Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
One last look
Ever wondered why regular folk beat themselves over not looking perfect like actors when they need to check their hair and face every five minutes? Kriti Sanon does a quick check before a shoot at the promotion of her upcoming film in Juhu on Monday. Pic/sSayyed Sameer Abedi
A green light page-turner
The slew of literature festivals in India are catering to adults. That's why a new children's festival in Mumbai is always good news — and even better, when tailored around one of the most pressing topics of our times, the environmental crisis.
Presented by the Nehru Centre Library in association with Invoke Inspire (II), the country's first student launchpad, Naturally Booked will be a one-day event involving books and nature. Its first edition kicks off on December 7 featuring some of the city's best storytellers such as Frédéric Simon, Menka Shivdasani and Katie Bagli. Prerna Dharap, founder of II told this diarist, "Climate action has become the term of the century.
Although planning started eight months ago, we've been working on this for four months. We have events ranging from a dramatic reading on the subject of water, a show with puppets designed on nature and will also showcase miniatures in a poetry workshop." All in all, it sounds like a step in the right direction.
What's Indian food, really?
Twitter user Jon Becker perhaps didn't know what he was getting into when he tweeted, "Please quote tweet this with your most controversial food opinion, I love controversial food opinions".
Padma Lakshmi. Pic/Getty Images
So, US academic Tom Nichols gave it a shot by saying, "Indian food is terrible and we pretend it isn't." Naturally, it ended up notching thousands of retweets and likes, and got prominent faces giving him a tit for tat.
Among them was Ishaan Tharoor who pointed out his erroneous statement by saying, "Since we are all here now, think it's worth reminding the less enlightened that "Indian" food, like "Chinese" food, is as useful a rubric as "European" food," while Padma Lakshmi asked Nichols a valid question — "Do you not have tastebuds?" But Jameela Jamil set the record straight with a single sentence: " Indian food is Fu**ing amazing."
Hailing the Ustad
We had reported in these pages last month that the prestigious Berklee College of Music had decided to confer an honorary doctorate on tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain. That honour finally saw the light of day last weekend, with Hussain receiving his certificate during a concert celebrating his life and music at the Harvard Business School's Klarman Hall.
The event also had one of the musician's longtime collaborators and friends in attendance. Legendary musician John McLaughlin's association with Hussain goes back to the time in the 1970s when the two had formed the group Shakti. Their friendship has stood the test of time, and it was heart-warming to see McLaughlin take time out of his hectic schedule to show his support for Hussain.
Master strokes on the web
A leading international auction house is set to host its annual winter online auction on December 9 and 10, showcasing some groundbreaking works by some of the country's leading modern artists including FN Souza and SH Raza.
A piece to look out for here is Raza's Paysage (1960), which has never been seen in an auction. Apart from this, 22 contemporary works from London's prestigious Saatchi Gallery will also be on sale. This includes city-based Jitish Kallat's Death of Distance that features a monumental one-rupee coin (in pic) and Tallur LN's untitled work on the state of hard labour composed of battered mattresses stacked on a hospital bed.
Ready to cook it up in Italy?
Love cooking? Well, this may be a chance to take a culinary journey like never before all the way to Italy. And did we say within a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Airbnb has launched 'Cooking' on its existing Experiences section, and while on one hand you could learn an heirloom recipe on your travels around the world, you could also compete to be one of 100 home cooks who get to polish their skills at Slow Food Institute's University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo.
Nominate yourself or a talented friend to stand a change to make it into it Airbnb's 2020 cookbook among other things.
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