Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

Mar 15, 2016, 08:19 IST | Team mid-day

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

Mumbai hand rocks Obama style cradle
The diarist was sporting a proud smile over the weekend. And with reason. The Mumbai boy who has been keeping Mrs O company at glamorous state dinners seems to have wowed the little women of the Obama household too.

At the Canada state dinner, Malia and Sasha Obama (above) made news for their gowns, both designed by Mumbai-born Naeem Khan. Michelle Obama wore a sleeveless gold number created by him to the White House State Dinner in honour of Manmohan Singh in 2009.

Naeem Khan
Naeem Khan

Penelope Cruz, Lady Gaga and the Queen of Jordan are all clients for the man whose grandfather ran an embroidery workshop in Mumbai. The gowns costed a cool `13.5L a pop, and the girls didn’t let the weight of the bill way too heavily on their petite shoulders. Pics courtesy/

Manish enters male domain
Fashion designer Manish Arora will launch his first ever menswear collection. And the icing on the cake — it’s pocket-friendly.

The collection comprises everything, from bomber jackets to phone covers, inspired by Temari balls, a Folk art form from Japan and will go live on March 31 on “The fundamental theme is for today’s bold, edgy, eccentric male to sport a unique creation governed by my design aesthetic.

Manish Arora
Manish Arora

Keeping black, white and gold as constant, we’ve incorporated a lot of lucid, colourful prints and graphics into the collection,” the maverick designer tells us.

Hopscotchy for The Duchess!
Promoting causes are like second nature for England’s royalty. The most recent addition to this long list is Camilla Parker Bowles, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall will now be the patron of Roald Dahl 100 — a year of global celebrations marking 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl.

Camilla Parker Bowles with husband Prince Charles during their visit to IndiaCamilla Parker Bowles with husband Prince Charles during their visit to India

The Duchess kicked off her new role with a visit to London’s Southbank Centre, which has just launched an interactive experience, the Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl that was created in partnership with the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

Wife, Felicity and his grandson, Luke Kelly accompanied the Duchess for the experience. She concluded her visit by meeting a number of Friends of Roald Dahl 100, including the team behind the upcoming BFG (The Big Friendly Giant) film.

No standing guard, here

Pic/Sameer Markande

Columnist and author Shobha De, Tasneem Mehta and P Chidambaram at the launch of his book Standing Guard — A Year in Opposition at a SoBo five-star yesterday. Also in the frame is former Mumbai Commissioner of Police AN Roy.

Shonali Bose says it like it is
Without doubt, some of the funniest sarkari documents we’ve seen recently — and believe us, we see a lot of those in our line — have been the censor certificates.

Shonali Bose
Shonali Bose

For instance, this is what the certificate for Spectre says: ars*hole was replaced with idiot, ‘b*astard’ and ‘balls’ were replaced with ‘bighead’ and ‘cats’, and kissing scenes were ‘reduced by 50 per cent’, whatever that means.

A still from the 2015 film Margarita with a StrawA still from the 2015 film Margarita with a Straw

We were reminded of this when we spotted an interview with bisexual filmmaker Shonali Bose on, the maker of the critically-acclaimed, Margarita With A Straw which is currently on the New York leg of its extended festival run.

Sharing how she was in no mood to ease the discomfort of the homophobes in the audience, she says she chose not to add background music to the sex scene between the female actors who play disabled women.

Then comes the reveal about the censor board. They let this scene remain, but wanted another straight sex scene cut, said Bose. And the word the nutty mandarins used for sex: “Can you make the humping scene 50 per cent?” What’s with 50 per cent sexuality and the censor board, we wonder...

Art from the heart
The Taj Art Gallery hosted a crowd dressed to its nines at the opening of an exhibition of Jehangir Vazifdar’s works. His unique canvases, made of colourful alphabets and a “secret” technique, were on exhibit after a gap of almost 10 years.

Phiroze Vazifdar, Babasaheb Purandare, Michelle Poonawalla and Yohan Poonawalla at the launch of the book, Jehangir Vazifdar, yesterday. Pic/Shadab KhanPhiroze Vazifdar, Babasaheb Purandare, Michelle Poonawalla and Yohan Poonawalla at the launch of the book, Jehangir Vazifdar, yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan

His son, architect Phiroze Vazifdar, was brimming with warm memories of a man who made art not to sell, but to share. “My father used to tell me that ‘In business, I have to please; in art, I am a free man’,” said Phiroze, who has turned the basement and first floor of his plush office in Colaba into a gallery for his father’s works.

The opening was more than just that. Yesterday (March 14) would have been Jehangir’s 96th birthday, and this year marks 50 years since his first exhibition at the earlier avatar of the gallery. The event, packed with Jehangir’s friends, was perfect for reminiscing about the artist who had built some of Mumbai’s iconic buildings such as Eden Hall, Amalfi, Cuffe Castle and Washington House.

The highlight of the evening was the launch of a coffee table book commemorating the Vazifdar legacy, at which Michelle Poonawalla quipped that she was the only one who had studied her grandfather Jehangir’s signature technique. It would remain a secret, until the next suitable mentee came along. Ah, we can’t wait for you to spill the beans, Michelle.

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