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Mumbai Diary page: Saturday Scene

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

Bioscope to premiere in Singapore
The Marathi film Bioscope will see its premiere later this month, not in the city’s Hindmata or Deepak cinemas, but in Cathay Cineplex, Singapore. Along with Bioscope, Prague (Hindi) and Deswa (Bhojpuri) will also be offerings from Mumbai at Darpan, a festival of Indian cinema held in Singapore, which is in its third year. It will be the premiere for Deswa too, as it has not yet been released.

A still from Prague
A still from Prague

Darpan will show 14 films from India, Singapore, Bangladesh and the UK, from October 30 to November 2. It opens with the Bengali film Shesher Kobita (The Last Poem) and closes with another Bengali offering, Baari Taar Bangla (Home is Bengali). This year Darpan is introducing its short film awards, and the festival will include workshops and of course a chance to rub shoulders with the tinsel-town celebs.

A still from Bioscope showing Gajanan Ahire’s Dil-E-Nadaan
A still from Bioscope showing Gajanan Ahire’s Dil-E-Nadaan

It is welcome news for the sizeable Marathi-speaking residents of Singapore, as well as other cinephiles. It is only in recent years that films from India other than Tamil movies or internationally-marketed blockbusters have been shown in mainstream cinemas. Now, there is a dedicated cineplex in the town area for Indian cinema, and more Indian films, both mainstream and independent, small and regional titles, are being shown.

For the festival, actors from Mumbai who are to attend include Ashish Vidyarthi, Konkona Sen, Chandan Roy Sanyal and Arfi Lamba, and Anupam Kher is expected as well, says chairperson of Darpan Sreyashi Sen.
Marathi cinema’s certainly going places!

Is the metro safe at night?
Over the past three days when this diarist has travelled by the Mumbai Metro post 11pm, there were no woman security personnel at a number of stations. This same scenario was noticed a month ago and this diarist had tweeted about it. Mumbai Metro’s official handle asked which stations were without security and women personnel were seen after that. But looks like again the checks on women commuters have started to slip.

Metro security falls short
Metro security falls short

It would be easy for a woman terrorist to get past the security as all dangerous objects do not get detected by a metal detector. The last metro from Ghatkopar is at 11.38pm and from Versova is at 1112 pm. So practically the metro has lapse in security and frisking of women commuters for around 30 minutes. This can be more than enough for a terror attack on the city’s newest means of transport.

Step up security systems equally for men and women so that the metro is safe at all times, we say. As we have seen, terrorism knows no gender. And lest we be accused of scare-mongering, we maintain that it is better to be safe than sorry.

A different kind of train threat
Who knew that standing near the door of the train can be life-threatening? And not in the way you may imagine. Malad resident Parv Sigtia, 19, had boarded a Churchgate-bound train from Malad on Friday morning to go to his tuition classes. He needed to alight at Andheri, so he stood near the door in order to be able to alight quickly.

But people who boarded subsequently insisted that the spot “belonged” to them, and began shoving Sigtia. The train was nearing Goregaon, and one of the other passengers asked the group to stop shoving Sigtia as he could fall. Appallingly enough, the men said in reply: “Many people fall from the train every day — what does it matter if he also falls?”

Sigtia is a final-year student, and will be appearing for exams in November. He did not want to make an issue of the incident, but it is an eye-opener about the callous attitude of train commuters towards their fellow men.

Think Over It
A message on social media: “When faced with the choice between being kind and being right, always be kind. Because kindness is always right.” Something to remember during the Festival of Light.

Henna makes it better
In the battle against cancer, those who undergo treatment often have to struggle with hair loss as a side-effect of the medicines they take. While wigs, hats and scarves are often used to cover up a hairless scalp, a Canadian organisation has come up with a soothing alternative.

Henna Heals, an advocacy group based in Toronto, has connections to nearly 150 henna artists worldwide who offer to adorn bare scalps with beautiful mehndi designs. Henna is already known for its cooling and other beneficial effects, and if it makes you look good, that’s even better.

If henna (mehndi) artists in Mumbai, who are well-known for their skills with the herb, start offering henna crowns as they are called as a service, it would be a refreshing alternative for cancer patients as well as alopecia sufferers. Those who want to know more or connect with the network can contact info@hennaheals.ca, or go to www.hennaheals.ca.

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