Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
A wave of support
The audience helps prop Ranveer Singh up as he crowd-surfs at a Byculla venue during the launch of the soundtrack for his upcoming film on Thursday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Gaurav Gupta is ready to play
Gaurav Gupta turned 40 on January 17, and is still reeling under the big party splash even as he speaks about working on a collection that would open the summer/resort 2019 edition of Lakmé Fashion Week on Tuesday night. That the Delhi designer is returning to Mumbai's fashion week after a four-year timeout with the grand Royal Opera House as the show address could be a story in itself. "Who doesn't love the opera and the theatre?" he says with a laugh.
Of all the designers showing the talented textiles in their collections lately, Gupta has mindfully stuck to re-imagining the ancient drape to create fresh hybrids of lehengas and deconstructed sarees using luxe fabrics such as chiffon, tulle, crepe and lace. But that changes with the (Un)folding. For the first time, the designer's eveningwear range would feature delicate hand-embroidered chikankari and Benarasi brocade in forms of dresses, pantsuits, saree-gowns and lehengas decorated with crystals, 3D flowers and zardozi. "Though I've used brocade occasionally in previous collections, a jacket in 2013, for instance; this time, I've looked at textiles exclusively.
I'm not using them [textiles] because I have to. As a designer, it's just another fabric for me. I admit, it's new for me and it would be new for the market," he says. The idea of taking textile out of its traditional context, and lending a whole new milieu is what made (Un)folding an exciting creative project for Gupta. "While the literal meaning behind the title incorporates origami — the core of the collection — it also suggests unfolding another side to me, the textile story if you may. I'm ready to play, as simple as that," he tells the diarist.
Where Mumbai is the hero
A book set in Mumbai, originally written in Kannada, translated into English and awarded in Kolkata — that's the story of the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018, announced yesterday at the ongoing literary meet in the city. Jayant Kaikini's No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories, translated by Tejaswini Niranjana, is the first translated work to have received the prize, and the duo received the trophy by none other than Ruskin Bond.
The book presents vignettes of life in Mumbai viewed from the margins, making the city with its stunning contrasts, the protagonist in the process. So, if you are a hoarder of tomes that chronicle Mumbai, you know which one to add to your collection.
An author's cover-girl moment
Historian Aanchal Malhotra's unique book, Remnants of a Separation (HarperCollins), which attempts to envisage the myriad aspects of Partition through the prism of memorabilia migrants carried with them across the border, has already stirred many readers. As a befitting image, a glimpse of Malhotra's grandmother's forehead adorned with a resplendent maang tika serves as the book's cover, designed by Bonita Vaz Shimray.
And now, it has won the Oxford Bookstore Cover Prize, commenting on which the author said, "So pleased to see #RemnantsOfASeparation win...particularly since the cover photograph is one I took of my grandmother and her heirloom jewellery carried across the border during Partition." It's strange how inanimate objects can sometimes tell better stories than a nuanced raconteurs, isn't it?
After her heroics at the Rio Olympics, gymnast Dipa Karmakar quickly became the darling of the nation. So, it follows that the people at Jeon, a restaurant in a Juhu hotel, were only too happy when she dropped by there for a meal.
But being a sportsperson means she follows a strict diet. "We were extremely sensitive to her dietary discipline and prepared food that included natural grains and ancient millets, and had no sugar or carbohydrates," Chef Jerson Fernandes told this diarist.
A film's caste
In the world of comedy, a question that is frequently asked is, how far is too far? Well, the all-female funny crew, Girliyapa, seems to have crossed the line with a spoof video they have released on Gully Boy, at least in some people's eyes. It's called Gully Bai, and follows the story of how a domestic help in a Mumbai home gets her own back after facing repeated insults from a cross-section of society.
So far so good. Except, some people have taken umbrage at the blatantly casteist way in which her character has been portrayed, considering she is shown to have no voice when the malkin of the house puts her down. We will reserve judgment on this one, and let you decide yourself which side of the fence you sit on.
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Mumbai protests against the Pulwama terror attack