Mumbai Diary: Monday File


The city – sliced, diced and served with a drizzle of sauce

Photo/Sayyed Sameer Abedi


As fishing boats take a monsoon break and wait for Naral Purnima to resume work, a Juhu fisherman paints the vessel to give it a new look

A tribal tribute

Artwork for International Tiger Day.  Photo Courtesy/@Sudarshanshaw93
Artwork for International Tiger Day. Photo Courtesy/@Sudarshanshaw93

On International Tiger Day, we spotted artist Sudarshan Shaw’s traditional version (inset) of the majestic creature. Shaw’s work depicts the interconnected lives of people and animals in and around forests. “The idea was to describe the relationships that forest dwellers have with wildlife,” Shaw told us. The artist whose work has been influenced by local beliefs and rituals will feature them in the eight upcoming works in the series. For those interested, head over to @sudarshan_shaw on Instagram to take a look.

Words written legally

Are you, like this columnist, excited about top literary awards? The New Delhi-based Insolvency Law Academy (ILA) recently announced on Twitter that Mumbai-based author Kiran Manral will chair the judging panel to select the short story that will win the ILA Best Short Story award. “I look forward to reading the entries. Although I have read legal fiction, the space of law and insolvency is entirely different; it would be interesting to see some fiction emerge from this field,” said Manral (pictured) told this columnist. Those who love to write about the law can head to @insolacademy on Twitter for more details. Submissions for the literary competition open in mid-August and the winning story will win a prize of Rs 1 lakh.

Always playing by his rules

Namita Devidayal in conversation with Ma Anand Sheela.  PIC/SAYYED SAMEER ABEDI
Namita Devidayal in conversation with Ma Anand Sheela. Photo/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Ma Anand Sheela, personal secretary to the godman Osho (Rajneesh) and spokesperson for the Rajneesh movement – ​​a Google check of his life will leave you in awe – danced to the stage at the city’s Royal Opera House last weekend . The event was an interaction followed by a signing session of its title, By My Own Rules. The number that played as the 73-year-old made her way to amuse her artistic audience was: “My name is Sheela, Sheela ki Jawaani, I’m too sexy for you…”. Ma Anand Sheela was in conversation with author-journalist Namita Devidayal. The latter began the hour-long program by saying, “Sheela is a person who has never been afraid of other people’s opinions,” then added a line that Ma Anand Sheela used to convey that emotion, “Well , hard breasts.” Ma Anand said, “Exactly.” When asked about her choice of residence – Switzerland, Ma Anand said: “This country has worked out wonderfully for me, people usually leave me alone.” Ma Anand attributed her free spirit to her parents, “My father in particular taught me the value of freedom”, and said in response to a question about spirituality, “We were born to dance through life Why get into this boring spirituality? Other Ma Anand beliefs in response to the questions were, “Don’t have expectations. Love may not be reciprocal, even if in this case it was.” I was in love with Bhagwan [Rajneesh], there is strength in love. When I was with him, I thought I could move mountains…” While posing nude for magazines amid the Ranveer Singh controversy, she posed nude for a German magazine years ago, Ma Anand said, “It’s not pornography or perversion. People have the ability to close their eyes. Ranveer is an actor and a creative force…” The signing followed by Ma Anand Sheela, which made it seem like only now people understand her, and for those who annoy her, “She can still give them the finger” in his own words.

For the community

A Pathare Prabhu scale with choppers which was used to weigh meat
A Pathare Prabhu scale with choppers which was used to weigh meat

Lawyer and collector Rajan Jayakar (inset), gave us a glimpse of his century-old collection of traditional kitchen utensils from the Pathare Prabhu community to which he belongs. Made from brass, copper, iron and German silver, they were used for cooking at Pathare Prabhu weddings.

“With the advent of restoration services, community members had little use for these unique pieces. Instead of selling them, they approached me, and that’s how my collection grew,” Jayakar said, revealing that he currently maintains that collection. He shared, “Part of my house is being renovated. Since the attic, where these artifacts were stored, is also being repaired, I catalog them now. Jayakar also hopes to find a place to set up a museum of Pathare Prabhu artifacts.


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