Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Skeletor on wheels
Actor Aditya Roy Kapur wears a mask while riding out of a gym complex in Bandra on Thursday. Pic/Atul Kamble
An old friend
Friend's Union Joshi Club is a decades-old eatery that's an institution when it comes to authentic Gujarati food in the city. Located in Kalbadevi, it serves a no-frills, but delectable thali. But not anymore. The iconic place has downed shutters.
"How sad!" food historian Kurush Dalal exclaimed when this diarist broke the news to him. "It belongs to a period of increasing urbanisation in Mumbai, to a time when the city was growing in a very specific manner. And since it was run by a Brahmin Joshi family, the food was kosher for all vegetarians. So people from all walks of life came to eat there," Dalal added. Kalbadevi has lost its culinary gem.
Songs for harmony
If you're looking for seafood in Bandra, few places top Soul Fry, the much-loved eatery at Pali Market. The place is packed not just on weekends, but also when it hosts karaoke nights on Mondays and Thursdays. Normally, the best singers get a jar of house-made bombil pickle.
But yesterday, owner Meldan D'Cunha decided to turn things around a bit. Instead of the best singers, the pickle was given to people who chose songs with a strong social message.
D'Cunha told this diarist, "Our karaoke event is doing so well that I thought, why not take it one step ahead? That's why I decided to award people who are spreading a social message. They first said a few lines about their choice of track before singing it, and then a community table decided the winners. The idea was to spread peace, love, harmony, joy and kindness at a time when it seems to be sorely missing from the country." Great move, we feel.
Angrezi mein kehte hain ki...
There seems to be no love lost between Vir Das and Vivek Agnihotri. The former is a stand-up comedian known for espousing liberal views. The latter is a filmmaker who makes no bones about his right-wing leanings. The clash of personalities was evident on social media recently. Agnihotri posted a tweet in which he said that English comedians in India lack humour and should take a leaf out of the books of their Hindi and regional counterparts.
To this, Das replied, "I agree, sir. So savage. Also, your tweet is in English." Not one to take the sarcasm lying down, Agnihotri wrote, "That wasn't a tweet. I was testing a new insect killer spray. How did I know that you will be the first unfunny comedian to pop up? Mission accomplished." And Das retorted, "Sir, please don't be upset at me. I'm a fan. I apologise. You're my second favourite right-wing Vivek." We will let you decide who won this war of words.
A students' tribute to Mehlli
Yesterday, a collection of Mumbai-centric short films presented by the students of Sophia Polytechnic's Social Communications Media (SCM) Department was screened at CSMVS Museum's Visitors' Centre, as part of the ongoing Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.
Among these was a three-part documentary on the abstractionist Mehlli Gobhai, who passed away in 2018. The films were made by the batch of 2017-2018 and served as an introduction to the various facets of the artist's life — paintings, notebooks and children's books — as his retrospective curated by Nancy Adajania and Ranjit Hoskote opens next month. The film — titled Dark Mirror, First Thought-books and The Man Who Could — also featured famous city faces like author Jerry Pinto and artist Meera Devidayal.
A home for opera
All this while, if you ever wanted to catch the screening of a western opera in Mumbai, the NCPA at Nariman Point was your best bet. But now, in an unusual move, Inox, a chain of multiplexes, has revealed that it will also screen operas for the city's audience on a regular basis, starting this Valentine's Day.
The first one to be screened will be Carmen, an epic love story by French composer Georges Bizet. It deals with the story of a rebellious gypsy who is willing to go to any length for love.
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