Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Who's got the better bod?
A lithe Disha Patani exits a pet store in Khar with a sleek Doberman. Pic/Shadab Khan
All the way from the Philippines
The world is gaga over Asian cuisine, and this is evident in trending food shows on streaming platforms, as well as in prestigious honours like the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants recognising newcomers. This year, Jordy Navarra's restaurant Toyo Eatery, debuted on the list, so it is exciting when we hear that the Filipino chef is coming to town mid-month.
Jordy Navarra and Prateek Sadhu
Speaking about the collaboration, Prateek Sadhu, known for bringing down acclaimed international chefs to Mumbai, told this diarist, "Chef Navarra and I have been talking about cooking in the city for a year now. He and I share similar food philosophies of championing the ingredients as the star of the meal. It will be interesting to see his interpretation of unusual Indian ingredients."
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Taking a dig at the aam aadmi
Akshay Kumar's, ahem, "apolitical interview" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which the actor is dressed like a two-in-one ice cream went viral after it was aired recently. But in some circles, it also became the butt of all jokes given seemingly irrelevant questions like, "Kya aap aam khaate hai?" Now, comedian Shyam Rangeela has released a hilarious new video in which he mimics Modi and Vikalp Mehta does a remarkable job of impersonating Kumar.
The two poke fun at different sections of the original interview. Sample this. Mehta asks Rangeela whether he has kulfi, to which the latter replies saying that he enjoys having kulfi so much that he sucks on it all the way to the "danda" in the centre, adding that he's been saving those "dandas" since childhood and if you want to know where they are right now, it's best to ask the Congress.
All that jazz
The morning after the city celebrated International Jazz Day, Mumbai-based pianist Anurag Naidu put up a long post on social media where he talks about life as a jazz musician in the city, where "jazz is just another thing you end up doing". "The genre splits into many things for different people. For some, it's nostalgia, while youngsters want a mix of hip-hop, RnB or gospel in it, which I'm a fan of because that's the sound prevalent right now. And jazz anyway is a living thing that keeps evolving," he tells this diarist.
But being an Indian musician playing jazz can also be quite complex, primarily because we aren't well-versed with the history of the genre, and educating oneself in it can be expensive, Naidu says. Another interesting point he brought up in his post is how trying to let your Indian roots reflect in the genre doesn't always receive a warm response. "As much as the indie scene will love you for sounding fresh, you won't be accepted as 'jazz' by all the people sitting on influential positions until the vocabulary and spirit is coming from that spot," he writes.
Shame, in translation
Taslima Nasreen's 1993 novel Lajja, albeit a bestseller, received backlash from fundamentalists that ultimately led her to flee Bangladesh the following year. The novel told the story of the injustices a Hindu family faced in Bangladesh, and has been translated into many languages. But little is known about its sequel titled Shameless, which recently got a Hindi translation. Now, the book will be translated into English from Bengali by Arunava Sinha and will be published by HarperCollins in January next year.
"Readers of Lajja might have felt that the experience of religious persecution was something that happened only in Bangladesh; with Shameless you will have to confront the fact that the horrors of communal tension and violence are just as prevalent in India as they are elsewhere in the subcontinent," Nasreen said.
The Thalaiva's tryst with SoBo
Since the time Rajnikanth has set foot in the sweltering Mumbai to shoot for his next film Darbar, photographers have been on their toes to track down the elusive superstar, who has been spotted across the city from Bandra to Powai.
Now, a little bird tell this diarist that the actor has kept his base in the city at a SoBo college known for giving its beautiful, gothic interiors on hire on Sundays and summer vacations. A massive set has come up in its premises, where the actor walks in every day, shooting for hours on end, but not before greeting everyone whom he meets on campus graciously.
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