Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
As excitement heats up over the launch of Amish's much-awaited next book, Raavan - Enemy of Aryavarta, the author unveiled the cover of the title at a Juhu bookstore earlier this week. Amish engaged in a conversation with director Zoya Akhtar at the event. The book is the third in the Ram Chandra series, and the author revealed that he has followed a complex structure to link the stories of the three main characters — Ram, Sita and Raavan. Akhtar, on her part, said, "When you have a strong personality as Ram, you end up having a strong persona opposing him as well," adding that the book asks a key question: was Raavan history’s greatest villain?
Flex your missal
When you think of the best places for food in the country, Kolkata and Delhi usually come to mind before Mumbai. That's because the perception of food in this city is usually restricted to vada pav, missal and pani puri. But a thread that a food aggregator started on social media challenged this limited notion yesterday. The firm asked people to post photos of the dishes that epitomise the cuisine of their region. Of course, some Mumbaikars did contribute with the usual. But others brought to light some culinary items that go beyond what we consider Mumbai staples. These included kothambir vadi, ice bhel, golas by the seaside, bharleli bhindi, thalipeeth and a version of the regular vada pav, called masala vada pav (in pic). So, pick from this list to showcase Mumbai’s culinary diversity the next time someone tells you that it’s restricted to just a few items.
Wishing a legend on his birthday
The first time that this diarist had heard SP Balasubrahmanyam's voice is when Maine Pyar Kiya launched with its seminal soundtrack, all the way back in 1989. Our young ears had never before heard the sort of deep nasal tone that defines the legendary singer's timbre. And songs like Mere Rang Mein Rangne Waali and Dil Deewana remain etched in our mind as our first brush with quality Bollywood music, after Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. Balu, as he is also called, has made even more of a mark in the south than he has in the Hindi film industry.
But he is considered a legend in both regions, which is why — on his 73rd birthday celebrated yesterday — contemporary singers Shaan and Shreya Ghoshal were among the ones to wish him, with messages like, "May you keep shining, sir." Here’s hoping he lives a long and musical life.
Here's what's wood about this film
It's World Environment Day today, and that makes it the perfect occasion to tell you about a new film that a car manufacturer has released, which sends out an important message. The short begins with a narrator saying, "Someone fills the air with smoke, while someone works hard to clean it up." He's referring, of course, to human beings as the creators of toxic smoke and to trees as the hard workers that alleviate the damage. But the best part about the film? The animation has been entirely created using old newspapers, discarded cardboard boxes and waste paper. We like.
Chances are that you have heard of Gaggan Anand, but not of Srijith Gopinath, the only other Indian chef to hold the honour of having two Michelin stars, apart from Anand. Gopinath won back the two stars yesterday for his California-based restaurant, Campton Place. The chef first won this accolade in 2016, before one was retracted and he won it back again. It makes him the only Indian chef in the western hemisphere to be given the honour. Our heartiest congratulations to this unsung hero of Indian food.
Director Tanuja Chandra has a tight grip on actor Konkona Sen Sharma’s hand, as the latter gives writer Gazal Dhaliwal a mock pleading look during the screening of a movie on the LGBTQI community, at Andheri on Tuesday. Pic/Satej Shinde
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