Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
The Jaws challenge
Kareena Kapoor Khan competes with Natasha Poonwalla in the well-defined jaw battle as the two host a media meet for a vaccine programme. Pic/Sneha Kharabe
A sea of statues
The seafront along the Gateway of India to Radio Club in Colaba is one of the loveliest parts of Mumbai. And now, the aesthetic beauty of the place is about to get a fillip, thanks to Sculpture Fair 2019. It will involve around 30 sculptures adorning the open seafront right next to Radio Club at Apollo Bunder for the next three days. These works of art have been created by a bunch of Indian and international sculptors, including Ashish Das, Pramod Kambale, Sunil Deware and Prafull Singh. The pieces will be available for public viewing from 11 am to 10 pm. So, if you feel like a seaside stroll, this is the promenade to choose.
Curtains close for Tamaasha
After playing a significant role in turning Versova's Aram Nagar into a cultural hub, Studio Tamaasha will shut down by the end of this month. Co-founded by Sunil Shanbag and Sapan Saran, the intimate performing arts space was started as a one-year pilot programme in March 2017. "When we started, we weren't sure how it would work out and whether the idea would interest people. But we got a great response, and we, too, enjoyed running a space of our own.
And so, the project was stretched by one more year," Shanbag told this diarist. "But independent, alternative spaces run on a business model that requires continuous financial support. This is a good time to think about the next logical step because the demand for such spaces definitely exists. Partnerships between like-minded people running these spaces is the way forward," added the veteran theatre artiste.
The founders, however, assure that the idea of Studio Tamaasha will stay alive as they look for a new home to house it. Several key programmes that took shape at the venue, including artiste residencies, also need to continue, they say.
This Sunday, the studio will host its last performance. "We began our programming with Soul, a live music show, and that's how we'd like to end this chapter - on a celebratory note," Shanbag said.
'Lost' cycle takes people for a ride
We have come across many publicity gimmicks before, but rarely one that takes people for such a ride. There were some leaflets being circulated in the city that looked innocuous enough. Each was a plea for help to bring a lost cycle back to its rightful owner. But what caught our eye was the amount of reward money offered - a whopping Rs 30,000. The question we asked ourselves was, "If that's how much you get paid as a reward, how much does the actual cycle cost?" And that's when we found out that the whole exercise is nothing but a publicity campaign that the cycle's manufacturer had launched.
A foody trip to Central Asia
We reported about the growing interest in Mediterranean cuisine in these pages yesterday. Now, we hear, that intrigue has spilled over to Central Asian cuisine, too. And helming a new restaurant, Ostaad, which will open its doors to patrons on March 8 in Kamala Mills, is Neeti Goel, who earlier gave us the Asian resto-bar, Keiba. On offer will be fare from countries like Balochistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, with dishes like flatbreads, vegetables with exotic stuffing, flavourful rice dishes, grilled meats, and skewered kebabs. Speaking about the upcoming haunt, Goel told this diarist, "Central Asian cuisine is where Mughlai cuisine in India originated from. But the true essence of the cuisine is unknown to most Mumbaikars. We would like to bring to our guests the authentic recipes with ingredients sourced from Central Asia, which accentuate the experience and transports you to the cradle of this ancient culinary world." We'd love to see how people in the city warm up to this cuisine.
Talk about getting a taste of your own medicine. Recently, Gordon Ramsay, a man who minces no words in calling a spade a spade, posted a photo of a butter chicken meal that he'd "enjoyed" before boarding a flight at London's Heathrow airport.
The problem, though, was that the dish looked like nothing to go ga-ga about. And the Indian Twitterati jumped at this, roasting Ramsay with comments like, "What did you have for main course after that starter?" And, "The rice looks like I could throw it at a wall and it would bounce back." Ouch.
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