Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Tales

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

Magnetic magic
We’ve just heard that the dates of the big-ticket music extravaganza in the desert — Magnetic Fields, have been announced.

Desert storm: All roads will lead to Alsisar in December
Desert storm: All roads will lead to Alsisar in December

Tickets go on sale from August 10, so block your calendar for December 18-20. Like the previous edition, this year will also ensure limited crowds, an eclectic line-up, ‘secret’, dawn-breaking parties, and much more in the 17th century Alsisar Mahal in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. Do check out Magnetic Fields’s special 2014 recap video shot by Sachin S Pillai on vimeo.com/134557613

Hooves right on this count?
The Pune racing season began last week; predictably though, all the noise is not just the thunder of hooves on the racetrack.

TICKET TO RIDE: Action from the ongoing Pune season
TICKET TO RIDE: Action from the ongoing Pune season

There are mumbles and grumbles about the Royal Western India Turf Club’s  (RWITC) recent decision that the webcast (live streaming) of the Mumbai and Pune races on the club’s website, will no longer be free, but will come at a cost of R7,000 per year. It was absolutely free earlier. Miffed punters have made caustic comments that have peppered niche racing sites like indiarace.com and racingpulse.in. The club though stood its ground, on the paid service.
“Our stand is justified,” said a source from the race club, “Where do those who watch races on computers at home or office bet? Obviously, not on our Tote. Most just pick up the phone and bet with the illegal bookmakers. So why should we give them a free service when we get neither gate money from them nor their betting money?” Citing that even a movie ticket costs at least around R200, the source further added, “R7,000 for nearly 70 days in a year works out to only R100 per day, which is not really a big sum.” Punters continue to simmer though. It all goes to show that Western India racing is in combustible mode. That’s one perennial you can always bet on.

24x7 on call
Last week, this diarist was witness to an amusing exchange during Sunday mass. It’s common knowledge for churchgoers to spot the odd pest (especially back benchers or ‘outstanding’ folk who never enter the actual space) checking their smart phone.

This one time, a nattily dressed guy who was busy texting or Whatsapp-ing, was in for a surprise. Suddenly, a priest dressed in plainclothes tapped him by the shoulder and said, “Son, you can also try paying a bit more attention to God. He’s on call, 24x7...” The stunned boy turned pink in the face, and meekly slid his smart phone  into his shirt pocket, and it stayed there for the rest of the service.

Kebabs with Quereshi
One of Mumbai’s most loved restaurants — Kebab Korner is back. Now reopened at the Intercontinental Marine Drive, the address will whip it up from its reinvented menu, courtesy master chef Irshad Quereshi.

KEBAB DAYS ARE HERE, AGAIN: Chef Irshad Quereshi  is ready to whip it up the good stuff.
KEBAB DAYS ARE HERE, AGAIN: Chef Irshad Quereshi is ready to whip it up the good stuff.

Hailing from one of India's most popular families as far as culinary traditions go, expect aromas inspired from forgotten recipes on the spice route, including Lucknow, Old Delhi, Kashmir, Hyderabad, Kolkata. Punjab, Rajasthan and Agra. Speaking to this diarist, chef Quereshi says, “Unravelling this glorious cuisine, yet retaining its delightful aura of surprise, the freshness of its natural ingredients, subtle flavours and colours of vibrant India, is a challenge that I continue to relish. It gives me immense joy to share these epicurean delights at Kebab Korner.” The menu will include a selection of steaming kebabs, hot tandoor items, flavoursome mains, signature biryanis and classic breads. Watch this space for the big picture.

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