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Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

by July 24, 2017 General

Not in the hot seat
Ghazal singer Bhupinder Singh manages to crack a smile as he gets sidetracked by photographers at the 16th Khazana Ghazal Festival at Marine Drive on Friday. Pic/Atul Kamble

Memories of Partition
How does a nation, scarred by the Partition, heal its wounds? We hear that veteran lyricist and writer Gulzar, who has time and again gone back to the horrors of that period in his works, will be releasing a new collection of fiction, non-fiction, and poems next month, where he’ll look at how the bloodbath of 1947 continues to affect our lives.

Titled Footprints on Zero Line (HarperCollins India), the collection, which has been rendered to English by critic and literary historian Rakhshanda Jalil, also marks 70 years of India’s Independence. This book’s going to be a timely reminder of a forgotten past, and with Gulzar’s writing, the effect will without doubt be hauntingly beautiful.

Yacht’s getting a facelift
Renovation is sweeping Bandra’s favourite watering hole, Yacht, and its ramshackle signboard has made way for a spiffy one. Known as the Gokul of the suburbs, the dingy resto-bar has remained a constant in the fast-changing Bandra. From being the go-to haunt for college sweethearts and hipster crowd to the daily boozers, Yacht has been the den of many interesting stories. The facelift might be the need of the hour, but patron and famed local trumpeter Joe Vessoaker can’t help rue how the unassuming bar had its own charm. “I have been visiting Yacht since I was in my 20s,” says the veteran musician. “I am definitely going to miss that good-old Yacht vibe.”

A young Ravi Shastri
A young Ravi Shastri

Future stars, future coaches
Sri Lanka has provided a few firsts for Ravi Shastri. It was where he travelled for his first international cricket tour in the 1980-81 season when he led an India under-20 side.

His team registered a victory in their very first game of the tour — against Sri Lanka Board President’s XI at Galle, the venue of the current tour’s opening Test.

His first overseas commentary assignment was in Sri Lanka as well, after he put a full stop to his playing career in 1994. Shastri shared the microphone with some of the finest commentators for that Singer Cup which India won under Mohammed Azharuddin’s captaincy.

Bharat Arun
Bharat Arun

And now, he is in Sri Lanka for his first series as head coach. Will he witness yet another India victory in Lanka? Well, let’s say there is no reason why Shastri cannot enjoy that honour.

Coming back to that 1980-81 tour, Shastri’s team had an array of future India players — Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sadanand Viswanath, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Kiran More, Chandrakant Pandit, Lalchand Rajput and the current Team India bowling coach Bharat Arun.

Wonder whether Shastri and Arun will get a chance to sit opposite each other with a glass in their hands on this tour and raise a toast to those fun times in their youth. We are quite sure there will a few rainy days in the Emerald Isles to do that.

Beautiful Wendt
Lionel Wendt, the late Sri Lankan photographer well-known for his sensual portraits and tropical images of his country, is being celebrated through a retrospective in Amsterdam at the Huis Marseille Museum for Photography. One of the collaborators for the ongoing show is our very own Jhaveri Contemporary Gallery, who are happy to share with us that a new book, titled Lionel Wendt – Ceylon, is now out with a spread of his photographs. They are accompanied by essays by Shanay Jhaveri, Stephen Sanders and Nicky van Banning, who has co-curated the exhibition with director Nanda van den Berg. Priya Jhaveri tells us, “The first exhibition in Europe is a real discovery for European audiences. We hope the exhibition will spur further research into a key figure in South Asian Modernism. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue — the first monograph since 2003 — and is laid out by Hans Gremmen of FW-Books.”

Aashita Sanghvi with locals in Kokha
Aashita Sanghvi with locals in Kokha

Tribal lessons
Mumbai’s Aashita Sanghvi, the VP of Coca Cola Singapore, has taken a break from corporate life for three months to spend time empowering tribal children in Kokha village, Madhya Pradesh. Helping her in this endeavour is former American Express banker Sanjay Nagar, who runs a foundation and a wilderness camp in the area.

“The sole objective of the trip is to volunteer at schools for tribal children. While I did spend a lot of time teaching, the lodging and food at the camp was a pleasant surprise, for which I am grateful to Sanjay,” she says. Sanghvi has also managed to squeeze in getting a taste of village life. “I have learnt to do some rice farming and pottery, too.”

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