Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Updated: Jul 26, 2020, 07:32 IST | Team SMD | Mumbai

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

Pic/Anurag Ahire
Pic/Anurag Ahire

Yeh mera style hai

A mask can immediately ramp up your style statement. Pick one, as this man has done, with care. Pic/Anurag Ahire

Batting for an Indian cricket museum

A selection of cricket bats signed by the best players in the world on display at the Shyam Bhatia Cricket Museum in 2014 in Dubai. Pic/Getty Iages
A selection of cricket bats signed by the best players in the world on display at the Shyam Bhatia Cricket Museum in 2014 in Dubai. Pic/Getty Iages

Our in-house cricket nut is delighted that the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be played in the UAE this year. Is that because he is a massive T20 cricket fan and an admirer of franchise-based cricket? Far from it. You see, our man is, in his words, a "very modest" cricket memorabilia collector.

What's this got to do with the IPL going to the UAE? Let us explain. With many matches to be played in Dubai, our friend is hoping that the BCCI biggies, who will undoubtedly be in the Gulf during the IPL, use the opportunity to visit the Shyam Bhatia Cricket Museum. He wants the Board officials to be so impressed with what Bhatia has done that they get down to building a cricket museum in India soon.

The Khaleej Times recently reported that Bhatia, 78, a Dubai-based Indian used the lockdown period to enhance his labour of love by including details of all 450+ World Cup matches. This is apart from countless autographed bats, blazers, caps and books on display. During his visit to the museum, India coach Ravi Shastri opined that he felt like ant in what must be a sea of cricket collectibles but felt great to notice his photograph in there.

Meanwhile, it's still fair to ask: When will the BCCI wake up to the fact that Indian cricket needs a museum?

Croatian film fest gets a desi touch

Croatian film fest gets a desi touch

After winning the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NEPTAC) award this year, author and indie filmmaker Aditya Kriplani's Devi Aur Hero has been selected at the upcoming Split Film Festival, the oldest film festival of Croatia. Incidentally, he's also the first Indian to be selected as jury member.

"What makes it special is that you now have the chance to give deserving films a platform by being a jury member. I think the exposure to different kinds of film will only inspire us to do better. Also, I have never been to Croatia, so I am really excited to go there." The festival kicks off in September, with social distancing. measures in place.

Remembering Sushant in the best way

Samuel and Sushant (both wearing caps) pose for a group photo
Samuel and Sushant (both wearing caps) pose for a group photo

Samuel Haokip, a lawyer based in Delhi, had no qualms about packing his bags and moving to Mumbai. It's because Haokip had the good fortune to live with and work for the late Sushant Singh Rajput, India's heart-throb, for a year. He started off by handling legal matters for the actor, but gradually moved on to being one of Rajput's confidants. He fondly remembers his friend as someone who wanted to seize the day.

Samuel and Sushant jamming together
Samuel and Sushant jamming together

"We would wake up as early as 5.30 am in the morning and do some yoga." Not only was Rajput an athletic person, but a voracious reader too. "Sushant would read multiple books, even during a shoot. While the rest of the actors would be busy cramming their lines, he was unfazed. He would always be thoroughly prepared beforehand, so that gave him the time to read," reminisced Haokip. "My fondest memory with him has to be when we saw Saturn and all its rings through his telescope. It's been a month since he passed away. I am still reeling from the shock."

A suitable dance

A suitable dance

We chatted with Rajeswari Vaidyanathan, founder and Director of VR DanceSport, India's Latin Ballroom Dance school, has some news to share. She is the choreographer of the upcoming web series A Suitable Boy, set to launch on Netflix today.

"Honestly, I didn't get a chance to read the novel, which is the largest novel written in English with 1,349 pages. I was given a detailed background of the script and the scenes pertaining to the two episodes that had dance sequences and I choreographed and trained the actors accordingly," says Rajeswari, who trained the cast. She believes that dance increases the emotional connect with the audience. "Dance is an integral part of the narration and script.

The dance narrates the events and helps the story move further," she adds.

Art lessons on film

The Lady with a Tanpura is currently part of The Met collection. Pic courtesy/metmuseum.org
The Lady with a Tanpura is currently part of The Met collection. Pic courtesy/metmuseum.org

In the lockdown, any new creative escape is welcome. And if it's one about Indian art and design, it only becomes immensely valuable. Arts of Hindostan, an Instagram account, which for the last couple of years now, has been tirelessly curating pictures and stories of arts, architecture, design and fashion inspired by the Mughals, Rajputs and Company Sahibs, is out with a new film series on IGTV titled, Voices of Inspiration. The film vignettes starring experts on South Asian art, which are being made in collaboration with One Fine Day, made its debut this Friday.

The first three minute-long video features Joya Mukherjee Logue, a watercolour artist, who spoke about The Lady with a Tanpura, an 18th century Kishangarh painting from The Met collection. "This one in particular drew me in... the delicate textiles draped over her arms, the way she was plucking the strings on the tanpura, created movement for me in my mind," she shares in the film.

The anonymous founder of Arts of Hindostan, who has been working with the rest of the filmmaking team remotely, says a new video will be uploaded every week. The roster of names, we are told, will include historians and art experts. We look forward to the next.

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