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Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Updated on: 02 March,2024 06:52 AM IST  |  Mumbai
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The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Pic/Atul Kamble

Say it with flowers


Staff members hand roses to students to wish them luck for their ongoing SSC Board exams at Saraswati Vidya Mandir in Mahim.


Styles for all


James Ferreira at the charity show. PIC COURTESY/INSTAGRAM
James Ferreira at the charity show. PIC COURTESY/INSTAGRAM

James Ferreira’s finishing touch at the recently concluded Gateway of India Pillars of Humanity charity show, is winning all the hearts. The veteran designer introduced a line-up of specially-abled and hearing-impaired youth to present his designs at the show organised by the Kamala Ankibai Ghamandiram Gowani Trust on Thursday. “It was an incredible experience. They were easy to communicate with. They simply accepted the vibe of the show,” Ferreira remarked. Pranav Hamal, show director, added, “Directing them was a peaceful experience. Since they could not hear me, I learnt some sign language, and somehow, it clicked. It was the most fulfilling experience in my 15 years in this industry.”

Pedal power for road safety

Avtar Saini. PIC COURTESY/MUMBAICYCLINGENTHUSIASTS on Facebook
Avtar Saini. PIC COURTESY/MUMBAICYCLINGENTHUSIASTS on Facebook 

Tuning into the city’s cycling community’s lively escapades on social media after a long day has been a longstanding ritual for this diarist. The otherwise buzzing community came to a standstill with the passing of microprocessor designer and avid cyclist Avtar Saini on Wednesday. The ex-Intel India head lost his life after a cab rammed into his cycle on Palm Beach Road in Navi Mumbai. “Even though he was a part of his own cycling group Fast and Furious, Saini would often join other groups to cycle. We remember him as a friendly, joyous cyclist who motivated others in the community,” Ravi Agarwal (inset), fellow cyclist from the cycling group, SoBo Cyclists, and Saini’s close acquaintance shared.

In tribute to the late cyclist, Agarwal will lead a group of cyclists, runners, and other fitness enthusiasts from the city in a silent candle march outside the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation building on Tuesday. “The aim is to present the authorities with a proposal to amplify safety measures for cyclists in the city. It is a shame that we could not even retrieve CCTV footage from Saini’s accident,” he shared, adding that they will also appeal for well-constructed cycling paths. “Merely painting a green strip along the road is not the solution. We have all witnessed how motorists freely use it as a shortcut. We need to do better,” he concluded.

From Dharavi to the world

Miss World Finland Adelaide Botty Van Den Bruel interacts with the kids in Dadar
Miss World Finland Adelaide Botty Van Den Bruel interacts with the kids in Dadar

The Miss World contingent visiting Mumbai for the 72nd edition of the beauty pageant got a taste of proper Bambaiyya culture as young talents from the Dharavi Dream Project made a surprise visit to Shivaji Park, where the contingent was sightseeing. “Since they’re in the same age group as the models, it was fascinating to see a two-way exchange of ideas between them,” Dolly Rateshwar, founder of the project shared. This diarist was delighted to learn that the kids were eager to introduce the contestants to the nuances of Mumbai’s hip-hop scene and even taught them some rap lines and b-boying techniques.

Of IIT and Bollywood dreams

If you plan to catch Varun Grover’s newly released All India Rank this weekend, we suggest you keep an eye (and ear) out for some retro Bollywood Easter eggs that make pleasant cameos in the film. “My earliest coming-of-age memories are dreaming of getting my hands on an audio cassette of Saajan (1991). Since my movie is set in the ’90s, I recreated the novelty by using bits of the soundtrack in the movie,” Grover (left) shared. Sharing the story behind another reference from the film, he added, “I am a huge fan of director Mansoor Khan of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) fame. When I found out how Khan and professor HC Verma shared the same IIT dream, I knew I had to add it to the film.”

Walking the chic talk in New York

Monik Gupta at the New York Fashion Week
Monik Gupta at the New York Fashion Week 

City-based runway model Monik Gupta became the only Indian to have walked the ramp at the recently concluded edition of the New York Fashion Week. “Last year, I decided to audition for the show. What’s the worst that could happen?” His leap of faith in himself resulted in him being flooded with emails of acceptance by top designers, including Carlos Alberto. “I met the mayor of New York, spotted Bradley Cooper, and basketball champion Allen Iverson,” he shared. And yet, the highest point for him was being addressed as the Man from India post the shows. “I walked 11 shows this time. I am grateful to my family who stood rock-solid by me throughout!”

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