Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
The desi chef cooking it up in Auckland
Australia seems to be a dreamland for humble foodies and aficionados alike, no less because of the popular show Masterchef Australia that has become a cult unto itself. However, New Zealand too, is fertile ground for gastronomical explorations. Celebrated chef Sid Sahrawat’s popular restaurant SIDART, situated in a suburban inner-city in Auckland — which is often compared to Mumbai because of the trippy nightlife, cosmopolitan vibe and port-city intricacies — is one such feather in the country’s chef hat.
And we just found out that he has launched an all new contemporary Indian fine-dining menu. It seeks to combine condiments from our country such as kingfish, daikon, hapuka, mustard seeds, tamarind, almond and Goan flavours with a more formal and precise aesthete.
“It’s a reincarnation that showcases my metamorphosis from an Indian chef cooking kiwi food to a kiwi chef who incorporates love for Indian flavours,” Sahrawat said.
Hobnobbing with Tom Cruise
Gone are the days when YouTube stars were only known in the virtual world. As social media following becomes an important leveraging factor, it’s more likely that you would find an Instagram sensation chit-chatting with an actor during a film promotion, than a television host.
Except, in this case, the actor turned out to be none other than Tom Cruise. In Paris to promote his upcoming film, Mission Impossible 6, Cruise was seen in a conversation with Ajey Nagar (left, in pic), aka carryminati, whose YouTube and social media following runs into millions. Nagar is known for his funny, sometimes whimsical, videos. A picture with the ultimate Hollywood hunk with the Eiffel Tower in the background — good going, we say!
Kuhad’s love is in the air(waves)
Ever since Prateek Kuhad burst into the indie scene around 2013 with his mellifluous songs, he’s been building a formidable reputation for himself. That reputation is now only going to grow stronger with the release of his latest EP, cold/mess. It contains six love songs that are as delicate as a fluffy cottonwood seed floating in the air.
“It is about love, heartache, angst, and conflict — a conflict brought about by a relationship that on a deeper level may possibly be flawed,” Kuhad says, speaking of the EP’s lyrical themes. He adds that each of the six songs are “part anecdotal and part fictional, fused to convey a very specific and personal emotion.”
“They move together and attempt to tell a story,” he explains. And the tracks have already created a buzz among fans, with people swooning over the musician in the comments section. We liked the song called For Your Time the best, which is slightly more upbeat than all the others. Give the EP a listen, we recommend.
Political discourse has a funny way of turning things on its head. Look at Facebook — a harbinger of open and fluid communication and symbolic of the youth’s voice — is now through different means and methods, and might we add, even arbitrarily sometimes, censoring that same voice. The best way to take a look at this disheartening trend would be to take the example of the social media giant blocking Chronicles of Kashmir from the publisher, Bombaykala Books’ own Facebook store. It’s a play which has been developing since 2013 in collaboration with the Ensemble Kashmir Theatre Akademi in Srinagar and co-authored by Dr Nandita Dinesh and Bhawani Bashir Yasir.
It is an attempt to collate different and diverse voices on issues plaguing the valley, combing art and education. Kashmir can be a sensitive topic, but what warranted this inexplicable and insensitive blocking of freedom, that too, by an organisation that came on the scene as a forum for different opinions, is something we’re unable to wrap our heads around. “As artists and educators working on this, we are aghast at our book’s ‘rejection’. When books are banned even before they are read, what does it say about the state of the world?” Dinesh told this diarist.
Insta-safe with Mumbai police
A popular photo-sharing platform’s latest feature has got us asking some questions, quite literally. The new questions sticker update for Instagram Stories has family and friends answering each other’s craziest questions in a fun yet organised way. Even celebrities like actors Sonam Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor have jumped on the bandwagon to tease upcoming movies and interact with their fans.
However, the Mumbai Police advised Instagram users on their Twitter account to be cautious about the information they give out on public access platforms. With quirky memes the city’s police force asked users to report any suspicious questions. Answering questions might be a thrill, but losing personal information is not.
It seems as if the monsoon gloom has gotten to John Abraham who was spotted at at an event in Bandra East on Friday, looking exhausted. Pic/Atul Kamble
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