Pic/Shadab Khan

Beauties, both
Actress Alia Bhatt was spotted heading out of a celebrity management firm office in Bandra over the weekend.

A roots for wise man's timber
When you think of bamboo products, furniture or pretty showpieces is what comes to mind. But did you know that the versatile plant can also be crafted into an acoustic speaker? Bamboo India, a Pune-based initiative, calls bamboo the wise man's timber and is working towards saving one lakh kilos of plastic waste by December 2017. While adding products like bamboo toothbrushes, speakers and desk organisers to its range, it has also helped empower rural artisans. The venture, whose products are available at the newly opened Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre in Airoli, has gained support from celebs including Dia Mirza and Juhi Chawla. Now, that's what we call brand endorsement with a difference.


Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Learning, with a touch of heritage
Last weekend, this newspaper had reported that the newly-restored Mulji Jetha Fountain in Fort was under threat from drug peddlers and squatters even before the official inauguration. Yet, the Kala Ghoda Association (KGA), who has been instrumental in giving a new lease of life to the landmark, prefers to look ahead. "Once the security is guaranteed, we (KGA) would love to start public initiatives here. In fact, we would like to set up a night school in the space within the enclosure," reveals Maneck Davar, chairman of KGA, while spelling out future plans to this diarist for the Indo-Saracenic landmark designed by the 19th century architect FW Stevens. This is exactly the kind of enterprise that we'd like to see more of, particularly in SoBo's heritage precincts where countless unoccupied, beautiful and well-lit spaces can be converted into sanctuaries of learning for the less fortunate.

The chef who beat Gordon Ramsay
At the recently concluded ceremony of the first edition of the British Restaurant Awards in London, Vineet Bhatia was hoping to bag an award for the best new restaurant out of the three categories he'd been nominated in. But when the Michelin starred chef was announced as Best Chef 2017, he could hardly believe that the public had voted for him over Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal. "We were just not expecting it," Bhatia, who was in Mumbai to host a workshop and dinner at his SoBo restaurant, told this diarist. What else did the chef do on this trip? He took a tour of Mohammed Ali Road for meaty Ramzan treats. Smart.

Amish finds a new fan in Gul
It's barely been a fortnight since Amish Tripathi launched Sita, Warrior of Mithila, the second book in his Ram Chandra series, and Gul Panag is already done reading the 370-pager. The actress said she "thoroughly enjoyed Sita.

The cliff hanger ending leaves me wanting more, and waiting for the third part." Perhaps the plucky avatar of the mythological character, who finds her true calling, resonated with the actress who is also a pilot, licensed paraglider, mountaineer and biker? Phew!


Pic Courtesy/Taras Taraporvala

Saransh runs to Bandra
It's been a year since Saransh Goila launched a delivery and takeaway venture in Andheri, satiating suburban foodies with his version of Butter Chicken — rich and creamy but with a smokey twist. From today, foodies in Bandra, Khar and Santacruz, too, can savour his creation as the chef, with co-founder Vivek Sahani, launches Goila Butter Chicken's second delivery kitchen in Bandra. The new menu also includes additions inspired from Goila's recent travels, including Ludhiana Chicken and Cheese And Mushroom Naan Bombs. He announced the launch date on Twitter by posting a quirky photograph of him running with a takeaway. That he has been training ardently for a half-marathon is quite evident in his strides.