Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Lines of thought
Sudha Murthy is caught in a contemplative moment as Twinkle Khanna looks on at a book awards function in Kemps Corner on Tuesday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Conversations with the cub
The Raisina Dialogue 2020, a multilateral conference on some of the most pressing global issues is currently underway in New Delhi. The platform hosts some of the biggest movers and shakers across foreign policy, environment, business, media and urban studies. On the sidelines, independent environment journalist Bahar Dutt conducted a live interview for event organisers Oriental Research Institute with one of its guest speakers, Aaditya Thackeray, Maharashtra's Minister for Environment. From crediting his grandfather, father and brother Tejas [who he called the "Mowgli of the family"] for his passion for nature to his opposition over the cutting of trees at Aarey, and single-use plastic bans, junior Thackeray played with a straight bat.
Then, Dutt decided to stir the pot with a question about Shiv Sena's pet project — The Coastal Road Project. He replied that it wouldn't affect local fishermen on their daily catch nor would marine life along the route be put under any danger. We spotted a slight unease in the voice but the cub recovered quickly by reassuring all that climate change is here, and it would be top of his agenda. "…his outlook is fresh and endearing; wondering if it will survive the hurly burly of politics," wrote Dutt in her accompanying post that tagged the interview on social media. Your guess is as good as ours.
Fuel up for the marathon
Come Sunday, and the city will witness the biggest marathon with people from all walks of life, as they put on their running shoes and clock personal milestones. And a crucial part about prepping for D-day is also warming up and eating right to ensure you are prepared for the big run.
"Running a marathon requires complete mental and physical fitness. Every runner knows his or her body well and an injury-free run is crucial. For that, one should ideally load up on carbs in the marathon week to avoid 'hitting the wall', in which a person's glycogen levels are depleted and fatigue sets in," Prashant Issar co-owner of Lower Parel eatery, Ishaara, told this diarist.
He used his experience of participating in previous editions of the marathon and has now introduced a special menu that focuses on high glycemic index foods such as potato, beetroot, sweetcorn and rice; this is an influence that Issar has extended from his personal diet to the menu, albeit with the eatery's signature twist. "The dishes are easy-to-digest, and so, increase the glycogen levels in the bloodstream, which will be critical to the spring in your run-step," he added.
A jazzy new beginning
Since the city's lone jazz-only club The Bluebop Cafe opened doors in mid-October last year, it's seen a good mix of acts — from Parisian ensemble Guillaume Barraud Quartet on Tuesday night, to Mumbaikars Samanta Noella, Shirish Malhotra, Karim Ellaboudi and D Wood. But this Friday will be special for the venue, owned by brother-sister duo Amar and Eesha Sukhi. For it will finally see Amar, also a saxophone player, make his debut at his own venture.
But it's not like the 50-something will be performing after a break. Amar has been performing with the Bombay Chamber Orchestra for the last 18 years as well as several city-based ensembles, something he didn't stop even when the space was preparing to open. "A tad nervous, but mostly excited," he told this diarist about his debut. He will be joined on stage by Pratish on harp/vocals, Ishan on guitar, Bertie on bass, Subhash on guitar/vocals and Minal on drums, and perform jazz standards and classic blues.
Diplo in da house
In case you missed Diplo's act two years ago at VH1 Supersonic Festival, here's your chance to catch his new set, fresh after a Grammy win last year for his song Electricity with Mark Ronson and Dua Lipa. The American DJ, songwriter, and record producer, has been announced as the headlining act besides fellow American DJ Illenium and Mumbai boy Divine, for this year's edition of the same festival.
But this time, Diplo won't be performing with Major Lazer, but flying solo. Nikhil Chinapa, the festival curator, told this diarist, "Bringing together iconic artistes under one roof has been a key objective for us. With Diplo as our third headliner on February 8, Saturday is going to be loaded with some great music."
The face on the gallery door
The Great Hack, an award-winning documentary that released this year won praise for highlighting the back-story of the Cambridge Analytica (CA) scandal. At the very heart of the film was a former business development director of CA, Brittany Kaiser who eventually turned whistleblower.
One scene shows her relaxing, all alone, in an infinity pool in Thailand. It is this very moment that now forms the front door of Colaba's Mumbai Art Room (MAR). Although, Kaiser's face is hidden, the artist behind the artwork, Tara Kelton, manages to convey the unexpected. As MAR's Instagram handle says, "She is a powerful metaphor for how quickly things can turn". A true sign of the times.
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