Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Updated: Dec 25, 2016, 12:36 IST | SMD Team

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

The New Year is for kids
For the last year and a half, ever since we got to know that architect Rahul Mehrotra has plans for a children's wing at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), we have been looking forward for the museum to set a date. CSMVS' director, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, brings us good tidings and says that finally the wait is over. Permissions to begin work are nearly through and a foundation stone is likely to be laid in early 2017.'

Sabyasachi Mukherjee
Sabyasachi Mukherjee

"I am delighted to inform you that the Children's Museum project is finally taking off in the beginning of 2017 with the support of Bank of America. It is a New Year gift from the Museum to millions of children in the city," he tells us.

Spread the joy
This diarist was picking a Secret Santa gift at the Bandra outlet of a popular chain of bookstores on Friday morning. Noticing that the cooling seemed to be have been turned off, she inquired with the manager, who told her that the air-conditioning had conked off last Sunday.

"But, the neighbours don't let us conduct any repair work through the week. We can only do it on the weekends," he added. The staff had been suffering for a week. With only minimal cooling inside, the store felt claustrophobic. That the staff was still cheerful was possibly because of the festive season. But, a note to the neighbours: surely, you can be a little more giving at this time of the year.

Is Taimur born into cricket?
So will Taimur grow up to be a cricketer?' It's a question his father Saif Ali Khan is bound to be asked soon. Or in a more practical sense, he will be asked, 'Would you encourage Taimur take up the sport which his great grandfather and grandad played at the highest level?'

Saif Ali Khan with wife Kareena Kapoor and newborn Taimur
Saif Ali Khan with wife Kareena Kapoor and newborn Taimur

Who knows Taimur may get attracted to the willow game and would one day be needed to fill out form to get enrolled for nets at a Gymkhana.

And while we think about this possibility, we also remember what former West Indies fast bowler, now a respected television commentator Michael Holding's father did when he heard his wife had delivered Michael. Holding Sr went straight to the Melbourne Cricket Club in Jamaica and registered his new-born son as a member of the famous club.
The lanky paceman represented the club, followed it up by getting picked for Jamaica and then wore the maroon West Indies cap.

Long before he ended his 1975-1987 career with 249 Test wickets, pacy Holding was nicknamed Whispering Death by popular English umpire Dickie Bird. As Holding said recently, "one can say I was born into cricket."

Of saints and sinners
It's been five years since we swam through the long, dreamy, never-ending prose [sans full stops or any punctuations] of writer and poet Jeet Thayil's last award-winning novel, Narcopolis. Fans stirred by the haze of this poetic masterpiece on Mumbai's opium dens, would only be thrilled that Thayil has taken to penning a novel again. Titled, The Book of Chocolate Saints, it will be published by Aleph and hits the shelf next year.

Deepanjana Klein. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Deepanjana Klein. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

It tells the story of a painter touted to be "India's greatest", who moonlights as a blocked poet, recluse, serial seducer of young women, reformed alcoholic (but only just), philosopher and all-round wild man. We were curious about the inspiration for his protagonist, and so reached out to him. Turns out Thayil won't say it just yet. Any guesses?

Losing its sass?
We recently got an invitation to yet another new menu tasting from Sassy Spoon, this time at the Nariman Point outpost. They had just revamped its Bandra menu, and we wondered why there were so many dress changes.

Rachel Goenka. Pic/Shadab Khan
Rachel Goenka. Pic/Shadab Khan

Is it because the restaurants owned by Rachel Goenka are not faring too well? An industry insider was of the opinion that only the Nariman Point outlet is a profit-making one. "But there's nothing to worry, as they have the investment and can take a hit," we were told.

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