Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

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

Italian honour for Indian designer
Bangalore-based designer Sanchita Ajjampur was the toast of the fashion world on April 26 when she was conferred with the second highest civilian honour of Italy, Ordine della Stella d’Italia or The Order of the Star of Italy.

Sanchita Ajjampur

The award is a recognition for those  who’ve been instrumental in promoting national prestige abroad. Ajjampur has a Master’s Degree in Fashion & Technology from Domus Academy, Milan.


The Order of the Star of Italy

At an event that was attended by the fashion fraternity of Mumbai, she was felicitated by Italian Consul General Ugo Ciarlatani and his wife, Vanessa, at their home. Ajjampur is now a Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy. Kudos!

Scoring brownie points
The other day, we had told you about how the chill between Peter and Indrani Mukerjea thawed with the former sending over some homemade gulab jamuns during a court hearing.


Indrani Mukerjea

When we dropped by to the sessions court on Wednesday to catch up on the most-watched trial in the city, we were witness to another cute moment, this time between Indrani and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, who are both accused in the Sheena Bora murder case.

Sanjeev Khanna
Sanjeev Khanna

Apparently, Khanna’s birthday fell on Tuesday, April 26, and the two met in court when they were produced for an extension of remand yesterday. Indrani, through her team, had arranged for a small birthday cake for Khanna. He in turn, we are told, offered her a brownie, which his team had got for him.

For the record, Peter was also brought to court for the hearing, but there is no news of whether he was around when the sweets were exchanged. All we can say is, each day brings a new twist in this saga. And, we are not complaining.

Click for love


Madhvi Ahuja and Kiren Rai

The world now has Tinder, but the days of online dating. It returns in our lives with a mention in Kiran Rai and Madhvi Ahija’s title, Cupidity — PING me, love. It’s the story of a married woman, a divorced woman and a transgender, who find a new meaning in life, online. Rai explains that though termed light fiction, the story does delve into important questions of how relationships are changing in urban India, the high expectations and more. Ahuja points out that their story is not just for metro readers but also those in tier two cities, where dating in person is a taboo and the Internet becomes the window for freedom.

Towards a smoke-free national park
It’s a no-brainer that Mumbai’s precious green lung, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) is under constant threat. Apart from poachers and real estate sharks, another constant concern is the increasing human presence inside the forest, and the threat of fires that might be caused due to cigarette stubs carelessly left behind, all of which create a risk for wildlife in the area.

A trail inside SGNP. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
A trail inside SGNP. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Far, far away, in New Zealand, we read about a holiday park in the Bay of Islands that will be a smoke-free zone from May 31, coinciding with World Smoke Free Day. Visitors frequent the scenic landscape that is home to native wildlife. As a result, caretakers of this facility found it necessary to take this environment-friendly measure for fear that wildlife might accidentally chew on these stubs. We salute the initiative, and wait for the day when our authorities will display an enlightened bone.

Lift kara de in Lower Parel
Recently, during a chat with a city restaurateur, we were privy to the woes of his owner buddies who have properties in and around Phoenix Mills. This diarist was told that a supermarket chain that once managed to get the shopping destination maximum footfall shut shop a while ago, and is our sources are to be believed, the space will now see a Swedish clothing brand’s much awaited Mumbai outpost. While this surely lends the complex the stamp of an upmarket leisure and commercial destination, we hear that the owners have had to do with a fall in footfall going into lakhs. Moral of the story: the realty game in Mumbai isn’t just a threat to heritage landmarks but also to some of the earlier hotspots when the boom hit Mumbai.

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