Mumbai diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Why so serious?
Something seems to be bothering Akshaye Khanna even as co-stars Richa Chadha and Meera Chopra are in a lighter mood during the trailer launch of their upcoming film at an Andheri mall on Tuesday. Pic/Sameer Markande
The Hard route
Rapper Hard Kaur is no stranger to controversy. She was booked for sedition earlier this year for certain comments she made against Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. Now, she finds herself in a soup again for the trailer launch of her newest single, We Want Freedom. The reason is that in it, she clearly states, "Khalistan ko bolo zindabad. We want freedom." This is in keeping with her long-standing support for a referendum on a separate Sikh homeland. But her views received a predictable backlash online, with people claiming she was doing it just for attention and some even going to the extent of saying that she was on substances.
With a little help from British friends
In 2013, Cathedral and John Connon Middle School student Mrinalini Somani launched an initiative to empower slum kids in the city through the medium of music, organising a concert where underprivileged children shared the stage with pupils from some of Mumbai's most elite schools. Somani was only in class 7 back then. Now, six years later, her efforts have come such a long way that for this edition, she will even have students from Sherborne Girls School, located in North Dorset in the UK, flying down to lend a helping hand. The show is on August 17 at a Nariman Point venue and all the proceeds will go to a city-based NGO. Here's hoping that this series goes from strength to strength.
After the Pulwama-related controversy that surrounded it, the Man vs Wild episode featuring host Bear Grylls and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was finally aired earlier this week. And it immediately became the butt of jokes in certain sections of social media. City-based comedian Jose Covaco, for instance, posted a "behind-the-scenes" video where Modi's voice is dubbed to refer to Grylls as Sharman Joshi (there is a resemblance, we must admit), and to tell the host that he's not afraid of rafting in a stormy river because he has braved the Mumbai floods. That apart, there were also memes, such as one that referred to the episode as the PM's "Vann ki Baat".
Here's what's cooking at Olive
"I have always felt that we are all about our people. Our success has been largely a result of the great talent that we've attracted, nurtured and retained," F&B biggie AD Singh told this diarist about a massive overhaul at his restaurant chain, Olive. The fine-dine that started out of Bandra almost two decades ago has managed to retain its popularity over the years, and former executive chef Rishim Sachdeva only helped add to that fame. But now, we hear that with Sachdeva being based out of London, and taking on new responsibilities as the father of a newborn, he will no longer be associated with the brand.
"I've watched his career trajectory over the years as he has worked at, consulted with, and launched some of the country's finest establishments," Singh (below) said, revealing chef Viraf Patel (inset) will now take over. Patel said, "I'm excited to be working closely with a restaurateur as respected as AD Singh and I look forward to building on the solid reputation that Olive has enjoyed."
All about azadi
Independence Day is around the corner, and with podcasts gaining increasing traction in the country, there are two special ones that will be aired to mark the occasion. Hosted by Ankita Ojha, these are part of a series titled, Azadi Ek Safar. The first, Main Azad Hoon, will celebrate the country's journey from the time the first elections were held in 1952 to the present day. But the second, Kya Main Azad Hoon? will question the social evils that plague India, including female infanticide. Listen in.
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