Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Long and short of rules
Jhanvi Kapoor seems to be weighing her options on whether to oblige the paps or not. The actor is often seen requesting photographers not to click her in shorts as that would land her in trouble at home. Hmm. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Cooking in the gullies
If an intellectual with elan can be spotted at a ritzy cocktail bar in SoBo, then a hipster is sure to be found at a Social. And one reason why that is, is because the popular chain has street cred. Now, in keeping with their brand image, and making most of the buzz around Mumbai's gully rappers, the chefs at this bar have created a fun menu themed around street hip-hop. It features dishes like gully chilli chicken (in pic) and rapchik pao bao.
Speaking about it, Shamshul Wahid, executive chef at Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt Ltd, told this diarist, "All the chefs put their heads (and spoons) together to get this menu going. The dishes are a carefully curated blend of the quintessential flavours of the streets of Mumbai."
A grand comeback
A few days back we heard tittle-tattle about Ashish Dev Kapur and Sarah Todd's celebrated restaurant and beach club, Antares, shifting base from Vagator. On call with Todd who was in the city after a short trip to the beach state, this diarist learnt that the information was not true.
However, after the beautiful space stood severely damaged in a massive fire last month, its keepers seem to be back on their feet. "It has been four years since we opened, so we used this opportunity to revamp the place. Earlier, the restaurant was done up in earthy colours and we're aiming for a more refreshing look now. The idea is to be back with a bang," Todd shared, adding that the restaurant should be up and running in four months.
When two book lovers met
A recent spring-cleaning by this diarist unearthed this blast from the past, which refreshed our memory about one more facet of George Fernandes's personality. The former Union Minister and fire-brand trade union leader, who passed away on January 29, is seen here with the late TN Shanbhag, founder of the iconic Strand Book Stall. While this seems like a picture taken after Shanbhag was awarded the Padma Shri in 2003 by the then President APJ Abdul Kalam - Fernandes was the Defence Minister then - we are sure the two had much to talk about that went beyond exchanging pleasantries. Turns out, Fernandes, a voracious reader, was a regular at Strand when he lived in Mumbai.
When talent doesn't come cheap
A workshop at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival sounds like a dream, but for author Meghna Pant it turned out to be quite a disappointing affair on Tuesday. Taking to social media to narrate her experience, Pant, whose How To Get Published In India released in January, says she agreed to conduct a workshop on the same subject for free on the promise that the organisers would stock her book at a well-known library across the venue so she could at least sell it there. Instead, at 1.30 pm, post the workshop, she found that not just was the bookstore at the library not an easy five-minute walk away, but that it opened only after 5 pm.
"I was then told to go to Kitab Khana which was a 10 to 15 minute walk away. I flat out refused but one tenacious participant sweetly requested a signed copy so I walked all the way to sign it! It was humiliating." Pant, who has now decided to boycott her Wednesday workshop, told this diarist that the experience has made her realise the need for a union of artists and authors who can then use this as a platform to ask for better treatment. "If they [organisers of festivals] call Bollywood artistes, they are willing to pay lakhs, but for authors and artists, they don't want to pay even a few thousands," she said.
Non-conformity is not a mere form of protest, it can also be art. And imbibing that spirit, artist Nicholai Sachdev has curated a series titled Paanch, which features works by renowned artists like Rabindranath Tagore and Bhupen Khakhar, all of whose works were revolutionary in nature. "To see their works under one roof gives an insight into Indian art from pre-Independence to now," Sachdev told this diarist highlighting the thought behind the unique exhibition.
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Mumbai protests against the Pulwama terror attack