Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
What's up, alia?
Something above Alia Bhatt seems to have caught her attention, while she and Katrina Kaif pose for shutterbugs at an event in Mahalaxmi. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Who's your favourite doggie?
This year, the folks at The Welfare of Stray Dogs decided to use the 'favourite tag.' In a good way, that is. Their 2018 calendar, These are a few of My Favourite Things, showcases Mumbai's strays doing just that — where these four-legged friends doing their favourite stuff. As you flip through the calendar, you'll spot these models in chill, alert or prankster mode. These showstoppers across the city have been captured by Rutu Dave, Vedika Singhania, Rehaan Goregaoker, Anil Purohit, Khushnaz Khambata and Abodh Aras. Priced at Rs 200 each (wall and desk versions), its sale proceeds will go towards WSD's sterilisation, immunisation and healthcare programmes. Check out wsdindia.org to get your copy.
In June this year, this newspaper had published an article on a comic, Spreading Your Wings, to educate rural Indian girls on menstrual hygiene, puberty and social norms by American writer Ariana Abadian-Heifetz (inset). The idea for the book, which uses positive metaphors to describe changes during puberty, had struck Ariana, who is also a consultant on gender and sexuality and empowerment, when she conducted training sessions on women's health under the Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana in UP. The comic, which was in the crowd-funding stage then, is now complete and available for pre-orders. With a bodily function still coming in the way of millions of girls, this 100-pager should help them spread their wings.
Churchgate to Vakola, in one stylish night
It's too small a sample size to make the deduction, we are sure, 'burbites will argue, but SoBoites in the newsroom consider it one more win for their side of the city. On Friday, Mumbai saw two grand parties. One at Gucci's Nariman Point outpost to celebrate the onset of the holidays, and the other at Vakola's Hyatt to announce the reopening of China House Lounge. The first was disadvantaged by address, we thought. Imagine a party inside a store lined with racks.
The second was naturally powered by a venue spread across the basement of a five-star. And still, the first stole the thunder. Actor Jim Sarbh, musician Imaad Shah with girlfriend Saba Azad, singer Monica Dogra, and entrepreneurs and society hosts Roohi and Chetan Jaikishan kept the evening stylish as DJ Zokhuma (we love the dreadlocks) gradually upped the tempo. The central pit of the boutique turned into a dancefloor while a bunch of quirkily dressed folk mingled over champagne and hors d'oeuvre (we also loved the chicken pâté over apricot coins).
Twenty two kms across the city, a nightspot that had decided to resurrect itself housed faces we didn't recognise (except for Rajesh Khattar if that counts), served food we didn't see, and did nothing for our sartorial appetite. A sea of men and women in stretched lycra crowding a bar doesn't make a hit party.
A reel big catch from London
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, is in Mumbai at present, dining with the likes of the Ambanis and the who's who of the film world. And we now hear that he has announced the biggest-ever UK-India television production, a remake of MM Kaye's classic book, The Far Pavilions. Worth a whopping £113 million, the 2018 show will have 30 one-hour long episodes and have both Indian and British professionals in its cast and crew. This follows on the heels of a micro-budget feature called The Hungry that The British Film Commission — which is producing The Far Pavilions — had bankrolled. But nothing matches the scale of £113 million, an amount with which you can make something like The Hungry, which had a budget of roughly Rs 3 crore, more than 300 times over.
Passing on the 'Junoon'
A couple of years ago, when this diarist caught up with the late Shashi Kapoor's daughter, Sanjna, at their office that is housed in a flat in an Andheri society, she was in the middle of an exciting phase with Junoon, her theatre adventure that she passionately pursues with Sameera Iyengar. Somewhere while tracing her path, she turned the clock back, recalling her parents Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendall's influence on her stage calling. "Shakespearana was all that Junoon is hoping to embody. It gives me inspiration on how to create a programme based on rich experiences around India," Kapoor had said then. With the Kapoors, genes truly maketh the family.
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Mumbai desperately prays for rains