Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Feb 25, 2018, 09:10 IST | SMD Team

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

Meat master takes a Jain turn
Everyone who is familiar with home-chef Gitika Saikia's repertoire, would know what a master of meats she is. Her home-dining venture, Gitika's Pakghor, is known for the predominantly non-veg delicacies it offers, especially Saikia's twist on pork.

So, the other day, when on Instagram she posted a photo of a cutlet captioning it "Jain NE cutlet", it sounded like an oxymoron. Turns out, the cutlet was part of a larger Jain North Eastern spread she whipped up in collaboration with Parsi catering service, Katys Kitchen.

Gitika Saikia
Gitika Saikia

"We made over 600 cutlets, while initially the demand was for 300. It turned out to be a crowd favourite," Saikia tells us. These were raw banana cutlets, an Assamese delicacy, but this time made sans onion, garlic, potato and flour. She had also made a black chana spinach and a five-spice daal, where instead of garlic, she used crushed lemon leaves. "I want to challenge myself more with Jain food - I didn't imagine it would be so fun."

Friendly Farokh is 80 today
Farokh Engineer is 80 today and you can be sure he's going to receive more greetings than this figure from friends all over the world. The former India dashing wicket-keeper batsman recently released his official biography written in collaboration with Lancashire-based sports writer Colin Evans. Farokh - The Cricketing Cavalier is an entertaining read, but it's not without its share of hard-to-believe passages.

Farokh Engineer

Engineer speaks emotionally about his fellow wicketkeeper, the late Budhi Kunderan, who passed away in Scotland in 2006. In the 1960s, both competed with each other for the big gloves in the Indian team. Engineer mentions in the book that he played for the same club as Kunderan - the Cricket Club of India (CCI). This has surprised some ardent followers of club cricket in Mumbai. They reckon that while Engineer played for Parsee Cyclists and probably CCI (most big players wore the Churchgate institution's colours at some time in their careers), Kunderan did not figure in the same CCI team regularly on the Mumbai club scene.

When this diarist checked with Kunderan's Andheri-based brother Bharat, (an ex-India schoolboy cricketer) he said that Kunderan played for Fort Vijay at Azad Maidan and PJ Hindu Gymkhana at Marine Drive. Is Engineer's memory letting him down or is he indulging in some friendly bluff, one cannot say. What we can say is, happy birthday Farokh and work your way to that hundred!

Song for a winter's night
You're likely to have heard Mili Nair's mellifluous voice on Coke Studio@MTV and in the movie Kai Po Che, where she sang Meethi Boliyan. Now, the singer-songwriter is out with her debut album, Written in the Stars, and will be releasing a video titled Fooling, tomorrow. Shot in Budapest and Stockholm during one of the harshest winters, the album features legendary musicians such as Vinnie Colaiuta, Michael Landau, James Genus and George Whitty.

"The location seemed apt as it was winter and the beautiful locations and landscape fit the concept of the song. Ironically, it happened to be one of the coldest winters of Europe, and Budapest had a cold wave where it was -27 degrees," she recalls.

A love triangle in ancient Khajuraho
Two years after Vir Das' sister Trisha regaled us with her modern-mythological novel, Ms Draupadi Kuru, we hear she is set to return with an intoxicating new story set in 1022 AD. Trisha, who won her first National Award for the documentary, Fiddlers on the Thatch (2005), when she was 27, had previously mentioned to this diarist how despite being a documentarian, it was writing that offered her creative liberation.

Vir Das with sister Trisha
Vir Das with sister Trisha

Set for a June release, her new book, Kama's Last Sutra (HarperCollins India), is a love triangle between Tara, who's excavating near Khajuraho, her professor Hari Varma, and the Chandela king Vidyadhara. While we can only guess what the plot is going to be like, we are expecting time travel like in her previous title.

A fluorescent deja vu
On February 21, Sabyasachi Mukherjee staged An Endless Summer, a couture-meets-digital Instagram-only campaign to introduce his S/S18 collection. And he had a suggestion: to see the fluorescent colours in all their glory, increase the brightness of your phone.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee
Sabyasachi Mukherjee
And we did.

He is the master of styling. He has been since his very first public presentation of talent at Mumbai Fashion Week's GenNext show. Here, too, his skill was on display as he played once again with the idea of imperfect beauty - a freckle-faced model in glassy lips and unplucked brows, peeping from behind mirrored sunnies. The colour combination of cyan and canary yellow meets fuschia pink was broken with brave geometrical stripes and wispy cheent.

But apart from the Wes Anderson-like treatment of the campaign tempting us to a destination wedding, the clothes seemed too close to his previous splendid work in The Udaipur Collection and Palermo Afternoons. For a man who does vintage better than anyone, déjà vu may be tempting, but surprise is the new normal in design. Catch us off guard next season, won't you, Sabya?

Duck and pose
Farah Khan

Farah Khan negotiates a tricky entry at the launch of a wallpaper store in Andheri on Saturday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

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