Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
I see you
Actor Aalia Bhatt offers a steely stare back at our photographer when she was spotted while stepping out of a studio in Andheri on Friday. Pic/Satej Shinde
Care for some lunch-time azaadi?
Seventy-one years since Independence, and we are still understanding what it means to be free. We are exploring it through language, politics, art, comedy and food. It is in this spirit that Mumbai's regional food hotspot, The Bombay Canteen, hosts its yearly Independence Day Daawat. A pay-what-you-like lunch service that is open to all features dishes from across the country, ranging from Kerala's kaya ularthiyathu to Bombay's very own maska pav, all laid out on one lush green banana leaf.
Partner at the restaurant Sameer Seth told this diarist, "The idea is inspired from the way we used to celebrate Independence Day as kids and bring people from different corners of the city to eat at the same table, because there's nothing like food that brings people together." The best part? The funds raised from the lunch goes to the Miracle Foundation India, an NGO that works for orphaned children. So, this year celebrate the national holiday by setting some bacchas free, because Independence as we know it is not a one-man affair.
To celebrate Harry Potter and JK Rowling's birthday, Potterheads across the world began a social media trend called #31DaysOfHarry challenge which saw the coming together of art and fandom. Even as July 31 saw all our news feeds inundated with Harry Potter posts, committed fans dedicated the entire month to the iconic franchise and illustrators and artists spent days creating the perfect illustration. A quick search routed us to hundreds of posts and by default that much amount of artwork, too. We've been spending quite some time gawking at the beautiful creations and here's our not-so-subtle invitation to come join the wagon.
Swipe right to find a friend forever
With Friendship Day round the corner it makes sense to look at how the concept has changed or evolved, depending on how you look at it. This diarist's best friend lost their father a few days ago and they attended the funeral through video call. Weird as that might have been, in a way it was reassuring to both. As such, it was not a surprise when we stumbled upon a "friend-finding" app. Nor were we in consternation when we learnt that a popular watering hole in Versova was hosting a speed friendship (much like speed dating) evening this Sunday to celebrate the special day. It also made sense that the event was being organised in collaboration with that very app. We realise now, what Dylan meant when he sang, "The Times They Are A Changin'."
When the Lord returns to college
The feeling is usually special when one walks back into college, especially after a long gap. And this sentiment was shared by Lord Meghnad Desai when he returned to his alma mater, Ramnarain Ruia College in Matunga yesterday. The world-renowned economist and Labour politician was at the college on behalf of the Department of Economics for a nearly two-hour-long talk on the Indian economy in a global perspective. The revered scholar went on to regale students with a mix of life lessons and economics, a refreshing combination that should be the norm in classrooms, rather than the exception.
Kaur's pen keeps flowing
If there's one spunky girl we have come across over the recent past, it would probably be Gurmehar Kaur. A martyr's daughter, she faced a torrent of right-wing abuse online after a video of her holding a placard that said, "Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him," went viral on social media. But instead of cowering down, Kaur faced her detractors head-on, becoming a free speech activist in the process. But the one thing the student of literature had always wanted to become is a published author. It's a dream she fulfilled with Small Acts of Freedom (Penguin Random House India), published last year. And now, it's been announced that she will follow it up with a second book, The Young and the Restless, in the middle of next year. To which we say, "You go, girl."
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Pervert arrested for molesting a minor at Mumbai Central station's foot over bridge