Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

Updated: May 01, 2020, 07:41 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

A child rests on a hammock at a camp that migrant workers looking to return to Tamil Nadu have set up, in Mahim
A child rests on a hammock at a camp that migrant workers looking to return to Tamil Nadu have set up, in Mahim

Lying in hope

A child rests on a hammock at a camp that migrant workers looking to return to Tamil Nadu have set up, in Mahim on Thursday. Pic/Suresh Karkare

Guess who came to dinner

Rishi Kapoor at the Kapadia household when he went for dinner
Rishi Kapoor at the Kapadia household when he went for dinner

The world lost not just a distinguished actor, but also a passionate foodie when Rishi Kapoor passed away yesterday. His family also alluded to that side of his in the public statement they put out after his death. But Kapoor didn't just like to eat. He even helped out youngsters trying to gain a foothold in the F&B industry, as was the case with Munaf Kapadia of The Bohri Kitchen. He shared that he'd once delivered food to the Kapoor household in Bandra and been introduced to the family in October 2017. The late actor had paid Kapadia a visit at his home in Colaba once after that, and left a genuine impact on what was then a small business, a family enterprise with a few people, which would take on one-off catering assignments.

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"He had a meal with my parents and was very respectful towards them, when it was especially a big deal for them since he was their childhood star. I discussed artificial intelligence with him. It was that kind of an experience, you know? He was the first person who evaporated the Bollywood barrier for me and created a window that led to many opportunities over the years, from investments to more people from films," Kapadia told this diarist about a person who had as big a heart as he had an appetite. 

Not giving a damn

Irrfan Khan (left) and Papa CJ at  the interviewIrrfan Khan (left) and Papa CJ at the interview

Tom Hanks once famously said in an interview that he always thought he was the coolest guy in the room, until Irrfan Khan walked in. But apart from this unflappable demeanour, what made Khan an endearing human being is how he had no airs about himself. Comedian Papa CJ discovered this when he once conducted a lengthy interview with the actor in 2016. "The most beautiful thing I learnt from that interview is that as human beings, our journey is inward. He was so honest and open, and offered such an insight into his mind — from his parents to childhood and right up to death," he told this diarist. Ironically, the last question in that interview — which had been conducted before Khan was diagnosed with a rare cancer — had been about how he would like to be remembered after his death. His answer? "I don't think about it, and I don't give a damn."  

Diners feel at home during lockdown

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A recent survey has revealed that people are apprehensive about ordering for food from outside after a pizza delivery boy tested positive for COVID-19. They would much rather cook for themselves at home. Neta App, a technology platform that aims to foster political accountability, said that 91 per cent of those sampled across Indian cities said they preferred to eat in than ask for home delivery. In Mumbai, this figure was 81 per cent. Not just that, 22 per cent of the total respondents also said that they would object if they saw their neighbours getting food delivered. As the app's founder Pratham Mittal said, "Food delivery has suddenly changed from being a personal decision to a community decision." 

Free to stream

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Made in 2006, Q2P is a documentary that shows how toilets in India are a symbol of caste, class and — most importantly — gender inequality. It was recently chosen as the free film of the month by the Royal Anthropological Institute in the UK. "A toilet is like a little piece of that dream called development. It is a metaphor for the idea of a global city," director and mid-day columnist Paromita Vohra said, adding that there was hardly any information available on the subject when she made the film.

Let's start sharing at the table

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One of the bigger sectors that has been hit hard due to the lockdown is the restaurant industry, which is why the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) is asking customers to lend a helping hand. It's started an initiative called Rise4Restaurants to give employees and members some succour, and NRAI president Anurag Katriar told us, "The idea is simple. See, we are struggling to pay salaries because there is no income and we don't know when this will end.

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So we are telling our guests to buy a `1,000 voucher for `750, out of which you pay `250 right now and the rest later on. Why `250? Because 25 per cent of our sales is towards manpower and this money will go towards helping them out." Log on to r4r.nrai.org for more details.

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