Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Here comes the music
Anoushka Shankar returns to the city for a performance after four years as part of a two city India tour. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
In what is a labour of two years, Godrej's India Culture Lab has launched 'Mumbai Culture Map', a tool to mark the city's cultural hotspots. Categorised by location and spaces, the map uses quirky names for zones like SoBo Vintage, Wild Wild West and Mid-town Magic.
The spaces mapped are museums, art spaces, diverse performance venues, libraries and bookstores. "There are 180 places on the map so far and we will keep adding to it," said Parmesh Shahani, head, India Culture Lab.
"When we first started the lab, we faced a lot of anti-suburban sentiment and realised that some of the most interesting stuff was actually in the suburbs," he added. This will be a starting point for videos and personal stories about these spaces and the people there, we hear.
The prodigal chef returns
Chef Nitin Kulkarni who helmed the kitchen at Indigo Deli for over 16 years is back as executive chef. Kulkarni, who began his culinary journey in 1981, said about his work, "I believe in using fresh, local and sustainable ingredients as their natural flavours will influence the palate through careful balance and preparation."
Anurag Katriar, ED & CEO of deGustibus Hospitality, the parent company of the brand, told this diarist, "I am delighted to welcome chef Nitin back to the kitchen. He brings a great depth of experience and skill. His passion for food will further strengthen our aim of offering honest and unpretentious modern European food cooked from the heart."
As for his parting from Ballard Estate's The Clearing House, Rishad Nathani said, "Nitin informed us about his decision to move in December. At first it was a little unsettling but we soon realised that this is the right time for us to reinvent The Clearing House. The hiring process is on for a younger, more innovative kitchen team. Nitin's cooking was old-school from the '90s." This diarist learnt that they already have a name in mind, one that will be out soon. Watch this space.
Rocking on heaven's door
Iconic rock guitarist Sonam Sherpa, who co-founded the band Parikrama, passed away after a heart attack while he was in Kurseong. Subir Malik of the outfit, who has been playing with Sherpa since they were in college days, told this diarist, "I am in shock and am heading to his house in Delhi to meet the family. We will be heading to his hometown Kalimpong on Saturday for the last rites."
Malik wasn't the only one who was heartbroken. Musician Vishal Dadlani, whose band Pentagram played alongside Parikrama for the first time at Sydenham College in 1995, said, "We were just kids, in awe of everything we had heard about them. We then became friends over the next year or two, where we played a lot of concerts together. I just realised I've known Sonam for over 25 years. I've never met a more humble, soft-spoken person who is also a complete showman. I've lost a friend and an icon".
A stylish shot by Mithali
There's going to be a new face in the current slew of celebrity showstoppers at the ongoing fashion week in BKC. Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women's national cricket team in Tests and ODIs, will be making her debut on the ramp when she walks as the showstopper for designer Payal Singhal in association with Corcal Bone & Beauty.
"I haven't walked the ramp before, so I'm excited and a little nervous. I've always admired Payal Singhal's designs — they are wearable, versatile, and ideal for the modern, global Indian yet reminiscent of our rich culture and world heritage," Raj told this diarist. Singhal added, "It's an honour to have the captain of the Indian women's cricket team make her runway debut for my show this season. For me, she is a role model to Indian women, who should know that they can have it all."
Souza's best to go on auction
There will be three signed works by artist FN Souza, founding member of the Mumbai Progressive Artists' group, in an online auction by the John Moran Auction, USA on February 18. Townscape in Croatia, Portrait of Jerome and Marcel, and Three Men In A Drunken Haze from the Souza 68, 66 and 62 series respectively will be up for bidding.
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