Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
The test of fire
While promoting his new show in Juhu Khau Galli, we snapped Vikas Khanna shying away from the heat of the fire paan. Pic /Anurag Hire
A bumpy ride
Former India captain and Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president Mohammad Azharuddin had to be part of an embarrassing welcome during the unveiling of a jersey of the Road Safety T20 World Series earlier this week. The former skipper joined Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake at the event. But the organisers, or at least the emcee, had not done her homework. While introducing the former India captain, she made a huge blunder by calling him the 'Road Ambassador', instead of Road Safety Ambassador. Also, while the other dignitaries on the dais were presented with a memento, he was presented with just a bouquet. As if that wasn't enough, the emcee made it worse during the interview when he asked, "Mohammad, how happy are you to be here with us?" No prizes for guessing why Azharuddin was seen leaving well before the event had wrapped up.
A Swede idea
Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will arrive in Mumbai today, December 4. This will also mark Their Majesties' first visit to Mumbai. This is the second leg of their five-day state visit to India at the invitation of President Ram Nath Kovind. As part of the #SwedenIndiaSambandh campaign, the Consulate General of Sweden, Mumbai associated with the Rise Against Hunger India (RAHI) has lit up the iconic 5.6 km Bandra Worli Sea Link from December 2 to 4 in blue and yellow, the colours of the Swedish National Flag to welcome them in Mumbai. So, when driving through, look again, and if your co-passengers look befuddled simply tell them 'India, Sweden bhai-bhai'.
Uddhav doesn't need to stand up for comedy
CM Uddhav Thackeray's one-liners, quips and (un)intended puns show glimpses of his late father Bal Thackeray's cryptic humour. When reporters asked him when he will deliver good news (to distressed farmers), he promptly said he had already shared it many years ago, and pointed to his son Aaditya, who was seated next to him. "I carry my good news everywhere," he said, leaving Aaditya blushing.
Next was Uddhav's speeches in the Assembly, where he poked ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis in the same vein, albeit in a manner that fitted parliamentary norms and yet, passed on the pinching message that whatever had been done to 'unfriend' him in the past 40 days, had hurt him most. He said he would remain friends with Fadnavis, but reminded the ex-CM that he hadn't said "Mi yein" (I will come as CM), "but I became one eventually because of sheer luck and people's wish".
It was said in reference to Fadnavis's "Mi Punha Yein (I will return as CM)" slogan. Fadnavis clarified saying that he would return but had not given a deadline. "Mera paani utarate dekh mere kinare ghar mat basa lena, main samundar hun lautkar wapis auunga (Looking at my low tide, don't build a house on my shores because I'm the sea that will definitely return)," said Fadnavis. Now, it appears that the new CM has chosen to act instead of saying anything to respond to Fadanvis' 'samundar' slight. He allotted Fadnavis, now leader of opposition, a government bungalow named 'Sagar' (sea).
Actions speak louder than words, right? "Yeah," said a khabari in the Sena camp, adding that he now expected the Malabar Hill neighbourhood to waft with notes of the popular song, "Sagar kinare dil ye pukare tu jo nahi to mera kuchh bhi nahi hai…"
A social frame of mind
Helmed by photographer, Himanshuu Sheth, Meraki-Photography for a Cause is an exhibition bringing together 24 photographers. And the proceeds from it will go to non-profits working in rural development. It will include frames by the likes of Waheeda Rehman, Urvi Piramal, RoopKumar Rathod, Geeta Gopal and Archana Mariwala. "The genesis of this exhibition lies in the photo safaris I started conducting in 2009. Since I come from a family of photographers and wildlife lovers, we decided to celebrate our passion by helping those causes," Sheth told this diarist.
Taking a seat at the Indian table
Launched in November last year, The Final Table, Netflix's popular culinary show has often been touted as one of the most challenging reality cooking TV series. What made this show riveting (to follow and watch) was its premise, which was hinged on specialties from different nations and regions across the world. Colibrí Jiménez first came to the global fore through the show's first season, where the chef from Mexico and cookbook author was paired with Jamaican-born chef Collin Brown. Difficult as some of you may find it to believe, Jiménez arrived in Mumbai yesterday. On her maiden visit to the country for a series of masterclasses that she will be conducting over today and tomorrow, she told this diarist, "I am excited to be a part of the masterclass and fine dining session being hosted by CRED experiences, and I am looking forward to sharing a bit of my Mexican history and culture with all. I intend to talk about the important ingredients that we use, and cook some of the most representative flavours of Mexican gastronomy." Speaking about what prompted her to collaborate on this project, she added, "I have always been intrigued by India as it is a land full of spirituality, and culture — factors that motivate my adventurous heart."
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