Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

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

For the record

Shah Rukh Khan and Shaina NC during the launch of Movers & Makers. Pic/Sameer Markande
Shah Rukh Khan and Shaina NC during the launch of Movers & Makers. Pic/Sameer Markande

The desire to experiment in areas hitherto unfamiliar, Shaina NC probably gets from her charming mother Munira. Bang in her 70s, former sheriff Nana Chudasama’s wife decided to take off to Oxford for a short course in philosophy. Fashion designer, and now politician, Shaina follows suit, and this time her experiment is with writing. "I am not a hardcore author," she told this diarist on the day her book, Movers & Makers: The Making of Make in India Week 2016 was launched in the presence of actor Shah Rukh Khan (in pic) and CM Devendra Fadnavis, "but I like to write, and the foreword is straight from the heart." The coffee table title is a tribute to the week-long event held earlier this year, centering around innovation, design and sustainability. The book is her effort to chronicle the events and those committed to it, with a special focus on textiles. Shaina returned to her first love, designing, when she helmed an installation in collaboration with 25 designers to celebrate Indian textiles, with a finalé event paying tribute to Maharashtra’s star sari, the Paithani. "I felt, unless all of this was documented, we’d forget it," she said. Memory is a fickle thing, they say, and who knows that better than a politico.

Hipsters Inc.

Pic/Atul Kamble

Hip-Hop artistes perform at a Khar pub on Wednesday. Upcoming rappers from the city like MC Mawali, MC Tod Fod, Mumbai’s Finest and Delhi’s Prabh Deep Sagar performed along with popular names like Divine and Naezy as a part of an event, HipHop Homeland Live by web platform 101 India. 

Want a Chocogasm?

Move over orgasm, the Chocogasm is here! In a less-than-two minute video, DOP Jignesh Jhaveri induces a chocogasm as he zooms into a stack of cocoa pieces, that crumble into a pile, as if rocked by an earthquake and transform into silky brown cubes. Titled, The Chocolatier, the chocolate-making video on Toshin Patissier Chocolatier recently won the prestigious Pink Lady Food Photography of the Year Award in the non-documentary section of the People’s Choice category. It was the lone Indian entry shortlisted by a panel of esteemed judges including Australian chef Curtis Stone and award-winning wine writer Joanna Simon. It won based on public voting. "I am very touched by the response from the voters. We will continue to put up our best foot forward," said Toshin Shetty.

India is cooking Down Under

While we don’t really need a reason to binge on episodes of MasterChef Australia, we look forward to cheering for desi contestants every season. There have been many in the past, including Rishi Desai and Dalvinder Dhami (and remember the first-ever veggie contestant Hetal Vasavada on MasterChef US who won the steak challenge?). This season will see 30-year-old call centre employee, Nidhi Mahajan. Mahajan moved to Adelaide from Chandigarh in 2013. She is said to have impressed the judges, especially the fearsome Marco Pierre White, who encouraged her to open a restaurant in the UK. She found a place for herself in the Top 24 slot. This diarist will be rooting for her in season eight  that goes on air on May 9.

Jai ho to college theatre

At a rehearsal of Kaaya
At a rehearsal of Kaaya

A bunch of 16 to 19-year-old collegians, most from Jai Hind College, are ready with their debut play, Kaaya. Calling themselves Clean Slate Studios, their play is a tale about a leading business executive’s dreaded past. From the choreography to the music and direction down to backstage details, including pitching for a venue and printing T-shirts, they have pulled it all off independently. When asked about their challenges, Palak Shah (one of the lead actresses, from HR college) said, "Initially, we didn’t realise all that needs to be done. We needed to get our script approved by the censors, for which we had to type out our Hinglish play in Hindi. We needed to get a performance license and make sure there was nothing in the play that could possibly offend any community."

In the Raja's darbar

Pic/Nimesh Dave
Pic/Nimesh Dave

Something seems to have caught the attention of panelists (from left), artist Atul Dodiya, art patron Anil Relia, designer Krsna Mehta and film director Ketan Mehta, who along with art connoisseur Sangita Kathiwada, were part of a discussion on Indian kitsch last evening. They traced the effort of legendary artist Raja Ravi Varma and his influence on Indian art, design, photography, cinematic references and bazaar prints.

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