Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

Aug 04, 2017, 10:14 IST | Team mid-day

Sukhanandi Vyam at the Mumbai international airport Sukhanandi Vyam at the Mumbai international airport 

Gond in the garden
The Mumbai airport saw a lovely folk art contribution on Wednesday when Gond artist Sukhnandi Vyam came to work on a bicycle. Organised by the Jaya He GVK Museum, Vyam undertook a two hour live-painting session with figures and nature motifs that are typically seen in Gond art.

The Bhopal-based artist won the Madhya Pradesh State Government award in 2002 for an unusually elaborate wood-carved wedding totem and is part of the Pradhan Gond art movement. The bicycle is currently placed in the GVK Botanical Garden Project at the international airport's arrivals section and should be ready in a couple of days, we are told.

IIT-Bombay cracks it!
The first qualifying round of an inter-collegiate quiz organised in the city yesterday as part of the 11th edition of the Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week saw more than 300 quiz enthusiasts from 30 Mumbai colleges put their knowledge of Nobel laureates, Sweden and its culture and people to test.

The winners. Pic/Tanvi Phondekar
The winners. Pic/Tanvi Phondekar

After three gruelling hours, the team from IIT Bombay comprising Jibitesh Behera, Soham Dibyachintan and Kavin Aadithiyan emerged winners. They will represent the city at the national finals in New Delhi on October 11, and the winning team will get an all-expense paid trip to Sweden, where they will visit Swedish universities and the Nobel Museum.

Launched in 2008, the event was organised by Consulate General of Sweden and the Embassy of Sweden; hosted by quizmaster Seema Savarkar.

Pic/Bipin Kokate
Pic/Bipin Kokate

Reflective beauty
Actress Tanvi Azmi gives final touches to her look on the set of a new television show in Goregaon yesterday.

Manto beyond South Asia
Saadat Hasan Manto's writing is a shared legacy that India and Pakistan have celebrated over decades. But the fact that he was a writer par excellence is now becoming known to audiences beyond South Asia, thanks to recent films on his life. While the biographical drama, Manto, was made in Pakistan two years ago, Nandita Das's film by the same name is another much-awaited project.

The latter is part of a BBC World show, which aired in South Africa yesterday. The show, a part of which was shot on the sets of Das's film, features the director and Nawazuddin Siddiqui discuss the relevance of Manto, and how censorship and intolerance remain issues of concern. The author was charged with obscenity six times for his work, but never convicted.

The hills are alive with colours of pride
Yet another bastion falls, and yet another state in India gets a gay pride. Recently, the Prayojan Kalyan Samiti held its first Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) Pride march in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The march wound its way through the central areas of the hill town. About a hundred people participated in the march including many from India's northern and other metros.

The number may seem modest given the crush of crowds at Mumbai's Pride march, but a beginning has been made. Organisers say it was the first time that an event promoting sexual freedom on this large a scale was held in a state known primarily for its holy significance, pilgrimage tourism, and conservative belief systems. If we go by the pictures, there is a lot of gawking and leering, which means it takes courage to come out on the streets, amidst these reactions. More power to the cause.

Spaces of hope
Mockery and judgment are part of the lives of women and non-binary individuals, who live outside the masculine and feminine compartments. As part of its new initiative, Gaysi, a desi-gay community collective, is hosting a queer feminist bar night at Auriga, Mahalaxmi.

The idea of providing an exclusive space to this community on a Saturday has been rejected by many mainstream venues earlier. "Such spaces are the need of the hour and we hope to create a queer feminist social space for all folk who live outside the norm, look different, desire different, and have suffered gendered oppression in society in a significant way," said Priya Gangwani, Gaysi's co-founder.

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