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Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Updated on: 26 March,2022 07:26 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Team mid-day |

The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Pic/Atul Kamble

Baby's sunny day out

A child struggles under the sun’s glare while crossing a street in Koparkhairane, Navi Mumbai

80 years of Pritam

Kulwant Singh Kohli and Jaibir Singh Kohli
Kulwant Singh Kohli and Jaibir Singh Kohli

Back in 1942, soon after founder Prahlad Singh Kohli set up a home-style eatery in the heart of the city, in Dadar, it became an adda for Bollywood royalty, from Raj Kapoor to Dilip Kumar and Dharmendra. Over the next few decades, their butter chicken, kebabs and dal makhani drew diners from near and far, making Pritam Restaurant a landmark. In a constantly evolving city, we’re happy to report that this popular haunt is going strong — its 80th anniversary a few days away. The founder’s great grandson, Jaibir Singh Kohli, recalled following his grandfather (Kulwant Singh Kohli) into the restaurant in the mornings, to open it up. “I was barely tall enough to stand at the bar, but I’d prop myself on a stool and sneakily ask the barman, who’s still around, for Coke,” he laughs. The secret to staying relevant is to adapt with the times. “At the same time, there’s a nostalgia about the place that has lived on,” he added. Cheers to that.

Invisible pierogies for Ukraine

A mother embraces her son who escaped the besieged city of Mariupol and arrived at Lviv, Ukraine. Pic Courtesy/AP, PTI
A mother embraces her son who escaped the besieged city of Mariupol and arrived at Lviv, Ukraine. Pic Courtesy/AP, PTI

The crisis unfolding in Ukraine since Russia launched a consistent attack last month has kept the world on tenterhooks. As more and more heartbreaking visuals of men, women and children losing homes and loved ones make their way to us, collectives across the globe are working to gather aid for Ukrainians. One such initiative is #CookForUkraine, launched by UK-based food influencer and Soho House member Clerkenwell Boy and his team, to raise funds for UNICEF. The Mumbai outpost of the global club in Juhu, too, has joined hands, we learnt.

Similar to other outposts of the club, in Mumbai, diners — non-members too — can head to Cecconi’s, their Italian restaurant, and order a dish called the “invisible pierogies” — a Ukrainian specialty (R300). The dish can also be found on the club’s menu. Soho House will then match all the funds raised, doubling the total contribution which will be used to support families fleeing Ukraine. “It’s very important for all of us to extend our support to Ukraine. Guests and members have really appreciated this initiative, and we hope to raise more awareness and funds to help with the relief,” Kelly Wardingham (inset), general manager, Soho House Mumbai, told this diarist.

Bow wow cause in a SoBo landmark

For the first time since the pandemic hit, the Welfare of Stray Dogs’ (WSD) garage sale is back in its physical avatar at Laxmi Baug hall, located near Opera House, from today, and will continue till March 29. Our resident dog lover has learnt that as it’s been over two years since their last physical sale, there’s a lot of cool stuff on offer, including a variety of crockery, crystalware, kitchenware, lamp shades, paintings, furniture, knick-knacks, apparel and interesting reads. All proceeds help WSD carry out their work for street animals. We also learnt from the good folks there that the venue — Laxmi Baug hall — was once a hub for Indian classical music and theatre, and used to stage some pretty big shows in the pre-Independence era and the early decades, post-1947. Built in 1913, it was also a preferred marriage venue in the neighbourhood; in fact, old-timers still marvel at its balcony that remains its piece-de-resistance.  So, depending on when you drop by to do your bit for the city’s streeties, catch a glimpse of this historic gem from the past.

The kids will be all right

Two years under house arrest has prompted a lot of parents to worry whether their little ones will be able to socialise and adapt to life beyond the screen. Noting this concern, Mumbai-based SAAR Education that creates academic resources, teamed up with developmental psychologist Dr Aarti Bakshi to create a social emotional skills (SEL) learning programme that’s free for all. SEL, Dr Bakshi explained, is critical for a child’s development. “Mindset and resilience are building blocks of academic and relationship successes. These goals are met with an SEL curriculum,” she said.

The green rapper

Protest at Aarey. Pic/Facebook
Protest at Aarey. Pic/Facebook

Environmental activists, who continue to raise their voices against the slow progress in removing the Metro car shed inside Aarey, will miss their green comrade Dharmesh Parmar aka MC Tod Fod (inset) who passed away recently. He made the forest a popular metaphor in his music. As a tribute, Youth For Aarey has organised a blood donation drive with Pallavi Blood Bank.

The bank caters to kids with thalassemia, and other cancer patients. Tabrez Sayyed Ali from Youth For Aarey, shared, “To honour his memory and that of the other activists we have lost, we want to help patients. The idea is to infuse a responsibility towards nature in them.” The drive will be at Aarey’s Birsa Munda Chowk today, from 9 am to 12 pm.

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