Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Rajit Kapur and Faezeh Jalali

The two sides of the GST coin
Recently, this diarist was in the company of two theatrewallahs - Rajit Kapur and Faezeh Jalali. From matters on stage, the talk veered to the impact of GST on the entertainment industry. And interestingly, two contrasting viewpoints came to the fore.

"Indians are resistant to change. Considering the problems our country has been facing with these local taxes, it makes sense to centralise them," said Kapur. "There will always be teething problems, but you have to give it a shot. Something will be two per cent less while something else, two per cent more," he added, pointing to the fact that one had to look at the larger picture.

Jalali, however, didn't seem too comfortable with the development. "For the performing arts, it's difficult to have that kind of percentage on the tickets because anyway it is not a hugely monetarily successful form. People are more likely to spend money on a film, but if a theatre ticket is more than `500, they might hesitate," she said, adding that it might become particularly tough for smaller production houses, just like how independent cinema is the poor brother of the big Bollywood blockbuster. Point noted.

Pic/Atul Kamble
Pic/Atul Kamble

Black beauties take on the night
Maria Goretti and Lisa Ray catch up at Wendell Rodricks' book launch event at a Lower Parel restaurant.

Yorkers of future
It was only recently that Arjun Tendulkar, who often practises with the england national team as part of his training, got a chance to have a go at Jonny Bairstow at the english nets. And now, we hear Raj - former speedster Ajit Agarkar's son - has developed a serious liking for cricket.

The 11-year-old was seen getting some cricket lessons from pacer Ashish Nehra over cups of ice cream in London, where both the families were holidaying. Going by the seriousness with which these lads are pursuing their passion, we won't be surprised if it's a dejà vu of sorts on the cricket field a few years down the line.

The brewery gets a home in BKC
Their White Zens and Doppelgangers have made it to taps across the city's bars, and now, Gateway Brewing Co's will have its own space, Gateway Taproom in BKC by this month-end. Along with their signature brews, expect experimental concoctions and a revival of some of their limited-edition creations.

What's interesting is that the owners have roped in Viraf Patel as executive chef consultant to craft the eats menu. Not many may know that while he is chef-partner at Cafe Zoe, Patel also runs Firebred Hospitality, an F&B consultancy firm he founded with his wife seven years ago. And that's how he is collaborating with the brewery.

"To curate a menu for a taproom was an interesting proposition. We've created a beer batter collection - both veg and non-veg - along with interesting sandwiches and flatbreads. We're also planning to ferment breads with beer and use beer grains in a creative way," shared Patel.

Ideal conduct, the lipstick style
ever since Lipstick Under My Burkha won its battle against the censor board and got a certification. the film's entire crew has taken it upon itself to promote it, keeping in line with the spirit of the film. So, while its actors have been announcing the release date as 'ek kiss' July (July 21), they also recently did two fun Aadarsh Ladki charts with a digital media company.

While one chart shows Ratna Pathak Shah and Konkona Sen Sharma in the 'ideal woman' avatar (worshipping the cow, applying sandalwood pack), the Buri Ladki poster shows Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur serve margarita and go to Goa for a tan. That's one defiant style of promotion, we say.

The Gorkhas get a voice
If your knowledge of the gorkhas is limited, today is a good day to learn more about the community. The Gorkha Students' Collective of Mumbai is organising a programme titled, Gorkhaland: Conflict, Peace and Resolution, which will include a photo exhibition, a short film screening and a group discussion. Their aim, we are told, is to get the word out about the Gorkhaland movement.

The event is taking place at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). The collective, a newly formed body, consists of graduate students and research scholars of TISS. The broader mission is to discuss and deliberate on issues related to identity, economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights in the proposed state of Gorkhaland.

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