Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
The beauty and the happy beast
Rohit Shetty and Karishma Tanna pose with an ominious but cheery gorilla to promote a reality show, at a five-star on Monday. Pic/ Anurag Ahire
Sunday night at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CST) was no ordinary one as the odd passerby was greeted by a motorcycle stunt by freestyle stunt riding champion Aaron Colton. The American athlete is in the country for a show of his stunts later this week at Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar but couldn't pass up on the stunning photo op. This diarist learnt that while on his pit-stop, he tried a wheelie and then some surfing at the landmark. Colton first learned to ride at the age of two only to become the youngest XDL National Stunt Riding Champion at 15.
In the name of Saadat Hasan Manto
Saadat Hasan Manto, one of the greatest Urdu writers of all time, lived only to the age of 42. But in that time, he left behind a prolific body of work that constitutes the highly acclaimed Chugad among others. Many titles have been written on him, and there is now an addition to that list. Actor-director Nandita Das has penned Manto & I, which was recently launched at a Mahalaxmi venue in the presence of Nawazuddin Siddique and Rasika Duggal, who essayed the roles of Manto and his wife in a film Das directed in 2018. She said, "I think we all have Mantoniyat in us in different measures. When I say Mantoiyat, I mean the will to be more free-spirited, to be more honest and courageous. When we see people who are that way, we envy it — we also want to be that way. So in many ways, this book is dedicated to all the Mantos in the world."
Help flows in
A new project put together by ad guru Piyush Pandey and pianist Louiz Banks seeks to highlight the issue of water scarcity. The duo has roped in stalwarts Zakir Hussain, Shankar Mahadevan and Mame Khan for the effort, to support over 1,000 villages. "When it means coming together to create a unified voice to conserve water, it is only natural that we, as artistes, take it upon ourselves to drive efforts collectively to help our water-stressed nation," Banks said about this awareness project.
Curb the clapping mid-show
On Sunday, this diarist witnessed a set of performances featuring Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires, conductor Augustin Dumay and the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) at the NCPA. The audience was alerted about the movements in each of the Mozart and Beethoven pieces via projection but clapped between them — a strict no-no at concerts as it can be highly distracting. And thus, right before the interval concluded, associate music director Zane Dalal requested the audience to "please refrain from clapping between movements," much to everyone's amusement. We wonder if this conduct will be adhered to at their concert today.
For the love of dissent
Pic/ Ashish Raje
It was an evening of art and slogans as this diarist witnessed Swara Bhasker's India, My Valentine. The stage was set with Poojan Sahil's reinterpretation of Bollywood songs with lyrics that echoed with the countrywide anti-CAA protests. Following this, the audience had a good laugh with a line-up of comics. There was also poetry in different forms, with lyricists Raj Shekhar and Swanand Kirkire reciting their own, Delhi-based Madara taking to rap and Saba Azad presenting a musical version of Faiz's Ahmed Faiz's Hum dekhenge. Naseeruddin Shah chose to read an excerpt from Nehru's The Discovery of India while Ratna Pathak Shah chose poetry too. But it was poet Aamir Aziz, with his powerful recital of Jamia ki ladkiyan and Sab yaad rakha jaayega, who commanded a standing ovation. This diarist spotted Swara Bhasker doing a happy jig in the front row as the Sophia Bhabha auditorium resounded in claps.
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