Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
No place like home
Actor Deepika Padukone, who was spotted at the Mumbai airport over the weekend, seemed overjoyed to be back in the city. The monsoon effect?
A lesson in Nordic mythology
If summer is synonymous with activities for children, a new adda for theatre and philosophy in the city promises that adult Mumbaikars have something to look forward to this monsoon. The recently founded St Andrews Centre for Philosophy and Performing Arts boasts of an array of courses, some of which this diarist hasn't come across in the city. For those interested in the world of myths, there is a course on Mesopotamian and Nordic mythology starting this month, while a few sessions that have already taken place at the centre have featured panelists including Tanuja Chandra and Mahesh Dattani. There is a theatre and writing workshop and a course on existentialism in the pipeline, too.
You've got to see this
"Please call me blind, and not visually impaired. That is more civil, and reachable to other people. We don't want to be fancy. Blind is blind, it's okay!" Preeti Monga tells this diarist after the launch of her autobiography, Flight without Sight (Hay House). In it, she traces the journey of her life after losing vision at the age of 13. Now 58, she talks of the ups and downs, inviting you to both cry with her about her times of despair and laugh with her about various oddball situations that cropped up in her life. Monga faced the challenge of losing her sight head on. She was India's first blind aerobics instructor. She started an NGO for people with disabilities. She is a motivational speaker. And now, she is also a published author. That's quite a few caps to wear for any one person.
India (almost) again for Tony
Even as the world - the food community and the rest - come to terms with the sudden demise of rockstar chef-traveller Anthony Bourdain (in pic), anecdotes and bytes about his India visits continue to overflow on social media. The chef, known for fusing food and travel into a delectable concoction for modern-day TV viewing, had his share of India moments. After he sunk his teeth into the vada pav, he rechristened it as the 'Bombay Burger' - and made us smile. As this diarist scoured to find more about his Indian sojourns, a khabari revealed that a city-based production house was in advance talks to shoot the next instalment of his series, Parts Unknown, in Rajasthan last month. While we are not quite sure about what happened to that shoot, India will miss his salute to her culinary traditions.
Bandra experienced one of the biggest star-studded iftar parties of the season over the weekend. The guest list for the do included Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez , Anil Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Swara Bhaskar, Surveen Chawla, Saqib Saleem, Maniesh Paul, Gurmeet Choudhary, Freddy Daruwala, Samir Soni, Neelam Kothari Soni, Chunky Pandey Suniel Shetty, Patralekha, Tusshar Kapoor, Sharad Kelkar, and Ayushmann Khurrana.
This year, we may not get to witness the iftar hug between Salman and buddy SRK as King Khan is currently shooting for the last schedule of Aanand L Rai's film Zero in Orlando at the moment.
Yeh Basanti nahi nachegi
Staying true to her candid-self, Shobhaa De posted a meme on Twitter which hinted at what Sholay would be like, were it shot in 2018 by woke millenials. Truth is, the meme's quite on point.
Just imagine a Kalki Koechlin as Basanti - she'd give Gabbar and his posse a hard time. And when we think of the tirade she'd unleash on Jay and Veeru for their casual misandry, it has us in splits. Now, we are not sure if De was aligning herself with the feminists or if it was a sarc-y jibe. You'll have to ask her that yourself.
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The newspaper boy who became the President of India