Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Waiting for godot
A stray watches idling boats at Utan dock in Mira Bhayandar on Saturday. Fishing has been suspended during lockdown. Pic/Satej Shinde
What's Vaseline got to do with it? A lot!
England fast bowler John Lever wears Vaseline gauze across his forehead during the Chennai Test against India during the 1976-77 season. Pic/Getty Images
Vikram Sathaye is a comedian with a difference. Apart from coming up with some great mimicry of cricket personalities, he also has a sound knowledge of the game.
In a Facebook video the other day, Sathaye stressed how applying saliva on the cricket ball won't be allowed after the Coronavirus outbreak and so, the rulers of the game should permit the use of Vaseline.
He wants umpires to carry along a bottle of the greasy substance and make it available to bowlers every over so that the ball will swing and cricket will thus be lesser of a batsman-dominated sport.
Sathaye referred to how England fast bowler John Lever used Vaseline in the 1976-77 Chennai Test against India and this diarist provides you a background to the major controversy that hit India way back then:
A forensic laboratory confirmed that the substance was present on the ball in Chennai, but the England camp claimed that it was used above a gauze to prevent sweat
from dripping down the bowler's eyes.
The 1976-77 contest was only the second series India lost at home in the 1970s.
The controversy did not die down and pundits reckoned that then Indian captain, Bishan Singh Bedi, who vehemently opposed the English argument, lost his county contract with Northamptonshire for his role in the Vaseline row.
It was some greasy affair and now this substance stands a good of chance of being allowed in international cricket. We told you, cricket is a funny game.
You can count on Bandra to rally the troops
The Queen of Suburbs, Bandra, is known to be a tight knit community, and how better to keep up spirits during lockdown than to engage all its residents?
Bandra resident Alvita Cabral with his niece Renelle and Zayne
Bandra Buzz, the local online newspaper that completes 10 years this year, incidentally, has started an initiative #bandrasgottalent and has been uploading posts since March 22 with videos of its residents playing the guitar, singing songs and dancing.
Got your back
As part of the warm friendship and strong cooperation between India and Israel, the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai has joined the efforts of the Government of Maharashtra to fight the pandemic.
The Consulate provided bottles of sanitisers and automatic soap dispensing units to doctors and staff members of Sir JJ Hospital, and to public toilets maintained by Triratna Prerana Mandal, an NGO working in the area of public toilets and sanitation for all. The effort was undertaken with support from Mashav, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation.
Anil Dharker goes live
Since the lockdown began, authors have been making a steady presence on social media, discussing books and connecting with readers, through live sessions. Noted journalist and writer Anil Dharker is giving us more reasons to cheer with the Tata Literature Live! Author's Lounge sessions, which he started on Instagram this week.
Held twice a week, on Sunday and Thursday, Dharker who is the founder of a popular Mumbai literary festival, has already invited Ashwin Sanghi and Rehana Munir for live discussions on their books. Next, is author Amish Tripathi, who moved bag and baggage to London last year to head the Nehru Centre. "We've started this on a trial basis," says Dharker, who like the rest of us, is cooped up at home. "I don't remember the last time, I was this nervous," says the veteran.
Tragedy mein comedy
Quarantine got you feeling down? Do you want to start your day on a bright and cheery note? Head to comedian Sorabh Pant's YouTube channel (youtube.com/pantonfire) at 9 am to get rid of your curfew blues. "Wake up with my screaming voice," he joked in an Instagram post. As the lockdown has been extended by a couple of weeks, Pant has decided to go live on his YouTube channel every morning till the lockdown is lifted on May 3.
Viewers can expect jokes, stories, reviews and some special guests such as Anu Menon, José Covaco and Sapan Verma. His first live saw about 7k viewers tuning in and he hopes the number will increase as the days go by. "This is a way for me to instill some self-discipline," he said. Most importantly, the funny man hopes to raise money to buy PPE for doctors on the front lines through his initiative.
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