Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
The fearless midnight walkers of Mumbai
For some years now, India has become home to some fascinating subversive movements for the assertion of women's rights. The Pink Chaddi campaign was born as a response to an attack on a group of women in a Mangalore pub, the transnational movement SlutWalk was replicated in many cities of India, and reactions to the Nirbhaya rape case continue to find creative expression.
One such response, the Mumbai-based Why Loiter movement, has recently found itself on the BBC's 100 Women list that names inspirational women around the world every year. Inspired by the eponymous book written by Sameera Khan, Shilpa Phadke and Shilpa Ranade, the movement is about women reclaiming public spaces, especially at night, when it is not considered safe.
The workings of the movement are seemingly simple. Neha Singh, the brain behind Why Loiter, along with a gang of women, ventures out for a midnight walk once every month. The women roam the streets of Mumbai until 3 am, sending out a strong message — and raising eyebrows. They have encountered creepy men and have been questioned by cops, but the night routine has given them the confidence to deal with it all. You go girls, we say.
All in good humour
Last weekend, it was heartwarming to see the heavyweights (pun intended) of comedy, Tanmay Bhatt and Biswa Kalyan Rath show up at a Juhu multiplex to support The Viral Fever's (TVF) new webseries Humorously Yours that launches on December 11. The duo had the packed house in splits as they narrated hilarious anecdotes about their nascent years in the business. When asked about the most embarrassing incident, Bhatt confessed in one word, "Snapchat", referring to his controversial video on Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar.
Amit Golani in conversation with Vipul Goyal, Biswa Kalyan Rath and Tanmay Bhatt. Pic/Poonam Bathija
Post a showreel of Arunabh Kumar and Co.'s work in the past four years (Permanent Roommates received the loudest applause), we were privy to the first two episodes of the upcoming webseries, starring the popular stand-up comic, Vipul Goyal and actress Rasika Dugal. Directed by Amit Golani, it throws light on the life and struggles of a stand-up comic. Striking a fine balance between realism and humour, with cameos by Sapan Verma and Varun Thakur thrown in, it was the perfect antidote to a manic week. You know what they say about laughter being the best med, right?
Look who met the Bachelor Boy
In any home where songs like Summer Holiday, Lucky Lips and Bachelor Boy were played on loop, it would be easy to join the dots with music legend, Cliff Richard. We're tempted to believe that senior TV journalist Vikram Chandra belongs to that group. Which is why we didn't miss the almost fanboy-like post recently where he got photographed with the British music icon.
Vikram Chandra and Cliff Richard
He wrote: What a treat — to meet and listen to this legend. Most successful "born in India" musician ever!' For the uninitiated, Richard was born in Lucknow and schooled in the prestigious La Martiniere College.
Rave reviews for Rahul already
All set for a premiere any day now, Rahul Bose's production and directorial venture, Poorna, is already in the process of being screened before an interesting audience. Recently, air rifle shooter Gagan Narang was all praise for the film that captures the inspiring journey of Poorna Malavath, the tribal girl from Telangana who became the youngest girl in history to scale Mount Everest.
A scene from the film, Poorna
A few days earlier, it was Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw who had really liked the 'brilliant' biopic. Given its plot and the fact that Bose is also acting in it, this will be one movie to watch out for.
In these times of cash crunch, those who own some form of plastic money are privileged and have little to complain about. But looks like, having debit or credit cards in the wallet is no panacea. TV foodies Rocky and Mayur were in Gujarat recently, where hotels, restaurants and travel agents dealt in nothing but cash.
Back in Mumbai, celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor tweeted his displeasure on realising that the Lilavati hospital canteen does not accept credit cards, while comedian Varun Grover posted that the popular Bandra eatery, Candies, still accepts only cash. First world problems? Sure, but what seems evident is that the country's economy is still a far cry from being a cashless one.
Mumbai to run out of water soon?