Malavika’s Mumbaistan: A Fishy Talemumbai Updated: Mar 05, 2018 12:22 IST
Zubin Mehta (Hindustan Times)
Move over Eggs Kejriwal, another dish on the menu of one of SoBo’s toniest clubs, The Willingdon, has caught the fancy of the city’s cognoscenti. Named ‘Fish Curry a la Zubin Mehta’ and described rather prosaically as ‘a black pomfret cooked with Indian condiments and spices with onion gravy served with chopped coriander,’ it is A tribute to one of Mumbai’s tallest sons, the LA-based Parsi conductor, who grew up in Cuffe Parade and is a celebrated foodie.
This practice of naming dishes after long-standing members is not unknown to the club. “Eggs Kejriwal acquired its name because one of the members, a Mr Kejriwal, was not allowed eggs at home and would relish them cooked in his favourite style at the Club.
Other members would describe the dish to the stewards as ‘get me eggs the same way as Kejriwal likes them,” informs foodie and funny man Kunal Vijayakar, a veteran of many club meals. “The Bombay Gym had a dish named after Jean Manekshaw, a Parsi-French member; and one of the most popular dishes on the menu of Ambassador’s Society was its Steak Fernandes, named after its famous chef.”
What dish would Vijayakar like to have named after himself given the chance? “Going by my favourite, it would have to be a ‘Bhujne Kunal Vijayakar’. It is fish prepared in garlic and onion, with haldi, chilly and garam masala in the Pathare Prabhu style,” says the scion of the traditional Maharashtrian clan, known for its nuanced cuisine.
Incidentally, friends of Mehta were bemused that the charismatic conductor had been ascribed with the pomfret preparation. “As far as I know, he never spent time at the club during his Mumbai days and his favourite dishes are Goan fish curry and eggs Akuri,” said one.
Which is what makes this a fishy tale.
Stories of corruption amongst the high and mighty often make one’s skin crawl, but none comes close to the alleged brazenness of this once-powerful CM, now enjoying just desserts in prison.
A visiting American former head of a large MNC recently in India narrated this incident: A deal and an MoU was signed almost a decade ago between his firm and the CM’s government. It was known that the firm would earn huge profits from this. The executive was flown down to ink the deal and get a photo op with the CM.
When his plane stopped in Dubai for a layover, an Indian bureaucrat boarded and sat next to him, introducing himself as one of the CM’s aides, and wasted no time before asking for a bribe. When the exec said his firm did not entertain such deals, the aide told him he had two hours before they landed in India to come up with an offer or the deal was off. Not taking it seriously, the exec proceeded the next day for the signing, only to find the state representatives hadn’t showed up.
He was told the deal was off and was asked to take the next flight back to the US. The story doesn’t end there; so enraged were his principals back home that a few months later he was sacked. And to think all this might not have ended so badly if he’d taken the company jet!
Happy (adjective): Deeply sad, downcast, miserable (eg: ‘That Pharrell Williams looked downright happy playing Holi in India didn’t he?’)
Diamonds in the sun
Her tanned, lissome beauty, dwarfing beleaguered jeweller Nirav Modi, has been part of the breaking news loop ever since the fraud came to light, but his one-time brand ambassador model and actress, the London-based Lisa Haydon, has moved on quite emphatically with marriage and motherhood.
But this week was witness to Haydon returning to India, this time en famille with son Zack and husband Dino Lalwani for a celebration in Goa. “The entire family has gathered to celebrate Dad’s birthday,” she said, of her father-in-law, the tech and lifestyle tycoon, Phuket-based, Gulu Lalwani.
The gathering will also celebrate the birthday of Dino’s aunt, entrepreneur and gypsetter Bina Ramani, which also falls this week. And so, even as Priyanka Chopra starts proceedings to disengage her association with the diamantaire, clearly, there’s one person who has left the Nirav Modi episode far behind.