The Greenway Project

Yesterday, we carried an item on actor-producer John Abraham’s pride in his father Abraham John and brother Alan and the work undertaken by their architectural firm Abraham John Architects. But such are the exigencies of a daily deadline that even though the actor had spent a considerable amount of effort to send us a picture of them –we couldn’t wait and had to go without it. Today we are happy to present John’s handsome father and brother, both architects of note, who have achieved their success and standing independent of their star relative. “Dad and Alan are very strong individuals with a strong sense of self. In a world full of ‘interior decorators’ it’s heartening to find architects who structurally redesign spaces and use them effectively, keeping nature and clean lines in mind,” the star had said.


Abraham John and son Alan Abraham

A brief perusal of their work indeed proves this quite resolutely. But what has sparked our interest is the AJA: BOMBAY GREENWAY PROJECT, a proposal to turn the railways line that cuts through the centre of the city into a ‘greenway’, by creating over 917 acres of urban green space over it!

‘The Railways in Bombay define the linear city of 21 million. It is undoubtedly the most important transport solution in Bombay,’ says the AJA website. ‘This Railway into Greenway proposal aims to transform the daily travel experience of an estimated 7.7 million DAILY commuters, while also reducing accidents, providing recreational space and green lungs, lessening traffic congestion and air pollution and creating spaces for leisurely activities and the arts.’

You may think we’re dreamers, gentle readers, but many years ago, we had championed a similar proposal by the city’s leading architect Hafiz Contractor to build a green corridor for walking, recreation and health benefits on Mumbai’s western seafront.

We are all for such visionary progressive solutions to Mumbai’s infrastructural challenges, so hopefully the new Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, known to be a radical, out-of-the-box thinker will consider the AJA The Bombay Greenways Project seriously.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of the other two dashingly handsome Abraham men...

Walking the talk in Mumbai
Following the footsteps of the ‘10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman’ that went viral on the internet two weeks ago, the Mumbai version of a similar experiment has received much traction. And now, word comes in that the enterprising (and intrepid) woman featured in the local version is none other than budding filmmaker, the attractive Aditi Mody, youngest daughter of gaming and real estate tycoon Jaydev Mody and top lawyer Zia Mody. In an interview with the Homegrown website, she said, “The New York cat-calling video made me feel, ‘This woman should come and walk around Bombay for 10 hours and see what violation feels like!’”



Aditi Mody with her father Jaydev

Yes!! Bring it!

The Gourmets of Oz
Having once been transported all the way to Sydney for a champagne dinner prepared by two-star Michelin chef Thierry Marx, in the company of foodies like Rahul Akerkar and Ashwin Deo, we imagine the fun that India’s clutch of leading gourmets Rashmi Uday Singh, Manish Mehrotra, AD Singh and Akerkar must be having as they partake in 90 restaurants, 25 wineries, 30 hotels across Sydney and NSW, as part of the Restaurant Australia festival. 


AD Singh

Singh who has been eating his way through Sydney, one hatted restaurant at a time, has been faithfully posting snaps of his epochal meals, taking food porn to a whole new level. He shares with us that Australia is fast becoming one of the best food and wine destinations in the world (we’ve always known that). “The quality of the average restaurant is very good, the produce is outstanding, and owing to its multiculturalism, the level of innovation here is very high,” says the man whose paean to Parsi cuisine SodaWaterBottleOpener at Delhi’s Khan Market is charming Capitalists to no end. “Best of all,” says Singh, “for most of us who are unhappy with the snootiness of parts of Europe, here everyone speaks English and is very friendly.”


Sashimi yellow fin tuna, Jamon Iberico cream, avocado, pink beauty radish


Roasted haunch, wet polenta, charred zucchini, pickled fennel, saltbush, at Henry's in Tasmania


Ethereal chocolate at Quay

Die-hard Dan fan
So, by now everyone in the reading world knows that best selling author Dan Brown came to India as part of Penguin India’s Annual Lecture series in Mumbai and Delhi. 


When Dan Brown met Nirman Chowdhury (below). Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi 

In Mumbai, Brown’s presence expectedly ignited his fans. Held on November 12, at the NCPA Theatre, we were given a fly on the wall account by what perhaps is Dan Fan No 1, our friend, photojournalist Nirman Chowdhury, who, as readers will recall has contributed his pictures to this page before. “As the talk ended the organisers announced Dan won’t be signing books, everyone knew it coming so almost half the people left. A few very determined folks though stood by the backstage door and kept requesting the organisers to let them have a sign or initials or at least greet him. A friend and I were among these folks. The authorities didn’t budge. And people still kept pleading; meanwhile I see this door through which security guards were going in. As everyone kept arguing, we edged to the door and waited and got inside and ran to the green rooms, as Brown was just leaving. The guards saw us and didn’t let us near him, we followed him to the car and he got in. That’s when he saw me and my friend and another guy who followed us.

Pulled down the window and asks what are you guys doing here. My friend asks him, “Do you believe in all the secret societies in your books?” He smiles, looks at her and says, “Absolutely!” And the driver drives off that exact moment.

Most epic thing ever!” says Chowdhury, who swears that Dan Brown has in many ways influenced the way he thinks, reacts to certain news and media and has changed his overall perspective towards history as we know it. 

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