Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 07:19 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

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

Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

I've got your back

Actors Akshaye Khanna, Priyaank Sharma and Riva Kishan during the promotion of their film in Andheri West. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

City gets another cultural hub

A new multi-use performance space, Mukkti Cultural Hub, has opened its doors in Andheri West. It has a lot going for itself, with a 350-seater auditorium, a workshop centre, a studio, a 1,400 square feet dance rehearsal space and a terrace. The place is already set with their first festival as it open doors this Sunday.

City gets another cultural hub

The eighth edition of Jairangam Fringes, a three-day theatre festival features classic plays that include Makarand Deshpande's Pitaji Please, Niresh Kumar's Baanswadi Company and Shiv Subrahmanyam's The Way I See It among others.

The blue tick conundrum

Despite being active on social media, tabla maestro Zakir Hussain doesn't use the blue tick. And so, when one of his fan pages went up for sale, it led to a lot of confusion and some ridiculous bids.

The blue tick conundrum

Called @officialzakirhussain, the page had a post saying they were looking for someone to manage it at 0.09 BTC in bitcoin—roughly '46,000, a hefty sum to pay for a fan page, as one user pointed out. There were angry retorts too. Maybe it's time to get verified after all!

Winter wonderland

The Christmas display at Bandra's Damian Showroom is an annual spectacle. This year, the store has literally brought winter to a rather hot December.

Winter wonderland
Winter wonderland

Interior design consultant Frederick Pereira has created a crib that depicts the nativity scene in one panel followed by a landscape featuring kids on a sledge and one who's rolling a giant ball of snow. The ground floor of the showroom has been lit up. Clearly, they seemed to have decked the halls and how.

"I've two Nobel Laureate friends now"

"I'm having a great morning," says designer Suket Dhir ecstatically to the diarist over a phone call from New Delhi. Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee wore the designer's outfit while accepting the prestigious Nobel Prize 2019 along with fellow economists, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer. The ceremony was held on Tuesday evening in Stockholm, Sweden.

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

It was via a common friend, the vascular surgeon Ambarish Satwik, that Dhir first met Banerjee in mid-October. The two discussed the sartorial brief over a plate of samosas at the designer's studio in Lado Sarai, New Delhi. "The ceremony's dress code determines that the attire should be either national or a tailcoat, and he [Banerjee] preferred the former option."

India's first recipient of the International Woolmark Prize for menswear 2016, Dhir put together an ensemble that was quintessentially Bengali — a dhoti, kurta and bandhgala. "The silk velvet bandhgala featured mother of pearl buttons and French cuffs, and was teamed with a Kerala silk mundu but he [Banerjee] chose to drape it in Bengali style, and it looked great," says Dhir, adding that he had recommended the Kolhapuri chappals to complete the National dress.

Suket Dhir
Suket Dhir

"But Stockholm is too cold for open chappals!" he laughs. Dhir regrets missing out on dressing up fellow winner and wife Esther Duflo — who was dressed in a shaded blue-green saree offset by a red blouse. "She is coming to India in January, and I can't wait to dress her. I've two Nobel Laureate friends now," signs off Dhir.

Branson likes his drinks

The last time a hotel checklist caught our attention was when Justin Bieber was in India. Richard Branson's list has fewer demands as he checks in to the St Regis Mumbai. A glance reveals, Branson loves his drinks.

Anuraag Bhatnagar, general manager, The St Regis Mumbai and Richard Branson
Anuraag Bhatnagar, general manager, The St Regis Mumbai and Richard Branson

He has asked for English breakfast tea, decaff tea, low-fat milk, decaff coffee, regular coffee, fresh squeezed green juice, diet Coke Zero and bottled water. Branson prefers eco-friendly material like glass. No plastic. Plus, he "likes hot food". We hope you have a good time in Mumbai, Richard.

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