Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Tales

Jul 14, 2015, 08:07 IST | Sachin Kalbag, Devarajan Mahadevan, Fiona Fernandez

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

How Keith Richards stayed in shape
Yesterday, we were introduced to a lighter side of former Congress MP Milind Deora. The soft-spoken guitarist got into a mildly intense discussion with this diarist on how technology has changed the music industry, and how that, in turn, has resulted in the changing lifestyles of bohemian musicians, especially Rock stars.

Keith Richards. Pic Courtesy/AFP
Keith Richards. Pic Courtesy/AFP

Deora has an interesting theory, which may or may not bear out on empirical evidence, but it was interesting anyway. He regaled us with a story on how Keith Richards, the guitar legend from the Brit band The Rolling Stones, would have experimented with possibly every narcotic available on planet earth, but it never seemed to affect his health.

The answer to this, Deora told us, came in a documentary made on the band by noted filmmaker Martin Scorcese called Shine A Light. In the movie’s outtakes, former US President Bill Clinton (a big fan of The Stones) asks him the secret for his lean yet fit body structure. Richards tells him, “I am made of good stock.”

So, anyway, Deora feels that because music has shifted online, and the revenues from CD sales have dipped and piracy being rampant, musicians increasingly rely on tours to make money, and that this has resulted in them becoming far more involved in the business of music, and not just in making music alone.

The latter may have left them with enough time to try drugs of all sorts. “But the digital music business,” Deora told us, “may have actually affected the heroin sales among Rock stars. If Keith Richards were to be as active today as he was in the 1970s, would he have perhaps been a less colourful character?” Ah, a point to ponder, no?

The ACK stable expands
We saw it coming. A short while back, the big daddies of children’s literature in India, Amar Chitra Katha released the first novel by ACK Alive, the novel imprint from the icons of Indian publishing. Titled Counter Theft, and written by Renuka Vishwanathan, the story is being dubbed as an edge-of-the-seat thriller.

It is available for download as an e-book on Kindle, Ibook and Magster. It costs Rs 225 on stands. Here’s looking to many more from the stable that has given generations of Indians so much of joy and pride for our rich culture and the countless stories from our country.

Throwing light on a cause?

This sign, exhorting the masses to “save energy”, graces the RCF building (Priyadarshini building), at Chunabhatti. And yes, it glows bright throughout the night. Pic/Pradeep DhivarThis sign, exhorting the masses to “save energy”, graces the RCF building (Priyadarshini building), at Chunabhatti. And yes, it glows bright throughout the night. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Being short-changed
The shortage of change or ‘upar ka paisa’ as the phrase in Mumbai lingo goes, with our taxi drivers has reached levels of unbelievable frequency.

Gone are the days when they would graciously (and readily) return Rs 1; these days, forget about getting back Rs 5, even, as this diarist learnt, not after being told off, rather rudely, by one such taxi driver.

“Aap log ko chhutta paisa rakhna chahiye,” was his reply. Now, we know. The term ‘short-changed’ must probably have been coined (pun intended, entirely) by an unsuspecting passenger in one of Mumbai’s iconic kaali-peeli taxi cabs.

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