Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

Updated: Mar 14, 2019, 08:07 IST | Team mid-day

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

Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier
Kalki Koechlin

I want that one
What's a girl who doesn't like to shop? Kalki Koechlin makes her preference apparent at the launch of an accessories line. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Doha calling
The first large-scale exhibition of MF Husain's artworks will soon be held at the Mathaf Museum in Doha, and the person who has been chosen to curate it is Mumbai's very own Ranjit Hoskote.

MF Husain and Ranjit Hoskote
MF Husain and Ranjit Hoskote

The poet and art critic told this diarist that the exhibition will be called Horses of the Sun, and will showcase over 100 works spanning different medium, including painting and film. He added, "It's tragic that everyone only sees him through the kind of mistreatment that came his way in his last days. People don't realise that the works for which he was vilified were actually commissioned by Ram Manohar Lohia in 1969. So, the idea that he was somehow insulting Indian sentiment is just nonsense."

Tara Deshpande's #20yearchallenge
There's lots happening for author and former actor Tara Deshpande, who has been quiet for a while now, at least as far as writing is concerned. Well, there's good news for her fans as she recently put up a post about how she's writing a sequel to her 1999 book 50 and Done, besides working on a new version of the title. "I wrote 50 and Done in 1999 at the cusp of the millennium.

Tara Deshpande

It was my first book and a collection of short stories and verse. It was set in the Bombay of the '90s, and was dedicated to my father who was killed in a road accident at 49, a few days before his 50th birthday. He was on a mission in the Dominican Republic to help victims of mine bombs by teaching locals the Jaipur foot technology. The revised edition will have the same stories and a few new ones. The sequel will bring back some of these characters in the Mumbai of 2020," she told this diarist.

Gul makes a point
In light of the tragic air crash in Ethiopia, where 157 lives were lost, we came across a series of tweets by actor-entrepreneur Gul Panag, who also holds a private pilot license. In her posts, she has been tracking developments related to Boeing 737 — the aircraft's pilot reported flight control problems — and how major regulators across the UK, European Union, China, Australia, Singapore and finally, India have suspended Boeing 737 MAX operations for now.

Gul Panag

"There are two perspectives here. As a citizen, I am concerned because we all need to be sure that we are flying in an aircraft that is safe," Panag told this diarist. "Second, I fly a small plane, and I am not a subject expert. But it appears that the Lion air crash [the Indonesian aircraft that crashed into the Java Sea in October 2018] and the Ethiopian air crash are possibly due to a similar malfunction, pending inquiry. And if that is the case, then Boeing needs to act as a responsible manufacturer and assuage the concerns of not just the aviation community but those of passengers too."

Loo and behold
On Tuesday night, past the beautiful stretch of road on Chowpatty Sea Face, this diarist entered the Mumbai Press Club premises. The visit to the ages-old institution was inspired by a washroom emergency. Once there, as we made our way to the ladies restroom, we spotted a sanitary napkin vending machine in the ground floor loo.

Loo and behold

For an industry that is represented by so many women, a vending machine such as this inside the Press Club should hardly be surprising, but the absence of provision for women's sanitation across the city, such as at metro stations and railway stations, made this observation one to cherish, winning our heartfelt vote.

Ninety years and counting
The Rotary Club of Bombay (RCB) has pioneered the national Rotary movement. Founded on March 19, 1929, the club will complete 90 years next week. In light of the celebrations, the group has already started posting nuggets of nostalgia on its Instagram page. One post in particular talks of how the group is indebted to JRD Tata who opened the doors of the Taj Mahal Palace — where the members meet every Tuesday, just like they did for their first get-together nine decades ago.

Another post talks of the fact that the medallion for the Paul Harris fellow — there are more than one million Paul Harris fellows worldwide — is awarded to those who contribute $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. While RCB continues to work towards institutions in the city — with their Urban Heritage Committee supporting the Asiatic Society of Mumbai, for instance — this is a landmark worth the celebration.

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