Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

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

Chalo, Puducherry
This one is for theatre lovers. The Embassy of France in India and its cultural network (Institut Français en Inde and Alliance française de Pondichéry), in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, Government of Puducherry, and Indianostrum Theatre, have invited Ariane Mnouchkine, experimental theatre director, to tour India with her École Nomade.

The art of theatre. Pic courtesy/Michele LaurentThe art of theatre. Pic courtesy/Michele Laurent

Ariane Mnouchkine and 12 artistes of Théâtre du Soleil will showcase their idea of theatre in Puducherry (Pondicherry) from December 14 to 30. Auditions will be held for shortlisted candidates to select about 80-odd participants. If you’re keen to experience the joys of theatre in Puducherry, and want a tiny slice of France in your life, write to: archana.chaudhary@ institutfrancais.in

The bold and the Bard
As we approach Shakespeare’s 400th death anniversary in April 2016, witness a radical interpretation of the Bard’s much-loved comedy, Twelfth Night. The production will be staged for the first time in Mumbai by Filter Theatre (in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company), one of the UK’s boldest devising companies.

Brought to India by The British Council, the artistes will perform shows on December 17 and 18. They will also tour with the play across eight cities in India, including Delhi, Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar. Though the play stays true to the tale, it shuns grand speeches and traditional costumes for a contemporary approach. Hear hear.

Grant Road’s track record
November 28 marked an important date in Mumbai’s rail history. It was on this day, in 1864, that the first Bombay Baroda and Central India (BB&CI) train on the western coastal lines of Bombay (Mumbai) chugged into Grant Road station from Ahmedabad (Gujarat). Back then, the first terminus on the Western line was Grant Road station.

According to the Western Railway archives, for its return journey, the train left Grant Road at 7 am and reached Ahmedabad at 5 pm the next day. Western Railways, in its present form, came into existence on November 5, 1951, with the merger of its forerunner, the BB&CI, with other state railways — Saurashtra, Rajputana and Jaipur.

A clay man at your dinner table
If you wish to add some kitsch to your kitchenware, head to a trunk show at Fort’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and look out for Claymen. The Delhi-based brand by sculptor and artist, Aman Khanna, stocks innovative figurines and objects that work as salt and pepper shakers, jars, bowls and even wine glasses.

Quirky kitchenware by Claymen
Quirky kitchenware by Claymen

Sun-dried and half-baked clay is used to shape the quirky figures. The two-day show, on December 2 and 3 (10.30 am to 7 pm), also packs in cool brands like Ikai by Ragini Ahuja, Love Birds and Square Loops. The show will be held in aid of NGO Concern India Foundation that works in the areas of education, health and community development.

Kamala Mills on a culinary high
In the past couple of years, the defunct cotton mills of Lower Parel have been given a new lease of life by the enterprising restaurateurs. While Todi Mills is now jam-packed with pubs, cafés and bars, Kamala Mills seems to be following suit.

PDT, that opened doors in August 2014, was one of the early pub entrants at Kamala Mills
PDT, that opened doors in August 2014, was one of the early pub entrants at Kamala Mills

According to a reliable source, as many as six new restaurants are set to open in the sprawling complex that is already home to The Bombay Canteen, Millk and speakeasy pub, PDT (Please Don’t Tell). The new entrants will include outposts of The Good Wife and The Bar Stock Exchange, Ranveer Brar’s Tag Kitchen and Cellar and another restaurant by Zorawar Kalra, too. Bring it on, we say!

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