Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
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The legendary Gulzar seems ill at ease as fans crowd him at Nehru Centre in Worli on Friday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Co-founders Srila Chatterjee and Siddharth Sirohi
One floor up
It's a great day when one of this diarist's favourite stores is expanding. The furniture (and legitimate events) space, Baro, in Lower Parel is adding another floor to launch a flea market. Called the Baro Market, it will play host to brands that want to showcase clothes, artefacts, smaller home decor items, and so on. To be opened on May 21, the first round includes brands such as FroggMag, Absynthe Design, Rasa Jaipur, Varnam Craft Collective, Rangeela and 145 East. Co-founder Srila Chatterjee says, "Over the past two years, we have used our space to introduce designers who are connected to grassroots craftsmen, and who come from places not often seen in Mumbai. What they told us was how much they enjoyed engaging with the people who came by and what a special experience it was. That is what led to the birth of Baro Market. The idea is to gather a collection of people we love, who work with the integrity and originality we believe in, and make products that are unique and special."
Author Smita Bhattacharya's psychological thriller novel, Dead to Them, set in Mumbai, is earning rave reviews. In the book, there is a mention of the tiny gem that the queen of Mumbai's suburbs, Bandra, is. Interestingly, this is also where Bhattacharya lives. Talking about her connection, she says, "I have been living in Reclamation for the last couple of years. I think it is one of the cultural hubs of the city. My book launch happened here, too. In fact, one of my future projects is set in Chapel Road. It is a murder mystery set in the area."
India's KL Rahul walks off after being dismissed by England spinner Adil Rashid during Day Five of the fifth Test at The Oval on September 11, 2018. Pic/Getty Images
Prose from the pros in Wisden
The latest edition of cricket's bible - Wisden Cricketers' Almanack - is out and our in-house cricket nut can't help flipping through the pages of the yellow-jacketed annual for some literary gems considering the best cricket writing is always on display in Wisden. Our man couldn't help admiring Jonathan Liew's analysis of India's 2018 tour of England where Virat Kohli's Indians lost the Test series 1-4. Liew put head coach Ravi Shastri's praise for his team's fast bowlers in perspective: "Shastri's claim that this was their best-ever pace attack bore a customary ring of hyperbole, but at times it seemed plausible." We can see Shastri giving that a thumbs up. India's ever-changing slip cordon, however, was compared to the R & B group The Temptations, who often replaced their lead vocalist.
And this bit of Liew's final paragraph from his eight-page piece reminded our cricket buff of KN Prabhu, India's finest cricket writer: "The clouds had settled over south London, and a spot of rain hung in the air, like an unuttered thought. A chilly September breeze whipped over the Peter May Stand, ruffling the flags on the old brick pavilion (at The Oval). Darkness was settling. It felt like the end of summer, and in more ways than one." England ended last summer on a high and the prospects of another fruitful summer are bright. No, it doesn't end with the World Cup, but the home Ashes that the hosts haven't surrendered after 2001.
To 130 years of service
Roy and Company might be Maharashtra's oldest homeopathy pharmacy at Princess Street, but it's looking younger than ever. Last month, the iconic pharmacy turned 130 years old, and to celebrate the milestone, the owners unveiled its new look. "The renovation took six to eight months to complete because it's housed in a heritage building, which again is over 100 years old," says Dr Tejaswini Kulkarni, a fourth generation member of the Kulkarni family that owns and runs the pharmacy. It's not just the pharmacy that sports a fresh look, but also the building facade. "You won't be able to walk past without noticing it anymore."
Of #Nari and politicking
Fashion is nothing without a voice, and this is the sentiment on which designer Narendra Kumar has built a celebrated career. It sits at the core of the clothes he designs, the videos he directs and acts in, and his runway presentations. Nari's new standalone store in the basement of a commercial building at Bandra Reclamation is clearly focused on pushing the socio-politicking messages of inclusivity, and equal rights via his FKNS (short for fake news) and Narendra Kumar Bespoke lines. "I wanted to turn it into a space for an alternate dialogue, and include performances and speakeasies, but couldn't manage licences," he says.
The launch party on Friday night saw a turnout of his old friends and new, headlined by partner Kadambari Lakhani, Sabina and Anil Chopra, Candice Pinto, Deepti Gujral, Acquin Pais and Hemangi Parte, make-up artist Clint Fernandes, and actor Gul Panag.
Alluding to the comic book strips of the 1960s, a graffiti wallpaper portraying women and what-they-want-and-are-unafraid-to-ask-for hangs over at the far end of the sprawling space. Sample this: "I'll take a lover in every city", or "I love you for TONIGHT". Another corner is reserved for an evening jacket embossed with The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Gil Scott-Heron's iconic song, which remains an anthem for African American activism. "FKNS finds myriad inspirations; the millennial gang, the hip-hop and punk, feminism, etc.," says Nari, as he points out to one of his favourite designs - a bomber jacket emblazoned with a hashtag and other millennial phrases.
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