxy Magazine, has made a documentary film on LGBTQ+ Sikhs titled Sab Rab De Bande. The 30-minute film features five queer Sikhs who speak about their lives. Singh realised he was gay as a teen and growing up, he was filled with hope when he would read about individuals from the queer community come out.

A still from Sab Rab De Bande

However, one qualm remained. He kept looking for another person like him, gay and Sikh, so that he could connect with them on a deeper, more personal level. For a long time he felt he was the only one. "Sikhs are either fetishised or shunned in the queer community, and being gay is considered taboo within the Sikh community," he says.

A still from Sab Rab De Bande
A still from Sab Rab De Bande

This prompted him to make a film about queer Sikhs so it can act as a resource for LGBTQ+ Sikhs and others. "There is nothing, which overtly prohibits homosexuality in the Guru Granth Sahib. If you look at the larger message of Sikhism, it speaks of equality and brotherhood," he adds.

A piece of Shaheen Bagh in Brooklyn

This diarist was recently directed to the Instagram page of New York based, Mumbai-born artist, Jaishri Abichandani, where the ongoing protests at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act have come alive in tiny sculptures of the women who have taken a stand.

A piece of Shaheen Bagh in Brooklyn

Over email, Abichandani says, "I have been tremendously moved and inspired by the courage of women all over the country standing up to the government, particularly those in Shaheen Bagh. This sculpture is a salute to those Dalit and Muslim women leading the protests in the face of the violence of laws such as CAA, NRC, etc. They embody the spirit of our visionary Dr Ambedkar and secular India. I have been angered by the steady erosion of this worthy ideal combined with the promotion of Hindutva at the expense of the lives of millions of Indian citizens, and this rage against Brahmanical patriarchy led me to make this work.

A piece of Shaheen Bagh in Brooklyn

Many of the figures are based on people such as Trans Dalit Activist Grace Banu, the student leaders of Jamia (Ladeeda and Aysha) and JNU (Aishe Ghosh), the children, mothers and grandmothers of Shaheen Bagh. I spent loads of time tracking images of the protests and sculpting from them." She adds that till date, she has made 43 figures and is working on a replica of the India Gate right now. "The complete larger work will have at least double that number of individuals, as I want to convert the scale and sustained energy of the protests. It will include sounds captured by videos of protests from around the country."

One more accolade

Mumbai novelist Shubhangi Swarup's stellar debut Latitudes of Longing (HarperCollins India), previously shortlisted for the JCB Prize, is among the 24 novels that have made it to the prestigious International Dublin Literary Award longlist. The award, which is in its 25th year, is unique because the books are nominated by invited public libraries in cities throughout the world, on the basis of 'high literary merit'.

One more accolade

Over 400 library systems in 177 countries participate in the process every year. The winning novel receives €100,000. "I'm very pleased that Shubhangi Swarup's novel is on the longlist. She is an extraordinary talent, and her book has already received a lot of love from readers in India. The book is soon to appear in editions internationally, and I'm sure it will continue to garner attention globally," said Rahul Soni, executive editor (literary), HarperCollins Publishers India Ltd.

A Ratan Tata lookalike

Ever since Ratan Tata got on Instagram, he has become even more of a darling of the masses. His throwback pictures have been making people exclaim at his good looks, and singer-songwriter Raghav Meattle has found himself in the eye of that storm. Many of his followers have been tagging him in Mr Tata's pictures, as he has an uncanny resemblance to the Tata of yore. So much so that Meattle himself has jumped on to that bandwagon.

Spot the difference. Pics/Instagram
Spot the difference. Pics/Instagram

"It's really funny—I am just making it a thing now. Every time he puts up a throwback picture, I also post it on my Instagram. It's all to get some good laughs," Meattle told us.

Spot the difference

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