Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

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

Ray on stage
This month, Satyajit Ray's terrific and innovative film, Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, will be brought to stage by 200 children from Aditya Birla World Academy. The fantasy adventure comedy film series was based on a story by his grandfather Upendra Kishore Roychowdhury.

Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray

The story follows the adventures of Goopy and Bagha, who are banished from the kingdom for being bad musicians but they manage to impress the king of ghosts who grants them three wishes.

The adaptation will be choreographed by the TR Dance Company; the team behind QTP Productions will direct the musical production. There will be a lot of singing, choreography and some great onstage drama and humour. It's a pity though, that the event is private. But, anything inspired by the legend that was Satyajit Ray has our blessing.

What's brewing in Ballard Estate?
There's a new eatery all set to open in SoBo and that too at the once bustling Ballard Estate. It's owned by a restaurateur who was a part of the core management team at one of the city's most popular standalone restaurants. While the name of the restaurant is a tribute to the neighbourhood's commercial past, the inspiration for the restaurant itself is New York's Meatpacking district. What's on the menu? Watch this space for more.

Taslima Nasrin's ready to tell all
Many will recall scenes from November 22, 2007, when Kolkata came to grinding halt as fanatics took over its streets. Armed with a fatwa from their ideologues, they demanded that Taslima Nasrin leave the city immediately.

Taslima Nasrin
Taslima Nasrin

What ensued as a result of a docile Left Front government, an inefficient police force, was her hasty shifting out, first to Jaipur and then to Delhi where she faced pressure to leave India. Now, a book, Exile will document her struggles in India during those seven months. It has been written by Nasrin and translated by Mahargya Chakraborty.

Against the tide and how!
This diarist heard that a single-screen cinema called La Reve has replaced Globus off Bandra's Hill Road, and it will be one of the places that will be screening movies through the upcoming edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

Turns out the theatre was bought over by the Tamil Nadu-based multiplex chain SPI Cinemas back in 2015 and will open to public with the film festival. The 259-seat La Reve will feature French-inspired interiors (think coffered ceilings, crystal chandeliers and wrought iron balustrades) and even a chic café. We wonder how La Reve will fare at a time when some of the city's most iconic single screens are dying silent deaths.

Borderless sanity
When renowned journalist Sonia Faleiro wrote about the pointlessness of the call for a ban on Pakistani artistes in India in a New York Times op-ed, it was tweeted by Fatima Bhutto.

Fatima Bhutto
Fatima Bhutto

And if that seems like the obvious response from a Pakistani, she had also been quick to retweet her countryman and journalist Cyril Almeida's now famous tweet about the Pak government's travel ban imposed on him. The din of jingoistic clarion calls is so loud today that any voice of sanity acts like a balm. And when the voice transcends borders, it reaffirms our faith that all's not lost.

Kon'nichiwa, Mumbai
When it comes to launching flagship residential projects, real estate firms in Mumbai are always willing to go that extra mile. In a cross-cultural collaboration with the Japanese Lantern Fiesta, a premium real estate firm seems to have brought a piece of Japan to Mumbai.

Artistes perform at the opening ceremony. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Artistes perform at the opening ceremony. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Seen here are artistes performing a traditional Japanese dance in the opening ceremony of the festival that begins today. Sushi and Ramen making, origami, calligraphy — it's all there. Since the project is located in Byculla, there will be toy trains running through the festival to celebrate the history of the area as well.

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