Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Sounds Familiar? Maybe It IsUpdated: May 07, 2019, 12:43 IST
“It’s about everyone and no one,” said Sameer Nair, head honcho of a digital content producing firm, when we asked him if the 10-episode web series City of Dreams, that his company had produced, was based on the life of the late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan and his children Rahul and BJP MP Poonam Mahajan. The web series about a powerful Maharashtra politico Ameya Gaikwad, whose shooting down and subsequent coma in a hospital results in a bitter internecine war between his recalcitrant son and politically-ambitious daughter, had aired this week. As is known, following his father’s shooting by his Uncle, which had made headlines across the country in April 2006, Rahul Mahajan had been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, and his father’s political mantle had been passed on to his sister. Cognizant of the negative implications of him, confirming that his web series was based on such public and real life characters in these hyper sensitive times, but aware that such controversies would create a welcome ‘buzz’ around it and thus help TRPs, Nair trod a fine line for the rest of our telephonic conversation. “Many viewers have said that though there were similarities between the Mahajans and Gaikwads, in fact, his relationship with the chief minister in the series is more akin to that of Balasaheb Thackerey’s. Many are saying…” and now Nair seemed to add some tadka to his explanation, “…that the relationship between the brother and sister in the series reminded them of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi!” There was one way of solving the conundrum surrounding the City of Dreams being inspired by events in the life and family of the late Pramod Mahajan. Did it contain any references to the infamous jacuzzi scene? After all, following his father’s death, Rahul Mahajan had been involved in coke and heroin snorting episode in a jacuzzi in which his father’s key aide had died and which had captured the public imagination.
“Yes, there is an infamous jacuzzi scene in the series involving drugs,” said Nair, sounding a tad defensive, but then he perked up, “but the guy is shown in the jacuzzi with a woman, not a political key aide. And straight after it, he is shown taking care of matters quite decisively.”
So, is City of Dreams a keyhole depiction of the colourful Mahajans or a collage of various political references? The jury’s not out on this one.
Voting under the influence of TV should be a bigger offense than driving under the influence of alcohol
- Filmmaker Rahul Dholakia
“Surprisingly, it was through Twitter that I got to know of Jonty Rhodes. He was reading my book and he messaged me. I was of course delighted that one of the finest cricketers of my generation had liked my book,” said Mumbai-based, best-selling author Amish Tripathi, about the love fest that bloomed on the microblogging site this week, when the dashing South African cricket commentator and former Test and One Day International cricketer tweeted his delight that the much-awaited book Raavan, part of Amish’s popular Ram Chandra Series, would be out soon. As is known, amongst his legion of fans, a series of personal issues had caused delays in the writing of the book. The author had apologised publicly to his readers for the delay, but that had only piqued their interest. Rhodes’ conformation was met with much cheer. “The book is almost done now. I will make an announcement very soon,” said Amish, when we’d contacted him yesterday, about the high-profile exchange about it. Incidentally, the exchange between the two men, each a celebrated talent in their own fields, had ended with the author promising to send a signed copy of the forthcoming book to Rhodes and his wife Melanie.
Bending It Like Beckham In Bandra
Not too long ago, we’d had the pleasure of experiencing a vital and exciting subculture of the Bandra lifestyle: its booming footy eco-system with its nucleus, at the well-equipped St Andrew’s ground. Here, not even a stone’s throw away from the school we’d attended, was a beehive of activity on a balmy Mumbai evening as a handful of invigorating matches were being played between various teams. What was most heartening was that at least half of these matches were being played by women and best of all, on enquiry, we learnt that these were women from across the board and the city, hailing from vastly different social and economic backgrounds, all brought together by their love for the game on a level playing field. “When we started the Trial men’s league in 2016, we noticed a lot of noise coming from the smaller turfs next to us and it was a group of women playing a super, highly-competitive game of football. In that moment, we realised that we needed to create a platform for women to play competitively. Now, we have two women leagues – the Bandra Women’s League and Juhu Women’s League,” said sports entrepreneur, Santino Morea, who, along with Harpreet Baweja, co-founded the Roots Premier League, is responsible for much of the current footy fever in the suburb. But of course, getting the girls to come out to play had not been a cakewalk. Many female players lacked the confidence of playing in a competitive environment where the skill levels could vary vastly and there were many drop outs. But The duo had persisted. “We began to offer players from the Men’s league as coaches, to help train the women’s teams further,” says Baweja, adding, “And now, we are in the third season of the women’s league and have added six new teams playing in Juhu, which brings our total to 14 teams and 130 players!” So, if you’re in Bandra and happen to chance upon a vibrant, booming, excitable bunch of women bending it like Beckham, you know who to thank.