Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
The Big B
And by 'B' we mean birthday, which megastar Amitabh Bachchan is celebrating here outside his residence in Juhu on Friday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Batting for the environment
There is a restaurant in BKC that's unlike any other in the city. Cardboard is an eatery where the entire décor and furnishings — including chairs and tables — are made of, you guessed it, cardboard.
And the uniqueness of the place is something that the global F&B industry has now woken up to. Cardboard has been adjudged the best international café at the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards in London.
"Cardboard, a material of humble origins, has stood the test of time and has been deliberately injected into the glass monolithic architecture of BKC, Mumbai's prime central business district, to advocate the environmental imbalance of recent trends of urbanism. We are hoping that this space evolves into a vibrant hub for dialogue and conversation on the role of design, material and technology in protecting the earth's resources towards a sustainable future," Nuru Karim of Nudes, the firm that designed the space, told this diarist, adding that the material is 100 per cent durable.
The controversy around Aarey has been such that even the Supreme Court has taken up the case suo motu. Activists are fighting a relentless battle against the authorities, who refuse to budge and have already felled a large number of trees to build a proposed Metro car shed there.
Send an email in advance saying how many saplings of trees you want
In these turbulent times, it comes as refreshing news to hear about an initiative that Trilogy, a library and bookstore in Bandra, has started in collaboration with White Print, a magazine for the visually impaired. They have collected a large number of saplings of different species of trees and are encouraging Mumbaikars to take the initiative to pick them up and plant them in the city.
"People can come to Trilogy or to a residence in Vile Parle to find the saplings. They can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org," Ahalya Naidu, co-founder, informed us.
Dippy opens her closet for a cause
Actor Deepika Padukone isn't one to mince her words and was one of the first Indian celebrities to start a conversation around mental health when she opened up about battling depression and anxiety four years ago. This year, on World Mental Health Day earlier this week, she went a step ahead. Padukone opened up her closet for her fans, who were free to buy items from it, including accessories, anarkali sets and gymwear.
Her clothes were in such demand that they were sold off in a mere two hours. But if you're bummed out about missing this auction, don't fret. The actor will be sharing clothes from her closets for a price every month. And all the proceeds from the sales will go towards The Live Love Laugh Foundation, which aims to give hope to people experiencing stress, anxiety and depression.
25 years, and still rocking
The year was 1994. The Indian independent scene was a barren land compared to the outgrowth of bands there are today. But there was one act formed then that became one of the bedrocks of the indie circuit. Pentagram charted new grounds with their electronic-rock sound, and the band completed 25 years of existence earlier this week.
Frontman Vishal Dadlani told this diarist, "Back in the day, there were literally three or four bands that made up the whole country-wide scene. But the industry is now so vibrant that it's incredible. And everything is going on the right track. But one thing that's remained constant is that musicians tend to complain a lot. That's one thing we never did. You've just got to shut up and do your thing."
This is big. Restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani has been inducted into the Keepers of the Quaich society in Scotland, one of the world's foremost organisations concerned with whiskey. Amlani was honoured in a ceremonial affair at a castle in central Scotland, where he was dressed in a kilt.
He told this diarist, "This event is much like the Oscars of the whiskey world, and akin to being inducted into the upper echelons of the industry, so I'm going to do my best to be a good ambassador of this society."
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