Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Cleaning up after others
Esha Gupta is hands-on at a Carter Road mangroves clean-up held over the weekend. Pic/Shadab Khan
The Aussies like to come, we like to go!
A Christmas week conversation between our in-house cricket nut and his old West Indies great pal revolved around how often Australian cricket teams visit India nowadays; a far cry to what used to happen in the previous eras. Aaron Finch's men will be here next month for a limited overs series at a time when they ought to have been playing limited overs cricket against the visiting New Zealanders.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Cricket Australia sought to postpone the India series but the BCCI turned the request down. This means Australia will not host a one-day series for the first time in 40 years. Interestingly, the Aussies have visited our shores six times in the last 10 years — 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2017 and last March.
While the Caribbean cricket great pointed to the fact that India's financial clout has changed things, our man felt both boards are happy feeding off each other. India is a much-welcomed team in the Southern Hemisphere.
Our cricket nut brought up a there-was-a-time Australia in India reminder concerning the traditional form of the game: There were four Test visits by Australia in 1950s and 1960s. After that, there was a 10-year gap before Kim Hughes's side arrived in 1979. The next test series here was held seven years later in 1986. Another 10 years later, came the inaugural Border-Gavaskar Trophy before regularity ruled. We are quite happy to have the Aussies grace our greens yet again and vice versa but remember what our granddads and grandmums told us about what familiarity breeds?
Madras comes to SoBo
There are lots of places in Bandra West where you can find South Indian food on the menu, but some are dedicated solely to the cuisine. There's Jai Hind Lunch Home and Thangabali that celebrate the regionally diverse cuisines from this part of the country. And then, there is Madras Diaries for treats from Tamil Nadu.
This diarist has tried their curd rice, or thayir sadam, and can vouch for its authenticity, something even mid-day's resident foodie from Tamil Nadu had acknowledged. But the place could spread its wings only in the suburbs thus far, with outlets on Bandra's Linking Road and Andheri West. Not anymore, though. A delivery-only outlet of the joint is set to open within Mahalaxmi Racecourse.
Owner Neeti Goel told us, "We had a lot of guests travelling all the way from town to Bandra, so we thought of expanding and opening a delivery kitchen that is pure-vegetarian and will cater to patrons in South Mumbai. With a core team of chefs who belong to the interiors of Tamil Naidu, the food is fresh and the ingredients are sourced from Madurai to maintain authenticity and quality."
Kitchen call in Powai
The Bohri Kitchen is a homegrown venture that's built a steady name for itself with its scrumptious thaals. Started by Munaf Kapadia and his mother, Nafisa, it has a loyal following, but at present, the Kapadias have the bandwidth to deliver primarily around South Mumbai.
That will change in 2020, since they have tied up with a popular food aggregator who will finance a kitchen space for them, helping TBK expand into the suburbs, starting with Powai.
Circle of life
Sonja Schlesin (left) with Mahatma Gandhi (centre)
It's lovely, how the circle of life works. When Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was living in South Africa, a lady named Sonja Schlesin worked as a secretary under him.
It is then the stuff of beautiful happenstance that Avril Moss, Schlesin's grandniece, who was in the city last week, stopped by at Mani Bhavan, a museum, which was also his headquarters from 1917 to 1934; and while there, discovered a book on her grandmother inside the historic building's library!
Padamsee on canvas
The new year is almost here, and this might be the best start to your art calendar. An exhibition of the works of Akbar Padamsee from the Jehangir Nicholson Collection will open in the city, this diarist has learnt. Opening on January 9, it will see 22 works by the celebrated painter, from as early as 1957 to 2000.
And even though the 91-year-old experiments with different forms and genres, this exhibition will keep to exploring still-life, metascapes, mirror images, grey works, prophets, heads, couples and tertiaries.
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