Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
It's Tee time
Sushant Singh Rajput seems to find his T-shirt amusing during an interview for his upcoming film at a Bandra studio on Thursday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Twenty years on
Theatrewallah and mid-day columnist Rahul da Cunha did a nostalgic recap on social media recently when he posted a black and white frame that made this diarist do a double dekko. It had Boman Irani serenading Shernaz Patel in a scene taken from the opening day's of John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation in Mumbai. "To date in my view, it was the most inventive play that we've done," daCunha shared.
He added that they were fresh off the success of I'm Not Bajirao. "Shernaz, Rajit and I [Rage's co-founders] were looking to do an experimental production. Six Degrees… was that perfect play to stage. Audiences were quite blown by it, and the theme of racism went down well. Then again, our audiences have always been open to something new and inventive," he said. We enjoyed it back then, and would love to see it make a comeback, with the same cast, of course.
New designs from Mazgaon
Known for their specialised and contemporary approach to illustration, Bombay Duck Designs, an independent design studio helmed by the artist-sibling duo of Sameer and Zeenat Kulavoor, is all set to open its Mazgaon doors today to accommodate a permanent space for independent artists around the world to showcase their work. Speaking about what inspired the initiative, Zeenat told this diarist, "In addition to commercial work, both of us have worked on personal projects as well.
And as independent artists, it was very difficult to find distributors. Sometimes we were rejected and told that this kind-of work won't sell. Although you can find our work online, there aren't many on-ground spaces." The Bombay Duck Shop took one month to take shape, and is situated in front of the studio. The collection will range from original artwork and art prints, to flip books and zines with a pop-up in collaboration with bookstore and lending library Bombay Underground scheduled for the first day.
We heard with some amusement that the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, currently running in city cinemas, is pulling in the old St Mary's School (ICSE) alumni in droves. The movie is a biopic of Freddie Mercury or Farrokh Bulsara as his schoolmates knew him, before his reinvention as rockstar and lead singer of Queen. Though most life sketches cite Mercury's years at Panchgani's St Peter's, few know that he also studied briefly at Byculla's St Mary's School ICSE before moving overseas with family.
So, Marians as they call themselves, are finding a special reason to watch it. In fact, a former schoolboy shared that a recent class reunion, never took off because there were not enough 'boys' (men in their 40s now) to attend it. Most said they would be unable to make it as they were going to watch the movie on the same day.
Morea's Turkish sojourn
Visitors at a food fest in Juhu last weekend would have feasted their eyes on a 10-metre-long Turkish Adana kebab prepared by chef Sahin Bulut. This was a glimpse of things to come at Nicolo Morea's upcoming rotisserie and Turkish kitchen in Bandra called ROtir, with one of the four partners being Kareem Dhanani of the famous Kareem's chain.
"We are hoping to open early December. It will be a casual small restaurant, where you can taste food that's served fresh and fast. I was keen to open a Turkish restaurant because they have great fare, from salads, mezzes to meats, all served beautifully and delicious. The rotisserie idea was waiting to happen as it's one of the best ways to eat chicken - crispy on the outside and tender on the inside," Morea told this diarist.
The silence is broken
Earlier this month, a monthly magazine published a long-format article that raised serious questions about the culture of sexual harassment allegedly prevalent at Only Much Louder (OML), one of the country's biggest event management companies. But despite the enormity of the allegations - aspersions were cast even on Vijay Nair, its co-founder - there was a eerie silence within the indie music community and comedy fraternity, which OML has helped nurture.
Now, that silence has been broken. Two acts that were slated to perform at the firm's flagship festival, NH7 Weekender - hip-hop artistes from the Azadi Records roster and Disco Puppet - have pulled out citing the allegations. "We presented the article and OML's counter statement to our artistes and took a vote. The decision eventually was that performing at the festival went against the ethos we had started this label with," Uday Kapur, co-founder of Azadi records, told this diarist.
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