Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
This round's on varun
Actor Varun Dhawan runs around in circles at an event to mark World Environment Day, near Juhu Beach on Tuesday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Feet on the ground
When we come across Bollywood actors putting up pictures of their vacations, it is usually in some bustling city like New York, London or Paris, or in some exotic locale like Bali and the Mediterranean coastline. That's why it came as a breath of fresh air when we stumbled upon a photo that Sanjay Mishra had posted on his social media profile. The star of such big-budget films like Dilwale, Kick and the Golmaal series was seated with his feet up on a first-class berth, looking as comfortable as can be with a laptop before him and some scribbled notes on the side. He captioned the photograph, "Reading and writing are richly rewarding. #ActorsLife." Goes to show that despite the trappings of stardom, some people still manage to keep their feet firmly on the ground.
No rhyme, no reason
The other day, at a gig by rapper Prabh Deep, something he said towards the end of his show set us thinking. "This is going to be my 15th track for the night. How many Indian rappers will you find who can spit out 14 to 15 originals over two hours?" he asked. It was a good question. While Indian hip-hop is definitely on the ascendancy, the amount of content that each artiste churns out is sporadic at best. And even if a rapper is starting to find his voice, he will gain attention beyond the streets and gullies only if he signs up with a major label or finds Bollywood acceptance. But is that the best way to ensure that the scene grows in a healthy manner? We are not sure, but our hunch is that the answer might lie somewhere else.
Shabana caught on wrong foot
The WhatsApp University can get the better of even the vigilant and the wise. Recently, Shabana Azmi shared a video of a few men washing utensils in murky water, tagging the Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal, to look into it. The video has been doing the rounds on social media, which identifies the men as employees of the Indian Railways. The ministry tweeted at the veteran actor clarifying that the clip is of a Malaysian eatery, which shut down after the video surfaced. Azmi, however, was quick to accept her faux pas and retweeted the clarification saying she stood corrected. The incident serves as a reminder for all of us to look before we tweet, especially in this era of fake news.
A big day is coming up for auction house Saffronart. Eighteen years after it was established, it's now gearing up to host its 200th auction on June 13 and 14. And the firm is going in all guns blazing, featuring works of some of the biggest names in Indian art. The pièce de résistance is Tyeb Mehta's 1989 painting, Kali (in pic), which will go under the hammer for Rs 19.5 to 26 crore. Add to that names like SH Raza, Raja Ravi Verma and FN Souza, and we have a truly blockbuster line-up of people whose works you can lay your hands on.
Why Tharoor has high hopes
It's an open secret that India possibly has enough cannabis smokers to outnumber the entire population of some nations. Be it urban folk in metropolitan cities or people in smaller towns, consuming ganja or hashish is de riguer for a significant portion of our countrymen. But while bhang continues to be had with much fanfare during special occasions, and there are government-approved bhang shops in places like Puri and Jaisalmer, marijuana continues to remain outside the ambit of the law. So, isn't it high time that we changed the rule books and made smoking pot legal? That isn't a question we are posing, before you make any assumptions. In fact, it's a Parliamentarian — the famously eloquent Shashi Tharoor — who has brought it up in an opinion piece published on an online news outlet. Tharoor makes a clear-cut argument for legalising marijuana, pointing to examples in the rest of the world that have eventually proved beneficial for the place concerned, eg. Colorado. But it's one thing to pen an article and another to see the move actually materialise. So, we wouldn't recommend anyone to get their hopes high, with there being no pun intended here.
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