Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

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

Andy Roberts rocks to 1974-75 beat
Erstwhile West Indies fast bowler, now Sir Andy Roberts, was in for a surprise recently when a friend from Mumbai informed him that there is footage of him in the Films Division archives bowling West Indies to a 3-2 series victory over India in 1974-75.

Antiguan Andy Roberts during the West Indies’ 1974-75 tour of India. Pic/MIDDAY Archives
Antiguan Andy Roberts during the West Indies’ 1974-75 tour of India. Pic/MIDDAY Archives

Roberts couldn’t believe his ears and exclaimed, “I didn’t even know the matches were televised.” The Antiguan couldn’t wait to see himself as a 24-year-old fast bowler at the peak of his pace. He took 32 wickets in that series, the best of his spells coming in the Chennai Test in which he claimed 12 wickets albeit for a losing cause.

Roberts rose in popularity in India after that series and also figured in a conversation in the movie Amar Akbar Anthony when ‘police inspector’ Vinod Khanna asks Amitabh Bachchan the whereabouts of Robert (the villain in the film). Bachchan then tells him ‘fast bowler Andy Robert’ (sic) left India after the series and didn’t even meet him before he left.

The DVD was couriered to Antigua and Roberts was soon in front of his screen reliving those great moments. Anderson Montgomery Everton Roberts was one of the most expressionless fast bowlers to play the game, but we promise you he’s smiling in Antigua right now.

Shake this gold
There is a millionare milkshake made of a 24K edible gold leaf, with Godiva, Patchi and Royal chocolates, in town now! Food enthusiasts Tina Bakshi and chef Rahul Ramnani in Lokhandwala, have set up Milkshake & Co, a bar and diner that has a curated menu of over 20 flavours.

“It’s a fat kid’s joint. We use three per cent fat milk and whipped cream,” says Bakshi, who has modelled the decor on the lines of an American diner. Make sure you take Betty and Veronica along.

Boom! say the Basrai bros
Architecture superheroes Ayaz and Zameer Basrai are speculating on changing the city, and that too with predictions.

Ayaz Basrai
Ayaz Basrai

The brothers, behind the interiors of some of the city’s most popular eateries inlcuding Salt Water Cafe, have been working on ‘Bombay Boomtown’ and spinning faux news, some utopian and some dystopian, on social media “to challenge established views on development.” But the boys know how to spike seriousness with funk.

Think tetrapods which double up as tidal energy harvesters to power Marine Drive’s lights or scuba-pilgrimages to Haji Ali Dargah. Partnering with students from the National Institute of Design (NID), Ayaz said, “We believe that city problems are issues of myopia, where we’re not looking at longer horizons. The idea is to spread the love.”

A not-so-Zen Jap bike maestro
Kaichiroh Kurosu (in pic), well-known Japanese custom bike builder, who was down to judge a custom bike building competition organised by Harley Davidson, seemed at home in hot Mumbai on Friday noon.

Kaichiroh Kurosu
Kaichiroh Kurosu

He was telling us that the only way to make sure that each bike he modifies is drastically different from another is to build them by hand. “That’s the only way they retain individuality. Everything machine-made looks the same.”

When we asked him that since the Japanese people are calm, is bike building akin to meditation for him, he laughed, “No way. It’s stressful; there is a lot of hard work that goes into this. But the five minutes of happiness I feel when it’s over, makes it all worth it!”

From UK to India, let the dils unite
Ex-Wall Street trader KJ Dhaliwal (in pic) realised that Indians everywhere want to get married to Indians, just like him. And so he launched Dil Mil, a dating app that’s very different from Tinder, he says.

KJ Dhaliwal
KJ Dhaliwal

“This is not about casual hook ups. This is about long-term relationships, leading up to getting hitched.” The app, just launched in India and already functional in the UK and the States, works better for women than men, he thinks.

“Our algorithms work in such a way that men are filtered down to the crème de la crème. We keep the best, in regards to education, looks, social status (as that matters in India), and money.” Ladies, take note.

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