Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Koffee with Kareena
Kareena Kapoor Khan gets a caffeine (or is it green tea?) hit before recording for her new radio show, in Bandra on Tuesday. Pic/Anurag Ahire
Mumbai's heritage touch for Bengaluru
"By default, she has become an integral part of our company," says K Radharaman, founder of House of Angadi, about his association with Mumbai-based heritage conservationist Abha Narain Lambah.
Lambah has designed the interiors of his soon-to-be-launched 18,000-square feet multi-level lifestyle address in Bengaluru. Brinda Somaya, another top name in urban conservation, has worked on the store's civil structure. This is the first time, we hear, that Lambah has taken on a commercial retail address. An engraved wood panel, once a part of a Chettinad mansion canopy, now sits on the walls of the store's handloom section.
"Textiles and architecture are like parallel universes, especially when you speak of classical forms… it's all connected," she told this diarist. Radharaman, who heads a 600-year-old family business of handloom textiles, says he approached Lambah with a specific assignment three years ago. It was to work on his long-cherished project, a textile museum housed inside his grandfather's home in Thanjavur.
K Radharaman, Brinda Somaya and Abha Narain Lambah
And while that was temporarily put on hold, Lambah, in the meantime, brought a bit of the sensitive heritage eye Mumbai is now used to thanks to her work at The Royal Opera House and Asiatic Society, to the southern city.
Solar, so good
Amidst a plethora of events being organised to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary today is a unique collaboration between IIT Bombay and the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.
As part of the joint effort, a Student Solar Ambassador Workshop will be held, where 10 lakh students from over 60 countries will receive hands-on training to assemble their own solar study lamp. Apart from a mega event in Delhi, workshops will be organised simultaneously in other Indian cities including Mumbai. And in the process, two Guinness World Records will be attempted — sustainability lessons to the largest number of participants at a single place, and the largest number of solar lamps lit together.
When foodie met funny
Funnyman Russell Peters is back in India with his Deported World Tour. But while Mumbai isn't among the cities he is performing in this time, Peters ensured that he was here to ring in his 49th birthday with friends including Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Raj Kundra, Anusha Dandekar, Harman Baweja and Rohit Roy. A private party was thrown at Bandra's celeb den One Street, and chef Boo Kim took care of the menu.
"The brief was simple; pick favourites for everyone's favourite funnyman! We decided to put together a set menu featuring some of our party favourites like the twice baked potato with truffle oil and chives, fish taco and baos," Kim told this diarist. But what's a birthday without a cake? A signature five-layer chocolate cake completed the revelries.
Maharashtrian food finds a stamp
Writer and culinary consultant Saee Koranne-Khandekar, who won the Food Chronicler of the Year at mid-day's The Guide Restaurant Awards 2019, continues to do what she does best. After her debut book Crumbs, about the many avatars of bread across the country, her new book Pangat: A Feast (Hachette India) is a celebration of the diverse cuisines within Maharashtra. "The cuisines of the state are terribly misrepresented in the commercial scenario.
Veg Kolhapuri, for instance, is a standard entry on an average restaurant's menu. But there is no such dish in Kolhapur! I wanted to debunk such myths," Khandekar told this diarist, adding, "Because Maharashtra is such a huge state, even those on the Konkan coast don't know much about the cuisine of say, Nagpur, and vice versa." The first part of the book is a compendium contextualising this diversity, while the second half features over 200 recipes sourced from library visits, interactions with home cooks and Khandekar's heirloom recipe book.
No longer a mystery
Now that winter (or whatever we get of it in Mumbai) is setting in, it's time again for the city literati to grab their glasses of champagne and exchange erudite conversations at literature festivals. One such event has in fact already announced its first list of participants and a particular name on it had at least one colleague shrieking in excitement, quite literally. Alexander McCall Smith is a Scottish novelist best known for his The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series.
Alexander McCall Smith. Pic/AFP
"I like him because he's funny and puts across complex things in a light manner," she said. This diarist, though, was equally upbeat about the participation of Anthony Horowitz, another mystery writer from the UK.
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