Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

Mumbai - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

A new journey
A few years ago, when Rahul Akerkar announced his exit from his own brand, deGustibus Hospitality, the food world was in shock.

Now, yet another jolt comes for the brand in the form of the chef Jaydeep Mukherjee's resignation. As Corporate Executive Chef, Mukherjee had been handling all of deGustibus's restaurants, from the standalone Indigo to the deli chains. We hear that a new venture is on the cards.

"It was the right time to make the jump. I have been with Indigo for 15 years, after all. Now, I'm getting out of my comfort zone. I've come together with a couple of friends, and we're planning to launch a new restaurant by November," he tells this diarist. The idea, Mukherjee shares, is to offer unpretentious food across cuisines, and make it available to the masses. "We're shortlisting locations as we speak. I have butterflies in my stomach."

From Argentina, with love
When Argentine muralist Pablo Ramirez Arnol was travelling through India, he was amazed to see its vivacity and multitude of cultures, and yet, how something kept the country unified. He felt this unity in diversity was best represented in our national anthem, and decided to make a mural that would be a pictorial representation of Jana Gana Mana.

The mural is receiving finishing touches and will be inaugurated at Jijamata Udyan
The mural is receiving finishing touches and will be inaugurated at Jijamata Udyan

This creation would be Argentina's gift to India in commemoration of its 70 years of Independence. An initiative of The Consulate General and Promotion Centre of the Argentine Republic in Mumbai, the mural will be inaugurated on August 15 by the chief secretary of Maharashtra Sumit Mullick, city municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta, acting consul general Alejandro Zothner Meyer and deputy consul Andrea Alba Gonzalez among others.

"The mural shows some powerful images of Indian culture. Like this country, it expresses unity in diversity," said Meyer. Argentina was one of the first Latin American nations to recognise India's Independence.

Pant and the British podcast
While Indian stand-up comedy may still be young, it's heartening to know that desi funnymen are getting global recognition. Recently, Sorabh Pant made an appearance on Carl And Chris Podcast, a popular podcast by UK stand-up comedians, Carl Donnelly and Chris Martin.

Launched in 2008, the podcast boasts of guests like Bill Burr and Sean Hughes. The over-an-hour-long episode made for a great listen, where the troika chatted about everything from beef ban to bachelor parties, how English tourists react when they arrive in India and the bizarre tasks on the reality show, Bigg Boss.

Left meets Right
We are used to watching both battle it out in hotly contested TV sessions with their sharp debating skills and acerbic wit.

Swapan Dasgupta and Sitaram Yechury are like chalk and cheese, and so we smiled when we spotted this post by Dasgupta on social media with the caption: 'Fraternity of class enemies'. Frenemies or enemies? We're not saying.

Saree debutante
When the Charge d'Affairs of the US Embassy, MaryKay Carlson, decided to wear her first saree for India's 70th Independence Day earlier this week, the sheer variety of the elegant Indian attire left her floundering.

On her trip to the Khadi India store in New Delhi, she shortlisted four sarees, Jamdani, Dupion, Kanjeevaram and Tussar, and tweeted a collage of her in each, asking her followers to help her choose one. Help - and lots of advice - poured in, and Carlson now knows her pick.

"Check back on Independence Day to see which saree won the poll!" she said. Responding to her tweets, Khadi and Village Industries Commission chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena thanked her for appreciating the fabric of India's Independence and self reliance. That's many hearts won in one sweeping drape!

Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Googly woogly wooksh
That's how Sanjay Dutt chose to greet Ranbir Kapoor as friends Raju Hirani (extreme left) and Vidhu Vinod Chopra looked on at the trailer launch of a film in Andheri yesterday.

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