Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier
Mumbai - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
That girl in yellow boots
Priyanka Chopra Jonas struggles in heels despite a knee injury at the wrap-up party of a film in Bandra. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Not the BEST move
The ongoing campaign against the privatisation of BEST buses will get a new fillip this weekend at a workshop being organised to make Mumbaikars aware of the drawbacks of this move. The volunteers' workshop organised by Aamchi Mumbai Aamchi Best (AMAB), a citizen platform for opposing privatisation of BEST public bus service, will take place in Dadar East this Saturday, with the aim of wiping the sheen that comes with the term "wet leasing", explains activist Girija Gupte, key organiser of the campaign.
"The BMC has been neglecting all services to people — hospitals, schools and transport. If there is private entrepreneurship, the government will not be answerable to people in the case of any mishap, which could be as glaring as the Nirbhaya incident. Let's not forget that," she told this diarist. "Also, if we are saying BEST is a loss-making unit, why would anyone want to buy it in the private sector? That's something to think about. This move will only eat up the little revenue that BEST is making. We want people to go back to their areas and discuss it with people there because only Mumbaikars can bring about some change. No leader can do that," she said.
Movie plans for Dutee?
Sprinter Dutee Chand, who was recently in the news for coming out of the closet, will be in Mumbai tomorrow. Dutee is to be at an event in Mahalaxmi for the launch of a brand of running shoes. The controversy ignited after the sprinter called her girlfriend her soul mate, adding that she wanted to spend her life with her.
A fierce family fight played out in public view, but one thing was certain, Dutee had earned the epithet of India's first openly gay athlete. Interestingly, Dutee will be in Mumbai when the queer film fest Kashish is on. We say, you effortlessly catch up with your rivals on the track. Now, go catch a movie, Dutee, LGBTQI ishtyle.
So we never forget
On the day theatre and cine legend Girish Karnad took his final curtain call, this diarist spoke to veteran director Sunil Shanbag who lamented the fact many young artistes haven't even read Karnad's plays — a truth that resonates with many in the city's theatre community.
As a fitting tribute, the suggestion for which came from Junoon's co-founder Sameera Iyengar, several theatre groups in the city have already started organising readings of plays including Hayavadana and Nagamandala and uploading short videos of them under #CelebratingGirishKarnad. "If we could do this over the week, it would be the theatre community collectively and publicly paying tribute," Iyengar said.
The proof of the pastry
When it comes to desserts, restaurants across the city are upping their game by dedicating immersive sections of their menus to sweet treats and employing seasoned pastry chefs to churn out delicacies. And in a timely development, we learnt of the India Pastry Cup, 2019, hosted by the Academy of Pastry Arts, Mumbai, which will pave the way for winners of the competition to then head to the next level of the contest, the Asian Pastry Cup, due to be held in Singapore in April 2020.
The Mumbai chapter will see noted chefs on the panel, including city-favourite, Kainaz Messman of Theobroma. Speaking of the event, which will take place this Saturday, chef Niklesh Sharma, founder of the host-academy, said, "This is an integral event for pastry chefs and we hope the teams will raise the bar even higher this year. We look forward to some innovative and world class baking during the competition."
How 'bot this?
"Joey: Hi friends! How you doin'" — is how the show flow for an episode of non-existent episode begins. The screenwriter is a bot employed by a leading streaming platform that was made to watch 1,000 episodes of the popular '90s sitcom, Friends. And then, it was made to write a screenplay. The bot has weak grammar skills, but more importantly, the tweet, which appeared on the company's India official handle, has since been unavailable.
You could zoom into a snippet that reveals highly illegible writing, piquing our already soaring interests. Did Netflix run into copyright issues with the show's makers? Or, is it possible that they realised the potential of the script and took it down before it divulged too much? Only time will tell, but we're watching out for it with a hawk-eye.
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Closed skywalk in Bandra East leave commuters fuming!