Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

Updated: Aug 14, 2018, 08:16 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

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

Sharmila Tagore and Soha Ali Khan at the festival in Dehradun
Sharmila Tagore and Soha Ali Khan at the festival in Dehradun

Nostalgia in the hills
While the highlight of the recently concluded Dehradun Literature Festival was The Ruskin Bond – Promising Writer Award, those who attended the three-day event were in for a heartwarming peek into the bond the Pataudi family shares. Soha Ali Khan and Sharmila Tagore hosted a session in the idyllic hill station to talk about the former’s new book, The Perils of Being Moderately Famous.

In it, Khan chronicles many tales from her life and some of those came to light during the talk as well. The audience there was made privy to stories that are as funny as they are touching. The one that we heard of is a sweet tale about Tagore’s late husband and Indian cricket captain Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi using his love and knowledge of Urdu poetry to woo the uninitiated actress, who learnt only from Feroz Khan that the poem meant for her was really written by Mirza Ghalib. Khan, too shared a story about her father giving up his socks to ensure she got to be part of her college ceremony that had made stockings mandatory. As if Dehradun’s charm wasn’t enough, now with these nuggets of nostalgia, our FOMO levels have only risen.

What a birdie said
This diarist happened to be at Famous Studios over the weekend for a gig featuring the Brooklyn-based DJ, Anthony Naples. The crowd there was a mix of SoBo’s swish set and their counterparts from Bandra, who made a rare trek to Mahalaxmi. And we also spotted a few celebrities, one of whom is a recently separated actor while another is a South African fashion designer.

DJ Anthony Naples

Now, we can’t confirm this news ourselves, but a reliable source tells us that the duo were up to some PDA behind the DJ console. It’s not our case here to make any moral judgment, but then again, if there’s some chatpata gossip floating about, we won’t hesitate in bringing it to your notice.

The head penguin to fly away
Twenty-two years can be a long time in today’s insta-everything age. And a lifetime if you’ve been an employee of the same organisation. For Hemali Sodhi, senior VP (marketing) and publisher (children’s books), her stay at Penguin India (now Penguin Random House India) has been that long a journey. She finally called time on her role with the publishing house yesterday via a post on social media. Sodhi will continue to be with her employers till October 31, and intends to take a sabbatical after that.

With Ruskin Bond at a literature event in Delhi
With Ruskin Bond at a literature event in Delhi

But the canine-loving publisher dropped a hint in her post stating that she plans to “stay connected to publishing in some way…” She is married to Ananth Padmanabhan, CEO, HarperCollins India, who interestingly, held the same profile at Penguin before he moved to the other big fish in Delhi’s publishing world.

Mario wave at Dabolim airport
It is hard not to remember a Mario Miranda sketch. It was more than just scenes from life in Goa and Bombay for, he didn’t simply draw characters, but brought them to life. The Mario Gallery, which houses a collection of artworks and merchandise both online and in stores across Mumbai and Goa, is now opening a new store in the domestic section at Dabolim airport.

Mario Miranda

Visitors can hope to collect limited edition prints, CDs, books and clothing from the store, before they hop onto their flight. Finally, memorabilia to carry home from your Goa vacation gets a worthy upgrade.

A majestic opening
The ongoing Gaj Mahotsav dedicated to the celebration and conservation of the Asian elephant may be taking place in Delhi, but Mumbai features prominently in the festival. While the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) ambassador Dia Mirza launched a wildlife anthem at the event, artists Brinda Miller and Bandana Jain’s elephant installation is garnering praise at the festival too. But the one performance attendees can’t stop raving about is the opening dance by eminent contemporary dancer Astad Deboo.

“The piece, called Nistarana, [or deliverance] was commissioned by the WTI. And I thought why not include my street children in Delhi, whom I have worked with since 2007, in the performance? They are young adults now, and I have kept in touch with them over the years,” Deboo told this diarist. The piece started with a depiction of elephants in the wild and how a clash with them affects humans too.

Easy stardom is an eyewash
Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor
Shraddha Kapoor gives her eyes a soothing break in the middle of a promotional event for her film as co-star Rajkummar Rao waits. Pic/Sameer Markande

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