Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Tiger zinda rahega
A civic worker carries out sanitising at a housing society in Pratiksha Nagar, Sion, on Saturday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Like Warne, Merv dropped a big name
With no cricket on, players, commentators and fans have more time for some fantasy. And that includes naming their dream teams. Spin wizard Shane Warne recently put out his all-time great Indian team led by Sourav Ganguly. Strangely, VVS Laxman, who played the greatest Test innings by an Indian—281 against his Australia in Kolkata in 2001—didn't make it to Warne's XI.
Australian fast bowler Merv Hughes in 1994. Pic/Getty Images
Meanwhile, this diarist, while flipping through a book on Merv Hughes, the burly Australian fast bowler who figured in the 1985-86 and 1991-92 Test series involving India in Australia and happened to see his Dream Team. Hughes's co-author Patrick Keane was very clear what he wanted from his subject—six batsmen, a wicketkeeper, five bowlers including a 12th man. So, Hughes picked Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes to walk out as openers followed by Richie Richardson, Graham Gooch, Viv Richards and Robin Smith. His wicketkeeper was Jeff Dujon, yet another West Indian in the side. The Caribbean factor didn't end there. In came Malcolm Marshall and Curtly Ambrose along with fellow pacers Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Abdul Qadir was his lone spinner.
Hughes explained in detail why he had to 'drop' certain players. One of them was batting legend Sunil Gavaskar. "I would sincerely apologise to Sunil Gavaskar for leaving him out of this side. I only played one Test against him and he was an unbelievable player. He was right at the end of his career but he made 166 not out in my debut Test [at Adelaide in 1985-86] and we didn't look like getting him out," he wrote.
Gavaskar carved yet another big hundred in the final Test at Sydney, but by then, Hughes's Australian summer was well and truly over. Big Merv went on to be an Australian selector but he'll probably remember this 'exclusion' more than any.
BMC to get designer masks
Karan Berry and Leon Vaz, the designer duo behind Karleo, have tied up with the BMC to make masks, as part of their new project, Masks for Humanity. "As designers, we wanted to contribute and this seemed to be the best way, since we have the expertise and the resources," says Vaz. They have chosen a team of five members, who live in different parts of Mumbai.
"Each member is dealing with a cluster of work-from-home ladies, with a carefully planned system of pick and drop without physical contact. It's later treated for sanitising, ironing and packing to distribute." The first batch of 5,000 masks are nearing completion and will be delivered to the BMC soon.
Talent for charity
In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, travel writer Pri Shewakramani has founded the Quarancharity initiative, with an aim to provide urgent help to both people and animals suffering during the lockdown.
When this diarist spoke to Shewakramani, she said, "My work was on hold due to the lockdown and I was reading articles on the plight of migrant workers. I realised a lot of talented people had time to spare and we could utilise that time to raise funds for those who were suffering. We have got such amazing support from people such as Pooja Dhingra, Sherry Shroff, Chef Kelvin Cheung and Yasmin Karachiwala, all of whom have donated their time without a second thought. At the same time, we are providing people stuck at home with sessions ranging from cooking to fitness and mental health. My target was R15 lakh over the lockdown period and two days into the fundraiser, we are already at R4 lakh with additional commitments of R2 lakh in the pipeline."
Singer Anmol Malik turns writer
Music director Anu Malik's daughter, singer-composer Anmol, who we most remember for the hit number Talli from the 2008 film, Ugly Aur Pagli, is all set to release her first novel in May. Titled Three Impossible Wishes, the book, which is being published by HarperCollins India, is the story of a 19-year-old finding love, and loving herself.
"There are worlds in my head I want to bring to life, through music and stories. I've been a writer for as long as I can remember. Even with a song, it's always the lyrics that attract me first. I also love whimsical places, quirky and silly characters and hilarious anecdotes. I do hope my book makes people smile and reads as delicious as warm cookies," Anmol said.
A true indie music lover
Music writer Amit Gurbaxani is using his time during lockdown well. Along with making a Google spreadsheet of independently released music in India this year, he also made a master list of female indie musicians in India. These lists have now got picked up internationally—it was mentioned in the Music Journalism Insider newsletter and Music Ally.
"I thought it was the right time to get serious about creating a publicly available resource of Indian independent albums and EPs. The aim is that the list will lead to more streams for each artist, who will eventually benefit from it in some way or the other, from gaining new fans to receiving higher revenues from digital music platforms. And, when this is all over, getting booked for shows!" he said.
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