Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Updated: 26 September, 2020 07:39 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce.

Two kids fashion swings out of the branches of a tree at Gateway of India. PIC/ATUL KAMBLE
Two kids fashion swings out of the branches of a tree at Gateway of India. PIC/ATUL KAMBLE

Just swing it

Two kids fashion swings out of the branches of a tree at Gateway of India. Pic/ Atul Kamble

A win-win for indie music

A part of Swarathma’s track Khul ja re was used for a jingle by Apple
A part of Swarathma's Khul ja re was used by Apple said Jishnu Dasgupta (extreme right)

Here's a handy tip for all independent Indian musicians out there who want their music to reach a larger audience base. Sign up with publishing agencies. We aren't talking book publishers here, but firms that have bands on their roster, who they link to producers making web series or movies, brands creating jingles, and other such entities that require the services of musicians to fulfil their creative needs. Why are we saying this? Because folk rockers Swarathma signed up with Anara Publishing, a company that helped them land a project where technology giant Apple used a track that the band had made, as part of the advertisement for the launch of the titanic MNC's online store. The jingle comprises the first bars of the band's track Khul ja re from the album Topiwalleh.

Bassist Jishnu Dasgugpta told this diarist, "Publishing isn't a very well-known entity in the Indian indie context. Whenever Anara Publishing has to respond to briefs for people with musical needs, they send out our music if they think it fits since we are on their roster. I suppose that's what happened in this case as well; they must have presented the track in a certain way." The strategy seems to have worked, and it's a huge accolade for not just the Bengaluru-based musicians, but for the Indian indie scene on the whole.

Asian storm in Powai

Keenan and Ryan Tham
Keenan and Ryan Tham

Although the pandemic has given the city's dynamic F&B industry some hard knocks, the sector has adapted to stay in the game in the past few months. While dining out still seems like a faraway dream, we are happy to hear that the Tham brothers-owned Pan-Asian restaurant chain Foo is set to unveil a new property at Powai very soon. Keenan Tham, managing director and founder of Pebble Street Hospitality Pvt Ltd, told this diarist that the 4,000-sqft restaurant will roll out deliveries by next week. "Overlooking the lush green hills in the backdrop, Foo Powai will have a rocking bar with our signature cocktails and a lot of new dishes. We felt that the area doesn't have any luxury Asian dining destinations or eateries serving Asian tapas fare, so that's a first," he shared, adding that Foo Powai will also have a special Sunday brunch menu. Tham agreed that it's been a challenge for the industry, but they've been fighting hard. "We won't give up. We hope to see people back at our restaurants," he said.

Hailing our Harappan link

Dr Kurush Dalal
Dr Kurush Dalal

It's been exactly a century since the Harappan civilisation was discovered in 1920, a discovery that immediately revealed that India was about 2,000 years older at that time. To commemorate that seminal moment, India Study Centre in collaboration with the State Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra, is organising a series of lectures, spanning over 20 hours. Titled Harappa at 100, the series, which kicks off on October 5, will feature talks by Harappan specialists like professor Vasant S Shinde, Dr Jeewan Kharakwal, Dr Rajesh SV, Dr Prabhod Shirvalkar and professor Ajithprasad, among others. "They will share their findings from lesser-known excavations. A lot of discoveries have been made in Kutch in recent times, so speakers will address that," said Dr Kurush Dalal, who conce-ptualised it. To join in, log on to

And 'now down to the final five

Mita Kapur
Mita Kapur

The shortlist for India's richest literary prize, the JCB Prize for Literature, has been announced. Five novels, including three debut titles, are now in the running for the R25 lakh award. The list includes Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara, Chosen Spirits by Samit Basu, These, Our Bodies, Possessed by Light, by Dharini Bhaskar, Moustache by S Hareesh, translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil, and Prelude to a Riot by Annie Zaidi.

Commenting on the selection, literary director Mita Kapur told this diarist, "There isn't a common thematic or stylistic thread that binds the five books on the shortlist. But each one is memorable. In an age when everything seems to zip past us, these books make us pause and reflect, which, I think, is the potent power of great literature. The five books take us on a journey across India, into people's homes and minds." The winner will be announced on November 7. So, fingers crossed.

For the record

The record store in Mahim
Vinyl enthusiasts at the Mahim store before the lockdown

Every year, Record Store Day is celebrated in April to support independent establishments and celebrate records. However, this year, it's being spread out over three days (in August, September and October), one of which is today, Jude de Souza, founder and CEO of Mahim-based The Revolver Club, told this diarist. To mark the day, the store is hosting an online sale as opposed to the mega affair they usually have in Mahim. "For us, it's a day to connect with vinyl enthusiasts across the country. The past six months have been challenging but we've seen record sales spike during the lockdown, what with people spending more time at home and looking for entertainment," he shared. Well, that's heartening to hear.

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First Published: 26 September, 2020 06:51 IST

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