Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

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

The world of Shashi Kapoor
The quest to decode one of the most versatile personalities of Hindi cinema will now be satisfied. Shashi Kapoor’s life has finally been explored enough by writer Aseem Chhabra to become a biography with the title, Shashi Kapoor, The Householder, the Star (Rupa).

We hear that several of his facets have been explored, including that of founder of Prithvi Theatre, son to Prithviraj Kapoor, husband of Jennifer Kendal and father to Kunal, Karan and Sanjna Kapoor.

With a foreword by Karan Johar, the book starts at the very beginning, with him playing child actor in Awara; his emergence, in the 1970s with hits like Deewaar and Trishul; and his rise to international prominence with Merchant-Ivory’s The Householder.

The business acumen of the legend who produced Shyam Benegal’s films and was the distributor of Bobby, has also been written about. Expected to hit stands in early May, this promises to be a page-turner.

No more grey for Reay Road
Commuters who use the Harbour line’s Reay Road station have reason to cheer. The station has received a vibrant lease of life after NGO Die Hard Indian adopted it; it’s the same NGO that had adopted King’s Circle, Sion and Mahim stations.

Artworks have been designed by CA Mahesh Bariya, a Dahisar residentArtworks have been designed by CA Mahesh Bariya, a Dahisar resident

“It’s been a month since we adopted the station and so far, we’ve created art on platforms 1 and 2. Volunteers from Upasana, a Borivali NGO and a few other individuals have done Madhubhani, Tanjore and Gond artwork on the pillars. Mahesh Bariya, a Chartered Accountant with a passion for Indian art crated all the design outlines that the volunteers painted,” said Gaurang Damani from Die Hard Indian.

A few weeks ago, students from Orchid School at Masjid Bunder worked on Platform 2 and painted its walls with social awareness messages. Over 30 volunteers did the artwork over the last weekend on 20 pillars.

“Reay Road has always been a deserted station. There have been many chain-snatching incidents. The adoption is a great initiative, as the station looks very attractive now. I look forward to heading to work,” says Ahana Roy, a media professional who works at Reay Road.

Driving a new summer look

Pic/Nimesh Dave

Hair stylist to the stars, Sapna Bhavnani in her new look is all smiles with actress Shruti Seth before an event on summer styles and trends in Juhu.

Nachiket’ Barve's bucket list
Last week, this newspaper’s editorial had urged readers to stick to using a bucket of water for a bath, instead of a shower, to combat the water crisis.

Last morning fashion designer Nachiket Barve received quite a few pats on the back (think likes) for broaching the subject on social media when he tweeted, “Why not take up #1bucketwateronlybath challenge this summer when India faces severe drought? Pls RT and share. #savewater #WasteNot.” We like.

Of Rock and reunions
There’s good news for fans of Alternative Rock band Zero. After their last official gig at Independence Rock in 2008, the band will perform in the city on April 29 for the next edition of a monthly musical property Awestrung.

Zero at an earlier gig
Zero at an earlier gig

A three-piece Garage Punk band, The Lightyears Explode will open the act followed by Alternative/Post Grunge band, BLAKC. A four-piece band, Zero comprises of Rajeev Talwar (vocals), Sidd Coutto (drums), Girish ‘Bobby’ Talwar (bass) and Warren Mendonsa (guitars), and was formed in the late 90s in Mumbai.

Their last concert witnessed over 2,000 people. This time, band members, residing in different parts of the world will fly down to take a nostalgic trip to the early 2000s when they cut albums like Albummed (2000), Hook (2002) and Procrastination (2005). Let’s hope they recreate the magic.

Art attack in Worli
Once a buzzword among city’s shopaholics, Worli’s Atria Mall (which later faced a slump with a drop in shopper footfall) may soon turn into an art lover’s paradise, what with a new art space that will open next month.

The Worli mall will be a new home for art in Mumbai
The Worli mall will be a new home for art in Mumbai

To be launched by International Creative Art Centre (ICAC), The Art Hub is a 10,000 sq ft space that will house 10 galleries, three large art enclosures, an activity room, a corner for AV presentations, an art library and a cafeteria.

With the aim to promote emerging artists — painters, photographers, sculptors or video artists — the centre will also curate free monthly shows along with hosting works through tie-ups with galleries across the globe.

The inaugural show will feature works of 200 artists from across India. So, will Worli give Colaba art precinct a run for its money? Time will tell.

Mumbai, not old enough!
Recently, this diarist read a post where a much-followed and oft-quoted food blogger wrote a piece on some of Mumbai’s oldest restaurants. A predictable yet engaging idea, we gave it a dekko.

The post began claiming that Mumbai’s documented history wasn’t as old as Delhi’s or Varanasi’s, and that it could date back to two or three centuries at the most. Wow. The generalization continued. He suggested that many of the city’s eateries didn’t cross the 50-year-mark.

Mumbai, and Bombay in its earlier avatar, dates back to dowry handovers from the 1600s, and to mentions by the 2nd century Greek geographer Ptolemy who referred to it as Heptanesia. And, we are not even getting into dates and names related to our rich culinary history. Clearly this ‘expert’ needs to wake up and smell the seekh, xacuti and salli.

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