Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

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

Remembering Charles Correa
On Tuesday evening, architectural historian and curator, Dr Irena Murray delivered a stirring lecture Before the Monsoon: the Architecture of Charles Correa’.

Charles Correa
Charles Correa

It paid tribute to the genius of Correa’s ‘classic’ and recent projects with a view to his legacy as an architect and humanist. The audience at NGMA listened intently as the professor reminisced about the master architect’s contributions.

Look, who’s rooting for Hillary!
The US Presidential elections are on everyone’s minds, and that includes the iconic Britannia & Co’s 93-year-old proprietor, Boman Kohinoor. When this diarist happened to meet the charming proprietor at his Ballard Estate landmark, he was seated at the busy eatery with a placard that stated, ‘I’m ready for Hillary.’

Hillary Clinton. Pic/AFP and Boman Kohinoor. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Hillary Clinton. Pic/AFP and Boman Kohinoor. Pic/Bipin Kokate

As we sipped on Pallonji’s raspberry soda, seeking respite from the soaring March heat, he told us, “Hillary Clinton is good and she should win. I am campaigning for her in Mumbai. Whenever she is in the city, I try to invite her for a meal here but she is always in a hurry. You know what she tells me...?” he teased, pushing his bifocals further up his nose, “Catch me if you can!”

No Shanta, only Sooni
When we spotted the gent next to us getting a bit restless at Tuesday’s launch of Parsi Bol-2, an anthology of phrases used by the community compiled by Sooni Taraporevala and Meher Marfatia at Kitab Khana, we did not make much of it.

Raju Samal at Kitab Khana. Pic/Shadab Khan
Raju Samal at Kitab Khana. Pic/Shadab Khan

As chief guest Boman Irani was explaining to the audience that the full form of RSVP was, “Rokda saathe vella padharjo” the gent in question, Raju Samal, tapped us and asked, “No Shanta?”

On looking at our blank expression, he fished out a clipping of a city tabloid’s (not this paper) listing, which had erroneously printed that culture writer Shanta Gokhale was to give a talk at Kitab Khana, at the same time, same day.

When told that the Parsi event had nothing to do with Ms Gokhale, Samal smiled wanly, knowing that he was trapped amidst the packed audience. As the book launch wore on, he tried to mask his disappointment with “Okay, I will stay, Boman is my favourite...” Meanwhile, Shanta-ta, Parsi Bol chalu aahe.

Caught in the act!

Pic/Shadab Khan

Going by their expressions, we’d love to know whether sisters Shamita Shetty and Shilpa Shetty Kundra did finally succumb to this tray of pastries. Both were spotted at the launch of a store at a SoBo five star last evening.

The cool Kiwi fan
India’s drubbing at the hands of the Kiwis at the lung-opener of the ICC World T20 Cup in Nagpur brought back a few memories for this diarist.

A Bhangra gig during the break at an India-New Zealand ODI game in Eden Park, Auckland in 2014
A Bhangra gig during the break at an India-New Zealand ODI game in Eden Park, Auckland in 2014

A couple of years ago, while on a visit to the country, we were in the stands for an ODI between both nations. Throughout the nail-biter (it ended in a tie), the average Kiwi fan came across as a measured, balanced student of the game with terrific sporting spirit.

It was a treat to be a part of this atmosphere. No mouthing gaalis, just pure cricket. Every four or six, irrespective of whether it came of Dhoni’s or Brendon McCullum’s bat, was cheered with equal gusto. A yorker from Varun Aaron or Tim Southee received the same thunderous applause.

And in sync with this amazing sporting spirit, we’re sure that Kiwi fans tuned into the action in India from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch must’ve done pretty much the same even during the recent T20 game. May their tribe flourish.

Ram Guha, Tinder talk et al
Trust Ramachandra Guha to kick things off in style. The acclaimed historian had the audience hooked at the opening session of Spring Fever 2016 at Delhi’s India Habitat Centre last evening.

Ram Guha at the festival
Ram Guha at the festival

The author of titles like India After Gandhi, Makers of Modern India, Patriots and Partisans, Gandhi Before India previewed his book, Democrats and Dissenters, which is expected in October 2016.

He spoke of the paradox that India faces today spelling out how despite being the world’s most interesting nation, little is written about its contemporary history.

Taking a jibe at his ilk, he remarked how most Indian historians were obsessed with colonial history because primary resources are more available for the time period. The chiffon and chintz-sporting audience held on to every word.

Millennials cheered as Tinder Nook became the new cool tool at this edition. Users were invited to Swipe Right and connect with fans and their fave authors who were a part of the fest.

They chatted with celebrity authors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Gulzar, Sonali Bendre, Emraan Hashmi and Twinkle Khanna. Fans were spotted at the Nook snacking on goodies while poring over paperbacks.

This girl is on fire!
Our fave hair stylist Sapna Bhavnani posted on her Twitter account that she walked on fire not once, but seven times.

Wonder where this ‘Aag ka dariya hai aur doob ke jaana hai’ scenario panned out.

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