Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Darna mana hai
A duo of deer graze without fear in front of a tiger statute at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivli. Pic/Satej Shinde
Remembering Sahir Ludianvi
Even as we wait for this confounding year to end, writer and producer-director Nasreen Munni Kabir has ensured that we begin the next one with a beautiful keepsake—a 2021 diary, which fans of Urdu poet-lyricist Sahir Ludianvi are going to love. This diary, titled In the Year of Sahir 2021 (Westland and Hyphen Films), conceived and authored by Kabir, is a tribute to his work and his life, and includes reminiscences by his contemporaries. "The idea behind the diary was to mark his birth centenary. Among all the lyricists of Hindi cinema, Sahir's work has been particularly loved and his songs remain high on every film music lover's playlist. I'm so proud of this diary, it's special," said Kabir.
FE Engineer, the likely T20 star
Lancashire captain David Lloyd (right) holds the Gillette Cup as teammates Farokh Engineer (left) and Clive Lloyd laugh away while celebrating the county's title win over Middlesex at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, London in 1975. Pic/Getty Images
David Lloyd, the former England batsman, now a popular television pundit, thought about our very own Farokh Maneksha Engineer when a discussion emerged recently on past stalwarts who would've been fine T20 players.
Lloyd, nicknamed Bumble, wrote on Twitter: "I played with Farokh [at Lancashire] and he would have been a hoot in T20, an absolute showman! He had so much fun as a wicketkeeper-batsman. I won't call him a batsman actually, I'll call him a swiper! He gave it an almighty tap from ball one! They'd have loved him in India. He was brilliant at what he did, he played to the crowd. I think Engineer was before his time."
Aapro Farokh sure was an entertainer and popular. Our in-house cricket nut says that if anyone needs proof of his popularity, they should see his benefit brochure produced in 1976. It's filled with advertisements, glowing articles and tributes, all contributing to a healthy benefit purse (reportedly £26,500, then a Lancashire record). By the way, the publication's cover has a photograph of Farokh with German football legend Franz Beckenbauer.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have come in the way of a Mumbai visit, but UK-based Farokh will hopefully be back on our shores soon.
Love Goa? Protect it
In the rush for development it is heritage—a community's and a planet's—that is usually sacrificed. As protests mount across Goa against the proposed expansion of the South-western Railway, Mumbai historian Heta Pandit, who has had a long association with Goa and has written nine books on its architectural history, is creating awareness about the built heritage that the state stands to lose if the railway lines are built—over a 100 heritage houses in South Goa. The government hasn't acquired the land on which the homes stand, nor will it be demolishing them. However, Pandit, chairperson of the Goa Action Committee, says the vibrations from the second track, which will run very close to the houses, will affect the structural stability of these homes. The video series, Heritage Hotspots in Goa, is an effort to make the community, both in Goa and the country, aware of the common heritage that's at stake. The videos, which Pandit has shared on her WordPress blog (hetapandit.wordpress.com) and on YouTube, aim to make people appreciate the sunshine state for more than its sands and waters.
You never know who's listening
Singer-songwriter Baksheesh Singh Lamba had just completed school when he wrote Mila Na Tu. Five years later, the composition has been picked up by director Bejoy Nambiar for his new thriller Taish. "I have been a regular at open mics and Bejoy heard me playing the song at one of the jam sessions. He told me that he wants to use the song in one of his movies. I have been a fan of Shaitaan's soundtrack and working for him was a dream come true. Dhruv Visvanath, too, has done a beautiful job on the production." Lamba's next song, Ni Aja Ve, is a Punjabi song about a mother calling her son home from the battlefield.
A leftovers party for city's furry friends
A city-based group has decided to do something wonderful this season. Neisha Sharma, who is a part of seafood e-commerce Atlantis Gourmet, plans to start an initiative to help strays in the lockdown. Starting November 22, all the leftover meat will go to dog feeders in the city.
Speaking to this diarist, Sharma said, "I believe in giving clean home food to my pooch. This initiative is for dogs who prefer meat over dry food. A lot of times I've picked up fish heads and leftover meat from my mutton and chicken vendors, and I would feed the strays in my building. I know this food is a better choice for them, than getting used to dry food. I shared the idea at the office, and we all felt we could do something to help strays. We are hoping this drive will be a huge success."
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