Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

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

Destiny is a card game
Mumbai’s Tony Willingdon Sports Club (WSC) at Haji Ali sees a slew of luxury cars in its impressive driveway, just opposite the Mahalaxmi racecourse.

An aerial view of Willingdon Club at Haji Ali. Pic/Suresh Karkera
An aerial view of Willingdon Club at Haji Ali. Pic/Suresh Karkera

The Willingdon is resplendent in the monsoon, with its lush green golf course and its British-style buildings whitewashed. When it rains, the card room of the club, with burnished brown wood, is packed to the gills with the saabs and memsaabs at card sessions, bridge groups and rummy mummies.

So when these members dole out the aces and deal with the spades, what do their chauffeurs lounging in the substantial car park of the club do? They too indulge in the queen of hearts and king of spades. There is a huge group of drivers busy with card games, parked next to BMWs, Audis and Mercs, while their employers play in the spiffy interiors of the club.

We don’t know what the stakes are for the drivers, but can’t help thinking: the difference between the saabs and those who are paid to take the wheel is only in where they deal the cards.

In the light of care


Pic/Suresh Karkera

Dia Mirza and Leslie Lewis at an event at a Parel five star to gather funds for medical care for underprivileged children suffering critical illness.

Go with the flow
An abstract concept about a conversation between past, present and future who are drinking at a bar, brilliant light design and some graceful moves, had the audience spellbound at Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak auditorium over the weekend.

A scene from Dhrut
A scene from Dhrut

The stunning, fluid performance was executed to live music and ended with a standing ovation. The four dancers from Sumeet Nagdev Dance Arts made an appeal to the audience to help raise funds for them to travel to New York for the Erasing Borders Dance Festival.

The quartet were invited to stage their latest production Dhrut, a combination of dance forms like Ballet, Contemporary, Breaking and Kathak, on August 15 in NYC. The team performed with three musicians including a keyboard artiste, a percussionist and a live music director who unfortunately will not be able to make it to the dance festival.

“The festival didn’t have money to fund the musicians. We have found local musicians there with whom we will have five days to practice before the performance,” reveals Nagdev. The team has currently found sponsorship for two performers while the remaining two are still awaiting funds.

A new kind of tour
Mumbai's kids are having the time of their life when it comes to activities. Barely did we recover from the kiddie spa that we reviewed last week; now, we hear that a leading pizza chain is inviting kids to sign up for their Sunday kitchen tours.

Not just for a dekko, this tour will allow them to bring out their ‘inner chef’ where the lil’ ones will roll out the dough and get into pizza-making mode. This apart, there’s a kiddie menu to be tasted and a story telling session. Guess, this is what the millennial child’s perfect Sunday has come to be.

Some serious butt-kicking


Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Several Mumbai faces including (left) Loy Mendonsa and (second right) Ehsaan Noorani, (fourth left) Viveik Oberoi, (centre) Dr PS Pasricha and (right) Shankar Mahadevan throw cigarette packets into a mock fire at an anti-tobacco event over the weekend at a Bandra five-star.

Chef Bhatia in the house
Chef Vineet Bhatia flies down to Mumbai every three months, to oversee quality control at Ziya, The Oberoi, Nariman Point. “I return to gather feedback on the menu, meet new staff members, touch base with the team and start work on the next menu,” says the consulting chef of the modern Indian cuisine restaurant.

Chef Vineet Bhatia
Chef Vineet Bhatia

What you will indulge in now is a menu that Bhatia had worked on during his previous trip. While mangoes are on their way out, he calls Mumbai a melting pot. “Thankfully, most of the ingredients are available round the year. One of the highlights of the current menu, is the mithai.

We are using rose in the form of gulkand ice cream, a mousse, and even a glazed rasgulla,” says the says London-based chef, who will fly out to London this week. “But, not without celebrating my father’s birthday,” he signs off.

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