Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Feb 25, 2017, 08:06 IST | Team mid-day

Vintage moves
The annual rally of the Vintage and Classic Car Club of India will be held tomorrow. The four wheel fiesta usually has a curtain raiser a day before the main event, when the cars are up for display, usually at the Kala Ghoda parking lot. Much oohing and aahing and selfie-taking ensues with SoBo families and tourists posing with the vintage lovelies.

Mumbaikars take pictures of the vintage line-up before an earlier edition of the rally
Mumbaikars take pictures of the vintage line-up before an earlier edition of the rally

This time, though, the cars have decided they need a change of scene. They are going to be displayed from 11 am to 4 pm today at the Amateur Riders' Club ground at the Mahalaxmi race course. Expect a new demographic cooing over the beauties, not the Westerners meandering around the Fort area's old buildings, turning lobster pink in the Mumbai heat. We think even the horses will be turning around in wonder, because these cars invite a second glance…and a third… and a fourth...

Rainbow-hued world view
It is a global film scene out there and this is reflected in Mumbai's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer film festival, Kashish. Kashish Global, an initiative of Kashish Mumbai, is facilitating programming of Indian LGBTQ films at international film festivals. Some of the films programmed include Nishant Roy Bombarde's National Award-winning film Daaravtha, Vikrant Dhote and Srikant Ananthakrishnan's Any Other Day, and Sridhar Rangayan's National Award-winning documentary feature Breaking Free.

A still from Any Other Day
A still from Any Other Day

The films are being screened in Dallas, USA, and at the Mardigras Film Festival in Australia in early March. The films will also be screened in Brisbane and Melbourne. We like the fact that the Kashish caravan is trundling on — first it was at universities in India, now it is truly international.

Asian accents
We are riding in an auto-rickshaw, but the noise of Mumbai's traffic doesn't manage to drown out the happiness in Chef Manish Mehrotra's voice. Having made it to Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list for the fifth time, the chef is looking into the future. "I was a little disheartened that our ranking dropped down to 30 this year from nine in 2016.

Gaggan Anand and Manish Mehrotra
Gaggan Anand and Manish Mehrotra

But, we are in full spirit to push the envelope and rise up the ladder," says Mehrotra, who posted a video of himself with Gaggan Anand, whose restaurant Gaggan made it to the top of the list at No 1.

"Gaggan and I share a great rapport, and since the announcement event took place in Bangkok, I even visited his restaurant for a meal a day before. We were joking with each other before the ceremony, and were stoked as both of us had made it to the list. We are trying to do the same thing for Indian cuisine on the world map, though in different styles." Wasabi by Morimoto at the Taj Mahal Palace was at No. 46.

Berry Pulao to sell a book?
This particular book promo took the cake. Actually, make that Berry Pulao. A leading Dilliwallah publisher has decided to introduce food to their long list of innovative (sometimes oddball) ideas as far as book promotions go. This video was to plug a recent title by one of their big-ticket filmi authors. A first glance at the video reveals a fleeting glimpse of the book jacket placed on a wooden table.

Chicken Berry Pulao at Britannia
Chicken Berry Pulao at Britannia

For the next minute or so, frames created on the lines of the hugely popular instant 'how-to-make' recipes tell the viewer how to make the Parsi delicacy, Berry Pulao. Around the time when we begin to wonder if there is going to be a connect with the book, a quote by the same author on how food changed his life pops up. Final frame: A plate of piping-hot Berry Pulao. Cool marketing tool or teaser for a new book on Parsi cuisine? We're just saying.

A gritty activist's journey
Civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad's book, Foot Soldier of the Constitution, was released last evening in the city by well-known columnist Anil Dharker.

Sidharth Bhatia takes a picture of Teesta Setalvad with her fans at the launch. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Sidharth Bhatia takes a picture of Teesta Setalvad with her fans at the launch. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

She was in conversation with senior journalist Sidharth Bhatia, and going by the sheer range of topics they discussed, we know this is one memoir that promises to be a riveting read.

 

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