Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

Sep 07, 2017, 09:22 IST | Team mid-day

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

An untitled wood inlay by Rathindranath of Rabindranath Tagore’s paintingAn untitled wood inlay by Rathindranath of Rabindranath Tagore’s painting

Say hello to a new auction house in the city
When demonetisation ushered in dismal days for auction houses and the sale of artworks, there was some trepidation in the air. However, not all have been deterred. Indrajit Chatterjee, a former investment manager and trader, who has been collecting art for the last decade, is set to launch his auction house, Prinseps this month. Chatterjee, 45, spent much of his life in New Delhi and abroad, and has been based out of Mumbai for the last few years.

His family is originally from a town neighbouring Santiniketan. He says that collecting is his hobby, and his treasure includes postage stamps, especially those belonging to princely states, fountain pens and curios. The inaugural online auction will be of rare books from the estate of Rathindranath Tagore, the eldest son of Rabindranath Tagore, and set to take place on September 21 and 22. The books include a signed copy of Mahatma Gandhi's The Story of My experiments with Truth and a signed copy of Nehru's autobiography.

In October, the auction house will have a modern and contemporary art sale, which will also feature paintings by Rathindranath. Chatterjee says that Rathindranath's paintings are nearly impossible to come by in auctions, for most of his works are at the Vishwa Bharti, and there could only be a handful in circulation. We are eager to see more from this latest addition to the city's art scene.

Speaking his mind
even as social media remained abuzz with reactions to the shocking murder of Bengaluru-based senior journalist Gauri Lankesh, a tweet from an industry known for its silence on burning issues caught this diarist's eye.

Atul Kulkarni
Atul Kulkarni

"You read my tweets. Don't you agree that I deserve at least one bullet if not seven? I think I do. I should be ready. Many should be ready..." acclaimed actor Atul Kulkarni tweeted. "This is the fourth murder. There is a clear pattern to it. People take a stand, and express it in a manner that is far from any form of violence, but in reply they get a bullet," Kulkarni told this diarist.

Does speaking his mind come at a cost in Bollywood? "I come from an industry which is extremely vulnerable. I can't blame anyone for being silent because what is at stake is extremely huge," he said. "I don't think I could come out with as much intensity as I wanted to, but I had to say it anyway."

Go casual chic in Bandra
What if body-hugging corsets gave way to flowy dresses, without compromising on the sexy quotient? That's what restaurateur Keenan Tham's wife Neha's flagship fashion store in Bandra promises to be all about, and given that she has styled Bollywood celebrities including Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan, Bipasha Basu and Neha Dhupia, we'd like to believe it's possible.

Neha Modi (left) and Neha Tham
Neha Modi (left) and Neha Tham

Tham is launching the store in partnership with Neha Modi, who leads a top export house. "I've seen a remarkable change in the way we look at fashion. I believe comfort is key and less is more and I can see this becoming everyone's mantra," said Tham.

Pic/Sameer Markande
Pic/Sameer Markande

In combat mode
He may have all the cop support he needs for Ganesha visarjan, but Rishi Kapoor seemed prepared to take on the mighty task himself on Tuesday.

Kebabs, biryani and Mumbai darshan
As the city's eDM enthusiasts get ready for The Chainsmokers' concert in Mahalaxmi this evening, here's a peek into the preparations that have been underway for the American DJ duo's maiden visit to India. A total of 50 rooms have been booked in a SoBo five-star, and both Andrew Taggart (right, in pic) and Alex Pall are keen on soaking in sights like the Gateway of India.

While they will have Americanised fare for most meals, we hear they have especially asked for kebabs, Butter Chicken, Dal Makhani and biryani. That's not where the desi connect ends. The duo are also likely to take home Neeta Lulla bomber jackets as souvenirs.

It's just desserts, this time
Restaurateur and chef Monish Gujral is out with a new book, and in a strange departure from the norm, this time, it's about desserts from around the world. The custodian of the Moti Mahal brand has previously released On the Tandoori Trail (2005), On the Butter Chicken Trail (2009) and On the Kebab Trail (2013).

For the new book, Gujral has traipsed from country to country in search of delicious stories about 80 different sweets. From the creme brulee that created a Cold War-like situation between France and Britain to the Sachertorte from Austria that was the subject of a long trademark battle, these anecdotes and recipes find their way into On the Dessert Trail. For more on the new release, check out this week's Sunday mid-day.

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