Mumbai Diary page: Saturday scene

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

Of ragas and riches
It is all ears at the Thyagaraja Aradhana at Shanmukhananda hall, today, Saturday at 6.30 p.m. as nearly 75 musicians from all over Mumbai with their instruments like, Mridangam, Veena, Violin, Ghatam besides vocal will render in unison the Pancharatna Kritis (five gems) of Saint Thyagaraja in the ragas Nattai, Gowlai, Arabhi, Varali and Sri to mark the 168th aaradhana (attained Samadhi) of the saint.

A picture of last year’s event
A picture of last year’s event

Today, 2,000 music aficionados are expected to participate in the group singing of the Kritis. Saint Thyagaraja was a prolific composer, he was highly influential in the development of the classical music tradition. Best of all, entrance to the concert is free and is expected to last 1.5 hours, starting sharp at 6.30 pm. Like we said about classical music concerts, the free entry is music to our and a lot of music lovers’ ears.

Cleaning up the park
Hikers are often known to leave litter in the areas they explore, and even one such careless or callous person can give the community a bad name. Fortunately, there are enough voices and hands on the other side caring for the environment while exploring it.

The group Mumbai Explorers has organised a Clean Up Yeoor Hills (Thane side) event tomorrow, Sunday January 11, at 7.30 am, with the aim of cleaning up Sanjay Gandhi National Park which is nestled between Mumbai and Thane. As the note from the group says, “A lot of us Mumbaikars have grown up playing in its jungles and shady forests and picnic spots.

It would be rare to find a Mumbaikar who has not visited this National Park multiple times, and who doesn’t have fond memories of this place. And most of all, it is a genuine item of pride for us Mumbaikars. But a new generation of people have come into the city who don’t have the same respect. These people have scant regard for the park, its surroundings or the great role it plays in getting rid of the pollution in our city.

They do not realise that without the National Park, our city would be enveloped in smog, there would be a lot more diseases rampant, and life would be extremely difficult. They go into this genuine green lung of our city and leave behind trash and filth.” An anguished comment, indeed and backing their words with action, the group is determined to clean up the plastic bottles, paper plates and other garbage.

They plan to meet at the entrance of the park at 7.30am, and expect to be done before noon as different teams will be assigned particular spots and given clean-up equipment including bags and gloves. Collected trash will be dumped at the nearest dumping ground. If you need more details, call Amol Patwardhan at 9820962452.

Brunch with a difference
Sunday often means a laid-back brunch for many city dwellers. Make it one with a difference this Sunday, by combining it with birdwatching. Who but the Bombay Natural History Society to make it happen, with their Brunch With Birds Workshop which takes advantage of the season of migratory birds visiting Mumbai.

One for the birds
One for the birds

In a combination of interactive outdoor and indoor sessions, you can get acquainted with high fliers of the natural world through sessions on Bird watching, Bird Architecture, Bird Migration, Bird Calls and a Bird Quiz. You will be in the company of birds and well-known birdwatchers.

An informative programme kit comprising of education material and souvenirs will be provided to participants. For children there are fun activities such as treasure hunt, nest building, quiz, bird calls and face-painting.
All this will only help build up your appetite for the yummy brunch to follow. Date: 11th Jan 2015, Time: 7am–noon. Venue: BNHS Conservation Education Centre, Goregaon, Near Film City, Goregaon (East), Mumbai. Fees: Rs 550 per adult, Rs 500 per child (up to 12 years). Contact: Amandeep Kaur, education officer, at 9594929107 / 9594953425 or email cecbnhs@gmail.com.

Building a healthy community
Yesterday, Fortis Hospital in Mulund organised a Health Mela to celebrate the New Year, as a community service outreach event. The mela sought to provide people with factual and relevant information to help improve and maintain their health, and provided free health screenings, a drawing competition for children, healthy baby contest for toddlers and a series of lectures on healthy living and how to keep ailments at bay.

200 school children were part of the Fortis Health Mela
200 school children were part of the Fortis Health Mela

Also included were check-ups for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, vision, heart rate, etc, and information about nutrition and exercise for children. Who said that only government hospitals have to provide free check-ups? We hope more healthcare providers from the private sector follow suit.

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