We Still Have This Kohinoor!

We Still Have this Kohinoor


This is one celebrity you have to meet once you are in Mumbai. He is Mr. Boman Kohinoor the owner and soul of Britannia Restaurant. We came to taste the Berry Chicken Pulao but left with our hearts charmed by this young man who is only 96 years old.

He loves meeting people. He is a fan of the British royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived for a meal on a Sunday but alas it was so quaintly closed.

The Duke and Duchess then invited him to their rooms at the Taj. That made Kohinoor’s day.

He is such a gentleman and loves to chat up his customers.

My wife got the compliment that “you look just like the queen when she was younger” I bet the naughty man says that to all the ladies.

This is a family run restaurant and retains its ‘ye olde worlde’ charm.

A must visit for all Mumbai lovers. It is in Ballard Estate and the exact address is Britannia & Co.  Restaurant, Wakefield House,11 Sprott Road,16, Ballard Estate, Mumbai-400038. The phone numbers are–22615264 / 22615263.

Beware all you weary travellers methinks the restaurant is only open between 12noon and 4 in the afternoon. Also it is closed on Sundays.DSCF7298DSCF7300

Anand Express, Bad Biryani-Lost in Translation

Anand Express –Bad rice does not make a good Biryani!

(Ostrich Boys-’Lost in Translation actually’)–

                                      Sunday at St. Andrews 25th June 2017



There are lazy people like me who ponder upon the futility of all endeavour. Anand Express was a play which inspired such feelings of worldly futility. Why a translation of an English novel/ play (Ostrich Boys)? Why not a well known play for a world sinking under social media and television? Why not Shakespeare, Karnad, Mohan Rakesh, Tendulkar or Balzac for that matter?

A lot of time (ours too-had to give up my siesta) and money went into the production. 

I loved the idea of the set and the projection screen consisting of an ever changing cube. That made the play worth seeing. I loved the falling “RAIN” at the ghost mansion. Alas, I really chortled at this slow strangulation of the English Language. This Mumbaia-speak.

Let me clarify for all the Mumbaikar movie and play producers and even writers, “Choot” means “Vagina” and the word “Chootia”means “of the vagina”- if you and the crowd is comfortable with that- it is fine with me I have heard and own more ferocious cuss words. As it was Fuck, Fucker and fucking were used on a liberal scale like an over peppered chicken-sandwich (just like the one they sell outside in St. Andrews while the band sings incomprehensibly noisy tunes and songs).

Too tame for my taste. Maybe the real thing was ‘Lost in Translation.’

Of course this does not take away from the vibrant acting and the 100% direction and cool production. Alas the raw material (the rice) was bad for this Biryani.

Better luck next time folks. Great attempt to promote theater by AADYAM which is an Aditya Birla Initiative.











Mmmm, Mumbai

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My love with Mumbai is through Hindi movies. Every time I come here I am awe struck by the fact that I am walking the streets of a city where great actors like Amitabh Bachhan, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and many more share the Mumbai air with me.

Yesterday my daughter showed me the hallowed gates of Mehboob Studios as we were rolling along in an auto-rickshaw in prime time traffic, headed for a view of the sea from Band Stand in Bandra?

Wonder if this Bandstand seen in this song still exists in this area?-

We sat there on a bench and watched an angry sea hasten its waves in greetings towards us. People walked by in casual charm. To me they were extras in my movie. I am movie crazy. Life is just a big movie set for me. My roles have changed over the years from a hero I have ascended to the part of an ageing father. I love it. I am still the hero but my make up is so good that people think that I am really old.

I have not physically been to Mumbai many times but visited the place thousands of times through movies. I have stood there as a character among the crowds watching stars acting in song and dance routines. I am everyday in Mumbai financially too trading in the stock market and watching the many Mumbai based broker/experts on television. That is entertainment of a different kind.

My wife too is an unwitting fan of Mumbai watching with awe those soaps on prime time TV. These too are shot somewhere here in Mumbai.

I know I would have been a different man if I had not met all these people of the screen like Raj Kapoor, Dharmender, Shashi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Rishi Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Biswajit, Bhagwan, Johnny Walker, Dara Singh, Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore, Waheeda Rehman, Nutan, Sadhana and many more who shaped our lives with their acting and the movies they acted in. Each dedicated film goer is a family member of this vast clan of Bollywood.

Last evening we took a long walk on the beach before heading for Bandra. Well, My Chowpatty has changed a lot from the uncluttered pani poori serving times of forty years ago. This is different. Dynamic, surging, crowded and young. This is new India.




James Bond and Jason Bourne





A remarkable question and answer session with Sessions on whether or not he was aware of the spy genre of movies and novels including those of John le Carre and others.

Golden Week of Japan

A lot of people in Japan are waiting expectantly for Golden week. This is a week at the end of April when a gathering of holidays is combined into a week of celebrations.The week starts with Showa Day in memory of the popular Emperor who passed away in 1989. This is celebrated on 29th of April.

This constellation of holidays was aptly named Golden Week by the movie industry which lured people to cinema halls during these holidays.

The Japanese Constitution came into being on the 3rd of May 1947 and thus is celebrated as Constitution Memorial Day within the Golden Week.

Children get a special day in Japan on May 5 and it is called Children’s Day!

May 1 is celebrated all over the world as May Day. It is a day celebrating the power of the working people. In Japan too it is honored thus during the Golden Week.

May 4 used to be a working day once but it was very inconvenient opening and closing shops and factories for one day therefore the authorities have logically declared this inconvenient 24 hours as a holiday too.

The weather too is golden during this week. It is neither too cold nor too hot. People travel and visit monuments and stay at tourist resorts. If you are planning to go to Japan then perhaps you should join in the celebrations of Golden Week of Japan.