Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

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


Pic/Shadab Khan

Staying on the front foot
Former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist negotiates a foliage divider before a panel discussion at the University of Mumbai in Fort yesterday.

Kulfi makers. Pic Courtesy/BDLmuseum on Twitter
Kulfi makers. Pic Courtesy/BDLmuseum on Twitter

Food stories, from the archives
We love how Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum keeps sharing pictures from their exhibits, giving us a peek without having to visit. This week, they've been sharing food images, including a clay model of a fisherwoman drying Bombay Duck, a collection of imitation fruits from the reserve collection, acquired between 1872-1886; a hand coloured plate 'Grains in Guzerat' from James Forbes Oriental Memoirs, published in 1813; and clay models of kulfi makers. This, we learn is their contribution to #FoodMW #MuseumWeek, the worldwide cultural event on social networks, happening this week. The event is run by a non-profit powered by UNESCO, and the themes shared are food, sports, music, stories, books, travel and heritage; there's a special focus on women. Going beyond India, using the #foodMW, we have found pictures of an ancient carbonised loaf of bread, an Ernest Hemingway recipe for hamburgers and snapshots of Tudor kitchens.

From films to the stage
Jackky Bhagnani is set to join a growing list of contemporary actors who dabble in both the media, films and theatre. Bhagnani, who hasn't been very lucky with cinematic acting assignments, will debut on stage with Riddles, a play by Jeff Goldberg, this weekend. Adapted from LB Hamilton's classic, A Midnight Clear, it's the newer version of the play, Six, which marked Prateik Babbar's debut in theatre. He's the co-star for this one too. We hear Bhagnani has been taking his theatre debut seriously. Goldberg shared, "He is really committed to his craft. He's hungry to grow and challenge himself. He has been training and working with our studio for three months and has grown by leaps and bounds. We chose him for the role because of his natural touch, wit and dramatic range. When I asked him to debut on stage, he never once questioned the idea. As a serious actor, he fully understands the challenge and the importance of the stage. Directing him has been an absolute pleasure."

A screen grab from the video
A screen grab from the video

Make some noise for Kalki
Actress Kalki Koechlin loves writing poetry, and had last year made news with her powerful critique of sensational media through her poem The Printing Machine. Now, Kalki returns with a new video on Blush channel, simply titled Noise. It is about a day in Mumbai — from the "divine cacophony" that arises from the various places of worship, to the incessant chattering of fisherwomen. The scene then shifts to vehicles caught in peak hour traffic, the kind that "shakes the Monday morning sleep out of office-goers." She also addresses the 'noise' made by trolls online, reading out comments she has received "You have such big teeths. Get lost ugly". Finally, she addresses how we, as a nation, have a tendency to make news out of everything, "from nationalism, feminism...and let's get offended by everything-ism." We were impressed by her delivery and the fast-paced video, which makes you feel almost rushed. She's got the pulse of the city and its residents quite right.

Mapping a branded world
We love world maps that tell us a little more about a country than its capital, and the Internet is taking note. A while ago, this page had featured a map of the most used word on the English language Wikipedia page of every country, and now we have the most valuable brand in each country, mapped. With Google surprisingly overtaking Apple in the US, the latter is no longer the world's most valuable brand. Other countries were predictable, like BMW for Germany, Nokia for Finland and Samsung for South Korea.

The most valuable brand in India? Hint: You cannot miss it on a highway. Go, guess.

Pic/Akshar Pathak on Twitter
Pic/Akshar Pathak on Twitter

Blogging gets (too) real
He is one of the funniest Indians on Twitter, who isn't a stand-up comedian. And Akshar Pathak, the Delhi-based creative director, has now turned blogger. He does it all — lifestyle, travel, food, fitness, fashion and tech. We have to say that his parody blogs and posts are more interesting than actual ones out there. The fashion blogging post has this epic line: 'My parents keep asking me, beta why are you sending all Armani, but I know secretly they are Prada me'. His travel post was about buying a Royal Enfield for the price of four Tata Nanos and planning a trip to Ladakh to buy Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags, while his food blogging career has him walking the streets teaching people how to pronounce quinoa. His latest product review is a men's fairness moisturiser, which makes him 50 shades lighter and is also good for the skin. In his review, he says, "Earlier I would look like Kajol, now I look like Kajol in the Olay ad." Within five minutes of his application, he not only got a girlfriend but a job offer with three promotions and a Bollywood film.

Keep it up, Akshar.

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