Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

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

The sweet fruit of labour
It has a heady saccharine punch, is pillow soft and holds large smooth seeds that get easily out your way when you take a bite. It’s cheap. It’s a powerhouse of potassium. It’s a diuretic. Now, a bunch of passionate sapota lovers want to give the chickoo it’s most needed character trait — glamour. At the fourth edition of the Chickoo Festival held over the weekend in coastal Bordi, while throngs enjoyed spirited performances by Warli tribals and shopped for agricultural produce at a hundred stalls, the fest’s committee members knew they were one step closer to focusing the customer, farming industry and government’s attention on a fruit synonymous with the surrounding towns of Bordi, Dahanu and Gholvad. “It’s more nutritious than the apple but not marketed aggressively like it,” said Amol Patil, a mechanical engineer who quit his job at Siemens in Mumbai to give a shot to agriculture and associated tourism. With the growing popularity of processed chickoo products (its powder makes a sublime milkshake; its sun-dried chips act as fruit in chocolates), horticulturists like him are finding a way around the fruit’s Achilles heel, its perishable nature. While Bordi’s thriving educational centre is ensuring that its indigenous inhabitants acquire a degree, Sandhya Karandikar (also on the committee) hopes their efforts can help re-attract talent into modernizing agricultural practices. “Industry isn’t always the answer to progress,” she said, referring to the love the hunter-gathering tribe shares for the forest. Despite meagre funds (the fest is funded from stall rents) and the MTDC headed by Paraag Jaiin Nainuttia pulling out financial support this year (Mr Nainuttia, a fest that’s a voice for indigenous tribes could do with you putting your money where your mouth is), the group soldiers on.

Performances by Bordi and Dahanu’s tribal residents were the main draw
Performances by Bordi and Dahanu’s tribal residents were the main draw

Hoteliers Nagesh Pai and wife Priyanka are excited at the possibility of making cider out of the chickoo; professor Farzan Mazda hopes that with support from INTACH, he can train an army of young, educated Warlis to serve as tourist guides. Patil says the gathering is a united front against those who wish to tinker with the area’s natural resources. Mr. Nitin Gadkari, perhaps the answer to development then, is not to bulldoze local opposition to the R10,000 crore-cargo port you plan to build here by reclaiming land from the sea to override the headache of land acquisition but to recognise that local communities wish to be shareholders in the progress you claim will turn their fortune.

(Left to right; last row) Committee members, social activist Phiroza Tafti (orange blouse); farmer Sandip Raut (striped sweater); social worker and educationist Sandhya Karandikar (red saree); farmer Rajkumar Save (white shirt); professor Farzan Mazda (white tee; automobile dealer Vinit Raut (blue shirt); hotelier Nagesh Pai (navy shirt); hotelier Amol Patil (grey shirt) with Warlis readying for an evening performance at Chickoo Festival 2016
(Left to right; last row) Committee members, social activist Phiroza Tafti (orange blouse); farmer Sandip Raut (striped sweater); social worker and educationist Sandhya Karandikar (red saree); farmer Rajkumar Save (white shirt); professor Farzan Mazda (white tee; automobile dealer Vinit Raut (blue shirt); hotelier Nagesh Pai (navy shirt); hotelier Amol Patil (grey shirt) with Warlis readying for an evening performance at Chickoo Festival 2016

Baby pink is here!
She might just be the youngest subject after whom a shade of lipstick is named. A UK based daily recently reported that Royal Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana has a lipstick shade by cosmetics giant Marc Jacobs, created especially for her. The shade will be a deep rose pink, according to the report. We’re wondering what mum Kate has to say about the early beauty call for her second-born. She prefers to stay tightlipped (pun intended entirely).

A picture taken in November 2015 and released by Kensington Palace on November 29, 2015 by Britain’s Princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and shows Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. PIC/AFP/KENSINGTON PALACE/HRH DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE
A picture taken in November 2015 and released by Kensington Palace on November 29, 2015 by Britain’s Princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and shows Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. PIC/AFP/KENSINGTON PALACE/HRH DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE 

India on our minds
(Second left) Former Police Commissioner, Julio Ribeiro with wife Melba, former Governor of West Bengal and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Gopal Krishna Gandhi (in jacket) and Padma Shri Chaman Lal (IPS) walk towards the St Xavier’s College Hall. Gandhi was in the city to deliver the second BG Deshmukh Memorial Lecture, instituted by the Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT) last evening. He spoke on India Today, India Tomorrow. Pic/Sameer Markande

Julio Ribeiro

All strings attached
Chris Martin

For everyone who was miffed at having no clue when Coldplay came to the city and shot a video or still wait for the band to announce a date for their gig (please let Mumbai be a venue), all is not lost. A guitar signed by all members of the cult British Rock band comprising Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion will be up for sale at a charity auction called The Idea of India hosted by actor Rahul Bose, right here in Mumbai on February 19. Speaking about the event, Bose said, “The two like minded and committed musicians I know are Bono (of U2) and Chris Martin. Chris has always talked about fair trade and is a global ambassador just like me. We spent an hour together in LA, and he was delighted to do something for us.” The guitar will be among 11 other pieces donated by various Indian legends. Go bid.

Chris Martin of Coldplay performs onstage during the Telekom Street Gigs at Capitol on December 8, 2015 in Offenbach, Germany. Pic/ Getty images
Chris Martin of Coldplay performs onstage during the Telekom Street Gigs at Capitol on December 8, 2015 in Offenbach, Germany. Pic/ Getty images

Kids wanna rock

Here’s a band that exclusively presents nursery rhymes and songs for children. Members of Chikaraks, Pratichee Mohapatra, Manav Dhanda, Chin2 Bhosle and Fiona D’Souza held a heady musical session with kids over the weekend.

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