Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

Updated: Dec 27, 2016, 11:50 IST | Team mid-day

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

The Christmas goodies; (inset) Rebecca Vaz
The Christmas goodies and Rebecca Vaz

Playing the perfect Santa
Given that she now heads the production and marketing of a much-loved brand of jams and preserves, one would think Christmas gift ideas are a no-brainer for Rebecca Vaz. But along with hampers of fruity goodness from the mountains of Himachal, Vaz also rolled up towels into cuddly creatures to add a festive touch to her gifts. Seen here are the goodies she sent to actor Ashwin Mushran.

Christmas, Kerala style
In these times of demonetisation, a little humour is always welcome. And who better than college kids to do the job? This Christmas, a college in Kottayam flaunted a Santa with a deflated paunch and this interesting message: “Sorry kids... no gifts this year due to demonetisation. Ask Uncle Modi.” Well, one does feel the pinch more during festivals and while Diwali dodged a bullet, Christmas fell bang in the middle of cash crunch this year.

How they forget!
And so, another food blogger takes the plunge. In the melting pot where everyone is an expert, and the “points don’t really matter” (that famous line from cult TV show – Whose Line Is It Anyway?). This particular ‘popular expert’ is now out with a book that celebrates India’s street food from its gullies and back lanes.

Mumbai’s iconic Irani restaurant, Kyani & Co, is over 112 years old
Mumbai’s iconic Irani restaurant, Kyani & Co, is over 112 years old

Now, while this diarist is happy to see another book that hails the country’s vibrant food scene, we were forced to jog our memory to a tweet some time back by the same blogger after he wrote a page-long eulogy yesterday in a daily tabloid, waxing eloquent about the city’s Maharashtrian fare.

This diarist recalls a shocking generalisation in that tweet on Mumbai’s lack of old restaurants and eating places, and how most aren’t older than 30-40 years! Seriously? So, we conveniently sidestep the Irani cafes, the Udipi landmarks and the Maharashtrian culinary citadels of Dadar.

And never mind the decadently inviting eateries of Bhendi Bazar and Girgaum. What was more surprising, amusing almost, is that the writer admits being a migrant who made the city his home. Whatever happened to the homework despite all the culinary wanderings?

While we are all for additions to the flock, such misinformation reflects utter disrespect not only to a city's rich, diverse food-scape but also a lack of research by so-called experts who’ve built careers on utterances in social media. We’ll wait to see how hot this pot remains.

City loses its salt doll
Mumbai was her ocean and the salt doll has dissolved in it. Veteran theatre actress Vandana Mishra (Sushila Lotlikar before marriage) passed away yesterday and in her, Mumbai has not only lost a talented individual but also its chronicler.

Vandana MishraVandana Mishra

Mee Mithachi Baahuli (I, The Salt Doll, translated by Jerry Pinto) was Mishra’s memoir of her life and struggles in the city, and through her words emerged a compelling portrait of Mumbai, where she also made a quiet plea for the pluralism and diversity that made it a great metropolis.

The young Konkani girl, who was forced to give up her education and join Marathi theatre, went on to storm the Gujarati and Marwadi stages too. She retired at a young age, only to begin another innings as a character actor.

“When I met her, she was bright and spirited and told stories with a zest and a delight that belied her eighty-plus years,” wrote Pinto, remembering her. Mishra’s journalist son, Ambarish, survives her.

Thumbs up to the frank-speak


Pic/Sameer Markande

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with television journalist Arnab Goswami (left) at IIT Bombay’s inter-collegiate festival in Powai yesterday.

Because lips don’t lie!
It is a known fact that India has the second largest number of female smokers, 12.1 billion, in the world. And lately, these smokers are taking steps to remedy the side effects of their habit.

A city cosmetic surgeon has revealed that this has impacted the demand for lip lightening surgery — he claims that 50 per cent of those opting for this surgery are smokers and nearly all are women. And it is not just the corporate, working women below 40 who are opting for this surgery.

The doctor has also treated women in the age groups of 19 and 22 years. It makes us wonder, wouldn't it be easier to try and give up the habit?

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