Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

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

Well served, chef
Chef Manu Chandra is a man of few, but good words. His response to a post by a miffed customer — who on Friday, posted a picture of a bill paid at his eatery, The Fatty Bao in Delhi, claiming the amount had been fudged — was most fitting.

Chef Manu Chandra
Chef Manu Chandra

In a drunken stupor, the group had unquestioningly paid a bill of around 14,000, only to realise they had been duped for an extra Rs 3,000. The post, of course, went viral and started a chain of hate comments against Manu and his partners. It was only by evening that Chandra responded to the incident.

“We studied the situation, trying to make sense of how something like this could have transpired with the extremely strict systems in place. We reached out to the guest, scoured CCTV footage, quizzed the entire staff and by 4 pm, we had a confession and the culprit was sacked.

This was duly notified to the aggrieved party who was asked if she would want to take criminal action against him. She declined. It is unfortunate that the actions of one delinquent resulted in a social media hailstorm of sorts that called us “thieves”, “cheats” and a whole bunch of other things.

Consumer courts and lawyers’ involvements were recommended and much ill was wished upon us; and the shitstorm that usually accompanies any such post unfolded,” Chandra said in his post. “I also appreciate the many who reached out to us to express their support. My only other wish this Christmas? That this post will go viral…,” Chandra signed off. And repost, we did.

Art islands
We learnt that the heritage precinct of Kala Ghoda is going to keep sculptor Arzan Khambatta busy in the coming months. He is busy planning two permanent public installations on either end of Rampart Row.

Arzan Khambatta
Arzan Khambatta

The island near Rhythm House will feature a tribute to Kala Ghoda — both the area and the annual arts festival — with a black horse flaunting a mane of humans in action.

The other island, right outside Lion’s Gate at the other end of the road, will have a sculpture of INS Vikrant, but not a usual museum-display piece, Arzan says. Consider it more an abstraction.

When his sculptures are finished, this could well mean that Arzan has covered Rampart Row from beginning to end. “This happened totally by chance,” says the artist.

Chappell gifted a ton in Delhi
OUR celebrated cricket columnist Ian Chappell, the former Australia captain, received a special gift from a fan earlier this week when he landed in New Delhi for a talk. The packet contained DVDs of Films Division footage of Chappell’s one and only Test tour to India in 1969-70.

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell

Chappell would be keen on seeing his century in Australia’s first innings during the Delhi Test of that series. It was an attacking hundred as Chappell tackled the likes of Bishan Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna and
S Venkataraghavan with aplomb after his side was reduced to 133 for five.

He scored 138 out of 296. Rajan Bala, the late cricket writer waxed eloquent on the innings in his book Kiwis and Kangaroos: “Chappell’s century, full of violent strokeplay, had the potential to destroy the confidence of any bowling side.”

Chappell, then vice-captain of Bill Lawry's side, was out for a duck in the second innings — dismissed again by his good mate Bishan Singh Bedi, caught by Eknath Solkar as Australia lost the Test, but ended up winning the series 3-1 at Madras. It may be too late now, but Hashim Amla’s South Africans would do well to watch how that Australian side tackled the turning ball on spin-friendly conditions against a superior spin attack than the current one.

Ladies, shake off the grind
Zaheer Khan has a grouse. Women aren’t taking their fitness seriously. “They have tough schedules, and are juggling between tasks, which means that they are not putting fitness on priority,” says the lithe cricketer.

Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan

To correct this trend, Khan has organised a fitness workshop at the IMC Ladies Wing on December. Khan will train women aged 25-50 on compact exercises like stretching, planks, facial exercise that can be practised at home or at work. “The idea is to boost their metabolism,” says the 37-year-old.

YouTube’s space is a hi-tech one
YouTube unveiled its first space in Mumbai at the sprawling Whistling Woods campus in Andheri East. Ranjit Kumar, aka GeekyRanjit, a bonafide YouTuber with over three lakh subscribers to his tech channel, who flew down from Hyderabad for the launch, shares that anyone with over 1,000 subscribers can use the space.

“It’s got state-of-the-art equipment, which is a boon for young YouTubers. You can record your song, shoot your video, edit… the works,” he says, “Also, there is guidance provided at each level, and that’s important.” The digital world just got more exciting.

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