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Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Updated on: 20 December,2020 07:30 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Team SMD |

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

Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Pic/Atul Kamble

Santa on duty

Dressed as Santa, Mumbaikar Ashok Kurmi conducts a sanitisation operation in Sion. Kurmi says that he celebrates Christmas every year by distributing toys and chocolates to children, but this year, he decided to spread awareness about COVID-19 instead.

Brings back memories

Rajeshwari Kori

Not many know but Rajeshwari Kori, the first Indian woman to have sailed on board a warship, had a fun start to her career before joining the Navy. In a recent post, Kori said she worked as an English anchor with All India Radio (AIR). She captioned the post: 'The euphoria of financial independence cannot be expressed'. Talking to this diarist about this unknown stint, Kori said, "When the advertisement came in the paper, I was like let's see where I land up. I was taught by the librarian how to select songs as per theme. I would select discs as per wind, rains, roads, etc. I don't remember much now, but I used to do a programme called, It's My Day, between 4 pm and 5 pm. Music lovers would send their feedback on improvements especially the old people. I also would play Mozart, Beethoven between 1 am and 12 pm. Then I left when I had to go to the academy in August 1995. My cheque of three months [Rs 3,600] came when I was in Naval Academy, Mandvi, Goa. My sister purchased new clothes for herself as we had a common bank account and I remember being annoyed with her. I don't know why!"

Boycott big on net gains like Pujara

Geoff Boycott loved his net sessions. Pic/Getty Images
Geoff Boycott loved his net sessions. Pic/Getty Images

Our columnist Ian Chappell didn't take long to get into anecdotal mode on ABC Radio in the opening session of the first India vs Australia Test match at Adelaide on Thursday. The entry of Cheteshwar Pujara after the second ball dismissal of Prithvi Shaw caused Chappelli (as he is known in the cricketing fraternity) to speak about how Pujara loves to bat. An article on how Pujara once batted for six hours in the nets because the Saurashtra man wanted to do just that during a match, was brought up. Chappelli then recalled an incident involving England's Geoff Boycott, another batting stalwart, who loved his net practice. Boycott, according to Chappelli, returned to the England dressing room after a big hundred and then asked if anyone would like to bowl to him in the nets. Not one teammate volunteered! Boycott is known for his selfish ways, but you can't fault him for being obsessed with big scores and that's exactly what's needed to win Test matches.

A son keeps a father's legacy alive

Naresh Kanodia

Veteran Gujarati film star-turned-politician Naresh Kanodia passed away in October after contracting the Coronavirus infection. As a tribute to his contribution to regional cinema, Kanodia's son Hitu has recreated and released his father's 1995 hit number Sajan Tara Sambharna in a new music video on Ultra Gujarati, a YouTube channel. "The magic of the original song is unmatched as it has been immortalised by my father in his own inimitable style. I am confident that this song will also do well. After all, Gujarati songsof yore are timeless gems of our culture and need to be passed on," said Hitu, who is seen in the video with actor Mamta Soni (in picture).

It's a dog's world

Sheetal Malkani

It's common to see Instagram accounts dedicated to pets. And, most animals lovers have a few furry friends outside their homes, too. Which is why @strays_of_oberoi_springs, a social media account for the strays at a gated community in Andheri West, warms the heart. Sheetal Malkani, a fashion designer and resident, says "Like other societies, ours too has its animal lovers and those who are against the strays. The lockdown has seen us take on a lot of challenges in getting these strays a proper home." The residents vaccinate and neuter the tribe and take care of them as their own pets. While two strays have been adopted by the residents, the adoption of another two was facilitated by them. To bring more love to the animals, the group-who contribute Rs 2,000 monthly for the upkeep of the dogs-have set up the account.

AI finally lands at Juhu Garden


The Air India concrete airplane at the Juhu Garden in Santa Cruz West has finally been restored to its original glory. The original concrete airplane was an Air India Boeing 707-400, which was built in 1960, a few months after Air India inducted India's first jet airplane, a Boeing 707-400 into its fleet.


"When built, it was a brilliant structure and very accurate, including the distinctive Rolls Royce Conway engines," shares history enthusiast Debasish Chakraverty. The structure was demolished in 2011, after it had begun to fall apart. Two years later, a new concrete plane was built at the same spot.

Debasish Chakraverty
Debasish Chakraverty

Version 2.0 was, however, inaccurate. "It was built devoid of engines and installed in the opposite orientation as compared to the original. It was also painted in bizarre colours that looked more like Southwest Airlines in the USA," he shares. Last week, Chakraverty says the plane was repainted. "Sadly, the new airplane carries another inaccuracy. It comes with the registration 'VT-ALA', which was Air India's first Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, and was amongst the five 777-200LR aircraft sold to Etihad (of Abu Dhabi) in 2013, that later scrapped them in 2018." The good news is that it has been painted in the current livery of the national airline.

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