Mumbai Diary: Saturday dossier

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

Robot visit to Mumbai
An edgy producer who’s worked with the likes of House music producer Tensnake, sitar player Anoushka Shankar, singer-songwriter Norah Jones and German genre-bending act Modeselektor, Robot Koch is known to Indian fans for his appearance at Magnetic Fields Festival in December 2013.

Robot Koch
Robot Koch

His rework of the famous The Mamas and The Papas song, California Dreamin’, featuring Delhia de France — used for the trailer of the apocalyptic film, San Andreas featuring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson — also earned him new fans earlier this year. Now, he is back with Hypermoment, after four years. Set for a release on November 25, a day before the start of his upcoming tour, Hypermoment is a true evolution of Koch’s sound and style. Driving deeper into more intimate territory with swathes of saturated, analogue sounds, real world field recordings, and lush pianos and soundscapes, the album also marks the debut of Robot Koch the singer. Don’t miss his groovy sounds that will hit the city on November 27.

Kalki Koechlin says #MarkIdharHaia
Yesterday kicked off the beginning of India’s second Fairtrade weekend, orchestrated by Fairtrade India that creates awareness about ethical practices in trade. Their theme for this year's weekend event is #MarkIdharHai and #SpotTheMark.

Fairtrade and organic farmers from Labed, Chhatisgarh
Fairtrade and organic farmers from Labed, Chhatisgarh

The flagship event is a 450-km walk between Auroville and Ooty. Both towns are joining hands to be a part of the global fair trade movement and will soon become the first Fairtrade twin towns in the world, joining 1,900 others later. Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin has lent her support to this movement. Kalki’s reason to jump in is that she was born in Pondicherry and is a child of Auroville and has always supported the movement by raising her voice for farmers, workers and craftsmen.

Kalki Koechlin posts her solidarity for the movement
Kalki Koechlin posts her solidarity for the movement

Till November 23, Fairtrade and its India partners will celebrate and spread the word to encourage people to think about those who grow their food, and help make their clothes. For more details, log on to www.weekend.fairtradeindia.org.

Happy Birthday, Strand Book Stall
Most book-loving Mumbaikars will have at least one episode to share, an anecdote to recall or a fond memory of a book purchased from Strand Book Stall. As the little big bookstore completed another birthday yesterday, we couldn’t help but wonder what its founder, late TN Shanbhag would have to say about the alarming rate at which bookstores are shutting shop or having to find alternate avenues to stay alive.

Strand Book Stall

Possibly, the only owner of a bookstore in India to have been honoured with the Padma Shri, he wooed the habit of reading in his own amiable, warm way. With discounts and a well informed staff — unheard of in the 1960s, ’70s and later — it was the go-to place for every kind of reader. Step in, for a slice of an old-world Mumbai amidst towering shelves of bestsellers and rare reads, before you step back into the din of a city in a rush.

Rajasthan’s tribute to fashion
Though, technically a three-day affair (December 3-5), the organisers of the Rajasthan Heritage Week (RHW), are going all out to draw the attention of fashionistas and others to the rich traditions of the state by showcasing its textiles, crafts and fashion. Backed by the state government, RHW will see the likes of Abraham & Thakore, Ritu Kumar and Hemant Trivedi showcase the regalia of the desert state in all its splendour.

A Bibi Russell ensemble created with the weavers and craftsmen of Rajasthan. PIC COURTESY/HAIDER KHAN
A Bibi Russell ensemble created with the weavers and craftsmen of Rajasthan. PIC COURTESY/HAIDER KHAN

Style czar, Prasad Bidappa who is the organiser and chief creative director, is excited, “The Rajasthan Heritage Week is a unique event that integrates the traditional textile arts of the state with the most talented designers in India and abroad. In the same way that the Irish made a global statement with their linen, India needs to brand its khadi and handloom masterpieces, and position them as true luxury that is rare and unique.”

Prasad Bidappa
Prasad Bidappa

Bidappa went on to articulate how the new generation needed to be educated about the importance of India’s handmade arts, adding, “For long, khadi has been relegated to the shelves of uninspiring stores, and had lost its importance as the fabric that won us our freedom. It’s time to make our youth and the world understand that this is the fabric of the future.”

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