Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Munnabhai ganpati laya
Actor Sanjay Dutt, along with wife Manyata and their twins, Shahraan and Iqra, gives Ganpati an environment-friendly visarjan below his Bandra home on Saturday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Vivaan Shah turns novelist
Naseeruddin and Ratna Pathak Shah's youngest son Vivaan has already proved his métier as an actor both, in theatre and Bollywood. Now, the junior Shah, we hear, in busy penning a crime thriller. To be published by Penguin Random House at the end of this year, the book titled Living Bell, is set in the seedy underbelly of Mumbai and tells the story of Nadeem Sayed Khatib, who is sent to extract rent from one of the tenants in the building by his landlord. But, he finds the man murdered, and himself at the heart of a conspiracy. We already think the plot is juicy enough for a film, hopefully scripted by Vivaan himself.
Review official Nitin Kannamwar (right) with line umpires Sagar Kashyap, Supreeth Kadvigere, Saibal Banerjee and Shreeram Gokhale along with review official Abhishek Mukherjee (extreme left) at the US Open tennis championships in New York recently
Did you know we had a man at the US Open?
Shreeram Gokhale, our Pune-based cricket writer, is back from the US of A where he did duty as a line umpire along with three other Indians (Sagar Kashyap, Supreeth Kadvigere and Saibal Banerjee) at this year's Open that has sadly become synonymous with Serena Williams's outburst at umpire Carlos Ramos at last week's women's singles final in New York.
When we ask Shreeram about his working hours at the Open, he reveals, "11 am to 8 or 9 pm." Phew! Imagine standing with both hands on your knees and concentrating while the tennis players rally away. Of course, there are hourly breaks. For Shreeram, who has officiated at 11 Grand Slams that include six Wimbledons and one Australian Open, it's a sheer honour to represent Tennis Officials of India (TOI).
"Being on court with the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Serena, Sharapova means a lot since I am basically a tennis fan, who turned into a tennis official," says Shreeram, who also enjoys officiating games involving junior players.
Some of the TOI group members did duty in the Review booths and although they couldn't meet over a curry due to their, in Shreeram's words, "conflicting schedule", they managed to get together for a Sunday brunch on the last day of tennis action in New York.
Chef Rohit Ghai set to open Kutir
London-based chef Rohit Ghai, who won a Michelin star for Jamavar within a year of its opening and later launched Bombay Bustle - both owned by hotelier Samyukta Nair - stepped down from his post in January this year.
Come November, he will open his first solo restaurant, Kutir. We hear it is located just off Chelsea's Sloane Square in an elegant townhouse, and will offer a traditional menu that draws inspiration from the royal tradition of hunting expeditions in the forests and jungles of India. "The food is representative of the feasting-style, convivial and celebratory dining that occurs on these retreats, and menus feature highly seasonal ingredients with an emphasis on game and seafood.
Think Lobster Bonda and Rasam and 24-hour slow-cooked Roganjosh," says Ghai, who launches this project with co-founder Abhi Sangwan. The two have worked together as colleagues at Gymkhana, Jamavar and Bombay Bustle.
DIVINE is spitting musical fire
We find it hard to believe that our favourite rapper DIVINE has detractors, but he seems to be calling them out in his latest single, Teesri Manzil. The song is supposed to be an answer to his hecklers, who accuse the Mumbai rapper of being a one-trick pony. The video, shot across the streets of Toronto and in black and white, is the singer's introduction to direction as well. "In Teesri Manzil, I wanted to talk about a lot of things which I haven't before. Each track is a different story and here, I wanted to talk about my journey and experiences of recent times. I think it captures the phase I am currently in very well," he says.
Back to the beginning
Prithvi Theatre is taking one step back to go two steps forward. The script of Prithviraj Kapoor's iconic play, Kisan, which debuted in 1956 (with an 18-year-old Shashi Kapoor handling production design), is being dusted off for a new production. In 2003, Shashi had wanted to adapt the play, saying, "I want to make all these scripts, which are the property of Prithvi Theatre, available for other groups." It appears that son Kunal is finally taking the legacy forward, especially with Prithvi Theatre turning 40 this year. To be directed by Bengaluru-based Abhishek Majumdar (in pic), winner of the first Shankar Nag Theatre award, the play will open in June-July 2019 at the venue.
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