Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
A glass apart
Our lensman catches the many moods of actor-author Nandita Das at the launch of her book at a Juhu mall on Friday. Pics/Sameer Markande
Nachiket's designs on Jacqueline Fernandez
Nachiket's costume for Jacqueline Fernandez
Mumbai designer Nachiket Barve, who recently did the costumes for the movie Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, also worked on Jacqueline Fernandez's costume for an upcoming music video of the remix of the Holi special, Mere angne mein. With Fernandez essaying the role of a princess, the look incorporates some realism and a generous helping of fantasy. "Filmmakers Rahika Rao and Vinay Sapru are clued into the aesthetic of what they want to create.
We've done gota and Benarasi brocade for a period look in a music video for the first time. It was lovely to work with Jacqueline, who is quite fashionable herself," Barve told this diarist. Emphasising how they have moved away from the typical sexy look for videos, and have married it with old world grace, Barve added, "I believe that costumes need to be light and comfortable, not cumbersome and heavy. It shouldn't be a pain but pleasure to wear it. There's no point in doing an outfit that's not light since this isn't one for a shoot or event but a music video. I like working with hand-woven textiles. We have badla embroidery on the dupatta, sequinned work as well as real silver gota on the lehenga." The video will also feature Big Boss runner up Asim Riaz.
An event in the city tonight — which was meant to host curated sessions with six women mixologists from across Singapore, Thailand, India and London at three bar venues in Mumbai — had a hiccup due to the deadly COVID-19. June Baek, a South Korean national who was boarding her Mumbai-bound flight from Singapore, was stopped at the Singapore airport as all visas granted to South Korea nationals have been suspended. So, Cindy Lalramngaihzuali from Delhi and Feruzan Bilimoria will be filling in for her.
Wine for the win
It's a proud moment for Mumbai eatery Qualia as Ranjeet Shirke, who handles the wine programme at the restaurant, has just become a sommelier certified by the European Court of Master Sommeliers. "I was working for over a year preparing for this exam and took a whole month off to study intensely for it, and it's a great feeling to achieve the certificate. I will, of course, use this to educate the consumer in selecting the right wines along with their meal while dining here," Shirke told this diarist. "I'm thrilled and excited for Ranjeet. I think it's a hell of an accomplishment. It's validation of all that he loves and has worked hard for. I couldn't be happier for him and we're so lucky to have him drive our wine programme. It can only get better for us," added chef-partner Rahul Akerkar.
Vegan trouble in India
US-based Afghan author Nemat Sadat's 55-day India tour ended on a disappointing note. An ethical vegan, Sadat struggled to meet his dietary needs, even at the best luxury hotels. When he contacted Hyatt Regency, he was assured that his dietary needs would be accommodated. But that wasn't the case post check-in as he was told that a vegan griddle or pastry for breakfast would be unlikely. After lecturing the manager on this practice, Sadat decided to leave. But when his cab driver arrived, the hotel forbade the car to exit the premises and summoned the police, who then asked the driver to head to Sahar police station.
The hotel staff also accused him of being "anti-Indian" and tried to press penal charges. The police on hearing the incident broke into a fit of laughter, and the next day Sadat found himself feasting on dairy-free French toast at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar. Having been trolled on social media by Indians, the writer has written a letter to Hyatt and has drafted one to PETA India, too. He told this diarist, "Putting pressure on luxury hotels to be vegan-friendly will make India more tolerant to vegans travelling for business and tourism, and spread the vegan movement across the country."
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