Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
You Know What...
(From left) Shruti Seth, Suhani Kanwar and Sandhya Mridul catch up before taking the stage for a discussion on Mumbai's women screen writers and actors at the Bombaywaal summit in Andheri on Saturday. Pic/Satej Shinde
The woman of the moment
After a successful stint in Mumbai city, Ulrika Sundberg has finally bid us adieu. But not before passing the torch to Anna Lekvall, who has taken over her new role as the Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai. When this diarist spoke to her, Lekvall said, "I have been to India a couple of times in the past, but this is my first visit to Mumbai. Being a woman in a leadership position comes with a lot of challenges. But, we are partnering with our Indian counterpart on gender equality. It is an agenda we will work on during my mission here." Congratulations Lekvall, and we are glad Mumbai continues to get female consul generals!
Here's to the last 10 years
The website of Anusha Yadav's Indian Memory Project, which is set to complete ten years next year, has got a brand new look, and we are loving it. "The upgrade is in alignment with technology that the contemporary world uses to seek information and ideas, including multi-lingual technology to reach more people. I also included other projects to showcase a comprehensive expertise on cultural design, dissemination and activation. Legacy design (family trees, building archives, exhibitions and books) and the Indian Memory Shop (curated souvenirs and merchandise) are ventures that amplify the vision," Yadav told this diarist.
(Fourth from left) Kavi Thakrar, co-owner, Dishoom
Happy Birthday, Dishoom!
Big Bombay love wafted through Padmini Mirchandani's Churchgate home on Friday night. The publisher and her vivacious daughter Pooja hosted the 10th anniversary celebrations of everybody's international favourite restaurant. Shamil and Kavi Thakrar's London-headquartered Dishoom is known for its phenomenally unique branding. Serving award-winning gastronomic delights, the chain aces cultural authenticity with Bombay-centric themes (Irani cafes, its 1960s music scene, Freemasons Lodge and Parsi theatre) mirrored in the stunning interiors and menus of its branches in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. A highlight of the big-hearted evening was each "member of the Dishoom family" – as Kavi warmly welcomed them – being gifted the sumptuous Bloomsbury-published edition, Dishoom: From Bombay with Love (the calorific content subtitled, with typical Dishoom quirkiness, "Cookery book and highly subjective guide to Bombay with map"). Though not in town with his cousin, Shamil sent a thoughtful message thanking individual collaborators along Dishoom's journey. Most were present, including Simin Patel, her parents Jehangir and Veera, Gerson and Uma da Cunha, Dolly Thakore, Sidharth Bhatia, Chiki Doshi, Mehmood Curmally, Aliya Curmally, Meher Marfatia and Maxie Cooper. Naresh Fernandes was missed. With Kavi, from the Dishoom team were senior marketing manager Ginny Dale, as well as architects John Macaulay and Ian Roome. Of course, the most exquisitely curated drinks, starters and mains flowed. After all, look who was saying Cheers!
Task for Amol, but that's cricket
Mumbai man Amol Muzumdar, who was recently announced as South Africa's interim batting coach at the Test level, has a big task on hand since batting success has always been hard to achieve for cricket teams visiting India. Rob Houwing, a columnist with South African website Sport24, recently underlined the enormity of the former Mumbai captain's challenge to help the Proteas batsmen combat the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin in the Test series that kicks off at Visakhapatnam on October 2. Houwing first points out that, "not one of the eight in the squad – if you include likely reserve wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen – boasts a double-ton yet in his Test career." Then comes the more worrying stat: "Muzumdar will also be acutely aware, or at least ought to be, that five of the eight designated Proteas batsmen in India have not played a single Test on that soil yet: Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, Aiden Markram, Zubayr Hamza and Heinrich Klaasen." These are irrefutable facts, but cricket is a funny game and who can rule out a strong performance when fear is taken out of the mindset and the preparation is thorough?
The battle rages on
On Friday, Zomato sent a mailer to all its subscribers announcing a big upgrade to Gold membership. It read: "Starting September 21, Gold benefits will be applicable on food delivery at over 13,000 restaurants. Existing Gold members get a free upgrade – yay!" But NRAI reactions have been far from yay. Anurag Katriar, president, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) called Zomato Gold on delivery a desperate attempt to shore up the sinking fortunes of their flagship programme. "Gold was originally launched as a tool to promote the culture of "dining out" but now it is being extended on deliveries too! It is now a programme that merely promotes deep discounts on both dine-in and delivery verticals, the cost of which is borne solely by the restaurant partners." Mohit Gupta, CEO-Delivery, Zomato, said, "With over 13K plus establishments across 41 cities, Zomato Gold for Delivery is expected to drive an increase in business for restaurants which have signed up on Gold."
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