Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Rain dance at Raj Bhavan
It was a particularly busy morning on the lawns of Raj Bhavan yesterday as Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao along with Chairman of the Tata Trusts, Ratan Tata inaugurated the Peacock Conservation Project. As if on cue, the journalists were greeted by one perched on a gate opposite the Governor's helipad, and as they moved to the Mayur Udyan, a few more were spotted amidst the trees.
Umbrellas come to the rescue for Chairman of the Tata Trusts, Ratan Tata and Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhavan last morning. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
The media tried to catch a glimpse of the national bird as it wandered nonchalantly around the gardens that have been created for its conservation, breeding and protection. The synchronicity continued. As the ribbon was cut, a peacock decided to cheer letting out a shrill cry.
The fitting finale was reserved for when Rao and Tata took the tour of the conservation centre. A peacock broke into a dance by the swimming pool causing the media to make a dash for a closer view of the show. The performance continued for 15 minutes. By then the rain began to pelt down. The performer and the audience had call it a day.
Foodies in the Western suburbs must be losing count of the number of eateries and gastro pubs that open every other day. Another entrant will be Mirabella Bar & Kitchen on Veera Desai Road. It's a venture by food-preneurs, Swaraaj Kapoor, Suved Lohia and Dharmesh Karmokar.
The quaint and cosy European-style café will have a charming, hip resto-bar with non-traditional influences and global music as the chosen genre. While the well-curated house special menu will have contemporary street-food, international favourites, desserts and well-rounded café baristas, what caught our eye was the inclusion of vegan delicacies in the menu. We'd love to see how that culinary adventure pans out.
A very, very special lecture
On September 29, VVS Laxman will deliver the eighth Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture at the Cricket Club of India. Sardesai, the batting star of India's historic 1971 triumph in the West Indies, passed away on this day in 2007, after which his family decided to institute the annual lecture. The first one was delivered exactly seven years ago by cricket icon Sunil Gavaskar. Sardesai had a special liking for Laxman.
This diarist recalls the late former India batsman telling journalists at the Press Club on January 29, 2001 that VVS Laxman would hit the high notes against Steve Waugh's Australian team in that season's Border-Gavaskar Trophy series in India. Sardesai called for Laxman's recall to the Test team because he was a player who could torment Australia, which he did most famously with his 281 in the Kolkata Test of the series.
"Laxman has the calibre to match Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid and he deserves to be given his due," said Sardesai then. Sardesai took pride in the fact that Laxman, as per his prediction, did well against Australia against whom he scored 2434 runs in 29 Tests. The Sardesais have always invited former India captains to do the honours at the lecture. This year is different. But then, Laxman is Very Very Special.
Bassy interludes from the UK
Last night, night crawlers at Khar's antiSOCIAL were in for a heady night of unadulterated bass as they grooved to the sounds of UK based Document One whose extensive remix catalogue ranges from mainstream artists such as Moby, Professor Green, Connor Maynard, all the way to heavy metal bands such as Rob Zombie and Asking Alexandra.
Part of their India tour, the songwriter-producer duo of Matt King and Joe Froud, brought the house down with tracks like Run This Block, Jazz Club, I Got A Fever and What Goes Up.
Seams like the North East
Beautiful motifs, quirky head gear and multi-hued ensembles dominated the ramp as Northeastern designers Asaboi Kazingnei (Nagaland), Nabam Akaa (Arunachal Pradesh) and Arita Kashyap (Assam; creation in pic) showcased their creations at a fashion show as part of the third edition of Colours of North East, a festival organised by Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and Assam's socio-cultural trust Trend MMS.
Highlights also included musical acts by Mangka and Rida & The Musical Folks from Meghalaya with a show by violinist Sunita Bhuyan and a presentation of Cheraw, a traditional dance from Mizoram, using bamboo staves.