Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Aditya Kalyanpur left in pic
Following in Ustad saab's footsteps
With Zakir Hussain's fingers doing their magic at the tabla and his signature shake of the head connoting his thorough enjoyment of creating music, the TV commercial of a tea brand from the '90s that the maestro was part of is something many would still remember. What was also hard to miss was the effervescence with which a young boy, Aditya Kalyanpur, played the tabla alongside him.
A still from the commercial featuring Ustad Zakir Hussain and young Aditya
Hussain's junior companion, a protege of Ustad Alla Rakha Khan, is now an accomplished tabla player, who often plays alongside greats including Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and AR Rahman. In fact, Kalyanpur accompanied Ustad Amjad Ali Khan at a recently concluded event in Mumbai, as part of the former's month-long tour in the city.
Food history and its dilemma
At Tata Literature Live that concluded recently in the city, this diarist attended a talk by US journalist Mark Kurlansky and food writer Antoine Lewis titled From Plate to Page. While Kurlansky shared insights on his famous books Salt and Cod, he confessed to one thing: "Fact checking food history is the toughest ever, because there are so many theories to consider."
This reminded us of a story that we wrote about food along the Grand Trunk Road that same week. Food writer Vikram Doctor corrected us when we wrote that the Bengali dish fish kobiraji's name was inspired by a poet. "The much more plausible explanation given in Kolkata is that it is simply the Bengali way of saying 'covering' as in cutlet with a covering of batter," he told us. Point taken.
Want a selfie? let me do it for you
Varun Dhawan made this fan's day when they were stuck in traffic side by side, and he saw her try to click a picture of him. He took her phone and clicked the selfie himself . Pics/Satej Shinde
Mumbaikars go on film
Having started it as a Facebook page back in 2014 and launching it as a book earlier this year, Karishma Mehta (in pic) is now set to present Humans Of Bombay's (HOB) first short film series. The first film, produced in association with Schbang Motion Pictures and releasing online today, is Team Patil. It's about the Patils, where the father, a cop doubles up as a swimming coach to his twin daughters, who are national level champs, and their mother is the backbone of the family. A few months ago, Humans of New York had launched its video series, where each video featured a compilation of interviews based on a theme. How is HOB's version different? "Each film is of four minutes, and is based on individual stories. We want to give an insight into the person's life."
Tarun says about this picture, "This image makes me deeply nostalgic. It was during one of the opening nights of Ensemble in 1987. Rohit [Khosla] always wore black shorts with white shirts, and he carried it off so well. I remember how awestruck we were in the presence of Shyamoli Varma. She had just returned from Paris, with supermodel attributes, and that attractive long neck."
A museum called Ensemble
Ensemble, the city's original address for curated fashion, with its new interiors dressed by architect Bijoy Jain will turn into a museum of sorts on December 11 when it pops the bubbly for being in the business for 30 years. "The original store looked different when we launched," says designer and co-owner Tarun Tahiliani of the Lion Gate outpost, which had Ursula Kerkar and Dhun Cordo behind its décor. "Much like the salon-hosted shows of the 90s, we'd arrange an annual private fashion gathering spread over cocktails and dinner. I had the task of being emcee on account of my sexy voice," laughs Tarun, who launched the boutique with wife Sailaja and the late Rohit Khosla in 1987. Long before she started working for UK's Channel 4, Nikki Bedi was a store manager here.
"This was probably taken in 1996 during a fashion show at the store. Until 2000, when India launched its first fashion week, Ensemble housed an annual fashion show. It was a glamorous affair, where the city turned up to see the latest trends, and interact with designers," says Tina.
"India was just experimenting with fashion, teaming T-shirts with lehengas picked up at Janpath; it was considered cool," Tarun recalls. It's Ensemble's collaboration with designers that Tarun's sister Tina Tahiliani-Parikh hopes to leverage for the occasion. She has picked 30 designers including Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rta Kapur Chishti, Anamika Khanna and Arjun Saluja to design installations. "We want them [designers] to explore the idea of fashion beyond clothes. Anyone keen on design and art can walk in until January 11 for a look. Store sales may take a hit since the installations will be the focus, but it's fine. It's our tribute to Indian fashion."
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