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Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Updated on: 18 September,2022 07:14 AM IST  |  Mumbai
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The city - sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

Pic/Sameer Markande

Meeting the sea

A little girl gets a taste of the ocean as she plays with her father at Girgaum Chowpatty.

Takia and son to start Mikail’s Pizza Place

Actor and restaurateur Ayesha Takia, who co-owns Koyla, Café Basilico and Madras Diaries with her restaurateur-politician husband Farhan Azmi, is all set to open a delivery kitchen named after their son Mikhail. Called Mikail’s Pizza Place, it will have options for people with all dietary preferences—vegan, vegetarian, Jain as well non-vegetarian. They will be serving only  Halal meat. “At the age of six, Mikail was sure he wanted to set up a pizza truck around the corner from where we live. Today, he is almost nine and we are ready to execute his vision,” says Takia, adding that they are procuring authentic and fresh ingredients, and are preparing in-house dough and sauces sans preservatives, colours and chemicals.

Carry on, Gary! You can talk cricket too

Gary Lineker hits out during a match. PIC/Getty Images
Gary Lineker hits out during a match. Pic/Getty Images

England’s football great Gary Linekar decided to have his say the other day on the umpires calling off play at The Oval when England were 33 runs away from winning the final cricket Test of the summer against South Africa. The match ended in an England victory the following day. “Bonkers decision to stop play in the cricket. Such an anticlimax for all those at The Oval and watching at home. Sometimes cricket doesn’t help itself,” Linekar tweeted. There were some who supported his view, but several felt Linekar should stick to his sport and his role as a football pundit. Safety of players came into the mix too—what if an England batsman lost sight of the ball and hurt himself? One response took the cake with all the cream: “Coming up: Curtly Ambrose discusses Chelsea’s new manager.” PS: Gary Linekar could bat. He once hit a century in a charity game where West Indian pace legend Courtney Walsh made an appearance and England’s 1986 World Cup football star followed that performance up with a hat-trick for his team Tottenham Hotspur.

From Bandra to America

Don’t we all love to see our Mumbai writers and their charming characters take flight? Murzban F Shroff’s 2016 novel, Waiting For Jonathan Koshy, which is about the tumultuous yet marvellous life of Jonathan—how he breaks up a matka den, evades arrest at a drug-ridden rave party, and brightens up the lives of sex workers and their children—will now find new readers in America. The book is being published by Astrophil Press at the University of South Dakota, and will hits stands next month.  “I am delighted that my novel will publish in the US... Astrophil is a publisher with an eclectic discerning list, choosing books that explore dynamic possibilities of language, form, and genre. To me, this proves that when you create a work with a larger-than-life character, its appeal can transcend borders.”

When Krishna sang Gopal Hare

In 2018, mid-day spoke with Krishna Marathe, a Mumbai-based musician who is known to perform at funeral prayer meetings. Since the last time we spoke with her, she has played for some of the most prestigious families, including at the prayer meets for businessmen Rahul Bajaj and Cyrus Mistry recently. Marathe got interested in spiritual music in 2003, and sings chants like “Govinda Hare” and “Gopal Hare” on guitar, in her soothing style. “Usually, prayer meetings are very emotional and make people cry. I don’t agree with that line of singing as people are already grieving and they need to be soothed at that time,” says the 42-year-old. She adds, “That is why my endeavour is to make it as meditative as possible so the people who listen, end up staying till the end.” Besides playing at funerals, Marathe also performs at weddings, corporate events and other private events.

Don’t hem or haw,plant a paw-paw

It is raining papayas in Mumbai. Or, will soon be. Mission Green Mumbai, the foundation with a self-explanatory name, is readying to receive its stock of papaya saplings. These saplings will then be given to residential housing societies who want them, “on a first come, first serve basis,” says Mission Green Mumbai founder Subhajit Mukherjee. He explains, “While there is not an inch to spare, anywhere in Mumbai, we do see certain housing societies have  little flower beds or space for plants where nothing grows. These papaya saplings can be planted and they are low maintenance, only need water and sunlight but compost will also help. These are dwarf plants, so they will grow to about five feet and you will see papaya fruits within a year.” There are a number of health benefits of papayas, also known as paw-paw in some countries. These include improving heart health, say some studies.

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