Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
With a little help from my friends
An assistant handles the dress train as Esha Gupta negotiates a road in Film City on Monday to get to the set of a reality show. Pic/Satej Shinde
Saving our national heritage animal
Actor Dia Mirza is known for being a strong supporter of living green. Mirza was recently tagged by Hollywood actor Adrian Grenier on Twitter to switch to a biodegradable version of a daily item of use (she chose sanitary napkins). In addition to this, Mirza headed to the hills of Meghalaya to support the Gaj Yatra campaign (in pic) that works to provide safe passage corridors for elephants, an initiative of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Wildlife Trust of India.
Not many would know that back in the '90s, Shabana Azmi was among the first celebs to talk about women's right to sanitary hygiene — not a small feat given how the issue is shrouded. It is fitting then that on Menstrual Hygiene Day yesterday, Azmi was invited to Delhi for a discussion by Niine Movement, an initiative to empower women and tackle the taboos associated with menstruation. "Truly humbling to see the courage and commitment of the catalysts for change," said the actor on social media.
A smart film
Though some people might find it hard to believe, we live in a day and age when a smartphone is all you need to shoot a film. That's exactly the tool that the makers of Unfateful used for the micro-budget movie. It's a road-trip film featuring four strangers who are carpooling their way across South India. But the film's journey will only be complete if a crowdfunding effort to finance it is successful. And we can trust that the director, Seby Varghese, will use the money wisely, given that he is an auditor who has taken a sabbatical to make his debut film.
Benegal says it
At a recent event, veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal and director of Newton, Amit Masurkar, came together for a tête-à-tête. The session was held to felicitate Masurkar on his recent National Award. The evening was held at Talmakiwadi in Tardeo, one of the oldest housing cooperative societies for the Chitrapur Saraswat community, to which both Benegal and Masurkar belong. As the evening progressed, proceedings took an interesting turn when moderator and former journalist Chaitanya Padukone asked Masurkar what made him accept the award even as several winners chose to boycott the ceremony upon learning that the President won't be handing it over. "For me, it was the award that mattered," he said. But Benegal chose not to mince words. "This was an award of the state and, if the president doesn't come to give the award, it is insulting. You are disrespecting the republic, which you are supposed to represent. It shouldn't have been done this way. It was much too casual," he said.
Ambi Parameswaran, the man who offered us a quirky, fun take on Indian advertising in his book — Nawabs, Nudes and Noodles, is back after a commercial break (pun intended entirely). That book looked at 50 years of Indian advertising, its highs and lows, and most powerful campaigns that affected the Indian consumer. After sharing priceless gems of gyaan about that rollercoaster ride, he's now ready with Sponge: Leadership Lessons I Learnt From My clients (Westland). This title from the advertising guru, and former head at FCB Ulka, borrows from the intriguing, engaging conversations that Parameswaran had with some of the big daddies in the Indian corporate world. Known for his easy-going, anecdote-laced writing, this one is sure to keep this diarist hooked for the same reason why we consider his earlier title as an encyclopaedic guide to Indian advertising.
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