Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

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

The Japanese are coming!
From Japanese women who groove to Bollywood jhatkas to a gig by their Pop sensation Erina Matsui, the two-day Cool Japan Festival will see a mix of acts that will give you more than a dekko of the land of the rising sun.

This fifth edition of the fest will offer a mix of culinary and cultural activities. Other highlights include a visit by Miss World Japan 2015 Chika Nakagawa, Buddhist veggie fare known as Shojin Ryori, and Mumbai-based Japanese school kids who will perform cultural acts, all at High Street Phoenix.

Tanjore paintings for your home
There is a big fat auction of Tanjore paintings coming up in the city from January 20. The tradition emerged as a distinct style in the court of the Maratha rulers of Thanjavur in the 17th century and peaked under the reign of Serfoji Bhonsale II in the 18th century.

These, mainly religious themed paintings, were displayed on walls in homes and evolved out of the growing prominence of the Bhakti movement, which focused on private worship. The exhibition will feature 27 lots from the Poonam Amin collection, which are dated circa 1950, and are valued between R2 to R5 lakh each, with a total estimated value of Rs 72 to Rs 99 lakh.

Amar, Akbar, Anthony. Version 2.0
To celebrate 39 years since the Bollywood blockbuster by Manmohan Desai, Amar Akbar Anthony was released, three scholars from different US universities — William Elison, Christian Lee Novetzke, and Andy Rotman — have put their heads together to write Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation (Harvard University Press).

The title offers a sympathetic and layered interpretation of the film’s deeper symbolism, seeing it as a lens for understanding modern India’s experience with secular democracy. We’d love to get our hands on what promises to be an engaging look of contemporary India.

A Maha connect
(Left-right) Professor Sanjay Deshmukh, Vice-Chancellor, University of Mumbai; Professor Vidya Vencatesan, HOD, (French, Mumbai University) and Professor Daniel Chartier after the release of the Marathi and Hindi translations of the first Inuit novel by Markoosie Patsauq (1969).

Professor Jayant Shivram Dhupkar translated the book into Marathi while Dr Sanjay Kumar worked on its translation into Hindi. Both titles were released on Saturday at the Cowasjee Jehangir Hall (Convocation Hall), University of Mumbai, Fort campus. Pic/Atul Kamble

A chef’s hop, from app to box
If you think ordering meals from an app is de rigueur, imagine calling for fare by popular industry chefs, and that too, at pocket-friendly prices. It’s now possible thanks to The Hopping Chef app, an extension of the brand’s private dining service launched in 2014.

Chef Michael Swamy is one of the names roped in for the service
Chef Michael Swamy is one of the names roped in for the service

Available on android and iOS, the app’s main feature is the Hop Box, with multi-cuisine heat-and-eat meal options (read: everything from Butter Chicken to Burmese Khao Suey) created by experts like chef Ajay Thakur of Le Mangii, chef Michael Swamy and chef Prashant Sharma who’s worked with chef Hemant Oberoi, among others.

Veg Italian Hop BoxVeg Italian Hop Box

Currently available between Nariman Point and BKC, the food can also be ordered a day prior. Still want to make your own meal? Then, pick from 200-odd videos of the chefs’ recipes on the app.

And now, it’s Udaipur’s turn
From the looks of it, the race is hotting up. Rajasthan seems to be giving Goa a run for its money as far as music and dance festivals go. The latest venue to enter the fray is the ‘Venice of the East’ — Udaipur, as the PR invite dubs it.

A wall near Udaipur’s Gangaur Ghat displays a graffiti tribute to late Pandit Ravi Shankar
A wall near Udaipur’s Gangaur Ghat displays a graffiti tribute to late Pandit Ravi Shankar

This inaugural world music festival will rock the city on February 13-14, and bring together over 100 artistes and ensembles from over 12 countries, including far-flung Ghana, Spain and Venezuela. It will also mark the celebrations of 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Spain.

A lit-up City Palace that faces Lake Pichola
A lit-up City Palace that faces Lake Pichola

From Spanish Flamenco dancers to Fado singers from Portugal, Sufi Gospel musicians as well as Ghanian beat singers, this one promises to include world music and dance enthusiasts. And, for those who enjoy their dose of desi music, Papon and East Indian Company will belt tracks from their albums. It’s going to be a 48-hour-long-party graced by the scenic Lake Pichola.

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