Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
We love the sound of this music
It's a film that doesn't get old no matter how many times you watch it. In fact, The Sound of Music is one of "our favourite things" in movie-making history, with melodies that are as hummable today as when the film was released in 1965. Now, a Broadway version is being brought to the Subcontinent, or Sri Lanka to be precise. Colombo is the lucky city that gets to host it, but Indians needn't fret, since a tour package of two nights at a luxury property is up for grabs. So, if the story of Maria, Captain Von Trapp and the kids gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling, we feel that it's time for you to say, "So long, farewell," to Mumbai between February 14 and 18, which is when the musical will be staged in the neighbouring island nation.
Introducing, the paint police
Back in December last year, NGO Chal Rang De initiated a slum beautification project in Asalpha, Ghatkopar. About 400 volunteers helped paint 120 walls in various bright shades. Since January 20, the team has once again taken up a new area to splash colours with, this time, it's the Sakinaka police station.
The theme is Villains of Bollywood Under Arrest. Dedeepya Reddy, director of the project, tells us that they had visited the police station for permissions for the Asalpha project, and that's when Senior PI Avinash Dharmadikari suggested that they paint over the police station too.
"People have a negative perception about the police; the inspector felt that only criminals should fear the police, and not civilians. This will give the area a welcoming, secure vibe. For the art, we have put popular Bollywood goons behind bars and tweaked famous dialogues, such as 'Mogambo na khush hua'," says Reddy. Hum bhi khush hai.
Plaques to boast about
It's a sign of changing times. At least, it's what this diarist, a heritage buff would like to believe. Gone were the days when any honour conferred on a heritage building or project would go unnoticed, let alone create a buzz in print or social media. In a refreshing departure from the inactive BMC babus of yore, a senior civic official attached to A Ward is breaking this stereotype.
His team and senior bosses played a key role in restoring a few landmarks (in pic) in his ward. When they were complete, he took to social media to share the news, and now, after the world governing body for heritage restoration sent its stamp of approval, once again, the media-savvy gent posted photos of the newly-minted plaques meant to be installed at these landmarks. Nice!
Can we see the itinerary, please?
The Elephanta Festival organised by our state tourism board will take place this weekend, and this time, the organisers sounded pretty kicked with their itinerary. The big performers include Sufi artistes, Wadali Brothers, Puranchand and Pyarelal, and Punjabi singer, Hans Raj Hans, All we could gather from the initial bytes was that visits to the cave sites, treasure hunts and painting sessions will be a part of the itinerary. Curious for more dope, we clicked on the official website of the festival, only to be informed that it had been blocked. And to think, we imagined things would be different this time. Sigh.
Banners no more
For this diarist, who has covered the Mumbai marathon for 15 years, which is from its inception, one of the sad parts is the vanishing banners that would line the route, with their witty posters which would provoke a laugh, or a smile. We recall a runner who sported a small branch of a shrub stuck on to the back of his shirt, to reinforce the 'Save the Environment' message.
A couple of bystanders with banners at a previous edition of the marathon
Quirks like these are becoming few and far, which is unfortunate because they were part of the charm. This time, we did spot a few spectators with banners, like one near Haji Ali that read: 'Sweat is Sexy'. What is sexy is taking the trouble to create posters and make a statement en route. Do that again, Mumbai.
Arre baba! Look who is part of a dance show
Baba Ramdev and actor Hema Malini step out of a vanity van in between shoots for a dance reality show at a studio in Malad yesterday.
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