Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts

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

College trials
In an age where a gazillion brands vie for 10 seconds of your attention, bizarre sells. And, fresh in our mind is a recent initiative called Fit Is My Right by a lingerie brand that hopes to enlighten womenfolk on the right bra size with help of a mobile fitting van.

The firm says a survey revealed that 4 out of 5 Indian women have been wearing the wrong size bras all their life and 82 per cent of women in India have never received professional help in finding the fit. To rectify this error, the company is targeting (as everyone seems to be doing these days), college students.

The mobile vans equipped with bras of all sizes, three fitting experts and three trial rooms will be stationed outside city colleges. In a month’s time they hope to help 10,000 college girls identify their bra size. How that works out, remains to be seen.

#SelfiewithRanjan
Last Sunday, the Indian design fraternity wanted to believe it was a bad dream they weren’t waking up from when they heard that M P Ranjan had passed away.

Ranjan, who taught at the National Institute of Design in Ahemdabad, influenced thousands of students in his 45 years of teaching. He was known for three things — encouraging the young, shaking up the complacent and challenging the established.

The 64-year-old professor passed away in a heart attack the day he was moving out of his house in the NID campus, just minutes after posting a new profile picture on Facebook. NIDians tell us about Ranjan’s love for tech and that he was an “Apple Boy”. He regarded visiting cards as passé, choosing instead to remember you with a “selfie moment.”

This diarist once had the luck of meeting him at a design studio, where he promptly fished out his iPad, shot a selfie with her and shot it off to her email ID. And, he did this with everyone he met.

It was heartwarming to see his Facebook account turn into a photo album of selfie-memories on Sunday, with designers and students across the world sharing the thousands of photos he had taken with them.

Frog hops to Goa
Here's one more reason to head to Goa every possible weekend (if you needed one i.e.). After Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru, blueFROG, one hears, is all set to make an entry into the beach state. Better yet, we hear it’s going to be located at the Calangute Residency, a resort located at the beach entrance.

A view of Calangute Residency, a property that kisses the beach
A view of Calangute Residency, a property that kisses the beach

The location is spot on since this stretch of sand is popular. The Calangute-Candolim beach, 9 km long, is the party hotspot in Goa with numerous nightclubs like Tito’s, Mambo’s, Hype and Sinq, besides around 250 seasonal beach shacks, all located right here.

However, what this stretch missed was a quality ‘live’ music destination, a vacuum BlueFROG is likely to fill. If all goes as per plan, the venue should open in November, just when the holiday season gets ready to peak.

Jazz returns to the Bay
Jazz and Bombay had a story to tell. Jazz and Mumbai will have its own melodious story, restaurateur AD Singh hopes as he attempts to revive the genre’s popularity with All That Jazz, every Wednesday night at Olive Bar & Kitchen, Bandra. Popular in the city between the 1950s and 1970s, jazz lost its patronage subsequently.

However, when four months ago, Singh’s niece (who works with him), suggested they introduce jazz nights at Olive, he “jumped at the idea.” He says, “The idea is to introduce the genre to 25-30 year olds, who may not know enough, but are willing to give it a try.”

Drummer Benny Soans and jazz aficionado Sunil Samped are curating the nights. Last Wednesday saw Lennart Altgenug, a jazz pianist from Germany, Sietske Roscam Abbing from the Netherlands on vocals and guitarist Gianluca Liberatore, from Sicily. This Wednesday, you’ll be treated to vocalist Vasundhara Vee, and keyboardist Dee WoodKarim Elaboudi.

Reminiscing the gold old days, Singh recalls 1990s sans pubs and bars. “At Just Desserts, we served coffee and desserts, but it brought likeminded people together. The jazz musicians had this sexy aura of cool. People would be drinking in their cars since we didn’t serve liquor. Those were innocent times, filled with great excitement…a coming of age for the city and its people.”

Irreverently yours
What prompts a successful architect and interior designer to change track, four decades on, and launch a bespoke fashion label? Extended deadlines and the reduced gravity of the project, says Pinakin Patel, who is known for his minimalistic design sense that has transformed some of India’s known addresses.

Pinakin PatelPinakin Patel

It’s the same sense of aesthetics that Patel promises to bring to his clothes. “My whole career has been multi-disciplinary. I studied and taught myself everything I know. After 35 years, I realised that I had picked up core values that I could apply to any other aesthetic discipline,” he adds.

His new line, he says, is for the young at heart. “It for someone who can carry the irreverence of the line. There’s so much seriousness in our lives. Why have it in our clothes too?”. To all the designers out there, we say, watch out!

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