Mumbai Diary: Monday musings

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Yoohoo, it is Juhu
Recently, Juhu was witness to a unique social experiment called Stop, Look, Go. The idea was to observe how people respond when they are confronted with movement without prior notice.

Dancers bring a new twist to Mumbai’s traffic taleDancers bring a new twist to Mumbai’s traffic tale

Taking dance out of its formal setting to a pedestrian environment, this forum used the traffic-inspired, action-oriented instructions of, ‘Stop, Look, Go’ as triggers for movement-based tasks that dancers complete at a given location. Four performers from the group did short spells of improvised movement as they crossed the road.

Over an hour, they covered a 600 m stretch that started near Novotel Hotel and ended at the Prithvi Theatre signal. “It was interesting to watch observers, from those in cars to shops owners and passersby. A few joined to shake a leg with our members,” added Ranjana Dave, who along with Avantika Bahl from Dance Dialogues conceptualised and executed it.

The Odissi dancer continued, “#StopLookGo was planned to emphasise the disconnect between what we do as artistes and what the world thinks we do. No, we’re not suggesting that an artistic practice is irrelevant if it doesn’t respond to wider concerns.

#StopLookGo is a means of playing with objects, ideas and conditions from our world and to understand where that might lead our artistic practice.” We just can’t wait for the next such experiment to get moving and grooving.

For your wheel-being
As the summer continues to sizzle, Mumbaikars use their legendary enterprise to beat the heat. Those who can afford air-conditioning, chill out. The office-goers have to make do with commercial air-conditioning or the magnanimity of the ceiling fan.

This may not be a very safe proposition in the middle of traffic, though the umbrella does add a dash of colour to the day. Pic/Shashank Rao
This may not be a very safe proposition in the middle of traffic, though the umbrella does add a dash of colour to the day. Pic/Shashank Rao

When it comes to commuters, scarves and umbrellas are deployed in full strength, and the ubiquitous water bottle often does double duty as a head-cooling device. And then there are the extraordinarily innovative, like this person on a high-powered two-wheeler, whom we spotted at a junction near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

Not content with any ordinary umbrella, he has managed to fix an extra-large one onto his bike, keeping both machine and man in the shade!

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