Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Keeping a saif distance
Taimur Ali Khan seems to be wary of getting too close to a masked photographer, while exiting his house in Bandra on Wednesday. Pic/Shadab Khan
One heartening reaction to the news of the pandemic is how artistes are coming forward to make their work available for free so that people who are quarantined at home can while away their time. John McLaughlin is the latest to join that band of Good Samaritans.
John McLaughlin at a concert with Zakir Hussain
The master guitarist had recently launched an album called Is That So with serial collaborators Shankar Mahadevan and Zakir Hussain, which is now free for download till the end of April. Talking about the decision, McLaughlin wrote, "[It has been taken] in view of the current situation worldwide with the coronavirus and the fact that we are obliged to spend more time at home." Great call.
Back to the future
Novelist Samit Basu is back with a new novel, which he told this diarist is very different from his past works. Titled Chosen Spirits, the book published by Simon & Schuster India is set to release on April 24. His first attempt at mainstream fiction, the story is set 10 years into the future in a smog-choked and water-short Delhi, and is about young people trying to go about their lives.
"The idea was conceived about four years ago but I've been writing it for the past three years. The past is fluid and the present is filled with uncertainty so I thought that the future was an interesting time to explore. There is no single takeaway for the reader as every character at every level has to adapt to survive," he told this diarist.
Style from a distance
Giving shoppers some hope, Masaba Gupta has made certain tweaks at her store in the city to ensure the safety of customers. Stating that she and her staff are continuing to monitor the situation, taking the necessary steps to ensure hygiene and safety for everyone, she said that they are offering a shop-from-home option wherein you can call the store's number and arrange for a video call with the in-house stylist to select and get products delivered to you.
"As we firefight, we hope that you will help us help you in taking all precautionary measures. We are making our retail spaces as safe as we can in this time," she said. Meanwhile, fellow designer Anita Dongre has also shut all her stores in India and abroad. But with her too, people can place orders over the phone since there are store managers at hand to cater to your specifications.
A helping hand
These are rough times for people working in the unorganised sector, like your friendly neighbourhood bhaji wallah. And chef Prateek Sadhu came to their aid with a social media post where he asked people to post the names and numbers of the people they get fresh veggies from.
"I wanted to get the word out there so that people know where to get things from. And at a time like this, it's important to keep smaller businesses afloat so that the economy is kept running," Sadhu told this diarist.
Chef clears the air about his illness
Chef Floyd Cardoz of Bombay Canteen and O Pedro fame, who was in the city until March 8, took to Instagram two days ago to announce that he had contracted Covid-19 10 days earlier and had admitted himself in a hospital in New York.
He said in the post that he didn't know how and where he had contracted the disease. But he deleted the post shortly after and posted a new message yesterday, clarifying that his hospitalisation was a precautionary measure and apologising for the panic his earlier post had caused. This diarist learnt that the chef's test results are due next week and that his condition is being closely monitored. We wish him a speedy recovery.
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