Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Look who's here!
A group of fitness enthusiasts were thrilled to spot the King of Editorials, as Navakal newspaper owner Nilakanth Khadilkar is called, at Tilak Garden at Girgaum Chowpatty recently. Many would remember that Khadilkar is also the father of three sporting achievers, who believe that mental agility is as important as physical fitness.
Nilakantharao Khadilkar (in wheelchair) with the fitness group at Tilak Garden
The three Khadilkar sisters, Vasanti, Jayshree and Rohini, dominated women's chess in the '70s and '80s and broke quite a few glass ceilings with their formidable achievements. The fitness group said that though in a wheelchair, Khadilkar senior was very alert and interested in what they were practising, and even posed with the group and Pinkathon ladies.
An Argentine lens
India, in the eyes of many foreign filmmakers, is still a land of snake charmers and fakirs. But when Argentinean filmmakers Lucas Penafat, Victoria Chales and Camila Menendez heard from a friend that of her travels in India, it was her visit to a village in Rajasthan that was most inspiring, they decided to turn their camera to it.
The result is the film, Sister of the Trees, which captures the work of Piplantri resident Shyam Sunder Paliwal, who encouraged fellow villagers to plant 111 trees on the birth of a girl child instead of lamenting the occasion. The film is in the post-production stage and its makers are in Mumbai to raise funds to see it through. We hope they succeed.
Indie designer's victory over Dior
Graphic designer and co-founder of People Tree, Orijit Sen calls it "a victory for independent artists and designers in India, who struggle with copyright infringement by fashion behemoths". The 55-year-old, who is based out of Goa, hit Mid-day headlines in January when he took on Parisian luxury giant Christian Dior for flicking his Yoga print which he had created and used for 18 years.
The case has finally been settled in Sen's favour. "They agreed to an open discussion if I was willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which legally binds me from revealing the nature of the settlement," he tells this diarist. It was Sen's daughter Pakhi who first chanced on the print when she was flipping a magazine at an airport. The print featured on a Dior corset dress worn by Sonam Kapoor. The Sens took to social media to express their displeasure, and after months of negotiation, they agreed to an out of court settlement.
While Sen refused to reveal any more, we hear from a source that Dior agreed to discontinue the use of the print, and the settlement amount is going to actualise Sen's dream community project — a residential studio space for indie artists and designers in Aldona. An old Goan bungalow has been identified where we hear he will set up studio, hold workshops, and host a library. It will be a creative, skill-sharing space, and should be ready by the end of the year.
When ICC didn't give a toss
A critical International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting was held in the city over Monday and Tuesday when the Anil Kumble-headed Cricket Committee decided against doing away with the toss in cricket.
Prominent former players like Michael Holding and Ricky Ponting had called for the toss being abolished to ensure both teams had a fair chance of winning Test matches on dodgy pitches. Tuesday's decision merited a press conference because the Cricket Committee also discussed in detail major issues like player behaviour and ball tampering which three Australian players were guilty of, only recently.
But how does the ruling body in cricket decide to communicate their discussions during an important meeting which involved several former international captains? Through a press release! Ironically, the committee spent a fair bit of time condemning abusive chatter on the field, but the ICC won't let anyone open their lips to the media on the cure for that same ill. Cricket's governing body will do well to open those communication doors wholeheartedly.
Is it good news or bad news?
Chetan Bhagat, the author of seminal books like Five Point Someone — by seminal we mean the sales impact they created — has carved a niche for himself in the publishing space and is sitting comfortably there as someone in a gold-class seat, enjoying a trashy film.
Now, he has announced on social media that he has completed his next book, which will release in October. Considering how bindaas Rishi Kapoor is about expressing his opinion on Twitter, a parody account has already tweeted, "Thanks for the warning, Sir!"
The man behind the mask
Actor Harshvardhan Kapoor arrives at an Andheri mall to promote his latest superhero release. Pic/Satej Shinde
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Cat tied up and burnt alive inside Oshiwara complex