Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

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

Crow on song
This diarist spotted a crow perched atop an apt resting spot — the Birdsong signboard.

The popular organic eatery on Waroda Road was shut for the day due to maintenance work, according to a notice plastered on the door, but going by the incessant cawing by this feathered Mumbaikar, it seemed pretty keen to make every passerby take note of the news of the day.

When Shraddha Kapoor pulled all strings


Pic/Sameer Markande

Bollywood actress Shraddha Kapoor seems unfazed while performing a gravity-defying stunt with an international troupe against the facade of a five-star in Worli over the weekend.

Monkeying around with Nandana
Actor, writer and child rights activist, Nandana Dev Sen’s latest release, titled Mambi and the Forest Fire, looks set to woo young readers. Sen is believed to have conceptualised the character of Mambi in Kolkata, when she spent a day in a shelter for children rescued from trafficking and the streets.

“These kids were incredibly creative and resilient but, having a history of trauma, most were also shy, at first. So, I found myself inventing Mambi on the spot. Mambi is a shy but heroic monkey who wants to be like the rest, but is braver than anyone else,” shares Sen who recalls that by the end of that afternoon, she noticed how the kids had transformed into an irrepressible bunch.

Book jacket
Book jacket

The story tries to impart a message about discovering your own. Saskia Pekelharing, who hand paints all her illustrations and also teaches art to children with special needs, has illustrated the book. Monkeying around just got cooler!

Take Kalki’s word for it
Tac. Tac. Tacatacatac, goes Kalki Koechlin reciting the haunting sound of a typewriter, with newspaper articles projected on parts of her body, in an online video, The Printing Machine, that will launch on January 13 on Culture Machine’s digital lifestyle channel, Blush (as part of the Unblushed series).

Stills from the video that features Kalki Koechlin
Stills from the video that features Kalki Koechlin

The five-minute long video of an eponymous poetry penned by the actress is a scathing satire on news gatherers, dailies, weeklies, magazines, social media and textbooks. Alluding to crimes against women and other events that shook the nation, the rhythmic rhymes reveal robotic production processes and apathetic news consumption.

“The poem came from all the headlines and horror stories we keep reading on a daily basis and how we get de-sensitised to them. Sometimes, we don't realise that these headlines are archived and make history, because we live only from day to day, but one day, people will look back on it and see the whole picture of the times we are in,” shares the actress, as she states in the poem, ‘…oh and irony of all ironies, one day will reveal how our great Indian heritage fell to its knees at the mercy of innocent, little printing machine.’ Touche.

Play along with Bengt
Last week, we had interviewed visiting Swedish musician, composer and producer, Bengt Berger, one of the oldest disciples of Pandit Taranath Rao. Berger had mastered both, the Hindustani and Carnatic schools music since the 1960s with Rao and mridangam vidwan, PS Devarajan.

Known for his wizardry over several percussion instruments like the table and mridangam, music students now have a change to learn from the guru in person. Lower Parel’s True School of Music will host a masterclass by Berger today where he will use rhythm to guide participants on cultural conversations. It doesn’t get more intense than this!

Paan parlours and BEST bus tickets
While whizzing past Bandra’s ever-buzzing streets and bylanes, we spotted an interesting banner along the row of shops beside Mount Carmel church. It read: ‘Opening Soon! India’s first Paan Parlour.’

As the Queen of suburbs overflows with news of F&B openings every week, only time will tell if this quirky addition will create any kind of impact. And while on the subject of new spaces, as we had reported about in our bumper January 1, 2016 edition, Global Junction opens in Andheri in the middle of next week.

What caught our eye, especially, as we scanned the invite, was a cool take on the humble BEST bus ticket. Ticket to a foodie ride, this!

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