Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
A couple of reactions
Husband-wife duo Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone respond to the mid-day photographer with different expressions, after exiting Zoya Akhtar's Christmas party in Bandra on Tuesday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Kher, koi nahin, Anupam!
Actor Anupam Kher has made no bones about which way his political leanings sway, wearing his right-wing attributes on his sleeve. So, it was no surprise when he came out with a statement condemning his peer, Naseeruddin Shah, for saying that he fears for his children in India given the current state of affairs. "There is so much freedom in the country that you can abuse the army, badmouth the air chief and pelt stones at the soldiers. How much more freedom do you need in a country?" he had asked.
Which is a fair enough question, you might say, except that it contradicts a statement that Kher had himself made in 2016, when he had told a news channel, "I'm scared today to say openly that I am a Hindu." Comedian Aditi Mittal was the one who drew this parallel, and in case the irony is lost on you, Kher had insinuated with his earlier statement that there indeed is a lack of freedom in the country, in line with Shah's view. Perhaps a clarification is in order, Anupamji?
Adding Sauce to Indian hip-hop
When the stand-out hip-hop star of 2018, Prabh Deep, had spoken to this paper last May ahead of a gig in Mumbai, he had said, "Everything pisses me off. If I am paying my taxes, why can't I demand smooth roads? Why can't people drive in designated lanes? It's the little niggles that bother me." This unfiltered rage had found expression in the Delhi rapper's debut album, Class-Sikh, which had signalled a new direction for Indian hip-hop when it released in 2017. But in the same interview, Prabh had also said that the new material he was working on would not be as aggressive.
"I have found a [calmer] way to tackle the root of issues I will talk about," he had revealed. That promise has proven to be true, going by the sound of his latest release, a single called Sauce, in collaboration with Lit Happu and Sez on the Beat. It's a track that is, well, melodic, and like his earlier songs, rooted in life on the streets of the Capital. The video, too, takes viewers on a tour of the bylanes of East Delhi, with electric wires hanging perilously overhead and children pulling off stunts on scootys. Do we dig this latest offering? You bet we do.
Please give Peace a chance
When Deepak Peace, the Pune-based singer-songwriter, had released his album, Aaj Ke Naam, last year, he had pulled no punches in bringing the present government down to size. Sample the lyrics in one of the tracks — "Hey Mr Prime Minister/ Tum ho kaha/ Ek aur jhoota khwab/ Marne ko yahan".
The album had found a place on the streaming platform JioSaavn, which, however, has now pulled it down. This, after a user lodged a complaint since, according to him, "it is an utterly disrespectful song with obscene lyrics targeting Modi ji", to which our response is, "Freedom of speech marne ko yahan."
All set for lights, camera and action
Everyday objects have been an area of exploration for the city-based Harkat Studios for a while. First came the short film And Sometimes She Loved Me Too — featuring Yuki Ellias and Neil Bhoopalam — which was screened alongside an exhibition of objects left behind after a relationship. And now, its co-founder Karan Talwar has begun work on the second draft of Kuch Choti Chitrayi Yaadein, a feature-length film, the pre-production work for which will kick off in early 2019.
"The film is an extension of our work with everyday objects. It's about a father and son who haven't spoken in years, but have now been forced to come together because of circumstances. The plot is set in Delhi, and for the exhibition to go with the film, the objects have been sourced from Delhi itself," Talwar told this diarist.
Charity begins at a Bandra bar
Four months ago, life came crashing for 27-year-old factory worker Bikki when he was diagnosed with cancer. He is the sole breadwinner of his family and has a wife and child to support. Around two weeks ago, doctors at a premier Andheri hospital gave him only two more months to live unless he was able to gather '45 lakh for treatment.
Bikki (in blue) with his family
That's when Dishant Pritamani, founder of Bandra resto-pub The Daily, heard of him and decided to extend his support. He urged his team at the watering hole, as well as family and friends, to loosen their purse strings and help Bikki. Perfectly in time for spreading the giving spirit this Christmas, we think.
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