Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
He's for the whole world in his hands
Industrialist Mukesh Ambani lends wife Nita a hand to navigate a waterlogged street as they enter a SoBo art gallery on Tuesday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Artistic help for Kerala from Mumbai
Whether it's manmade tragedies like terror attacks or natural disasters like incessant rains, Mumbai has been through it all. Which is why, it's not uncommon to see Mumbaikars plunge into action when they see fellow Indians suffer. While Bollywood celebs have been using their reach to call for funds for Kerala flood victims, it is this initiative by Chembur-based Pooja Subramanian that won our heart.
The chartered accountant who is an artist by passion has designed kathakali-themed bag tags, which she is selling for Rs 100 each. All proceeds from the sale of the tags till August 31 will be donated to the Kerala relief fund. "We speak of corporate social responsibility. So being an entrepreneur, I wondered what I could do for the victims. And that's when the idea of bag tags struck me," she told this diarist. If you, too, wish to do your bit, log on to Attinee Creations on Facebook.
To simpler times
We know Raghu Ram from his days as a judge on the reality show Roadies, where he suffered no fools and took them to the cleaners with the choicest cuss words. But turns out that in real life, Ram would rather engage with people bearing a white flag in hand. For, after deactivating his Facebook account, he posted an unusual message on Twitter. In it, he said he'd unfollow everyone on his list, asked for suggestions for funny handles to follow and promised to mute trolls. He also stated that he wouldn't post anything political in nature, saying, "We all had opinions even before Twitter came along, and I want to get back to a simpler time." We hear you, Raghu, we hear you.
Football forever for this bunch
The World Cup might well be over, but for committed fans, football is forever. Take for example photographer and producer Atul Kasbekar, who is a soccer maniac. In a recent post, we were made privy to some serious bonhomie wherein Kasbekar can be seen with fellow fans out on what he called an annual football dinner. The list included shiny names like Abhishek Bachchan, Gaurav Kapur and Rohan Sippy. While at it, we also learnt where the allegiances lie. While for Junior Bachchan it's Chelsea all the way, Kapur and Sippy seem to support Liverpool, with Kasbekar on the Arsenal bandwagon (of course!).
A trip down the Asiad lane
It is nostalgia time and the ongoing Asian Games in Jakarta takes this reporter back to the 1994 Asian Games held in Hiroshima, Japan. As a sports reporter for this paper, covering the Games in the Land of the Rising Sun was as much a sporting challenge as a cultural one. Several Indian journalists faced significant obstacles when it came to vegetarian food and the language. One has to remember that there was no social media at that time and the Internet had not blurred borders between countries. One remembers at a restaurant near the press centre, used for journalists to file their dispatches for the Games, the Japanese manager insisted on telling yours truly on a daily basis, "I know you come from the land of the long-haired God, the Ali Baba…" All was forgiven, though, for the stupendous vegetarian spaghetti served at the eatery. On another gastronomic note, there are memories of commuting in the Japanese Shinkansen (bullet train), where like Mumbai, vendors would sell peanuts, albeit at some astronomical yen. When it comes to food, it's aamchi Mumbai all the way!
For the love of film
Film preservation may still be an area that deserves far more attention than it receives in India. But the good work being done in the field by Mumbai's Film Heritage Foundation (FHF) is getting international acclaim, for sure. Celebrated filmmaker Christopher Nolan was in the city in April to discuss the future of the medium of film with FHF director Shivendra Singh Dungarpur (Above).
And now, the foundation has received a letter of support from veteran American filmmaker Martin Scorsese (Above) for a film preservation and restoration workshop that it is organising in Kolkata on the occasion of Bengali cinema completing a century. Coming from Scorsese, the founder of an NGO dedicated to film preservation, this counts as another feather in Dungarpur's cap.
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