Celebrities, artists, cool hotspots, and interesting experiences that are on my radar this week – and should be on yours too!
While she started off as a sketch comedienne — and still is a very successful one — Prajakta Koli has been able to evolve into a social media personality who has more to offer than a few laughs. Still a YouTube sensation and an Instagram superstar, Koli has also been a delegate to the UN as a part of the Goalkeepers initiative by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Creators for Change programme featuring Michelle Obama, and The Call to Unite event featuring heavyweights like Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, and Eva Longoria, to name a few. She also successfully debuted in the Netflix show, Mismatched, last year, with season 2 out soon. Her film debut, Jug Jug Jiyo, starring Anil Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, and Kiara Advani, is expecting a release soon too.
Nostalgia will always be on fleek. We live in a world where we are constantly looking back, flipping through the pages of old photo albums, looking for inspiration. But what is more wondrous is when the vintage marries seamlessly with the modern. Mahoor Jamal’s photography is an example of such artistry, to be able to bring forth snippets of cultural history, and meld them with contemporary minimalism. There are well-loved motifs and iconography, but stripped of sepia, they shine brighter, are shot artistically, and tell fresh renditions of stories and practices passed down by generations. Her portraiture and still life are both art and documentation of fashion, accessorising, and personal grooming traditions of this part of the world. Extremely intimate, rich in colour and texture, and unabashedly vibrant and feminine, Jamal’s photographs are pure joy.
JOSHI HOUSE, MUMBAI
What do you replace the iconic Pali Village Café with? A minimalistic Rajasthani haveli serving a global menu. Suren Joshi’s new property definitely has some very high expectations to live up to, and by the look of it, it might just. While I am not going gaga over the interiors like everybody else (white walls, white drapes, Cinquefoil arches, one Pietra Dura motif, and a few painted elephants do not a Rajasthani haveli make), the menu is an eclectic sampling of traditional favourites and interesting experiments. The Young Coconut and Heart of Palm Ceviche is a refreshing burst of summer flavours in the mouth, and is a great way to kick off a meal. Follow it up with the fantastic Kheema Kachori, packed with the flavours of Rajasthani alleys. The sourdough naans, especially the truffle, and onion jam and scarmoza varieties are winners. The Miso Eggplant with labneh is an interesting experiment, while the Palak Saag with Truffle, Chilli Oil, and Fried Garlic, served with a Missi Roti, is a delicious and successful one. The star of the menu is the fiesty Beef Chilli Fry, served with grandmotherly hunks of sourdough. The Laal Maas is a close second, but the chef’s too scared to go all Mathania on the Bombay palate. Maybe he should. When in Rajasthan, you never hold back. The Prawn Laksa and the Nasi Goreng don’t fail either, and add that something-for-everybody quality that Joshi House wants to achieve.