Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

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


Pic/Sameer Markande

I've got you covered
Something is bothering actress Kirti Kulhari but director Madhur Bhandarkar seems to offer a comforting shoulder at the song launch of their upcoming film.

Literary hike to Bhutan
With its scenic Himalayan setting, who needs an excuse to head to Bhutan? But if you are a book lover, the Buddhist kingdom could make for the perfect travel destination this August. The eighth edition of the Mountain Echoes literary festival, being held in Thimphu, will bring together writers, historians, environmentalists, poets and other scholars from across the globe to spend three blissful days engaging in cultural discussions.

An initiative of the India-Bhutan Foundation, the festival will be attended by personalities including American television host and author Padma Lakshmi (below), leading mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik, Sahitya Akademi Award winner Jerry Pinto (inset), journalist and author Amrita Tripathi and senior journalist Barkha Dutt.

Taste of success
We love the whiff of this news. The fine dine restaurant chain, Asha's, run by Asha Bhonsle's son Anand, is tasting success. The Birmingham restaurant recently won the Best Midlands Indian Restaurant 2017, the legendary singer announced yesterday. Asha's is located in Newhall Street and serves up Indian delicacies, including Rahul Dev Burman style Chingri Chaap, Chicken Kheema (a recipe by actor Shaikh Mukhtar), Muscat Gosht (recipe inspired by a lunch she had at a dhaba in Oman), and Lamb Vindaloo.

The eternal minefield of Hindi in Tamil Nadu
"Chennai-ites are people who know Hindi and still refuse to speak Hindi," says stand-up comedian Arvind SA as the audience breaks into laughter. He goes on to add that the reason for this is to irritate North Indians considering their tribute to his community was Chennai Express and Lungi Dance.

Taking off from the recent controversy regarding attempts to impose Hindi in the southern states, Arvind dissects the popular Honey Singh track line by line, and explains how none of the stereotypes hold true. He even points out how Kerala and Tamil Nadu are often painted with the same brush, when the two states are poles apart. Part of Madrasi Da on Amazon Prime, a standup special, a clip from the video uploaded recently has already received close to four lakh views. But as is the case with everything online today, the comedian has received brickbats for the same, too. Ouch!

So long, Mr Bond
When English author Michael Bond created the children's literature character, Paddington, back in 1958, little would he have imagined that the adorable bear would continue to be loved the world over 60 years later. It seemed like a fitting tribute to Bond, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 91, when his publisher, HarperCollins, shared this picture with a touching note: "Ever thanks, Mr Bond, for bringing this little guy into our lives. We'll look after him." Bear hugs, anyone?

Mind that selfie, Mumbaikars!
If you feel you have been spotting way too many people craning their necks before their phones of late, you are not alone. With the grey skies, lashing waves and washed foliage painting the perfect backdrop, the monsoon, it seems, brings with it renewed zeal for taking killer selfies. But India is also notorious for the highest number of selfie-related deaths in the world, and the city's police force is not taking any chances. Like every year it has released its monsoon safety campaign, where a key focus area is avoiding mishaps while being engrossed in selfie-taking. "Don't make taking a 'killer selfie' literal" says one creative. We agree with the men in khaki.

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