Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Being a sport
Sara Ali Khan is keeping things cool by waving at the paps outside her pilates class before she leaves with her trainer Namrata Purohit. Pic/Atul Kamble
Sashi sets up shop
This diarist recalls Masterchef Australia Season 10 winner Sashi Cheliah speaking with measured excitement about his upcoming restaurant when the Singapore-born Australian chef was visiting Mumbai in August. At the time, he had said, "With that and a book in the pipeline, I have a lot on my plate." Now, two months later, his goals have come to fruition in the form of Gaja by Sashi (an extension of his pop-up venture), Cheliah's first restaurant with a brick-and-mortar space on Pirie Street in Adelaide, which launched over the weekend. The menu, with dishes like chicken pakora and pandang custard tart, sounds like a treat!
East meets west
Bellasis Road boy and author Anosh Irani has been shuttling between India and Canada for years. It was only natural for him to pen down his thoughts on living between the two contrasting worlds. This is now a book titled Translated from the Gibberish: Seven Stories and One Half Truth, which comprises stories about the author's experience as an immigrant. The stories have vibrant characters such as a swimming instructor determined to re-enact John Cheever's iconic short story and anIndian chef who breaks down on a talk show.
Indian dance going places
It's a proud moment for Indian classical dance as come December, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles will finally host a kuchipudi performance for the first time ever. The artiste is Bhavana Reddy, daughter of Kuchipudi couple Raja and Radha Reddy. The performances on December 7 and 14 are a collaboration between her and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, set to Russian composer Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. "I will be the lead dancer and six contemporary dancers will be on stage with me. The performance is all about honouring the earth and respecting our ancestors. It was choreographer Kitty McNamee's idea to include kuchipudi and it's a really different experience for me. It's wonderful to be part of this cultural exchange because the way they look at music and the manner in which they conceptualise their dance is different from ours. In classical dance, we don't lift each other like in ballet and contemporary dance, so I'm having quite the adventure," Reddy told this diarist.
When in Rome
I am here now and many are surprised that ballet exists in India. They associate our country with Bollywood. I am happy to begin this journey," Apeksha Bhattacharya, founder of the city-based Indian Academy of Russian Ballet, credited with bringing the dance form to Mumbaikars, told this diarist over the phone from Rome, where she currently is. Over the weekend, Bhattacharya was felicitated at the Russian Rome Cultural Festival, which takes place in Italy each year and is supported by the City Hall of Rome, for her contribution to Russian culture and ballet in India. "Though ballet is still very new to India, it promises to have a great future, and I am happy to be contributing to its success," she shared.
Stay Lola, stay
Founder of The Welfare of Stray Dogs Abodh Aras took Lola — a two-year-old stray and a much-loved pupper among the loiterers of Marine Drive — to the doctor a few months ago. And a new Instagram handle @lola_ka_ghosla is in fact an initiative by 25-year-old associate producer Nayoneka Shankar, an animal lover with a mission, aimed at finding that same dog a house. "She was diagnosed with stage II Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma and had a massive surgery three weeks ago.
She's with me now and recovering," Shankar told this diarist. Commenting on how social media can be used to raise awareness about citizen issues, like the well-being of Mumbai's strays, Aras, who happens to know Lola's feeder, added, "I think it's great that Nayoneka has made this page. After Diwali, unfortunately, a lot of dogs have gone missing and it's nice to see people use social media to find them. The hope now is that Lola finds a home."
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