Social media does have the power to bring people across the world together. And what fun it is when they happen to be consummate foodies. On Sunday, one of India's leading food writers, Vir Sanghvi tweeted his article in the HT on his experiences with India's great chefs.
The article soon evoked a response from one such great — Floyd Cardoz, the New York-based chef. "Thank you for telling this story," said the man behind Lower Parel's Bombay Canteen. India's other great export Gaggan Anand, whose eponymous restaurant in Bangkok was rated Asia's top on the San Pellegrino list, soon joined in with "Who is taking me to this place (Bombay Canteen) when I am next in Mumbai?" Chef Cardoz, who will be in India soon (we wrote about it last week), then extended an invitation to both Sanghvi and Gaggan, "Would love to have you at Bombay Canteen let us know when."
To which the great Gaggan suggested, "Well, can we cook together?" Sanghvi, realising that the idea of Gaggan and Cardoz cooking a meal might be the ultimate foodie fantasy, responded with "That's an offer we cannot refuse! If you do that I will have to bring a camera. Historic!" And soon other foodies and bon vivants got into the act.
As news spread, Suhel Seth (who is supposed to be on a diet) couldn't hold back, "Don't leave the poor like us out please?" And it wasn't long before Bollywood's resident foodie Rishi Kapoor chimed in with "The us in poor includes me too! In case you need to know the name, it is Rishi Kapoor." Last checked, this meal of epic proportions does not have a date yet. But when it does, you can be sure to read about it here first!
Friends and admirers of the late Prabuddha Dasgupta, the photographer who had seminal influence on fashion and people photography, and whose untimely death a few years ago cut short a career that was bound to take him to international heights, will be happy to know that the book on his life and work is moving along at a steady clip. His fellow Goan friend, Wendell Rodricks, announced recently that the book cover is ready, and had been shot by photographer Amaaya Dasgupta, and that limited numbers of the book would be available soon, and to avoid disappointment, pre-order facilities were open on the online website.
The book cover
Officers and gentlemen
His often-intemperate utterances have got him into trouble, but this time, India's IIT-trained Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar appears to have impressed even the most exacting of critics.
Smart salutes: Narendra Modi and Manohar Parrikar
"Good for you, Manohar Parrikar. After a long time, a defence minister who puts some effort into saluting smartly!" commented Ajai Shukla, ace defence writer, currently consulting editor (strategic affairs) at Business Standard, and an ex-Army man. And indeed, Parrikar's posture was exemplary. But perhaps he was just taking a cue from his leader? A reader pointed this out to Shukla with this accompanying picture of PM Modi saluting in equally exemplary carriage. It took a member of the National Integration Council (NIC) of India, and Christian leader John Dayal to however enquire, "Should civilians salute in the military fashion, while wearing crumpled bush-shirts, chappals, etc? Time to evolve another protocol?"
The jury's out on that one.
Party politics of another kind
So our favourite local political source called in with his two bits on Salman Khan's controversial Yakub Memon tweets, and Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar's rapid response to them.
Before the consequences could be measured, Shelar had met with Maharashtra governor Vidyasagar Rao, and submitted a letter that requested the cancellation of the bail granted to Salman by the Bombay High Court on his hit-and-run case. But as always, there was more to it than met the eye. "Yes it is true, Mr Shelar has asked for a cancellation of the bail. But there is history behind it."
We were informed Shelar has been a long-time rival of Baba Siddique and recently defeated him in the Bandra West MLA elections, and wanted to flex his muscles at the politician, who, as we all know, is a close friend and well wisher of Salman's. "Khan's bail will not be cancelled — this is just Bandra party politics at play," said the insider. And you thought that the only Bandra party politics was who got a better crowd on a Friday night, Olive or Pali Bhavan Café?
Turning a new leaf
With her eye on the finishing post of corporate expansion and bottom line vigour, coupled with her absence from the usual fashion circles, she's always struck us as a cut above the rest, and now word comes in that designer Anita Dongre, has moved her entire operations, including her design art factory administration and staff of 300 people, to a sprawling set up in the hills of New Mumbai.
Apparently, Dongre, who believes in a healthy work-life balance, has created a completely eco-friendly work space in a green building, where employees have a beautiful work environment to create in. "Our new eco intelligently designed headquarters in Navi Mumbai is a sprawling, luxurious, almost resort-like green space. Overlooking lush green hills with birds chirping, it's therapeutic and creatively inspiring for me and my team," she said when we asked her about the new move.
Also coming up we hear is a new label, 'Grassroots', based on crafts revival.