Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
I like what i see
Actor Nushrat Bharucha seems pleased with a dress she tries on at the launch of a designer store in Khar on Friday. Pic/Ashish Raje
When Jonty teared up
Social media can sometimes throw up the most unlikely of surprises that makes one smile. Like a recent salute that former South African all-rounder and coach, Jonty Rhodes posted while on a flight within the country. While thanking the airline, he also made a special mention of Amish Tripathi's title from his best-selling trilogy, adding that he had 'tears and goosebumps before page 30,' and that he had to reassure the air hostess that he wasn't upset with their service.
Thrilled about the online salaam, Amish — a self-confessed cricket buff — thanked Rhodes admitting that he was a huge fan and that the compliment made his day. Rhodes divides his time between his home country and India (his daughter is named India), and is a known Indophile.
A Cirque du Soleil performance
Monisha and theatrics
Monisha Jaising knows a thing or two about grand beginnings, and greater finales. Just when we were wondering if she would outdo the address of her last collection — a luxury cruise liner docked at the Arabian Sea in January 2017 — she sprung a surprise. Jaising has been chosen as the grand finale designer to close the Winter/Festive edition at the upcoming Lakmé Fashion Week to be held between August 22 and 26 in the city. But there's another reason we are excited.
At the finale, Cirque du Soleil (French for Circus of the Sun) will be introducing their India special act, Bazzar, in the glamorous company of Jaising's sartorial rendition of Shades of Diva. The performance by the world's largest theatrical producer and Canadian touring troupe seems to be perfectly timed with their Mumbai debut on November 14.
Fun on two wheels
Spotting a known face at avid cyclist and custom bicycle designer Faisal Thakur's Bandra studio is not unusual. From Ranbir Kapoor and Arshad Warsi to reality show winners, when it comes to getting the perfect two-wheel ride, most cycling enthusiasts in the city trust Thakur. The latest addition to his clientele is filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who has got himself a bicycle of Californian make, suited for his height and weight. "He came to the studio on the recommendation of one of his colleagues from the film industry. He patiently waited as I finished closing a purchase with a customer, and then discussed his requirements. He also plans to take it to his home in Lonavla," Thakur told this diarist. Given the crater-filled roads of the city, we feel that's a good call, Mr Mehra!
A classic dazzler
Fashion shows are about models walking the ramp, showcasing a new line of clothes, accessories, or sometimes, jewellery. Seldom are they about music, which only plays a supplementary role in the form of a soulless instrumental track. So, we were in for a pleasant surprise when at a recent jewellery event, models walked the runway to the tunes of a thumri sung live by Bollywood playback singer and classical vocalist, Ronkini Gupta.
"It was my first experience of singing a thumri while traditional jewellery was being showcased. They could have gone with a recorded track, but they chose to have live classical music with the singer right beside the models on the ramp," Gupta told this diarist, adding that though the ultimate purpose of such shows is to promote a product, programming of this kind helps bring a serious Indian art form to a larger audience.
An overseas jugalbandi
We have seen John McLaughlin and Shankar Mahadevan create magic on stage with their quintet, Remember Shakti, which celebrates the coming together of jazz and Indian classical music. And earlier this year, when the ace British guitarist was in India, he had revealed that he was working on a music project with Mahadevan. Now, we hear Mahadevan will be a "very special guest star" at the Monte Carlo Jazz Festival in Monaco, where he will perform with McLaughlin in November. This is one jugalbandi that is indeed going places.
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