Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Swag se swagat
Actor Salman Khan, who had invited photographers to dance with him at Mehboob Studio at 4 pm on Saturday, finally showed up at 6.30 pm. Although fried, they decided to oblige the star anyway. Pic/Shadab Khan
Panipat V/S Panipat
Where Ashutosh Gowariker's epic drama Panipat has not managed to woo reviewers, writer Vishwas Patil's English translation of his award-winning 1988 Marathi historical fiction, Panipat, that releases next week, might just help salvage this war story. Incidentally, Patil had filed a case in court, seeking that he be allowed to see the script before the film's release, to check for copyright violations. While the court didn't give a go-ahead for the same, the issue isn't over.
"I don't want to comment, because the matter is subjudice," says Patil, of his book, which has seen 41 editions in Marathi and 10 in Hindi, since it was first written. Patil's book tells the story of the third battle of Panipat, fought over the throne of Delhi between the Marathas and the king of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Abdali. "It was based on research I conducted at Pune's Peshwa Daftar." He also lived in Panipat during this time. What's interesting, is that the battlefield didn't have a hillock in the radius of 25 km. The film shows otherwise.
He Kane keep that hat on!
Did New Zealand's cricket stalwart Kane Williamson wear a sun hat for the first time in an international match, at the Perth Stadium, on Friday? Kiwi wicketkeeper-turned-commentator Ian Smith felt so and there's good reason to believe him considering he has travelled the world as a pundit for around 25 years now. According to Smith, the current skipper has always worn the traditional black cap. That's quite a remarkable observation on a player who has figured in nearly 300 international games.
A silhouette image of New Zealand’s cricket captain Kane Williamson during Day Two of the first Test against Australia at Perth Stadium on Friday. Pic/AFP
Presumably, Williamson opted for the broad-rimmed headgear because of the extreme heat in Perth. There's a possibility that Williamson does not want to take any chances with so many cases of skin problems affecting people Down Under where the sun can very harsh. Friday was a memorable day for Williamson because he took a screamer of a catch to send back Mitchell Starc while running back at mid-off. The old saying about never lose sight of the ball was done full justice and the skipper justifiably lapped up the kudos.
Spreading music and love
Polish pianist Anna Lipiak finished eight concerts in India, between November 21 and December 6. Yet, it's the performance at Worli's Happy Home & School for the Blind, that probably had the most captive and enthralled audience. Lipiak was heading to Pune after attending a concert in Mumbai, but stopped to take out time for the kids.
When this diarist spoke to her, Lipiak said, "I felt so grateful to meet them and listen to the choir. I had tears in my eyes. I've realised what an effort it is for them to sing. Some of them don't speak English, but sing in the language. I know that I'll be back there to perform with them some day."
Lipiak also met visually impaired girls and boys in Pune. "When I was playing difficult and fast pieces, they enthusiastically expressed their appreciation. It's important for me to connect concerts and charity activity. Sharing love, and being there for people makes our life beautiful and valuable."
Crafting a community
It was with a certain dose of amusement that friends and fans of The Bohri Kitchen read Munaf Kapadia's recent message about how he managed to get a trademark for the company he started five years ago. Kapadia, 31, explains that the pursuit of a trademark was to ensure that his mother's work gets recognised especially since in India recipes cannot be patented. While he hired a web service to do the same, he faced a road block when the trademark office rejected his claim saying 'Bohri' represented a community. At a second hearing, he landed up at the office with a full case file and argued that the community is called Dawoodi Bohra while his company is called The Bohri Kitchen, Bohri being a slang term. He took along a packed TBK khajur chutney, which had the company logo to add to his point.
In his message Kapadia says, "Then I gave him a bottle of TBK Khajur Chutney [I call this a 30 day visiting card]. I placed the issue of Forbes Magazine with me on the cover, innocently right next to the jar of chutney." He confirms that though it may sound like a bribe, it wasn't the case. "The officer was very ethical." We also got Kapadia to share his marketing hacks. He says while in the initial days he got some feedback saying his emails or Whatsapp messages may have amounted to spamming—and now there's an unsubscribe option—today, those on his list want the messages so they can continue to be a part of the TBK community. And just so you know, he crafts each message carefully, ensuring it's entertaining and tells a story.
East is east
Gaurav Dabrai, co-owner of The Looney, The Lover and The Poet in Khar, has been spending a lot of time in Singapore. Turns out, it's for his new quick service restaurant (QSR), BabaG. "While everybody was looking at Dubai and London, we saw an opportunity in the east because there's a huge population of Indian expats there," he said.
The space serves Indian food on-the-go, including burritos and Buddha bowls with a desi twist. "Indian food in the region hasn't evolved beyond red curries. This is our way of changing perceptions," said Dabrai.
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