Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Did I pick the right one?
Amitabh Bachchan seems spoilt for choice at the launch of a premium fabric line at a Santacruz five-star on Wednesday. Pic/Sameer Markande
Anu takes the special route
Anu Menon, who portrayed the character of Lola Kutty for years together on a music channel, took to stand-up comedy in early 2018 as a second innings of sorts. It was a natural progression, considering how her comic timing and keen observation while interviewing celebrities in her earlier avatar had made her a household name.
A year later, she is ready to face the camera again, this time with a stand-up special on a popular online streaming platform, which premieres today. The show is called Wonder Menon, the title of her offline performances. And if the trailers are anything to go by, we are expecting a laugh riot, where the butt of most of the comedienne's jokes is her family itself.
Let's step out
On Wednesday evening, the who's-who of the food industry gathered at a restaurant in Mahalaxmi for the launch of the NRAI Food Services report, 2019 — a study of the food industry that is released once in three years. The panel featured Rahul Singh, the association's all-India president and Mumbai head, Anurag Katriar. Several revelations of the report left the audience in giggles, while others came with surprise.
(From left) Sameer Kuckreja, Rahul Singh, Praveen Pardeshi and Anurag Katriar at the launch of the report in Mahalaxmi on Wednesday. Pic/Ashish Raje
But one thing that left Mumbaikars in the room beaming was learning that this city's diners still love dining in the old-school way. "Despite the general growth in aggregator driven deliveries across the country, it's great to see that most Mumbaikars prefer to go out and eat. It suggests that the experience of going out still matters," Katriar told this diarist. Which brings us to a pertinent question. Where are you heading for dinner this weekend?
Dancing with the star
Varun Dhawan is known for his dancing skills, which he exhibited in movies like ABCD 2. But the choreographed dancing he embodies is a far cry from B-boying, a particularly difficult form that originated at the time that hip-hop music was evolving in America in the '70s.
Yet, he is the face of a B-boying competition that a beverage brand sponsors. That's why he was present at a Khar pub recently, where a round of the event was held. The place saw the city's B-boying community congregate there, though Dhawan didn't stick around for long. Here's another example of Bollywood being co-opted to promote something, even as the star concerned doesn't strictly match what it embodies.
The stage is set for round five
Vacations are over, and with that, we're nearing the end of a season of children's theatre in the city. It's now back to theatre for older audiences, and kicking off a series of new plays for Mumbaikars is the fifth season of Aadyam. Noted theatre artiste Shernaz Patel remains the artistic director for this season, and she promises plays where human emotions reign supreme.
"From the streets of Kabul to the back alleys of Lucknow, from the ghats of Benares to the court rooms of Washington DC, each of these stories will transport you to different worlds. And even though these worlds maybe unchartered, these plays will resonate with you," she said.
And now, some TikTok gyan
We have seen local train stunts on TikTok, and other videos on oddball trends like the Kiki challenge that take the world of social media by storm every few weeks. But seems like the popular short video platform now wants to venture into catering to the self-help needs of its users too.
Under the category #edutok creators, the platform is promoting Indian content creators like a motivational speaker who shares simple life lessons on TikTok about how to be happy and a user who shares English-speaking tutorial videos. We'll reserve our judgement on the quality of the content in a world where everything that fits on a smartphone screen is deemed fit for consumption.
Screenshots of two self-help videos available on the platform
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