Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
With great power comes great privilege
Indian politicians routinely turn Peter Parker's phrase on its head. On a very rainy Monday, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and son Aditya walked a ramp that we hear was specially made for the Thackeray family, when they arrived at a waterlogged Bandra venue to cast their vote for the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections, while the rest of the city waded through flooded stretches. Pic/Ashish Raje
Here's a bit of good news for the city's bibliophiles who have made Kitab Khana — a sanctuary for tomes and titles — their favourite reading adda for hours on end. The bookstore's cafe, Food for Thought, run by dynamic couple Kapil and Reshma Sethi, that had shut for renovation for about a month, is up and running. T Jagath, the SoBo bookstore's CEO, confirmed the news with this diarist on Monday. "The café is in operation, and patrons can enjoy the menu all over again," he said. With the monsoon hitting Mumbai in full force, now might be a good time to sit back and enjoy that bestseller over a steaming cup of apple tea.
After Christopher Nolan, Mumbai might just get another icon from international cinema, thanks once again to the Film Heritage Foundation (FHF). Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, archivist, restorer and director of FHF, is in Bologna, Italy, where he met three-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro. While fans will be thrilled to know that Dungarpur has extended an invitation to Storaro to visit Mumbai, what is equally thrilling is that they also spoke about the possibility of mounting a Storaro exhibition in India under the aegis of FHF. Watch this space for more.
Neigh and behold this landmark
For centuries, this black horse has played mute spectator to the city's dramatic history — first, at its original spot on a traffic island in Fort (after its walls were torn down), and later until now, to a quieter part of the city, inside the Virmata Jijabai Udyan, also known as Rani Bagh. Today marks the anniversary of the day when Sir Richard Temple, Governor of Bombay, unveiled the statue of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, riding a black horse, in 1879. Better known as the Kala Ghoda, this bronze statue was created by Sir John Edgar Boehm and rises to a height of 5.1 metres. Mumbai was Bombay then, and Flora Fountain was the most significant statue to grace this emerging city of the Empire.
On a sticky wicket
Someone please give Sanjay Manjrekar a Twitter guidebook. The former India cricketer posted, "Is it just me? Barring the odd game, have found the WC football games a little boring. Like the middle overs of ODI cricket matches." This didn't go down too well with some people. One person replied bluntly, "It's just you." Another posted, "Is it just me who's always bored of your monotonous commentary?" And yet another said, "It's still more interesting than your batting. Nothing can get worse than that." Ouch.
Helena Hauff at her gig in Mumbai
Party all night? Not in this city
To be honest, we had never heard of Helena Hauff before we got wind of the fact that she would be playing a show in Mumbai. But clearly, other people had. This was evident when we attended the German DJ's gig last weekend, at Famous Studios in Mahalaxmi. The place was packed to the brim. It was so crowded, in fact, that getting a drink from the bar was as much of an ordeal as standing in line at a passport office. The outdoor section where the smokers normally congregate was no better, with people saying things like, "Dude, it's too full to go back inside. Just forget it." But go back inside we did, and the vibe was that of an authentic warehouse party, of the type you normally get in the West, and which is a rarity in this country. The thumping techno beats were so loud that when we took a short stroll in the middle of the gig to get a breather, we could hear the music 50 metres away from the venue. Of course, that brought the men in uniform rushing to the gate as early as 12.45 am, waiting to bring the curtains down at the Cinderella hour of 1.30. Tough luck for those who hadn't had their fill.
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