Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Actor Rakul Preet Singh surrenders to a jewellery brand trying out its new designs at a suburban five-star on Saturday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
A celebration of friendship
Around nine kilometres from Kolhapur is Valivade (now Gandhinagar), which was once home to 10,000 Polish refugees after World War II. The camp was established by the Polish government with the help of the royal family of Kolhapur. In 1947, however, the camp downed shutters and the refugees left India.
Now, the Embassy of Poland along with Sambhaje Raje, descendant of the royal family, is preparing a ceremony to commemorate the refugee camp this September. This diarist found out that Ambassador for Poland to India, Adam Burakowski, was in Mumbai earlier this week to meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to discuss the impending celebration. When asked, Burakowski said, "Kolhapur is a remarkable symbol of Polish-Indian friendship. A friend in need is a friend indeed."
A proud moment
Two months ago, Swedish composer Petter Wallenberg's new album Rainbow Riots India featured Mumbai's own drag queen, Sushant Divgikar aka Rani Kohe-nur crooning his debut song, Love is Love. When Wallenberg spoke to this newspaper in June, he had mentioned that he wanted to take artists who performed with him, internationally.
Seems like he has kept his word. The track has now made it to the Stockholm Pride March and Divgikar will be flying on August 1 to perform at the event. What's interesting is that he'll share the stage with The Weather Girls, famous for their enduring club hit, It's Raining Men, and the Village People, the disco group behind Y.M.C.A and Macho Man.
"It's a dream come true. These are artistes who I've grown up listening to," said Divgikar. "I will be performing two singles, 'I'm Coming Out and Love is Love, both originals composed and created by Wallenberg and sung by me."
Mapping the trails of purani Dilli
History buffs will remember author Rana Safvi's incredible work on the capital in her first two books, Where Stones Speak: Historical Trails in Mehrauli, the First City of Delhi (2015) and The Forgotten Cities of Delhi (2018). Safvi is all set to complete her Delhi project with the last book in the trilogy, Shahjahanabad The City That Was (HarperCollins India), which releases this October. And now, we hear that urban planner Shubham Mishra is also collaborating with the author.
Confirming the same, Safvi told this diarist that Mishra is making handmade maps for the book, to give a sense of Shahjahanabad, now known as Old Delhi. Only earlier this week, Mishra had also taken to Twitter to offer a glimpse of some of his creations. If only someone could recreate the same for amchi Mumbai.
The house where Geoff Boycott lives
English cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott scored big runs once he got his eye in and it came as no surprise when he was the first to get past Sir Garfield Sobers's then record Test match run tally of 8,032 in the 1981-82 series against India.
Boycott or Boycs to his mates, also scores big on financial returns for his commentary activities and other media work in the United Kingdom. His excellent commentary and candid views over the airwaves have afforded him luxury which comes in the form of an impressive mansion in West Yorkshire. During the recently concluded World Cup, Boycott opened his doors to two journalists—Debasish Datta and Debasis Sen (the former, a contributor to this newspaper)—and took them around the house.
According to Sen, the £1.75 million Georgian mansion has six bedrooms, five reception rooms, a garden surrounded by a large terrace and a putting area for golf which is what you see in the picture above, shot by Sen. Oh yes, they were also treated to some splendid Yorkshire tea.
Prepping for eating around with Pablo
Earlier this year, 31-year-old Pablo Naranjo Agular, head chef at Le 15 Café in Colaba, decided it was time to take a break and expand his repertoire of Asian cuisine. "I had been working for 13 years, spending a decade in Paris and the last three years in Mumbai—a city that taught me not to plan too much," he laughs.
On July 1, he set out with a plan to travel across Asia for a year; starting from Malaysia, then Singapore. His last stop was Macao, where he spent time at Sands Resorts Macao learning to make dumplings, Portuguese egg tarts, stringing noodles and trying Macanese cuisine, probably the oldest fusion food that marries Chinese and Portuguese cuisines with influences from Africa and India.
"I visited the Red Market in Macao. Having worked in Europe most of my life, the freshness of the produce here blew my mind. From century eggs that have turned black from being aged for months, to dried fish like star fish, mussels and oysters, I ate interesting dishes like pig brain noodle soup and even a vinegar pork, which has parts of the pig cooked in ginger and Chinese balsamic!" He lets us in on his big secret plan too. "All this content will make it to my YouTube channel, rightfully named Eating Around with Pablo."
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