Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier
The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Members of the public get punished by the police for stepping out without valid reason during the lockdown in Vakola on Tuesday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
It's a curtain call for Junoon
Junoon, the arts platform helmed by Sanjna Kapoor and Sameera Iyengar has announced its closure. Having celebrated eight years in February, the closure note states, they had tough decisions to make about the financial sustainability of the venture. However, it is the current global scenario that ultimately led them to draw the curtains to prevent further losses.
The upcoming months, they said, will be spent in closure activities and in the search of new direction for both artists. The heartfelt note also thanked fellow artistes and collaborators who have been part of the journey.
"As we sign off, we would like you to join us in a big salute to the artists across India, who create soul-food for us all. We would also like to salute you for seeing the value of the arts, and taking this journey with us. May the Junoon live on within you."
Bhagat's books are a bore?
Comedian Kunal Kamra and writer Chetan Bhagat yesterday broke into what can only be called a Twitter spat. It started with Kamra taking a dig on a reply to Bhagat's tweet asking, "On a scale of 1..10, how bored are you right now?"
The tweet was a response by a user that said, "11 but still won't read your book!" Kamra claimed in jest that even he wasn't on the receiving end of such trolling. Bhagat took it a step ahead in saying, "You had to be someone to get trolled. By then, twitteratti had been entertained enough to help both the tweets go viral.
Talking about the exchange later, Kamra said he was always expecting a response from Bhagat. "I as an artiste believe my art keeps me relevant but in Chetan's case, he has created zero art so his relevance is what keeps him employed," he told this diarist.
Feeding Mumbai, in good times and bad
The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has taken up the cause to distribute 10 million meals, during the lockdown. It plans to use the extensive infrastructure of kitchens and restaurants of its members across big cities to prepare and distribute food to the poor, daily wage earners and migrants across the nation due to the lockdown. These meals cost anywhere between R20 to R25 per head and the financial resources for this initiative will be partially crowd-funded.
Donors can write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, many other initiatives have sprung up in the city too. Project Mumbai has been catering breakfast, lunch and dinner meals to 700 doctors and frontline medical teams from JJ, Cama, Cooper and GT hospitals, as well as to the Covid Disaster management team at Mantralaya. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor partnered with the Taj Group of hotels to distribute 5,000 meal packets per day to Mumbai hospitals and even joined hands with Mumbai Railway Police. He raised donations and encouraged restaurants to cook 1,000 meals that were distributed by cops across the city.
"Small initiatives like these will go a long way in not only making the government's lockdown a success but also building a unified nation," said Kapoor. Neeti Goyal of Bandra's Madras Diaries has kept her kitchen open during the lockdown. They have been distributing 3,000 meals to the homeless and migrants along Western Express Highway and Chembur-Mankhurd area with the help of the Mumbai police and local corporators. Let's give it up for spirit.
His Floyd story
Hours after he heard of his mentor and chef Floyd Cardoz's passing, chef Thomas Zacharias of The Bombay Canteen, walked into his kitchen, pulled out a stash of Goan choriz and simply cooked, freestyle. Calling this his way of coping, he says all the times spent with chef Floyd flashed back before his eyes as he inhaled the smoky sausage that filled up the room.
Thomas Zacharias and Floyd Cardoz
He added some dried beans, onions, garlic, and bay leaves, and it turned into a sort of delicious South American chili but with Goan choriz instead of meat mince. Topped with a couple of fried eggs and some braised poi saag he'd made earlier, this was his attempt at a tribute meal. Floyd would've loved this. This, along with many touching anecdotes formed part of chef Zacharias' tribute on social media to his guru. He wrote, "I doubt I could do justice writing about his life before I knew him. So I'll keep this one personal. This is my Floyd story."
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