Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

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

'Kate can root out our Indian actresses'
Whenever this diarist has interacted with Britannia & Co’s 93-year-old owner Boman Kohinoor, she has been regaled with stories and photographs about the British royalty. The endearing nonagenarian has just added another photograph to his collection; this one with the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge when they visited Mumbai a few days ago.

Boman Kohinoor with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Boman Kohinoor with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

“It was an honour. They had booked a room for my dad at The Taj Mahal Palace, so that he would be comfortable. When they stepped in, he greeted Kate with a bouquet. They enquired about his age and whether he was still active in the business,” recalls Kohinoor’s 55-year-old son, Afshin, who was present for the 10-minute rendezvous.

When we asked if the couple got a chance to sample the Parsi eatery’s signature Berry Pulao, Afshin replied, “Unfortunately, no. Since it was a Sunday, our restaurant was closed. So, Prince William said that the next time he comes to Mumbai, he would ensure that his trip isn’t planned on Sunday so that he can have lunch at Britannia.” He was also quick to add, “Princess Kate can root out any of our Indian actresses. She is so beautiful, and both have such nice personalities.”

Teachers, theatre and bonhomie


Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Veteran theatre person, Dr Vijaya Mehta (second, right) with some of her students including actors, Amruta Subhash (left) and Neena Kulkarni (second, left) catch up with Shashi Vyas, director, Panchan Nishad at an event at Ravindra Natyamandir last morning to announce a new initiative by Mehta for mid-career actors and directors.

Stylish stance


Pic/Satej Shinde

Something seems to have caught the attention of actors Shriya Saran and Isha Kopikkar as they ready for the cameras along with designer JJ Valaya at his Spring Summer preview at a Juhu store last evening.

It’s an uncensored hit!
After a long and fruitless wait for the censor’s nod, the makers of Kaafiron Ki Namaaz — the film that we wrote about a week ago — released it on YouTube. We learn now that it has exploded on the site. With over a 100 thousand views in less than a week, the film is poised for more success.

A still from Kaafiron Ki Namaaz
A still from Kaafiron Ki Namaaz

Keeping the promise of its title, the movie shocks at times and soothes at some surprising moments. The two main characters engage in a discussion that is camouflaged as nonsense and deals with some deep questions about nation and violence without ever attempting to preach or losing the grip on its viewers.

Sounds of the world
Maatibaani, the makers of The Music Yantra have truly shown us that music knows no boundaries. Recently, they released their third track, Jao Piya that showcases the talent of 17 musicians from seven countries. A social media-led collaboration helmed by Nirali Kartik and Kartik Shah, the Music Yantra was launched in February. This song celebrates music’s universal spirit.

Nirali Kartik with a dancer in the video
Nirali Kartik with a dancer in the video

Local musicians from across the globe can be seen playing unconventional instruments such as the hammered dulcimer, bucket drums as well as conventional instruments like the clarinet to showcase a breathtaking range of sound. The video features landmarks such as New York’s Times Square, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and Mumbai’s Gateway of India. We hope Music Yantra takes us on more such musical journeys.

Padamsee’s canvas
When Akbar Padamsee turns 87 it is a cause for celebration, the way Priyasri Patodia does it. Inviting Padamsee’s friends and the pick of Mumbai’s art community, Patodia hosted an artists’ preview last evening, with a view of a resplendent sunset seen through her Worli gallery.

Artist and birthday boy Akbar Padamsee chats with poet Gieve Patel (second, right) as gallerist Priyasri Patodia (third, left) looks on. The event was held to celebrate Padamsee’s rare works at Patodia’s art gallery in Worli yesterday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Artist and birthday boy Akbar Padamsee chats with poet Gieve Patel (second, right) as gallerist Priyasri Patodia (third, left) looks on. The event was held to celebrate Padamsee’s rare works at Patodia’s art gallery in Worli yesterday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

On display were 110 rare works on paper by the Modernist, known to sell for lakhs at auctions the world over for his metascapes. Atul Dodiya and Gieve Patel traded fond memories of the veteran artist (“Remember that time when we were complaining about art dealers and went to Akbar?”) and Padamsee took in the vast number of works he has made.

“Akbar is more introvert in this exhibition. The schema lines that are seen in these drawings suggest the architecture of his larger work. You get lost in the psychology of his mind... His mind is complex but his art speaks even to a child,” Patodia told us, adding that Padamsee loves it when you wish him on his birthday. Gauging by the frequency of the smiles that Padamsee broke into, we couldn’t agree more.

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