Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Kem chhe, farokh?
The woman at the centre of controversy, CoA member and former cricketer Diana Edulji greets fellow bawa Farokh Engineer at Parsee Gymkhana.
Eat, play, repeat
After pleasing tipplers with fun drinking games at Play The Lounge, Lower Parel, owner Jayesh Vora is set to launch a new restaurant at Chowpatty this month. Slated to come up opposite Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, this one aims to bring back forgotten regional dishes from Maharashtra, Jaipur, Gujarat and other states.
"By regional, I mean those items that were staple household dishes, but fell out of favour. Take for instance, sasuma no handvo, a traditional Gujarati savoury cake, and Calcutta pan biryani and pan ka raita," he says. Bring it on, we say.
'Have you come here to die?'
Wonder how our cricketers are coping with the accents Down Under. Considering most of them have interacted with Australians during the Indian Premier League or on past visits to the country, they won't have too many moments of confusion. It was not the same 40 years ago, when brave batsman Anshuman Gaekwad landed to replace the injured Surinder Amarnath on India's 1977-78 tour of Australia. "Have you come here to die," one of the Australian officials asked.
"No," said Gaekwad. "Have you come here to die," the official asked again. Same answer. Gaekwad was probably under the impression that the official was concerned how he would face pace terror Jeff Thomson. Skipper Bishan Singh Bedi entered the conversation and said: "Charlie (Gaekwad's nickname), you don't understand his question. He is asking if you have come here TODAY"
The Iran imbroglio
Ahead of a discussion on Monday at Taj Mahal Palace Hotel on the Iran conundrum, this diarist got a chance to speak with Srinath Raghavan, a regular commentator on contemporary international and strategic affairs. Raghavan, who wrote India's War: The Making of Modern South Asia,1939-45 (2016), will be attending the programme, where US Ambassador Frank G Wisner will hold a discussion centered on the current state of relations between US, Iran and India, amid the latter's withdrawal from Iran's nuclear deal.
"While the United States' European allies continue to support the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, they are opposing the re-imposition of the US sanctions. All of this is bound to affect India, with respect to its relations with Iran for oil purchase. Unfortunately, India being the smaller player cannot tell the US what it must do. The decision lies in the hands of the US only," Raghavan shared.
Manto and Boombay
We trust music composer Sneha Khanwalkar's taste blindly. So, when she champions a band, it immediately goes on our playlist.
As one of the curators for the upcoming Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa, Khanwalkar has picked Boombay Djembe Folas, an energetic group of Mumbai drummers comprising Anand Bhagat, Tejas Parekh, Prathamesh Kandalkar, Tre Munroe and Neil Gomes, as one of the featured acts. Khanwalkar has worked with two of them on the soundtrack of Manto.
Boombay Djembe Folas
"Anand Bhagat played the percussion on a song called Nagri-Nagri, which was sung by Shankar Mahadevan. And when we were cutting the Cannes trailer for Manto, I recorded Neil on his violin and guitar, and that trailer theme is one of my favourites," she says. There's another reason why Khanwalkar picked them. Bhagat plays the balafon. "I personally love the balafon, so maybe I'm just biased."
Superhero Gandhi goes to Madrid
Over a year after Brooklyn-based Jason Michalski and Spanish illustrator Antonio Rojo re-imagined Mahatma Gandhi — the pacifist icon of India's freedom struggle — as a superhero in their graphic novel, Gandhi: The Beast Within, the book has finally bagged a publisher in Madrid.
Jason Michalski and Antonio Rojo
The novel, which saw Gandhi play the role of a Hulk-like character with powers to crush the enemy using his fist, was first released on Kickstarter in July last year. Now, with the authors signing a publishing deal, the book will hit bookstores in Spain in the next few months, and hopefully, we'd be able to buy it online, too.
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