Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
When you are happy and you know it
Ishaan Khattar and Jhanvi Kapoor are all sunshine and smiles as they arrive at a radio station to promote their debut. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Bond before Bond
While it might still be a tad amusing for millennials to watch the kitschy and fantasy-ridden plots of James Bond flicks from the pre-Daniel Craig era, the cult status of Ian Fleming's superhero is the stuff of legend. Now, a new title, which was the prequel to Fleming's Casino Royale and tells the story on how James Bond became secret agent 007, is set for release. Titled Forever and a Day, the novel is by Sunday Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz. He happens to be the only author who has been invited to write a second book for the Bond series, the Ian Fleming Estate, and here's some good news for his fans - the book will include never-seen-before original content by the author. Horowitz has also written The House of Silk and Moriarty, the critically acclaimed Sherlock Holmes novel.
(From left) Madhukar Zende, Isaque Bagwan, Uddhav Thackeray and Nawazuddin Siddiqui at the book release in Bandra last week. Pic/Shadab Khan
What's in a name?
The grapevine or in this case, gripevine, tells us that a controversy was bubbling at the recent launch of Me Against the Mumbai Underworld, a personal account by former super cop Isaque Bagwan. Former ACP Madhukar Zende, famed for nabbing Charles Sobhraj, who shared the dais with Uddhav Thackeray and Nawazuddin Siddique, was surprised to see Zaidi's name on the book cover.
The crime journalist's name superseded Bagwan's. Police historian Deepak Rao, who translated the Marathi original into English, was not mentioned in the acknowledgements. Sohail Bagwan, Isaque's son, too, was missing from the credits. Bagwan admitted to this diarist that he was taken aback at seeing Zaidi's name in big bold type, "yet, publishers Penguin explained to me that the book was printed under the Blue Salt imprint, which Husain Zaidi headlines. A lot of people asked me why Zaidi's name was right on top. It gives the impression that he has written the book," said Bagwan, quickly adding with a mirthless laugh, "I am not disappointed; I am not a big crime writer. It's okay."
This development is ironic considering Bagwan and Zaidi have a history. Bagwan had said publicly that this book was an effort to set the record straight after what he considered was a misportayal of the force in the 2013 film, Shootout at Wadala, in which Bagwan was portrayed. The film was loosely based on Zaidi's book, From Dongri to Dubai.
Penguin Random House India Pvt. Ltd's Milee Ashwarya, who was at the launch, said, "The confusion has been clarified. I told him that books that fall in the crime genre will have 'Husain Zaidi presents' on the cover, just like all business books carry the line, 'Gurcharan Das presents'." The churning waters seem to have gone still as of now but the 'bravest of the brave' as Bagwan has been labelled, may have just learnt some lessons from the publishing world.
Eat right with Vicky
From gourmet, to desi, veggie and healthy, we have seen chef Vicky Ratnani traverse the culinary landscape with his theme-based TV shows. He is now taking his foray into whipping up dishes for weight watchers offline with a new venture in collaboration with wellness industry veteran, Sunjay Ghai. The two have come together to launch a farm-to-fork initiative, where Ratnani's specially designed recipes and meal programmes to suit those who are on a detox or keto diet, or are conscious of what they eat, will be served dishes at their doorstep. Apart from promising to use chemical- and pesticide-free produce, the eatery, we hear, is minimising its carbon footprint by supporting small, sustainable farms, using electric bikes for delivery and food boxes that can be recycled while also donating a small part of the bill amount to NGOs.
Rainbow in Russia
As India awaits the Supreme Court judgment to decriminilise the outdated Section 377, leading supporter of the pride movement in Australia, activist Jason Ball, has thrown light on how an innovative bunch of football fans are taking the fight back to the authorities in Russia - a country where it is illegal to display the LGBT flag - through a social media post.
According to his post, six of these fans have formed a hidden rainbow flag with their soccer jerseys, to protest against the country's discriminatory laws. Now that's what we call wearing the cause on your sleeve.
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