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Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

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

Heeba Shah to narrate Chughtai
Motley theatre group is back with their popular play, Kambakth Bilkul Aurat, the second part of the famed Ismat Apa ke Naam. While the original play features three stories by Ismat Khanum Chughtai including Amar Bel narrated by Manoj Pawah, Do Haath by Seema Pawah and Nanhi ki Naani by Lovleen Mishra, the version slated for this Sunday at the Rashtriya Smarak will now feature a new story, Lihaaf, narrated by Heeba Shah. “This will be the third story instead of Nanhi ki Naani. The story telling format allows us to swap stories,” says Shah, who has earlier narrated this story as part o a play titled, Ismat Manto Haazir Hai. “Chughtai manages to say a lot in a short paragraph. This story is about three characters —Begum Jaan, her masseuse Rabbo and Chughtai who was 11 then. The story addresses issues of child molestation, loneliness felt by a married woman and homosexuality. It got Chughtai arrested when she wrote it,” shares Shah. The play is directed by Naseeruddin Shah.

Heeba Shah in a play
Heeba Shah in a play

For the long run
Manoj Bajpai

Manoj Bajpai runs along with child artist Mayur who played the role of a young long distance runner, Budhia Singh, during the anthem launch of the film in Bandra last evening. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

For a chai high
Celebrity Chef Atul Kochhar’s restaurant NRI will now woo tea lovers with a new Hi Chai menu that boasts of teas developed by sommelier Anamika Singh, paired with a monsoon snack menu, inspired by the cooking styles and ingredients of the Indian diaspora from the world over. “We have used a mix of exotic mild, flavoured tea with infusions as well as desi chai which brings back childhood memories,” says Singh. “The Indian Bouquet for example, features rose petals, rhododendron, cornflowers, chamomile which are strewn in to weave the freshness of lemon grass, leaving a sweet citrusy aroma that makes you dream while the Saat ras masala tea is handcrafted indvidually in the mountain air, and brews with its distinctive fresh, delicate flavour and crystalline liquor. It has the highest level of antioxidants, making it the most rare and delicate of teas,” she adds. Ready to tea off?

Anamika Singh
Anamika Singh

When the virtual meets real
Indian gamers are up for a special treat this month. Empower Labs, a Hyderabad-based Augmented Reality (AR) gaming technology company is all set to bring out Delta T, an AR-based massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for smartphones. The game combines the real world with virtual game play. The company recently released a teaser video, which has already witnessed three lakh hits and counting. Though, a relatively unknown company, it has been making headlines internationally and is expected to launch it officially by the third week of July. We can’t share much at the moment, but for those interested in getting a peek into the gameplay, the company is offering a free pass to its Beta version. Check out their website, www.deltagame.com, for an AR treat. Watch this space for more.

Palkhivala, my friend
After years of research into the life of one of his closest friends, Dr Dharmendra Bhandari, former associate professor at the University of Rajasthan, wrote the story of Nani Palkhivala, the eminent jurist. Yesterday, Dr Bhandari presented the first copy of his book, Nani Palkhivala: God’s Gift to India (Biography by a Friend), to President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Anamika Singh

President Mukherjee recalled, “I still remember how, after I delivered my first Budget, he remarked that it fell below his expectations from me. I wrote to him, agreeing with his remark! You don’t see men like that anymore.”

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