Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

Nov 05, 2015, 08:27 IST | Hemal Ashar, Krutika Behrawala, Chaitanya Padukone and Dhara Vora

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

More from Amitav Ghosh
Here’s great news for fans of Amitav Ghosh. Three news books by the celebrated writer will be published by Penguin Books India, including two new works of non-fiction, The Great Derangement and Invisible Hand, and an as yet untitled novel.

Amitav Ghosh. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Amitav Ghosh. Pic/Bipin Kokate

The first book to be published is based on Ghosh’s recently delivered Berlin Family Lectures at the University of Chicago. Part memoir, part analytical essay, it is also an extended reflection on the history of the carbon economy and politics of global warming.

It will be published in 2016. The Invisible Hand: China and the Making of My World will be a travelogue, memoir and an essay in history, drawn from 10 years of research. The book will include extensive illustrations of 19th century Chinese export art.

Prince of Persia
The food-meets-travel format seems to have bitten every celebrity chef we can think of. Chef Vikas Khanna (centre) is back with the new season of his show, Twist of Taste. Fans of the dishy chef will be treated to his trails across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Istanbul and Bursa, dishing out succulent kebabs in the desert, date and pomegranate tastings in Nizwa, and visiting Dubai’s famous fish market.

The weekly show, that airs on a lifestyle channel, is bound to pique interest. We’d rather wait to share our verdict on whether this one stands or is just another food travelogue show.

Minds meet on LGBT issues
“I see a great eagerness among students to understand more about gay, lesbian and transgender issues so that they can be more accepting of their Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) friends,” says Sridhar Rangayan, director of Mumbai’s annual Queer film festival, Kashish.

A still from the film, ShameA still from the film, Shame

Sridhar’s words find resonance in cities across the country as the Kashish caravan chugs along, with colleges now hosting screenings and discussions on LGBT-themed films on campus. There is a screening today (November 5) at NCR’s Ashoka University, as part of an initiative called Kashish Forward, a part of a three-day film festival titled Q-Screen, organised by the Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality at Ashoka University.

A still from the film, Kyunki
A still from the film, Kyunki

Shiv D Sharma, manager of the festival, says, “While Q-Screen emphasizes on study of queerness in Indian context, it hopes that Kashish Forward screenings will simultaneously help students in gaining a global perspectives on LGBT lives and issues.” At the end of November, Kashish Forward will head out to the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. We sure like the Mumbai-North India confluence of minds.

Coolness by Chintu Kapoor
Recently, the brutally frank Rishi ‘Chintu’ Kapoor, shared his observations on celeb passengers from the film fraternity who arrive (or depart) at night from Mumbai’s airport. The RK scion was brutally frank, “I find it so strange that actors and actresses sport dark sunglasses when they arrive via late-night flights at the terminal.

Rishi Kapoor shows off his dance moves before younger actors, Shahid Kapoor, Manish Paul and Abhishek Bachchan during a reality show. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Rishi Kapoor shows off his dance moves before younger actors, Shahid Kapoor, Manish Paul and Abhishek Bachchan during a reality show. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Why are these actors hiding behind a facade? Are they concealing their wrinkles? In fact, I’ve warned my actor-son Ranbir that if I ever caught him wearing a kaala chashma at night, it would be bad for him.”

The much-loved Bollywood superstar was all praise for humble Hollywood luminaries like Dustin Hoffman and Gregory Peck who freely mingled with their fans in public places. This, in total contrast to the tight security cordon that Bollywood celebs are known for, he told this diarist.

Happy high in Vile Parle
No, we’re not talking about alcohol here. The bustling station road of Vile Parle (W) has another addition in form a The Happy Place that opened two days ago. The 15-seater café is owned by Seema Mehta, who also runs a dessert company, Biscotti Bakes.

We want a piece of Dessert Pizza
We want a piece of Dessert Pizza

Pretty much in sync with its name, the space includes a screen with inspirational quotes as well as a graffiti wall.

While you can indulge in cupcakes, brownies, swiss rolls and other bakery products, what caught our fancy was a section on dessert pizzas with varieties like Oreo Cream Cheese Pizza and a Strawberry Cheesecake one too.

Who knew pizzas would make it to dessert menus too? Mithibai collegians, who use this route daily, might have just found their sweet (hangout) spot.

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