Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

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

Financial wisecracks
At the recently concluded literature festival in the city, a session on microfinance had everything the audience expected — and more. With speakers like Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, former Union Minister of Finance P Chidambaram and PayTM’s CEO designate Shinjini Kumar, moderator Mini Menon thought it best to have the demonetisation talk out of the way before getting on with the main topic.

When it came to Chidambaram, who is known to have strong views against the move, he was ready with some serious statistics. A figure that came up in his remarks was ` 16.4 lakh crore. To drive home the enormity of the amount, he asked the audience, “Can any of you think of how many zeroes there are in this massive figure?” And then came his incentive.

“If you tell me the right answer within five minutes, I will give you something truly precious — a 100-rupee note.” Who says politicians don’t have a sense of humour?

Addition to the Members’ only club


Pic/Satej Shinde

Karisma Kapoor and mother Babita leave actress Kareena Kapoor Khan’s Bandra residence on Monday evening. The actress is due to deliver her first child with actor Saif Ali Khan.

Mumbai cruisin’
The Costa Luminosa or The Ship of Lights had a day’s stay in Mumbai, where it was docked at Ballard Estate’s Green Gate, in all its splendour, on Sunday. The majestic vessel with glass interiors that houses a 1,000 plus rooms, took a breather in the island city before sailing off to Dubai last evening — it’s in the middle of a 98-day-long world tour.

An exclusive do was organised on board the ship on Sunday by Italian Consul General, Ugo Ciarlatani who, in the presence of Mumbai Port Trust chairman, Sanjay Bhatia, announced the Italian luxury liner’s next venture, the Costa Neo Classica. This will flag off the first ever water route between Mumbai and the Maldives, come December.

Even as it prepares to set sail, the richie rich already seem to be eyeing it. There are loud whispers about one of the richest Indian families in Dubai, wanting to book the Neo Classica for an upcoming wedding in the family early next year. We’ll keep our ears perked up on this one.

Oh, Rabinder!
While social media has been gushing about Chris Martin jamming with AR Rahman to Vande Mataram and Coldplay mouthing lines of Channa Mereya, the band still managed to ruffle a few feathers.

Chris Martin. Pic/Satej Shinde
Chris Martin. Pic/Satej Shinde

In a recent Twitter outburst, Zee’s chairman Subhash Chandra said, “I was saddened to see our youth smoking, drinking wine & dancing in Coldplay, my question do they also know Rabinder Sangeet & other cultural (sic).” Some of the responses to his tweet had us in splits.

Subhash Chandra
Subhash Chandra

While one corrected him politely, saying it was ‘Rabindra’ and not ‘Rabinder’, another wondered why knowing Rabindra Sangeet was a prerequisite to attending a Rock concert. We can’t wait to see how far Tweeple go with their Sanskrit-tinged banter.

Say it like the Bhatts
No, we are not talking about the beautiful collection of letters from Pt Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi, but these ruminations sound promising nonetheless.

Over the years, Bollywood’s endearing father-daughter duo, Mahesh and Pooja Bhatt, have communicated their opinions on issues with an openness that the film industry often shies away from. But when it comes to communicating something significant to his daughter, Bhatt chooses to pen a letter.

There’s one that he wrote for Pooja on the day she was born and many have followed since — for her first film, her first movie as producer and other milestones. The letters seemed like the perfect plot for a play to Mumbai-based theatreperson Satchit Puranik, who will be casting Mahesh and Pooja in the production that portrays the personal and professional journey of the Bhatt family.

Enter the Boiler Room
The internet-based documenter of underground music, Boiler Room, is set to debut in India on December 1. They will raise their curtains in an event titled What’s Brewing, a 12-part global series that tells the story of music scenes around the world. India is the second installment in the series.

The gig will feature Indian Electronic music producers, Sandunes, who recently released their debut album Downstream. Having earned the description of being dance music’s internet streaming party, Blaise Bellville’s Boiler Room, since its inception in 2010, evolved from a web cam showroom to a global broadcaster. They reach over 157 million people per month with their content.

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