Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

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

Remembering 'Tai'
Exactly a fortnight ago, Marathi theatre lost its mentor, philosopher, and guide — Sulabha Deshpande. To commemorate her contribution, the actor’s family and close friends attended a Smriti Sabha at the Yashwant Nitya Mandir in Matunga, organised by the Awishkar Theatre Group that she (Sulabha) and her husband, Arvind Deshpande, were closely associated with.

Music composer Rahul Ranade (right) and actor-director Vijay Kenkre (second right) are all ears as Ratna Pathak Shah engages them in a conversation at a memorial for Sulabha Deshpande last evening. Husband Naseeruddin Shah (centre) was also in attendance. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Music composer Rahul Ranade (right) and actor-director Vijay Kenkre (second right) are all ears as Ratna Pathak Shah engages them in a conversation at a memorial for Sulabha Deshpande last evening. Husband Naseeruddin Shah (centre) was also in attendance. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

The ceremony, that saw her students drop by — some of whom she had taught as early as 1958 — as well as her family and friends — was attended by renowned names in the theatre circuit. Actors like Naseeruddin Shah and wife, Ratna Pathak Shah, and Sulabha Arya made time on a Monday evening to spend in the company of Deshpande’s memories.

The group reminisced about some of the veteran actor’s finest performances — memories that brought to light examples of her selflessness and the profound joy that she found in her work. For a while, it magically felt like ‘Tai’ was part of the group, chuckling at the memories of herself, flashing her wide ear-to-ear smile that she will always be remembered for.

Let’s raise a (B)roast
Seems like fast food in Mumbai is all set to get more exciting. Another American fast food chain, the Genuine Broaster Chicken is on its way to India.

From what this diarist has heard so far, the 60-year-old company is all set to launch in India in the first week of July with an outlet in Versova, Andheri. It has already tied up with an Indian chef to churn out a few desi avatars of its American versions — we hope to tuck into bad boys real soon.

But what got us really interested, is the company’s proprietary cooking process that involves dipping chicken pieces in a marinade and then frying them in a unique appliance that’s part fryer, part pressure cooker. Its founder, LAM Phelan, called the process Broasting, and its products as broaster chicken.

Heart of darkness
Now that it has been established that the Islamist terror attack on Pulse, Orlando’s gay pub, it has the LGBTQ community everywhere on the edge. For it and its supporters, a club is more than a place to schmooze and cruise.

Pallav Patankar and Sushant Divgikar
Pallav Patankar and Sushant Divgikar

Bright lights, pulsating music and flirtatious vibe notwithstanding, these spaces are as much about activism as are for rainbow flag waving, crusading parades known as Pride. So, with shockwaves reverberating in Mumbai too, out actor Sushant Divgikar, said that the US LGBT community has always been trailblazers for the rest of the world, so the attack feels personal.

Sushant recalls his friends in the US suggesting that he drop by and make a visit to Pulse, but he hasn’t managed so far. Even for Pallav Patankar, of Mumbai’s Humsafar Trust working for LGBT rights, Pulse remains iconic although he says he has frequented other gay clubs in the US, not this one in particular.

Today as the shadow of death falls across the rainbow, and soft peddlers continue calling it a hate crime instead of saying it like it is — killing homosexuals for an Islamic motive — it is a moment of sobriety for a shaken up community.

Culinary high in small doses
Gourmands with tiny appetites have much to rejoice. The duo behind Restaurant Week India, Mangal Dalal and Nachiket Shetye, have just announced their new culinary venture, Small Plates Week that opens later this week.

Nachiket Shetye and Mangal Dalal
Nachiket Shetye and Mangal Dalal

It includes smaller portions of different types of food. “This will be from a menu crafted specially by the chef (and Cellar Door). It allows the diner to experience the culinary philosophy of the establishment without having having to break the bank.

Small Plates are also great for sharing and enjoying over conversation with friends and family,” adds Shetye. The Week will provide for unique dining experiences across 15 select restaurants offering a taste of each eatery’s signature fare plus two dishes made exclusively by their chefs for the Week and its guests.

’Cause we sing

Pic/Bipin Kokate
Pic/Bipin Kokate

Music artiste Mamta Sharma wowed the crowds at a concert titled, Music for a Cause, organised by The Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) to create awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco, held at Birla Matushri Sabhagar-Marine Lines over the weekend. Others who performed included music trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Aditi Singh Sharma, Akriti Kakkar and Shadab Faridi. 

It takes two to tango

(Top) Deputy Consul General-Argentina Andrea Alba Gonzalez tries listening to Nira Benegal (right) amid the din as husband Shyam Benegal (centre) looks on; (left) Couple sets the dance floor on fire with their moves.

Pics/Atul Kamble
Pics/Atul Kamble

The celebration over the weekend was part of an event centred on Argentina held at a South American themed restaurant in BKC.

Power walk

Pic/Satej Shinde
Pic/Satej Shinde

(Left) Anand Mahindra and Neeraj Bajaj attend the IMC Ladies Wing AGM and awards presentation at a SoBo five-star last evening.

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