Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Sep 17, 2017, 07:00 IST | Team Mid-day

Letting off steam
(From left) Singers Harshi Mad, Aditya Narayan and Arial Romal seem to be living it up at the launch of their song in Juhu on Friday night. Pic/Atul Kamble

Let's drink to Kohli's health!
So, Virat Kohli has spurned the cola endorsement because he does not consume the beverage. Noble indeed, reckoned his supporters, and cynicism aside, he has indicated what is healthy and what is not.

Social media is abuzz with reactions to Kohli's thanks-but-no thanks response to the cola giant. One sports writer remarked on Facebook: "He captains an IPL franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore named after a whiskey brand. Does one therefore assume he consumes 'hard' drinks but is opposed to 'soft' drinks? Strange upturned world we live in!"

And, a former first-class cricketer remarked: "Kohli refuses cola when he has enough; Gopichand refused when he had nothing. Not comparing, just saying." As for us, we salute 2001 All England champion and ace badminton coach P Gopichand, and let's drink some good old paani to Kohli's health and the spurning of the endorsement deed.

Tejas made it happen
Singer-songwriter Tejas's album, Make It Happen, dropped on Friday and we haven't been able to stop listening to it. The 27-year-old started crowdfunding on Wishberry at the beginning of this year and the initiative seems to have paid off. "Well, first off, the crowdfunding made me take my own album really seriously. There was no more room for slacking off since there were so many people's time and money now invested in it. But more importantly, I had to match every single rupee I received with my own, to make sure nothing else was half-baked. I paid for the mastering and artwork and practically everything else to make sure I sustained a level of quality with the album," he told this diarist.

And, it shows. The album, which will be available exclusively on Apple Music for the first week, is a treat to listen to with 'Wine' being our favourite. But, if you are hoping to catch him performing any time soon, you will have to wait a bit. "The plan with the album is to let it simmer for a bit with listeners. I didn't want to do a tour immediately, because I really was looking forward to people listening and looping their favourite songs and learning the lyrics and parts, because that's what my show is good at creating: playing the songs for listeners. For now, there is a tour planned for November-December." We can hardly wait.

One year down
It's been a year since Ananya Birla launched her own startup with luxury ecommerce venture that curates handmade lifestyle products. It was with an immersive virtual reality presentation that CuroCarte splashed into the scene at a flamboyant launch last year. To commemorate the completion of its first year, the 23-year-old Birla scion has kept a party at one of Bandra's newest restobars, that's rather popular among the city's swish set. The handmade revolution that the venture had accomplished to bring in, has been going well, we hear. In fact, on its anniversary, there'll be further announcements on the journey forward. We'll keep our eyes and ears open.

Chef Scott Linquist
Chef Scott Linquist

Burrito in Bombay
In the last 20 years, Chef Scott Linquist has rustled up delicious Mexican fare across the world including Miami, Santo Domingo and Dominican Republic. Now, he's set to come to Mumbai. The chef joins as partner to XICO, a contemporary Mexican restaurant that will launch at Kamala Mills this month. "The food scene in Mumbai is on fire! It is rapidly emerging with so many new spots opening all the time.

In that sense, it is similar to Miami with its current culinary revolution," he says. Linquist hopes to apply the knowledge that he has acquired through years of travel and studying the cuisine and culture of Mexico. "Indian and Mexican cuisine have so many similarities they would seem as if they are family. Both cuisines use a lot of chillies and spices and have bold and exotic flavours. With Mexican food, we serve tortillas with every meal just like the Indian roti," he says.

The great Indian heroine
There's nothing as exciting as looking forward to a book from a fine writer. And, when this person happens to be Mumbai's good ol' mulga, Kiran Nagarkar, there's only more reason to jump with glee. Nagarkar's delicious and tongue-in-cheek writing apart, fans of his famed Ravan and Eddie series, have been waiting with bated breath for the veteran to churn out another page-turner. His new novel titled Jasoda (HarperCollins India), which is slated for a November release, takes us into the drought-ridden village of Paar.

When this diarist reached out to the veteran, he spilled the beans on his protagonist, the eponymous Jasoda. "This is a woman who is absolutely heroic, and is totally unaware of it," he says. "I have lived with Jasoda [the character and the book] for 20 years, but I left her in between for a very long time till a friend read the first 70 pages of what I had written, and enquired why I had left her. That's how I went back to her again." The result is an epic journey of a woman, who we hear, will bring to mind the legendary tale of Odysseus from Homer's Odyssey.

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