Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

Updated: Dec 17, 2018, 13:57 IST | Team mid-day

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

Just look at you!
Veteran singer Usha Mangeshkar and musician brother Hridaynath share a light moment with writer Babasaheb Purandare at the Smita Patil Kautuk awards held at Vile Parle on Saturday. Pic/Rane Ashish

Shashi Tharoor

A toast to Tharoor
Books on Toast is a city-based platform that encourages the habit of reading through various online videos, podcasts and events. And the folks who run it had a rather special guest for an episode they filmed over the weekend. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who was in the city for a lit fest, shot an episode for the platform to promote his latest book, The Paradoxical Prime Minister, which is an unflattering account of Narendra Modi. The episode will air on YouTube in January.

Exhibits at the Living Cathedral exhibition
Exhibits at the Living Cathedral exhibition

Birth of a city
Last Saturday witnessed the opening of Living Cathedral, a month-long exhibition to commemorate 300 years of St Thomas Cathedral, with a salute to its rare archives. This diarist was greeted with faint, melodious strains of tolling bells when she stepped into a packed Premchand Roychund Gallery for the inauguration. Curator and designer, Nandini Sampat, of Somaya-Kalappa Consultants, had the 50-odd group in rapt attention as she took us for an immersive walkthrough of Bombay's origins by juxtaposing it with the growth of the Anglican landmark.

Paintings of Charles II who married Catherine of Braganza. The islands of Bombay were part of her dowry
Paintings of Charles II who married Catherine of Braganza. The islands of Bombay were part of her dowry

From Kipling's birth record to religious artifacts and rare maps of pre-colonial Western India, the exhibition will be a treat for history buffs. The key minds behind it, veteran architect Brinda Somaya, CSMVS's director general, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, principal of Cathedral & John Connon, Meera Isaacs and presbyter-in-charge, St Thomas Cathedral, Reverend Arvind Rangayya lauded at the fruition of this effort that took nearly a year in the making. Eminent supporters like Smita Godrej-Crishna as well as Cathedralites, past and present, showed up at what turned out to be a fascinating timeline from Bombay to Mumbai.

Calendar

More than just a calendar
It's that time of year when organisations are ready to roll out their calendars for 2019. But a welcome change in the recent years has been the way the 12 pages have been explored as a canvas. The 2019 edition by theatre movement Junoon, for instance, picks scenes from experimental plays captured by noted photographer Nemai Ghosh. The Women of Kashmir calendar by Kashmiri Women's Design Collective features women who have played an important role in shaping Kashmiri culture. "[There is] Habba khatoon, a poetess from the 16th century, Girja Dhar a 20th-century doctor instrumental in setting up hospitals, Mohan Kaur, an educationist from the early 1900s - it's a range of women across ages," says Onaiza Drabu, who conceptualised the calendar. Drabu is the co-founder of Daak, an initiative to present lesser-known stories and artworks from the Indian Subcontinent.

Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta (left) with chef Sanjay Kotian
Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta (left) with chef Sanjay Kotian

A soft launch
This diarist set out for the re-launch of Mia Cucina over the weekend, hoping to bump into the city's famous foodies who had been missing the much-loved Italian restaurant in Bandra, which downed its shutters in 2015. But it turned out, most were unable to make an appearance on the big day of what used to be a celebrity den.

Fatima Sana Shaikh at the re-launch
Fatima Sana Shaikh at the re-launch

We hear Sanjay Gupta, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Ira Khan, Sanya Malhotra and Rohit Roy dropped by - though most of them showed up after 11 pm. We don't know if it's the perennial Bandra traffic (read: Hill Road) or the after-effects of the naach-gaana at the big, fat Ambani wedding to blame. But the shining star of the night was chef and owner Sanjay Kotian's suppli di riso. Just to die for.

Get cribbing
For most Christian households, Christmas is incomplete without building a crib. However, it remains an indoor tradition, at least in the city. But this year, the Mobai Gaothan Panchayat (MGP), an organisation constituted to fight for the rights of the East Indian community, is conducting an outdoor crib competition as part of their Mega Christmas Festival. The competition is open to all and will be judged by a panel of judges from the MGP. There will also be special prizes for interesting Christmas inclusions like facade decor, stars and symbols. The celebrations are dedicated to eminent freedom fighter Kaka Baptista, who hailed from the East Indian community.

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