Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

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

Ace of clubs
Given the cut-throat competition between clubs in Mumbai, it is good to know that they are coming together for Royal Western India Turf Club’s (RWITC) racing Club Day to be held this Saturday, at Mahalaxmi.

With the RWITC already hosting the Ivy League Day, where races are named after Ivy League Universities, it is now galloping closer to home. The Club Day features races named after the Otters Club, NSCI, Willingdon, Amateur Riders Club, Bombay Gym, Malabar Hill Club, Cricket Club of India (CCI), Bombay Yacht Club and The Radio Club.

It is an evening race day that’ll last from 3.30 pm to 8 pm, with a food court, bars and live acts. The idea, RWITC media and marketing chief Vivek Jain, said was, to attract the right target audience and create bonhomie among sister clubs.

Remember the class of 84?
This diarist goes weak-kneed in the face of nostalgia, and all things Mumbai. So, we tempted theatrewallah Rahul daCunha to share some of his memories of his play, Class of 84 that still runs to packed houses over a decade after opening.

Rajit Kapoor and Rahul da Cunha seatedRajit Kapoor and Rahul da Cunha seated

He reminisces, “I wrote this play, in 2002; it’s somewhat autobiographical and about a bunch of pals from St Xaviers College, who re-unite after many years. When I was creating it, I never imagined it would run this long. Who’d want to watch a play about seven 40 year-olds yammering about the past. But here we are, 13 years later, still filling houses.

Shernaz Patel with the rest the cast at rehearsals in 2002
Shernaz Patel with the rest the cast at rehearsals in 2002

The audiences have always felt that they are a part of the living room where action as it unfolds. What a sterling cast it’s been to those who’ve brought my words and characters to life —Rajit Kapur, Shernaz Patel and the rest!”

Green grouse
Prestige is a strange thing. The Make in India week Maharashtra Night on Sunday was attended by the creme de la creme of Mumbai. Held at Girgaum Chowpatty, the event had multiple passes for Most Important Persons (MIP), Very Important Persons (VIP) and so on.

While the MIPs were issued red cards, VIPs had green coloured passes and the rest had to blue passes to the gala night. The MIPs included the CM, Governor and other dignitaries. It turns out, Chief Fire Officer PS Rahangdale had been issued a green card.

Miffed, Rahangdale rued that he deserved better seating given his position and complained about it. Finally, a senior police official guided him to the MIP section after much sulking, that is.

Sweet nothings about Sholay


Pic/Rane Ashish

Hema Malini whispers into the ears of Dharamendra much to his amusement as Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan look on. The stars were present at the launch of Hema Malini’s first music album at a suburban five-star last night.

Green grouse
Prestige is a strange thing. The Make in India week Maharashtra Night on Sunday was attended by the creme de la crème of Mumbai. Held at Girgaum Chowpatty, the event had multiple passes for Most Important Persons (MIP), Very Important Persons (VIP) and so on. While the MIPs were issued red cards, VIPs had green coloured passes and the rest had to blue passes to the gala night.

The MIPs included the CM, Governor and other dignitaries. It turns out, Chief Fire Officer PS Rahangdale had been issued a green card. Miffed, Rahangdale rued that he deserved better seating given his position and complained about it. Finally, a senior police official guided him to the MIP section after much sulking, that is.

Makeover of the Dhobi Talao drink
Despite the boogie of redevelopment, the neighbourhood of Dhobi Talao, which gets its name from a tank where the uniforms of British soldiers were washed, continues to carry an air of old Bombay. Jer Mahal, a sweeping century-old building; the art deco Metro theatre sitting opposite it and scattered Irani cafés — shuttered Brabourne and Bastani and the thriving Kyani & Co. — tell the story of a time gone by.

Adding to the appeal is a trio of legendary dives that still serve up booze old-style at budget prices. While the corner-licking Felicia is the workers’ den (the only woman who has ever entered is probably the gritty owner who sits at the cash counter starting 7 am), Kit Kat is for the young professional looking for a quick drink.

The latter, known for its active jukebox, got a shot in the arm recently when it spruced up its interiors to match the many budget bars that dot the lanes of Fort. Having silently watched business pick up, neighbour Harvic is in the mood to rake in moolah.

The outer walls are getting a sheath of aluminium composite panel and a damaged tin roof has made way for a brand new one. We’ll miss the turquoise walls (hope the bright orange signboard stays) and pray the rexin-lined chairs and lazy vibe that marked Harvic’s signature cutlet and beer lunch are unmoved by a cosmetic spruce up that the time demands.

Make in India, for real
Folk and traditional artists of Dastkari Haat Samiti who are holding a crafts bazaar at Bhopal’s Gauhar Mahal, have offered their art works inspired by the Make In India lion, to commemorate the Mumbai event.

Through these paintings, they were eager to highlight that all heritage crafts needed to be recognised under the wider umbrella of Make in India. They are keen to be counted as useful creators who celebrate the creativity of India. We like.

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