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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Riveting Book Launch

mumbai Updated: Feb 28, 2019 23:33 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Yashwant Sinha
Yashwant Sinha (HT File )
         

We couldn’t attend Anil Dharker’s Literature Live evening to launch Yashwant Sinha’s new book at NCPA’s Godrej Theatre on Tuesday. But we caught up with the indefatigable-literary impresario at a post-session dinner and couldn’t help noticing its after-glow, where Sinha and many of the panelists and attendees were present. From all accounts, it had been a riveting jugalbandi between the former FinMin and now trenchant critic of the current regime, and his interlocutor Sidharth Bhatia who is said to have been in full form and at his wittiest best. “While the audience reacted with delight at Yashwant Sinha’s witticisms, there was an underlying disquiet at the dismal picture he painted of how the government runs at the bidding of one single man. No prizes for guessing who,” said Dharker. Sinha had won over the audience with his sardonic asides and deep knowledge of how things worked (or didn’t) in the present regime. At one point, when Bhatia asked Sinha if he would accept the leadership of the mahagathbandhan if it was offered to him, Sinha is said to have reacted with mock horror. “Sidharth,” he said, “I thought you were my friend! Why are you trying to get me into trouble?” As for the book, its overarching theme is said to be couched in its chapter headings: ‘Pradhan Mantri Attention Deficit Disorder Yojana”, “GST-Gayi Sarkar Teri” or “Jai Kisan? Hey Bhagwan!”” read some of them. In fact, the book’s full title (India Unmade/How the Modi Government Broke the Economy) is said to make the reading of its content almost superfluous.

Dog Day Afternoons

Farzana with her pet pooches
Farzana with her pet pooches

“Every year, Dog A’Fair does this fun carnival for dogs at the most picturesque venue in town, the charming sea-side pier of the Radio Club in Colaba,” says avid foodie and impassioned animal lover, Farzana Contractor, about the annual celebration of canines to be held this weekend. The idea for the celebration of furry friends is borne out of her love for her first canine kid, Inshy, and has Contractor, curator of the event, all mushy and teary-eyed, “I can’t tell you what it feels like to see your babies enjoy a weekend of fun, shooting the breeze, so to say. It’s pretty magical.”
The two-day festival, we are informed, will feature the very popular Doggie Personality Pageant, in addition to the usual shopping, games and fun which include a Doggie Tarot Reading(!), a pet studio, an artists’ corner and an adoption pound with the highlight being a dance performance by international dance maven Sandip Soparrkar, who will be setting the stage on fire, dancing with the love of his life, Zorba, his Cocker Spaniel. “Mumbai’s dog lovers plan the weekend much in advance and you will see a universe of much-loved and well-groomed dogs along with their equally well-heeled pet parents strutting around, waiting to participate,” said Contractor.
To which, what else could we say, but ‘Woof’?

From Sinatra To Guns N Roses

Ash Chandler
Ash Chandler

“It’s the 50th anniversary concert series for the NCPA and I’m thrilled to be asked to play. Apparently, I’m one of the only dedicated male jazz vocalists around,” said actor, singer and stand-up artist Ash Chandler, about his forthcoming gig at the NCPA, this Sunday. What’s it going to be like to helm such a prestigious event? “While I’ve performed in plays and such at the Tata theatre, this is my first gig there,” he said, adding, “The band will showcase some of the greatest songs of the last 100 years, completely rearranged, reborn and revived. There will also be humour between the songs.” The versatile Chandler, who is a one-man entertainment powerhouse all on his own, says he will be performing a medley of classics that span many genres and generations. “From Sinatra to Guns n Roses, Ella Fitzgerald to Avicii, Bennett to Bieber and of course my originals.” The good people behind the 50-year celebration are just as gung-ho about Sunday’s billing. “As part of our 50-year celebration, our aim is to get a vast array of music to audiences. We are pleased to have the Ash Chandler Redux as part of this showcase live at the Tata Theatre on March 3,” Farrahnaz Irani , general manager for NCPA’s international music, informed.

Another Feather In His Cap

Yusuf Hamied
Yusuf Hamied ( HT File )

As predicted on these pages earlier, the accolades and awards for Yusuf Hamied, billionaire scientist and chairman of CIPLA, keep rolling in.

Next week, the Royal Society of Chemistry will celebrate the successful completion of the Yusuf Hamied Inspirational Chemistry Program with the launch of the next phase of the RSC-Yusuf Hamied Inspirational Science Program, where Hamied will be felicitated. “Over 23,000 teachers from 9,000 schools have been trained in the last five years,” informed a spokesperson of the Society. “1,600 students from across 500 schools attended 26 six Salters’ Chemistry camps which were held across 16 states under the YHICP since 2014.” Following the success of its earlier initiative, Hamied has pledged his support to the next phase of the program in order reach even more school teachers and students in India. The Hall of Harmony, Nehru Centre, will be the venue for the event, which is expecting a well-represented section of trainers, teachers, students, organisations and other partners who participated in the program.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 23:31 IST