Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts
The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Hello Again, Neil Diamond
SO, SACHIN Tendulkar is a Neil Diamond fan. We say this not just because he posted a picture of himself, wife Anjali and a few friends after a Diamond concert in UK last week, but because we are privy to his taste. One of our travelling reporters was in Tendulkar's Landmark Hotel room in Kanpur before the 1997 Test against South Africa for a pre-match chat. Yes, back then, the lucky got invited to the India captain’s room.
After chatting about a whole range of subjects, including the series-deciding Test against Hansie Cronje’s warriors, the journalist asked if he could see Tendulkar’s music collection. Out came a thick pack of CDs, and in there was a Neil Diamond collection including Up on the Roof - Songs from the Brill Building. If the journo’s memory serves him right, he may have even spotted Tennessee Moon in there. Tendulkar’s love for concerts hasn’t diminished, going by the picture.
Shivaji Park’s flautist
WHEN it is not raining, the sun comes out and so does flautist Suhas Joshi, his instrument and Ipad in tow. The 70-year-old architect has been spotted every Sunday morning outside Shivaji Park Gymkhana, under a grand tree where he collects quite an audience as he starts playing; his white beard blowing slightly in the wind, eyes trained on the Ipad and brows furrowed in concentration.
Joshi is an amateur flautist, and a common sight at Juhu's Prithvi Theatre café, where a spot has been unconditionally reserved for him for the last 19 years. "On weekdays, I walk around the park and return home. On Sundays, I make time to play the flute,” says Joshi, who clarifies that he “plays only for myself. I’m a selfish man.”
Bhabhis in pop art
BOREDOM is boost for creativity, realised Pakistani-Canadian artist Maria Qamar. While looking for a job online to find something to fill the empty hours, the 24-year-old ad professional, who posts her work on Instagram (@hatecopy), began to doodle ladies.
Her inspiration — Indian soap opera heroines. “I posted a pop-art doodle on Instagram, and suddenly, I had all this attention. I thought it funny, but continued,” says Qamar, who is gathering a following for her comical depiction of dramatic moments in a Roy Lichtenstein style.
“It started with soap opera aunties, but I realised that their circumstances are often the same as real women.” That’s why they say, art imitates life, lady.
Love of selfies
Bandra and Andheri residents Arjun Iyer and Anand Desai are busy with the post production of their first docu, the Land of Bromide. Shot in Leh and Ladakh, it’s a 20-minute-long video commentary on trigger-happy travellers consumed by their love for selfies, and ignoring the joys of travelling itself. “They return home with pictures, but have no experience in their memory,” says Iyer, while Desai feels that cameras “have made travel a commodity”. The film was shot on an SLR and camera phone, to lend it an amateurish touch to go with the message. Iyer, an indie musician has composed a Ladakhi folk song dominated by sounds of wind instruments, which he calls “eerily beautiful”. If they manage to get an entry into MIFF, you can catch it at the festival’s next edition.
Coming soon: Vegan café and all-veg global eatery
PUNE restaurateur Mayur Jain makes his debut in the city on July 31, with the launch of Miami, an all-veg multi-cuisine restaurant that opens where legendary thali pitstop Thackers used to be on Marine Lines. Mexican, Italian, Indian and Asian fare is what Jain will serve up.
Marissa Bronfman’s low-cal chia-seed pudding
Meanwhile, Canadian digital media entrepreneur Marissa Bronfman is to open an all-day vegan café, The Bowl Bar in Bandra by the end of this year. To make the wait worthwhile, she will kick off a delivery service (Juhu, Bandra SoBo) in August, offering three dishes from her menu —bliss balls of coconut and almonds; guilt-free dessert chia seed pudding (she says it's a first in India and packed with solubre fibre and Omega 3s) and fresh almond milk. More power to superfoods, we say.