Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

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

Columnist-author Twinkle Khanna with son Aarav (centre, in black) at the book awards ceremony at NCPA last evening. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Columnist-author Twinkle Khanna with son Aarav (centre, in black) at the book awards ceremony at NCPA last evening. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Plenty to smile for Mrs Funnybones
It’s been an immensely fruitful year for Twinkle Khanna, the author. She recently released her second non-fiction book, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, which was a clear departure in its tone and setting from her first work Mrs Funnybones that had many anecdotal references to her life and family.

But the 2015 title, which was Khanna’s segue into the world of paperbacks from newspaper columns, was a bestseller. And now the affirmation of the popularity has come in the form of an award. At a book awards extravaganza yesterday, Khanna received the popular award in non-fiction category.

The glittery affair saw stalwarts like Gulzar, who gave away the lifetime achievement award to Ruskin Bond. The legendary author addressed the ceremony via video conferencing from Landour. The popular fiction award went to Amish Tripathi for Scion of Ikshvaku.

Burmese Salad
Burmese Salad

Malkani and his new menu
If you’re wondering what illustrious chef Sanjay Malkani (right, in pic) is up to, here’s some news. The ex-Oberoi chef, who is armed with three decades of experience in F&B industry and an expert when it comes to merging Indian flavours with Conti eats and Far Eastern fare, has picked up one-third stake in the quirky Pan Asian eatery, Go Panda.

He will curate a new menu for the Andheri eatery and also collaborate with co-owners Yash Chandiramani and Sachet Shah on its expansion plans. Launching this weekend, the new menu offers his creations like Burmese Salad, Prawn and Cheese Poppers, Thai Basil Roll and Nasi Ulam, a Malaysian-style herb noodle salad.

Bonding time with the Barnicles
It was a reunion that actor Arshad Warsi (standing, centre) had been excited about for a while. An alumnus of Barnes School, a boarding school in Deolali near Nashik, Warsi had been sharing pictures of his alma mater on Twitter days before his batch finally met after 30 years.

With nostalgia running through the gathering, there were also some heartwarming testimonials that Warsi received. “A rockstar with a heart of gold,” said one friend, adding that he was a true blue Barnicle. With the likes of actors Dilip Kumar and Vinod Khanna in the 91-year-old institute’s list of alumni, we are sure being a real Barnicle is no mean feat.

Radhika Apte, the interviewer
The first season of the British-American television drama series, The Crown, is gaining a steady following among Indian viewers — such that actress Radhika Apte found herself interviewing the lead actors from the show for Netflix.

Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth II in the biographical series on the early reign of the empress, and Matt Smith in the role of Prince Philip, opened up to Apte about the challenges of portraying well-known historical figures.

Foy, who finds the queen “humble, bound by duty and not looking for glory” also gave a peek into what viewers could expect in the second season. While Apte displayed her usual streak of confidence, what we did find amusing was how towards the end of the brief interview, her accent turned almost British.

Didi’s paathshala of politics
Mamata Banerjee winning elections or getting erstwhile Left leaders to her fold does not singe the Left patriarchs anymore.

But her quick tips on how to be a politician gets the senior leaders, some who still call her “that woman”, to grab a pillow with Stalin’s face at night and weep. Previously, she had met the senior Left leadership to discuss how their party was responsible for violence in the state. She turned it into a congenial evening adda with fish fry and kasundi.

She lectured them on national politics and the emergence of the right-winger; in fact, we learnt that she just stopped short of getting into a treatise on theories. Now, after a bandh called by the Left in which no one played cricket on the roads, she has reprimanded them gently, and asked the Left-leaning babus to join her on the streets and learn the art of politics. Ahem.

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