Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Kiss and tell
The secret sharing between Anil Kapoor and Bobby Deol has Jacqueline Fernandez interested, but we like Salman Khan's keen eye on the camera at the trailer launch of an upcoming film at a Juhu multiplex on Tuesday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Indians have a love-hate relationship with the British, a sentiment that oscillates based on whether you are showing off monuments such as the Gateway of India and Victoria Memorial, or if you are having an angsty dinner conversation on section 377. Turns out, the Brits especially love this bag of mixed feelings we have for our former colonisers, as stand-up comedian Anuvab Pal recently experienced at the sold-out run of his show, The Empire, at The Soho Theatre in London. Pal's act has now been picked up for the prestigious The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is one of the few global Indian acts to premiere at the festival.
Cannes for a Nobel cause
The Cannes Film Festival may appear to be all about acing the red-carpet look, but it is first a celebration of good cinema and people who make it possible. We were reminded of this when we came across a heartwarming gesture by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Cate Blanchett and John Travolta. Pics/Getty Images
At the annual HFPA party in Cannes, the body donated $500,000 (over Rs 3.41 crore) to the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation, the Nobel laureate's organisation dedicated to ending violence against children and child labour around the world. Present at the event were Hollywood veterans, Cate Blanchett and John Travolta. The film, Kailash, which follows Satyarthi's mission, was screened at Cannes yesterday.
(Left to right) Thomas Zacharias, Shannon Lawrence, Rahul Raghav, Anita Kapoor, Nikoulina Berg, Manuela Toniolo, Yash Bhanage, and Rishi Naleendran
Canteen khana in Singapore
Earlier this week, Singaporean foodies were in for a delicious surprise all the way from aamchi Mumbai. The Bombay Canteen team set up their first international pop-up when they took over chef Rishi Naleendra's Michelin starred restaurant, Cheek By Jowl, in Singapore. Seats were sold out within six hours of the reservations going live. "We wanted to give Singaporeans a taste of what our restaurant celebrates — regional Indian food using seasonal ingredients with a fun, contemporary twist. We decided to offer some favourites from our menu as well as a few new dishes that we conceived solely for this event. But we also wanted it to be more than just about the food," recalled partner Yash Bhanage, and chef partner Thomas Zacharias about the experience. They even recreated the complete restaurant experience of their Lower Parel outlet with décor elements, register-style menu cards, India-inspired cocktails, and a fun playlist.
And what about the response from diners? "Guests were amazed at the depth and excitement of flavours, textures and techniques within different regional Indian cuisines, that there was more to it than the staple North or South Indian curries found on standard restaurant menus. Our intention was to make sure people realised that an Indian dining experience can be fun, delicious and memorable, and we believe we succeeded in doing just that," Zacharias signed off, sounding chuffed after the Singaporean joyride.
Public speaking 101
Having hosted live events and shows on radio and television for years together, Roshan Abbas feels there is a dearth of good public speakers in India. "With our phones and the Internet, everyone has become a content producer, but what irks me is when people use the wrong language or syntax, or don't know how to get the audience on their side," he told this diarist, sharing the news that he recently co-authored a book on public speaking with Siddharth Banerjee, the marketing head of a telecom giant, which is likely to hit shelves in September. Hoping to make it a practical workbook, Abbas has peppered it with anecdotes (watching Amitabh Bachchan prepare for KBC) and interviews with popular TV presenters including Harsha Bhogle, Gaurav Kapur, Mini Mathur and Mandira Bedi.
Freedom trail with Anuradha Roy
Indian novelist and journalist Anuradha Roy's new book is finally out after a long wait. The writer has previously been long-listed for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for her third novel, Sleeping on Jupiter. Her new book, All The Lives We Never Lived (Hachette India), looks at India's journey from the 1930s to the 1990s, through the story of a young artist who deserts her family in search of freedom. The Indian Independence Movement, Nazi Germany and other historic events find place in Roy's narrative. Have a space on your bookshelf? Fill it up.
This Mumbai couple sells their wildlife photos to help thirsty animals